Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: The Urinal, Alex & Ani, Deflategate and Jimmy Carter

Cramped Quarters

Behind the walls of The Urinal’s Fountain Street fortress, many changes as The Other Paper continues to shrink.

This time, instead of axing top reporters and columnists, it is more of a physical contraction. The state’s organ of record, which once boasted of staffing seven regional bureau offices around Little Rhody, as well as the five-story Fountain Street HQ, is now consolidating all its mighty power into only the second floor. Some might say combining the ad sales reps in with genuine journalists is long overdue, since the advertising side has been guiding content for years (say hi, movie section!).

It is yet unknown what businesses will be occupying the new available space, but we certainly hope it is highbrow stuff like massage parlors or telemarketers. And given the reputation and operating style of the newish owners of The Urinal, the New Media Investment Group/Gatehouse Media, it might be fitting to have similar operations move into the now vacant floors, like payday loan operations, phone sex lines or perhaps an ethically challenged, avaricious investing company that specializes in flipping and stripping companies to turn a quick buck with no regard to quality or client services. (Oops, sorry, that’s all now on the second floor … or in Texas.)

Might P&J suggest that in honoring the grand local tradition of the Providence Night School of Journalism, where local ink-stained wretches would learn the more subtle tools of their trade, and network and pump sources late into the night, that the bottom floor be turned into a barroom, perhaps named either Hope’s or Leo’s? We can almost guarantee that will be a financial success, especially given that its best customers will only be a quick trip down a flight of stairs away.

The Crystal Ship

The message of peace, love and crystal jewelry that will make you run faster and jump higher as preached by Alex and Ani evidently includes loving thy neighbor ­ – or at least their possessions.

In sleepy Jamestown, an executive at Alex and Ani (which is attempting to annoyingly place its name on more buildings and venues than Alan Shawn Feinstein and Donald Trump combined) was arrested earlier this month for B&E and stealing two Jet Skis whilst commandeering a home that he didn’t own for a party where the revelers were served food and drink from the home’s own cache of provisions. Talk about a rude house guest.

Ryan J. Bonifacino, senior vice president digital at Alex and Ani, was evidently guided in this spiritual path by A&A’s magic charms, faux gems that evidently are not able to navigate Narragansett Bay. Because after Bonifacino evidently “borrowed” two Jet Skis from an unsuspecting neighbor to ride to Newport with three friends, they hit a rock in the Bay in the wee hours on their way home that seriously injured two of them. (P&J assume that the folks involved had only been drinking chamomile tea all night.)

The next time Mr. Bonifacino gets in the mood to party down and ride a Jet Ski at night, P&J suggest he slip on one of his company’s Unexpected Miracles Charm Bangles or a Guardian of Love Necklace to help, as A&A says, to “empower the light in you,” or at least provide enough of the company’s “enlightenment” to indicate where the rocks are out on the water at 3am.

And Alex and Ani may want to reconsider their ad pitch to “embark on unexpected journeys this fall” with their new products, as their boy Ryan seems to have covered the magical mystery tour angle already.

It’s Called “Proven Guilty”

As Deflategate goes on with seemingly no end in sight, we appear to be reaching closure (hate that word).

After an uneventful appearance before federal Judge Richard Berman in New York City on August 12, the NFL and NFL Players Association (read: Tom Brady) are due back in court on August 19, after this column has gone to bed. That is, provided no settlement is reached before that, which is unlikely, as both sides have their backs against the wall and are uncompromising in their positions.

The only bright light recently is that Judge Berman had the gall and audacity to ask the NFL if they have any hard evidence of Brady’s involvement in the whole Deflategate imbroglio other than “general awareness” of the alleged incident. You mean that Hizzoner is actually demanding that Tom Terrific is proven guilty, instead of relying on a slanted, in-house investigation that is so biased that it would make a Russian prosecutor blush? The loathsome and laughable NFL commissioner Roger Goodell couldn’t run a one-ticket raffle, and his belief in his imperious powers should explode in his face when a real officer of the court has him for those pesky little things known as facts. You can bet by now Judge Berman’s voicemail is full of numerous messages from every high-powered New York politician all the NFL owners save for Robert Kraft can lean on to get Brady convicted and save these arrogant bastards’ face. As they say on kids’ playgrounds everywhere, “Prove it!”

Losing One’s Grip

If you are like Phillipe and Jorge, which you should thank all gods you are not, your sole activities during the recent heat spells have been counting the number of sweat drops falling off your nose and breaking into meat lockers to find a place to sleep. That’s what happens when your cabana boys Artemus and Hidalgo refuse to continue fanning us with palm fronds poolside unless they are also supplied with numerous frozen Pernod and grapefruits.

So in a moment of insanity, Phillipe decided to go to Florida, an idea that cannot fit the definition of “stroke of genius.” And how hot was it, Johnny? It was so hot that P. evidently went mad in the even worse heat that turned the Gulf of Mexico into tepid bathwater, and took to the golf course for a relaxing 18 holes as scrub brush burst into flames around him.  (Tip to golfers: Do not go into a Port-A-John on the course that has been standing out for hours in 98-degree heat unless you want the experience Alec Guinness had in the tin punishment box he occupied in Bridge on the River Kwai.)

Using clubs borrowed from a friend who had stored them in his garage all summer, when he removed his sand wedge from the bag on the 11th hole, he found that the rubber grip had almost completely melted, and he was left with a handful of molten rubber. P. returned to Our Little Towne immediately, with a much better appreciation of what hot is really all about; so suck it up, you whiners.

Turds of a Feather

It’s not that all the most objectionable politicians are Republicans (plenty of bad Democratic pols in these parts), but this week, the spotlight shines on a pair of real swinging geniuses from the GOP. Your superior correspondents have noticed a definite decline in “girls who just wanna have Fung,” since a report on his scheming and interference with his own police department revealed the Cranston mayor to be not just “less than perfect,” but less than a lot of things.

Among others, it is not believable that Mayor Fung first heard about “Ticketgate” weeks after hearing a media report. Both former Cranston police chief McGrath and former Cranston Mayor Michael Napolitano strongly dispute Fung’s claim that he “inherited” problems in the police department and his lame-ass “I’ll try to do better” response to his long series of dirty and pathetic schemes and moves revealed in the state police report is sort of like the Wizard of Oz screaming “Pay no attention to the man behind that curtain!” We suggest Al step down from office, take a long look at where he went wrong and maybe, after deep reflection, he’ll be able to return in another decade or so.

And then there’s the current leader in the polls amongst the Republican presidential contenders, Donald Trump. P&J wouldn’t have thought that the secret to success in running for president would be having the most bizarre hair-do in America, revealing absolutely no details on what policies one would be pursuing and delivering campaign speeches that seem more like stand-up routines (Pat Paulsen, we hardly knew ye). 
We always thought that “humility” was some sort of virtue, but we are starting to rethink that over at Casa Diablo, The Donald has none and wants us all to know that those who disagree with him on almost any topic are either “losers” or buffoons. And, of course, he “cherishes” women by using the most old-school sexist language. But, that’s okay. He doesn’t believe in being “politically correct.” Somewhere there is a street where one can be thoughtful and respectful (nothing to do with “political correctness”) where people can be honest without denigrating others. Donald doesn’t know where that street is, but we’re betting it is not in a gated community.
Once again, Phillipe & Jorge remind you, sleep tight, America.
Jimmy Carter
The recent revelation that the 39th President of the United States, James Earl Carter, has a serious and spreading cancer, reminds your superior correspondents that the judgement of history can be rather fluid. When he left office in 1981, his was seen as a largely “failed” presidency. Yes, we would agree that Jimmy Çarter will probably never be seen as one of the “great” presidents, but what we have seen in what he has done in his subsequent life and in reassessing the level of honesty and integrity that he brought to the office, he is a very good man. Jimmy Carter deserves our thanks for his love of country, steadfastness and courage. Our prayers and thoughts are with him.

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