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Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009

Bestiality A Plus

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I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? And what a chock-packed full-jammed issue this week, what with the “best this” and “best that,” I tell you.

And I’d just like to say to any of you’s out there who actually had the cotton-focking-picking time to pencil down a vote in all 160 goddamn categories, that I sincerely hope you become eligible for parole soon, and that you are then granted the privilege once again to use your time more wisely as a productive member of society, god bless.

Anyways, I got to keep this essay short on account of the fact that last evening was the Shepherd-sponsored Milwaukee Reader Poll soiree for the nominees, winners, hangers-on and assorted focking freeloaders down by the nicely appointed InterContinental Hotel, and right now I’m sporting Best Hangover.

Just kidding, about the hangover. No way in hell a guy gets hungover, whilst meeting and greeting, from sipping three-and-a-half gallons of the fabulous Art Kumbalek’s Focktoberfest beer brewed by the sudsy savants at Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee’s finest, you betcha. Just not possible.

Anyways, about this Best of Milwaukee schmutz: I cannot imagine any guy or gal not behind bars having the time to dick around with the big, honking ballot that this newspaper wanted you to fill out a couple, three weeks ago that has resulted in the galore 72-page issue you are by now sick and tired of reading. But if you were a fancy-free voter and yet had the time—and took it—to knock off the entire ballot, I’d sure like to know how you, as an elector, feel that the one category you’d be most familiar with wasn’t even included: Best Mental Health cum Straitjacket Facility. Disappointed?

And likewise for you certifiably incarcerated cons who receive this publication and had the patience to go the whole nine yards with the voting—’cause what the fock, as if you had something better to do besides spit on a guard or bugger the new guy, ain’a?—yes, I feel your disappointment that when you looked under “Services Rendered,” there was no category for “Best Correctional Facility.”

Hell, even in Heaven I’ll bet you a buck two-eighty you couldn’t come up with one-hundred-and-sixty particulars in which you could dream up a “Best of All the Rest.” I’m thinking if they ran one of these polls up there in Kingdom Come, they’d be in a pickle but good to come up with any category to vote in other than “Best ethereal firmament in which to hobnob with a bunch of boring-ass harp-plucking pious jags the rest of eternity, and then some.”

But this is Beertown, baby, and you bet that’s why we drink it here. Yeah, the City that Always Sweeps, the greatest city in the solar system besides maybe Vegas. And I cannot focking believe that they could make up only a measly 160 partitions within this Best of Milwaukee structure, when in our town every single second, no matter what you do, what you see or where you go, the one thing you got to say is, “Jeez louise I tell you, that was just the focking best, I kid you not.”

No sir, you could have a thousand categories and it still wouldn’t serve justice for all the Best-ness this city down by a lake could pony up if one would only take a gander.

That’s what I’d like to think. And I’d like to think that what, and who, is best about our town might be somehow one of those renewable resources. But I don’t know. On the first Friday of this month while in denial that on paper I had become one-year older, I got the news that Mary Anne McNulty had died.

Good lord, what a gal, what a pistol, Mary Anne, beautiful saint from the 12th District on our city’s so-called Common Council who kicked all butt that needed kicking, and if you had a problem with that, she would tell you to kiss her sweet Blarney Stone ass. For me, there will never be mention of a “Best of Milwaukee” anywhere that does not include the remembrance of Mary Anne.

In the movie Casablanca, Rick says to Ilsa that the “problems of two little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.” Maybe it’s the romantic in me, but I seem to recall that Mary Anne would call that bullshit, agree that the world was crazy, and then do what she could to help the people get up the hill, of beans or not.

Yeah, Mary Anne, I’m here, you’re there, but we’ll always have Water Street, ain’a, ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.