February 2009 Archives

redheads love sean keane

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It is an indisputable fact that Irish girls love Sean Keane. The paler and the frecklier they are, the more they come under my spell. Recently, as my Irish whispering powers have matured, it's become clear that, just as Dane Cook's audience is college girls, my target market is redheads of the world, regardless of geographic affiliation.

And it's not just The John Francis. Today I lunched with a group of people, and - not surprisingly - I ended up chatting it up with the auburn-haired girl in the group. Later, I discussed my findings with another redhead who'd been at the lunch.

Sean: I knew she would talk to me
Sean: Redheads are irresistibly drawn to Sean Keane
Sean: I think it's my complexion
Sean: They know they have a friend in me
Emily: Could be
Sean: There's a good chance I have an SPF 45 sunscreen on me if there's an emergency
Sean: And I know at least four ways to cook potatoes
Emily: She's not a natural redhead
Emily: So there go your theories
Sean: Fake redheads like me even more
Sean: Because they've consciously chosen the lifestyle.

My summer Belizean travel companion, the lovely Doctor Rachael, also had red hair, albeit of the natural variety. I believe the attraction was slightly different for her, as Rachael carried large amounts of her own high-SPF sunscreen. She saw my sister and me at the bus station, and her caregiver instincts kicked in - "I need to make sure that these two people don't get skin cancer."

Soon we were riding in the same old tricked-out American school bus blasting Bob Marley classics, and were the best of friends. Given my ruddy cheeks and general coloring, I don't believe it was an accident that we arrived in Belize during Lobsterfest.

I didn't know this until recently, but redheads, or "gingers", are actually quite stigmatized in the UK. Perhaps this explains the undeserved mockery that Ron Weasley received at Hogwarts, or perhaps most English schoolchildren are Slytherins.

Thankfully, there's a Ginger Beauty Exhibition in Wolverhampton that might help slow the anti-gingerist tide abroad. Over here, I am going to take it upon myself to minister to the downtrodden carrot tops among us. I'm not just an Irish Whisperer; I'm doing legitimate outreach work.


the george washington memorial parkway

To get from Bethesda, Maryland, where I was staying, to Dulles Airport, where I was departing, one drives along the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Yes, the Memorial Parkway, in case anyone wasn't sure if this five-lane highway was built while Washington was still alive.

I imagine the descendants of Washington attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony and getting choked up.

"George would have loved that off-ramp."
"They chopped down an entire orchard of cherry trees to clear space for this overpass."
"Once when George's wooden teeth broke, they were replaced by a set made out of asphalt. So this is perfect"

Contrary to what you might expect, the George Washington Memorial Parkway does not cross the Delaware.

The George Washington Parkway has some notable features. The Articles of Confederation are the supreme law of the road from Leesburg Pike to Bailey's Crossroads. The Bott's Dots are made out of wood, not plastic. And drivers are honest when they get pulled over:

"Do you know how fast you were going?"
"Officer, I cannot tell a lie. 77 in a 65 zone. Also, there's weed in the glove box."

Doesn't Washington have enough stuff already? On my trip to the East Coast, I saw the George Washington Bridge, George Washington University, the Washington Monument, the George Washington Memorial Parkway and got a handful of dollar coins, on which George Washington had replaced Sacagawea. True, the dollar coin is the most infuriating coin that exists, but does Washington really need to be pictured on a second coin, when he's also on the dollar bill?

Who should be on the dollar coin instead? Sacagawea or good ol' Susan B. would be fine, but I'd be happy with:

1. Someone who's not already on a different coin.
2. Someone who didn't own a whole bunch of slaves.

Is that so much to ask? (Yes.)

Maybe I am underestimating the power of the George Washington lobby inside the Beltway. I did find it suspicious that Congress authorized a $5 million bailout for the powdered wig industry. However, there's a provision that, should they violate willingly or knowingly the injunctions attached to said bailout, they will be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony. So that's something.

Louise: Don't you think it's really weird that Groundhog Day is a legit holiday?
Louise: Like on calendars and stuff?
Louise: It is so meaningless
Sean: Yeah, I don't really get it
Sean: The groundhog also seems like a semi-mythical animal to me
Louise: Like Andie MacDowell


Sean: Taxonomically, is a groundhog extremely different from a hedgehog?
Louise: Hmm
Louise: Taxonomically speaking
Sean: I feel like those names came from some dude spotting one of those animals once
Sean: With questionable accuracy
Sean: "I don't know, Linnaeus. you also called that thing a hog"
Sean: "I don't trust your observational skills"
Louise: I like that tactic of labeling things just based on what you saw them come out of
Sean: Yes, and then being too proud/embarrassed to revise anything
Sean: Interesting note: a groundhog and a woodchuck are the same creature
Louise: I just saw that too!
Louise: And the "land pig"
Louise: Didn't catch on as well as groundhog
Louise: I'm going to start calling hedgehogs "bush pigs"
Sean: Our agrarian human ancestors simply weren't very open-minded
Sean: Zoology was a total mystery
Sean: Unless everything could be compared to an existing farm animal
Sean: Manatee? Sea cow


Louise: I blame some other language
Louise: Like French maybe
Louise: Languages where they don't create new words for new things
Louise: The French for potato is still "apple of the earth"
Sean: Groundhogs are also squirrels
Louise: Ew
Louise: That really creeps me out for some reason
Louise: That groundhogs are enormously fat squirrels
Sean: Squirrels are gross animals
Louise: Squirrels: Groundhogs :: Humans: Humans in WALL-E


Sean: Groundhogs are one of the rare animals that have benefited from human encroachment onto nature
Sean: They're not tough enough to live in a forest
Louise: Geez, groundhogs suck!
Sean: There's a lot of references to how groundhogs are TRUE hibernators
Sean: I guess they reach a level of laziness and inactivity that is unsurpassed in the animal kingdom
Louise: And stupidity
Louise: They are scared of their own shadows
Sean: You know, we are treating Groundhog Day like people in Berkeley treat Columbus Day


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