A few random observations

Next time you pull into your favorite fast-food joint for a super-dry gag burger slathered in a lumpy pale-pink paste, and there’s a huge line of cars in front of you in the drive-thru lane, and you start to go so impatiently ballistic that you sound like a drunken Marine with Tourette’s syndrome, hold on. Just hold on to your apoplectic sputtering for a sec, and kick into Plan B, which is … Park car. Go inside. Many times, it works! You’ll be amazed at the emptiness! The loneliness! The wide-open spaces of sweet, sheer solitude! Fast food, threatened momentarily with becoming slow food, once again becomes fast!

Whatever the TiVo Corporation paid Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott for that TV commercial, where Joe shows Ronnie how to deal with his tingly case of crotch itch … it wasn’t enough.

When did TV Guide stop putting TV stars on its covers? Is this one of those signs of the Apocalypse, or what? These days, you get everything but TV stars on the cover. One week, you get four of the X-Men; the next week, you get the four Beatles; the next week, you get three different photos of Vivien Leigh (?!), whom it’s safe to say flew over the heads of about 220 million Americans, who thought maybe she was some kinda ultra-square-lookin’ new rapper.

How do you like America’s chances to achieve semi-literacy in the next 10 years? Me neither. Especially after my session the other day at the local Shop ‘n’ Shoot. I needed to fill up with Sludgco regular, so I injected the ATM card, then received instructions to “begin fuiling.”

Do you get all edgy, jittery and anxiety-wracked as you get within one mile of the intersection of South Virginia and South McCarran these days? You’re not alone. There’s a word for this epidemic endemic to Northern Nevadans: “Meadowoodophobia.” Symptoms ease around Elvis’ birthday (Jan. 8).

Much has been made lately of shortstop Alex Rodriguez’s new contract with the Texas Rangers, where he will get 252 million bucks over the next 10 years. I assume Alex is happy with the deal. I also assume Alex’s grandma has figured out how to reach the pedals of her new Lincoln Navigator.

One humorous section of Alex’s deal is his All-Star incentive. If he makes the American League All-Star team next year, he’ll get a bonus of $100,000. That sounds good until you realize that, for a guy making 25 mill’ next year, a lousy $100,000 may be as motivational as a sack of gag burgers.

The mind-boggling math: Alex will knock down a very cool $68,493 a DAY next year, which means his All-Star bonus will be a reward equal to what he will make in two days of working his PlayStation 2 on the couch next November.

They’ll miss Alex at his local Wal-Mart.