Tag Archives: Boston

You are how you drink


Pax Arcana

A British psychiatrist recently studied 500 people in bars, and says he’s narrowed drinkers into eight categories based on how they hold their drinks. Categories include The Gossip — usually a woman who leans over her wine glass (held by the bowl) to tell secrets to her friends — and The Jack-The-Lad, who sits far from his glass and leans back on his chair to claim his own little fiefdom within the bar.

Dr. Wilson said: “The simple act of holding a drink displays a lot more about us than we realise – or might want to divulge.

“When you’re in a crowded bar, often all you have to go on is body language.

“To a large extent, it’s an unconscious thing and just reflects the person you are and the type of social relationships you have.”

Of course his findings are all based on British drinkers, so not all social clues translate exactly. If he had studied people in Boston, he would have included several other categories including: The Punch-Douche, Fisty McIrish, The Tribal Tat Army, Pushups the Challenger, and Date-Slap McGillicuddy.

‘Glass hold’ reveals personality [BBC]


Filed under booze

Sell me your fucking condo

Pax Arcana

Hey. Hey you.

Yeah, that’s right — I’m talking to you, numbnuts. Now turn around and wipe that smile off your face. Good. Now, put your hands behind your head and walk backward toward me nice and slow. OK stop right there.


Alright — now listen real good because I’m only going to say this once.

Sell me your fucking condo.


american_dreamPay attention, asshole. My wife and I want to buy your condo. And when we want something, we don’t pussyfoot around. You feel that heavy cylinder pressing up against the small of your back? Yeah? What do you think that is? That’s right — it’s a rolled up stack of listing sheets from the 612 open houses we went to this spring before we stumbled across your place last weekend.

I understand we’re not the only ones interested in your condo, either. Our realtor tells us you’ve already fielded another offer, which we believe is higher than our offer.

Well guess who’s got his hairy forearms around your neck and doesn’t give a fuck. That’s right — this guy.


I can see that you’re upset by my negotiating tactics, so let’s just all take a minute to calm down and collect ourselves. Just breathe easy for a few seconds and we can proceed like adults, OK?


Now let’s start from the beginning. You own a condo. We like your condo. You are selling your condo. We want to buy your condo. Don’t you see how easy this is?



Filed under Vikings

No Leno

Pax Arcana

jay_lenoSo the big news in Boston these days is that our local NBC affiliate says it won’t air Jay Leno’s show when it moves to the 10 p.m. time slot (Conan gets the late night gig starting in a few months).

The affiliate, WHDH, says its 10 p.m. newscast will likely draw better ratings than Leno — who incidentally grew up in Andover just a short drive north from Boston. NBC is taking things in predictably good stride:

“WHDH’s move is a flagrant violation of the terms of their contract with NBC,” said John Eck, president of NBC TV Network. “If they persist, we will strip WHDH of its NBC affiliation. We have a number of other strong options in the Boston market, including using our existing broadcast license to launch an NBC owned and operated station.”

OK, then.

Obviously it would be a shame if we couldn’t see Leno in this area. Where else am I going to turn for bad jokes, forced banter with minor celebrities, and interviews with morons on the street? Oh yeah — I guess I could just watch the news.

Channel 7 says no to Leno [Boston.com]


Filed under television

Self-plagiarism: Happy something day, you mackerel-snappers!

Pax Arcana

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on St. Patrick’s Day 2008. I think it says everything I will ever have to say on this occasion, and is therefore ripe for a reprint. Once I figure out how to monetize online content, I may have to pay myself twice for this — I’m not sure.

I have a soft spot for St. Patrick’s Day, as it was on this day in 2001 that I first left my slobbering imprint on the gorgeous visage of the stately and beatific Mrs. Pax Arcana. That anniversary has since been replaced by a wedding anniversary, but still you never forget the first time you drag a passed-out drunk kid named Murph out of your room in a rented ski house so you can plant one on your future wife, do you?

“Dude. Check it. It’s regular beer. But it’s green! GREEN DUDE! Isn’t that the bomb?”

And of course, Boston is really the global hub of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. What in Ireland is a minor holiday — and in New York is essentially a boring girl-scout parade — is to the average Boston-area moron the social event of the year. St. Patrick’s Day in Boston has it all — New Hampshire tourists in green and gold Dr. Seuss hats harassed by Dorchester toughs in Adidas visors and wife-beaters T-shirts (certainly appropriate on these mooks). There’s also your garden-variety gay bashing, your frat-guy projectile vomiting contests, and your stumbling drunk coeds struggling to guide their cabs from Quincy to Allston. Go Boston.

All in all, I find St. Patrick’s Day utterly adorable. I like to think of the life St. Patrick himself, a former slave from the English mainland who returned to Ireland sometime in the 5th century and converted many to Christianity.

I wonder if he knew the hell that would be visited on the spiritual descendants of those early Christians just a few hundred years later, as wave after wave of Viking ships crashed down on the countryside. All the social order and peace imposed by the Christians left the monks rich and defenseless — a combination the Vikings found both hilarious and profitable!

So anyway, enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, my Irish friends. Drink your Guinness. Pretend you like the Dropkick Murphys. Barf up your corned beef at the Purple Shamrock. Just remember to keep your heads on a swivel, because you never know when history might repeat itself.


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The redcoats had a lot of balls

Pax Arcana

boston_massacre1March 5 marks the 238th anniversary of the Boston Massacre, in which a troop of British soldiers outside the Custom House fired cowardly into the mob that was, um, attacking it.

Five people were killed in the fight, and another six were wounded. Considering there were only eight British soldiers with muzzle-loading muskets — and only six total shots were fired — it seems awfully strange that 11 people were hit.

The answer, according to J.L. Bell, lies in the particular musket loading technique employed by the British soldiers. It turns out the redcoats had a lot of balls:

The most likely explanation is that the soldiers each had two balls in their muskets. Those guns worked more like shotguns than like modern rifles. When gunpowder ignited inside the tubes, it pushed out whatever had been tamped down in there—one ball, two balls, buckshot, nothing but powder (called “snapping” the gun).

In fact, we have evidence of soldiers elsewhere in Boston that night being ordered to put two balls into their muskets. On 17 March, future American artillery captain Edward Crafts (younger brother of coroner Thomas Crafts) told the town’s investigation that the day after the Massacre he’d talked with a “Corporal McCan”—probably Hugh McCann of the 29th Regiment.

McCann reportedly told Crafts that on the night of the 5th:

his orders were, when the party came from the guard-house by the fortification [on the Boston Neck], if any person or persons assaulted them, to fire upon them, every man being loaded with a brace of balls.

”Brace” is an antique synonym for “pair,” usually used these days in the context of hunting. Folks of the late eighteenth century seem to have liked the alliteration of “a brace of balls,” since it shows up in other newspaper stories.

The term “brace of balls” has a slightly different meaning in present-day Boston. As in, “THAT FACKING TURNCOAT MIKEY VRABEL HAS A FACKING BRACE OF BAWLS IF HE THINK WE-AH GUNNA TAKE IT EASY ON THE FACKIN’ CHEEFS NEXT YE-UH.”

How Could Six Shots Hit Eleven People? [Boston 1775]


Filed under history

What’s a sandwhich?

Pax Arcana

I love the salad bar at the Lambert’s on Route 1 in Westwood, but either they’ve invented a new type of lunch meal that questions you back or they need to proofread their signs better:


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10 ways your children will die this holiday season

Pax Arcana

The holiday season is almost upon us, bringing with it the smell of nutmeg, the warmth of a crackling hearth, and the knowledge that your children are certain to die an excruciating and horrifying death due to your negligence.

Thankfully, the World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) is here to call attention to these rusty butchering tools pawned off as instruments of “fun.” Yesterday, the Globe published the group’s annual list of 10 toys that are most likely to incinerate, crush, choke, stab, dismember, or decapitate your children.

After the jump, let’s take a look at the list:

Continue reading


Filed under Uncategorized

MIT exactly $1 million closer to athletic glory

Pax Arcana

The centerpiece of MIT’s athletic facility is Steinbrenner Stadium, named after the father of Yankee majority owner George Steinbrenner.

Wait just a minute. I’m confused. MIT has an athletic facility?

(Googles “steinbrenner stadium”)

It’s true! You can see it pictured below, just next to the Tetris Building:

Anyway, George Steinbrenner — who donated millions to build the stadium in 1977 to honor his father, a 1927 graduate of the school — just donated another million to the school to construct a new entrance to the stadium, and pay for lighting, seating, and a new press box.

“It is Chinese food that makes me sure that my feet and hands have immunity. I can only hope and say that some say bats are good for trombone soup,” George Steinbrenner said in a statement.

Whoops. Wrong statement…

“It is our honor and privilege to ensure that future athletes, fans, and the entire MIT community will be able to continue to enjoy the Steinbrenner Stadium for generations to come,” George Steinbrenner said in a statement.

Along with infrastructure improvements to MIT’s athletic facilities, Steinbrenner’s $1 million will be used to endow the Hank Steinbrenner Chair in Media Relations at MIT. Well, it’s not so much a chair as a log. And it’s not exactly “at MIT,” unless you count floating down the Charles past the dome…

MIT Sports Will Continue Their Domination [The Slanch Report]
Steinbrenner makes donation to MIT [MLB.com]

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Special Ed takes one to the house

Pax Arcana

You know those lunatics that want to eliminate the Massachusetts income tax? The ones seething with rage at the idea of communal prosperity and equal access to education and opportunity and other outdated concepts? Have you ever wondered how a loose affiliation of angry people opposed to parting with fractions of cents on each dollar is able to coordinate a relatively successful, well-organized media campaign to advocate its batshit ideas?

Ed Mason, friend of Pax Arcana and reporter at the Boston Herald, found himself wondering exactly that. So he looked into the so-called “Committee for Small Government” and found a small treasure chest of whack-jobs propping the thing up, including the following:

  • Jason Hommel, a Penn Valley, Calif., financial manager who advises clients to invest using the principles of “Biblical capitalism” – which basically means avoiding stocks and bonds in favor of gold and silver. Hommel, who has called paper money “a fraud,” predicts that gold will return as currency just “prior to the Rapture . . . and the return of Jesus.” Hommel gave $10,000 to the anti-tax crusade.
  • John Gilmore, a cofounder of Sun Microsystems, has called for the dissolution of the Department of Homeland Security and its “Gestapo” tactics. Gilmore has also unsuccessfully sued the federal government for requiring people traveling on domestic flights to show identification, and has urged citizens to protect their e-mails from government snooping. Gilmore gave $20,000.
  • Craig Franklin, a Woodland, Calif., software firm executive and a part-time songwriter, has penned several anti-tax anthems, including “Hey, Mr. Tax Man,” sung to the tune of Bog Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man.” Franklin gave $25,500.
  • Chris J. Rufer, a California tomato-packing mogul who has funneled more than $50,000 to Libertarian candidates this decade. Rufer gave $13,000 to the anti-tax cause.

So why are all these Californians so interested in kicking the legs out from under every taxpayer-supported initiative in a state 3,000 miles away? Who the fuck knows? Only one of these guys would talk to Ed for the story, and he acquitted himself exactly as you would predict:

Franklin, a Bay State native, said in an interview that he’s passionate about the Freedom Movement, which advocates limited government. He also compared taxation to slavery, saying taxpayers are “sharecropping for the government.”

He’s right, you know. Taxes don’t accomplish a damn thing. I can’t wait for the day when we stop cuddling the poors and I have to pay local warlords for access to the highway so I can visit my parents. Also, we’ll all be able to carry whatever weapons we want at all times. America is going to be so awesome when it’s more like Zimbabwe.

Kooks cast fuels anti-tax crusade [Herald]


Filed under journalism

Creepy doll will not sell your house

Pax Arcana

The upright and fantasmagoric Mrs. Pax Arcana and I did a little house shopping yesterday. Because we live in the greater Boston area, things in our price range tend to fall between “industrial solvent manufacturing plant” and “abandoned mental hospital” on the attractiveness scale.

So we’re open to fixer-uppers, is what I’m saying.

After lunch we took a little trip out to a certain well-heeled suburb to check out a single-family home that had fallen within our price range of late. We could tell by the pictures that the layout was a little unusual and the decor had not been updated since the 1980s. But we figured it was worth a look, since we’re not averse to performing a bit of cosmetic upgrading ourselves.

The first floor was ugly but not offensive. Then we made our way upstairs and discovered this:

In case you can’t quite make it out, this is the last thing evil dictators see before they die.

Here’s a closer look at the psychotic demon succubus in the middle:

I’m no real estate agent, but I’m pretty sure one of the first rules of “staging” a house is to avoid forcing prospective buyers into defecating themselves with your creepy death totems. Just look what this one did to this handsome stranger:

Long story short, we won’t be making an offer.


Filed under Boston