Joe Bob Briggs

I get these catalogs all the time from big-deal art museums like the Metropolitan in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and they wanna sell me art to either wear on my body or put on top of my TV set.

And these are not SMALL catalogs. These are, like, 9,000-item selections.
How about a Greek Horse pin adapted from a bronze horse found at Olympia in 750 BC? You can pin one to your lapel for 28 bucks. In other words, if you go to the museum and find the "Classical Bronzes from Thessaly" department, you'll see a bronze horse from 750 BC.

But if you don't have time to go to the museum, you can get a cheap miniature copy to wear to the office.

What am I missing here? Should I feel left out because I don't have a cat-food bowl with Winslow Homer watercolors on the side?

Am I hopelessly unhip because I don't have a tie with Egyptian cave paintings on it?

Should I take down the painting of "Poker Playing Dogs" over my mantel and put up a gold scarf with Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss" on it?

And who is Gustav Klimt?
What is wrong with this picture?
You can get ANYTHING with High Art on it now. You can get Picasso jockstraps from these people. What happened to going to the museum with your third-grade teacher, looking at the art, listening to the lady with orthopedic shoes explain it, then running outside and climbing on the steel girder modern-art thingy?

Now we would be expected to stop in the gift shop and buy an ashtray for Dad in the shape of the steel girder modern-art thingy.

Is this supposed to make Dad feel good?
I think not. Listen up.
I don't want the Mona Lisa on my shirt, my hat, my butt or the soles of my shoes. I want the Mona Lisa hangin' on the wall where it belongs. The last thing we need is more junk to throw in a drawer where you forget about it until you move, when you go: "Oh, look! I forgot all about this! My Rembrandt!"

Isn't there something a little, uh, JUNKY about all this? Aren't these supposed to be ART MUSEUMS? As the lady in orthopedic shoes used to say, "Don't we all want to treat the museum with RESPECT?"

Leave the catalogs to Spencer Gifts, people. I thank you, and the spirit of Toulouse-Lautrec thanks you.

Speaking of trends in modern living, this week's flick, Friend of the Family, is the story of a dysfunctional Malibu family that solves all its problems after an oversexed good-time girl named Elke shows up and starts getting intimate with Mom, Dad, Sis and Junior.

Think of an "After-School Special," but with hot, steamy, slow-motion sex every five minutes. Penthouse Pet Shauna O'Brien is the walking Goodwill Box who rings the doorbell one day, introduces herself to the stepmom as an old friend of a friend and ends up installed in the guest house.

Dad is a workaholic lawyer who doesn't have time to have sex with his wife.
Sis is so promiscuous she's known at the high school as a United Way Agency-- which is good for us, since Sis is played by the enormously talented Lissa Boyle.

And Junior is an aspiring film student who's so awkward with girls that he can't even admit he'd like to rip the clothes off Sis' best friend, Raelyn Saalman, and ravish her in his nerdy bedroom.

Shauna goes to work and 90 minutes later, everyone is crying, hugging and finally having sex with someone other than Shauna.

Thirty breasts. Hot-tub aardvarking. Flashback aardvarking. Eurotrash aardvarking. Back-seat aardvarking. Gratuitous nekkid pool-dancing.

Drive-In Academy Award nominations for...
*Annelyn Griffin Drew, as the sexually frustrated alcoholic stepmom, for saying: "My house! My rules!"

*Lissa Boyle, as the hot-to-trot daughter, for saying, "You're just a second wife, Linda, a second-rate wife!"

*Shauna O'Brien, as the sexual guardian angel, for saying, "It's your body--you can do whatever you want with it."

*C.T. Miller, as the dad who learns to sleep with his wife's best friend so he can keep his family together, for saying, "You've been filling everyone with delusions!"

*And Raelynn Saalman, as the daughter's best friend, who sums up the whole movie when she says, "Take my dress off."

Three stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.

Mr. Briggs:
I'm confused about a letter published in your column. Mrs. Sarah A. Scott of Kensington, Calif., asked, quite negatively: "Where the hell were you born and raised? Middletown, America, I'm sure." She continued, "Just focus on the personalities of people in general and not on stereotypes of certain races and sexes."

If this stormtrooper of Political Correctness opened her eyes and looked in the mirror, she'd vomit at what she saw.

I'm a small-town white male born for all intents and purposes in "Middletown, America." Perhaps the esteemed and overtly hypocritical Mrs. Scott should "just focus on the personalities of people in general and not on stereotypes of certain races and sexes."

I've written this letter in support of your column. You are doing a great job of body-slamming those who would strip the nation of its First Amendment rights and try to ensure that only their ideals and beliefs are published.

Outstanding job, Mr. Briggs.
Karl J. Feldman, Jr., Augusta, Ga.

Dear Karl:
Ever since the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it just hasn't been cool to be from a small town. They think we're all cannibals or something.

Dear Joey Bob:
The new name of your newsletter is pathetically uncreative. "The Joe Bob Report" sounds like a Tom Brokaw show, like a government commission paper on the JFK assassination, like the morning farm show on Channel 8. Here are some suggestions:

Joe Bob's Boob Report
The Gospel According to Joe Bob
Joe Bob's Bull
Joe Bob's Ramblings
The Wisdom of Joe Bob
Joe Bob's Mystical Wisdom
Joe Bob's Drive-In Gospel
Joe Bob's Films and Other Junk
Your humbull servant,
Allen Fischer, Richardson, Texas

Dear Allen:
Bless you, my son, you are correct. I should have named the newsletter something that truly celebrates my favorite subject--me.

Copyright 1995 Joe Bob Briggs (Distributed by NYT Special Features/Syndication Sales)

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