A.M. Stir

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF BRUMLEY

SEASONS

A TOUCH OF AUTUMN

Florida doesn't get a real fall, not like up North. It's more like, one day you're driving along and you notice that some of the trees have turned.

That day was last week. On a drive to Ocala, it was almost, like, autumnal along the roadside. Reds! Oranges! Yellows! Something other than green!

ALIEN ECONOMY

ET'S SAVED BLACK FRIDAY

Well, no wonder Black Friday turned out OK, counter to predictions by economists and retailers and stuff. It's because aliens swooped in and snatched up bargains all across the country, according to the Weekly World News (which bills itself as "the world's only reliable newspaper"). And it looks like the whole shopping season will be OK thanks to extraterrestial shoppers, it reported.

One expert is quoted as saying that "we expect to see large numbers of aliens flocking to stores to snatch up the incredible deals being offered by big box retailers." Weeklyworldnews.com also reported that online retailers "have noted that interplanetary and intergalactic sales are booming."

So maybe we don't need that bailout after all, folks.

BAG VS. PURSE

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: STIRRER DEFINES 'MAN BAG,' 'MAN PURSE'

Readers of Tuesday's Stir learned about the medicine bag I made using the thigh pockets of a discarded pair of cargo pants. All fine and good. But some Facebook friends referred to it as a man bag or man purse. I objected. I explained that it would have to have a strap on it to qualify as a man bag.

This made me think of T-U staff writer Tim Gibbons, who is famous in the newsroom for carrying an 8-inch-wide man purse - which he called a "travel bag." LOL. Yeah, for traveling to the powder room.

A man purse, BTW, is any strapped bag narrower than the 14-inch-wide bag I carry. In Gibbons' case it was even more so because he carries all variety of cuticle creams, hand lotions and hair products in addition to his car keys and cell phone (which may or may not be pink).

The funny thing is that on Monday, Gibbons was elated to show me his new bag, which he said is a "carry-all" or "tote bag." He was overruled, however, because it was only 12 inches wide. I explained to the crestfallen reporter that it's OK to carry a man purse. It shows character because it means you don't care that everyone is making fun of you (which, of course, is wrong, and I would never do myself).

MSG TO JOAQUIN

DUDE, PLEASE, KEEP YOUR DAY JOB

A few weeks or months ago or whatever actor Joaquin Phoenix announced he was quitting the movie biz. I was bummed because I loved most of what he's done (especially that movie with aliens and the Johnny Cash thing). …