It’s Friday which means it’s time once again to shed those work obligations, put on clothes you actually choose to wear, and leave the kids with that most trusted family friend – the television.

In this edition we’ll cover some news from your (read: my) favorite TV shows, news from the world of brunch, and, oh yes ladies, plenty of baseball. So kiss the kids on the head, grab that credit card, and let’s head to the buffet of Friday time wasting!

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We covered Ubaldo Jimenez’s no-hitter last week in Happy Friday, but we had yet to read a sophisticated breakdown of Ubaldo’s strengths and weaknesses. Thankfully, America’s Finest News Source is here to help and offers this erudite analysis of Ubaldo’s best qualities and biggest drawbacks. We’re most interested in seeing Ubaldo “carefully unstring the baseball to throw famous no-seam fastball.” If he does this, his lifetime pitching stats will likely rival those put up by all-time great Bugs Bunny. Hell, if he continues at the clip he’s going currently, they might anyway. Go get ‘em, Ubaldo!

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Since Ubaldo’s a current phenom, let’s gaze into the future and take a look at a coming phenom. You’ve likely heard about Bryce Harper, who is evidently a baseball messiah. He’s only 17 years old, but apparently that’s no excuse for acting like a complete dick to Baseball Prospectus’s Kevin Goldstein. He says, “It’s impossible to find any talent evaluator who isn’t blown away by Harper’s ability on the field, but it’s equally difficult to find one who doesn’t genuinely dislike the kid.”

We have to agree with Deadspin author Tommy Craggs in our response of “There has never been a 17-year-old boy who didn’t make the adults around him want to put him through a wall.” And when you couple his whole “being 17 years old and male” detriment with his unparalleled ability, we’d like to urge Goldstein to lighten the fuck up. Baseball’s full of arrogant pricks, and as Craggs puts it, some of them are just better at hiding it. Yes, even aw-shucks Joe Mauer.

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As move down the totem pole of cultural popularity, we move from ace MLB starting pitcher to future Lebron James of the MLB, to gay recreational softball. Yes, you read that right. Apparently the big controversy in gay-only leagues is teams bringing in straight ringers to help win games. This creates a problem because 1) it’s virtually impossible to prove someone’s gayness; and 2) our society is such that a need still exists for gay-only softball leagues. Still, we couldn’t help but chuckle when we read this whole hullabaloo. The whole thing reeks of ridiculousness.

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As long as we’re talking gayness, in an effort to stay current, Archie and Riverdale Gang are welcoming a new gay character into the fold. This certainly puts a whole new spin on that conversation Hooper and Banky have about the Archie comics in Chasing Amy, but to quote my esteemed colleague Lee S. Hart, “So they want the world of Archie to stay current, so they add a homo, but let’s forget the lack of black people or other minorities.” A fine point, but cultural myopia aside, the way the new gay character’s storyline comes to be forgives everything. A sneak peek:

“The story begins when Kevin [the new gay character] comes to Riverdale and promptly beats Jughead in a burger-eating contest. This gets the attention of Veronica who realizes that she is falling for Kevin.”

Stop. Say no more. Sold. We’re in.

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If eating tons of burgers ain’t your thing, let’s take a look at ways in which we’re making America fatter. The KFC Double Down is old news already. A sandwich with chicken as bread? Boring.

Now, pancakes with cake stuffed between them? That’s innovation! Behold The International House of Pancakes’ latest devil’s creation: Pancake Stackers. As if pancakes aren’t bad enough already on their own, why not slop some crustless cheesecake filling in between two of them and then top the whole thing off with some sugary fruit compote and a big dollop of whipped cream? For one order of this cholesterol-packed diabetes explosion, you’ll take in 1,250 deliciously empty calories. Food engineers are the new Nazi mad scientists. There’s nothing they won’t try. Part of me admires them for that while part of me recoils in horror at just how horrifically fat we can all become if we just let ourselves. Gross.

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Never ones to be left out of the obesity craze that’s sweeping the nation like flabby Beatlemania, Burger King has experimented with serving brunch in some locations. Translation: It’s now okay to mix Sprite and orange juice, and you can have a Whopper for breakfast. Taco Bell was bad enough trying to earn our buy-in with that whole “Fourth Meal” bullshit a couple of years ago, but this is moronic. Brunch is the euphemism our culture uses that excuses drinking in the morning, you can’t just offer up a giant hamburger at 9:30 in the morning and hope to slip in under that cover. Shame on Burger King for trying to ride the coattails of noble alcoholics everywhere.

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Sprite and orange juice is what you serve to little kids when Mommy & Daddy drink with breakfast so they don’t feel left out. It also serves the dual purpose of indoctrinating the young ‘uns into the world of Old Man Alcohol right from the get-go, lest you have square kids. So, when it’s not being offered by Burger King as a lousy Mimosa knockoff, Sprite and OJ isn’t a bad beverage idea.

By contrast, these are. New Coke you remember, but do you remember 6 years ago when Jones Soda made Thanksgiving dinner-flavored sodas? Christ man, we’re trying to have a society here! We disagree with the inclusion of OK Soda on here, but everything else? Yep, pretty reprehensible.

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On that list was Tru Blood, the blood orange soda that serves as the real life counterpart to the beverage featured on the show of the same name. If you’re anything like my wife, you’re stoked that the show’s third season kicks off soon. But what to do with the wait? Well, analyze the promotional poster for starters. The poster says very little, but Sean O’Neal’s breakdown of it is worth reading. Our favorite part: “Jason is looking at Lafayette expectantly, as if to say, “You’re going to go back to being the sassy black friend this season, right? Having you cry and freak out for most of last season got a little old.” And Lafayette is all, “Mm-mm, don’t be telling me what I can and can’t do with my post-traumatic stress.”

If you watch the show, you laughed at that part partially because it’s funny, mostly because it’s true. If you don’t watch the show, well, then you probably enjoyed the baseball links at the beginning of this article. Deal with it.

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Thursday night is still our favorite night of television. The only time it’s no good is when we spend all of Thursday night banging out this weekly feature, which, admittedly takes for fucking ever. But we do it because we love.

Anyway, we used to look forward to The Office more than any other show especially after My Name Is Earl started sucking. But lately we’ve found it to be the weak link in the Thursday lineup. Community is blossoming into one of the funniest shows to come around in some time, Ron Swanson is consistently the funniest character on all of television, and 30 Rock’s recent “Lee Marvin VS Derek Jeter” was one of the funniest fucking episodes in the history of television. Lady E and I spent the entire weekend after watching that show shouting “Happy birthday, bitches!” at each other. Fabulous.

So it is with some relief that we report this news item from Michael Scott himself: Next season will probably be his last. We loved The Office, and its second season is in the pantheon of all-time great seasons of television, but it’s time for this show to ride into the sunset.

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A slight bit of melancholy here, as good friend to CJS, Erika Napoletano (a.k.a. The Redhead) ends her weekly column at Toy With Me. We always appreciated her forthright manner, her thoughtful insight, and her liberal use of expletives. We remain eternally grateful to her for the hype she gave us leading up to our first Tweetup, and we heartily encourage you to visit her homepage, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter. Sure, there’ll be less sex in those places, but you’re probably used to that anyway, considering you read our dorky asses. Thanks for your columns, Erika. Thursdays won’t be the same now.

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The Honky Tonk Man cut a promo on Scott Keith. If you don’t know what that means, whatever. If that means anything to you, how freaking hilarious was that? I wish Honky Tonk Man would leave a message on my phone.

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From something you don’t get to something I don’t get. Here are 10 interesting facts about the Goosebumps and Fear Street books written by R.L. Stine. I never read a single one of those books, and it wasn’t that I had anything against them, it’s that in my youth I was mostly busy playing with my Honky Tonk Man action figures. No joke.

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We normally despise lists of things to do/see/eat before you die because the sum of human experience cannot be compiled by one narrow asshole or even a team of narrow assholes. The worst are lists like “100 Movies to See Before You Die.” Wow, Top Gun. Thanks. And The Godfather? Where did you ever come up with such a list?

In the case of GQ’s “50 Beers To Try Right Now,” we’ll make an exception. Of the 50 beers on this list, I’ve had only an embarrassing 9 of them. Weak sauce. And while I’ll likely never have all 50 of these, much less even remember this list two days from now, I’ll maintain my passionate pursuit to find a fucking Denver liquor store that sells Xingu Black Beer, my favorite beer that I’ve only had twice and appears like a unicorn in a dream. That shit is the mad brew, yo.

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We’ll end with the most disarming grocery list of all-time. That’s all the set-up this gets. Just click it.

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One last thing…

Happy birthday, bitches!

See you Monday in the Confessional.

edagger@crujonessociety.com