By The Intern
Page 2

If work were a 12-step program, it'd be time to make some calls.

Finally, I can make amends with the boss who made me work the morning after my junior prom. Forgive the guy who got mad when I wasn't five minutes early for work every day (although I still think he's nuts) And start to look past the time when the multinational, billion-dollar conglomerate took two full months to pay me (hacking, phlegm-all-over-the-place COUGH).

Because for the first time in my working career, I have a true office nemesis. Now just to be clear, I don't hate the nemesis. I don't even dislike the nemesis. But after spending four years in college not getting ordered around by a 45-year-old, I've kind of taken a liking to it, you know? I can't picture how Ashton Kutcher gets through his days. Okay, that's a lie.

Maybe it was inevitable. Just look at my pathetic resume. For instance, I spent two summers working as a substitute high school teacher, where I had the authority to kick out anyone that was remotely irritating. My other big job gave me the best farmer's tan of my life, when I worked as a painter for a retired brigadier general. The U.S. Army pension was high enough and the property was big enough that this went on for six summers. Fence, barn, garage, deck. Fence, barn, garage, deck. One, two three, four. Hup! Two, three, four. By the time I finished, the white paint was starting to fleck, so I started up again. It was like washing St. Peter's. It never ended. The greatest job ever.

Enter reality. Said nemesis works in the accounting department. Pays absolute attention to detail. Has an unwavering commitment to match invoices and packing slips. Can't be bargained with. Can't be reasoned with. Doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And absolutely will not stop -- EVER -- until you are dead. (Okay, that was The Terminator). But truly the antithesis of 90 percent of young guys. And to boot, the nemesis is a woman. With men, all you have to do is rag on Mark Bellhorn and make frequent references to needing a beer and you're golden. I'm still waiting to bust out the "Man, I wish that thing was full of Bud" line when the recycling truck pulls up. It'll go over like Chris Rock's "Bring the Pain" act. I'm telling you. Call in the riot police.

Instead, I spend most of my day suffering from Greg Focker Syndrome. I don't slip up much -- twice a week, maybe -- but she (and only she) catches me every single time, without fail. And I don't stand a chance of besting her. I spend several hours a day intently burning through links and reader e-mails, which is like riding a steamboat down the Congo. I'm in a complete fog. Not good conditions to monitor whether the Kleenex are low or the plants are drooping. Plus, when somebody's already in your head, you always end up performing exponentially worse -- just ask Joe Frazier. For no apparent reason you start doing ridiculous things, like leaving thousand-dollar checks in the copy machine. No kidding. I guarantee Kwame Brown wouldn't last a week at Jumpman Headquarters.

So what's the result of all this? There really isn't one, except for the fact that I just graduated from college and one of my direct superiors thinks I belong in a rest home. Another outcome has been a war-of-attrition by me to stay on top of things. Last week, after looking down at my desk, she chewed my ass out like Bill Parcells for stamping the wrong date on incoming mail. Actually, she was looking at the month of June, not July. I just hadn't torn the page off the huge desk calendar yet. This was a big moral victory.

But as I said, I can't win. Even when she's gone.

She called the other day from her vacation house in Maine and asked for her husband, who also works here. He was meeting with some clients, so I transferred her to his answering machine. Thirty seconds later, the phone rings again.

"Hello?"

"Hey ... you put me through to my voicemail."

Daaaaaaaaah!

At least I didn't screw anything up here last week. Let's get right to the links ...

CNN (8/4) -- Remember that Disney World employee who was accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old park visitor while wearing a Tigger costume? Well, he beat the rap. Whew. As if that wasn't ridiculous enough, two things warrant further investigation: 1) Why would a defense attorney moonlight as Goofy?; and 2) Does the Disney Tattoo Guy have an alibi?

Time (8/4) -- Hide the Babbage's credit card: Doom III is on the way! One of our favorite things in seventh grade was playing Doom II over the old 28.8K connection. Then Turok: The Dinosaur Hunter came along and made us realize Doom stunk. And then puberty started winding down and we realized, "Hey, we can leave the house now!"

Washington Post (8/4) (registration required) -- The thought of an English bulldog puppy snatched from its litter and sent to Detroit to be Kevin Jones' new dog was almost enough to put tears in my eyes. It ranks right up there with Rodney White sending someone on a three-hour mission to find a bootleg "Fahrenheit 9-11" DVD. "Link of the Week," hands down.

Houston Chronicle (8/4) -- Roger Clemens' angry rebuttal to a report that he was kicked out of a little league game for spitting sunflower seeds at an umpire. Here's a Cliff Note for you: Katy Cowboys is the name of the team, not one of his kids.

Sports Illustrated (8/4) -- SI breaks the Ricky-to-Oakland in 2005 story a day after breaking the Shaq-to-the-Kobe-Trial one. Now we just need a "Where Have You Gone, Shammond Williams?" feature. No, wait. He's in Georgia (... not the state).

Yahoo! Auctions -- Simmons versus Taurasi in a game of H-O-R-S-E? I can only dream that somewhere out there, a wealthy late-night talk show host is willing to dwarf this bid.

The Dartmouth (8/3) -- Only in a college daily could somebody wearing a "silly smile" and watching transvestite porn make headlines. Back in school, 95 percent of kids used to turn to the crossword first; I turned to the police roundup, some of which I can call up online in seconds. Ahhhh ... the old neighborhood.

CBS Sportsline -- Michael Vick is growing his hair out until the Falcons win a Super Bowl. Translation: "Don't call my little brother Afro Man."

Nomar.com -- No idea what's up with this linking to Ted Williams' official site, but talk about kicking Red Sox Nation when it's down. Whatever the case may be, just remember: They're not really dead ... as long as we remember them.

St. Petersburg Times (8/2) -- On his way home from a trip to the jerk store, the Devil Rays owner has the audacity to use the "Do you know who I am?" line to get his wife out of a traffic ticket. Guess he didn't learn anything from Kimona Lee Simmons.

Jacksonville Online (8/3) -- The following story contains the words: "Hanson," "ax," and "emergency surgery." Sorry to get you excited. It's just the return of the Jags' punter.

Let's take a break.

I noticed three signs in the past few days that it's time to break down and spring for a cable box in my room.

1) Dave Chapelle signs a $50 million deal with Comedy Central, and I'm trolling the waters for a "Men in Tights" joke.

2) As far as I know, Ted Koppel's beef with The Daily Show is completely legit.

3) I couldn't pick Lindsay Lohan out of a police lineup until I got this week's Rolling Stone. (But now I recognize Lohan and her alleged breast implants.)

Okay, that was a load off. Back to the links ...

MLB.com -- Speaking of age of consent, if you thought Haley Joel Osment was a busy little kid, take a look at when Jose Mesa had his first born. Bettors, take the under.

Boston.com -- You thought I was kidding when I said Simmons was miffed by the beauty salon thing, didn't you? Scroll allllllll the way down ...

Baseball Prospectus (8/1) -- A report on how George Steinbrenner can make the rest of the MLB teams pay for his new "fully-funded" Bronx stadium. Much like when I saw the "Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense" DVD, I don't quite follow, and I'm angry.

Boston Globe (8/1) -- Troubling story about a group of Massachusetts fourth-graders who are converting en masse to Yankee fans. I know the Democratic National Convention ended last Friday, but those assault helicopters can't have gotten too far.

Las Vegas Review-Journal (8/1) -- Ex-Phillie Tyler Houston has life figured out: Move to Vegas, tear your ex-boss to shreds. This is begging for a Montecore the Tiger punch line, but I'll hold off now that Roy Horn has been reincarnated as The Angel of Death.

JodyReedBaseball.com -- Count me among the millions of tee-ball-playing kids who idolized shortstop Jody Reed in the 1980s. Don't count me in for the $99.95 annual membership fee to his site. Not even if Marty Barrett is moderating his chat room.

IGN.com -- If you know what IGN stands for, then you probably can guess what caused Michael Strahan to turn his career around. If not, I won't ruin it for you.

Star Magazine -- Ken Jennings never wears a suit to work! Does he like to drink soda, too? I think the janitor from Billy Madison is on his trail. Really, these are the lamest "secrets" since the divine ones of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I'd think The Star could make up something better than this crap.

Daytona Journal (7/29) -- Your token wrestling/B-list celebrity sex tape news of the week (seventh note down) comes courtesy of a drugged-out Chyna and all 145 pounds of X-Pac. If broken bones turn you on, this one might be a keeper.

The Smoking Gun (7/26) -- A dentist in North Carolina has been accused of injecting semen into his patients' mouths. For what it costs to get serviced these days, I'd think it would be the other way around.

ESPN.com -- Hilarious post from an ESPN message board on the after-party of Vince Carter's charity game. This reads a lot better if you turn down the lights and crank "What is Love?" in the background. Not that I would know.

Stuff Magazine -- And finally, my friend Ian once wrote an 80-someodd-page honors thesis bashing men's magazines like Maxim and Stuff. Some people have passions in life; this was his. That's why he's going to be pretty disappointed in me linking to this. But, hey ... Ambah is wicked hot.

If you have a suggestion for "The Links," mail it to SGWeeklyLinks@comcast.net.