Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 1 second


Jeff Smisek, former CEO, United AirlinesGas prices are so low and dropping so fast that when I went out this morning the nearest station had a sign that said "make us an offer". ...Some observers believe New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is still inflating game balls for his team's benefit. Officials became suspicious when the footballs began floating prior to kickoff. Brady spiked the ball after a touchdown and officials immediately seized it to investigate what he spiked it with. And there was a potential new issue when the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers suggested his team had more problems with headsets when his team plays in New England.

The Steelers became suspicious when they started hearing Boston Red Sox play-by-plays through their earpieces. Boston officials, of course, would like to clear the air, something not easily done in a town whose signature dish is baked beans. ... Three United Airlines executives, including CEO Jeff Smisek, have resigned their positions at United Airlines in the wake of a corruption probe. But Smisek's departure is a lesson in how important it is to listen to the safety instructions, which quickly informed him of the location of his golden parachute. Anyway, if they are eventually charged with any crimes and convicted, they have the opportunity to buy extra leg room. I think the episode has United more than a little bit paranoid. I tried to ask a question about flight schedules via chat and got a response, "Why do you want to know?" The investigation centers on Smisek's relationship with the head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs Newark Airport. Of course, where there's smoke, there's New Jersey.... To keep the Lord of the Rings franchise alive, the studio has come out with a sitcom, "Sauron and Sons", in which the happy-go-lucky evil lord and his family seek to dominate the earth. In this episode, one of Sauron's offspring gives one of the Nazgul a hot foot. ... There's a new Southern variety of wine grape, which has a nutty flavor and the aroma of sausage gravy. It's called Peanut Noir. Vintners have also created two versions—a white for catfish and a red for possum. ... Thinking Southern reminds me of a Bob Hope joke in which a lost man stops to ask a farmer for directions. "Excuse me, how do I get to the Grand Ole Opry?" "Learn to sing through your nose," the farmer replied.

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