I have returned the sub-heading to the logo above which I removed because I have no idea why but I am sure I had a reason. Which is to say, I Have Returned. Because I have had rather significant jumps in visitors at the Liquid Diet site with a series of “nostalgia” columns from the good old days when blogs were where the action was and because I just rediscovered a cache of columns and articles I wrote for a weekly alternative weekly called the Main Line Welcomat back in the ’90s (it was later combined with its parent publication, the Philadelphia Welcomat and renamed Philadelphia Weekly, which actually makes sense) and because I figured I could try the same revamp here and why not?

This is yet one more one last attempt to keep this site alive., something I owe the believers who kept on believing (looking at you, PGW) and we shall see how it goes. This column ran, as best I can determine, in late Spring 1995, six or eight weeks before the new Philadelphia Weekly cover featured story “Homeboy Brews” which launched my beer-writing career. More will follow. I will promote via Facebook and Twitter as before and add Google+; if you are one of the few, the faithful, tell your friends, send them here, dream the dream. Also, comments would be great. I assume there are several references in the below, and others to come, which might inspire a “Say What?” or outraged “WTF?”

And we are off…

An Alphabet for Our Times

By Jack Curtin

A is for Alfonse, as in D’Amato. The good Senator, who makes Phil Gramm seem warm and cuddly by comparison, was recently hospitalized with chest pains he thought might have been caused by a heart  attack. Gee, that would be something a lot like the phantom pain amputees reportedly feel in missing limbs, right?

B is for Baseball, which claims it is Back, but why would anybody care?

C is for Contract, which used to mean an enforceable agreement between two or more parties or, depending upon your station in life, either the controlling bid in a hand of Bridge or an assignment to murder someone. Today, thanks to the machinations of Mr.  Newt and his Fabulous Freshmen, it’s just another synonym for….

D, which is for Duplicitous, Deceitful and just plain Dumb.

E is for Eddie, as is Fast, as in Rendell, the Mayor who keeps coming up smelling like roses. The SEPTA strike was a mere bump on the road for a guy who might well be destined for the Big Chair in Harrisburg sooner than you think.

F is for Flyers, who have given Philadelphia sports fans the first glimmer of real hope in some time. By winning the Stanley Cup in the mid-’70s, the Broad Street Bullies changed a whole city’s attitude and initiated a decade-long period of athletic excellence. Can they do it again?

G is for G-String, which Judge Bernie Avellino finally agreed ought to be employed by local ecdysiasts. I knew that Villanova education would serve him well one of these days.

H is for Hillary, who actually thought the rest of the nation was as advanced as Arkansas and could accept a strong woman in a prominent role. Now she’s learning to love those cookie baking sessions, elephant rides and other acceptable First Lady-like activities. Which leads us very neatly to…

I, which is for Intelligence, a passing fad that this great nation has put behind it on its way to the 21st Century. Don’t need us no deep thought when we got mindless slogans and endless scapegoats, nosiree.

J is for Journalism, which used to be about reporting and interpreting the news, but now seems to be the province of pompous ideologues who don’t even bother to pretend to be objective.

K is for Kismet, which means fate, prompting the scary thought that we might be getting exactly what we deserve.

L is for Liberal Media Elite, those folks who are supposed to have control of all the media but who don’t seem able to influence anybody to do anything. Are you now or have you ever been a card-carrying member of the ACLU? ‘Fess up now and avoid the rush. Or is that Rush?

M is for Middle of the Road, which is thought to be a good place to be politically but which is also a good place to get run over by traffic from both directions.

N is for North, Ollie, whose new syndicated radio screed has been picked up by a local station which specializes in religious programming. I know a lot of people think he’s God, but this is ridiculous.

O is for the O.J. Jury. Remember when we were all wondering where they were ever gonna find enough clueless folks to try this case in front of? Forrest Gump lives.

P is for Pandering. See the Bob Dole for President Campaign, in which a 71-year old U.S. Senator turns his back on just about everything he’s stood for in a long and reasonably distinguished career in order to try to impress the loonies who have taken over his Party.

Q is for Quayle, and don’t you just miss him terribly?

R is for Reality. It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

S is for Senators, Specter and Santorum, to be specific. One is running for President on the Single Vote Theory, the other appears to be a Newt minus the charm. How did we get so lucky?

T is for Term Limits, a truly bad idea being advocated primarily by folks who have no intention of ever allowing it to apply to them. Then again, if you look up there under S, you might think it has some merit after all.

U is for UCLA, which finally won the Big One again.

V is for Villanova, which didn’t.

W is for Welcomat, which we won’t be much longer. Big changes are coming May 24. I figure I should save a good five hours a week not having to explain to out-of-towners that we are too a serious publication.

X is for Xenophobia, which is all the rage in California and which Pete Wilson hopes will propel him into the Presidency.

Y is for Yesterday, that wonderful golden era to which we are hell-bent on returning, even if it never really did exist.

Z is for Zenith, which is what this column has reached. Isn’t it nice when things work out?