nothing in here is true

  1. Wednesday, February 20, 2002

    First African-American to Win Gold in the Winter Olympics: Vonetta Flowers 

    PARK CITY, Utah — (AP) No one had really given Jill Bakken and Vonetta Flowers a chance. They weren’t even supposed to be the best U.S. team.

    Jill Bakken, right, and Vonetta Flowers got themselves off to a good start to win the women’s bobsled.

    “A lot of people saw us as the ‘other’ team,” Flowers said. “We came here to prove people wrong.”

    That they did, winning the inaugural women’s bobsled Tuesday night by beating the favored Germans and the much-hyped Jean Racine in the other American sled.

    The victory by USA-2 ended a 46-year drought for the United States. America had not won an Olympic bobsled medal since Arthur Tyler took the four-man bronze in 1956 and had not won gold since his brother, Francis, won the four-man in 1948.

    There was also an Olympic landmark: The 28-year-old Flowers became the first African-American ever to win a gold medal at a Winter Games.

    “Hopefully, this will encourage other African-American boys and girls to give winter sports a try because you don’t see too many of them out there,” she said.

    The former college track star once had other Olympic dreams, but two knee operations and ankle surgery dashed those hopes.

    “I have truly been blessed to come into this sport and pick it up so fast,” said Flowers said, unable to stop crying. “My goal was to make the Summer Olympics. God had a different plan for me.”

    Sandra Prokoff and Ulrike Holzner won the silver in Germany-1 while compatriots Susi Erdmann and Nicole Herschmann took the bronze. Racine and Gea Johnson finished fifth.

    “I think I’m going to be looking back at this for a long time,” Racine said.

    In December, Bakken and Racine faced the same quandary: Both needed a new brakewoman to push their sleds.

    Racine dumped her best friend and chose Johnson, a muscular former heptathlete from Arizona; Bakken took Flowers, who once ran track at UAB and didn’t try bobsledding until after she failed to qualify for the U.S. team headed for the 2000 Summer Olympics.

    “I don’t even know what to feel,” Bakken said. “It’s amazing.”

    Even more amazing were the 11th-hour antics of Racine after Johnson injured her left hamstring Saturday night. After the race, Racine said she had asked Flowers over the weekend to consider changing sleds. Flowers declined.

    The race was gripping from the start. Dressed in matching bodysuits, Bakken and Flowers stood behind their bright red bobsled ready to begin their push to history.

    They seemed to forget the two German teams had won every World Cup race in the 2001-02 season. Standing in the start house, they stared through the visors of their black helmets and pounded each other’s fists.

    They flew down the track twice at 80 mph, winning with a two-run time of 1 minute, 37.76 seconds. Prokoff and Holzner were second in 1:38.06, with Erdmann and Herschmann at 1:38.29.

    Racine and Johnson were timed in 1:38.73. Johnson was in severe pain and crying as she hobbled off the track.

    “America was on the podium today, and that was the goal,” a tearful Racine said. “We didn’t win, but America did.”

  2. anna called crying and crying and crying. 

    i said, let it out, baby.

    Anna got her ass beat in Dubai today, by the number one tennis player in the galaxy, Ms. Venus Williams.

    “i hate my life. i hate it. oh, God!” Anna wept.

    Dubai is just like any place in the world when it comes to women’s tennis. They come to look at Anna, but come to watch Venus and believe it or not, but this has started to bother the white Russian.

    “i am going to quit. i fucking hate this all. these people look at me, and God only knows what theyre really thinking. and i show up and they criticize and they gawk and they boo and they cheer and they point and they oh, tony.”

    and i sit on the phone in the wee hours trying to listen, trying to be a good friend, but im no different. what can i tell her?

    as bad as Russia was for the blonde bombshell, nothing could be worse than trying to be a young Black teen tennis player in Compton. the Williams sisters are stronger, meaner, leaner, and more focused than any girl named Anna will ever be.

    “what did you say?” she asked.

    apparently i had been thinking out loud.

    and the tears flowed harder.

    Anna is one of those girls who could cry all night if you let her. various shades of grief and tears. she’d wail for a while, sob for a bit, bawl for some time.

    near the end of the conversation she was just snorting and whimpering a bit and then she asked me how my day was.

    i said it was pretty good, i got an interview with the lovely and talented Jai from nubienne.net, got some sweet emails from some nice people. and a Cub fan from Chicago, I reckon, gave me $40 and became the first Stone Pimp, oh, and some other guy who thinks he knows me gave me a buck, a VP of some tv thing, i dont know.

    she said, “people are really giving you money?”

    i said, “well, yeah. of course. they want to see me riding in a Snoop DeVille.

    Anna laughed and you could hear a buggar bubble pop in her nose, and then she blew it really cutely.

    “You’re not going to get any Snoopy Ville.” she laughed.

    “It’s a Snoop DeVille, and yes, I will get it,” I said.

    “Do you have any idea how many people are going to have to give you dollars here and there for you to get that crazy car?” she said.

    I wanted to tell her that I would get that car way before she would ever beat one of the Williams sisters and win a tournament, but I knew one of those rich oil guys would be trying to paw her as soon as I hung up with her, so I kept it to myself.

    “I can wait, Anna. Just let me ask you this.” I said. “When I get my Snoopy Ville, will you take a ride with me in it?”

    “Tony Pierce, I will be proud to take a ride in that car if you get it.” Anna Kournikova said from Dubai.

    “Well, good. Now you go work on your backhand and stay away from those Arab discos in the basement of some young tycoon’s palace. And change that blue outfit, it’s bad luck.”

    “OK, I will, bye love,” Anna said and hung up.

    And as soon as I hung up the phone rang again, and I picked it up and I said, “Anna?”

    And it was Ashley and she said, “what did you just say?”

    “I said, ‘And how are you Ashley Sunshine?'”

    And Ashley huffed and slammed down the phone.

    Have no fear, though. She called back again. And she had a few things to say to me as well.

  3. Tuesday, February 19, 2002

    my man Layne 

    has made the big time, FOXNEWS.com. He didn’t have to get on tv and yell at people, he didnt have to get an eye-lift, he didnt have to get traded for millions of dollars and several high draft choices, he simply had to be himself (and provide more insights in a teeney little column than Fox has on half of it’s huge site.)

    Yes, they present him like he’s a witty highschooler typing away on his pappy’s 486 above the garage after class, but what did you expect from the fourth network?

    All I have to say is I’m glad that he is getting some of the recognition that he deserves, and once the channel realizes that he can speak nearly as well as he can type and he has an irresistable drawl-like thing which would make him perfect for television, then we can all really rejoice in the splendor, but let’s first click the front page of FoxNews.com’s Views and see the wonder, and then click the little box buddy and read the words and click the links.

    Ah, and you can say that you all knew him when he was just a drunk with a smelly suit jacket.

    Nice work, compadre.

    But what’s this, a Ken Layne archive of FoxNews.com stories? This is not the first story that he has written for them?

    Alas, I am the drunk, and not even a classy enough one to don a suit coat!

    Where have I been during all of this progress? Lord help us, I couldnt have been working!

    Anyway, good to see your bro’s making a name for themselves where they belong: on the Internet pointing fingers at the idiots and spotting the marks. But what I really love is his obvious ommission of his ever working for the Online Journalism Review in his bio at the bottom of his columns. Guess they wont be getting any hits from his column, but gratefully I am. Thanks, bro.

  4. spent a week with Ashley 

    it was only supposed to be a few days for Valentine’s day, but she couldn’t find a ride home.

    People write in and ask, “what on Earth do you have in common with a 20 year old girl? Like, what do you talk about?”

    Like most girls, Ashley doesn’t like to talk about “gross things,” so that rules out a lot of my interests.

    She doesn’t have any love for sports, so that rules out any of my real knowledge.

    And I really don’t like any of the same music that she likes, so driving with the radio on can be challenging.

    But the other day we had a fairly interesting dialogue on the topic of blonde pussy hairs.

    Strangely, she didn’t consider this “gross.”

    I don’t know how the coversation began, but Ashely came up with the theory that all “blonde” pussy hairs were fake.

    “Bullshit,” I said, “I’ve seen one up-close-and-personal, if you know what I mean.” She was holding my hand and squeezed tightly and gave me a dirty look.

    “It was fake, poohead.”

    “No no, it was real. I even wrote a poem about it. I said that it was like a cloud floating above heaven. It was published in several magazines.”

    “She dyed it,” Ashley insisted.

    I was dumbstruck. I was quiet. Bad music played on the radio and I didnt even notice. My world was being shattered by a girl who had spent several years in an all-girls Catholic school – breathe – obviously she had seen her share of lockerrooms and blondes and …

    “Well, what about all the redheads,” I said, “I have seen two of them whose…”

    “Carpet matched the drapes?”

    “Collars matched the cuffs.”

    “Redheads are real,” Ashley confirmend. “That’s why they’re such freaks. They’re rare, but real.”

    “And not blondes?”

    “Tony, I was blonde at birth – incredibly rare. My eyebrows are blonde, by arm hairs, but not those hairs. So what does that tell you?”

    “It tells me I have now found a new purpose. A new quest.”

    My hand was being squeezed again. It hurt.

    But at least I knew why I was still alive.

  5. Monday, February 18, 2002

    Happy President’s Day 

    Good thing I didnt have to take the subway to work today and its a good thing that I dont live in Portland as I might have had to share a seat with this guy. Which reminds me of a little story. Who am I kidding. I have no little stories.

    The little story that I told yesterday got me more hits than I’ve gotten in a long time.

    That makes me very very happy.

    I got close to 500 people reading my tale of the young Black man asking the world to chip in to buy him a Cadillac.

    But this is more than just an art project/money making scheme/science experiment/pie in the sky dream. This is going to work.

    Thanks to the power of the Internet, if you tell a few friends to, “give that brotha a dollar,” and they tell a few friends, then before we know it, the mission has been accomplished.

    Of the 500 people who read my little sales pitch and hopefully got a little laugh I generated a whopping $3.

    No offense, but I’ve found more money on the street.

    Don’t think that I am not grateful, I am. Rarely can a man just ask for money and receive it, let alone a gas-guzzling American sedan like Cadillac’s Snoop DeVille.

    By the way, Muchas Gracias, EW, for the $3 — you’re way too sweet!

    As great as it is to get a few bucks here and a few bucks there, the only way that I’m going to get behind the wheel of that brand new automobile is to have people tell others. So here’s how I can figure it can work for everyone:

    If you are a friend of mine or someone who has given me a buck or more, and you want to help the cause, feel free to save this button and link it to your site – it’ll be fun!

    If you are someone who has flowed me $40 or more, feel free to save this button and link it to your site . For either of these buttons, link your visitors to this page on my site which will explain the whole plan: http://www.tonypierce.com/car/faq.htm

    OMG will this be so cool for you and your friends and me and the Chevron station down the block. Once I get the ride, I promise that I will drive around and have occasional showings of the automobile and pictures and stories from the road. You will be so happy, your life will be that much closer to complete. When people try to judge you and say, “but what have you done for the Black man?” you can say, “I bought a brotha a ride, mothafucka! What the hell have you done?”

    Go ahead, tell your friends.

    Happy President’s Day!


  6. Friday, February 15, 2002

    hot black chick walked down the stairs 

    at the wilshire/vermont station past the cops who smiled a hello and she smiled one back.

    when she reached the bottom of the stairs the train arrived and she got on the car next to the driver, like i did.

    we left the station and approached the next stop and before we did the driver announced on the PA, “Next stop, Wilshire and Normandie.”

    hot black chick yelled, “nobody asked you.”

    driver replied on the PA, “i know.”

    we stopped, at the station for a few seconds, there was a series of beeps, the doors shut, the train pulled away, gained momentum and we were on to our last stop.

    the driver announced, “next stop, Wilshire and Western.”

    hot black chick yelled, “hurry up, then.”

    the train conductors always ease into the Wilshire/Western station because there are many intersecting tracks there since it is the end of the line.

    driver announced as we slowed up, “this is the final destination, please make sure you have gathered all of your personal belongings.”

    then there was a pause.

    then he said, “and please, have a good day.”

    then he added, “except for certain people.”

    we stopped, she got off the train, strutted past the driver’s car, realised she was going to have to walk up stairs if she continued down that direction, turned around, right past me and headed towards the elevator.

    i noticed that her super tight black tshirt said, “Cute.” but it was written in a type of cursive that wasn’t easy to read, so you were forced to decide whether you were going to read her shirt or check out her d-cups.

    it was quite a decision.

    i walked up the stairs and considered it my morning workout.

    made it to the 720 bus, there were three of them waiting for us. i got on the first one that was half-full. the other two were mostly empty but Lord only knows when they would leave that stop. i sat in the back with a talkative older black gentleman and two mexicans who were speaking spanish to each other.

    to my surprise, hot black chick got on my bus. she dug through her little purse for change and as she did the big fat black lady busdriver said, “good morning everyone. happy day after valentine’s day.” and waved at us behind her moving only her fingers. i cant explain it.

    hot black chick made her way all the way to the back. the mexicans locked on to her immediately as did the black guy. when she eyed an empty seat near him, he couldnt hold it in any more.

    “Got Damn, girl!”

    she had tight red pants on, heels, hair done right, ruby red lipstick, very dark black skin, enough attitude for several busses of commuters.

    the mexicans spoke spanish and the black guy kept talking to no one in particular. i pretended to be engrossed with my Bukowski poems.

    “You know something, fellas,” the black guy said, “that is a booty right there. that is a beautiful black booty. mercy. people say black ass like that is an acquired tastes, and i agree.”

    my stop was coming up.

    “once you acquire that shit, you never lose your taste for it.”

    then he laughed through his smile and it sounded like a hiss, but everyone smiled.

    the mexicans did their mexican handshake ending with the knuckle punch and one of them dug into his backpack and retrived a tupperware cube containing his buddy’s lunch. and he and i exited through the back door and began our days.

    yesterday while i was showering waiting for Ashley to come home for our romantical italian valentines dinner, she was at the Hollywood and Highland stop and saw a bunch of people standing by the red carpet near the Kodak Theatre. Disney was throwing a big thing for Bono from U2, and R.E.M and No Doubt were going to perform. Ashley and her friends stood near the carpet, No Doubt showed up and Ashley got Gwen’s autograph and didnt stop smiling all night.

    paypal did their IPO yesterday and you fools kept reading Drudge and i wonder, did he tell you to invest in the dot com like i did? doubt it.

  7. Thursday, February 14, 2002

    More from the readers… 

    Here is something I wrote for my soul mate and gave it to her today

    Valentines Day

    I have never experienced a heart as warm as yours

    Or a smile that can light up the world like yours

    I only know that I am blessed to know you and call you my friend

    I love that you know what I am about to say…..

    Sometimes we even say the same thing

    I love that we share the same ideals, morals and love the same food

    I love that we like the same music

    I love that no matter what mood I am in you make me laugh

    I love that we can sit in silence and watch the wind……

    And share a sandwich on a bench

    I love that when we disagree about something, it always has…

    A positive outcome

    I love that I can talk with you about anything and you will listen

    I love that we are each others biggest fan

    I love that people love who you are

    I love that you were blessed with the beautiful children that you always

    yearned for…

    Good things should happen to good people

    I love that we can dance for no reason

    If I wanted to run down the street in the rain you would run with me

    You have seen me at my best and still hung with me at my worst

    You have shared my happiness and felt my pain

    I wish that the whole world could experience a soul mate

    I don’t know if we are, but if we are not I want her to be like you

  8. Dear Cupid, 

    Since you asked yesterday about fond valentine memories … I will share mine with you.

    Normally, I don’t believe in Valentine’s day. I think if there is someone you like – you should tell them and often.

    This isn’t a cynical or bitter belief – it’s just that to have a national holiday of love is a bit strange.

    We should always love eachother and if you are fortunate to have a True Love – you are blessed daily to be with them.

    Be sweet and loving often.

    Squeeze them tight.

    Love them well. I have been very fortunate to have a few valentines in my life and one year it was Philip one my college study


    Philip was one of three men in the speech and hearing program at UCSB. He was super smart, shy and on the UCSB fencing team.

    Can you imagine? He was cute in his fencing suit and quite confident when he wore it.

    That isn’t to say he wasn’t so confident outside the uniform -he was just so quiet and much gentler than when he was trying to jab his fencing opponents with his


    Anway, he asked me to be his valentine. It was so endearing. Plus, I really enjoyed his company. What a day and evening it turned out to be.

    Philip picked me up and took me to the Santa Barbara Zoo. That particular zoo isn’t anything special, kind of small and a tad depressing from what I

    remember. The worst part is the sad giraffe that used to be there for years!

    He had a goiter of some sort portruding from his neck.

    It’s a giraffe not a camel! But the zookeepers assured me that he wasn’t in any pain. It just didn’t look pleasant.

    Philip brought a picnic for us though and after observing the monkeys we proceeded to enjoy a nice lunch.

    After the zoo – he took me back to his apartment. He remembered us discussing “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” and since it was a

    childhood favorite of both of ours, had it ready for us to watch.

    Since drinking alcohol was out of the question – he had non-alcoholic sparkling cider for us to drink.

    Seriously, one of the sweetest boys around.

    The topper was that he gave me a hand drawn rose valentine that he sketched with colored pencils. He even wrote “Happy St. Valentine’s Day” on it. Very formal and touching.

    I still have it in my prized letters.

    That is one of my sweetest valentine’s days that I can remember…

    Quite lovely.


    The Sap.

  9. the kids are alright 

    me and my friend were talking last night while celebrating Jeanine’s birthday. he is a terrific writer and someone who i could easilly find myself collaborating with someday as he is also an accomplished editor, and i am super lazy and sometimes needs lots and lots of help and motivation.

    anyway, i was trying to inspire him to write again and here now are two examples on why we should all get our stuff out there, damn to the demons inside us that say we suck.

    first there is the case of the twentysomething girlie who flew from Carolina with her best friend to see their favorite band Tsar, and wound up crashing at my house. well one of the girls, it appears got four tattoos, one each of the symbols of each member of Tsar. say all you will about Tsar only selling a few thousand records, one that they sold obviously hit its mark with this gurl and that mark now will last forever.

    then there is the very nice Midwesterners, who are putting together a book detailing the effects of 9/11 through people’s emails, web pages, and other correspondences. Apparently these fellows are famous rock and roll insiders of some sort, one managed bands like the New York Dolls, one has been writing about music for 20 years – basically living the lives we all wish we could be living.

    Eric, wrote a few emails of praise to me, which always gets a reply, and posted them, with links, on his site this morning.

    You never know who’s out there reading your stuff, huh? You might get hot girls from back east, cool guys from the midwest… you might even get sweet souls from the Defense Information Systems Agency. (Just imagine if i actually wrote decently.)

    One tip for my pals at DISA, Netscape has newer versions other than 3.0, but now that I think of it, 3.0 is pre-AOL’s buyout of them, so I bet it’s way more stable. So nevermind, carry on.

  10. Happy Valentine’s Day 

    to all the ladies.

    Anna had a big win on Tuesday in Antwerp, Belgium, unfortunately that meant she had to face Venus on Wednesday. Guess who got stomped.

    It’s cool cuz she looked good and not only kept with the same blue outfit, but added some cute little baby blue barrettes.

    “I wish you happy valentine, but you don’t deserve it,” she wrote in an email and followed it up with a series of forwarded dirty jokes. She claims that I have hardend my heart to her and I wrote back saying, “Impossible.”

    she wrote back and said, “all you ever do is write mean things about me and make fun at me. you never write sweet little details of me any more. you never say that you love me.”

    and she was right, of course. i hadn’t.

    oh, anna, my mistress from moscow, my…

    she said, “don’t call me your mistress.”

    i said, oh anna, my loving cup from far above, my turtle dove, my irish creme, my fondest wish, my everything.

    then she said, “your beautiful lies are cold to me.”

    i said, somethings are better cold, no?

    she said not love.

    and softly hung up her tiny phone.

    happy valentines day, anyway. i wrote on a gum wrapper and attached to a pigeon and whispered in its ear and watched as it flew east.

    and i said fly, little bird, fly.

    and watched it disappear into the horizon.

    hoping that it would avoid the engines of all the jets bound for the same journey.