Yes, I’ve been slacking off of late. I should’ve done something about the whole Lindsay “I’m a professional actress/Tara Reid impersonator” Lohan studio head smackdown. I could’ve proferred indepth analysis of the Israeli/Hezbollah fracas. I would’ve linked to this sweet clip of an insane Britney, but I was too sleepy. Or was I?

Anyway, here’s an old bit of writing I did back in the day. You know, the day. Don’t ask which day, you uppity punk, it’s just the day. Yeeesh. Yes, it’s very Onion-esque. That was the job at the time. You know, the time back in the day.

Sheboygan, WI–In what one eyewitness described as “the greatest miracle since Jesus smote the hippies,” local man Bart Shebangski, 43, walked away from what should have been a tragic end to his weekly poker game.

At approximately 9:42 p.m. last evening, Mr. Shebangski was engaged in a game of five-card draw (jokers wild) at the home of long-time friend Bill “Stinkbomb” Berkowitz, 44. Also in attendance were Charles Nelson Reilly (“No relation.”), 39, and Hank Bunko, 41.

Unconfirmed sources report a dog of unidentifiable breed may also have been present.

According to Mr. Reilly, the foursome were “on our fourth or fifth hand and third 12-pack of Hamm’s. Stinkbomb had just trumped Bart’s two pair with a full house. Boy howdy, Bart almost choked on his pork rinds right then and there. But, you know, he cracked open another Hamm’s and everything seemed A-OK.”

Mr. Berkowitz continued, “I don’t know how it happened. Hank was dealing a new hand and we was all jawing about whether or not you can train monkeys to do your yard work. Chuck says he saw it on an old “That’s Incredible!” he saw on Nick at Nite, but even so, I ain’t letting no flippin’ Chim-Chim within 10 feet of my John Deere. Anyway, I cracked open another Hamm’s when I spotted something out of the corner of my lazy eye. Sure enough, there was Bart just sitting there and counting his money as if Kenny Rogers had never been born.”

Mr. Shebangski’s friends leapt to action. “Yeah, Stinkbomb grabbed the money from him – which was really Pringles and jerky chips since our wives don’t let us bet real money – and Hank called 911,” stated an emotionally shaken Mr. Reilly. “I cracked open another Hamm’s.”

EMTs Rick Majors and Eileen O’Nannan responded to the scene and discovered “complete chaos,” in the words of EMT Majors. “We found four guys reeking of buck-fifty Macanudos and drunk off their [bottoms] on Hamm’s. Hamm’s, dontchaknow. Two guys are yelling at each other over how much jerky they should pay the orangutan weed-whackers. One guy’s just sitting there cracking open another Hamm’s. And the alleged victim’s lying on the ground with some sort of dog or opossum getting all carnal with his artificial leg.”

“So we left,” stated EMT O’Nannan.

“Them ambulance people wasn’t too happy with us,” recalled Mr. Berkowitz. “So we all drug Bart into my F150, grabbed the rest of the Hamm’s and headed for the VA hospital. Bart gets to go to the VA ’cause he was in Grenada.”

When asked if Mr. Shebangski lost his leg serving in Grenada, Mr. Reilly stated, “He likes to tell the chicks that, but he really lost it in a wicked Ultimate Frisbee accident.”

No one really knows what motivated Mr. Shebangski to count his money while still sitting at the table – a move clearly declared off limits in Kenny Rogers’ classic country hit “The Gambler.”

“Our investigation could not determine a modus operandi, or motive, in layman’s terms,” declared Sheboygan police chief Clive Smeggers. “I think it’s just a case of temporary insanity. I mean, they made what, four or five of them “Gambler” TV movies? Sure, the ones with Bruce Boxleitner didn’t have much of a dramatic arc, but really, Mr. Shebangski had ample warning to not do what he is alleged to have may or may not perpetrated at a certain time prior to now.”

“It ain’t like he’s ignorant or nothing,” interjected Mr. Bunko. “Hell, I saw him sing ‘The Gambler’ once at karaoke night at the Elks lodge. Sounded like the time I snagged my neighbor’s cat with my snow blower, but still, he knew the words. He knew what he was doing.”

“I don’t know what I was doing,” claimed Mr. Shebangski after being checked over at the local VA hospital. “My wife collects Kenny Rogers commemorative plates, for cryin’ out loud. The one’s with 18-karat gold trim, not 10-karat like Stinkbomb’s got. I eat at Kenny Rodger’s Roasters every Tuesday and Friday. A number three, all white with an extra biscuit. Sweet jeepers. I’m lucky to be alive. I guess Kenny was watching over me.”

When asked what the usual consequences were for his actions, Mr. Shebangski muttered something unintelligible about dwarves and genital herpes before hopping into his 1981 Pontiac Trans Am to avoid further questioning.

When asked to comment on the near-fatal gambling maneuver, songwriter/restaurateur/beard connoisseur Kenny Rogers simply stated, “That’s got to be the greatest miracle since Jesus smote the hippies. Would you mind shaving my back?”