Fulwood Watch

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sam Discovers Unemployment!

Posted By on Thu, Jan 11, 2007 at 2:51 PM

FULWOOD WATCH: We Read Sam So You Don't Have To Headline: Charley's waitress forced to start anew Date: January 11, 2007 Topic: After watching several dozen of his newspaper colleagues accept early retirement checks and pack up their desks, Sam discovers that some people don't have cushy column writing jobs and must work for a living. At least one of those people is a waitress named Linda Paparosa. This is her story. Originality: 2/10. Although Sam is just catching wind of it, people have been losing jobs since the pyramids were completed and the pharaoh announced a series of layoffs to please Wall Street. Difficulty: 9/10. Linda shows a lot of hustle on this one. After losing her job, she quickly rebounds and finds another gig, all while weighed down by a 180-pound Metro columnist riding on her back. Sam Gets Poetic: "Everything — right down to the shiny black shoes, so unlike the comfy Reebok sneakers she wore at Charley's Crab — was so new and different." She's being forced to wear dress shoes? Jesus H. Christ! Someone call Interpol! The Master Has Spoken: "Bravo, Linda, that's the attitude. Show us how to face our own fears." Following Linda's example, Sam is even considering logging a few hours at the office. What Sam Reveals About Sam: On some subliminal level, Sam is suffering survivor's guilt. He's seen many good reporters put out of their jobs and he's wondering how in the hell he continues to receive a paycheck considering that he hasn't put in a day's work since 2004. CliffsNotes Version: Damn, another sports guy is packing up his desk and taking the long walk to the elevator? This layoff shit is getting serious! And I'm coming back from a two week vacation and nobody seemed to notice I was gone. I better earn my keep, at least until I get the vacation home in North Carolina paid off. Maybe I could go out among the people, do a little of that "reporting" that Cheryl's always yapping about. Come to think of it, my favorite waitress at Charley's Crab was saying something about losing her job. What was it again? Blah blah blah, nowhere to go, no savings, yadda yadda yadda ... All I remember was ordering the crab bisque, which I found a little tepid ...
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Thursday, January 4, 2007

Sammy Proves Cleveland Is Cleve-Lame!

Posted By on Thu, Jan 4, 2007 at 10:47 PM

Fulwood Watch: We Read America's Worst Columnist So You Don't Have To Headline: Injecting humor into Clevelanders Date: January 4, 2007 Topic: Smarting from last month's botched attempt to explain humor, Sam challenged Cleveland to prove it knows funny better than he does. After returning from vacation on Monday, he cuts and pastes 14 reader e-mails, types thirty-eight quotation marks, then files his column two hours late, calling it day. Editors decide to give him more time to come up with an original thought. This is not what Vegas would call a lock play. So the Prince of Tight-Asses decides to tell his audience that Cleveland can't take a joke. It's like listening to a lecture on hip-hop from your eighth-grade science teacher. Originality: -20/10. Sam strips irrelevance to the bone, stretching this rotten tragedy to its third act in an attempt to prove that he is funny, and you are not. Difficulty: 3/10. Sammy once again gets zero points for work ethic, but the judges generously grant him a 3-point bonus ambitious self-delusion. Following publication Tuesday morning, crops begin to wilt. Livestock becomes sterile. Scientists estimate that one more column on Sam's superior sense of humor will collapse the ozone layer. May God have mercy on our souls. Sam Gets Poetic: "But I keep making fun of the city, despite the angry callers in the middle of the night, because it's all about love. I feel an obligation to lighten the self-obsessed burden Clevelanders wear like ugly down-filled parkas to ward off winter's brutal chill." Translation: Because of your rejection, I often cry myself to sleep while listening to show tunes. But I am Fulwood! Hear me roar! So I will pretend that it doesn't bother me, and instead cover my attempt at revenge under a thin veneer of loving chiding. Yeah, it's all about the love, assholes. The Master Has Spoken: "For all the gnashing of teeth over American Greetings' casting Cleveland in a negative light, the punchlines that readers sent me were — believe it or not — as brutal as the company's holiday card. That confirms my opinion of Clevelanders as a humorless lot." Can somebody change this guy's diaper? What Sam Reveals About Sam: That he's getting closer every day to the minor leagues, where he'll be assigned to cover Unique And/Or Unusually Large Backyard Garden Vegetable stories in North Olmsted. CliffNotes Version: Two weeks off and boy is my ass sore! Happy New Year, inbox! Cut, paste. Cut, paste. Cut, paste. Quote. Quote. Quote. Send! Sam-ilicious! (Pounds chest.) Nobody's funny in Cleveland but meeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!
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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Life Without Fulwood: Day 14

Posted By on Tue, Jan 2, 2007 at 4:31 PM

Cleveland has suffered many losses as of late. First, there was the untimely passing of Gerald Levert. Then, before the tears dried, blues icon Robert Lockwood Jr. died. Now, add a third prominent voice to the list of the silenced: Sam Fulwood III has not written a column in 14 days. The Trey is not dead, and he has not been fired. He's simply been on vacation. Apparently, his newsroom researcher Cheryl has also been given the time off, because she has not written any of Fulwood's columns either. With Fulwood's absence, readers have been forced to draw their own conclusions about such pressing topics as the pangs of growing old and watching coworkers take buyouts. There has also been a decided lack of news about the contents of Sam Fulwood's voicemail box. As the old adage goes, "A day without Fulwood is like a day without some really sweet unintentional self-parody." Please, Sam, don't make us change the name of this blog to the O'Brien Watch .
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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sam Lectures Cleveland about Thin Skin

Posted By on Tue, Dec 19, 2006 at 4:37 PM

Fulwood Watch: We Read America's Worst Columnist So You Don't Have To! In this episode, Sam Fulwood III explains what makes humor funny. Headline: Poor Cleveland can't take a joke? Date: December 19, 2006 Topic: Sam saw a story about satirical Cleveland holiday cards and decides to follow up. Finding that Clevelanders are feeling insulted, he decides to engender good will by talking down to them. Originality: 1/10. Recently, a magic "scoop fairy" delivered this idea to Sam's front door. Sam scratched his chin, and thought to himself: "Miss a day, miss a lot, indeed!" Then he sat down to write. Difficulty: 1/10. The laziness of this column sets an all-time record, though Sam promises to best it next year. "After I return from a column-writing break for the holidays, I'll print the best of [the jokes you send me] next year," he writes. Translation: After I get back from my vacation, I'll go back to my vigorous duties cutting and pasting your emails. Sam Gets Poetic: "Clevelanders remember being the butt of jokes and lack a sense of self-aware humor." Amazingly, you can substitute the name "Sam Fulwood III" in place of the word "Clevelanders" and the sentence becomes even more true. The Master Has Spoken: "It's satire. It pricks our conscience and makes us cringe. But it's funny, too." And with that, Sam encapsulates the whole of English literature into three really retarded sentences. What Sam Reveals About Sam: He's still smarting over the backlash from his Tops column. "Speaking the truth hurts," Sam writes, "and Clevelanders are ready to throw down when their tissue-thin feelings are punctured." Waaaannnnhh! You're the poorest city in the world! Waaaaaannnnhhhhh! CliffsNotes Version: Have you heard of this little newspaper called The Plain Dealer? In case you haven't, let me tell you about one of its recent front page stories. American Greetings put out a humorous postcard mocking Cleveland's poverty. Hahaha. Just thinking about poor people bags me the fuck up. Anyway, I think that American Greetings, which is a local company, has the right to make its hometown look foolish on the national stage. You damn Clevelanders. That's exactly what you deserve! You never accepted me when I arrived as a Big City Reporter from D.C. holding that big plate of donuts and ... but I digress. The point is, you Clevelanders are too stupid to laugh at yourself. But I can help: If you agree to send me emails, I will print them for the next 52 weeks of the year while sipping Tanqueray on the deck of a speed boat parked in the Mid-Atlantic. I'll pencil you in for March...
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Friday, December 15, 2006

Sammy Backpedals on Bold Tops Declaration

Posted By on Fri, Dec 15, 2006 at 4:16 PM

We Read Sam So You Don't Have To: This week, The Trey Once Again Discovers that Printing His Email is Way Easier than Writing! Headline: Column was Tops in complaints Date: December 14, 2006 Topic: After briefly considering writing a real column (okay, so it was on Dennis Kucinich's presidential bid, but that's kinda real, isn't it?), Sam checks his email and finds that his incompetence has once again yielded enough angry emails to scrape together a follow-up, this time on readers' hatred of Tops. Originality: 0/10. If we had a dime we had every time we had to read Sam's inbox, we'd take all our dimes to Hertz, rent a nice little Ford Focus, and drive it off the Detroit-Superior Bridge. Difficulty: 2/10. We'll give Sam one-fifth of a difficulty point for every keyboard command used, since we know those tucker the old guy out. There are five emails copied and pasted from Sam's inbox to his word processing application. So, let's breakdown the math:
(1/5 point) x (five Ctrl-Cs) = one full difficulty point. + (1/5 point) x (five Ctrl-Vs) = one full difficulty point. = two difficulty points.
Sam Gets Poetic: Trying to prove he's up on all the latest journalism trends, Sam busts out a little "citizen journalism" this week, delegating the poetry to readers like Rice Hershey from Cleveland Heights. "Don't you j'accuse on stodgy old Cleveland for the disappearance of Tops," Hershey writes. "Cheer us instead for not putting up with their customer indifference, rudeness ... lack of employee training." This is where Sam gets credit: Though he can't write, his readers can. Come to think of it, does anyone know if Rice Hershey is free on Tuesdays and Thursdays? The Master Has Spoken: "After all, we must eat," Sam writes. "Everyone — whether you cheer or curse Dennis' presidential ambitions — shops at a food store." Holy shit! You mean to tell us that everyone needs food? This is what C-Notes calls dropping some serious knowledge. What Sam Reveals About Sam: His incompetence is matched only by his brazenness. "Irate readers made me understand how much of a boo-boo I made by lamenting the departure of Tops," Sam writes. "Well, excuse me. How would I know that was a hot button?" Translation: "What the hell do you want me to do? Talk to people before I write the column?" CliffsNotes Version: What's that, Cheryl? Dennis Kucinich is running for president? Where'd you read that? The Plain Dealer? Huh. Is that a credible paper? I might be able to squeeze a real column out of that little nugget. In fact — yes! I'm going to write a real column today! Let's see those dicks at Fulwood Watch try to — Ding. You've got mail! Ooh! Email! Maybe it's HR responding to my vacation request. Why we have to fill out paperwork for a lousy six-month sabbatical is beyond me, but if that's what it takes to appease the powers that be ... Shit. Who the hell is Rice Hershey? Unless he's from HR ... wait-a-second! This guy can write! And this has to be, like, the fourth email I've got about that shitty Tops column Cheryl wrote on Tuesday. One more email and I might be able to — Ding. You've got mail! Hey, Cheryl! How do I do that copy-and-paste thing again?!
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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sam weeps for the loss of Tops

Posted By on Thu, Dec 14, 2006 at 4:46 PM

We read Sam Fulwood III So You Don't Have To... Headline: Demise of Tops has no upside Date: December 12, 2006 Topic: The Tops supermarket chain is leaving Cleveland, so Sam visits an empty grocery story and wails as if the city was ravaged by Katrina. Originality: 4/10. As usual, Sam's the last guy to get to a story that's weeks old, but he makes up for it by getting seriously metaphorical. In one column, he manages to compare the Cleveland to 1) a bloated corpse and 2) a jilted lover. What this says about his love life, we prefer not to speculate. Difficulty: 2/10. It appears Sam stopped by to pick up a nice Chardonay, only to discover that his neighborhood grocery was closed. But where others might swing over to Giant Eagle, he collapses in grief. Sam Gets Poetic: "Just look at the corpses of downtown stores whose owners fled Cleveland, leaving rotting storefronts for the survivors to bury." And with that, Sam drove home to Shaker Heights, where fresh produce is far easier to come by. The Master Has Spoken: "Tops rejected Cleveland, and being spurned is painful, no matter how you sugarcoat it in corporate-speak. We've been jilted like a used-up lover." Well, the jokes on you, bitch! I'm going to join eHarmony! Won't you be sorry when I'm banging Heinen's! Oh, and by the way: your ass looks big in EVERYTHING! What Sam Reveals About Sam: He was hit particularly hard by the closure of Tops. "We've lost something precious," he writes. Was Old Yeller on TBS this week or is Sam really this upset that he can't use his Bonus Card anymore? CliffsNotes Version: I visited a grocery recently. Gone was the bread and lettuce, and in their place was a sad metaphor for the failure of a once great city. The departure of Tops wounds me deeply, like being spurned by one of the hundreds of beautiful women who have courted my affections. With only four grocery chains left, Cleveland has been reduced to an empty husk, a soulless automaton that walks and breathes but does not truly feel, for what good is a beating heart if the will to live is gone? As I gaze upon the city's tear-stained streets, I wonder: Where now will I buy my Cap'n Crunch?
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Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Fulwood Watch: Sam discovers that people get old

Posted By on Tue, Dec 5, 2006 at 1:15 PM

Headline: Daddy's just fine; how are your folks? Date: December 5, 2006 Topic: Tre's dad ("The Deus") is getting old, and Sammy is feeling pangs of guilt because he doesn't visit him enough in North Carolina. Solution: write about him from afar. Originality: 3/10. As Sammy himself points out, it has been a full year since he last wrote about his ailing father. For a man whose been known to write a three-part series about his voicemail messages, this has gotta count for something. Difficulty: 10/10. "It isn't easy for me to write this," Sam claims. But an independent reading of the story uncovered no evidence of anything resembling actual work, so we'll just have to take Sam's word. Sam Gets Poetic: "The folks at the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging back me up, noting that a high percentage of the population in Northeast Ohio is elderly and getting older." Sam's apparently discovered that, as time passes, people age. The Master Has Spoken: "More than any single topic, dear readers want to know more about my father." Which means that The Deus' popularity now outstrips Stephon Marbury's new shoes, Krispy Kreme donuts, and newsroom researcher Cheryl's most recent musings. Somebody get this dude a MySpace page! What Sam Reveals About Sam: As he goes about his daily life, he must navigate a gauntlet of well wishers who all want to ask him about his father's health. Or maybe they're asking about the new Big Daddy Kane record. CliffsNotes Version: You may not have figured it out from the gray hairs in the mugshot atop this column, but I'm no spring chicken. And my father, well ... he's even older. I saw him during a recent holiday and thought that his sagging visage revealed one of life's great truths: Getting old sucks. And yet, recent statistics show that as many as 100 percent of us may be getting older with each passing day. The problem is particularly acute among minorities. That said, please stop asking about my dad. He doesn't live in Shaker Heights anymore, and I can't afford the long distance. Fucking Verizon.
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