* Welcome to The Big Jewel. If for any reason you are not satisfied by this week's bit of nonsense, we invite you to try and find us so you can ask for a full refund of the purchase price. Or not.

Reason For Return

By: Dan Fiorella

We at HockeyFanatics.com want you to be completely satisfied with your purchase. If you are not pleased with your merchandise for any reason, you may return the product within 30 days of receipt using the enclosed return postage form. Refunds will be issued in the same manner as the order was paid.

1. Complete the Return Reason form.


_Changed my mind

_Didn’t Like

_Received Damaged

_Product is Defective

_Received incorrect item

_Received incorrect size

_Size didn’t fit

X Other

Well, actually, your product was fine. It is a beautiful NHL Men’s Melange FZ Hood. But, alas, I have to return it as I no longer need it. You see, Dave, my boyfriend, well, now ex-boyfriend, is a huge Mighty Ducks fans. Frankly, I don’t think they’re as good as they were in the movies and they’re certainly not as cute as they were in the movies. I’m sure this discussion must come up all the time in your whole hockey line of business. Anyway, when your up-until-recently-boyfriend says he’s a fan of an NFL team and his birthday is coming up, why wouldn’t a hoodie with his team’s logo be the perfect gift? It’s a no-brainer. Certainly more thoughtful than the box of scotch tape he gave me for Christmas so I can “stick things together.” I don’t even want to get into the thing where he gave me Christmas M&Ms last Valentine’s Day because they were on discount at the store.

So, anyway, having received the enclosed merchandise in fine condition, I wrapped it to present to my then-boyfriend. Of course I should have been a bit put off when Dave mentioned to me during the previews of Green Hornet that he was spending his actual birthday day with his “homies” or “posse” or whatever he calls that group of adolescent peers. But he added that we can “hook up” later in the week. Obviously, he took my pout of hurt and disapproval as some sort of green light. Anyway, no biggie, as I decided to use this change of plans to my advantage to increase the “surprise” quotient of this fine, fine product.

Now, he likes to hang at Chucky Mack’s on 23rd Street. They have really good Texas Chili Fries™ that can feed a small family. And free beverage refills. So I trot on down there with my wrapped gift to surprise him on the day of his actual birth. Well, the surprise was on me! There he is, sharing an order of Texas Chili Fries™, not with his “home boys” or “cohorts” but with Jean Marie Becker!

Now, if you haven’t met Jean Marie Becker, you’ve probably heard the rumors about her and her unsavory reputation. If she were any easier she’d be rated “E for everybody.” Not to mention all the unexplained vacations to various health facilities. I’m just saying. And here she is with my steady! So, naturally, I confront him and he’s all “I told you not to come here.” And I’m all “It’s your birthday, where else should I be?” And he’s all “I can’t believe you are checking up on me!” And I’m all “Apparently not often enough!” At this point Jean Marie Slut decides to get all up in my grill about hassling “her man.” So I declare that he is neither hers nor a man. She begs to differ on both accounts, with this wicked smug smile. So I hit her with some chicken wings. She countered with a pitcher of unsweetened ice tea, which I was nimbly able to side-step, but which did soak Dave. He got all upset because he was wearing a leather jacket which he claimed was now ruined and not his. Then Chucky Mac himself came out and started hurling insults and chased us all out, screaming that he was going to call the police, which he wasn’t really about to do, based on the ethnic and legal makeup of his kitchen staff. Then he banned us all from ever going there again. This totally freaked out Dave, who claimed it was his “home base.” He stormed out, dragging the wanton Jean Marie with him so I assume he has made his choice. Now, since I don’t follow hockey, I’m returning the merchandise.

2. Pack the items in original packing if possible

Sorry, it’s no longer available. After we left the restaurant, I beat Dave about the head and shoulders with the box until it broke apart. But this pizza box should do.

P.S. If you get any orders for hockey wear from a Jean Marie Becker, could you just lose them? TIA!!

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, your guide to all things zombified. This week Scott Oglesby goes way beyond "The Walking Dead" all the way to the writing dead.

The Winning Candidate’s Job Interview For Lead Character In My New Zombie Apocalypse Novel

By: Scott Oglesby

What separates you from the nearly infinite field of characters that I can imagine into existence to star in my new zombie apocalypse novel?

At the risk of sounding cliché, I am your star. Everything about me, from my mullet to my lazy eye, points to me being perfect for this part. I abhor non-violence, inaction and lapses in dialogue. In my troubled past, I often found myself ostracized or even incarcerated due to my intolerant nature and violent outbursts, but now, in this post apocalyptic world, I practically have Zombie Killer tattooed across my neck. If you’d like, I will, literally, have Zombie Killer tattooed across my neck. It’s up to you. I don’t have to have a neck tattoo, but I think it would enhance my general image. My point is that I’m memorable. Also, I’m deep. I have just enough self-doubt and internal conflict to give myself depth and to give your readers someone that they can connect with, at least on a subconscious level. Every woman wants to be with me and every man wants to be me. Every zombie wants to eat me as well but that comes with the territory.

Describe your physical characteristics.

I’m 6’2″, blond haired and blue eyed. Although I don’t have the symmetrically featured face of a heartthrob actor, I’m quite the stud. Chicks dig my quiet confidence and hardly notice my bad eye. I’ve been described as dangerously stupid but I more than make up for that with my snarky one-liners. Five years in state prison did wonders for my physique. I trained as a kickboxer in Thailand from birth until age 15 when I was kicked out of the country for being too dangerous. I may or may not have a tattoo on my neck. I’m thinking yes, personally. I’m also willing to cut my blond locks or even shave my head if you need me to undergo a psychological transformation with a physical manifestation.

Describe your psychology.

I don’t think too much about that. You need your star to be a man of action, not some introverted, self-reflective pansy. I have that nagging doubt and internal conflict that I mentioned earlier. I’m full of contradictions. That’s why people will love to hate me and hate to love me. I accidentally killed my mother during childbirth by kicking her uterus with my steel-toed baby boot. That incident left me emotionally scarred, spiritually wounded and that much more of a hard case. Killing zombies in new and exceptionally creative ways is the only thing that keeps me going. That and my search for the cure. Is there a cure in this novel? I also keep Albino Burmese Pythons. Sometimes I feed them “small zombies.” We don’t like to call them children in this genre, for obvious reasons.

What are some of your long-term goals?

My most important long-term goal is to land a major role as lead character in a zombie apocalypse novel. This has been a dream of mine since I poofed into existence this morning, complete with a malleable past. Perhaps, while I was in the Special Forces I developed a pathological need to deal in death? In that case, finding a job that allowed me to kill will have been a long-term goal. I know that I plan to kill as many of the repulsive flesh eaters as possible before I save the world and consummate my relationship with Female Lead Character. If I can throw off some witty dialogue and develop as a fictional entity along the way, well that’s all gravy.

What are your strengths?

Number one would be my adaptability on paper. One paragraph I can be a heroic warrior destroying everything in my path and the next I can be woefully lamenting the loss of my Albino Burmese Python (after it stupidly ingested a chainsaw, which got turned on later, when it tried to cuddle) with expressive sobs. I could get its name tattooed on my forearm in Chinese script — that’ll enhance my image as well. There’s also my willingness to suffer catastrophic injury if it’ll secure the role. You need me to lose an arm? Done. Do you need my face to be mangled in a bizarre wood chipper accident? Fine. I’m even willing to lose my eye provided you take the lazy one.

What are your biggest weaknesses?

I’m loyal to a fault. I’ve even offered to have my neck tattooed for you. I can be arrogant and hot headed. You see the way I throw a fit in chapter 5 when Supporting Character #3 leaves half of our ammo back at the camp and we have 2 dozen biters hot on our trail. Also, as you prove in chapter 9, I have intimacy issues with Female Lead Character. And there’s the criminal record. I’m willing to have other problems as well. Maybe a history of substance abuse? (It would explain the incarceration. And the neck tattoo.) Maybe I’ll suffer a relapse after the ridiculously violent death of my beloved snake? Or you could just give me a snake related hernia? It’s all up to you.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

If it were up to me? Okay, I’m sitting on a porch by a lake somewhere deep in the woods. Female Lead Character is sitting next to me. She’s pregnant again. Our little boy puts down his rifle and walks over, pets my Albino Burmese Python and asks about my neck tattoo.

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we think of the Winklevoss twins as the unsung heroes of "The Social Network." In the same way, we think of the word "face" as the unsung hero of Facebook, which is trying to trademark said word. But here, let Stacey Resnikoff explain it all to you in her first piece for us...

Face Reflects On Its Trademarking By Facebook

By: Stacey Resnikoff

[11/24/10 — AP headline: Facebook moves closer to trademarking “face”]

[12/15/10 — Mark Zuckerberg named Time Magazine Person of the Year]

[Any day now — “Face” will be officially registered as a TM of Facebook by the USPTO]

I’m FACE. You know, the word. And I’m officially peeved. No: pissed. Yeah, you heard me: pissed. I’m going urban dictionary on you, Facebook — you frenemy. Because now that this whole trademarking me thing is actually a go, I’ve got a few choice words. And let me warn you: some of my best, most offensive friends begin with “F.”

But will I rant and rave and let the expletives fly? No. Could I unleash the wrath of social media on your smug face? Fo sho. You know the drill: a FACE Facebook page unfurling a Wall of fan fury. A parody Twitter feed forking out 140 characters of well-worded hurt on a daily in-your-face basis: “I woke up this morning with a huge, puss-filled TM on my Face.” Oh, my buddy FARCE was really egging me on. I could get the whole lexicon behind me, no problem. But frankly, you aren’t worth my time.

TIME is a great word: we go way back. In fact, he dropped me a quick email on Zuckerberg being named 2010 Person of the Year: “Hey FACE, You know the magazine doesn’t give me the time of day on this. My vote was Jobs: a true lover of language — a risk taker. Just look what he did for PAD! From feminine hygiene to techno-chic in one year. Outstanding. Hang in there. We’ll always have FaceTime. Gotta run — TIME.”

Yeah, back in the day, when Apple wanted to trademark us together, TIME and I realized this Internet thing was more than just a bubble. It was becoming a raison d’etre. A whole new vernacular. People were virtually interfacing their faces off. I loved it. I wanted it.

And then I met BOOK.

BOOK was always a favorite of mine. Truth be told, all words love her. And when we came together, it just worked. The “Facebook” trademark gave me confidence. I was glowing.

Sure, I’d been trademarked with plenty of other words before, but this felt different. BOOK was shy, yet I could tell that my pending Honda motorcycle trademark made me seem cooler than some other words she’d been with: SCRAP, YEAR. And more worldly — the focus of artists, photographers, poets, plastic surgeons, mountain climbers, recognition software developers, robot scientists, makeup conglomerates from Stockholm. Everyone loves FACE, baby. Everyone.

Then you had to ruin everything, you dumbfaces. Trademarking me by myself in my biggest growth area. I couldn’t even oppose the action, because I’m not using “face,” I am FACE. So now you own me in the “telecommunication services…chat rooms…electronic bulletin boards…computer users” space, do you? So now you decide when and how I’m used with your little legal actions against my admirers? I once loved your freckled-faced CEO as if he were my own reflection. Et tu, Zucke?

Just how did you do it? How? Your company isn’t even called “Face,” it’s “Facebook.” I mean, I get the idea of one word to one company in one market. Like APPLE — one word: first it was the Beatles’ record label, then the computer thing, then Gwyneth Paltrow’s kid. There’s a nice arc there. But seriously, stealing “Face”? Now? You shroud me in my prime. Frankly, I’m shocked that FaceCancer isn’t already a Web site or app. So now I suppose Facebook will be the only place online where people can officially “face” challenges. I had some truly money social media opportunities with charities and diseases ahead of me. You took it all away. All of it.

FRIEND called me the other day. He said I should be glad: it was a good run. He’s sure he’s next and he’s resigned to it. I’ve still got other categories, he tells me: The North Face, Kiss My Face, Face The Nation. And I’m still right at the top of the Trademarked-Human-Body-Parts List. I know he’s just trying to be supportive.

But to me, it just looks like an endless stretch of courtrooms and abandonment, while EYE gets all the ladies. High-tech was my playground. And now I’ll be lucky to score a wrinkle cream. I can’t face it. Yours is a faceless enterprise, Facebook. Why would you think twice about the feeble feelings of one four-letter word?

The only thing I have left now is my dignity. If you need me, I’ll be at the bar totally faced off my face. No social network required.

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, your literary rockabilly hoedown destination of choice. This week our own David Jaggard weaves a tangled legal tale involving the late great Carl Perkins.

Day In Court: From The Pop Culture Dead Letter Office

By: David Jaggard

November 12, 1955

Philips and Son
Attorneys at Law
1-2-1234 Charter Heights
Memphis, Tenn.

Mr. Carlton Perkins
c/o Cash
28301-016 Folsom Towers
Nashville, Tenn.

Dear Mr. Perkins,

Enclosed is a copy of the proposed settlement agreement drafted by your wife’s lawyers. Please review it carefully. In particular, I would like to draw your attention to the following sections:

1.4 The money
She’s asking for $550 per month in alimony. Since you have no dependent children and the burden of fault is entirely on her shoulders, I think we can get this down below $300.

2.4 The show
Apparently the two of you purchased expensive front row balcony tickets for the Grand Ole Opry Christmas Gala prior to your separation. Your wife wants to keep these as part of the settlement. I would suggest conceding this point as a “bargaining chip” — a sign of good faith.

3.2 Getting Reddy
Your wife is asking for custody of your dog Reddy, but she’s willing to let the cat go. We can fight this if you want, but if you are satisfied taking Ruff I think we can agree on this one.

As for the episode of domestic violence that triggered your decision to file for divorce, I can assure you that we have sufficient legal and medical evidence to prove her culpability. To wit:

1) Medical records from Handy Memorial Hospital certifying that you were admitted to Emergency Services on September 12, 1955, with contusions on the hands, knees and right shoulder that are consistent with being knocked down with violent force, as you have claimed.

2) Photos of the injury to your left cheek, which have been examined by a forensic apparel expert who confirms that the bruise pattern corresponds to the sole of a size 7 Florsheim pump (left) that perfectly matches the shoes your wife was wearing on the night in question.

3) Affidavits from 34 (thirty-four) neutral parties declaring that, both before and after your separation, your wife did knowingly and maliciously make false defamatory allegations about you and slurs upon your character in a great many different locations.

4) Insurance inspectors’ reports indicating that the fire that destroyed your former place of residence on September 14, one day after you moved out, was caused by your wife’s negligence (see below).

5) Testimony from Wayne at Wayne and Dwayne’s Used Kar Kingdom attesting that on September 15, the day after the fire, your wife attempted to sell them a white 1953 Plymouth Fury registered in your name.

However, we will not be able to press for possession of the rare hickory-aged bourbon you mentioned at our last meeting, which was lost in the fire. When the sheriff and I inspected the remains of your house, I looked for the whisky in the garage as per your instructions, but all I could find was an empty jug lying on its side and a worn and chipped glass jar with a faded label bearing the hand-written inscription “Peach Preserves 1943.”

Apparently, after your departure your wife had been consuming the spirits and at one point left a lit cigarette next to an open jug, which ignited, causing the other containers to explode and setting the entire house on fire.

One of your neighbors, a Mr. Gerald L. Lewis, reported seeing “huge spheres of flame” billowing from the garage side of your house, whereupon he ran to the scene and found your wife standing in the driveway in an advanced state of intoxication. Mr. Lewis used the phrase “a great deal of trembling taking place.” This impression was corroborated by one of the attending firemen, Levi S. Presley, who described your wife as “totally shaken up,” as though realizing the gravity of her actions.

So I am confident that we have a strong case. But as your attorney I must advise you that your wife’s lawyers are mounting a compelling counter-argument. I had lunch yesterday with a friend who occasionally works as a consultant with the opposing counsel’s office, and he confided to me that they plan to attest in court that you have made, and continue to make, repeated high-volume public declarations that Mrs. Perkins “can do anything that she wants to do” on the sole condition that she refrain from scuffing or otherwise vandalizing your footwear (!).

A wild and absurd allegation to be sure, but apparently they are building their case on the premise that these assertions of yours constitute a de facto and binding verbal contract, thus exculpating your wife on every point. Nonetheless, given the extent and gravity of her misconduct and the lack of a precedent for this line of legal reasoning, I am fairly certain that we will carry the day.

The hearing is scheduled for 10:00 am on November 30th at the Shelby County Courthouse, 101 Beale Street, Room 9. My assistant will meet you in the lobby at 9:30. Please don’t be late, and wear a nice suit and tie.

Sincerely yours,
Samuel R.B. Phillips, Esq.

PS: Whatever you do, don’t wear those God-awful fuzzy turquoise oxfords you had on the last time we met. We don’t want the judge thinking you’re one of those amoral teenybopper “rockabilly” fiends.