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Heartbreak Express


One of Buzz's good friends made the thankless trip to Toronto yesterday to witness the Bills' loss. She joined up with friends who live north of the border. They drove to Aldershot -- there is a name you would never find in Buffalo, eh? -- where they caught a GO Train to the game.

The train was full of tons of people, all bound for the game, all having a noisy great time. The conductor even came out and congratulated everyone. He said, "I've been driving this train for years, and I've never seen a train this packed, even at rush hour!"

Fast forward to a few hours later.

Buzz's friend and her friends, unable to bear watching the game to the bitter end, left early. They had to wait for the train back to Aldershot. The Canadian system had not taken into account that anyone might want to leave early. The station was full of Bills fans, staring at the arrival and departure board, silent and miserable.

On the train, our friend said, you could hear a pin drop.

Oh, for crying out loud, this is breaking our heart!

Where is Elmore James when you need him?

'Your Friends in Beer'


Five reasons to join Gene McCarthy's Founders' Club:

1. Free 5 oz. of beer whenever you come in! The historic tavern on Hamburg Street in the Old First Ward promises, and we quote: "Your very own etched 21 oz. mug that you will be able to fill for the 16 oz. price." Club membership is $100 so you can occupy yourself on your barstool by figuring out how soon it will pay for itself.

2. You can drink that free beer at a bar so old and righteous that your glass tilts slightly, as shown in the News file photo above, taken on location.

3. You get an invitation to the grand opening when McCarthy's opens its brewery-in-progress.

4. You get the inside track on a special events.

5. You will have the honor of knowing you helped build that brewery. "Beer, like money, does not grow on trees," point out the tavernkeepers. "Unless you are making kriek [with cherries])." Far be it from us to leave McCarthy's up a kriek!

And finally, the best reason:

You get emails signed "Your Friends in Beer."


Manufacterers and Traders Trees

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Why say plain vanilla "M&T" when you can say "Manufacturers and Traders"? Buzz uses the bank's full name at every opportunity.

With which, a toast to the Manufacturers and Traders trees.

With a view like this it is easy to believe there is snow even when there is not.

And it was easy to imagine that the St. Joe's Swing Choir ...

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... was singing Christmas music even if they were not. What was with these kids? They had the final, coveted noon slot in the Manufacturers and Traders lunch time caroling series, today at noon, and yet Buzz, hanging around for half an hour, heard not one Christmas song, at least not any we recognized.

Not so much as a "Deck the Bank With Boughs of Holly." Unbelievable!

How could they resist?

Doomsday forecast takes chilling twist

Sweet Jenny's in Williamsville gives us the scoop.


A controversial holiday hit

ASCAP's list of this year's Top 10 Christmas songs did not include one that must, just must, be there, judging from what we are hearing around town.

The song is front and center on the new Christmas CD by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, culture barometers that they are. A co-worker heard it at Wegmans and Buzz heard it somewhere else, at Budwey's maybe?

Guess it yet? Give up? It's ...

Buzz likes this square old version. We are a Johnny Mercer fan!

Oh, no!! We are looking at the comments under the YouTube video.

There is an argument going on with people insisting the song is about date rape! Someone writes: "Terrible song about rape. Society has come a long way..."

Then people argue. And someone else writes: "The song IS about rape. Don't try to sugar-coat it."

To quote "A Charlie Brown Christmas," good grief!

We've had, as we said, plenty of opportunities to listen to this song. And there are lines, now that we think about it, like "What's in this drink?" And "I oughta say no, no, no...." But we never saw it as ominous! And on the new Travolta/Newton-John CD, for what it is worth, they do it the other way around. It's the girl pleading with the guy to stay.

Oh, well, whatever. There is no use arguing with some people, is what we are learning.

Crank up the Victrola!

Har de har-har! Call William Mattar


The lawyer William Mattar, he's so bizarre!

His sense of humor, anyway. Buzz loves it. Once, we saw on Twitter that someone had seen a toddler walking along singing, "Hurt by a car? Call William Mattar!" Ha, ha! Even funnier, the Tweet was re-tweeted by William Mattar.

Now, we hear that in honor of the holidays, Mattar has a new jingle.

It's "Hurt by a sleigh? Call us today!"

The news of this comes from Cheryl Raffel of Wheatfield. "As much as I get tired of the commercials, that made me laugh," she says. "So now we have to watch out for speeding sleighs!"

We must indeed.

We hear Santa has deep pockets!

On the scent of the Snooty Fox


Buzz always laughs at the Snooty Fox Lounge, the upscale bar on Delaware Avenue, pictured above in a snooty News file photo. We have always thought that name is just so clever.

Once there was some scavenger hunt for charity and one of the things you had to do was: "Get down on all fours and graze like a buffalo in front of the Snooty Fox." Ha, ha! We always remember that!

Naive as we can be, we always thought our Snooty Fox was the only one in the whole wide world.

A friend told us about a Snooty Fox near McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.

It couldn't be true. We told her to stop hounding us. But lo, it is true, there is a Snooty Fox north of the border.

After that we went Snooty Fox hunting.

The Snooty Fox is a chain of consignment stores in the Cincinnati area.

There is also a Snooty Fox Tack Exchange, for riding apparel and so forth.

A "venerable" Snooty Fox pub closed last year in Indianapolis. Hmmm. Reading about that one we are not sure that a 29-year history qualifies you as venerable.

Well, it seems that the name is venerable, anyway.

Snooty Foxes run in a pack!

The Peace Bridge, enlightened


How does that Joni Mitchell song go? ... It's comin' on Christmas, they're cuttin' down trees, they're puttin' up reindeer and singin' songs of joy and peace ... oh we wish we had a river we could skate away on ...

Especially if it's the Niagara River!

Because then we could feast our eyes on the pretty Peace Bridge. In the News file photo up above, it's splendid in deep blue, but last night when we looked, it was all lit up green and red for the season.

Buzz takes at least part credit because years ago we suggested this move.

"The Peace Bridge already enjoys a modest dose of white light, but a bigger dose would tell the world that it's important and majestic, no matter what some people say," we wrote, yikes, way back in 2005.

Would that all our suggestions were this smart, you know?

At least in this instance we saw the light!

Lowdown @ the Lafayette

The raucous poster for the wild New Year's Eve party @ the Hotel @ the Lafayette.

The spirit of the old Lafayette Hotel lives on!

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Old Spice, meet Old Cleanser

You know how a while ago News Food Editor Andrew Galarneau wrote that classic story about old spices? (In vain did Buzz plead with the editors to headline the story "Old Spice.")

How about a story on old cleansers?

Found in Buzz's mom's cabinet, and immediately pressed into service on the stove ...

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It worked so well that Buzz's sister said that no way can this stuff still be legal.

We will treasure it!

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