Supplemental: Mount O’Donnell’s greatest eruptions!


When Dorchester street toughs explode:
In recent months, Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly have been called on the carpet for past misstatements.

Bill’s wild claims tend to be standard-issue self-promotional bluster. Brian’s claims, which have sometimes been quite a bit weirder, tend to bring the air of suffering and martyrdom in.

Did Lawrence O’Donnell get his due as those claims were being examined? It seems to us that Lawrence’s claim to have grown us as a Dorchester street tough put him right up there in the Bill-and-Brian class.

This thought came to mind when the analysts completed a recent research assignment. “List Mount O’Donnell’s greatest eruptions,” the assiduous youngsters were told.

The youngsters showed us three eruptions from their volcano files. In perhaps his craziest eruption, Lawrence challenged one of Mitt Romney’s sons to a fight—and he delivered his lengthy challenge in Dorchester accent and argot!

We’ll save that strange eruption for last. Below, we give you videotape of three of the greatest eruptions:

Lawrence swims after the Swift Boats: Lawrence’s most famous eruption occurred in late October 2004. Sadly, many liberals praised him for it.

This 11-minute eruption spewed lava all over John O’Neill, head of the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” group which had been attacking Candidate Kerry. Howard Kurtz described some of the action in the Washington Post:
KURTZ (11/1/04): When Swift Boat Veterans author John O'Neill appeared on "Scarborough Country" two weeks ago, MSNBC commentator Lawrence O'Donnell ripped into him and his "disgusting, lying book."

O'Donnell, a Democrat and "West Wing" writer, repeatedly interrupted O'Neill with his literary critique: "That's a lie, John O'Neill. Keep lying. It's all you do." And: "That's a lie. It's another lie. That's a lie." And: "You lie in that book endlessly." And: "You're just lying about it." And: "You're totally afraid of the truth."

Undeterred when O'Neill accused him of lying, O'Donnell kept firing: "You have no standards, John O'Neill, as an author. And you know it. It's a pack of lies. You are unfit to publish." And: "He just spews out lies." Not to mention: "I just hate the lies of John O'Neill." Oh, and there was: "He's been a liar for 35 years."
Pat Buchanan was guest host in Scarborough Country that night. Midway through this famous eruption, he took a commercial break, hoping that cable firefighters could possibly put Lawrence out.

No such luck! After the break, Mount O’Donnell erupted again, producing a predictable outcome:
KURTZ (continuing directly): MSNBC said in a statement that O'Donnell "crossed a line. MSNBC believes he was disrespectful to you, the viewer, and that his insults did nothing to forward the debate or the understanding of a very critical issue. We have spoken to Lawrence O'Donnell, and he agrees."

Except that O'Donnell, who didn't know the statement was coming, doesn't agree. He was "too loud," he admits, in what was "an uncontrollable outburst on my part," and "my manner was everything I hate about cable TV shouting matches." But, O'Donnell says, "I don't apologize for a single word that I said...People have been coming out of the woodwork to tell me how great they thought it was. There's a big 'mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore' contingent out there on this subject that feels I was giving voice to their position.”
Thoughtfully, Lawrence acknowledged that he had engaged in “an uncontrollable outburst,” but he stood by the things he had said. Liberals had been “coming out of the woodwork,” he insultingly said, to tell him how great he had been.

Had Lawrence O’Donnell really been great in his uncontrollable outburst? Actually, no, he had not. His outburst occurred on October 22, long after clarification of any claims was likely to do much good.

Beyond that, uncontrollable outbursts tend to have perverse effects. To the undecided voter, they tend to make the uncontrollable party look like the crazy guy in the room.

Lawrence made O’Neill a victim. After that, he was disappeared from MSNBC for the next several months.

In fairness, the outburst did produce great tape. To get the flavor of this eruption, you can just click here.

You can smell the lava and feel the ash as the smoldering mountain explodes. That said, we were saddened when liberals praised Lawrence for his great eruption. Here’s why:

Here at THE HOWLER, we had spent a lot of time on the 35-year-old incidents at issue in the Swift Boat attacks. We’re going to guess that Lawrence pretty much hadn’t.

Because of his standing, Lawrence could have had an article published about these damaging attacks. It’s possible that a high-profile analysis piece of that type could have helped Candidate Kerry.

There was one problem with that approach—it would have required work on Lawrence’s part. Perhaps for that reason, Lawrence waited until late October, then exploded on the air.

Lawrence pursues the Mormons: At various times, Lawrence has had to apologize for his eruptions concerning the Mormon faith. In this tape from the McLaughlin Group in 2007, you’ll see Lawrence making Pat Buchanan look like the sensible one again.

For videotape of the fuller segment, click here.

In 2012, Lawrence erupted about the Mormons again, this time on his own MSNBC program. Eight days later, he apologized on the air, acknowledging that he had made inaccurate statements about Mormon history.

We won’t even try to explain what was wrong with these eruptions, which often included factual misstatements. In our opinion, neighborhood types like O’Donnell and Dowd performed good imitations of religious bigots during the two Romney runs.

Boston street tough seeks fight: For our money, the greatest eruption occurred in 2012, when Lawrence challenged Taggart Romney to a fight. The greatness lay in Lawrence’s use of a Dorchester accent during his choreographed invitation.

By way of background, “Dorchester chic” has gained a substantial toehold in Hollywood, thanks to such films as Good Will Hunting. For unknown reasons, Lawrence seems to think that he emerged from that roughhouse Boston subculture.

Did Lawrence grow up as a street tough? As best we can tell, his persistent insinuation to this effect ranks with the greatest crazy misstatements of O’Reilly and Williams. And yet, he rarely seems to get credit for being as nutty as they are!

To watch Lawrence go all Dorchester on us, just click here, then move ahead to 9:25. And yes, that’s a Dorchester accent he intermittently brandishes.

The lunacy starts as shown below. Soon, Lawrence walks out from behind his desk, gesturing at the hated Taggart, who had made an ever-so-slightly dumb offhand remark:
O’DONNELL (10/18/12): OK, Taggart, let’s have a little talk, just you and me, yoooou—

[angrily draws out the word]

When I hear you talk about taking a swing and taking punches, why do I get the feeling that you’ve never actually taken a punch? Or thrown a punch?

I didn’t have that luxury in the part of Boston that I grew up in.
But in your rich, suburban Boston life, with your father filling a $100 million trust fund for ya, I don’t know. I just get the feeling that things were kind of different for you.

Now, I know you’ve got a lot, a lot to be pissed off at these days, starting with the name “Taggart,” which you got every right to be wicked pissed off at for every day of the 42 years of your life. So let me help you try to deal with all this aggression you’re feelin’ right now...
The invitation to fight follows as Lawrence walks out from behind his desk. Truly, this ridiculous person seems to out of his mind.

Warning! Wealth and fame will often attract the wrong types of people to “journalism.” In our view, the world would be much better served if Lawrence returned to his greatest love, the writing of fatuous Hollywood scripts.

For the record, Lawrence’s most appalling performance occurred in Campaign 2000, when he kept calling Candidate Gore a liar right through a dismaying performance on the McLaughlin Group in October 2000. He was a leading dead-ender in the war designed to punish Gore for his connection to the loathed Clinton, who had received those ten blow jobs.

The Iraq war came after that.

Right to the end, Lawrence worked to send George Bush to the White House. Our Dorchester street tough achieved this goal by making up “lies,” lies no one had told.

Wealth and fame may attract the word crowd into the journalism racket! Our own street tough from St. Sebastian’s and Harvard may be the ultimate proof.


  1. "FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2015

    What hating the others can do: We saw several pieces of weak reporting in the New York Times this week.

    We expect to review a few of those efforts tomorrow."

    Well. three to sixteen year old Leftover Lawrence will do when covering last week's Times requires work.

    Guess last week's Times may push spring training advice to liberals and Democrats back even further. Or maybe today we'll get a two-fer plus a Tsunami of spellcasting.

  2. "Bill’s wild claims tend to be standard-issue self-promotional bluster. ,,,
    It seems to us that Lawrence’s claim to have grown us as a Dorchester street tough put him right up there in the Bill-and-Brian class."

    And who can forget the recent long series in which Somerby took O'Reilly to the woodshed for his standard issue bluster about his professional career. Right after he proved the Dart didn't die in the cornfield but the Pope was Catholic.

  3. Some people say The Howler doesn't understand comedy, despite The Howler's claim to be a stand-up comedian. These cynics say that The Howler wouldn't understand comedy if it punched The Howler in the face while speaking with a Dorchester accent.

    This item demonstrates that The Howler is all about the comedy.

    1. I don't recall anyone saying that here. The latest claims are that Somerby is sexist and a conservative. Didn't you read your talking points?

    2. To be fair, @ 3:53 I was on the verge of making that claim myself until Bob wrote:

      "LESSONS UNLEARNED: Your Vienna sausages or your life!"

      Then I knew, but for a little bit of bad timing and a late career start, he could have been the next Dennis Miller.

    3. As an example of Somerby's bad timing and/or misunderstanding of comedy, we present this from Roger @ 3:49's link. It was published in February, 2015, three weeks after opening statements in the O.J. Simpson trial:

      "As an example, Somerby traces the developmental stages of a joke now on his worktable: “I saw on the news about the O.J. Simpson trial that there was a squabble between F. Lee Bailey and Robert Shapiro,” he explains. “Then, on Crossfire, Michael Kinsley was talking about how irresponsible Bailey was, that he should be disbarred, that all the people working for O.J. are egomaniacs. My joke is that O.J. is going to be the only defendant in history to spend $10 million on attorneys and have his conviction thrown out on incompetence of counsel."

  4. Bob Somerby's greatest eruption: "Fuck you, Brit Hume!"

  5. To casual readers of this blog:
    This was a special howler, recorded during a difficult time. The songs rocked hard, and had great riffs and lead work. What most fans, including myself didn't know, is that Ace or Peter did not play on this record. You can hear the change of style here, with the 'no nonsense', straightforward songs rocking hard. It left many fans wondering if this was the new direction for KISS at the time. Vinnie Vincent, Bob Kulick, and Eric Carr helped salvage their careers at that juncture, and did some great guitar playing and drumming on this record as well.

  6. A Tiny Eruption over Lying from a Tit Bar Boston Irishman


    WATCHING OUR NEW FAKE FACT GROW: If you couldn’t see it being done, you wouldn’t think it was possible. Last night, in Scarborough Country, a tin-pot potentate became the latest MSNBC honcho to lie in your faces about Ben Barnes. Jpe Scarborough....So last night—quite remarkably—Joe Scarborough went on cable and lied for them:...Since Scarborough lies the way you and yours breathe....All week long, MSNBC’s millionaire shills have lied in your faces about this matter. First Buchanan, then Chris Matthews. And then, last night, in Scarborough Country, Scarborough lied to you too....On MSNBC, they don’t want you to know that. So each evening, they lie in your face."

    1. So, using the word lie in a blog post is the same as shouting at a talk show guest and repeatedly calling him a liar to his face? Are you autistic?

    2. @ 4:03

      You have a few days to get educated.

      You obviously need them.

    3. Your excess literalism and inability to parse social situations suggests a serious disorder of some type. If not a disorder, then you are a troll, most likely suffering from the dark triad of personality traits (narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism). Take your pick. You clearly have something major wrong with you.

    4. Do you prefer chess or checkers in the day room?

    5. Anyone search the old Howler archives for Bob's reaction to the eruption of Mt. O'Donnell in real time back in 2004?

    6. 5:52 = officially now a broken record.

  7. "O'Donnell grew up in the Dorchester area of Boston, the youngest of five children."

    The same Los Angele Times article Somerby cites, but does not link, to inform readers that O'Donnell's father was a lawyer.

    1. He wasn't poor and wasn't part of the Southie street culture. His zip code is irrelevant when talking about culture. He was "lace curtain" Irish.

    2. Interesting article. So about the same time Bob Somerby was on his second career, and writing jokes about O.J, Simpson's conviction, the slightly younger Lawrence O'Donnell was earning the wrath of Bill and Hillary Clinton by rewriting the Clinton health care bill as Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

      Both of Irish descent from Boston and Harvard.

    3. Somerby grew up in California.

    4. Spoken almost like a tear filled adoring analyst.

      Too bad it, (what were the words Somerby used recently on Chris Hayes?) "wasn't exactly obsessively honest."

      From a bio of Bob Somerby he himself has cited, he spent all but five to six years of his first twenty two or so in greater Boston, Mass.

      "Appropriately for a man who owned a burlesque house, Al Somerby enjoyed the company of women. He married three times... His final wedding took place in 1942 to Edna Hanson, a working-class Catholic of Irish descent from Haverhill, Mass. He was 59; she was 38. Their daughter Gail arrived in 1945; Bob, in 1947. At nearby Mystic Elementary, Bob and Gail made good grades... Mystic.. was regarded as a public feeder school for Harvard, Wellesley, and other academies of the power elite.
      The death of the grandfatherly father did not impoverish his survivors. Al had sold the Howard at enough of a profit that the family could live on it, and Edna worked. Bob, 11, was moved mostly by how remarkably unmoved he was by his father's death. The broken connection became more distant 18 months later, when the family moved to San Mateo, Calif., where one of Edna's sisters had settled."

      And there the story might have taken another direction, had the Somerbys truly unhitched themselves from the East. But Edna's mother, a lace-curtain matriarch who worshiped the Kennedy clan, had decreed since boyhood that her grandson would attend Harvard. "

      We like the reference to Bob's grandmother as being "lace curtain" Irish, since one of the adoring Howler readers used that term for O'Donnell.

    5. How can his mother be working class while his grandma was a lace curtain matriarch? Whose grandma doesn't dream her grandkids will attend Harvard? You are working hard to make something of nothing, especially since Somerby has never put on Dorchester airs.

    6. Did you write the factually challenged comment @ 5:43?

    7. I want to know if 6:44 wrote the comment calling O'Donnell
      "lace curtain" Irish.

    8. Perhaps day room time ended early for the disclaimer person.

  8. I am struck by how quickly Mo'ne forgave the guy who called her a "slut," but Somerby can't let go of something O'Donnell said more than 10 years ago.

    Obviously, our One True Liberal Blogger does not have a "great soul."

    1. Letting go of an insult isn't the same as thinking you further the liberal cause by hurling insults instead of analyzing the lies told by opponents. Somerby hasn't written a polemic against calling names. He suggests doing the harder work of setting the record straight when lies are told.

    2. Somerby digs back nearly 11 years to insult one of his favored targets.

      Mo'ne would not approve.

    3. Bob can't throw as fast as Mo'ne anymore.

  9. While it is not on the topic for this blog post, I thought this article might interest Howler readers...

    1. Well, the guy is an "R" bomber.

      "Ferguson is part of a subtle new racist phenomenon, a modern variation on “sundown towns,” which literally posted crude signs telling blacks not to be around after dark."

      David Cay Johnston
      Pulitzer Prize Winning Reporter and guest on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.

      But otherwise, hardindr, it seemed like a good article.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. The comparison is not very apt since Fergusson is majority black. However, I think the Ferguson Police Department has a lot of issues with race, as outlined in the second DOJ report.

    4. David Cay Johnston:


      ***[QUOTE]*** Only 173 of 3,538 police departments arrested blacks at disproportionately low rates, while Ferguson PD and 1,581 other departments arrested blacks at rates significantly higher than their share of the local population.

      In big cities like tolerant and cosmopolitan San Francisco and small ones like Duluth, the data reveal arrest rates by race far more troubling than those in Ferguson. In 70 cities from coast to coast, police arrest black people at 10 times the rate of people who are not black.

      These numbers help explain the palpable resentment of young black men and the fears of parents.

      ...Curiously missing from the {New York City} stop-and-frisk debate was whether it was nothing more than featherbedding; creating needless work to justify the size of the NYPD and its outsized overtime costs.

      Eric T. Schneiderman, the state attorney general, issued a report examining 150,000 NYPD arrests from 2009 through 2012. Just one in 33 arrests resulted in a conviction of any kind, and just 1 in 1,000 in a conviction for a violent crime. But processing all those arrests created statistics that the NYPD used to assert that officers were being productive — not to mention earning overtime for end-of-shift collars.

      You can examine the NYPD’s own data on stop-and-frisk from 2003 through 2013. In that last year police stopped, questioned, and frisked about 2,200 people per day – more than seven times as many as in 2002....
      ***[END QUOTE]***

      Doesn't sound like "R" bombing to me.

    5. The traffic stop involving Henson's son didn't result in an arrest either. The kid who was found with pot and admitted having an illegal prescription drug (not found), and who was observed failing to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, was let go with a warning. That didn't stop his mom from claiming he was profiled. Only the existence of a video exonerated the cop. Henson has apologized. But how many stops are justified but involve leniency? No way to know from the stats, but black people complain no matter what the circumstances.

  10. The troll is pissed because an MSDNC hack was taken to school by Bob Somerby.

    1. Not serving taters in the ward room tonight Ensign Perez?

      One of Bob's analysts discovered You Tube and you think he achieved something?

    2. "The troll is ..." ZZZzzzzz.

      Doesn't identify "The troll," mindreads that "The troll" is pissed, and assumes that anyone gives a shit about Lawrence O'Donnell except Bob Somerby.


    3. That is Somerby's point -- that no one cares about people like O'Donnell who are working hard to help Democrats lose the next election.

      It is worthwhile asking why some people lose their jobs while others engaging in the same or worse behavior are untouchable.

    4. It might have been worthwhile if the transgressions Howler blog covers here were recent or involved O"Donnell inventing facts about himself and his accomplishments as a journalist. But they aren't and they don't.

      So in fact, Somerby's point is that he had nothing to do on Saturday but cover television appearances that are 3 to 11 years old.

      Bob needs to fire his analysts if they can't come up with anything more recent.

    5. Bob May have to find new targets. Both MSNBC in its current incarnation and Salon are not long for this world. Bob May get his greatest wish, the sacking of most of MSNBC's daytime line up and the shuttering of Salon.

      I suspect that Rachel,Mathews and some version of Joe Scar's show will survive the shake up, but Andy Lack isn't seeing gold in left-leaning television anymore.

      Bob and his analysts are hopelessly mired in 90s media culture, political culture and presidential campaign tactics. There are no pursuadable voters anymore. There are base voters and their closed media ecosystems. You couldn't get a regular Fox viewer to listen to anyone not associated with the Right these days.

      It's, and not

    6. Of course there are persuadable voters.

    7. Many of those persuadable voters lived in Florida and watched the "McLaughlin Report" back in 2000. That is how O'Donnell elected Bush and caused the Iraq War. That said, most are dead now. The Florida 2000 voters we mean, not Iraqis. Though many of them are dead too. Because of Chris Matthews. In our view.

  11. I've never heard any of these accounts but ODonnell always struck me as a wackjob.

    1. Very few other people heard any of them either, but trust Bob. He knows what a wackjob can accomplish when he puts his mind to it.

      Lawrence elected Bush and caused the Iraq war. Except for the part Chris Matthews played. .

    2. Yes, it takes a village. That doesn't mean O'Donnell didn't play his part.

  12. It must be comforting to know you are always the smartest guy in the room but confusing because the room is always empty.

  13. Seems to me that Lawrence had another reason for wanting Bush to be elected, besides just "Gore's connection to the loathed Clinton". He hinted at it in one of his comments. At keast I think it was him - he kinda liked the Bush tax cuts. I mean, let's say he makes a minimum of $2 million a year and saves at least 3% on his taxes thanks to Bush. That's a gain of $600,000 over the decade. That's not a bad chunk of change.

  14. Arianna Huffington continues her vendetta against Hillary Clinton. Yesterday they showed the ugliest picture they could find of her. A featured article on the three social security bills included a sentence claiming that no one knows Clinton's position on social security -- this despite earlier stating that every single Democrat voted to expand social security -- why would Clinton's position be any different?

    In 2008 Clinton was stating unequivocally that she would protect social security while Obama was promising to fix it. As Krugman has noted, it ain't broken, so "fixing it" is code for changing it, a phrase that would attract more conservative voters, part of Obama's coy play to independent voters. Huffington Post was anti-Clinton in 2008 and continues the attack, supposedly from the left.

    1. Then Hillary was labeled more conservative because older voters preferred her to Obama. Older voters prefer whoever promises to protect social security. But their support made it easier to portray Hillary as a bigot, since everyone knows those grandmas are all racists -- even Obama's own grandma, he said so himself.

  15. Larry's sin, at least in the O"Neil case, is one of extreme laziness. O"Neil is a pretty miserable character, a scumbag, really. Is the fact that Larry is too lazy to get into specifics worse than the fact that he was on, say, Bill Maher also, who utterly failed to call out his falsehoods? Or the fact that, a few months ago, Newshour had Pat on to suck up all the air (and go largely unchallenged) on the subject of his former hoodlum boss? The bad behavior that bothers Bob tells us something.....

    1. Why is Somerby giving Steve Kornacki a pass on a life an death issue happening now?

  16. The Dorchester Street Tough has the makings of a pretty good gimmick. I didn't catch much in the way of a brogue accent however, it's something he'd definitely want to accentuate. For a real ratings grabber he could close his last show each week with a "special tough guy segment" where he calls out that week's unfortunate news transgressor.

    The Romney promo showed some potential, but he still has a long way to go before he's up to this next guy's level for generating heat.

    1. I am sure if you write to Lawrence he will go back and review the three year old footage and decide he missed a real opportunity not using it again and will quietly thank Somerby for having the habit of playing oldies.

    2. Good to see Bob chose as a frame of reference for something "chic" a film that is older than the Howler itself.

  17. MoDo had a good column this weekend.

    1. That can't be.

      And I mean, it can't be that you're saying so. I have it a very good and longstanding authority from these very comments that "no one" pays any attention to Maureen Dowd.

    2. In other recent events not likely to be covered by Bob S.:

      Chris Hayes had the director of a new HBO documentary on the Church of Scientology on his program last week. The documentary premiered last night.

      I found it supports Lawrence's notion in his 2008 "eruption" that Scientology and Mormonism share theological similarities.

    3. @ 10:38 I never heard of Maureen Dowd until I began reading the Howler. I have to thank Bob Somerby for calling her work to my attention. And Al Gore for creating the internet so I can read her regularly. We don't get the New York Times in my part of the country and my local paper does not reprint her work.

  18. For those of you who’ve been out of the loop, there was a death in our family a few days ago and the air fare and a car malfunction really put a crimp in our finances. Details are here, if you wish to help or at least pass the word. Thank you so much in advance.

  19. Not that I enjoy rehashing fifteen year old debates, nor do I want to applaud O'Donnell's criticism of Al Gore, but Somerby keeps mentioning the great "lie" O'Donnell told in 2000 about an Al Gore statement in a 1999 interview.

    Here is the exact comment from Al Gore as it appeared in Time:

    "[Bradley's proposals were] an old-style approach that spends a lot of money but doesn't have any new ideas. [He proposes] the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. I was the author of that proposal. I wrote that, so I say, welcome aboard. That is something for which I have been the principal proponent for a long time."

    Here is what O'Donnell said about it:

    "He told Time magazine last year that he enacted the Earned Income Tax Credit, which of course went into law before he was ever in Congress."

    And here is one of Somerby's many efforts to explain why O'Donell was inventing a Gore lie:

    "Gore’s remark to Time (11/1/99) had clearly concerned a proposal for “the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit;” clearly, Gore hadn’t said that he enacted the venerable policy.

    Bob felt it necessary to twice state what Gore said "clearly" because, in fact, what Gore said opened him up to the favorite Somerby tactic of anyone being able to claim what Gore "seemed" to be saying. Gore's comments were, "in our view, fuzzy and muddled."

    We selected the Somerby quote from the Howler of October 28, 2004 because it was the one in which Somerby also covered the first Mt. O'Donnell eruption contained in this post. Note Bob thought it was so bad at the time he waited six days after it happened then made it a small matter for the end of the day's post. He thought the more important news was covering himself being quoted in the New York Times.

    1. From the face f it, Gore said he was the author of the proposal to expand the earned income tax credit. Seems pretty clear. O'Donnell distorts what Gore is quoted as saying: "He told Time . . . that he enacted the Earned Income Tax Credit." Based on these quotes, O'Donnell is clearly being dishonest or incompetent, as Gore said he authored the "proposal" to expand the EITC. There's nothing fuzzy ormuffled in what Gore is quoted as saying.

    2. Yes, of course, AC/MA. The way YOU read it is also the way Somerby read it, and it is of course the only possible way to read it.

      Why neither Bob nor a loyal fan such as yu would attempt to "spin" another rather clumsy, self-aggrandizing statement from Bob's favorite ex-roomie, would you?