Despite not being a professional football fan, after being inundated with much pre-game chatter, this year I decided to watch the Super Bowl. The story line, according to multiple pundits, was the best defense going against the best offense. What actually resulted was something else entirely. Super Bowl? I think not. Sub-Par Bowl, is more like it. The best part was the Halftime Show, which is really saying something. I didn't really expect much from Bruno Mars, but to my surprise, he was pretty good. The lady who delivered an operatic rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” before the game received high praise from the announcers and others, but I found it tedious and overly drawn out. By comparison, many years ago I saw the Boys Choir of Harlem do the best rendition of the National Anthem ever. It was done in a very quick tempo. They didn't indulge in any extra trills or flourishes, they just belted it out and were done with it. At the time I remember thinking, “that's the way everyone should sing the National Anthem.” To my regret, I haven't heard anyone do it that way since. In short, I thought the Super Bowl was a real dud. I found the Kitten Bowl more entertaining. The Hallmark Channel presented the Kitten Bowl for the first time this year, no doubt in response to the Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl, which I missed this year. The Kitten Bowl featured an overabundance of cuteness and had one distinction the Super Bowl lacked, an appearance by Regis Philbin. His Kitten Bowl appearance reminded me of the time, in the late 1970s when I was in Her Majesty's service. I was sent to an air base at Incirlik, Turkey, not exactly one of the more exciting places on earth. For the record, Incirlik is pronounced like “injure” “lick,” with no pause between the words. Because it was the only place where a fellow might find a game of darts, I began frequenting the Rod and Gun Club. It was there I met a fellow named Johnny, who was the only known openly gay man in a very machismo setting. He was a chatty fellow, if a tad flamboyant. One day another club member pulled me aside during a game of darts and whispered to me, “Hey, ask Johnny about Regis Philbin.” “Who?” I asked, not having heard of Philbin, who, at the time, was merely a local celebrity in Southern California. “Regis Philbin,” the conspirator repeated. So when the opportunity presented itself, I casually mentioned Philbin to Johnny, whose face turned red as he turned to face me with a pint in his fist. “Regis Philbin?” he spat. “Reeeegis Philbin (he emphasized the first name) doesn't have the sense God gave a duck. Regis Philbin, huh.” Realizing I had struck a nerve, I tried to change the subject, but Johnny would have none of it. “Regis Philbin wouldn't know his ass from a hole in the ground,” he spewed. And then he went on to describe numerous incidents in which Philbin had made factual errors about the most mundane subjects. Yes the Rod and Gun Club was an interesting place. Through my association with it, I met a large Turkish man named Mustafa. He was about 6 feet 5 and 260 pounds. We decided to go duck hunting one morning. Arriving well before sunup, we waited in my VW for the dawn. To pass the time I filled a meerschaum pipe with tobacco and lit up, which was my habit at the time. A few silent moments passed until Mustafa announced, “You know, Peaves, I like to smoke people.” This statement gave me pause. I could only imagine one meaning of it, and that made me nervous. There was a very large Turkish man in the seat next to me who had a loaded shotgun between his legs, and who had just announced to me that he enjoyed smoking people. Imagine my relief when I learned that “people” is the Turkish word for “pipe.” I no longer smoke a pipe; I lost my taste for it. I no longer hunt, as I've lost the taste for killing things. I feel about the same about the Super Bowl. I believe I have lost my taste for that as well. Oddly, I'm OK with Regis.