Monday, September 29, 2008
“Just the smug from San Francisco alone could power the Eastern seaboard!” said Green Party chairman Karl Lenin. “And if we can get even one of the smug generators in West Hollywood or Beverly Hills operating, we’d be able to power every state west of the Rockies! Except for Wyoming, home of Dick Cheney and a festering hellhole that should be depopulated.”
A spokesman for the governor called it “yet another nail in the coffin of Arnold’s political career and a clear sign that the constitutional ban on non-citizens running for president was a very good thing.”
Scientists pointed out that there is no known way to turn smug into anything other than annoyance, but other than global warming they are typically wrong about everything, so they may be ignored.
Millionaire investor T. Boone Pickens said he looked forward to selling the Smug Collectors, because “whether or not they work I’ll get my millions selling them.”
Al Gore said that while encouraging, the step didn’t go far enough. “We’ve reached a tipping point, a veritable point of no return, where we are over the knife edge and past the event horizon. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m out of trite phrases, and I have to go now because I just got word that another one of my houses has been burned to the ground.”
There were no reported injuries.
The move comes just after Gore exhorted his followers to act with “civil disobedience” against any organization which might be harming the earth by carbon emissions. It was not clear at press time whether or not Mr. Gore had intended himself to be a target, and he was unavailable for comment due to being en route to Swaziland via private jet to collect the 2008 “Good Citizen’s Award for Fossil Fuel Avoidance.”
A spokesman for the protestors said that they intended to find Gore’s boat, which they had christened “The Goreitania”, and sink it as well.
“Al won’t mind,” he said. “He’s cool with us tearing stuff up and breaking windows to slake our thirst for environmental justice. After all, we’re just helping him live more simply, like when George Bush beat him in 2000 and retired him from politics. That’s why from now on, I’m voting Republican, to give our messiahs more time to concentrate on their vision!”
Friday, September 26, 2008
Okay, maybe that’s a bit strong. But I spent the day in at least Purgatory, or Dulles Airport, whichever is less pleasant. Okay, Purgatory.
Anyways, I’m in Italy right now on business. Trust me: this is less exciting than it sounds. Quite frankly, Italy is strange. Very strange.
First of all, the men carry purses. I’m sorry, there’s just no way to take a guy seriously who’s carrying a purse. Maybe that’s sexist of me, but that’s just how I feel. I also feel that women who wear too-tight T-Shirts and insist that they be appreciated for their brains are morons.
This is Plebian, and I approve that message.
So I spent part of the day in meetings going over some stuff with guys who carry purses. Not tough-looking camo purses, either; some of these were beaded. They were men carrying beaded purses!
And I’m not implying these guys are gay, either: every calendar featured a naked woman and the screensaver would have made Larry Flint pause for thought. If they were gay, the did the worst cover-up job in the world.
Worst of all, though, was the purse-wearing dude who thought so much of his underwear that he wore his pants around his ankles. And his collar flipped up. Instead of looking cool, he looked like my five-year-old getting dressed in the morning asking me for help.
Except my five-year-old doesn’t carry a sequined yellow purse to go with his outfit.
Then, in the afternoon, having been totally bemused by the Italian men, I got to experience the joy of working with Italian women. It was enough to make me long for the men.
One woman had decided that business casual included a tight white t-shirt that fit her about twelve years ago, when she was fourteen. Now, though, she’s grown some, plus hit puberty, so the shirt is very stretched. No problem: underneath this she wore her hypno-bra, a swirling black-and-white patterned thing that was virtually guaranteed to call attention to the fact that her T-Shirt was too small.
It was like she was trying to hypnotize people with her breasts. Personally, I always thought that only worked when the woman wore those tassled pasties and made them swirl in opposite directions.
The other woman forced me to reflect upon this business etiquette question:
You’re in a meeting with four colleagues, all of whom are more or less the same level as you. One of them is sitting across from you, and for reasons unknown to the cosmos doesn’t realize that her right breast has escaped its bra and the low-cut shirt and is now resting on the table, with the nipple staring at you like the worm in the bottom of a tequila bottle.
What do you do?
Say “Geez, it’s nippy in here. Would you please open a window?”
Or something else?
I’m open to suggestions, because I never did figure out how to manage that situation in a suave and elegant way.
I finally gave up, left the meeting, and went purse shopping so I could fit in.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Here in Italy, of course, the German news shows are very popular, mostly because it’s German law that every news show must include some thin pretense for nudity. Whether it’s a hard-hitting investigation of a couple who performs striptease, or an in-depth report of the life and times of the strip club G-String, you can count on full-frontal nudity when you tune in to the German news.
Or, as they call it, Hetnewsiulkriekenstreegerstargenfartbus.
Tonight’s thinly-veiled excuse for skin was a hard-hitting expose on whether women rated themselves equal to the way that men rated them. In order to do this, they collected five women and then had a panel of three men rate them on the attractiveness of their face, their butt, their breasts, and their outfits, then compared it to how the women rate themselves. As you can guess, some nudity on the part of the women was required.
What was funny was the disparate women they chose. It was like they decided to do a boxing contest, only in one corner they had Evander Holyfield, and in the other corner, Andy Dick. We all know that Andy Dick could be beaten up by pretty much any other celebrity, up to and including pop stars.
I mean, even Miley Cyrus could kick his ass, no question.
Their version of this was to have one beautiful woman with gravity-defying breasts up against two normal-looking women, one homely woman, and one woman who had a really nice personality, according to all her friends.
Honestly, which one are three horny doofuses going to vote for, given this sorry lot? Not the girl with the nose ring, and not the fresh-faced girl with as many curves as a Kansas highway.
They’re gonna go for the beauty queen whose breasts rupture forth from whatever outfit she wrestles them into. She could have worn a burlap sack and still won the “Outfit” competition, which in fact is what she did.
Why don’t we get treated to in-depth news studies like this, instead of survey after survey about the differences between liberals and conservatives?
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
While you want to shock and amaze us all with your “endurance magic”, the reality is that you’d struggle to be the coolest guy at a Guinness Book of Records Reunion. I mean, that dude that can fit pool balls in his mouth? That’s impressive and dangerous, plus it’s a perfect party trick. How many homes just happen to have a thirty-foot-boom crane and a glass cage in the backyard?
Outside of Las Vegas, I mean.
I’ve got more news for you: the ladies don’t love magicians any more; that boat sailed when Claudia Schiffer found out that David Copperfield was both gay and a pervert. All the supermodels are dating fat comedians now. You were born in the wrong decade: should have been born in the 80’s. Then you, too, could have had a nasty divorce from Christy Brinkley.
Come to think of it, she’s available. You know what would be a magical feat of endurance? Stay married to her longer than two weeks and not have it end in a bitter tabloid divorce.
Do that, and we’ll all be true believers.
If by some inconceivable chance you’re one of the people who finds watching golf exciting, you’re weird, and I hate to tell you that everybody you know thinks that you’re weird. “He likes golf!” they whisper behind your back, laughing at you.
Many sports writers recently struggled with a way to dress up the US Ryder Cup victory, and settled on “US Finally Reclaims Ryder Cup.” But about 90% of those headlines started out as “Guys you Never Heard Of Win Trophy You Don’t Care About in Sport You Don’t Watch.”
The other 10% started out “Why I Love Golf Again” but the stories were never finished because their families, out of love, held an intervention and got treatment for the affected person.
Some people love golf because it’s a struggle of man against ball. Listen, not disappointing your wife by finishing in ten seconds is a struggle of man against ball. Golf is more a struggle of caddy against hanging himself out of boredom.
But, being the helpful guy I am, I’ll offer some suggestions for how we can improve golf.
Make it a Biathalon
How about this: throw a couple of rifles in the old golf bag, and between holes you have to hit a target at five hundred yards? Then, when your opponent tees off, you can try to shoot his ball out of the air to give him a five-stroke penalty. People might actually watch that, plus the errant shot would be great for ratings.
Dinosaurs and Pirates on Every Green
There’s a reason Putt-Putt is so popular, and it’s not because the fat guy behind the counter sells beer to minors. Okay, that’s about half of it, but the other half is because people love trying to knock the ball between Abraham Lincoln’s legs.
More Bob Barker
Everybody loves Bob Barker, even if his presence does sometimes unfortunately lead to more Drew Carey.
I haven’t yet figured out what we’d do with them, but don’t we all agree that at least one sport should involve catapults? Maybe we could shoot the clubs out of them, or the golfers who don’t make the cut, or the rejects that fill the galleries. But it’d certainly dress up the game.
Not every one, but imagine if, before the game began, they knew that one ball in 50 was explosive. Every time they wound up, you’d be hanging on the edge of your seat to see if this was the one that blew up. Every golfer would hesitate just a little, knowing that the next tee shot might send him hurtling forty feet backwards.
And send golf ratings hurtling to the moon!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Oh, sure, you quibble that it’d be easier for them not to hemorrhage taxpayer money by not being subsidized by the government. But come on: it’s not like they’re an investment bank or something.
First, let’s look at what Alitalia does right:
With the exception of Qantas, Alitalia has the best-looking stewardesses in the air. They’re all young, fetching, and fond of wearing their blouses with the top five buttons undone. This makes drink service not only easy on the eyes, but a nice erotic diversion from the fact that you’re hurtling through the air at six hundred miles per hour piloted by a guy that can’t pronounce the letter “r” correctly.
Every male working for Alitalia has a beard.
That’s pretty much it for what they got right. Now, let’s examine some of the problems with Alitalia:
Socialist Work Ethic
It takes, literally, three people to do the work of one in Alitalia. This might be connected to the attractive stewardesses, because you have two baggage handlers ogling the attractive stewardess while the third, whose beard is too sparse to compete with the two hirsute oglers, is forced to do all the work by himself.
Alitalia’s colors are green, red, and white, just like the Italian flag. Which are also the colors of the Mexican flag. I’m not saying that Italy and Mexico are essentially failed states with nothing to show for 100+ years of existence, but I can’t think of a polite way to end this sentence. Everybody knows that you go red, white and blue, or you’re screwed.
I can say, without a trace of hyperbole, that the plane smelled like Rosie O’Donnell’s armpit after she finished wrestling Roseanne Barr for the last piece of chicken. If Rosie just ran a mile. While being pelted with expired yogurt. In Summer. I don’t think the plane was originally sold in this delightful scent. Yes, it was a four-hour-flight, and yes, I do have a headache. Thanks for asking.
I opened the little box to find this: a plastic-sealed bucket of pasta and chicken, and an open container of chocolate custard that had left a big doodie ring on the box top because it had no covering at all. The pasta tasted like it’d be marinated in Crazy Death Seasoning, so I was left with Signori Turdy’s Chocolate Boom-Boom. I ate it, of course, but I didn’t like the thought that chemicals from the box probably leached into it and will give me erectile dysfunction.
So there you have it: a hard-hitting and thorough report of why Alitalia is bankrupt. And they say blogs don’t do "real" news and analysis. Nertz to them, I say!
Friday, September 19, 2008
The problem is, there are precious little avenues open for me to attempt this. We've been married for fifteen years, and I've shot almost every bullet in the chamber, so to speak. So whatever I try, it has to be original enough to catch her attention, but not so original that she wants a divorce.
If you know what I mean, and I think that you do.
I eventually settled on the only logical choice: dressing up like a naked cowboy. After all, it’s well-known that she can’t resist a sexy cowboy.
We had a cowboy costume left over from earlier this year, so about ten minutes before she usually goes to bed, I snuck upstairs to prepare a surprise for her.
The excuse that I gave her was that I was going to turn on the electric blanket and get the bed ready. We keep the house at a balmy 50° F in order to save on our energy bill, which in turn cuts down on the amount of money that we send to Vladimir Putin and his goons at Gazprom.
See what sacrifices I make for world harmony?
She stayed downstairs, working on writing something out. I didn't know what it was; I mean, she tells me these things, but I don't focus on them.
The costume was leather chaps, boots, a vest, a cowboy belt, and a hat. That's it. Once I had it all on, I like to think that I had the "erotic cowboy" look down. Yes, I looked obscene. That was kind of the point, you know?
However, I was a little concerned about the full-on nudity aspect of it. So I took a red bandana and fashioned a sort of "junk pouch" out of it to keep it from being completely lewd. I was tastefully lewd, I like to think.
I was ready. I imagined that she'd come in, be completely wowed by my sexy costume, become aroused, and we'd make passionate love and then pass out in each other's arms.
Don't laugh. It's the audacity of hope.
I head her downstairs, working on whatever it was. And so I waited.
And I waited.
And I waited.
Twenty minutes passed with me standing upstairs, unable to move because the boots would make too much noise, in my 50° F house, buck naked except for leather chaps, a vest, and a bandana that was rapidly deflating.
I went from "erotic cowboy" to Viagra ad within the first five minutes.
Finally, I heard her moving around downstairs, shutting off lights and getting ready to come up to bed. When she switched on the light to the bedroom, I came swaggering out of the bathroom.
"Somebody call for a cowboy telegram?" I said it in my sexiest cowboy voice.
"Oh my God!" She started laughing. "You look ridiculous!"
This is not conducive to intimacy.
"I don't look ridiculous!" I protested. "I look sexy!"
She shook her head, tears running down her face. "No you don't," she said. "You look like a reject from the Village People."
Needless to say, whatever bandana boost I had maintained through the cold winter night was pretty much killed off by that comment. So, dejected, I changed out of my cowboy costume and got ready for bed.
At about twelve thirty, she shook me awake. I was immediately awake, hopeful that she'd reassessed my offer.
"Hey, Hopalong Assidy," she said. "You're snoring. Go sleep on the couch."
Happy Trails, indeed.
The American Association for the Protection of Strawmen (AAPS) issued a statement today that they were very concerned about the direction of the presidential election.
"Things usually get heated around this time of year," the statement said. "But since the conventions, our offices have seen a surge in attacks on Strawmen. Since John McCain announced his VP nominee, over six thousand strawmen per day have been tortured and murdered. We are particularly concerned by reports that both campaigns have been caught abducting strawmen from their homes."
The AAPS took the unusual step of naming several leading suspects in the ongoing attacks on Strawmen. "Particularly reprehensible has been the behavior of some so-called 'Mainstream Media' figures, who have killed four or five strawmen per show over the past few weeks. We estimate that Keith Olbermann, Daily Kos, and Time magazine are responsible for at least 40% of all Strawman-related violence."
A spokeswoman for the AAPS urged Americans of all political stripes to set aside their hostility for strawmen. "It's time that we realize that strawmen are just like us, with hopes and dreams for the future, and we should allow them to realize those dreams without living for fear that someone will jerk them up and destroy them in front of a howling, frenzied crowd without any regard for logic or reason."
Monday, September 15, 2008
As the pencil-necked geeks looked on in horror, a cascade of reactions led to the creation of thirty black holes, each more ravenous than the last. They quickly forced their way through the isolation chamber and menaced not only the scientists but the stability of the Earth itself.
Because all present were physicists, and even worse European, they were unable to do anything except beg for their lives and offer anti-American rhetoric in a desperate attempt to placate the subatomic threat.
Fortunately for humanity, Chuck Norris and his family were vacationing in Switzerland last week as well, as Mr. Norris had anticipated that there might be a problem when the scientists opened the Pandora's box of particle collision. Norris acted quickly, penetrating deep within the fortress-like installation, and after a series of throat kicks and crotch punches the black holes were dissipated into their component particles.
Early reports indicated that Norris was slightly injured when scratched by a pencil from a swooning scientist, but later it was revealed that when Chuck Norris wants to sharpen a pencil he just rubs it against his diamond-like skin and it was in fact the pencil which was injured.
So at church yesterday, I heard one of the reliably Democrat parishioners hectoring one of the reliably Republican parishioners that "Jesus was a community organizer, Pontius Pilate was a governor!"
Let me say right here that I don't feel it's ever appropriate to interject party affiliation into religious discussion and claim one party is more "Christian" than the other. They're both highly flawed vessels, from a spiritual point of view. But this is the one lady that inevitably wants to inject Democratic talking points into any religious discussion, so I like to needle her when I can.
For parity's sake I do the same with the Republicans. Okay, it's really because I'm a butthead and I enjoy needling people. Anyways, I decided to get my two cents in.
"Ooh, ooh, can I play?" I butted into their conversation. "I've got one: Ronald Reagan was a governor, Joseph Stalin was a community organizer. Your turn!"
She goggled at me a moment, lost for speech. Apparently she'd only planned one move in advance, just like Barack Obama.
"I've got another one! How about Franklin Roosevelt was a governor, but Nathan Bedford Forrest was a community organizer?"
"Who?" said the Republican. Apparently history's not his strong suit.
"He founded the KKK," I said.
"Um, uh," she continued to founder.
"I can come up with another one!" I said. "How about Thomas Jefferson was a governor, Pol Pot was a community organizer? Does that one count?"
"Oh yeah?" she finally shot back. "Well, Martin Luther King was a community organizer, but Jimmy Carter was a governor!"
"Yeah, but Jimmy Carter was a Democrat," I said. "And so was Nathan Bedford Forrest, and Joseph Stalin, and Pol Pot. Are you sure you wanna play this game any more? Or can we just say that I win?"
She just gave up and went away. Which was too bad, because I hadn't even broken out "Julius Caesar was a governor, Hitler was a community organizer" yet.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
"We're expecting the end of life as we know it," said spokesman for the scientific group ALARM. "Worst-case scenarios include a black hole that sucks everything into it and Hell freezing over. Best-case is that Clinton agrees to help with the campaign, but since we don't have any early indications that Obama has hired a bunch of nubile interns we're pessimistic that this will be the outcome."
While many scientists have expressed confidence that the reaction will be fine, ALARM experts have been flooding the Internet with speculation that the situation is much less rosy.
"Obama is running out of steam, and he's forced to make a deal with the devil, only he just got finished beating the devil's wife, calling the devil a racist, and has a reputation for casting people aside the moment he's finished with them. You think Clinton will forgive and forget all that? If so, you're fooling yourself.
"That's why we expect disaster tomorrow. So eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we re-enter the Clinton Zone. It's like a black hole, only much, much more annoying."
Monday, September 8, 2008
So when the sun comes for one its rare visits, everyone enjoys it, even if it means dressing wildly inappropriately. Such was the case today when, after a spectacularly shitty Sunday, we were treated to one of the 14 blue skies which we see every year.
Naturally, here in health-conscious Europe, everyone was eager to produce as much Vitamin D as possible. For the men, this means short-sleeved shirts with a tie to produce the dorkiest faux professional look possible. For the women, this means low v-necked tops, since a woman can display a shocking amount of skin and still be professionally dressed.
I suppose that's because strippers are a type of professional, but I can't say for certain.
Thus it happened that as I purchased my sandwich today, I found myself standing in a line that was 20 people long and offered ample opportunity to check out the lay of the land, so to speak.
Almost everyone was observing the "Blue Sky Rules" accordingly, myself included. Sure, there was one woman wearing what looked to be toga made from old 70's curtains, but everyone else was going for the short sleeve/low top casual look.
My attention was drawn to one particular woman in a light blue top with the V in her shirt that came to just above her navel. In addition to the typical riddle of "what's holding up her breasts?" that one always asks when presented with this type of shirt, her mammaries presented an additional puzzle:
Is that a third nipple?
Listen, for an observer of the bizarre like myself, this is not a question asked lightly. I consider myself cut from the mold of Ripley: I find the strange and bizarre and blog about it here for your amusement. This is why I often find myself in life-threatening situations involving teenagers or burying dead animals.
It was with that spirit in mind that I examined, in detail, the third nipple perched between her breasts. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that it was, in fact, a mole with another mole on it, the entire package placed inartfully between her boobs.
Unfortunately, her problems extend far beyond a moley nipple (or a nipply mole)and troubles with her mirrors. Turns out she's touchy, too.
"What the hell are you looking at?" she asks me.
It's amazing how well her voice carried in the packed sandwich shop full of work acquaintances who were now staring at me like I'd order a turd sandwich and a bottle of piss.
What could I say? A number of responses flew through my head:
"I dunno, but you better take it to a dermatologist."
"Is that a tattoo or a birthmark?"
"Did you know your mole's perkier than your boobs?"
"Paradise by the dashboard lights!"
"I'm sorry, I've been blind since the accident."
However, I immediately discarded all those responses because they're against my religion (Puss-Fu). I settled for a mumbled "um, sorry" and prayed that the line would move faster.
Of course, it didn't, and everyone stared at me for twenty minutes like I was a pervert simply because I'd gotten caught staring at the moley boob (boobey mole?) of a woman twenty years my senior.
I hope you all appreciate the humiliation that I go through for you.
Large lakefront town with poor economy, weak infrastructure, rampant crime, and civil corruption seeks mayor. Must be good dresser, haberdashery enthusiast. Prefer eunuch. Contact email@example.com.
Football team seeks owner who is not an egomaniacal moron that spends money like a drunken frat boy at a Girls Gone Wild filming. Will accept Steinbrenners, Schotts, or pretty much anybody else. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leading political party seeks congressional leaders. No tin-eared, ham-fisted, corruptly incompetent louts need apply. Also seeking clue. Contact email@example.com.
Former presidential candidate seeks documentary filmmaker to tell "the real story" of my fall from grace, focusing on malfeasance of press and villainous Republican smears. No experience necessary; prefer big jugs. Send photo (preferably topless) to HairyJohn@theotheramerica.us.
Network seeks anchors for pretty much any show at any time to replace cast of unprofessional cretins currently employed. Must be able to not foam at the mouth for one full hour, garner more than a 0.1 Nielson rating, and avoid on-air bickering with cohosts. Contact MSNBC@disaster.net.
Aggressive go-getter with track record of accomplishment and 18 million supporters looking for position with open-minded major political party. Experience hosting lavish parties, campaigning and being passed over for younger men. Contact hillary@bitter.PUMA.
Likeable nimrod searches for position where I can spout populist nonsense and preen in the public eye until 2012. Contact Huckleberry@gibberish.ar.
LIKE NEW! Faux Greek temple backdrop, perfect for picnics, arugula fairs, or Sophocles. Some ego damage. Contact BO@hubris.com.
Want precious metals? I've got tons available at rock-bottom prices! Next shipment should arrive in 2012. Contact Phelps@aquaman.com.
Need some goodwill? We've built up a little, and we'd like to sell it…cheap! While the market is hot! We're willing to give it away for pennies on the dollar simply for the illusion of "progress"! Just contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
WANT TO BUY
Seeking high-powered telescope with infrared lens for observing local wildlife, specifically interception-prone quarterbacks as they get in and out of the shower. Not a stalker, just a really, really interested fan. Contact email@example.com!
Need backpack-style baby carrier that allows child to be seen clearly from any camera angle yet prevents it from making noise to distract from rousing speeches. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Now for the downer: Purple Avenger stole my bit!
For the record: no, I don't believe that, and no, there's no hard feelings even if he did. He had the same inspiration that I did and ran in a totally different direction. I found it amusing that we had similar ideas (pull out the old MM Photoshop) yet used it in completely different ways.
Having said that, if he really did steal my bit I'm gonna treat him like Moe treated the original Alfalfa.
* = It must be noted that I have scored a previous link from Gabe on Ace, about which I was also extremely excited and very appreciative. I well recognize that Gabe is an upper-echelon blogger compared to me. But your first link from Ace himself is special. At least, it feels special to me.
1) LEGO building blocks.
3) The most unfriendly populace in Europe.
We (my colleague and I) landed at about 8:30 PM and caught a taxi to the hotel. It was about an hour away, so by the time we finally got into the lobby it was 9:20.
We checked in quickly, and surprisingly enough without exchanging a single word with the surly desk clerk. After dumping our stuff in our rooms, we headed to the restaurant for dinner.
It was about half full, with waiters busily carrying stuff back and forth. We waited patiently for someone to seat us, but nobody ever came. Finally, we took matters into our own hands and sought out a server.
"We'd like a table, please," I asked him.
"Hold on," he said, and promptly entered the witness protection program, never to be seen again.
So we tried another server. "Hello, may we please be seated?" asked my colleague.
"It's nine twenty," the guy said. "We stop serving dinner after nine."
We waited a moment for him to laugh, but he never did. Danish people don't laugh, you see. Apparently he was serious.
"We'll take anything," my famished colleague begged. "We don't care! An egg, some toast, whatever you have!"
"We don't have anything for you," he said. "It's after nine."
"Can we eat somewhere else in the hotel?" I asked. It was a big hotel, after all.
"You can get a sandwich in the bar," he said. Then, he turned and stormed off as a plate of Lobster came by us headed for Table 12.
"I've got an idea," I said. "Let's start a fire, and when these people evacuate we can eat their food."
Ultimately, since we didn't have anything to start a fire with, we headed over to the bar. In order to prevent this in the future I have now taken up smoking.
The bar was jam-packed with drunken Danish businessmen having some kind of party, regrettably without nubile Nordic women drinking too much and getting topless.
They had, however, gotten out a piano, which one of them could play just poorly enough that you could make out the tune that they were butchering in their horrible English. It would have been Simon Cowell's nightmare.
Finally, after fifteen minutes, the barkeep recognized our right to exist and asked us what we wanted. Another twenty minutes later, we finally received our order: two beers and two sandwiches.
Did you know that in Danish, "sandwich" means "brown bread made from cow cud and covered in goat cheese with raw fish on top, smothered in horrid sauce that makes you long for death"?
Yeah, I didn't know that either.
Finally it was off to bed, after watching about ten minutes of Danish TV, which appears to consist mainly of CSI reruns dubbed into Danish. This was playing on three channels, and the fourth was weather.
In the morning, I resolved to see if I could pull off people's heads and switch them around like my old LEGO figures.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
They also participate in the fiction that there are teams outside of the East Coast (geographical area: Massachusetts to Washington, DC) that are good.
You won't find that here. I guarantee that my information is inaccurate, but I will give you keen gambling advice. Specifically, don't bet on football games, because you can't predict anything that's going to happen. Seriously. There is no logic to it.
Okay, if you have to bet, do this: bet against the favorites in every game the first two weeks, because the fact is nobody knows who will be good and bad at this point in the season, and a few monster wins will help offset your losses. Then stop betting altogether or you'll lose what you've gained.
Further, I refuse to participate in the geographical fiction that there are decent teams outside of the greater New York area. To this end, I've renamed every division.
AFC Inside New York Division
Eastern New York Heroes (aka New England): 6-12
Listen, it's possible that the Patriots are singularly different than almost every other team that loses the Super Bowl. It's possible that these robotic superhumans will shake off the emotional detritus of falling short of historic perfection and achieve greatness again. It's possible that the fantastic luck of the last 6 seasons will continue. But it ain't likely.
Western New York Cattle-Themed Nimrods (aka Buffalo): 8-8
The last time the Bills were good, Jim Kelly still played for them. In related news, he's still athletic enough to start at almost any position on the team and replace the player currently filling that slot.
Over New York Atmospheric Pollution Deliverers (aka NY Jets): 1-15
Reality: Brett Favre is not the quarterback he once was, and the quarterback he once was was average. The solution to the Jets was not Favre, it was to move out of the AFC East.
Southern New York Futilloids (aka Miami): 0-16
This year, they finally make perfection. And no, I don't buy the Bill Parcells mystique as GM. But thanks for asking!
NFC Inside New York Division
Southern New York Oil-Drilling Barbarians (aka Cowboys): 4-12
This team will be marred by several fistfights over who has the prettiest face, sexiest girlfriend, and who touched who during the slumber party over at TO's house. But all will be forgiven, until the team loses two in a row and tempers flare and the entire team falls apart, much to the chagrin of the horrid undead mummy that owns the whole thing. But he likes rebuilding, so it shouldn't keep him depressed for too long.
Downtown New York Pigeons (aka Philadelphia): 12-4
I tried to think of something funny to put here, but I couldn't come up with anything. So consider this a recycled "they once hit Santa with a snowball" joke and let's let it go at that, okay?
Greatest Team in History, Best Manning Brother, Awesomely Awesome Titans of the Gridiron New York Giants: 8-8
I don't understand how Eli Manning is suddenly "equal" to Peyton Manning. Would you suggest, straight-faced, that Trent Dilfer is also the equal of Peyton Manning, based on their equal number of Super Bowl victories?
Trump Towers Egomaniacal Owner's Team (aka Washington): 2-14
If I lived in the Washington, DC area I'd be selling "Snyder Must Go!" shirts at every home game. He's like George Steinbrenner, only absent the keen judgment.
AFC Northern New York Division
Industrially Derelict Anachronisms (aka Pittsburgh): 12-4
In order to bolster attendance at Pirates games, the Steelers will give away 100 Pirates tickets to everyone who attends a Steelers game in September. If even one fan shows up for a baseball game, it'll double normal attendance.
West New York Flaming Lakes (aka Cleveland): 7-11
If you made keen financial decisions like the Browns do quarterbacking decisions, then you're reading this from a free computer in the library, where you not incidentally live since they foreclosed on your house.
Sing-Sing Slammers (aka Cincinnati): 1-15
Can we officially call Marvin Lewis a failure? Or is he only a failure if there's a crime spree during an actual game?
Southern New York Hypocrites (aka Baltimore): 3-13
I had the pleasure of living in Baltimore for three years when they finally stole the Browns from Cleveland, and I can honestly tell you there's not a more wretched hive of scum and hypocrisy than the jerkoffs who live there. Their attitude was "the NFL screwed us, so we're perfectly justified in screwing Cleveland!"
NFC Northern New York Division
Frozen Famous Ray's Pizza (aka Green Bay): 14-2
Imagine that you were a plowhorse, working all day pulling a gigantically fat man who simultaneously whipped you and bragged about how much work he was doing tilling the field. Then, one day, the man not only fell off the cart but you actually got to run him over. Wouldn't you suddenly feel light as a feather?
Ethnically Insensitive Greenwich Village Persons (aka Minnesota): 12-4
There's only a limited amount of time that the Vikings can continue to be bad, right?
Lesser New York Zoo and Amusement Park (aka Chicago): 2-14
If you know of any good quarterbacks in the greater North American area, you might want to drop a line to the Bears front office, because they can't seem to find one.
Manhattan Rasputins (aka Detroit): 2-14
It's really too bad that Voodoo Priest Matt Millen uses all his dark powers keeping the Ford family enthralled, because if he spent just a fraction of that malevolence on the other teams Detroit would go undefeated and win the Super Bowl.
AFC Southern New York/New Jersey Redneck Division
Visiting Out-Of-Towners (aka Indianapolis): 16-0
Anything that Tom Brady can do, Peyton Manning can do better. Which is why the undefeated Colts will lose in the first round rather than in the Super Bowl.
Damn Tourists (aka Jacksonville): 8-8
I don't know what to say about this team other than every year they are promised as the next big thing, and every year they are average. On the upside, though, I'm not a fan.
Ellis Island Gap-Toothed Hicks (aka Tennessee): 6-10
On the upside, the Titans don't face UCLA. Plus, 4 of the 6 wins should come in the latter half of the season to help excite people for next season, when they'll again underachieve until the playoffs are out of reach.
Southern New York non-Oil Drilling Barbarians (aka Texans): 13-3
Proof that sportswriters are churlish: the absolute lack of articles apologizing for lambasting the Texans for taking Mario Williams over Reggie Bush. After excoriating the Texans for daring not to take a darling-of-the-media RB, the performance of Bush has once again proven the futility of taking the position high in the draft.
NFC Southern New York/New Jersey Redneck Division
Non-Casino Affiliated Pirates (aka Tampa Bay): 8-8
Have we officially decided that John Gruden's not a genius? Or is the jury still out on that? And if he's not, do we admit that Tony Dungy is? And if Dungy is, can we adequately explain why this wasn't properly understood a few years ago?
Albany Ineptitude (aka Atlanta): 7-9
You don't just bad-luck your way into the circumstances that have landed Atlanta in to the lowly state it is in today; you have to want to go there. Kind of like visiting 5 grand a night call girls while being governor.
New York Parks and Recreation Swamp-League Champions (aka New Orleans): 6-10
Because the NFL is all about sweetness and light, they continue to do everything in their power to depress Saints attendance by scheduling as few home games as possible.
Golden Gloves League Champs (aka Carolina): 2-14
Isn't it depressing that the Panthers have had more legitimate heavyweight fights than Madison Square Gardens in the last ten years? You throw in the cheerleader scandal from a few years ago and I'm starting to wonder if Carolina isn't the new cultural center of the US.
AFC Western New York Coastal Elites
East River Surfer Dudes (aka San Diego): 6-10
Fact: the new NFL rule book forbids cloning players and using them at every position, because there was a rumor that the Chargers intended to do this to get around their limitation of having only one LT. Of course, if they had done that, the postgame news conference after their inevitable playoff loss would have had more complaining than the Vagina Monologues.
Upper New York Soulless Automatons (aka Denver): 10-6
The biggest question around the Broncos this year is how they'll mishandle Jay Cutler once again, since that seems to be the preoccupation of the organization.
Non-Casino Affiliated Pirates, AFC Version (aka Oakland): 1-15
If we were really serious about toppling dictators, somebody'd liberate the Raiders from Al Davis. Until that happens, I'll know it's all talk and no action.
Western New York Midwestern Affiliate (aka Kansas): 4-12
Again, I'm stumped for something to say about them, other than to wonder how Kansas was ever considered "West".
NFC Western New York Non-Great Lakes Division
Starbucks Coffee Uninspiring Cup o'The Weak (aka Seattle): 12-4
Seahawks victories are like currencies, so you need to convert them. Every win is worth half a win in a real division, and every loss counts double.
New York Museum of Natural History (aka San Francisco): 1-15
If there's one team whose best days are certainly behind it, it's the 49ers. But man, the Alcatraz tour sure is nice.
Eastern New York School of Geography (aka St. Louis): 8-8
One last hurrah for the Rams, who after this year will be outsourced to India in order to save costs. This move makes sense, because the Rams have been phoning in games for years.
New York Institute for the Criminally Inept (aka Arizona): 3-13
The best thing about being a Cardinals player is that you can freely schedule your time outside of football, because you know you'll be available from the last week of December onwards to do whatever you want.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
It started, as is often the case, in the morning. We had a lot of wind, and everyone is back from vacation, so in addition to thousands more idiots on the roads during my commute there was plenty of wind shear on the rickety bridge that I have to cross over the canal.
Add in that every truck in Europe has these cute little flexible sides and wobbles like a drunken Joe Namath trying to propose to sideline reporters and you see what the problem here is.
I finally made it, and was very proud for not losing any paint off my car. I was carefully wending my way up the hills towards my office, obeying all posted speed limits and obeying signage, when my attention was diverted by underwear.
Red panties, to be exact. My Underwear Sense went off, telling me that panties, bra straps, or other feminine undergarments were observable within a six-hundred-yard radius.
She was crossing the street up ahead of me, and the wind was whipping fiercely, and she had a whole Marilyn-over-the-subway grate thing going, only she's a one of these brazen European women so the notion of modesty never crosses her mind and I get a view of her ass as she tries to make it around the corner of the building.
I did what any normal man would do: I enjoyed the show, totally oblivious to the fact that I was in fact piloting 1500 pounds of metal powered by explosive fuel and traveling at speeds high enough to do more damage than my deductible.
Finally I came back to myself when she turned the corner and I realized that my rear-view mirror was laying about ten yards back and the scraping metal sound was not, in fact, the latest hit song but was rather the car scraping against the guard rail.
I'd been wondering what the fireworks outside were; turns out they were sparks from the fender.
I pondered briefly how to explain this to Wifey. I had three options:
1) I could lie, and tell her I just scraped it against a building
2) I could tell the truth, that I was distracted by another woman's ass
3) I could tell her it happened while the car was parked
If I chose 1, she would mock me. If I chose 2, she would mock me and maybe not be intimate with me for some time. If I chose 3, we both got the fun of blaming somebody who never existed, as if we were pretending to be OJ Simpson.
Option 3 is the winner! Since the car was already dinged, I just double-parked it and left it for dead. After all, I was in a hurry to get to work and begin creating value for my employer.
Okay, I admit it: I was in a hurry to catch the 8:05 show of Red Panty Lady.
Sadly, she'd given me the slip. I could have ridden up the elevator with the remnant of the smoking posse, but I opted instead to climb the stairs because it's healthier. And I'm all about healthy choices.
That, and accidental nudity.
The day went pretty quickly, and other than actually being busy wasn't so bad. I discovered at lunch that the smokers had decided to crowd the doorway in a mass five jackasses deep, so I had to wade through their nicotine stench to reach fresh air.
I mean, really, smoke all you want, but is it truly necessary to stand right in front of the only door to do it? Can't you move three feet to one side or the other? It's like watching cows go into a slaughterhouse, only the cows are slowly turning to leather before your eyes.
As I bought my sandwich, I was treated to the 12:15 show of Red Panty Lady (I remembered the floppy tan skirt). Turns out that up close, and with her clothing all in place, she's not so much to look at.
By which I mean she's ugly enough to frighten pug dogs and curdle milk with her two-watt smile. My treasured memory from this morning quickly turned into me feeling somewhat seedy, and not in a good way.
Thankfully, I keep a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in my desk for just such occasions, so I rinsed my eyeballs out to purge them, a la The Crying Game. And we will never speak of this again.
In order to resolve the issue of the dented car, I used the Machiavellian strategy of parking it up the street so that Wifey couldn't see it. I figure I can get away with this for a few months while I figure out a good excuse, plus it'll give me more walking.
So you could say that the whole thing was good for my health, if not for my insurance bill.
On the walk to the house, I passed by a wood delivery service that had piled six hundred and forty three pieces of wood in the neighbor's driveway. They had a crew of three picking up wood pieces and carrying them around back to stack.
My Panty Sense tingled, and I noticed that the chick who was bent over to pick up some logs had holes in her pants; specifically, she had holes just below her ass cheeks big enough to reach for paradise through, so to speak.
So I did what anybody would do: I enjoyed the view. At least, until the chick straightened up, when I noticed three pertinent things:
1) A mullet
2) An Adam's apple
3) Facial hair
The chick was a dude! AAARGH! And I'd left my hydrogen peroxide back at the office!
I was immediately creeped out. What the hell was wrong with me today? I was cursed by asses!
But then I reflected a moment: do gay guys get creeped out if they make the opposite mistake and check out a dude, only to find out it's a woman?
If I were a sociologist, I'd ask the government for a hundred million dollars to study this. I'd call it "Responses to Misdirected Attention by Sexual Orientation" and invent a metric called "Ookiness Factor" to compare how gays and straights respond to this situation.
Screw it, I think I'll ask for the money myself. I mean, how hard is it to be a Sociology major? All you have to do is bitch about how no one will hire you, ask for a government job, and be bad at math.
I've pretty much got two out of three of those down already!
Monday, September 1, 2008
Where I work, we have coffee machine that dispenses many different kinds of drinks, from espresso to café au lait to hot chocolate. It is, as you can imagine, one of the finer fringe benefits to my workplace.
It used to be that I drank one cup of coffee a day, back when I had to pay for it myself, right in the morning to get started. But now, I drink one cup a day, followed by another four cups to get through the morning, then one cup after lunch, then another one just before I drive home so I don't nod off.
Yes, I am a bit jittery, and there has been some insomnia, and occasionally I distinctly detect the aroma of burnt coffee grounds when I pee, but other than that there have been no side effects. My wife says I'm paranoid, but I swear that the PBA really is monitoring our house.
So this morning, as always, after I'd turned on my computer I grabbed my cup and headed down the hall to the coffee machine. See, that's the essence of multitasking: while the computer warms up, so do I.
It's like going to take a dump while you're waiting for a 5-MB e-mail that you sent to thirty people to finally process: you and your computer acting as one. I'm practically a cyborg in this regard.
But when I got to the machine, it was out of service. The coffee man was in the process of adding new beans, changing the filter, and checking the level of water, milk, and other stuff. Only the coffee man wasn't there; his cart was, and the machine was open with his keys in it, but nothing else was going on.
"Where's the coffee guy?" I asked the unfortunate bastard whose office faces the machine.
"He just opened the machine and left," the guy said. Then he called me a string of expletives for asking, because he's not the keeper of the coffee machine guy.
There's a reason the sorry SOB has that office. It was supposed to be mine, but I suck up to the boss in order to keep things like that from happening to me.
[Let me note in passing that whoever decided that it is legal for the coffee people to change the machine out at 8 AM should be beaten with a sack of nickels. The coffee machine should only be out of service in the afternoon, never in the morning, and absolutely never on Monday morning.
I think it should be a crime, in fact.]
Lacking legal protection, I did what any rational person would do: I decided to wash out my cup. I like to clean it when the encrustation of filth gets so thick that it begins to cause coffee to spill out when I fill it, thus impacting how much I can drink. We weren't yet to that point, but better safe than sorry. Besides, it beats doing work.
I don't know how long it takes to load my computer, but I'm guessing it's like thirty minutes. It'd be longer, but I haven't converted to Vista yet.
I went into the bathroom and ran some water from the sink into my cup. As I stood there, the door to the toilet cubicle opened, and out came the coffee guy.
He looked like death, but not yet warmed over. He was beet-red, sweating, and he stank. I don't know if he was out tying one on all night or what, but he looked like he'd been eating off the floor of a seedy movie theater. And judging by the stink coming from our only toilet cubicle, it was just as out of service as the coffee machine now.
"Hello," he said as he breezed by me and WALKED RIGHT OUT OF THE DOOR WITHOUT WASHING HIS HANDS AT ALL!
Let me repeat that last bit if you missed it:
HE DETONATED A WWI-ERA MUSTARD GAS BOMB IN THE TOILET, PRESUMABLY BIOLOGICAL IN ORIGIN, AND THEN WALKED OUT WITHOUT WASHING HIS HANDS!!!
I exited the bathroom to see him putting his feces-covered hands all over everything, rubbing his doodie germs on filters, bean containers, and water spigots with equal abandon. It was like watching a horror movie in slow-mo.
There were now two choices available to me:
1) Not drink any coffee
2) Drink some coffee and maybe die
What could I do? I had to have coffee.
So I hatched this cunning plan: I went up and down that hallway saying "Good Morning" to people, shaking hands and brandishing my empty cup, and asking them if they wanted to grab a coffee with me.
"He just cleaned it, so the beans are extra fresh!" I insisted.
I got enough takers to go ahead of me (5) that I figure they flushed out the machine pretty effectively. Then, and only then, I trusted in the power of hot water and coffee to keep me from being in any real intestinal distress myself and had the first of my five cups.
Only I had ten, because I'm really nervous now that I've got Pharaoh's revenge again, only this time Pharaoh will be in flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention.
You end up with a page like this one on the DNC website, called "History of the Democratic National Convention." It's got some historical information, as well as a list of past convention cities. Below the list we find this footnote:
Source: CBS NewsDon't you think the Democrats really ought to just know where all the conventions have been, without having to ask CBS News?
For some reason, this just strikes me as really funny.