Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

More Shocks!

I STILL HAVE FAMILY IN TOWN FOR THE HOLIDAYS. So instead of some elaborate post, I'll just give you another weird picture of someone getting shocked.

Merry Xmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Why Derf Is Awesome

FIRST OF ALL, HIS NAME IS DERF. As if that's not enough to recommend him, might I offer up the following comic? I might? Great! Here it is!

Also, he's a good guy and he lives in Cleveland. Check his site out. Buy his books.

Okay, then.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mark Your Calendars!

BETTER STOP SHAVING NOW! Just to make sure you're ready.

This guy will greet you:

And this guy will give you a French kiss:

You don't want to know what this guy will do:

I'm just giving you a warning.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shocking Baby

SURE, I GET IT. This baby is being shocked.

And this is obviously meant as an illustration warning parents (at least those in 1930s Germany) of a danger to their little babies. But I have a question:

What the hell does the baby have in its mouth and hand? Maybe the parents shouldn't have plugged their jumper cables into the outlet next to the baby? That would have been a good start, I think.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Having Your Hitler Cake...And Eating It Too

SOMETIMES I’M NOT SURE WHY CELEBRITIES get such a bad rap, especially for the stupid names they choose for their kids. Apple Martin, Dweezil Zappa, Kal-El Coppola Cage, Pilot Inspektor Lee, Moxie Crime Fighter Gillette and Jermajesty Jackson are all ridiculous in their own ways. But why pick on them so much when there’s the Campbell family from Easton, Pennsylvania? The Campbells made the news recently because their local grocery store, the Greenwich ShopRite, refused to put their 3-year-old son’s name on a birthday cake.

"We reserve the right not to print anything on the cake that we deem to be inappropriate," ShopRite spokeswoman Karen Meleta said. "We considered this inappropriate."

The kid’s name? Adolf Hitler Campbell.

Seriously. Not just Adolf Campbell. And not just Hitler Campbell. But Adolf Hitler Campbell.

All right. And celebrities are the fucked up ones for naming kids Kal-El, Pilot, Moxie or Jermajesty? Really? Celebs are the fucked up ones? Not these “salt of the earth” Pennsylvanians? These "real Americans"? Right.

Hey, guess what? Meleta also said she had denied similar requests from the Campbells the last two years, including a request for a swastika. Those were denied as well. But don’t feel sorry for the kid or his parents, the family ultimately got the Wal-Mart to decorate the cake just like they like it. Thank goodness for that.

All right, I have a few things to say about this story, and I’m NOT even going to focus on the parents who said they named their son after Adolf Hitler because the father liked the name and because "no one else in the world would have that name." (No one but Adolf Hitler, of course.) These are the same parents who named their 2-year-old JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell. That’s not what I really want to talk about. Sure, I could focus on the fact that the parents try to brush this whole thing off as discrimination against them, because they’re not racist or supremacist at all. Who could even think that about the parents of Adolf Hitler and Aryan Nation Campbell? That’s like racial profiling or something, right?

Here’s the part that bugs me: Meleta also said she had denied similar requests from the Campbells the last two years. Never mind the part in the news story that said the Campbells had also requested a swastika. Never mind that bonkers shit. Let’s focus on the fact that it took the Campbells three years to finally get what they wanted: a news story about them and their fucked up names for their kids.

Look, they just liked the names, okay? And they, like any parents, wanted their entire kid’s name on the birthday cake. Even for the kid’s first birthday, they wanted little Adolf’s full name on the cake. Because kids remember that shit. If you skimp on that first cake, the kid will hate you for it forever. Obviously “Happy Birthday Adolf!” would seem insufficient. So why not have them put “Happy Anniversary of the Day of Your Birth, Little Adolf Hitler (Not the Dictator…It’s Just a Coincidence) Campbell” on the cake? Is that so hard for you, Greenwich ShopRite?

I mean, how fucking big was this cake? It’s hard enough to write “happy birthday” in cursive in icing on an ordinary cake of standard size. I can’t even imagine trying to write that whole mother effing name on anything smaller than, let’s say, a six-foot by four-foot sheet cake.

You know what? Fuck the Campbells. Fuck them for naming their kid after Hitler. And fuck them for trying to pretend like that’s okay. And while we’re at it, fuck the AP for just reporting this story like, “Isn’t this a crazy human interest story?” No, it isn’t. It’s the story of a douchebag couple that tried for three years to get attention (going back to the same grocery store over and over again) by naming their kid after Hitler. Until finally some other douche on the city desk at the local paper sat up and noticed and thought, “That’s interesting.” But it's not interesting. It's a little gross really.

So fuck the Campbells, fuck the AP and fuck the local Pennsylvania reporter who first wrote about this in the Easton Honest Shopper-Intelligencer, or whatever the local free paper is called.

I feel like we all owe Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson an apology for making such a fuss over Bronx Mowgli Wentz. In light of these recent developments, I have to say, that's a pretty okay name.

The White House Christmas Video

HARD TO BELIEVE, BUT THEY MADE THIS IN 2008. Drop some acid first, and then enjoy the weird, weird ride.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Indy Diary

TO GIVE ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF MY ACUTE MENTAL POWERS, before the latest Indiana Jones movie came out, about three weeks prior, I told the wife, "I bet it's going to be really good." She, of course, laughed, given my track record. By the time the movie hit the theaters, my enthusiasm had waned, and I never mustered up the energy to go see it. A few weeks ago, it showed up on pay per view, and by this time, I had more than heard the negative reviews. But there were also so many positive reviews. So many "it's not great but it's still worth the money" reviews, that I became convinced it was, at worst, mediocre.

Oh, if only that were true.

This installment is so bad, I'm shocked any reviewers gave it a thumbs up. It's so bad, it made me nostalgic about the first sequel. It's so bad, I kept a diary of my thoughts, a list really, while I watched the film. I called it:


1. Oh dear, the credits are still rolling and already I'm concerned. Why are the opening two minutes about some kids from the ‘50s trying to race an Army convoy? Unless there's going to be a twist. Is there going to be a twist? There isn't? The kids just drive on while the convoy turns down a dusty road? Those kids from the ‘50s don’t really have anything to do with anything? Well, that doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.
2. The Russians are the bad guys? Really?
3. Are you kidding me? Are we really in Area 51? Seriously?
4. Indy was kidnapped in Mexico and brought here? Why didn't we start in Mexico? With Indy searching for relics and being kidnapped by the Russians? Just a thought.
5. Who’s this British guy Indy’s palling around with? I’ll just bet he doesn’t live another five minutes of screen time.
6. So this box is so magnetic that it will draw gunpowder from a hundred yards away?
7. Uh-oh, the British guy’s a Benedict Arnold. Now he’s working for Cate Blanchett, who’s psychic or something?
8. Oh wait, the box isn’t magnetic anymore for some reason! Suddenly, it’s not drawn to all the metal in the Jeep. That makes sense, I guess, Jeeps aren’t really made from much metal.
9. Indy’s trapped in the atomic blast zone moments before the A-bomb is detonated, really?
10. They really had the TV on in the fake town in the blast zone? Are you, the filmmakers, sure that’s historically accurate?
11. So Howdy Doody is on the TV? Is Spielberg worried that I’ve forgotten this movie is set in the ‘50s? We are just like 15 minutes into the movie.
12. He’s not going to climb inside a refrigerator for safety, is he? To save himself from an atomic blast? He's not going to really do that, right?
13. He is? Oh boy.
14. Fridges used to be “lined with lead for better insulation”, like this one conveniently says inside the door? Why don’t I believe that?
15. So, the fake town is destroyed, and the Russians’ car is blown to bits, but the fridge is just flung free of the blast site, left a little blackened, but Indy is okay inside? Are you sure about that? You sure you don’t want to rewrite that?
16. Look out! The FBI are after Indy now. This will probably cause a lot of complications.
17. Wait. Indy was a government agent in between the original movies and this one? Wha?
18. More than that, he’s a decorated hero? Hmmmm, this seems like a weird choice.
19. Now Indy’s back teaching his college course? I feel like the movie started over!
20. Nope. He’s not teaching anymore. The FBI searched his office, or so we’re told, so he got fired from his job at the university. Makes perfect sense.
21. Why is The Shy Beef (my wife's nickname for Shia LaBeouf) dressed like Marlon Brando in The Wild One? I mean, like exactly like him. So, that’s a joke, I guess? Oy.
22. So, one minute Indy’s on a train that’s leaving the station, is in fact almost out of the station, and now, because The Shy Beef shouted at him, he’s magically off the train? What about his luggage?
23. Okay, now we’re talking about the Crystal Skull? Now? Thirty-five minutes into the movie? I feel like the movie started over again. Again!
24. Wow. Now the KGB is after him too? Things are sure getting complicated for Indy.
25. Did Indy really just say “You brought a knife to a gun fight”?
26. Are they really having an all-out brawl between college kids and “greasers” set to a raucous version of “Shake Rattle n’ Roll”? Oh brother.
27. There’s an anti-commie rally happening on campus? Complete with a “Better Dead Than Red” banner? Spielberg must really think I’ve forgotten this is set in the ‘50s and the Russians are the bad guys. In fact, he must think I'm retarded.
28. So, the kid in the library is unfazed by The Shy Beef, Indy and a motorcycle sliding under his table? He just shrugs it off and asks Professor Jones a question about the assignment? Is that supposed to be funny too? Nah, couldn't be.
29. So The Shy Beef is going to fly all the way to Peru with his motorcycle? Sure, that makes a lot of sense.
30. Wow, this sound stage sure looks sorta like a Peruvian grave site. At least, like a grave site built on a sound stage.
31. Um, this movie looks really cheap. Did they not have money to make this film? I'm fairly certain they had more than a million dollars to spend on this movie.
32. I wonder if there’s going to be some new twist on the ol’ “snakes, why did it have to be snakes” bit?
33. I guess there doesn’t need to be an explanation why these weird guys are attacking Indy and The Shy Beef at the grave site?
34. Nope, an explanation is unnecessary. Especially now that the weird guys have left as suddenly and as inexplicably as they arrived.
35. How come Indy forgot The Shy Beef had a knife? Everyone else in the theater remembers, since we watched him do knife tricks in close up for about a minute of screen time earlier, not to mention the “knife/gun fight” line.
36. So, Indy’s looking for alien relics now? Aliens? In an Indiana Jones movie? That can’t be right, can it?
37. Ooooh! The Crystal Skull is super magnetic! So magnetic it even attracts gold? Huh?
Uh-oh, the British guy is back with the Russians. Maybe now the movie’s on track to making more sense? How come I have no confidence in that?
39. Ah, the British guy isn’t in this for the politics of it, he’s just in it for the gold. Gosh, I wonder if the his greed is going to come back to bite him in the ass?
40. The Crystal Skull is the key to Russian “Psychic warfare?” Whaaaaa?
41. The Crystal Skull is a relic from “Saucermen from Mars?” Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?
42. According to Cate Blanchett, “The skull does not speak to everyone, it seems.” Yeah. No shit.
43. Don’t worry everybody, the Skull’s not magnetic right now.
44. It’s confusing to everyone in the movie that John Hurt is making a writing gesture with his hand. Because who can figure that out? Other than anyone over the age of three. But the Russians don’t get it until Indy says, “Get me a piece of paper and a pencil!” Then, duh, it’s so obvious! Of course! Or as Cate Blanchett says, “Auto-writing, I should have seen this.” Yes, you should have.
45. It’s helpful that Cate Blanchett has a hammer & sickle and CCCP on the back of her jumpsuit (like a team uniform), otherwise I might have forgotten that she’s a bad guy.
46. The Shy Beef is Indy and Marion’s son??? Wow, that was totally un-shocking!
47. There it is. The snake joke. Indy has to grab a snake to save himself from quicksand. Hilarious!
48. Ohhhhhhhhhhh! The British guy is a double-agent. So he’s actually on Indy’s side. That’s really zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Also, whaaa?
49. Don’t worry everybody, it turns out neither the FBI nor the KGB really have anything at all to do with this movie. We're past the halfway point and they have yet to return to the narrative.
50. In case you were curious, the Crystal Skull is still not really magnetic at all. That magnetic power that could draw a bunch of buckshot from 50 yards away doesn’t have any effect on metal swords or metal cars.
51. I guess vines in the Amazon automatically carry you upwards if you hang on to them?
52. Another important lesson learned: Monkeys are your friend…provided you are The Shy Beef.
53. So you can catch up to speeding automobiles by swinging through the jungle on vines now?
54. Hey! Monkeys hate Communists!
55. Yes. It is true. Vines in the Amazon automatically carry you upwards if you grab them. That seems to make perfect sense
56. Deadly CGI ants hate Communists too!
57. But they fear the Crystal Skull! Because of the Crystal Skull’s captivating power to look like it was made from plastic for a movie with a $2000 budget.
58. It is good to know that five out of five people can survive falling over a three-hundred foot waterfall. Not just once, but three times in a row.
59. After all of the hype about reuniting Indy with Marion (Karen Allen), it’s refreshing to see that after all of these years, they two actors actually have no chemistry whatsoever.
60. Hmmm, somebody is dropping little red flashing markers the size of nine-volt batteries. I wonder if it could be the British guy, who probably isn’t a double-agent, but a double-double agent. Wow! What a cool twist! Except that it doesn’t make any sense.
61. Oh no! They dropped the Skull in the water and can’t find it. Maybe now someone will remember its magnetic properties and that will help them find it?
62. Nope. It still doesn’t appear to be magnetic. The Shy Beef found it with little fanfare. Thanks, filmmakers, for losing the Skull for a few seconds and then finding it again. That really added to the film.
63. Sure, you would never notice these flashing red markers if someone in your party was dropping them. Why, they’re hardly noticeable! Except that they are noticeable, that’s why the Commies have no trouble finding them!
64. The prop department has conveniently left torches around the ruins for Indy to find. That was nice of them. They’re waiting for him, like umbrellas in an umbrella stand.
65. Whoops! Guess what, everybody! Yep, the Skull’s magnetic again! Magnetic even to gold. But only for a hot second.
66. Hmm, the British guy is getting greedy now that they’ve found a lot of gold. I’m sure that will end well.
67. Surprise! The British guy is turning on Indy! Jeez, is that guy ever capricious with his moods! It's a good thing his character is absolutely essential to this film, otherwise these mood swings might be more annoying.
68. Uh-oh, the Crystal Skull’s not magnetic anymore.
69. Whoops! John Hurt’s not crazy anymore! And for no good reason! Thank goodness he was a raving lunatic for over an hour of screen time.
70. Don’t worry, the Crystal Skull guys are not spacemen, they’re “inter-dimensional beings.” Whatever the fuck that is.
71. Why is Indy trying to save the British guy? He just pulled a gun on him. This doesn’t make any sense.
72. Whoops! Cate Blanchett’s eyes caught on fire because of too much knowledge! Let that be a lesson to you kids: Don’t learn too much!
73. Wow, that special effect shot of the buried spaceship taking off must have cost a fortune. I only wish that I thought it was a great idea to find out that Chariots of the Gods was right, instead of thinking that’s a terrible ending to an already terrible film.
74. Wait! Buried spaceship? Like in Spielberg’s version of War of the Worlds? Which was also written by the same screenwriter, David Koepp? Now you guys are really getting lazy. And I guess you think if a terrible idea doesn’t work once, it will probably work better a second time.
75. Ah, the spacemen (who aren’t spacemen) just flew off, “Not into space. Into the space between spaces,” as a now clearly sane John Hurt tells us. Wow. Deep. Or boring. You decide!
76. I don’t understand. It seemed very important for The Shy Beef to fly his motorcycle to Peru, but then he never used it. In fact, we never really saw it again. Um….what?
77. Yay! It’s ending with a wedding ceremony! Just like a terrible romantic comedy.
78. Guess it turns out that the FBI and KGB really didn’t have anything at all to do with the movie after all. Thank goodness we spent so much time on them early on.
79. Uh-oh, Spielberg is hinting that The Shy Beef will be following in Indy's footsteps. That's a terribly sad thought.
80. So let me get this straight, by the end of the movie, I’ve seen two iconic shots of Indy that had I read a description of them, I would have thought, “That seems incongruous and ill-advised.” Those being, Indy silhouetted in front of an atomic blast and Indy silhouetted in front of a spaceship taking off. Nice work out-horribling the second Indiana Jones movie everyone. Good job.
81. When it’s all said and done, I only want to kill myself a little bit.

Friday, December 12, 2008

In Other Baby News

NOW THAT YOU KNOW how to tell the difference between your baby and a burrito, I have one other tiny bit of advice to pass on.

You're welcome.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Burrito Baby!


I have seven questions about this story.
QUESTION #1: If you had a burrito the size of a newborn, why would you throw it away? Wouldn’t you’d throw a burrito party and invite your closest friends to help you eat it? Or better yet, wouldn’t you just eat all of it and then spend the rest of the day in a shame spiral?
QUESTION #2: I am not a father, so I do not know for sure: Are newborns normally wrapped in paper and foil?
QUESTION #3: Or was this particular burrito served in a diaper?
QUESTION #4: Wait. Was the burrito served in an adorable onesie? If so, I think this is a dangerous practice. Even if the burrito place is called Burrito Baby. And even if the burritos are really, really delicious.
QUESTION #5: So, let me get this straight. Enough people at the Wal-Mart agreed that “Yep, that’s a baby in the trash can. It’s definitely not a burrito. I’m 100% certain it’s a baby.” So they called the cops?
QUESTION #6: Or was it a snap decision? Like, “Oh shit! That’s a baby in the trash can! Call the cops right now!” Then before the cops got there, when they realized it was just a big fucking burrito, not a baby at all, they decided, as a group, by taking a blood oath, that they would all just act surprised when the cops discovered it was a burrito and not a baby. They probably even practiced their surprised faces. Because they were embarrassed they didn’t think it through better, that they acted so hastily.
QUESTION #7: I think the person who called this in to the cops has a problem with food and/or might be a cannibal. I realize this isn’t technically a question. But I think the cops should question this person more. And the co-workers at the Wal-Mart should be careful. He/she obviously views food as people and people as food. Shit like that just doesn’t end up well. Is starts with a little nibble, and the next thing you know, you’re putting a baby in a tortilla with some beans and cheese and lettuce and salsa.

Confusing babies with burritos is not as unusual as it sounds. Turns out there are nine ways in which newborn babies are ALMOST EXACTLY like burritos.
• They both are warm.
• They both are cuddly.
• They both smell nice.
• They both make you feel good.
• They both come in a variety of sizes.
• They both make you think to yourself “I can’t believe I made this!”
• They both can be bought from street vendors in major cities.
• They both are better when covered with cheese & sauce.
• They both make you think “I could never finish eating this” but then you do it anyway because they’re so delicious.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

For Me to Poop On!


Yes, that's a ceramic figurine of president-elect Barack Obama squatting down for a poop. It's currently available in Barcelona, where, according to Yahoo, "statuettes of well-known people defecating are a strong Christmas tradition", at least in the Catalan culture.

The origins of the tradition, which has been going on since the 17th century, are somewhat cloudy, but the Caganer has been a regular fixture in the nativity scene -- yes, the nativity scene -- where he normally looks like this surprised little guy.

And kids try to find him hidden somewhere in the crèche. Whee! What fun! Look at that adorable little "pooper" (which is what caganer means in Catalan). His expression is the universal look of, "Whoops! You caught me pooping too close to the Christ Child!" I think that much is perfectly clear.

This is not a new thing. Archaeologists found an ancient "pooper" from the 17th century that depicted, "a holy Iberian warrior defecating on his falcata," which I'm sure is less painful than it sounds. And since the 1940s, celebrities, athletes, historical figures, politicians and Spanish royalty have been re-imagined as caganers. Thus, the Yes We Can pooper.

But it's not like the caganer is the only defecating character in the Catalan Christmas tradition. Oh no...not by a long shot.

Let me introduce you to the "poop log." I am NOT making this up!

Apparently, there's a Christmas tradition built around the Tió de Nadal (roughly "Christmas Log"). For the explanation, let me turn the mic over to Wikipedia,
Beginning with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), one gives the tió a little bit to "eat" every night and usually covers him with a little blanket so that he will not be cold at night.

On Christmas day or, depending on the particular household, on Christmas Eve, one puts the tió partly into the fireplace and orders it to "poop". To make him "poop", one beats him with sticks, while singing various songs of Tió de Nadal.

The tió does not drop larger objects, as those are brought by the Three Wise Men [duh!]. It does leave candies, nuts and dried figs. When nothing is left to "poop", it drops a salt herring, a head of garlic, an onion or "urinates". What comes out of the tió is a communal rather than individual gift, shared by everyone present.

"Hey, kids! Who wants some candies, nuts or dried figs the log just pooped out? Make sure to share! It's Christmas! Now, let's sing the poop song!"

If you don't poop well, I'll hit you with a stick! Poop log!
Log of Christmas, don't poop herrings, which are much too salty!

I wish I could lay claim to those lyrics, but they are traditional.

Leave it to the Catalan people to fill Christmas with so much poop talk. After all, their folklore is filled with it. There is a popular Catalan phrase, said before eating:

menja bé, caga fort i no tinguis por a la mort!

It translates to: Eat well, poop strong, and don't be afraid of death!

Truly words to live by.

Hopefully, for the holidays, I'll have my brown "PoopStrong" wristbands available through this site! Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Me & My Sinuses Get Along Great!

THIRTEEN THINGS I Would Rather Have Endured Than the Illness I Had This Last Week.

1. A lingering open-mouthed kiss from Rip Torn after he smoked a pack of Camel unfilters with a whiskey & coffee chaser
2. A weekend-long Full House marathon
3. Watching a naked Donald Trump admire himself in a triple-mirror for the better part of an hour
4. Having a mouth full of hot sand
5. Going back to college for an 18-credit semester of all 8 a.m. classes
6. Being punched in the face by a professional football player
7. Watching someone else read the entire Sunday New York Times
8. Eating an entire cardboard box
9. Talking about my feelings with my father
10. A Phish concert with special guests Rusted Root and Blues Traveler
11. Wearing a wet alpaca sweater in Phoenix in June
12. Stuffing 200 cotton balls into my sinus cavity
13. A full-body waxing administered by angry exes

Friday, December 5, 2008

Memories of The Juice

I POSTED THESE HERE BEFORE, but with today's sentencing of O.J. Simpson, I felt a little pang of nostalgia to the good ol' days when O.J. was simply known as the guy who got away with killing his wife and her boyfriend, and before he became known as the guy who masterminded an armed assault to get back some football paraphernalia in Vegas. 

Oh, those were simpler times. Times during which I was working on a daytime talk show and me and the three other writers on the show (including the wife) came up with the following O.J.-related gems, which the fine people at McSweeney's decided to publish.

Those days are gone now, as The Juice is facing somewhere between 8 and 33 years, depending upon which reputable newspaper you believe, for kidnapping and armed robbery. Oh, innocent (or at least acquitted) times, where have you gone?

Please enjoy.