Monday, November 30, 2009

Tiger's Tale

Remember the Superfriends cartoons? When they weren't fighting villians, Superman, Batman, Aquaman and Wonder Woman would just kind of hang around their crime fighting headquarters, in their super hero uniforms, addressing each other by their super hero names and using their super hero poweres for mundane chores and glorified bar tricks.
Well, of course Superman would heat up a pizza for everyone by using his super heat vision! What else would he use?

I'm pretty sure that is exactly how the really, really big celebrities live their lives...

"Tiger Woods was involved in a one-car accident near his home in Windermere, Fla., early (Friday) morning, and his wife, Elin, reportedly used a golf club to smash out the back window of the SUV to free her husband."

Well, of course she used a golf club to get him out of the wreckage. What else would she use?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Let's judge books by covers!

It's officially Christmas gift shopping season and that means that many of you will be heading out to buy books for friends and loved ones. Because nothing says "I think I know you and what your interests are" like books, except maybe board games (although in the case of books, you have about a 50%-75% chance of being right, which is about 48%-73% higher than board games).It's been determined over the years that the very best way to judge a book is by the cover on that book. That's why they put so much work (photography, calligraphy, typesetteraphy) into them. Simply put, the good ones have good covers.
You can apply this to people as well. If you see a person whose facial features are arranged in a way that you find aesthetically pleasing, whose body is not misshapen, out of proportion or otherwise contorted, you may safely assume that this is a good person, because clearly they have an endorsement of the highest order (that being that God doesn't hate them).

But let's get back to books, shall we? I'm actually writing a novel myself right now. Did you know that? It's true! Seriously, I am. I started it on November 5th, as a participant in National Novel Writing Month, with high hopes of producing 50,000 words by the end of the month. Unfortunately, forces conspired to make reaching that goal impossible (led by the force that is my job at the Soul Press. "Oh, do you write for a cool, alternative entertainment magazine that covers funky music?", you ask. No, I mean quite literally a place that crushes my soul) but I'm still writing it anyway, in spite of the lack of support or interest. When it's done, the cover will feature dinosaurs pitched in battle against space robots, just so you'll know it's awesome, even though that's not what the book is about.
Let's take a look at some of the books currently on many bestsellers lists that are sure to find their way under someone's (yours?) Christmas tree this year...

Beware! For if you push the blue button, you will summon...The Lacuna! (I don't know what a Lacuna is but if I had to guess, I'd say it's probably some kind of vampire)

The financial philosophies and strategies of Rick James.

The team needs a new ballpark.

Warning: There's at least one photo of some creepy Indian guy with footlong fingernails inside!

"Hey, have you seen my copy of the album Prince released in the fall of 1992? I can't find it anywhere."

If there are as many words inside as there are on the cover, you're getting a bargain on sheer volume alone.

Duh. A shoe, obviously. But where are the laces? And where is the other one? Hmmm, mysteries to be solved within...?

Keep smiling. Everything is going to be okay.

"Hi. I'm a professional athlete. Here is my message to you. Now buy my book."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Do your thing, people.
Just do me one favor: Before you complain about what a hassle it is for you, because you're such a rock star, to have to spend time with pain-in-the-ass people who have the nerve to enjoy your company, take a second or two to consider the possibility that there are worse alternatives.
Or, you know, just shut up.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Old dog learning new tricks

I've been driving a completely paid-for car since 2006 and I frequently tell people that doing so is truly an American Dream. It's an older car that people have nicknamed "Jeeves", so in spite of the personal freedom provided by not having a car payment, there are some definite drawbacks and challenges in keeping it on the road. It's latest quirk is feeding me false info via the digital status update dashboard that was probably quite futuristic looking in 1991 but is now about as impressive as the special effects on the original Star Trek series.
For instance, the display will tell me "LOW WASHER FLUID". Okay, noted. I would take care of that some time soon. But the same day, the car seemed to be struggling to shift gears so I made a point of checking that out right away. Sure, enough the transmission fluid was low so I added some and the problem went away. So did the message about the washer fluid being low. Hmmm...
Then the other night, this happened: I got in, inserted and turned the key and got nothing. "Shit, dead battery", I thought. However, the dome light was on, as well as all the dashboard displays. I looked down at the status display and it said "CLEAN KEY, WAIT 3 MINUTES AND TRY AGAIN". What the hell is that? How does it know my key is dirty? Why does it care? How do I clean it? Why do I have to wait three minutes? And also, how did my key get dirty? Ew. I took a moist towelette from the dashboard, wiped it off, counted to 180 and sure enough, it started right up. Again, what the hell is that?!?
Obviously, these are situations that are going to occur more frequently as the car gets older. So when the government rolled out the "cash for clunkers" program a while back, I jumped all over that gravy train. Unfortunately, it didn't work out...

ME: "All right, so what, do I get a check or a money order or...?"
CAR DEALER: "Unfortunately Mr. Brooks, you don't qualify for the program."
ME: "Say what now?"
CAR DEALER: "Yeah, there's an official government index we have to go by. Based on the year and make of your car, it determines an efficiency rating. You have to have an 18 or lower to qualify."
ME: "So what did I have?"
ME: "So...I get 18/19 of the money? That's cool. I can work with that."
CAR DEALER: "No, you get nothing."
ME: "But I'm only off by one..."
CAR DEALER: "I know. I'm sorry."
ME: "Look out the window. Look at the car."
CAR DEALER: "I know. I'm sorry."
ME: "You're disqualifying me by one! A single point!"
CAR DEALER: "It's not me. It's a government program. We're required to follow the guidelines."
ME: "It's a piece of shit. You're looking at a genuine shitbox."
CAR DEALER: "I know. I'm sorry."
ME: "This is like a university disqualifying Einstein because he transposed two numbers in his return zip code on the envelope containing his application."
CAR DEALER: "Well, that would make it difficult to write him back..."
ME: "Look, he's never met me or seen my car, but that, that right there, is what the president is talking about."
CAR DEALER: "I know. I'm sorry."
ME: "Every time I start it up, Sting feels a shooting pain behind his left eyeball."
CAR DEALER: "I know. I'm sorry."
ME: "It doesn't leave tire tracks behind, it actually leaves real carbon footprints everywhere it goes."
CAR DEALER: "I know. I'm sorry."
ME: "It clunks! I'll start it up and show you. It is by definition a clunker!"
CAR DEALER: "I know. I'm sorry."

I don't doubt that he knew and that he was sorry, but at the end of the day, I did not get a nickel of that sweet government automotive cheese. So it looks like Jeeves and I are stuck with each other.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Here we go again...

(Some of you may have received this already via email. If so, please pardon the redundancy and excuse the pleonasmness)

Once again, it's time to gear up for the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life® in Temple Terrace. While I am no longer the captain for Team Daddy O-Alley Katz, they have decided to retain me as a member of their team. I am as surprised by this as you are. I had fully expected to be fired AND shunned, allowing me to devote my time during the upcoming winter and spring to such activities as lint herding, bagel racing and not asking you for money. As you have probably figured out by now, at least one of those things isn't going to happen.
So here's the pitch...
Please support my efforts to fight cancer by making a donation. I know times are tough. You don't have to tell me about that. I am writing this while "enjoying" a ramen noodle sandwich for lunch. Besides, I'm sick of the economy being the fallback excuse for everything from a crappy job market to why your sister has a mustache. There hasn't been a one-size-fits-all target for blame like this since the Bubonic Plague ("Prithy, I would love to accompany thee to market, but alas, 'tis likely to be overrun with vermin what carry the Black Death"). You know the saying 'every little bit helps'? Well, in this case it's true. A dollar or two, whatever you can spare, it all goes to fight cancer and it's deeply and sincerely appreciated. That's option A. Option B is you all give me $1,000,000. I've crunched the numbers and I believe that would come to about $730 billion (margin of error +/-: sizable), which should be MORE than enough to eradicate cancer forever. If that happens, Barack Obama will buy me a speedboat (he hasn't made that offer, but I think he'd go for it after the fact) and each of you can take turns riding in it. I don't know. Something to think about. Now please enjoy some boilerplate generated by the nice robots at the American Cancer Society and don't forget to click on one or more of the links scattered about (hint: almost all of them go to the same place). Thanks in advance and Happy Holidays!

This year, I am helping save lives from cancer by taking part in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life®, and I’m hoping you will support me. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life® is a life-changing event that gives people in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events and 18 hours in length. In addition to helping people celebrate, remember, and fight back, Relay For Life® also helps raise much-needed funds and awareness to help the American Cancer Society save lives from cancer.

Please support me in my efforts by visiting my personal web page to make a secure, tax-deductible online donation.Every donation really does make a difference. I know that times are tighter than normal for many of us, but any amount you can give truly can help save lives. Thanks to your support, the American Cancer Society can:
  • Help people stay well by helping them take steps to prevent cancer or detect it early, when it’s most treatable
  • Help people get well by being in their corner around the clock to guide them through every step of their cancer experience
  • Find cures by funding groundbreaking research that helps us understand cancer’s causes, determine how best to prevent it, and discover new ways to cure it
  • Fight back by working with lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and rally communities worldwide to join the fight

Each of us has our own reasons for caring about the fight against cancer … whatever your reasons, I hope you’ll choose to make a difference by making a donation online to support my efforts. I’m so grateful to have people like you in my life who want to see an end to cancer in our lifetime. Together we can save lives.

Thank you and I will keep you updated on my progress.To learn more about Relay For Life®, please visit

Friday, November 20, 2009


No blogging for a couple of days. I don't have anything worthwhile to share.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Most Interesting Show In The World

Last night, The 23-Year-Old and I went to Skipper's Smokehouse to see The Most Interesting Show In The World, a free show sponsored by Dos Equis beer. It was kind of an odd mix of concert, burlesque and circus sideshow, tying in with Dos Equis "The Most Interesting Man In The World" theme from their commercials

Tons of free beer, wildly diverse and bizarre entertainment and the weather was perfect at one of my favorite local venues, all for the low, low price of $0. We had a great time. It was totally a corporate PR event, with constant reminders to keep pounding that delicious free Dos Equis beer, but it was still fun and within my budget. Unfortunately, this was the next to last date on the tour so unless you're in Ft. Lauderdale tonight, you'll have to wait and see if they come to your town next year. If so, definitely check it out. Here are some pictures from last night...

The Most Interesting Man In The World, who is a take-off on all those Chuck Norris jokes that were so popular a couple of years ago, wasn't actually there but I had my picture taken with him anyway.

This is Fishbone frontman Angelo Moore, who was the host for the evening, performing with beatboxist (is that a word?) Phatima Butterscotch. I've loved Fishbone forever, so I'd have gone just to see him perform.

This is The Human Slinky. You know those creepy looking flapping, gyrating inflatable tube people that businesses put up by the side of the road for advertising? This was like one of those...only with an actual person inside.

This is Melody Sweets who performed a couple of old school burlesque strip teases. She had to feel welcome because if there's one thing Tampa is, it's stripper-friendly.

I love Skipper's but I'm not sure it was the right venue for this show, simply because the stage is not very big, as illustrated in this picture. By the time you put a band and speakers and other equipment up there, you don't have a lot of room for knife throwing exhibitions. This is comedian/juggler/knifist (is that a word?) Mark Faje who also caught a flaming bowling ball with steak knives sticking out of the holes on the side of his head with a live scorpion down his pants. Seriously.

Here's Angelo and as many of the crowd that could possibly fit on stage during the grand finale. But who is that gentleman just off center and what is he wearing...?

Oh lawd, it's The Senator, one of Tampa's most (in)famous clubgoers, decked out in his some of his trademark lingerie. Depending on who you ask, and by the people who wanted their pictures taken with him, HE might actually be Tampa's Most Interesting Man In The World.

(all photos taken by The 23-Year-Old, who took waaaay more pictures of The Senator than necessary. Hmmm...)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A short conversation between psychos

"Geez, now we have a real mess on our hands. I'm sorry, it just never even occurred to me that it was possible for that much hair to completely clog a toilet."

"Yeah, maybe if it wasn't still attached to the head..."

There really IS a first time for everything

I agree with Sarah Palin.
I am not in any way, shape or form a supporter of Palin's political agenda or her personal ideology. In fact, as a registered independent voter, if there was one single thing (there was more than one, though) that put my support solidly behind Obama, it was the McCain campaign declaring such an obviously unqualified candidate as the most suitable choice for vice presidential running mate. And since there are millions of people out there who for some God-knows-why reason still feel that she has what it takes to lead our country at some point in the future (maybe they approved of the way she "handled" the David Letterman situation and they'd like to see her go head-to-head with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a thought that keeps me up at night now, and she's not even holding office), I guess I can never sleep in on an election day for the rest of my life.

But she's right about this photo that was chosen by the editors at Newsweek for this week's cover. It's inappropriate, in that it has nothing to do with the story inside. It's from a photo shoot she did for Runner's World magazine, for crying out loud. Newsweek editor Jon Meacham defended the use of this particular photo in this official statement: "We chose the most interesting image available to us to illustrate the theme of the cover, which is what we always try to do. We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard." Is the "problem" mentioned so prominently on the cover her passion for physical fitness or the inappropriate usage of a wadded up American flag as set dressing? No, I'm pretty sure they're addressing the fact that the GOP's most prominent figure right now is basically an outlandish cartoon character, in which case they should have just used, you know, a cartoon. Instead, out of all the millions of photos that surely must have been at their disposal, they went with one that showcases Palin's sexy gams. They devote their cover to questioning the viability of a vapid media personality who's more akin to Kate Gosselin than (insert any great, or even mediocre-to-adequate, American leader's name here) and they choose to sell it with cheesecake. Oh well. At least it isn't Time magazine...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Please, please, please, let this be true!

In case my loathing for the New York Yankees wasn't enough of a clue, I'm a huge fan of underdogs. And on a global scale, who are bigger underdogs than, well, dogs, and their fellow members of the animal kingdom? Humans, the end of the line on the evolutionary scale of bullies, have been pushing animals around for centuries and it makes me sick. I'm not even going to try to act like I don't like animals more than human beings. Animals do what they do because it is their nature. They make no pretense about this and they offer no apologies. Human beings, on the other hand, lie, cheat, and cause mayhem, pain and strife for kicks.

"What I did is not such a great harm, with all these surplus women nowadays. Anyway, I had a good time." -- Rudolf Pleil

"It wasn't as dark and scary as it sounds. I had a lotta fun . . . Killing somebody's a funny experience" -- Albert De Salvo

"Gazelles are beautiful animals. However, I kill and eat them to sustain the survival of my species. What!" -- A lion

I hate bullies, so any time animals push back, I'm all for it. That's why I'm hoping this story about a mysterious giant sea creature living in a canal in Pinellas County is true.

Now, I'm not a PETA person, although I would kind of like to be. The problem is that too often the good things they do on behalf of animals are negated when they do something stupid and annoying. They'll go after the cosmetics industry for horrible experiments being conducted on animals in the name of research but then they'll turn around and hold a candlelight vigil for a slain mosquito. There should be a PETA Lite; all the ethical treatment of animals with only half the crazy.

Since there's no such organization, I just have to sit back and find amusement in things like hunting accidents, idiots in Pamplona getting trampled by bulls and giant sea monsters suddenly appearing in canals in residential neighborhoods. One of the witnesses says it could be between 15 and 20 feet long. That's big, but I'd like it to be so big that bubbles roil furiously to the surface every time it moves and its wake slams boats against their moorings. Also, a neighbor goes missing every now and then. I've begrudgingly accepted that I'm never going to look out my window and see a T-Rex grazing on my obnoxious neighbors. But this would be pretty fair consolation.

Attention minivan drivers: You've been had

What you have been calling an Astrovan:

And what NASA calls an Astrovan:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happy National Fast Food Day!

HOW TO CELEBRATE: Think of the drive-thru lane at the fast food restaurant of your choice as a parade and you're on a float. Feel free to honk and wave at spectators. Sure, go ahead and throw some beads if you want to. For all anybody knows, you're the king and/or queen of National Fast Food Day (it's a vacant title, so why not?). The parade will wind slowly around the unused picnic tables, past the dumpster and up to the speakerbox, where you will wait for it to call unto you. When it says something that sounds like "Woo zoo lie to try a exer vay yoo combo?", that is your cue to testify and proclaim your devotion to one or more of the items on the display board by intoning their name(s). Wait there in quiet reflection until the box says something that sounds like "FoFeetyFo, Poo fo wud" and then proceed. You will then be given an opportunity to make an offering (about $4.54 or so). At the end of the parade route, a sullen high school dropout dignitary will ceremoniously shove the traditional colorful paper bag full of hot, salted lard and a festive tankard of carbonated sugar water in your general direction. Accept these gifts solemnly (try not to cry), give a brief appreciation speech ("Thanks") which may or may not be acknowledged ("Mmrrfvn") and then go forth and repeat the process for every meal you eat today...which is NATIONAL FAST FOOD DAY!

PS: Please try to refrain from abusing animals in the process.

Portraits in hubris

"I can't believe my ill-considered actions have tainted the integrity of elected government officials at all levels, leaving many Americans disillusioned with the democratic process decades later."

"I can't believe my ill-considered actions gave Peyton Manning the ball on our 30 yard line with a six point lead and two minutes left in the game."

So, exactly when did spiders stop being sexy?

So you don't think everything about life was better in the past than it is right now?

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm bringing triskaidekaphobia back

Before it became synonymous with a series of increasingly too-stupid-to-be-scary slasher horror films, Friday the 13th used to be known as the day when everybody could suddenly become ultra-superstitious and assign blame for anything bad or even unusual to the dark supernatural power of the coincidence of a day of the week and date of the month occurring at the same time, thereby abandoning all reason and rational thought.
Now we just do that every day.
Let's reign it back in a little bit, shall we? You can still be freaked out by things for no reason at all, but keep it to yourself until Friday the 13th rolls around so we can keep it a special holiday, just like the Druids (or whoever came up with it) intended. For example, here are two things that give me the creeps with no good reason whatsoever. You don't have to tell me it's crazy or stupid to fear these things. I already know that. That's why I don't go around talking about them all the time.

TRAFFIC REFLECTOR BUMPS - I'm not saying there are scanners in all of these things that read the computer chips that are embedded somewhere in your vehicle's circuitry and that they gather and store data about your travel tendencies...just in some of them. Many of them. Enough of them. Ever wonder why some roads have them and some don't? Yeah me too/neither. Anybody remember ever seeing the guys from the road commission putting them in place, or did they just kind of show up one morning without anybody really noticing them? Yeah, that's what I thought.

PEPSICO PRODUCTS - Everybody knows that Pepsico owns the Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut food franchises. That's why those restaurants serve beverages that come from the Pepsi family of soft drinks. Now, do you remember the Joker's plan from the first Batman movie (the one with Micheal Keaton and Jack Nicholson)? It had to do with poisoning people with cosmetic products that were harmless by themselves but became toxic when used with each other. With that in mind, what's my guarantee that they don't put some kind of chemical agent in their food that reacts negatively with non-Pepsi brand soft drinks? There are no guarantees that washing down Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut food with a Coke instead of a Pepsi could cause extreme gastrointestinal discomfort, which would result in training me to only order Pepsi products from that point on. Think about it; you're on your way to suffering at least mild symptoms of that kind of distress just from eating the food by itself. There's no point in taking any chances.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Everybody's doin' it!

Everywhere you go, everywhere you look people are getting shot. Tattoos? Yawn. Piercings? Very 2002. Cosmetic amputation? Nobody's doing that yet (as far as I know), but it's still not cool.
Nope, bullet wounds, bitches. Bullet wounds are where it's at! Check it out, poseurs:

And all that's just from yesterday! Woot!

Sounds cool, Clark!
It is! It's the coolest!
I want in on this!
I know you do! Getting shot is radical awesome!!
But how? I don't live near area. I thought I had to go to, I didn't want to say it but a "black" neighborhood.
That's politically and factually incorrect! You see, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution grants American citizens the right to keep and bear arms. In 1791, when the Second Amendment, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights was adopted, the United States military structure was still being established and militias comprised of average citizens were called on to defend people and property. This, along with needing to fight off thought-to-be hostile native inhabitants and mountain lions, as well as keep slaves in line, was an important issue in 1791 but completely irrelevant in 2009. But guess what? It's in there so everybody gets to have a gun if they want one! Weeee! This means you can be literally anywhere and there's a decent chance that somebody is packin' heat. And if somebody owns a gun, you have to believe they've at least considered the possibility of shooting somebody for one or more reasons, valid or otherwise, decided they're okay with it and strapped one on. The beautiful part is that none of them need to be reasonable people whose line of work requires them to be armed and have taken one or more safety instruction courses and who may or may not have recently lost their jobs, homes, marriages or be under any other kind of undue stress. Nope! They just had to be born here and fill out some paperwork. Kinda like having kids. Interesting that there are virtually no restrictions or qualifications to bring peoople into the world or take them out of it. Yee ha!
Wow! That makes me wonder: How is it even possible that I haven't gotten shot yet?
Maybe you're just a loser. Or you stayed indoors yesterday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A short conversation about Veterans Day

"What are you doing?"

"I'm sending out 'thank you's to all the military veterans I know in honor of Veteran's Day."

"Oh. You're welcome."

"Ha ha! Okay."

"I'm being serious."


"Yeah. U.S. Army. Four years. You're welcome."

"I know, but, well, it's not like you actually fought in a war or anything."

"So? I could have! I went through all the training. I took an oath to defend the country. It's not my fault there wasn't a war on. I'm so sorry I didn't go to a foreign land and get shot at for you."

"Look, I'm sorry...I just don't think of you as a veteran, that's all. I guess maybe that's my mistake and I apologize."

"Oh yeah? What do you think of me as? Just some kind of one-dimensional clown or pet monkey whose only value as a human being is being a source of cheap entertainment for you?"

"Well, not right now, no."

Imagine what the OLD place must have looked like..

The reason a lot of companies went bust, even before the economy staggered around drunkenly and then fell down in front of an oncoming subway train, is that a little taste of success made them too ambitious to expand and they couldn't manage their own growth. Too much, too soon and they simply became too big to not fail. However, a few companies have been able to resist that urge, take a more conservative approach to expansion and as a result, appear to be in good position to weather the current economic shitnami. Perhaps no company anywhere in America adheres to and exemplifies this philosophy of slow-and-steady growth more strenuously than Tampa's own Matassini Seafood:
That's right. Next year, Matassini Seafood will be celebrating a full century in business and this is their home office & #1 (and only) store:
Wow! What do you suppose we have to look forward to in the next 100 years? A new screen door? A fourth chair? A second letter R for the marquee?
Only time will tell.
(Because my camera is on the fritz, and not likely to recover, all photos here were taken by The 23-Year-Old, a big chicken who has no clue what a real ghetto is...)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I hear the train a-comin'...

The video below of a woman falling in front of an oncoming subway train in Boston the other day is getting a lot of attention lately because, well, it's a video of a woman falling in front of an oncoming subway train. It's :57 long which in this day and age is more than enough time to pass judgement on the character of everyone involved and make snarky comments about them and their actions, so let's do so, shall we?

  • :01 - 03 Woop, woop, woop, woop, woop, woop, woop! Our protagonist, obviously wasted, puts the "Agg" in stagger before executing a header onto the tracks.
  • :04 - :08 Old Dude #1 sees what's about to go horribly wrong but is just a couple of steps too slow to stop her.
  • :09 - :13 Our protagonist, possibly injured (from the fall) and definitely disoriented (from whatever she was on before the fall) rolls around on the tracks before...
  • :14 ...planting a side kick on what I believe is the third rail, which provides power to the train to the tune of about 1200 volts of direct current. How she's not dead at this point, I'm not sure. Maybe somebody who knows how this stuff works can share? It does look like it renders her nuller and voider as she doesn't move again until :32
  • :15 - :29 Here you see everybody on the platform losing their shit. Either they didn't all realize what was happening prior to now or they thought she had a shot at getting up and out of there on her own somehow. But now they know the only chance she has is if the train stops short. Old Dude #2 enters the picture, recognizing the situation is so dire that he has no choice but to remove his baseball cap and wave it at :21. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
  • :29 Old Dude #1 takes a shot to the melon from the train as it comes to a halt. It's a good thing for him that the conductor did hit the brakes or he would not have been in much better shape than the lady below. You can see Old Dude #2 stepping backwards at :27 because he either didn't want to see the lady get smooshed or to get out of the way of Old Dude #1's head flying at him like a screaming line drive.
  • :30 The train stops and much like being kissed by Prince Charming, finding herself half underneath a train, yet still in one piece has an amazing, rejuvenating effect on our princess and she scrambles to her feet and is pulled to safety by the gathered crowd.
  • :53 The train conductor (engineer? driver? whatever) emerges, visibly relieved over not having to fill out reams of incident paperwork and also not killing anybody.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Today's quiz: Who's this gentleman?

A) Eddie Munster at his senior prom
B) Top salesman for the 3rd quarter being honored at the annual New And Improved Joker Products, Inc. employee banquet
C) A costumed fan in line to see "This Is It"
D) Former major league baseball player Sammy Sosa

The correct answer

Friday, November 06, 2009


Imagine your favorite team making it to the Super Bowl. Imagine if everybody around you was as excited as you were about it. Imagine if everywhere you went, everything you did, that's all anyone talked about. That's what the holidays are like for most people. It can become overwhelming but ultimately it's an enjoyable, memorable experience shared with loved ones or at least like-minded others.
Now imagine all of the above...except it's not your team that's in the Super Bowl. That's what my holidays are like.
Last year, almost to the day, I made a sincere, concerted effort to really get into the spirit of things, power of positive thinking and all that bullshit, but when the rubber meets the road, that's just like feeding false data into a computer. I can input 1 + 1 all day long but the answer is never going to come up 3. This year, I'm making a sincere, concerted effort to not bother with it.
So I'm only mentioning this just this one time, while it's still early, just to get it out there and then I'm dropping it. It's not about "bah, humbug" or being anti-anything. I'm not going to ruin anybody else's fun by criticizing the holidays or those who enjoy them. Quite the contrary. Anybody who can enjoy the season, by all means, should. It's just not for me, okay?
We now return you to your regular programming. It's just that everything isn't meant for everybody and this is just one of those things that isn't meant for me, that's all.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Laundry math

The machines in the laundry room at my apartment complex don't take cash or coins. What you do is pay money ($5 and $10 increments only; no singles) into a machine in the office that adds credits to a swipe card that you use on the laundry machines. I thought it was a smart way to cut down on the possibility of theft and damage since it eliminates cash from the laundry room. Then they jacked up the price from a dollar a load to $1.05 a load (just to clarify things, a load = 1 use of either a washer or a dryer; to wash and dry the same clothes requires two loads, or $2.10)and created a ratio imbalance that would have made the evil hot dog and bun barons of days gone by absolutely green with envy. Check this out:
  • Week 1: $5 gets you four loads and leaves you with a balance of .80
  • Week 2: $5 gives you $5.80 which gets you five loads and leaves you with a balance of .55
  • Week 3: $5 gives you $5.55 which again gets you five loads and leaves you with a balance of .30
  • Week 4: $5 gives you $5.30 which once again gets you five loads (can we talk about how unlikely it is to have an uneven number of loads of laundry every week?) and leaves you with a balance of a nickel.
  • Week 5: $5 gives you $5.05 which only gets you four loads and leaves you with a balance of .85
  • Week 6: $5 gives you $5.85 which is five loads and leaves you with a balance of .60

Anyway, this goes on and on and on, and it takes a total of 21 weeks to get your card down to a zero balance so you can either do your laundry elsewhere or start the whole thing over again. This ensures they keep you on the hook to use their laundry room and card service for an extended period of time or they get to pocket some extra money from you. Granted, it might be as little as a nickel, but still. Sometimes it amazes me what the Bastards (Bastards = Some people who control shit) will do to get over on you.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Don't go there...because you can't

Much like Brigadoon, the mysterious Scottish village that appears for one day every one hundred years, now we have the mysterious English village of Argleton that appears only on Google maps.
Of course, Argleton is not the only phantom town in the world. Maine is the home of non-existent Suckerville, where I'm guessing real estate sales are always booming. And right in between Tampa and St. Petersburg in Pinellas County is an area that's known as Toytown, which consists of neither toys nor a town, but just an old abandoned landfill. That's just fantastic, isn't it? If you ever want to teach children what real disappointment feels like, I can think of no better way than to load them up in a bus, tell them you're going to Toytown and then pull into an abandoned landfill and exclaim "Here we are, kids!".
Oh well. We'll always have Funkytown.