I wouldn't eat at that McDonalds

Seen on a McDonald’s sign during a recent night’s drive:
**Monopolsy is back.**
I’m worried that with the rise in drug-resistant bacteria, it’s only a matter of time before Monopolsy breaks out everywhere.


Raw Babelized

Take the first stanza to my poem “[Raw][raw],” and put it into [Altavista’s Bablefish][babel] translation service, translate it to a foreign language and back to English again, and the results are pure beatnik heaven. Continuing to send that translation back and forth until it stabilizes is referred to as *Babelizing*. Confused? Check out these examples.
First, the stanza as originally written by me:
>Slipshod and raw
>pink faces in the early light


Bumper Angels

Bob Cesca, on the [Huffington Post] [1], asks why more traffic accidents don’t happen. The obvious answer: [Bumper angels] [2].
[2]: “Including my favorite Bush malapropism.”


Enough comedy… jokes!

It’s been quiet on my blog for a while, so I’ll fill in some space with my favorite jokes, and you can decide whether or not I am worth reading again in the future, or, if you know me personally, whether or not you actually want to speak to me again.

I like jokes that set the listener up for something and then fail to deliver. My favorite:

What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?
A stick.

How easy is that? It’s not necessarily laugh out-loud funny, but I like the set up and ease of delivery. In the same vein:

Why don’t cannibals eat clowns?
They taste funny.

And a light-bulb joke I learned from Cheers:

How many Surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?

Oh, so dry. They’re all fine examples of the ironic, post-modern wit that I find myself drawn to. I understand if they’re not your cup of tea.

Don’t get me wrong. With the exception of not finding flatulence jokes funny, I find humor in most dumb comedies. Whenever I see Will Ferrell, I begin to snicker. His very presence is enough to get me to start laughing. I laugh at pratfalls and broad humor, but twists and failed expectations are bits that I relish. I may not laugh out loud at them, but I feel satisfied being in on the joke. Of course, I think, a stick! They taste funny! Fish! It all makes sense in a devious way, but we were set up for something different.

Which leads me to my all time favorite joke, the White Elephant. There are a lot of variations to this one, but this is how I first heard it (from my father, no less). By the way, before you read, there are no white elephants in this particular version, but it is still a White Elephant joke:

A son graduates from high school as a Valedictorian of his class. His father is extremely proud of him, and offers to get him a graduation gift that he’ll never forget.

The father says, “Son, you were Valedictorian, you were top in track, and you’ve earned a four-year scholarship to Yale. I am so proud. What can I get you for your graduation? A car? Top of the line computer system? What? Anything you want.”

The son considers this for a bit, and says, “Dad. Thank you. What I really want is a truck full of ping pong balls.”

“What?” the father asks.

“Yeah, Dad. You said anything. And what I want is a truck full of ping pong balls.”

The father doesn’t know what to make of this, but a promise is a promise, so he gets his son a truck full of ping pong balls. Four years later, the son is graduating Magna cum Laude at Yale and has signed up for Harvard Medical School. Again, his father couldn’t be more proud, and tells his son, “Son, I want to get you anything you want. New car. Down payment on a new house. A boat. Anything. What do you want?”

“Well, Dad. I’ve been thinking about this, and I want a truck full of ping pong balls.”

“Again?” his father screams. “What do you…? Okay. Okay. I said anything you want, and you want a truck full of ping pong balls again. Why mess with success?” So the father gets him another truck full of ping pong balls.

The son does his internship at a very prestigious hospital and opens his new practice. He serves his patience with care and quality. He becomes an asset to his neighborhood and is written about in the local paper. His father beams with pride whenever he talks about his hard-working, compassionate son. Again, the father offers to buy his son anything he wants, this time for his thirtieth birthday. When his son asks him once again to buy him a truck full of ping pong balls, the father sighs, but makes no complaints.

One day, the father and son are out walking around his son’s quiet suburban neighborhood when they hear the screech of a car braking right behind them. In a split second, the out-of-control car hops the curb and hits the son, hurtling him thirty feet in the air. The father, unscratched, rushes to his son’s side, and can tell he is very injured. The son is bleeding from his mouth and is pale and shivering. “Dad,” he says weakly, “I’m sorry.”

The father has tears streaming down his face. “Hang on, son. Hang on. Help is on the way,” he says.

“No, Dad. I’m not going to make it.”

Weird thoughts pop up in times of stress, and the father can’t think of anything else right now but one question. “Son, I don’t know why, but I have to ask you. What was with those trucks full of ping pong balls?”

The son smiles weakly and says, “It’s okay, Dad. I’ll tell you. The ping pong balls were for… urk!” And his tongue rolls out, his eyes cross, and he dies.

And that, my friends, is my favorite joke of all time.


The week so far…

  • Days of the week: 3
  • Accidents: 4
  • Loser: Jonathan

Quick highlights:
Monday a.m.: Blow circuit on heat lamp by touching electric element to metal. Scare cooks at Applebees with nice 220 volt spark.
Result: Embarrassment

Monday p.m.: Fail to turn gas valve completely off before working on safety valve on stove. Scare cooks at different Applebees by setting own hair on fire.
Result: Mostly an awful smell… and embarrassment

Tuesday p.m.: Run current through poorly re-wired compressor until run capacitor blows from pressure, shooting gooey, battery acid-like substance on self and compressor.
Result: If no one was around to see it, is it still embarrassing? Yes.

Wednesday p.m.: Stop for ambulance going through intersection, get slammed in rear by kid in a Cougar. Bumper on van works well; Cougar’s hood sheared halfway to windshield.
Result: Concern for kid in Cougar, but both walk away without injury. Well, one gets towed away. Oh, and embarrassment.


6 rules for every drinking game

On a different site, I elucidated the obligitory six rules that any drinking game should have. Since it reminded me of good times, I decided to post it here as well, dedicated in fondest memories to Beau:

  1. Players cannot say the words “drink,” “drank,” or “drunk.”
  2. Players must ask permission from rest of group to temporarily (as in go to the bathroom) or permanently (as in pass out) leave the game.
  3. No foul or coarse language at the table, please. (Unless the rules of the game stipulate that specific foul or coarse language is appropriate, vis a vis the card game “Asshole.”)
  4. Players cannot call any other members of the group by their first and/or last name. Each player must be referred to by a nickname that does not include, or is an abbreviation of, their real names.
  5. No finger pointing.
  6. Any disputed breach of these rules and the rules of the game, proper, shall be decided by all members not involved in the dispute, henceforth known as the “kangaroo court.”
  7. There is no rule seven.

The 7-11 Straw Incident

Suddenly, inexplicably, I was in the mood for a Super Big Gulp. I used to have a Super Big Gulp, 48 oz. of pure caffeinated, bubbly sugar water, 5 or 6 times a week, but then I got into the coffee habit to cure my caffeine fix, so now I’m down to only one Super Big Gulp per month. Last Thursday, my time had come.

We were at the Nautilus Diner in Massapequa, and there’s a 7–11 just east of it. I went in expecting the usual assortment of sodas and was sorely disappointed to find that Dr Pepper was not one of the dozen sodas I could choose from. Taco Bell recently changed from Dr Pepper to Wild Cherry Pepsi and have pretty much lost the biggest reason that I ever eat at Taco Bell in the process. I take my soda consumption pretty seriously. I resigned myself to Pepsi, which is my favorite soda bottled or canned, but Dr Pepper is my favorite fountain soda. I take my soda consumption way too seriously.

Anyway, this was also one of the growing 7–11s to decide that straws are their most valuable consumable. I could take all the cups and lids that I wanted, but the straws were only available at the cashier’s counter. Since I have estimated that straws cost 7–11 less than 1/10 of 1 cent, even the admittedly low-profit margin on all convenience store goods led me to believe that the difficult access to straws was a weak kind of anti-theft device. Because you could easily walk out of 7–11 without paying for a Big Gulp or Slurpee, but HOW WOULD YOU DRINK IT without a straw?

Finally paying for my Pepsi Super Big Gulp, an amazing bargain at 99 cents, I noticed that all the straws at the counter were for Slurpees, which, for the uninitiated, meant that the straws were all cut to have little scoopy-spoons at one end. This makes drinking soda with them next to futile, because it severely lowers the vacuum power of the straw. I asked the young, pierced man behind the counter if he had any regular straws that I could have. He took out a Slurpee straw and held it next to the Super Big Gulp container. I wasn’t too sure what he was doing, but I figure he was just going to give me a Slurpee straw and damn the torpedoes. Instead, he went off to the side with the straw. Then he took a pair of scissors — I swear this is true — and cut the scoopy-spoon neatly off the bottom.

Needless to say, I, being the good WASP that I am, took the straw with a thank you. I was going to have my Super Big Gulp, because, after all, I take my soda consumption very seriously.


National Sanctity of Life Day

Ah, what a wonderful National Sanctity of Life Day I had yesterday. To celebrate, I spilled my seed in my neighbors’ victory garden and painted babies and small children with clown makeup. Not at the same time, of course. That would be sick.


Dark Side of the Blog

Start your CD… now.

This week, I’ve been going mad with songs stuck in my head that I absolutely can’t stand. Shit by Boston and Journey and that stupid “Complicated” song by that poser-riotgrrrrl from Canada. It’s okay if you like that stuff, but it sure doesn’t belong stuck in my brain. But it’s all cool. I just pop in Dark Side of the Moon, and breathe deeply of the most fucking awesome album ever made.

Am I a Floyd fan? I guess you can say that. Roger Waters gave me the strength to survive high school. That probably wasn’t his goal, helping pimply-faced adolescents get through their rough hormonal years, but there it is. And before I know it, ten years has gone behind me. I survived thanks to Floyd.

I probably haven’t listened whole to the album in five years, but just recently, I went to a laser show that played Dark Side in its entirety. I realized that I missed it. Diggin’ it through my headphones. Eatin’ a little sushi. Floyd and wassabi. That’d wake me up!

The problem with Dark Side is that it is totally overplayed on the radio, but song by song. The album is a dish, meant to be consumed whole. All the time that I’ve been hearing each individual song on the radio, minus “On the Run,” “Great Gig in the Sky,” and “Any Colour You Like,” I had forgotten how incredible the album is. The album is sung almost entirely by David Gilmore, with some help by Rick Wright, which makes it fairly unusual in the Floyd discography. Dave has a great rock-singing voice, slightly soft and rough at the same time. Rog, for all my love and adoration for him, may he be praised, doesn’t have the same caliber voice. But the vocals on Dark Side are smooth and softly spoken. Magic.

I’m not frightened of dying. Any time will do. Why should I be frightened of dying? There’s no reason for it. We’ve all got to go sometime. Death is obviously the counter-point to life. Eternity is no bargain. Since we are a mere glimmer in this universe, every moment is vital and brilliant. Our lifespan is perfect to do SOMETHING. Every something that we do adds up, making civilization something special, making history move, making life precious and worthwhile. It is because we die that we can live.

The most overplayed song on Dark Side is “Money.” Lord knows I change the station whenever I hear it on the Classic-Rock stations. Still, just hearing that fuzzy, thick bass line is so satisfying after listening to “Gig.” Perfection. Then there is that really, truly amazing guitar solo. I’ve seen Dave play the shit out of it live… in the rain… the pouring rain… and he just wouldn’t stop… not even after a half an hour of playing it… oh God when will he stop…, but on the album it is just right. An obvious demonstration of how great Floyd was when they acted like a band. Meddle and The Wall have a bit of this synergy to, but nothing like Dark Side.

A war for oil? I don’t know. Most conflicts do tend to boil down to us vs. them, the have-nots vs. the haves. The lengths that people will go through to try to keep the crap that they have from falling into the clutches of those who want what they have is pretty great. Right now, I see this inevitable conflict in the current battle over copyright vs. public domain. Our inevitable conflict with Iraq scares the shit out of me. I certainly don’t want a nasty dictator to have access to nuclear weapons, but that goes for a lot of countries, not just Iraq. When has America had success installing a friendly regime after invading and waging war with a country? Won’t that whole area destabilize further prompting a lot more anti-American feelings from the down and out?

“Any Colour You Like” is my favorite track on Dark Side. Wedged between “Us and Them” and “Brain Damage,” it is just a bit of psychedelic tinkering that messes with your head when you listen to the album through headphones. Reminds me a lot of Yes, who also tinkered a lot on their albums. Yeah, I admit it, I like Prog Rock. You gotta problem with that? Fuck you, you Journey-loving prick.

Ah, the breakdown of communication between men and between ourselves. Explored thoroughly in “Brain Damage,” by Roger Waters. Sure, it could have to do with drug use, which most people believe, and is supported by the Syd Barrett reference, “and if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes,” since by all accounts that is what happened to poor acid-burned-out Syd. But it is about any type of madness, not just drug induced, and how it separates us from others.

I can’t think of anything else to say. (Just say anything.) (Laughter.) Nothing that‘s nice. (Another chuckle.)

This blog entry didn’t really match up to Dark Side of the Moon, really. As a matter of fact, it was all daft.


Celebrating 40 Blog Entries

Rather than torture my poor, long-suffering friends with two bad jokes that they’d have to hear over and over again, because I forget who I’ve told what to and when, I’ll post them here for the world to ignore. These jokes are vaguely ethnic, but I’ll do my part to make them even more vague.

Joke#1: It seems a country gentleman had a visitor from a big city, where, perhaps, the folk are not known for their swiftness. The country gentleman was showing the city guy various sites, the rolling hills, the green pastures, when they happened upon a sheep with its head stuck in a hole in a fence. The country gentleman tells the city guy to wait for a minute while he has his way with the hapless sheep. The country gentleman thoroughly enjoys himself, and when he is done he says to the city guy, “Okay, your turn.”

To which the city guy says, “Oh, no, I’m not about to get my head stuck in that hole.”

Ahem. Now Joke #2: A group of campers were in a forest area that was home to two native tribes: The Futhabuckas and the Fuhkawees. The Futhabuckas were known as excellent trackers and hunters, and supposedly could find their way around the huge forest while blindfolded. The Fuhkawees were artisans, known for their beautiful headdresses and tribal jewelry.

Presently, the campers were deep in the forest, and it started to rain, covering up the sun. The campers’ guide had lost his compass crossing a stream a few hours back, and he worried that he was leading his friends further away from their camp. With the sky darkening, he feared the worst. The campers huddled together under their jackets, trying to keep dry and warm, but without any provisions, they were thristy and hungry, and they felt hopelessly lost. They spent the night under the canopy, hoping for better tidings in the morning.

When dawn broke, the campers heard voices in the distance. Nervous, but encouraged by the sounds of other humans, they tracked down the sounds. The campers found a group of natives huddled under another tree, with animal skins over their heads.

The campers’ guide walked forward to greet the native that stood out the most, the one with a tremendous white and red crown of feathers over his head. This native looked proud and commanding. The guide said, “Excuse me, but we’re hopelessly lost. Can you tell us where we are in the forest?”

The proud native looked at the guide and said, “I dunno, we’re the Fuhkawee.”

Sigh. I know. I know. At least I didn’t have to tell these to you in person.