The Italian Restaurant of the Unexpected: Rod Serlinghetti's Twilight Calzone

NEW 4.3

"If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen."--Henry David Thoreau


      After yesterday's success, I really want to go back to daily updates. But events conspired against me tonight. So instead of new content--SUMMER RERUNS!
      Yep. Something from 2001. Yeah, you probably read it. But you also forgot it!


      Oh, man. Not again.
      Yes, again. Again with the allergies. Why are they hitting me so hard this year? It's never been this bad before. I almost asked to leave work, but decided to compromise and ask to be in the New Store rather than the DumpStore. The pace is slower, and the bathroom so much closer. Glad I didn't leave, as it rained pretty heavy and that helped. Until I got home. Now I feel crappy again. And, most unhappily, Kill Kill doesn't seem too well herself. She usually doesn't sleep this much when I get home. Must keep an eye on that.
      Dunno know if it's true, but a customer made a recommendation to me, after I told her that there's nothing I can take for my allergies, as I always get flu-like symptoms. She said what worked for her was raw, unflitered native honey. Makes sense: It'd be like a vaccine. I'm not sure where to get it, although she mentioned Ellington. "Cow Town," as we called it as kids, as it's still largely farmland. Are beekeepers listed in the Yellow Pages?

      So I had chicken soup for dinner. Maybe some tuna salad later, which will cheer us both up. It was supposed to be pizza for the second night in a row, but Pizza Splut Hut wasn't answering their phone tonight. Yesterday, I got a "3-topping medium for $8.99" coupon, which is the only way I buy pizza. Many people could live on pizza, but it's something that I never eat more than 4 times a year. But I had the coupon, and I drive right by Pizza Hut on the way home, so I figured that I had a quick meal ready for me. All I had to do was call them 10 minutes before leaving work, and it'd be waiting.
      20 minutes before closing, a woman pulled up in front of the New, and walked to her trunk. She must have empty bottles, I thought. But she never came in. Every time I looked at her, she was circling her car.
      The *second* that I was to pick up the phone and order my thin crust with extra cheese, pepperoni and beef, she walked in and asked to use our phone. She'd locked herself out of her car. I told her that the police would make her wait for hours before they came out--Did she have Triple A? "Oh, yes, but my battery died, and AAA came out to jumpstart my car, and the AAA guy said to keep the engine running, so I drove around the neighborhood until I came here, then I got out and locked my keys in the car, so I don't want to call them again so soon." Huh? I have AAA, and there's no way that I wouldn't call them twice in an hour. I pay them $55 a year, and most years I don't use them. Once I called them twice in an hour to jumpstart my car, as the guy didn't tell me that I should drive around a while. But, no, she had to call the police. "They're not answering," she said. Umm, the Police generally answer their phone. Maybe you dialed it wrong? She tried again, plodded through their voice mail system, asked them to jimmy her lock, was asked if she had AAA, and she gave the entire story to the cops as to why she wouldn't call AAA. She was told to call AAA. Like I'd told her, 5 minutes before.
      She calls AAA, and gives them the entire story about the jumpstart etc. They're not answering their phone either. Yup, she dialed wrong again. At this point, it's now 5 minutes until closing. My pizza is fading into the distance, but, what, I'm gonna throw her out so I can order it? She's really stressing over this, and she's wearing a bowtie. While that detail may mean nothing to you, it means "Works in a restaurant chain of some kind" to me. That's one crappy line of work, and I'm not going to be making her day any crappier.
      She gets THE stupidest AAAer ever. "534," she says, giving the street address. "No, 534. 534. No, '5' as in 'F.' No, as in 'F-I-V-E.'"
      Now I've locked up the store. We're closed, and she's on hold. And I'm no longer being paid to be here. She's on hold for 5 minutes, during which I think--We'd be 5 minutes ahead of time if she'd called AAA like I asked. We'd be another TEN minutes ahead if she'd walked in as soon as she realized that she'd locked her keys in her car. What was with that circling the car thing? I'd check each door if I'd done that, but that wouldn't take 10 minutes deciding what to do once I'd figured out that they were all locked.
      We're at the 10 minutes after closing point when she's finally off the phone. She's very apologetic, even offering to give me money, but I just smile and tell her that her day can only get better from this point (while I secretly hope that AAA doesn't take 2 hours to get here). After I let her out, I call Pizza Hut. "Vernon Pizza Hut, please hold," then get put on hold before I can open my mouth. "NO." say I and hang up.
      I'm not sure if I'll try again tomorrow night. This is the longest wait I've ever had for a damn pizza.

      A book review on why American kids can't read: PC attacks on school textbooks on both the Left and Right. "You can't mention George Washington Carver's work with peanuts or Mary McLeod Bethune's National Association for Colored Women. You can't breathe a word about magic, witchcraft, family conflict, sexuality, satanism, evolution, the supernatural, Mount Rushmore, owls, God, or Harry Potter."

      May Day in the USA isn't a holiday, but it is in Europe. Wakboth sent me a page of Finnish May Day activities, where apparently May Day is like Memorial Day here--an excuse to get drunk. They don't translate all the terms, as they do with "Pölökaljawiesti" (drink beer and run around the church). There's also drag racing, "Non-alcoholic Gaming Night" and "RubberplayingISO," held in such places as a bomb shelter or "Colorado." I also like the checklist that lets you know whether or not to wear overalls.

      "This is another demonstration of Microsoft moving into new product areas to expand its revenue base," says a spokesman about the iLoo:

      I got a hit from a Google search for "florida hernia disk woman clinic walk run." Yep. Asked myself that just the other day, I did.

      Via Boing Boing, why cats in Japan hate their owners. Kill Kill wouldn't put up with that for one second.

      Well, I found yesterday's "entry" most delightful. Given that I put content here, but didn't have to write anything. I was going to do the same thing today, but instead I'll just link to a 5-year-old New, which has a bunch of little goofy stories. The News was once What's New on This Page, and meant to be just that. This is where it started in the direction where it is now. And one particular story led me to the stunning realization that I'm apparently important enough to plagiarize (halfway down). Even more astonishing, someone actually caught them.


      Today was notable for 2 reasons: One, I finally bought that pizza, and two, I saw X2. Wasn't all that great, really; not worth all that wait. Meaning the pizza.
      X-Men 2 is a different story. Wow, it blew the first movie away! I can't say too much, not even list my favorite scenes, without giving away any surprises. There are a lot of characters, and some of them kinda disappear for long stretches of the film (especially Cyclops). Ebert and Roeper, while giving thumbs up to the movie, complained that there were too many characters. I'm reminded of the classic complaint the Austrian Emperor made about Mozart's music: "Too many notes." Of course, 2 of my favorite characters were always Magneto and Nightcrawler, and they get plenty of screen time. It helps if you 're familiar with the comic (or, like me, were a decade ago), but it's not essential. Kevin never read them, and he followed it completely. You will catch things others miss if you did, though. Little things like a TV commentator named "Dr Hank McCoy," or a computer database on mutants that has a folder titled "Franklin Richards."
      And, even if you've seen the movie, I saw it better. In an Odyssey theater. Baby IMAX. IMAX has a screen 10 stories tall, and Odyssey has one half that size. IMAX films are square, and X2 was letterboxed, so the image was probably 3 stories tall and 5 wide. You've never SEEN a movie until you've seen it like that. And it's no more expensive than a trip to a regular microplex. You'll never see me plunking down $8.50 for a normal-sized screen ever again.
      There was a trailer for another comics-based movie, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The trailer didn't have one scrap of information on who the characters were supposed to be. Possibly they didn't want to say "Captain Nemo" and confuse the theater patrons who'd just seen the trailer for the latest Pixar funfest, "Finding Nemo," and think that he was a little CGI fishie. The trailer also shied away from the way-too-many-syllabl...way-too-many of those word thingies word, "Extraordinary." The lobby card named it as "LXG." Kevin pointed out that if they'd abbreviated it correctly, it would've read "LEG." At least they didn't totally dumb it down, and have it stand for "The League of X-TREME Gentlemen."
      After that, we went to the Goldenroc Diner. Kevin and Eric hadn't eaten yet, and it was 10PM. Bill had eaten half a thin crust pizza 5 hours earlier (note to Pizza Hut: Thin crust means CRISPY, not floppy), and although I wasn't hungry, I ordered an omelette. They ordered Freedom Toast, Kevin with a side of cheezy fries (next to something with maple syrup? Yuck), and Eric with home fries. I think that they should change the name of those, too. "I'd like me a Texas-sized portion of Homeland Security Fries!" They had little signs for their specials, which promised that they were "DOUBLE BIG for hungry appetizers" and that the Xeroxed "Pictures for Decorative use only--Items may not actually looks like pictured." It wasn't "Engrish," as everybody working in the diner sounded native-born, so why they picked some product of America's crummy school system to write their blurbs is anyone's guess.
      Uncool thing I saw today: I was walking in the woods behind my condo when a couple of dirtballs roared up on an ATV that was almost was wide as the trail. I hate people who consider nature something not to appreciate, but to abuse. Damn things are illegal to drive on the trail, anyway. Cool thing I saw today: The mulletted driver of the ATV yelling "SHIT!" as he drove by. I walked a bit further up the trail, and figured out that he must've been reacting to his passenger saying, "You knocked down that old dude on the bicycle, and that woman with him just pulled out her cell phone." To call the police. Hey, it made me smile.

      Why is the Pope worried about Bush? Don't know how accurate this is, but if it is, he's got a Hell of a reason...


      Through the wonder of P2P, Kevin got me a copy of The Animatrix, which is--well, duh--animation based on The Matrix. It's like the Heavy Metal of the 21st Century!
      If that sounded like praise, it wasn't. Like Heavy Metal, if you're not stoned or a male still in puberty, it's not much. Looks great, but so does your average big-budget Budweiser ad; a Lambourghini without an engine still looks cool, but it ain't going to take you anywhere. That's where it would help to be stoned. It would help to be a pubescent male, as shit blows up and it's like so all sure that it's profound and some shit, and it would be, if you were 14.
      Disclaimer: Like E.T., The Matrix is one of the movies that no one can believe I've never seen. Not that I know nothing about either film; when a movie gets popular enough, you learn most of the plot without trying. Maybe I would've liked it more if I'd seen the movie. Maybe the cartoons should stand on their own, too. Too many of them just...end. Not as in "We've told our short story," but as in "We've spent the budget, turn it off." There were a couple of better ones, such as "A Detective Story," or "Beyond." But the first I liked for its clever retrofuture look, and not the story that just kinda...ended. The second was the only one to try something different. A woman in Tokyo looks for her lost cat, and finds a "haunted house," where the Matrix has an anomaly and kids can play Neo. It was also the the only one that tried a lighter approach, and the only one of two that wasn't going out of its way to be depressing (the other less-depressing one involved a suicide, which should give a clue as to what I mean). The 2-part backstory to the Matrix Universe is simply fucking retarded. And pretentious about it.
      Well, there's my review. I feel that I didn't get my money's worth, and it was FREE. Fortunately, this isn't something you have to worry about spending $9 to see in a theater, so if you're some huge fan of The Matrix and the nonactor Mr Reeves, rent it. And I suggest that you see it stoned. It couldn't be any worse. To judge for yourself, you can see 4 of them for free at Animatrix. It includes both "Detective" and the virtual crapality that's the backstory.

      Liberators! US troops liberate an Iraqi bank vault and take the cash to pay workers in the infrastructure. Doctors? People distributing food, or fixing the water system? Take a fucking guess as to who's more important to the United States of Halliburton.

      My Hotmail account came back online a while back (billsplut, not thoughtviper), and despite no advertisement of it and very little use, I'm already getting spam. After all these months still none on Fastmail, which should tell you Hotmailers what you should do. From the extremely believable address of I received one with the title of "U save yyourr skin eeeh." Why...Yes, I do! How did yyouu know WOOO? It's here in a jar. My skin jar! Want some? There's more where that came from!

      And now it's time for Out of Context Comics!


      While I rarely follow the links on Cruel Site of the Day, I clicked on an icon and found Rogers Cadenhead's blog. He mentions 2 great poems.


       Remember Betsy Badthief? She was the cashier who was pocketing exact-change cash sales until she quit when her perfidy was uncovered by ace gumshoe Sam SpadeSplut. Five months later, she has the gall to try and collect unemployment from us. Maybe she thinks that she has nothing to lose--If we don't show up at the hearing, she automatically wins. But we'll be there, and she'll lose. She's as bad a liar as she is a thief. That "You long-haired fucking freak!" harrassing phone call of hers isn't going to tip the scales very much in her balance.

      I read a lot of comic books as a kid, but then I hit puberty and discovered science fiction. Comics were fun, but they weren't very challenging reading, and I'd reached the point where I didn't believe a man could fly. Comics just weren't realistic, and sci fi at least tried to make things seem possible. How do comics characters fly? Even if Superman somehow can defy gravity, how did he achieve forward momentum without farting with a jet engine-like thrust? And so I stopped reading comics for over a decade.
      One day I picked up a friend's copy of "The Handbook of the Marvel Universe." I idly flipped through it until I saw a cutaway schematic of Spiderman's web shooters. If you accepted the existence of web fluid, the things really sounded like they would work in the real world. I borrowed that issue, and found that they'd tried to explain as much about superheroes as they could. For example, if you had the power of super speed, you had a second transparent eyelid that kept your eyes from drying out and fireproof skin that protected you from air friction when you ran. If you could fly, you emitted a trail of anti-gravitons, a made-up subatomic particle, apparently getting thrust from a psionic version of mental farting. Hey, I said that they tried to explain things. They didn't always succeed. Sometimes, they'd just shrug their shoulders and mumble something about "this is done by an as-yet unknown process." But my curiousity was piqued. A few months later, a friend's wife handed me a copy of X-Men, and I discovered that superheroes were now more complex than guys who beat up on alien mad scientist robots every day. I started buying comics again; first Marvel, then some of DC's Vertigo line. Then I was illegally fired by Sam Goody, and after a few months on unemployment, I realized that this was no longer an expense that I could justify. I quit cold turkey a decade ago and haven't read one since.
      X2 inspired me to see if there was an updated Handbook on the net. had a version, but they took it down a year ago. My search didn't last long. Not because I found it, but because the first site I checked was a fan site called "The Appendix to The Handbook of the Marvel Universe" and I was hooked. It was all the stuff that didn't make it into THotMU. And with good reason; Marvel cut all of what's collected in the Appendix out of their continuity as if it was an infected organ. The stuff's either very obscure or a joke. On the obscure side, does anyone but me remember the Bizarre Adventures mag that had an all-X-Men issue, which included a demented Nightcrawler story? There was a sequel in a funny Nightcrawler limited series. It included a superpowerful Dark Phoenix version of Herr Wagner, "Dark Bamf." It looked like a giant blue-furred Nightcrawler bobblehead. One hilarious-in-its-context line has stuck in my head for many years, said as Dark Bamf scratches his head in bemusement: "Dark Bamf just pawn in game of life!"
      Sometime's when it's a joke, the joke's deliberate. Such as Generic Superhero or the terrifying X-Men villain Eye Scream, who has the awesome mutant power to turn himself into any flavor of ice cream. Sometimes the joke's unintentional, as in the alternate reality where, instead of becoming the Human Torch, Johnny Storm becomes a superpowered goalie. Or there's the threat posed by Tapping Tommy, an evil tapdancer with an army of robotic Rockettes. Sometimes the unplanned joke becomes an entire comics line, such as Marvel 2099 or the career-ending New Universe. And sometimes, it's not apparent if the joke is intentional or not. I'd like to believe that Peter Milligan deliberately tried to come up with the Worst Character Name Ever when he created "U-Go Girl." But when the creator's Steve Ditko, who knows? He was the co-creator of Spiderman and decided to come up with a similiar hero, one who had the proportionate strength and agility of a...Well, her name's Squirrel Girl, so take a guess. She was part Aquaman, with the ability to telepathically control tree rats. You'd think that that'd only be useful protecting the bird feeder, but she had a swarm of squirrels hand Doctor Doom his shiny metal ass. Ditko also came up with the embarrassing series "US1," which cashed in on the early 70s CB radio craze. Unfortunately, he waited until 1983 to do it. It'd be like coming out today with a hero named "POG Man." Goofy as the series already was with its CB-lingo speaking aliens, its recurring baddie was Baron von Blimp. He wanted to replace all America's tractor trailers with--well, it wasn't mopeds. He might've had more success with his competing business model if he didn't make his workers dress in Nazi uniforms. Just because the UPS guys wear brown shirts doesn't mean you should hire the Brown Shirts. Speaking of which, there's a really detailed listing of every Marvel appearance since the 1940s of that famous comic book character, Adolph Hitler.


      Just so I can have an update today:

      "wywwxxythicckenn yoour wallet ddla" Why am I supposed to read spam just because the subject line contains extra letters?

      PSA: If you leave nonperishable food in your mailbox Saturday, the USPS will take it to your local food shelter. So pull some stuff from your cupboard and pass it on. If it has an expired expiration date, sorry, but you'll have to eat that yourself.

      I signed up for the email list for Daily Dinosaur Comics, so that I would know when it updated. I got an email today and found out that it don't work that way. HUH? At any rate, if you were dumb enough to sign up for that nonupdate unannouncement thing too, here's the latest ones.


      I'm sure many of you still awaken screaming in the night from exposure to that retina-searing picture of me stylin' in the '80s. This traumatized Mimi enough that she tried to exorcize the demon by putting it in an As If! comic:

Note the Small White! My only disappointment is that the sound effect is "Slap" and not "Splut."

      Happy Birthday, Space Waitress!!


      I had a bag full of nonperishable food ready for the USPS mailbox food drive tomorrow, it mainly plucked from my kitchen cabinet. It was all tiny McDonalds ketchup packages. KIDDING. Except for the pudding mix, it was all side dishes--rice, pasta, scalloped potatoes, you know. I decided that I should include a bit more, so I went to the grocery store today near the DumpStore (highlight of the workday: Poopie Pants throwing a lit cigarette into the trashcan, and me pouring a bucket of water in there to put the garbage fire out. Man, that guy Poopie's a friggin' genius). I got a 4-pack of 3 Diamonds tuna, some Annie's mac-n-cheese, and some Hello Kitty ramen to donate. I put it all in a paper bag and discovered that I'd bought so much that it didn't fit in the mailbox. I jammed it all in there anyway.

      Mark in the UK sends the Dumbest Comic Book Covers of All Time. Unfortunately, these aren't thumbnails and there are no bigger images. I particularly like the Fish-Slapping Dance--OF DEATH! The main part of the site is the Best Comics Covers, and that's pretty cool, too.


      VERDAMMT!! It's 9:37, and in 3 minutes, but 20 minutes away from here, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie is playing! I totally forgot! I suck!

      Out of Context Comics returns! It's a Family Circus one-panel. If anyone has a caption, send it to billsplut at hotmail dot com.


      "Who's that sniffing my ass?!"

      "Even though Billy was now age 46,
his fans still expected him to leave a dotted line wherever he walked."


      There's nothing like plodding through the workweek, waiting for your 2 days off, then spending them in bed because you're sick. AGAIN.
      What's up with this? I've been a wreck for 3 months now, from hernia to fractured rib to allergies to whatever had me hurling yesterday was. What's got me worried is that Kill Kill didn't seem so hot yesterday, either, with a warm dry nose and her sleeping all day and eating little. Was it caused by our personal environment here in the house? A few years ago, we both got sick, and it turned out to an old insecticide room fogger that was outgassing under the sink. I don't feel perfect today, but she seems okay, running around and making up for yesterday's lost eating-time. All I've eaten in 48 hours is some instant chicken soup, which tasted much better going down than it did coming up 30 minutes later.

      I really didn't want to even leave the house today, but KK's eating frenzy made it look like we might run out of Iams Weight Control cat kibble. I bought groceries. I deposited a $14 rebate check into my savings account. And no lie, I just spent the last 4 minutes staring at one of my Lava Lamps. It's been that kinda weekend.

      Amusing story about a big fat liar over at Mike's blog-like object:

      Picture time. That I can do without leaving the house.

      Random crap on the top of my monitor.

      Kill Kill doesn't like this picture. She thinks it makes her look fat.

      Living room scene. Killsy appears to be watching the deadly mano-a-veggie struggle between the spider plant and the morning glory. That hanger used to point straight up. They're trying to strangle each other now.

      Oh, so THAT'S where he went! Remember last week, when it was reported that Saddam stole a billion dollars from Iraq just before the war started? Of course, that was because he wanted to die like Scrooge McDuck, swimming in a vault of money while the bunker-busters killed him. It's not like he did it because he had a way out of Iraq! Just like Osama--Bush says to pay no attention to the madman behind the curtain!

      It's a Gang of Four-era Chinese silkscreen of Stalin, here staring bug-eyed at a spider on a string. What, you don't have one of these? He and the Saddam puppet are planning to have a 'stash-off.


       Figuring that I could vegetate by staring at the ceiling just as well as I could staring at the monitor, I went to bed last night 11 hours before I needed to get up. Part of my motivation was the fact that Kill Kill was already snoozing on the waterbed. There's something very soothing about sleeping with her next to me. Don't know why; I've slept alone my entire life (Longest live-in girlfriend experience: 5 months. I was 29 and she was 18. Gee, I wonder why that relationship didn't work out).
      So I laid there, unable to sleep due to all the sleep I'd already had over the previous 2 days. Then the Small White jumped out of bed to nibble her kibble, and after a few minutes I joined her in the dining/computer room. She sat on one of her sittin' boxes and stared into space, and I sat in my chair and stared at her. After 15 minutes of this excitement, she sat up, looked at me and said "Ah-Oww!" Which meant, "I've an idea! Let's play!"
      Play can take many forms. Least interesting is Cat TV. I throw her toys, and she watches them skitter across the floor like a couch potato. Like any good parent, eventually I'll tell her that it's a beautiful day to play and yet here she is, plopped in front of the television! I refuse to throw, and she either starts playing or wanders off to snooze.
      The next level is Play. She'll chase most of the toys I throw, but not all. It depends on where they fall on the Fun-O-Meter:

      The final mode of cat combat is XTREME PLAY!! No holds barred steel cage match berserker frenzy! This is lots of running and tackling and jumping and crashing and smacking every and any toy, and that's how she played last night. I wish I had a video of some of her stunts to show you. At one point, she leapt 3 feet straight into the air, pivoted 180 degrees to point her legs at the ceiling, smacked a flier in mid-air with her paw, spun another 180 to land on her feet and run after the the flier, finally skidding and tackling it by crashing into the paper grocery bag it landed by. Seriously, it looked like a move straight out of The Matrix. She also intercepted a flying mouse, smacking it across the part of the floor where the carpet ends and the kitchen linoleum begins. She made a flying leap after it, anchoring her rear claws in the carpet when she landed. The rest of her slid across the linoleum, stretching out to her full body length like a furry Slinky. It's the greatest show on Earth for both of us!
      (This post went up a little late tonight, as she wanted XP!! tonight when I got home, too. Much crashing into things in hot pursuit of toys. I love my kitty, she's funny!!)

      Speaking of cats and their crazy antics, Jackie sends us the story of the kitty Imelda Marcos.

      The iLoo was a hoax. Well, duh!
      Or WAS it?


      His first words were, "I CAN'T SEE IT!"
      "Can't see what?" I asked, turning my attention from the customer I was ringing up.
      "SHACK MARTIN!!" shrieked the very old man, in a nasty voice that made it clear that I was the idiot.
      I walked over and asked, "I'm sorry?"
      "SHACK MARTIN!!"
      "'Shack Martin'? We don't have anything called 'Shack Martin.'"
      "I've bought it here before!" He was in front of the brandy, and I suddenly remembered this guy from well over a year ago. One forgets not one's traumatic experiences. "Do you mean Jacques Cardin?"
      "WHAT?!" he barked.
      I held up the bottle. "Jacques Cardin brandy."
      "I CAN'T SEE IT!" He squinted. "Yeah, that's it!"
      I brought it to the counter, rang it up and said "That'll be $10.07, please."
      "WHAT?!" he snapped.
      Noticing the hearing aids, I said it louder, despite the fact that he was looking at the register display that tells the total. "WHAT?! How could it be that much?! I only have $10! It's ALWAYS been $9.49 EVERY TIME I've bought it!"
      "It is $9.49, but there's sales tax."
      He threw his bills and change on the counter. His arms were the color of rotted leather; he didn't have age spots, he had youth spots inbetween his age spots. "How much do I have!" he demanded.
      I counted it for him. "You have $9.26."
      "How much is it?! Dammit!"
      He stared at the counter, then he scooped up his change. And stood there for 30 seconds. Then he suddenly looked at me and yelled, "WELL, are you going to TAKE IT or NOT?!"
      "NO. You don't have enough to BUY IT."
      He shuffled his bills into his claw-like hand as the line behind him grew longer. He slowly put them away, dropping a piece of paper on the counter. Then he snapped, "Well, I can assure you that I'll NEVER SHOP HERE AGAIN!"
      (Me, cheerfully): "Okay!" I really wanted to say "Thank GOD!" or "It's a DEAL! Don't let the door hit you in your purulent flabby age-spotted keister, Methuselah!"
      The customer behind looked on in amazement and disgust as he left. "The older they are, the worse they get!" he said, shaking his head. "These old people, some of them get such an attitude!" When customers complain about other customers, that means that they're really bad. And this guy had white hair and was obviously beyond retirement age. When old customers complain about old customers...
      I smirked. "The sad thing is--he'll be back!"
      The big piece of paper he'd left on the counter said in huge handwritten letters, "PLAVIX." I looked it up to see if it listed among its side effects "Becoming a fucking asshole." But it didn't.
      The only good thing about asshole customers who are a million years old and on heart meds is that one day soon, they really DO never shop here again.

      Re yesterday's entry, here's the BIG!Lots critters mentioned:

      Sorry-lookin' bunch, eh? There were 12 in the pack, but I think KK hid a bunch from sheer embarassment.


      Via boing boing, Bush's resume.

      I wanted to know what Kevin was doing this weekend, so of course it started with this:

Bill says:
Hey, do you know any websites that help you get the monkey off your back? All the ones I've found say something about "heroin addiction," and not actual monkeys.
Bill says:
I tried hitting him with a crowbar, but he keeps ducking and I think my neck is broken now.
Kevin says:
It's not easy, but you have to try to get your thumb into its anus. Monkeys don't like that.
Bill says:
Try telling that to MY monkey. He just giggles and sings Judy Garland songs.
Kevin says:
Try *not* playing Cole Porter tunes while doing it.
Bill says:
Possibly I shouldn't keep elling him that he's FAB-U-LOUS!!
Kevin says:
It's obvious to me that you spoil your monkey.
Bill says:
What?! Everybody's monkey's wearing little Armani suits this season! EVERYBODY'S!
Bill says:
Everybody's got something to hide, 'cept for me and my Armani-suit wearing FAB-U-LOUS monkey!
Kevin says:
I know where you're coming from. Happiness is a warm monkey.
Bill says:
Oh, good one. Hmm...
Bill says:
Rocky Raccoon fell back in his room, only to find Gideon's Monkey.
Bill says:
As My Monkey Gently Weeps...
Bill says:
Back Monkey fly, make your Momma cry
Kevin says:
Monkey, my dear.
Kevin says:
Mother Nature's Monkey.
Bill says:
Choose your weapons! White Album Monkey jokes!
Bill says:
First one to use "Number 9" loses!
Bill says:
That Number 9 didnt count!
Kevin says:
Monkey Pie.
Bill says:
Bungalow Bill...umm, fought a monkey. Umm.
Bill says:
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Monk, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow!
Kevin says:
Monkies (To the tune of Piggies; I'm getting desperate...)
Kevin says:
I got blisters on my monkey!
Bill says:
Bill says:
You win!
Kevin says:
What's it about again?
Bill says:
You go into a room, and they stick monkeys on your back and they don't leave. THAT'S THE WHOLE REASON I'M WRITING YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
Bill says:
FUCKING MONKEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bill says:
Bill says:
He bit me!!
Bill says:
HA! Chopstick in the EYE, didn't expect THAT, eh Monkey?!?!?
Bill says:
Bill says:
Bill says:
OWWW!!! MY ASS!! MY LEAF BLOWN ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bill says:
Bill says:
HACK! COUGH! Hey, a maple!
Bill says:
Bill says:
Bill says:
Kevin says:
My Catholic school once handed out an anti-drug pamphlet with a guy with a monkey on his back on the cover. Inside, it explained the evils of drug use. Explaining "drug slang" at least 20 years out of date. My dad thought it was the funniest thing he'd ever seen.
Bill says:
Bill says:
Oh yeah. Party at Richard Gere's.
Kevin says:
Damn, I wish I still had it.
Bill says:
jesus. The chipmunk's right here, running around the house. Want me to fedEx him to you?
Kevin says:
Shoot 'em with a BB gun.
Bill says:
Good idea! *BANG!!*
Bill says:


       Welcome to Siege Culture.


      That was the weekend that wasn't.
      In a freakish twist of fate, I worked Saturday only until 4PM. Jessica was in town, so I emailed her to see if she wanted to get together. Never heard back from her. I don't think that I got blown off, I think that this is our fundamental problem of her never reading her email and me never picking up a phone.
      So I walked in the woods, then watched the other DVD in that Italian space opera set Scott gave me, War of the Planets. I had an enjoyable time watching this steaming pile of tortellini, kinda wishing that I wasn't watching it alone, as I got some good MySTing cracks in. I went to bed a coupla hours after it was over (at 10PM, which is unheard of for me), expecting to write up a quick review on Sunday. But the movie was completely forgotten by then. Fully uninstalled from my memory. I was asking myself, "What the hell is going on?!" only a minute into it, and after about 10 more minutes, I thought that every other scene seemed to be missing. And it stayed that way. The first half had no plot at all, and the second half (the "War") was something-or-other about a computer and a goofy robot that looked like a cross between Robot Frank and a jukebox. The confusion was made worse by the decision to have every character wear identical uniforms, with hoods that covered all of their heads except for their faces. And it was the men who were wearing the skirts. Okay, they had pants on, too, but they looked suspiciously like

      Zap Brannigan from Futurama, right down to the pointy shoulder epaulets. Except in blue, and with pants. The women didn't have the miniskirt, although I think that this was part of the backstory: Due to the terrible costs of the Playtex War of 2387, all lingerie became extinct and bras and panties never walked the Earth again. There's some pretty chafey-looking camel toe going on in this movie.
      There was some funny stuff in the movie, but I just can't remember much of it. I did write down in their entirety a fragment of English lyrics sung with a heavy Italian accent--the only lyrics at all in the movie:

      I'm sure you do! Whatever that is. Yoda retaining water?
      It might make a relatively quick-to-write Trick Lobster, but I need to find a way to watch TV on the computer (TL's have all been written by watching a few minutes in the living room, pausing, walking into the computer room, typing, walking back, ad infinitum--Maybe a wireless keyboard would work, although the typo-fixing would take a long while). Gymkata just needs to be abandoned if I'm ever going to get anything done with TL.

      Sunday was to be the day I saw Matrix: Reloaded on the Odyssey HumungoVision screen. I kinda got cold feet after reading enough reviews--I haven't seen the first movie, and I didn't want to be totally lost watching this one. I was supposed to go with Kevin and his wife Mel and bro-in-law Eric, but she didn't really want to go and Eric was sick and I wanted to wait until I could see the original, so, again, another thing didn't happen. Instead, I watched "King of the Hill," which I never do but thought was really funny. Then I watched half of the Simpsons, which of course was not funny. Then I watched "Enterprise," though it also was its usual nothing-specialness. I decided to tape rather than watch "Saved by the Bell: The Hitler Years" (ha ha! It's not really called that!), since too much TV makes me go sleeps. Plus, ads suck when you can't FF through them. I saw a Mountain Dew ad that had 2 dudes talking about how bugs that fly into bug zappers are "stupid," and then they crashed into a window that had a Mountain Doo-doo display! Cuz they's stoopit! This is why I'm supposed to buy Mountain Poo? Because it's for the fucktard demographic? Buy Mountain Dew, MORANS!
      Today I walked in the woods, as this was one of the few days this month that seemed like late May and not early March. A dozen elementary school kids were there, generating enough volume that I heard them from a good half-mile away. Something about identifying trees, a dead turtle, a dead frog, and The X. Maybe it was a Satanist Elementary School, out sacrificing to Asmodeus.
      And I gassed up the car and did the laundry. The Weekend that Wasn't. Though I did have Bloada!

      Two Aussie sites today mentioned the release of a Best of The Goodies DVD. C'mon, I can't be the only American who remembers the series! (I'll bet Snard's another!) It was one of those BBC comedies imported in the 70s after Python became huge. I'm glad that it's a Best Of, as I remember that the show had about a half-dozen hilarious eps and a lot of only okay ones (brief episode guide here). My two favorites are on the DVD: One involved London being destroyed by a gigantic mutant cute kitten, and another was about the deadly martial art of Ecky Thump, the main maneuver of which was clubbing people with a big ol' sausage. Actually, worse than a sausage, a "Black Pudding, one of the great creations of civilised society, is essentially congealed pig's blood in a length of intestine. There are many variations; in England, the pudding is usually bound with rusk and has bits of fat in it...Can there be a finer sight in a shop window than a freshly cooked black pudding, still steaming slightly, looking like... er... a slimy coil of warm intestine filled with congealed blood?" That episode must've been famous in the UK, as "EEE Ecky Thump!" was used in the Python Language Learning Course skit.
      You'll need a region-free DVD player to watch it if you live outside of Europe, but I do so I ordered it. J-List has region-free players available, although older American Apex players either are region-free or (ahem) can be made into ones.

      Guess I'll go watch The Hitler Show now (Part One; Part Two is on CBS at 9 tomorrow). As CNN says,


      "Hitler: The Rise of Evil, Part Ein uf Zwei" was good. Robert Carlyle gave a great skin-crawling performance as the main subject, a cowardly blowhard when not backed with a mob, but an opportunistic natural predator when the pack is with him. But I'll hold my review until I've seen both parts. I'll also hold that until a day when my brain feels like coming up with meaningful words it can be held accountable for, and that night is not tonight. Instead, I'd like to take a deep insightful look at
      The Superhero Name Generator. I link because interesting. Note these results:
      Bill the Splut is The Jumpy Machine!
      Billsplut IS The Turning Freak!
      Yeah, those are legitimate superheroic names. Can you imagine a comic book written around THOSE characters?!
      Me neither. I thought that I could come up with some merry japery, but Cheese Louise! (or whatever your name is, preceded by "Cheese"). "Jumpy Machine"?! That's not going to strike fear into the hearts of evildoers! Maybe if they're afraid of an unbalanced washing machine that drinks a lot of coffee and is made of Slinkies, and also afraid that said machine might jump on them, then maybe. Okay...maybe the machine's a GIANT INDUSTRIAL SMELTER that LEAPS onto your CROTCH! WOO, you'd be afraid of THAT, eh, Luthor!! Wait, no, that'd smash a city block every time you'd attack. And what if you spilled all your smelt?! Superhero embarrassment! Let's face it: "Jumpy Machine" is a bad name for a superhero. Although it could be a good one for a vibrator.
      "The Turning Freak." The whole image problem here stems from the modifier. The Psychotic Freak, scary! The Face-Eating Freak, unsettling! The Steals Your Lunch from the Office Fridge Freak--HEY! I KNOW who you ARE!! Hands off my YOGURT! The Turns Into Your Mother, then Squeezes your Head like a PIMPLE until your BRAINS Spurt Out Like PUS and then She EATS IT!!! Freak...Umm, you need to try therapy, my friend. And stop squeezing my head like that!
      But The Turning Freak? Go to a Phish concert and watch the people who've taken acid. Spin, spin, SPIN, my unwashed friend! Whoops, fall down my friend, and break your favorite glass bowl! Not much of a power! Unless your name is "Buzzkill." But that's really not very threatening. It's less scary than "Turing Geek." "WHAT?! This hot chick who IMed me and wants me to watch her and her coed friends have SEX on their webcam--ISN"T REAL?! Curse you, Turing Geek! You've fooled me AGAIN! And it cost me $4.95 a minute!"
       Maybe you could twist it a bit into--The Turnstile Freak! Able to leap tall subway barriers without a single token! Or a play on words--The Tuning Freak! He's a LIVING TUNING FORK! He slaps himself and VIBRATES you into submission...Okay, that actually sounds like something DC might've come up with in the 60s to fight the Flash or Marvel in the 70s to fight anyone, so let's just assume it's copyrighted and move on. Although his modern dark&gritty version would scream "Tuning--FORK YOU!!" when he attacked. Bet they did that one, too.
      I eventually just started popping any name I could think of into the Superhero Name Generator, and the only remotely close thing I got to a sorta-superhero-sounding name was "The Mighty Bear." And I got that name by typing "Angela Lansbury." Now there's a mental picture! Every other name came up with something similiarly goofy.
      On the other hand...Kill Kill is The Robo Panther! And if we throw in her middle name, Kill Kill Kamushka IS The Lightning Cat!! So there are some realistic ones.


      Random observations from a Day at the Dumpstore.

      An appearance by a regular, who is in his late 50s and noticable for buying a "handle" (as a Massachusetts-born co-worker calls the half-gallon-sized bottles) of Dubra (the step below Bukoff on the vodka scale) every other day (being a period of 24 hours; I don't want to break up the pacing of my parantheses) who has a handlebar moustache (Why? Because he buys enough HANDLES to stock a BAR!) was (GEDDIT? Handlebar? Me so funny!) wearing this delightful ensemble today: A pink t-shirt with forest green shorts held up by scarlet suspenders. Possibly cheap vodka causes color blindess.

      Old guy I'd never seen before, buying 3 handles of booze: When you use a credit card, it costs you 2%, right?
      Bill the Splut (but in his secret identity, the TURNING FREAK!): 3%, actually.
      OG: What do I get off it if I pay with cash?
      BTS (aka tTF!): Umm, nothing.
      OG: But you'll lose a dollar 50 if I use my card! Let me pay cash, and gimme a dollar 50 off!
      BtS: No, I can't do that.
      OG: WHY?! If I use this credit card (waves it menacingly) you'll lose a dollar 50! Gimme a dollar 50 off!
      BtS: So we lose a dollar 50 if you charge it, or we lose a dollar 50 if you don't. We still lose a dollar 50!
      BtS: NO.
      OG: A dollar then!
      BtS: (watching line build up behind him): NO!
      OG: Fifty cents!
      And, yes, the $1.50 and 3% thing was based on him buying $50 worth of rotgut. This is the type of thing that only happens in the Dumpstore, my friends, only in the Dumpstore.

      Semi-derelict Guy, to another customer: HEY! I thought that you were my wife for a second! And I was, hell, she don't drink! But you're not my wife!
      WOMAN (after he's left): Thank GOD.
      On the other hand, given the names on your check, you're married to a guy named "Hogaboom."
      "RUN FOR IT! That pig's gonna BLOW! FIRE IN THE HOG!!"
      "My God! They've been blown to bits! BACON bits!"
      I also saw someone who worked for "Spazzarini Construction." Yeah, I want my house built by Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey. The foreman would be Carrot Top.

      And, finally, a blast from the past: Long--and I mean LOOONG--time readers of this drivel may vaguely remember the guy who--

      Sadly, this isn't on his earlier levels of...eccentricity. But he's been out of town for a year, so expect more zany hijinks in the future! But for now, here's our reunion:
      HIM: Your hair's still FUCKING ASS long!
      BtS: (grunting sound that signifies both "agreement" and "don't talk to me")
      HIM: I had hair like that! I cut it off for $60 on a bet in a bar! I really made out! $30 in cash, $30 in booze!
      BtS: Good deal! (thinking: Or $1 for every point of your IQ)
      He bought Natty Ice, the beer version of Bukoff, and 2 Jim Beam nips, the bourbon version of Bukoff. "Nips" are those airline-sized bottles of booze that are meant to be drunk straight from their little plastic bottles. Then, so his "old lady" didn't find out, he shoved the nips into his sweat socks. I guess it's the white trash version of salt on the rim of a margherita glass.

      Russiagirl prepares to meet Madeline Albright.

      One of Space Waitress's partners in crime has a trailer for his work-in-progress, Blogumentary. He'll feature you in it if you drop him a Grover.
      A Grover! Grover Cleveland! Dammit, if I said "a Benjamin," you'd know what I meant!
      (And he'll blow you for a Salmon!)

      (Don't know if a Salmon changed hands, but the page of the One Guy Who Knows What a Blog Is seems worth attention).


      Note to customers: When you used that hiii-larious punchline of yours, did the retail worker smile broadly or actually laugh? Laugh means that it was funny. "Broad smile" means "I'm socially required as a worker in a service industry to not let on to you that you are a DORK! D-O-R-K!!"
      I've previously mentioned the "I just printed that!" line everyone says when I check the watermark on a high-value bill like a Benjamin or a Ulysses (Why's Grant on the 50 anyway? Okay, maybe he helped Lincoln deal with the crazy slave-owners, but he was a corrupt drunk. Weren't there any other dead Presidents we could've used? What's wrong with Adams? Non-president Ben's on the hundred, so why not Tom Paine on the 50? And what's with Jackson?! All I can remember about him was the "Trail of Tears" thing with the Seminoles. Borderline genocide, THAT gets you on the 20? And I had a customer last week, after the pastel-colored new 20s were announced, refer to him as Stonewall Jackson. He thought that we have Confederates on our money! And speaking of money, why was Richie Rich called "The Poor Little Rich Boy" on his comics? I never got that. My sisters bought that comic, and they didn't get it either! How was he poor? Because he had to wear shorts and a bowtie all the time? His parents were gazillionaires, but they couldn't buy him normal clothes? Or is that just shorthand for "rich comics kid"? Rollo in "Nancy" dresses the same way. When was the last time you saw a kid wearing a bowtie anyway? Or ANYbody? Okay, I saw that woman who locked her keys in the car a few weeks ago wearing one, but I'm sure that that was her job's dress code. How many sentences have the same word twice in a row in them, like I just used "that that"? Not many! Can you name another pair of words that are regularly lined up like that "that that"?)
      But I digress.
      Maybe you'd think that the "I just printed that!" line is funny if you didn't know that retail workers hear that every other time they check a bill, and we check them several times a day. But what is with this: I tell you the total of your sale, $19.44 maybe, and you say "That was a good year!" Why do you think that's funny? Where's the punchline? Seriously, you're there with the merry twinkle in your eyes and a big smile on your lips...Where's the humor? I never cracked that "joke" even before I worked in retail and heard it every day, because...Why would I? It's apropos of nothing.
      And why is it only funny if it begins with 19? When I tell people their total is $18.44 or $20.01, they don't make that joke. So I was completely thrown today when a customer today said "That was a good year!" when I told him that he owed me $25.26. HUH? That year hasn't happened yet, and the closest ref I can think of is that awful song the Oldies station occasionally inflicts on me, "In the Year 2525." "There won't be a single thing to chew/Some machine's doing that for you." Yeah, the terrible dystopian future world has robotic DENTURES. "You won't buy plates from the Franklin Mint/Some robot's pulling out your bellybutton lint." "You won't need to zip up your fly/Richie Rich's a poor little rich guy." "A robot your cheese it will cut/This makes no sense, even for Bill the Splut."
      I did hear one clever riff on that joke. I told him, "That'll be $10.66." "That was a really good year," he said. "If you're William the Conqueror."

      El Snardo sends the story of Liquor Store Payback. Try that in my store, and Hulk Smash. I like it for the fact that it occurs in Pewaukee, which I guess is the piss-poor version of Milwaukee! Geddit? I printed it myself!

      Kill Kill wants me to get cable again.

      I got a dollar today with this written on it: "INDICITANT: (noun) a funless void. Amanda is a ~."
      As far as I can tell, "indicitant" is not a word. I've never submitted a bill to that wasn't already entered, but I figured that this might be one to follow. I discovered that, despite it not having "" written anywhere on it, it was already in their database. With one comment: "indicitant."


      I haven't updated in a couple of days, but I could be worse. Example: Jessica just sent me her Xmas pictures. You won't find them very interesting, but whose damn page is this, yours? I'm in them, but don't worry, they're not as scary as that 80s picture. And you can ignore me for the 2 gorgeous babes.

      Me and Jess.

      Me, Jess, her daughter Jacqueline and the Bumble.

      Me, Jacqueline and Jess' Xmas gift to me (her parents owned a video store in the 80s).

      I'm not sure why that green goop ball ended up in their hands in every picture. (Photos taken by her husband Ron)


      Okay, this allergy shit has officially become OLD. I've tried to cut down referring to it, as I don't want this to become my Journal of the Plague Year, but I've been puking sick 3 times in a week. The middle one might've been a bug, as a co-worker got sick with the same symptoms on the same day. Today I felt okay until I walked outside, then got progressively worse. I went over to one of my sister's for a birthday party and wasn't there even 40 minutes. I only hung around that long because I've gotten used to forcing myself to stay at work while sick. Worse than feeling nauseous was the fact that there was food I really wanted to eat, like crab dip and broiled scallop kebabs. I made it home in exactly enough time for the vomiting and pitchfork-in-the-intestines diarrhea-ing. Then I went to bed for 2 hours. Now I'm eating the last of my chicken soup, and my sickliness had better be caused by salt depletion as the one can has 82% of my daily sodium. One more can and I'd turn into Lot's wife.

      While the soup was heating, I flipped through "Your Hometown Quarterly," which is a coupon book for local businesses. Restaurants, chimney sweeps, Bill the Handyman (who used to be my downstairs neighbor; the page is worth the click for the silly banner). In the middle was an insert with national businesses--the usual suspects, like those insanely overpriced Oreck vaccuums and Bose radios. And there was a full page ad from "Marie Duval, the famous clairvoyant, [who] is making you this unusual offer: Choose from the 33 wishes below those you'd most like to see come true in your life NOW!" Apparently, "the amazing 'powers' of Marie Duval" (yes, "powers" in quotes, which is probably there as a legality) can allow me to "expect some real 'MIRACLES!'" ("MIRACLES!" also in quotes) All I need do for this FREE service is to fill out and mail the "Special Form for Fulfilling Your Wishes" in the ad. 26 of the 33 wishes on the checklist ("Please note: offer limited to only 7 wishes per person.") refer directly to money, ie, "Win the lottery jackpot withing two weeks," "Win a big prize ($10,000.00 minimum) on a scratch card" and "Win on the horse races" are the first 3 wishes. All the rest deal with Finding True Love, except for the wishes that you do well on an exam or "Be on TV," and 1 wish that your kids do "really well in their studies." I assume that last is there so you don't feel guilty wishing that good things only happen to you, you, you. But YOU is what it's all about; I'd think that with 33 choices Marie would throw in something about a loved one recovering from illness might be in there. Possibly she's learned that the legal system is less tolerant of her cheating someone who isn't motivated solely by greed.
      "Cheat"? But it's FREE! Yeah, suuure. The first taste's always free, Johnny, then ya has to pay! Thanks to the awesome power of the Internet, I soon found that surprise, surprise, Marie's an internationally known scam artist. That page's by a guy whose girlfriend got caught up in it. He's posted some of Marie's "secrets," such as her "Great Book of Magic." Typical crap: "If you want to know if your Luck is with you, take a pack of 52 cards and shuffle it using your left hand.
"Take out twelve cards.
"After shuffling well, still with the left hand, spread out the cards and see if you have either the ten of clubs or the ace of diamonds.
"If you do not have either of these cards, you should not play because you stand very little chance of winning. This technique will prevent you from losing money."
      That's supposed to tell you if you should play the Lottery. Not playing Lotto will, undoubtedly, prevent you from losing money. However, the odds of finding either of 2 specific cards in a deck of 40 would be pretty high...I'm not much on math, but I'd guess that it'd be close to 10 out of 13 times. The 30-page book that that information came from cost 14 quid, or close to a dollar a page.
      The ad opposite Marie's is for "Chinese Diet Tea," the "easiest" (in quotes) diet ever discovered. "Obesity is a big problem in Western societies but is almost unheard of in China." Well, famine can be a big problem in China, too, and that's unheard of in the West. I doubt that tea is the real determining factor, as opposed to the labor- and irrigation-intensity of rice farming.
      I may send in my Wishes to Marie, just to see what garbage my mailbox starts getting. And I'm going to wish that my damned allergies go away. Or for more chicken soup.


       I got an email from my mom yesterday, and she's bringing me some homemade chicken soup. And I didn't have to use any of my Marie Duval wishes.

      My weekend was largely wasted by being sick, but I did accomplish one major goal: I opened a window! You're probably thinking, "Wow, Bill, if you ever get the hang of tying your shoelaces, that job bagging groceries is practically yours!" But this was a 2 month project. The cheap storm windows my condo have tend to jump their tracks and get stuck. I had one get stuck for a year. I finally gave up and just designated 2 windows as the only ones that get opened, and naturally one of the 2 has been jammed since March. I poured boiling water onto the frame and then hammered--with a hammer--a flathead screwdriver in between the tracks of the window and the wall. After 5 minutes of twisting the frame and completely bending the screwdriver, it popped out. And the screwdriver fell behind the bookcase. Next week, "Retrieving a Screwdriver" on This Old Condo! I'm Bil Vobas!
      Boy, was that ever worth both my time and yours.

      Finally watched the rest of The Hitler Show. They did a good job of presenting Hitler as a crazed monster, but how hard is that to do? The original script was supposed to focus much more on his early years than the Stuff You Already Know About. But there was an outcry that this would make him "sympathetic." The type of fucktard who by any stretch of its fetid imagination finds something admirable in a genocidal nutlog doesn't NEED any help from a TV movie. Noted Hitlerphile Dylan Kliebold of Columbine gets X amount of sympathy for being bullied at school, but so was I, and I don't have any massacres staining my soul. The movie went so far as to declare in Part 1 of Hitler, "He's not human!" when he really hadn't done anything but give speeches. I actually find the true monsters of the world, from low-level freaks that torture pets to world-class heavy hitters like Stalin or Pol Pot, to be scarier because they are human beings. We all have that potential for evil within us, it's just that 99% of humanity gets the fucking clue early on and taps into that other potential we all have, the potential for good.
      But they didn't make that first script. Too bad. They must have started filming it, as the movie began with scenes of Young Hitler. Disjointed scenes that were pointless except to make him seem like the Bad Seed, or Damian from The Omen. Yep, he was a psychopath at age 7, sure. Best part: Stockard Channing as Momma Hitler ("Look at me, I'm Sandra Nazee!") getting second billing and then dying under the opening credits.
      But I have my Goodies DVD now, so excuse me while I watch something more entertaining (assuming my 20-year-old memories of the show are correct). First to be watched is "Kitten Kong," wherein London gets stomped by a kitten. My memory is faulty in at least one respect. Until Mimi (regular readers of As If! [which should be ALL of you, thankyouverymuch] reminded me, will notice the sound effect of an exploding water balloon in panel 3), I'd forgotten what color the kitten was.
      "Kitten Kong"! "KK"! They even have the same INITIALS!!!


      My decrepit memory served me well, as "Kitten Kong" was DAMN funny. And not just because of the cute white cat, as he was a boy and floofy-haired enough that he was likely a Persian rather than a Domestic Shorthair like Kill Kill Kamushka Young. (I mention the full name just to point out that the "mush" part is pronounced so that it rhymes with "push," not "mush" like Eskimos in the movies say to their sled dogs. It dates from the time I inherited my teenaged girlfriend's younger brother's Guinea pig at the same time that USA Network was showing the original Little Shop of Horrors, the one and only Roger Corman movie worth watching. Said Shop was owned by Gravis Mushnick, and Mushnick was such a cute sounding name that Sammy the Piggie acquired it. A decade later when the kitten came along she also acquired the nickname, along with its derivations "Mushie," "Mushigato" [that's SPANISH! I, umm, think] and "Kamushka," as the double-K sound plays off nicely from "Kill Kill." [We now end today's nested-parantheses sidebar about Nothing Much, Really])
      Where was I...Oh, yes! You see, I have this window that's been stuck since March and--Wait a tick! That's not it!
      The Goodies is a funny show. I really laughed, even during the sped-up slapstick parts, and I hate slapstick. But even those jokes were inventive, and there were some great moments of prop humor. And it had a lovely logical-absurdity plotline. The only other episode I watched was also great, and that was their pilot. I almost wanted to watch them all in one sitting, but I decided to wait, since this 2-DVD set cost me $36 including shipping (thanks to the piss-poor showing of the dollar against the pound or the Euro or the fragrant monkey-skins or whatever them furriners uses for money these days). At that exchange rate, it's really not worth buying if you've never heard of the series. And I'm sure that this is all I've ever own, as its obscurity among the Yanks will mean that no complete sets will ever be released on this side of the pond.

      I decided a nice dinner would be shrimp salad with bits of celery in a pita pocket, and so that's the stuff I bought today. I imagined that KK would agree with me, as shrimp are one of the few human foods she yells for. She loves cocktail shrimp cut into little pieces, so tiny salad shrimp would be tasty. I thought. She apparently thought that I was giving her some paltry undergrown midget shrimp, and I was holding the REAL shrimp for myself. She refused to eat them and then balefully cried while rubbing her head against my ankles. That's cat for "I don't got no money for crack today, but you know I'm good for it! C'mon, man! Just a LITTLE!" She eventually realized that these were the only shrimp I had, and ate the few I put in her bowl. Then I gave her some more shrimp, ones from my salad without so much rat in it mayonnaisse on them. Then she plopped down asleep. We had a 3-hour crash-banging thunderstorm plow through town while I was at work, and I'm sure she spent that time busily protecting the underside of the bed.

      The crappy weather lately has led me to seek out some alternates to woods-hiking for my upcoming vacation. I thought of going to one of CT's Indian casinos, the one which proudly says in all its radio ads that it has "the world's largest planetarium!" I looked on their website for it, then I looked some more, then I just kept looking until I found exactly one reference: On their "Kids Attractions" page, they said that no one under 21 would be admitted. Huh?! I Googled and discovered that it's not the world's largest planetarium, it's the world's largest planetarium dome. Apparently it's just backdrop in a casino room, and so the distinction is like that while the Sistine Chapel has the world's largest Michelangelo work, but it's your local elementary school gym has the world's largest Michelangelo work that's been drawn with fingerpaint by kindergarteners. I, myself, own the world's largest collection of computers that you can find in my condo's dining room. LOOK! The world's largest cat that lives here just took the world's biggest poop in the history of my entire bathroom litter box since the last time she pooped! Admission is only $20!

      Other info from that casino site:

      And the first thing below that statement was:      Yeah. Do that math. Hmm, I get "Compuslive gamblers + legal gambling = Someone other than the Casino gets fucked."

      I also didn't like this:

      Whuh? "Never want to leave the fun" and "bona fide playing" sounds like they're grooming these kids as future gambling addicts. Hmm? I'm jumping to extremes, you say? Look at that second paragraph--Exactly why would you NEED that level of security unless you were assuming that the kids would be abadoned there for a looong tiiime, like 12 hours or more, while Daddy and Mommy gambled away their college tuitions? And--kids from 6 weeks? Your child's less than 2 months old, and you're too busy playing the slots to pay it any attention?
      Mohegan Sun's off my vacation list.

      Although I might go to this if I could. But given whose idea it is, maybe not...I already own the belt buckle.

      One thing I will do is watch some more Goodies. Yum yum!


      I really don't feel like putting anything here, as I'm but one day away from 10 days of vacation, and that usually means that I post like a crazy person. But thanks to Roger Clark, I can use this picture as an excuse to post a Summer rerun: