Chadult Movies (chah-dult moo-veez) noun. Big-budget motion pictures featuring children's characters and infantile themes that are nevertheless popular with adults on account of either their quasi-ironic appeal (Marvel Avengers) or dark and pretentious stylings (The Dark Knight Rises). Following the success of the chadult movie version of Batman, McDonald's is to relaunch its mascot Ronald McDonald as "The Vermillion Harlequin: a brooding, psychologically disturbed jester whose noble attempts to feed mechanically-separated meat to the population of McDonaldland are perpetually hampered by disfigured criminal Hamburglar". Freedom of Screech (freedumb ov screech) noun. The democratic right of any internet user to say whatever they like, as obnoxiously as they possibly can, to absolutely anyone at any time, without the slightest reproach or recrimination. By calling me an "asshole" just because I tweeted her personal account to tell her how awful her new video was and outline all the ways in which she has personally failed me, Rihanna not only proves beyond all doubt that unlike myself she has an embarrassingly thin skin, but also that she thinks having a few platinum discs and Grammys makes her somehow "above" the concept of freedom of screech. Well THINK AGAIN, LADY.
NOT THE NAME WE WERE THINKING OF
Family Feud host Richard Karn: A man’s name that begins with K. Contestant: Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Something Awful's The Strangest Fan Art is exactly what it sounds like, unless your heart's greatest desire has been to see Sonic the Hedgehog crucified ("Dr Robotnik, why hast thou foresaken me?!") or a picture of Mary Poppins that you could wank to (which does not show exactly where she put that spoonful of sugar). One, however, I thought was pretty funny:
That "frenching his sister" thing makes more sense now!
Thanks, lovely Lily, for pointing out my bad code in the Comments! It took me half an hour before I realized that I'd typed it in as "luke.jpgEXTRA DOT". Anyone else, feel free to remind me when I screw up. My blogging software doesn't always show my mistakes, and I don't always remember to check outside of it.
QUESTIONS PARK RANGERS MUST ENDURE
We had no problem finding the park entrances, but where are the exits? Can you help me? My husband’s driving me crazy and he won’t shut up. Is this a map I’m looking at?
--questions asked of park rangers
An old man came into work today ("old man" is defined as "man noticeably older than me." When I was in high school, 32 seemed ancient), trying to exchange an Xmas gift of Tanqueray gin. Umm, no. Your friend regifted you a bottle with a label older than I've ever seen, and I've been in this business for 15 years. The label was starting to yellow, and a coupla fingers worth of booze evaporated through the unopened top. 25 years old easy, and I can guess that only because it didn't have the old state tax stamp they did away with in the mid 80s. Hang on to it, and maybe Antiques Roadshow will want it! Bury it next to a caveman skeleton and use it to prove Creationism! The guy claimed that he couldn't drink it because he didn't like the anise that Tanq puts in there. But I also noticed that he had another bottle in his bag that he made no attempt to show me. So this might be his yearly post-Xmas thing: see if he can find a liquor store dumb enough to take back his Methuselah booze.
QUESTIONS, A LITTLE DIFFICULT TO ANSWER
Caller: Am I calling India? Because I don’t want to be talking to some outsourced guy. Tech support: No, sir, you are not. Caller: I’ve been watching this TV show about how they can disguise their accents. How do I really know you aren’t in India? Tech support: Sir, we are based out of Los Angeles. Caller: Well, prove it then. What’s the capital of Los Angeles?
--tech support call
I bought a supplement that Kevin recommended from Amazon (L-Theanine). It came in a little box. I put the box on the floor, and Miss Kays, as always, tried to fit in it. Despite the fact that it was smaller than her face. I opened the bottle to try it, pulling off a little plastic ring similar to a milk jug. I tossed it to the floor, as those were a favorite toy of Killsy's in her kittenhood. She batted it briefly. I thought "Has DJ ever seen one of these? I switched to dry milk before I adopted him" and tossed it at him. Hit him in the face by mistake. But yeah, he knew what it was! He immediately began playing with it, even picking it up in his mouth and trying to drop it into the little box. It fell on its side, neither in nor out, and he spent time trying to make sure it was truly in the box. Then he ran with it into the bathroom. Answer to a question I'd never thought to ask until recently: What is with the Deej and the bathroom? Every time I go in there, he throws himself at my feet for a belly rub. When I get home from work, Kill Kill and Byron run up to see me for pets, DJ runs to the bathroom and squeaks for attention. He's even learned that if he yanks the towels off the rack, it can close the door. K would cry if that happened to her, B would shriek instantly. DJ likes being in the bathroom, even if alone. Because the 2 times I saw him at his foster mom's house before adoption, she put her 2 little dogs in a bedroom and let him out of a big bathroom. "He loves to explore," she said, and no wonder. He was in a bathroom all the time, and his brother got adopted out first. He certainly had lots of attention, affection and play in there--probably in the tub with a milk jug ring--and he associates it with positive emotions almost 4 years later. (Waiting to see what happens today with the L-Theanine. Yesterday, it didn't so much cause the hiccups as it did a painful disrhythmic seizure in my diaphragm. If it continues, Kev may be getting a late Xmas gift)
ASTROLOGICAL SIGNS, NEW
Pieces are the best! My dad, brother and boyfriend are all pieces . . . Best sign for boys!
--reality show star Kim Kardashian, in a tweet (meaning to type “Pisces”)
Did I mention this before or not? Probably not, as I wanted to make sure it was happening: Jess and I and Kevin and his lovely wife Meghan are going to see the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater! I thought that 6 weeks ahead of time was plenty, but we got the last 4 seats that didn't suck, on the right forward mezzanine. I imagine that I will blog exactly nothing about the event.
More postive news? A certain Drunken Toddler will now work only 10 hours a week. All in the morning, so only myself and the AM cashier get to see him aaaallll the time. Five other people will never have to see him at all. As I've said before, even when I win, I lose.
And somebody moved out of the far end of my condo section today. There was a car with its trunk open at the same time, and it sure looked the car that tried to deliberately run Byron over years ago...Hopefully, Insane Hag is going to the asylum she always should've been in.
CHURCH BULLETINS, OVERLY TRUTHFUL
Evangelist Roger Hillis Morning Service 10:30 a.m. “Preparing for Marriage” Evening Service 6:00 p.m. “A Look at Hell”
Deformed of Salmon and Brocolleti With Cream of Kiwi Braids of Spatula With Pears and Grass Cipollina Thigh Hair With Grandmother Sauce
--menu items, Italy and France
BOOKS, TRULY BIZARRE
The Care of Rawhide Drop Box Loom Pickers From Coherent Tunnelling to Relaxation Applications of High Tech Squids
I got gas yesterday. In my car! No, I didn't eat Taco Bell in it, I--oh, you know what I mean. Then I walked in and bought a Lotto ticket for a dollar. Because while the odds of me winning the lottery are greatly against me, the odds of me liking my job are also greatly against me. I checked my Discover account, and saw that while I bought roughly $16 worth of gas, I was charged...a dollar. The cost of a Lotto ticket. Somebody pushed the wrong button. I could pump my fist in the air and yell "SCORE!" but I've worked in retail all my life. You could lose your job over $16, especially in a gas station. If the charge doesn't turn up soon, like tomorrow, I'm going back. If I get charged twice for a Lotto ticket--well, as I always say about screaming Lottery customers, "If a dollar's that important to you, why are you flushing it away on the Lottery?"
Via everybody everywhere, but still funny: "I can't hear a damn thing in this helmet!"
Slightly less All Over (if Cheezburger counts as "not all that over"), SPAZZY KITTEN PLAYS.
Rather long as these things go, but I had DJ in my lap, and he gave it his undivided attention for all 5 minutes. Possibly sighing for his lost youth, when he too was boinging around like a lunatic, swatting older cat's tails like there was no tomorrow. "And the nip! And the treats! Man, remember those days, the nip and the treats?! I hope so, because I sure don't, man."
LOVE POEMS, WRETCHED
Do I forget you? Retchings twist and tie me, Old meat, good meals, brown gobbets up I throw.
--from the poem “A Channel Passage” by Rupert Brooke
HEADLINES YOU SHOULDN’T READ OUT LOUD
SCIENTISTS PLAN MISSION TO PROBE URANUS
--headline in the Christian Science Monitor
QUESTIONS WE’VE NEVER ASKED
CAN THE LOVE BETWEEN A MAN AND DUST CLOUD DEFEAT THE MOST POWERFUL FOOD ENTITY IN THE WORLD?
--tagline for the video game Resident Evil 5, as seen on imdb.com
Drunken Toddler: "Remember when I used to say to you 'Stop walking around with your thumb up your ass and fill some displays!'"? He then chuckled warmly at this nostalgia. Which should give you yet another reason why I've always hated that worthless and abusive sack of shit. And he's not gone, just working fewer hours. Not few enough. Despite the fact he isn't gone, a co-worker told me today: "We're having a surprise retirement party for him next Sunday." ME: "I'm not going. Period." "Me neither, but I was told to tell all of his friends." "His friends? Then why are you telling people who work with him?" So far, the only person who wants to go is the part-timer who's on food stamps. His first and only question: "Will there be free appetizers and an open bar?" I wouldn't go to DT's funeral, even if I could rip the coffin lid open and shit on his face.
CAKE INSTRUCTIONS FOLLOWED A LITTLE TOO LITERALLY
Congratulations Three Times Write “Welcome” on it I Want Sprinkles
--messages written on cakes
One of my sisters once ordered a cake with icing that she said should read "I don't know, something with a football theme." She was outraged when she got a cake exactly like that. I wasn't there when she ordered it, but I'll guess that when she was asked for a clarification on what "something with a football theme" was to be, she said "YOU HEARD ME!" and then walked off talking into her cell. This is one of the reasons retail workers hate you. As I sometimes say, "Sorry I couldn't read your mind, but today I forgot to bring my microscope."
Would you rather fight a hundred duck-sized horses, or a single horse-sized duck? My first thought was "Big Duck"--easier to run away from--but then thought "little horses." It depends all on how determined they are to kill you, really. Ever go to a park and run into a really angry goose? Like, if you had to fight WW2 Germans, would you pick the 1940 Unstoppable World-Conquering Nazi Juggernaut ones, or the 1945 starving and defeated Please Don't Let the Russians Capture Me ones? Obama refuses to comment! However, Science has its opinions. Decide for yourself.
HOW ABOUT 2 SOFAS OF MANGOS WITH THAT?
At the Fruit Shop “Hello, fruiterer! Have you some nice fruits here? How much for a bench of bananas?” “Five hundreds rupiahs.” “The price is okay. Give me two benches please. Thank you. I hope I don’t bore to come here again.”
--suggested conversation in the book English Conversations, in Indonesia
Gerry Anderson died last week. As tribute to his oeuvre, the greatest anything ever: SuperThunderStingCar.
SPELLCHECK HELL, RÉSUMÉS AND
I have nervous of steel. Demonstrated ability in multi-tasting. Directed $25 million anal shipping and receiving operations.
--included on résumés
I haven't seen ma belle amie and BFF Jess since September. A skip in visits comes every holiday season, so I tried to see her earlier than Xmas. She's on her condo board and they had a hastily scheduled meeting--inconvenient, so we postponed. Then, she blew out a tire the day before, and she had to special order one that only her dealership could put on--annoying. Third time, a funeral for a friend's son. Tragic. I was almost afraid to schedule another get-together. But we did. And now, a fucking snowstorm tomorrow! As she described it--"OMG! I can't believe this!" The forecast for our meeting place is 3-5 inches, mixed with sleet and freezing rain. Since I have to drive 35 miles over highway that's a rollercoaster of hills, and she has to drive 30 miles on the fucking Mass Pike--if you've ever known anyone from New England, ask them about it and watch them shudder. The way people drive there in good weather would scare Mad Max. So we've reschedded a fifth time. Again for Wednesday, but I suggested maybe Sunday, so as not to tempt fate again. And that gives me a perfect excuse to explain my absence from DT's not-retirement party. Besides "I LOATHE YOU, MAGGOT!" A couple of years ago, we postponed a playdate because of a threatened big Wednesday storm. And it was an inch that melted on the roads as soon as it hit. This time, I WANT IT TO SNOW A FOOT of Green Slime, screaming monkeys and ball-peen hammers. I need my BFF Fix!
GRAINS OF WISDOM
Eli Manning has been given the rice of passage.
--football commentator Emmitt Smith
Actually, if you eat enough rice, you don't pass at all.
No ball-peen hammers, but as predicted, enough snow and freezing rain to not make me happy that Jess & I couldn't meet, but enough to make me happy that we didn't try to.
I was thinking about something completely different than the following link, when some "celebrity" says something obnoxious --okay, I was thinking about the Dilbert writer's misogyny a couple years back, when he literally refered to all women as retarded children--then did the not-apology of "I'm sorry you chose to be offended by the truth I spoke" and when that bombed, went with "It's SATIRE, and you're just so dumb that you didn't get it." Then I came across a less offensive version of that: "Kennedy has defended “First Night 2013” as a parody, and, indeed, there are moments throughout when the special feels more like a lost episode-length SCTV sketch: Let’s call it “Melonville Rings In The New Year.” One of the underlying jokes of SCTV was its conception of show business as one massive circle jerk of public validation and affirmation involving phonies who gush about each other’s genius in smarmy, hilariously hyperbolic terms, because deep down they suspect that everyone is just as sad and broken as themselves." Contains a link to the whole damn thing, if you're that masochistic. Or Bobby Bittman.
MISS UNIVERSE THESE AIN’T
Miss and Mister Beautiful Bottom Miss Turkey Trot and Drumsticks Miss Klingon Empire
A prize I didn't win from the Way of Cats newsletter was a Pawalla gift box. Heck, if I'd won, a certain feral cat crusader would've been given it for Xmas, so why not order her one anyway? It turns that, unlike every other online etailer, gifting wasn't a "BillTo/Mail To" but a code Jess got emailed. Kinda spoils any surprise. And it depended on someone else being proactive with her inbox (note: that would not be Jess). I ordered one for my cats, as WoC sent out a promo code for $6 off the normal $26 price. Yes, these aren't cheap. But it promised to be a big box of kitty-pleasing stuff! I was hoping Mrs J would get it by Xmas, but it takes 2 weeks after redemption of the email code for them to send it, and another 10 days to get it. I emailed them before I knew that, and they responded in...2 &1/2 hours. Whoa. That's quick! I got mine before Jess got hers (always be prompt in your emails, kids), so I gave her my capsule review after opening:
I got 4 Fancy feast-sized cans of Lotus food (they loved it), a bag of dehydrated chicken (they went INSANE for that), a catnip toy (DJ was mildly
interested), a 10-count pack of...litter box liners? That's like getting underwear for Xmas! (Can your shelter use those? I can't) And, the biggest item was a bag of...DOG TREATS?! WTF?! I can give those to Kevin, but seriously. That few items and they put in something that wrong? (Let me add that I forgot that they also sent something called "Meow-stard," meant to poured over dry food. A certain normally finicky deaf man with extra toes found it irresistible; the other 2 literally ran away from it...but they're the scaredy cats, and were acting even more scared today. Maybe UPS Guy pounded on the door too much).
I emailed Pawalla about the dog food, and they dragged their feet in answering for a solid 20 minutes(!!) before replying "The Stella & Chewy's treat is good for both dogs and cats. Try it with your cat and they will love it!" I did, and they DID! They liked it so much that they checked out each other's spots, hoping to steal any that was missed. Overall, a big plus. Customer service: Super Big A++++! It came in a very distinctive box, and it's meant as a monthly subscription, so there would be some excitement as soon as they learned the shape. For lower middle class me, more of a yearly or sooner treat, given the price. If you want to try it, that promo code is PAWHOLIDAY. That may not still be active, but if it doesn't automatically deduct it, you'll know immediately and you're not obligated to buy. If I had to make one big suggestion to Pawalla, it'd be to change the gift billing system. I can certainly see myself sending these as gifts (for cats or dogs), but as surprises. And, c'mon--litter box liners? "Thanks for the argyle socks, Grandma!"
Er, umm...In my defense, Pawalla did include an insert explaining the Dog/Cat treat issue that I didn't read because I put it into Killsy's sleeping box, which I didn't read until she stopped sleeping on top of it. RTFM, Bill.
HEADLINES, INCREDIBLY COMPELLING
WOMAN IN SUMO WRESTLER SUIT ASSAULTED HER EX-GIRLFRIEND IN GAY PUB AFTER SHE WAVED AT MAN DRESSED AS A SNICKERS BAR
--headline in the Evening Herald (Dublin, Ireland)
Family Fortunes host: Something you would play with in the bath. Contestant: A bazooka.
I was awakened not only from a deep sleep but a dream this morning. I groggily thought "shoop shoop, what does that sound mean?" And then Byron dropped my WWII-era, black-oceaned globe right next to my head. You may remember that he dropped a jukebox radio right on my head, and I found that experience oddly unenjoyable. It was because his bowl of Purina One dry food was empty. Gourd forbid he eat from the full bowls of Iams or Cat Chow on either side of that bowl. Or just, y'know, meow loudly. Since "Drop things on my head" is his new tactic, I wonder when he started watching Road Runner cartoons. Glad I don't own an anvil. But my new safe full of dynamite should be okay! As soon as I put on my Acme jetpack with rollerskates.
DETECTIVES, SELF-IDENTIFICATION PROBLEMS AND
Defense attorney: You are a human being, correct? Detective: I don’t know.
After having to work through Gun Appreciation Day, today I missed out on DT's non-retirement party because I was in Sturbridge with Jessie Baby--HA HA HA! Man, I spent most of a week saying that with a straight face. I'm (HOPEFULLY) seeing her Weds, but she became my go-to excuse for avoding going to a "party" honoring the worst person I've ever worked for, with a bunch of people I don't even like. I get paid to deal with them, and I wasn't wasting an hour of my free time in my car & a gallon-plus of gas to spend any time faking that I liked them. I have my cover story--even you can fill in any blanks of a Jess/Bill visit to the Crack Bar and the Disturbridge antique stores at this point: She forgets to swap her biscuits for toast until I remind her and I forget that I want my bacon crispy till she reminds me; the store still has the century-old stuffed toy duck with fangs, the Japanese carved wood punched-in-the-nuts monkey, we refuse to even look at the taxidermied bullfrogs being a Mexican mariachi band--seriously, they've all just passed into our subconciousnesses and nightmares by now. Apparently, I'm the only person not going to the hateful asshole's Please-why-are-you-not-going-away-for-REAL-and-FOREVER soiree, so I'm hoping that he doesn't notice my lack of thereness. Not because of the people, but because he'll be so instantly drunk that he's more aware of the bright red giraffes he thinks are parachuting in.
BUT HE’D RATHER BE BOB
The principal . . . was given two choices, resign or be fred.
--from a Pennsylvania newspaper
As I wasn't there, I can't tell you how the Pavane for a Drunk Toddler went (note to self: too obscure a ref?). Neither was the only coworker I saw, as she didn't go. Odd how the only people who didn't go are the only people who always work with that shithead, hmm? Third-hand, he was given a plaque, and not more aptly, the plague. He cried. Apparently not from the shame of a life of alcoholism, drug addiction, and of being an abusive shithead. Sorry I missed it, boo hoo fuckin' hoo.
Possibly you remember the louse who owns Papa John's, "The Pizza Named After What You'll Be Puking Into After Eating It," saying he was going to force all his workers into part-time so that he didn't have to pay for OBAMACARE!!! because otherwise he'd have to raise the price of a large by...13 fucking cents. A lot of people boycotted him over this. Me, I've been boycotting his pizza for 15 years. At the Last Job, we were told one Thanksgiving that we could take a lunch, or work through it and we'd get 2 large pizzas for free. We all went with Free Pizza. We were starving from running around like lunatics on the 2nd busiest day of the year, and when the pizzas came, we all dove into them. Halfway through the first slice, we all complained about how bad they were. I asked "Is this meat raw?" Nobody made it halfway through their 2nd slice, not even eating machine Jessica (she's only thin because she has the metabolism of a hummingbird on meth). Nobody claimed the uneaten 2nd large pizza. No one except the dumpster. We were given the same option at Xmas, and we all boycotted getting another cheap, shitty pizza over actually sitting down for half an hour. Poor Papa John! He's so strapped for cash because of affordable health care that he's giving away millions of large pizzas. Same as he did last year, when he gave away 4 million of them. But he can't afford health care for his wage slaves. And that's who I want making my food--underpaid, disgruntled workers who can't afford to take a day off when they're sick. Free toppings: employee spittle and sneeze boogers! I hope his millions of free ass-tasting pizzas doesn't force him to raise his price by 14 cents! Imagine how much he'd have to raise the price if he started making the pizzas edible. I entered the contest. If I win, I may donate my "winnings" to the closest shelter full of homeless people I hate. Too bad this is after DT's little soiree...
11 Worst Live-Action Movies Based on Cartoons How many have you seen? Me, about half. Popeye could be described as "an interesting failure", Rocky & Bullwinkle as "why do you hate Rocky and Bullwinkle, filmmakers?" and Howard the Duck as "the perfect date movie for Oedipus!" Because he gouged his eyes out, you know.
Beware of what’s coming. I really do believe that God has shed his grace on thee. We can’t blow it. We can’t allow an atrophy of the foundation that is America, that is so exceptional.
--politician Sarah Palin
My beloved local vet office (beloved by exactly one member of this household, the one with the car keys) sent out a little magazine of pet tips and a personalized message on the front: "BYRON, We've Missed You!" Oh hell no you haven't. Poor Dr Aronson made it clear that the Shrieking Murdertron only needs to come in every 3 years. Sometimes I think B is part bobcat. At the vet, I wonder if he's part Kaled mutant.
Byron almost had a traumatic moment today. DJ was chasing him, and he escaped by running into the bathtub. While I was in the shower. Fortunately, I was standing in a way that kept him from getting doused, so he only had a flat-footed scramble on wet porcelain before dashing out. What's odd is that the only sound I'm sure that he can hear is a running shower.
TRY THEIR NEW SISTER RESTAURANT, DUM PING
--name of a Chinese/Thai restaurant
I finally got together with Jess today. I amost didn't. She woke up at 2AM and "My hands didn't work." The same thing happened a few days ago, but it was her legs that didn't work, causing her to panic because Who the Hell Wouldn't?! Her doctor says that her narcolepsy is getting worse. She may need a stronger medication. Stronger than the Class 1 narcotic that they give special forces when they need one pill to stay awake for 48 hours? That she has to take twice a day? That costs $200 per dose? She was late, as usual. For a great reason: she took the wrong exit because she was excited to learn she'd been approved for her new house! If 4 BR, 2 1/2B on 3.5 acres can be described as merely "a house." Need for the all the rooms and acreage: feral cat rescue, of course. She has a tattoo now. On her wrist is a crying cat's eye, with a little paw print for each one she's lost as a pet or a rescue. If she keeps up the rescues, her whole body may end up covered. Then, after I bought her family some Sky Bars, the usual antique shopping. At the usual place. And here are pictures of the usual horrors that have been there forever:
HORRIBLE FANGED DUCK! It looks at you, wishing it could leap out and eat your face! Reindeer wonders when its turn will come.
HORRIBLE TAXIDERMIED FROG MARIACHI BAND! Indian girl wonders why they serenade her, for all eternity, and also why she applied so much spray tan to her face that she had none left for her arms and legs.
AWESOME BFF DOES NOT KNOW HER PICTURE'S BEING TAKEN! And now, CROTCH-PUNCHED MONKEY!
Wait, after a decade...someone bought Crotch-Punched Monkey?! A thorough search found him gone. However, there was something new.
GAHH WTF?! It was in the back of the cabinet, so you may miss the fact that the maniacally grinning loonie has no hands. Given the tendon hanging from his teeth, he ate them himself. We went to another few places, not buying anything. Although one had a book named Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat, and parents, if you name your kid that, just expect him to be a sociopath that squashes things flat. Jess said a variant on "WTF?!" that I missed, followed by one on STFU that she said as "Shut The Front Door!" Since she usually swears in a way that would make a sailor's ears bleed, I knew it must be from some church-related thing. (Yes, she's church-going. And her 2 best friends are an atheist and a lesbian) It was an old Saint Nicholas candy mold priced at $125. "We gave away one of those in a raffle!" I said, "Well, this place is overpriced. It may not be worth $125." "I'm sure it was worth more than the 50 cents that the raffle ticket cost!" Ready to part (hopefully for not another 4 months), we exchanged Xmas gifts. She got litter pan liners. OK, the ones from Pawalla; her shelter needs them more than I do. I got a box o' coolness, including two pint glasses painted with the logo of my favorite beer, Genesee, and a package of Stretchy Robots that my brain initially read as "Sketchy Robots," which would've been cooler. "Collect them all! Bumbot! PanhandlerTron! Crackbot 3000!" And a pair of wind-ups, one a robot, one--AN OWL. "Owls are assholes!" You either get our long-running personal joke, or you don't. And of course you didn't. (It evolved from Jess watching Twin Peaks and hating "Bob" the Owl, and a tshirt I told her about) I wrote her: "I staged 20 fights between the robot and the owl, winding them up and sending them towards each other and seeing who knocked who over. The results were 1 tie (they ran out of wind up), 18 wins for the owl, and 1 robot suicide by jumping off the counter. "Then I put them on the floor, and DJ gave the owl a smack down and dragged him to the bathroom for further humiliation. Even cats know owls are assholes!" Somewhere, I lost my scarf. Hey, I paid $3 for that 15 years ago, dammit! The only thing that can ease my loss of a strip of polyester is to have a Sky Bar now.
TEMPTING, BUT WE’LL STICK
TO THE NEW NEW PARTS . . .
USED NEW PARTS!
--sign stuck in the window of an auto parts store in Toronto
REALITY SHOW STARS, UNREAL
A crow comes and it starts quacking at us . . . or not quacking, what does a crow do?
--Printed on a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle box: SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED.
MAYBE YOU CAN’T TITLE
“MAYBE I CAN’T GOOD-BYE”
--Hirano Aya song title, Japan
Work conversations you walk into the middle of in modern Connecticut that immediately get your full attention: "...What if he comes in and shoots us all like in Newtown?!" And I knew who they were talking about--but only because he wasn't there. I'm out of the loop a lot, as someone has to do more work than stand behind the counter and gossip. The coworker is a pompous ass a lot, telling everyone how much smarter he is than anyone, "I speak 4 languages" and "I know 4 kinds of martial arts" (which is only believable if one is sumo). He's a guy with only 3 topics of conversation, Me, Myself and I, with a story or random factoid about everything. We all know he's bipolar, because he likes to say that as an excuse for his behaviour. Which has gotten worse. There's "annoying gasbag," and there's "guy we think could murder us." Because he decided that his meds were too expensive, so he stopped taking them. Which sounds more like a decision you make after not taking your meds, not before you do. How much are they, that he can't afford them now that he's working more hours? "$500," a coworker said. "$500 a what?" I asked. "A month? A week?" (Jessie's narcolepsy meds cost $200 a pill--Welcome to the greatest for-profit health care system in the world, America!) He can still afford to buy pot and blow $75 on a dinner with friends, and the guy's on food stamps. In the most expensive part of the country that's not Hawaii or DC, food stamps in CT get you $4 a day. A $75 dinner is a decision a person off his meds makes when he's in his manic phase. Shit, my blood pressure meds only cost me $22 a month, but I rate those up with food/shelter/cats/clothing as costs I'd never cut--wait, I already have clothes, cut that. But if it was either "Meds" or "Internet," it'd get cut before the meds. My blood pressure's bad enough that I asked my doctor how long it would take me to die from an aneurysm if I stopped taking them. He shrugged. "Maybe 20 years, maybe 2 months." He had a meltdown or panic attack Saturday night, mumbled something about "I have to talk to my brother!" (meaning--the brother he never talks to) and stormed out of work. That's called job abandonment, dude, you can't collect unemployment when you do that. It was really over nothing, although the other 2 working weren't making things easier by arguing with him about it. After he left, I heard that he's been semi-stalking the customers, getting their phone numbers and sending them multiple texts, even turning up unannounced at one's job. Yeah. Needs those meds more than the pot. As to the "death threat" scenario--I picture him more as the "smoke weed and whine on Facebook" type than AR-15 toter. If he had one, we'd hear about the "4 types of guns I'm awesome with." And he did whine on Facebook. And made what appears to be a threat. To one coworker specifically, as he posted it to his page, about "the 2 types of people you don't automatically strike at," and to "the other two people I'm angry at." Only 2 other people were working that night... I say "what appears to be a threat" because this guy's writing is obtuse (as he's so much smarter than us). The recipient was smart enough to print it out as evidence, and I read it twice. I was an English major, and I still don't know what exactly he was talking about. It would make James Joyce say "Waaay too stream of consciousness, dude!" Was there even a veiled threat to find the recip's mother-kidnapped young daughter? And do...what? Everyone's aware of this (excluding DT; seemed best to leave him as ignorant as he always is), including the father and son owners. The son wanted to tell our friend that he'd get a second chance if he proved he was back on his meds, but the father arrived right when I left, and he has veto power. If the guy freaks out about a mistake on the credit card machine and then makes threats, how about "Inform the police and tell him that they'll be called if he steps foot in the store"? I don't know. His FB had a cryptic reference to a guy named "Bliss." His uncle--surnamed "Bliss"--called the son, confused as to why his nephew called him to call him to tell us his nephew was "staying in an inn in Kent". He can't afford his meds, but he can afford to drive across CT and rent a room for a few days? I'm hoping that this comes to a good conclusion, but I have my doubts right now. Welcome to the greatest for-profit mental health care system in the world, America!
There may be a reason I can’t think of but the problem with that reason is that I can’t think of it now.
--British MP Boris Johnson
I was told that after I left yesterday, the store got a phone call from a sheriff in Poughkeepsie, NY, that our errant coworker had checked himself into a psychiatric hospital there. That's certainly the best place for him for now. At least he realized that he needed help. The owner's son said that he wasn't going to fire him over his behaviour, as "he might come back and do something to us." I think "He should keep his job because he might kill us" (something I should point out that he hasn't ever said he'd do. I don't know why this is taken as such a given) is the best reason to not give someone a job. He ran off not because of anything we'd done, besides to catch him making mistakes, but because of his reaction to that. If we take him back, should we just let him do anything he wants? Such as what he otherwise would've done Saturday, spend all day aimlessly wandering the store sighing loudly, talking on his phone the rest of the time, and deciding how long his lunches should be and when he wants to leave, while interacting with the customers only when he over rings or under rings their sales, or he wants to creep on them? Can't we just pay him to not come to work then? And then today we heard that the sheriff called back, asking us where he was, as they didn't know, and to call the cops if he came to the store. He'd escaped! You can't contain a man who knows four martial arts! I immediately thought "I'm sure it's a lot easier to get into a psych institute than it is to get out of one. Having been in one" (from years of untreated deep suicidal depression 30 years ago, since I'm sure you're wondering). And, yes, it turned out that it was a literal game of telephone, 5 phone calls from one person to another to another, garbling the story's timeline. He didn't ninja his way out, he's still in the hospital. Is he coming back? He can be an annoying git when he's on his meds, but at least then he's on them. The fact he's begun losing us customers on or off meds is, IMO, reason enough to let him find work elsewhere. Maybe he should just threaten to kill us. That seems to be considered an automatic reason to keep him on.
If you’re going to get in behind Rio Ferdinand you’ve got to show him what you’ve got and then go in hard.
--sports commentator Jamie Redknapp
I think you’ll find that John Parrot was a victim of his own downfall there . . .
--broadcaster Steve Davis, ITV
The ongoing work psychodrama: He called 3 times yesterday, asking for the phone number of his doctor. Wait, what? He wanted somebody to go online and look the number up for him, ignoring the fact they were at work with customers. Wait, what? He's on the phone, but can't dial 411? He's in a hospital, and they can't find out? A coworker was talking about his utterly cryptic FaceBook post/threat/inscrutable muttering that had references to the "four martial arts he knows." He obliqued "Jim is the Snake, and he is the Lion. I am the Owl." "Whatever that means," she said. I said "He obviously was speaking as a master of Zen and martial arts, giving knowledge that only he could impart: He knows exactly how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop." And then I remembered an ancient teaching so sacrosanct that only Jessica and I know it: "Owls are assholes." Oh, and apparently it's been decided that he doesn't work here anymore. So maybe leave "I MAY MURDER YOU IF FIRED" off your resumes. Try instead "I'm a People Person. A People PUSHED INTO MEAT GRINDERS Person."
On my box of Whoppers malted milk balls: "25% LESS FAT" and then in a much tinier font, "Than the average of the leading chocolate brands." Wait, what? The "Average"? Does that include Uncle Joe's Mint Balls? Auntie Stent's Choc-O-Latey Lard Nuggets? Cousin Gaspy's Sugared Salted Trans-Fatted Deep Fried in Corn Syrup Pork Rinds NOW! With Extra Heart Palpitations? "So good that you'll feel the pain of JOY in your left arm!" I noticed that this is the new trend: compare your product to something fictitious. I saw it first on a can of Clorox in the store bathroom. "NOW 25% BIGGER than mumble a size 25% smaller mumble." It was next to an old can of the same brand. The new one was 22oz or something, and the old one was a size bigger than the size the new one was "comparing" itself to. "NOW! INFINITELY LARGER PLUS ONE! than the square root of zero."
I saw an article about this Sunday, which gave about the same amount of information that this one's headline does: Last Saturday, Over 2800 Spaceships Clashed in a Battle Costing Thousands of Dollars. Wait, what? This one gives a little more detail on what will certainly be mentioned in a future Cracked.com article titled "10 Accidental Mouse Clicks That Cost Billions in Online Money." It certainly doesn't make me want to play the mmporg EVE, which sounds like "Accountants--IN SPAAAACE!"
We hope that you enjoyed today's episode of "Wait, What?"
Wait! What is it? I was just cleaning the litter boxes and thought of Genius Ninja Man as "the most egotistical person with no reason to be one since Mr Poopy Pants." (You remember that idiot) If a person is smart, people say "That person is smart." If you constantly tell people you're smart, people think "That guy's not as smart as he thinks he is." And then I remembered that I was told that the "I speak 4 languages" guy spent a lot of time in the bathroom recently. When questioned about it, he said "I pulled an Irish." He was asked "Wait--what?" He beamed and said "You know--I shit my pants!" Even Mr Poopy Pants wasn't dumb enough to publicly declare his lack of mastery over his bowels. I guess that the 5th martial art he was going to learn was How to Wear Big Boy Pants.
T, T, T, DAMMIT!
Quizmania (ITV) host Greg Scott: We’re looking for an occupation beginning with T. Contestant: Doctor. Scott: No, it’s T. T for Tommy. T for Tango. Contestant: Oh. (pause) Doctor.
A Do-It-Yourself Submachine Gun Teleportation: A How-To Guide How to Fossilize Your Hamster
The prodigal coworker called 5 times to talk to 4 different people, asking if he can come back to work if he gets a doctor's note. One was a cashier with no say about hiring. Notably not asked: the 3 of us who worked the night of his meltdown. He hasn't been told that the answer is "Yes, you can come back to work. Just not here." Since every call was from the hospital, it's unclear as to whether or not the doctor's note exists in objective reality.
With him gone and DT thankfully down to a handful of hours a week, I knew some changes would be made to the schedule. And for 9 years, the rule of schedule changes has been "Bill Gets Fucked." And I had my hours cut by 10%. Halle-fuckin'-lujah! Because the 10% reduction is the pointless 4 hours I'm there every Monday. I spend an hour in my car in order to cover the AM cashier's bathroom breaks. The other 2 managers get 3 days off in a row at the cost of 4 hours of pay, but the one who hates the place the most didn't. Why? Because the place is hateful. One of the 3-days-off guys writes the schedule, and insisted that it was impossible to cut me those hours because I'm on salary, and changing me to hourly would be too much work (he has nothing to do with the payroll). The other was DT, who does things to make other people unhappy because that makes him happy. But New Owner called the person in charge of payroll--his mom--and as he said, "It makes no sense to not do this. Everyone wins!" And my "impossible" status change was simply clicking on a box in payroll. Shit, every month I save a week and a half's pay. I can afford to cut from 10 days' saving to 9. I keep expecting that this won't last for some idiotic reason, as idiot reason has run the store for so long. But the 2 idiots are outranked. It'll be nice to get 3 days off, even if not in a row. I had 15 years of 2 in a row, and now I've got it again. Leaving at 9PM Saturday in order to get up at 7AM Monday, and doing the same on Tues/Thurs, made it feel like I had no days off. Cats had celebratory food and treats when I got home. Huzzah for Team Young! May the huzzahs last.
BUT HOW DO THEY KNOW WHAT THEY THINK THEY KNOW, YOU KNOW?
On the field they don’t speak because they’re not positive they know what they know what they think they know they know.
--Chicago Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice
We still don't know how That Coworker ended up in the hospital. Did he commit himself? Then why did we get a call from the sheriff? His cryptic FaceBook snarl said something about "that woman in New Hartford," and then he ended up in the same county the next day. I don't know what size "county" means to you, but this entire state is only 60 by 120 miles big. If I went to the hospital, sheriffs wouldn't be calling my job, is all I'm sayin'. When I heard that the guy was basically stalking customers and posting FB threats (or a post so hard to decipher that Thomas Pynchon would be left a-scratchin' his head), I thought "Good thing no one can Google a name like 'Bill Young'! And a good thing that I didn't get that bumper sticker that read 'SPLUT'! Google that, and I'm on the first page of results!" And then I got a hit from a cell in western CT that I'd never seen before. And I remembered the bumper sticker that I did get instead of "Splut." If you Googled that with quotes around it, there was only one result. It wasn't him, I'm sure. But it didn't stop me from taking the bumper sticker down. I'd had it for almost 4 years anyways. I'm not going to mention of what it said here, when it's already out there. And off of my car. I prefer being invisible. So, to make myself more visible, I ordered some MORE bumper stickers! Here as gifs in squinty print, so no one can Google them. If you find yourself behind a car with one of these--I intend to rotate them--it's me.
You can customize your own stickers at Build-A-Sign for $2.99 each.
We’re sorry for the massive disruption it’s caused their lives. There’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back.
--BP CEO Tony Hayward, on BP’s oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which claimed 11 lives and has spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf
Did I tell this story before? After 13 years, I had my work schedule changed from nights to mornings. I've never been a morning person. And, since I worked 1 night a week, getting home around the time I was now going to bed, it was carved into stone that my body would never get used to the new schedule. I lived in an unending state of jet lag. At 6 weeks of exhaustion, I got a call at exactly 8AM. "BILL! It's DRUNKEN TODDLER! You need to call me back at the store, it's IMPORTANT!" *klik* Asshole hung up before I could even reach the phone...ugh...crawl to phone, dial store... "Bill! Do you have any beer coming in today?" What the fu--"Northeast. Same as every Wednesday." "Oh, okay. Just checking. Sorry to wake you up! HAW HAW HAW" *klik* I fell back into bed and realized that DT had only called to wake me up. Because to him, Sadism=Hilarity. And the answering machine was never turned on again until I was awake. He actually needed to ask me something once, but Fuck You. That ship didn't just sail--you sank it, asshole. Today: the first Monday of FREEDOM! And I made sure that the machine was off. When I turned it on--of course there was a missed call from work! Haw haw haw, you alcoholic piece of shit. I know he's going to try and fight me working 4 days. Because that's what I want, and he likes keeping people from getting what they want. The only thing that makes that bile-filled sack of leukemia-riddled rotting protein happy is making others unhappy. But he's going to have to convince the 2 people above him that they're wrong, and that will involve his shriveled, addicted bag of very little brain coming up with a reason. He's never given me anything beyond a vague mumble as a reason. Beyond "Miserable shits like me enjoy making others miserable." Let's see him think on his staggering feet now. Does it sound like I don't like him very much?
I'm glad that the Stupid Bowl was won by the From-Some-City-Somewhere Whatevers! All I know is--30 minutes of dead air?! HAW HAW HAW! How many Beyonci does it take to blow out a Super Bowl? "Have we become a society so desperate for sensory stimulation and so gullible to the ploys of Madison Avenue that we now beat a path to see or re-see 30- and 60-second advertisements for crap we probably don't want or need? The hype over the hype has become -- what else? -- hyperhype. We are moving through the universe at hyperhype hyperspeed. It is not a condition conducive to rational, reasonable thought or intelligent discourse. As if you didn't know."
ELVIS REAPPEARS TO THE DELIGHT OF FOUNTAIN LAKE REHAB FANS
--headline in the Hot Springs Village Voice (Arkansas)
NEW CLICHÉS, ENGIMATIC AND SALADIC
Don’t judge someone until they have tossed your salad.
--actor John Travolta
"Um, Mr Travolta? You do realize that 'tossed salad' means....um, can also mean...Well, someone sticks their tongue...inside your... "Mr Travolta, OH LOOK! L. RON has sent you another email from inside his asshole! GRAVE! From BEYOND the grave, not inside, yep, that's what I said. Yep. "Mr Travolta, would you like some more mouthwash?"
SO THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED TO POOCHY!
JUMBO AEROSOL KILL HOUSEHOLD INSECTICIDE EFFECTIVELY EFFECTIVELY DESTROYS A WIDE RANGE OF HOUSEHOLD PETS
--label on a Vietnamese bug spray can
My first day with DT since getting Mondays off: after blocking it for a year, he acted like it was his idea.
Maybe my first week as an hourly worker in 9+ years may end up with another pay cut: WORSTEST STORM EVAR! is coming. A foot or two of snow! New Owner, who went to college in upstate NY: "In Syracuse, people wouldn't even be talking about this." If it was 6 inches, we wouldn't be talking about it CT. If Virginia gets 2 inches, "STATE SHUTS DOWN HIGHWAYS." I got out of work late because of the panic buying (and since we get paid based on what it says on the schedule--yeah, worked for free, so effective pay cut already). It took me 15 minutes to drive the last 5 minutes of my commute. Because the lines from the gas stations stretched into the busiest street in a not very large town. It may not affect my commute much tomorrow, if the changing-every-hour predictions hold. But it may do something to my planned trip with Jess/Kev/Meg to see the Popovitch Comedy Pet Theater on Sunday, if there are power outages. And it's a traveling show, so air travel could postpone it. Oh, well, no biggie. We've only been planning it for SIX MONTHS. (glares at sky) "WEATHER, I'M WATCHING YOU!"
CORRECTIONS, PUZZLING AND JUMBLED AS WELL
The Jumble puzzle, which appeared on page D1 of Thursday’s edition, actually was the puzzle scheduled to appear today. The Jumble originally scheduled to appear Thursday as well as the answers to Wednesday’s puzzle are on page E1 today. The answers to the puzzle published today appeared Thursday, and the answers to the puzzle published Thursday will appear Saturday.
--correction in the Arizona Republic (Phoenix)
Whew! Is it hot in here, or is it me? YES! It's 85 in here, probably because I set the thermostat at 85. After avoiding disaster during OctSnowber and Sandy, there's no way that I can keep winning the "Power Stays On" lottery. Not so much because of the snow, but the predicted high winds, which are what down power lines. The gust speeds that were predicted keep going down with every forecast, so who knows? It's a bit balmy for my tastes in here, but the cats don't mind. It's a dry heat, doncha know. Unless the power goes out, then it's single digits.
It’s a doubleheaded sword.
--basketball player Gilbert Arenas
The high winds never came, so the power's on. You may already guessed that, as you're reading this. On the way home yesterday I thought that the storm Nemo had pretty good timing. I was working the day shift then and the closing shift today, and, if the power stayed on and travel wasn't too bad, our Popovich show Sunday would go on. But I was awakened by the CT Emergency Alert, telling me that there was still a travel ban. I called work and, sadly, the phone was answered. If New Owner could make it in over the dreaded Avon Mountain without crashing or being arrested, well, I'm the only closer, I had beer orders to write as every delivery was cancelled, and plus--a 4 hour pay cut, sure. 2 more hours because I left early, sure. It's a 100% pay cut if you end up dead from driving in the storm. But 16 hours total? That's a bit much. The online traffic cameras showed no cars, but the roads were plowed. So I grabbed my stuff, suited up, opened the garage door and was greeted by a giant snowdrift. 3+ feet high, and almost 10 times as long. They'd plowed the complex's roads, but not in front of the garages. Because morons had parked in front of theirs. I used to own a snow shovel. Someone stole it from my garage 20 years ago, and I never replaced it, since in 26 years living here I haven't needed one. So I called the store to tell them I needed to wait for the plow guy to clear my garage before I could leave. "Take your time," he said. An hour later, no plow guy. I called again, then tried to McGuyver a solution. Kevin! He lives up the road. He's in a condo now, but he used to live in houses in the boonies, so he must have a shovel. His condo's designed so that you can't park in front of the garages, so maybe he can even drive it over! "Yeah, our plow guy just got here." I could hear his wife Meg in the background saying something. This was her view outside:
Yes, their plow guy got stuck. So we both waited to see what would happen, plow-wise. (Or not so wise, in the case of this plow goof) After 45 minutes, I wrapped myself up so thoroughly that only my glasses showed, and walked over there. A mile round trip. In a 14 degree windchill. In the snow. And, no kidding, it was uphill both ways. Oh, if only I'd followed my father's old advice, and "brought along a baked potato for food and warmth"! Or fucking not done it. It was over a mile, and walking on barely-plowed roads, only to have to wade yards through waist-deep snow, and walking as fast as I could manage ("Work needs me!") is pretty exhausting. I found out why their plow guy got stuck: Kev's road is a loop, but with an extension. The town didn't plow the extension, Mr Plow decided "I ain't gettin' paid to plow this!" and rammed through the snow until he got stuck, exactly at the condo entrance. Smart planning, PG! You saved 5 minutes and spent 3 hours waiting for help. I was gasping when Kev handed me his shovel. "You want to come in and warm up?" I shook my head, as talking was hard. And I started back again, as fast as I could walk. Until I thought "Work doesn't needs me that much!" and slowed down. I noticed that they'd plowed the main loop around the complex again! Maybe they'd--of course they didn't. They plowed the part that WAS ALREADY PLOWED and PLOWED IT SOME MORE. By the time I got home, my original plan to shovel immediately was shelved. I would've given myself a heart attack. I was certainly warmed up by now. Inside, I actually stripped to the waist. Panting in my chair, I decided to wait until my heart rate slowed to normal. That took an half an hour. Because it wasn't beating like a drum, it was doing a techno beat. My right arm kept shaking. If it'd been my left, I'd have called 911. Then I started shoveling. It was light, loose snow, but 3.5 feet high is still mucho snow. I decided to switch from shoveling from the garage to shoveling in. And once out there, I realized that our plow guy had made one pass, and then backed up. It was only as wide as his pickup. And there was the problem of Where to put the snow? After half an hour of shoveling, and 15 minutes of waiting for my accelerated heart rate to slow (it didn't), I decided to end the suspense and go to work. Kev called. "Bill, it's been a long time, are you okay?" "YES, must go to WORK pant pant pant, also clear driveway to see Popovich tomorrow!" It ended up like this:
If you look closely enough at this 28 foot long Death Star trench, you may notice something. The tire tracks that go straight out. As feared, all this work and there wasn't enough room to turn my car around. My car's a fucking HONDA FIT. I could do donuts around fire hydrants and still not hit the peeing chihuahua. So I pulled into the garage and looked at the snow. "I could shovel 3.5 feet of snow 5 feet towards the garage, then 4 feet away--Oh, fuck no." There's work ethic, and there's mental illness. I called work. "Oh, don't worry, Dave will close." When was THAT decided? No one could've called me? (Of course, they just thought that I was waiting for a plow guy, not trying to be Employee of the Year) Then Kev called again. "Bill--DON'T bring the snow shovel back! We can borrow a neighbor's!" Because they knew exactly what I was going to do. Immediately walk the hell back to return their shovel. Because that's the way I am. A work ethic that borders on insanity. And at 5PM--plow guys finally returned. I can go to Popovich tomorrow! If it's not cancelled because of storm Nemo. Finding Nemo? Hating Nemo. Man, will parts of me be aching tmw.
Speaking of Sunday:
"POPOVICH PET THEATER IS ON! Published on February, 9 2013 at 6:19pm Both the 1 pm & 3 pm performances of the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater will be presented as scheduled."
SALAD BAR PROHIBITIONS, NONPRODUCTIVE
PLEASE DO NOT LAID THE WHOLE TONGUE ON THE FOOD
--sign taped to the salad bar at a Chinese buffet
I thought yesterday "How will they get the snow from our garages? A plow can't do it. They'll need a BobCat." And they sent a BobCat. So all that shoveling was totally worthless. After telling the whole story today, I was asked "And what was the fucking moral we learned?" I said "Plow guy's not here, I'm not coming to work." You can guess who had that conversation:
And now here's some names you know, but faces you don't!
Kev & Meg! After a drive that was uneventful (except for me getting mildly lost twice; thank you for getting us back on course, Navigator J!), we saw
POPOVICH COMEDY PET THEATER! That pretty much gives you clips of what we saw, except for the dog futbol game and a couple of others (no Vegas showgirls, either). There was more old school vaudeville juggling and acrobatics than we expected, but those were amazing, too. There were several missed cues, especially among the cats, who might wander onto the stage before being coaxed back off. Some cats were divas--"Yes, I know the trick, I just don't feel it this second, let me rub my face some more." But it seemed like all the pets were trained with kindness, not by fear. And how long did it take to train them? There's a glimpse of a white cat jumping from a great height onto his shoulder in the video. Trust me, it's amazing in person. Obviously he started with a shorter platform to train her (all smart white cats are females to me), but how many bad dismounts raked his face with claws? We were as close as I could get tickets for a month ago, but half the 2 front rows were empty. People who bought tickets and couldn't dig themselves out of the house, I assume. We were in the Mezzanine, which I guess means balcony. I didn't bother taking any pictures, as my decade-old camera's zoom moved me up about 5 rows. Jess had her fancy camera, but not her telephoto lens, so I'll post any good pictures from her once she uploads them. It was a series of vignettes: fire rescue, train ride, schoolroom, etc. Even a Chaplinesque tramp with no friends in the world but a mutt and an orange tabby. Those 2 performed a lot--his first cat and dog? Maybe a bit of autobiography? And for the finale, ALL CATS! A dozen of them! In summary: GREAT! Certainly worth $15 and a room full of children. We adults enjoyed it immensely. See it if it comes near you. Except that their website seems to think that only Las Vegas exists. They came to UConn's Jorgensen, and I only found out because they sent me their program. After giving Kev his shovel back, saying "I'm not walking this time!" (Meg: "Now we know what to get you for Christmas!") and an exchange of GPS info between Kev and Jess, we headed off to the Bidwell Tavern! In opposite directions. Her phone sent us on the scenic route. They got there well before us. We had a couple of beers or Cokes each (Jess being the Coke fiend) and delicious meals and lots of conversation. I've been trying for years to get the 4 of us together, but it's hard enough getting 2 of us together. As I expected, Meg & Jess hit it off immediately. She & Kev hadn't seen each other in at least 12 years, and, also as I expected, the 2 outgoing ones said a lot more than the 2 quieter ones. We talked about a lot of things, until there was a half hour when I said nothing. The other 3 got all enthused talking about their favorite TV shows. Downton Walking Boardwalk Thrones or something. I eventually watched the sports channel on the TV, wondering to myself "WTF kinda cars are those racing? They look like overfed go-carts." I also watched a guy in the parking lot clean snow off of his SUV. I found it more interesting. Eventually, Kev said "Of course, Bill could see these if his set didn't have only rabbit ears!" I said "So, how about Doctor Who's new season!" Blank looks. After a pause, Jess offered "I see ads for that on BBC America." And then we parted ways. Kev said to Jess "Let's make sure it's sooner than 12 years next time!" Back in Sturbridge at the Crack Bar, Jess and I bought Sky Bars and hugged goodbye. I stopped to buy cheap Mass gas (I spent 3.5 hours in my car today) and got home to happy cats. An awesome day, unspoiled by Nemo.
Time, as Proust taught us, may be a measured thing, but it is ultimately something we experience subjectively. No one in tennis makes us more aware of Proust’s insight than Rafael Nadal.
--on the New York Times tennis blog
Before he retired, the pope should've prayed to God for better health! Oh, wait...
GREAT IDEAS, CONGRESSIONAL
I’m telling you that this works. You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. They would say, “I’ll paint your house.” I mean, that’s the old days of what people would do to get health care with your doctors. Doctors are very sympathetic people. I’m not backing down from that system.
--Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sue Lowden, on health care reform
Radio host in an on-air quiz segment: Who painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Contestant: Leonardo DiCaprio.
--on 2CR FM radio (UK)
Inside the Battle of Hoth. Ignores the fact that the AT-AT is certainly the most poorly designed tank ever. Weighs a million tons, so it would probably just stomp through the surface of anything and get stuck. Has a dinky head that shoots little popguns compared to its weight and volume, with a fire radius of, what, 30 degrees? And when was the last time you heard of a tank that got destroyed because some punk kid made it trip?
The Romance of Leprosy The Romance of Proctology Castration: The Advantages and Disadvantages
Just because I'm single doesn't mean that I didn't spend Valentine's Day at home surrounded by my true loves.
Seen today in the Hartford Advocate: an ad labeled "Wholistic Approach to Divorce." Surprisingly, the legal firm was not named Horton & Grinch LLC.
This happens at work more than one would think: GIRL: "I'll have the small Hennessy." (grabs smallest bottle of 3) "No, not that one! The middle one!" (grabs bottle in the middle) "Not that, the biggest one!" How smart are these people after they start drinking?
After 9 1/2 years, I switched from salary to hourly in order to get an extra day off, at the cost of 4 hours pay. And that same week I end up losing 16 hours of pay due to the storm! Still, net gain, IMO. I opened up my paycheck, and--wait, what? I got paid 40 hours? Many people would just say "Score!" and not mention it, but I went right up and said "I got paid too much." New Owner made a phone call. "We didn't make you hourly," he said. "We just made you salary at 4 hours less. So you'll get paid 36 hours for last week." I said "I don't have a problem with--" and he said "--Getting paid more, I know!" I said "Well, yes, but I also have no problem with getting paid what I worked!" So--Score!
Okay, the Eleventh's Doctor's tenure has been a little bit more like this than I think most Who fans will want to admit:
PERHAPS YOU SHOULD REPHRASE THAT
The women of Turkey are furious. Armies of Natashias, prostitutes from Georgia, are invading Turkey to cream the men.
--reporter Olenka Frenkiel
AND WITHOUT THE ROPE, TOO
Soccer is like chess but without the dice.
--soccer player Lukas Podolski
Enough jokes to justify its short running time:
MADE OF 60% POLYESTER AND 40% POLYESTER
--product information about a fleece jacket on Sears.com
Last Sunday there was an enthusiastic conversation between Kev & Meg & Jess & I about old candies. Whoa. Every candy ever. I thought that only I had heard of Zero Bars! Just scroll down and see how many times you say "I remember those!"
Obama can’t be himself because of who he is. But now he is who he is.
--playwright/critic Bonnie Greer
OH, SHUT UP
I think it's impossible to live in a room which isn't at least 13 feet high. Don't you?
--costume jewelry designer Kenneth Jay Lane, in an interview in which he showed off his Park Avenue apartment
OTHERNESS, NOT SO OTHERLY
He’s drawn right in the middle. In other words, he’s drawn right in the middle.
--horse racing announcer Willie Carson
The Baltimore City Paper has a comics section. Once upon a time, its highlight was Funny Paper, reviews of comic strips. (Still there on the sidebar, if you want to read about comics from a dozen years ago) Current strips contain the excellent Lulu Eightball, and the utterly incomprehensible gibberish of the badly drawn Important Comics, which I think may only be Important enough to publish because the "artist" is closely related to the publisher. I'm a big fan of a strip I'd never heard of until my local alt-weekly dumped Lulu, Dirt Farm. Here's this week's, called Random Facts.
Who steals your socks?
FAIRY TALES, DEFINITELY NOT FOR KIDDIES
TITTIE RED HOOD A cute girl was walking in the forest. A wolf took to her. “Hi. Where are you going?” “To my grandmother’s house!” she said. The wolf said smiling “Take care!”
--on the cover of a Japanese stationery pad
Interesting that the work radio station will give us "The 5 Most Horrible Things Singles Eat in America's 6 Happiest & Unhappiest Cities That Men and Women are Different About, from giveusmoney.com!" Due attribution! But today they just flat-out read titles from this article, without adding "according to Cracked.com."
I grabbed the first mint chocolate chip ice cream that was on sale yesterday. It turned out to be Hood's "Red Sox Green Monster Mint." Whatever. It's mint chocolate chip. Except that the chips are described as "Fudge Sox." Because what you want to find in your ice cream is a baseball team's athletic socks. With fudge in them.
BOLD PATRICK HENRY-LIKE STANCES
Q: Do you think we should repeal the Bush tax cuts? Hillary Clinton: I’m not sure that that’s exactly what we should do, but I think the combination of fiscal responsibility and economic growth proves to be very positive for our country.
NOT ONLY IRRITATING, BUT OFF BY TWO
I wish I was an octopus so I could hug ten people at a time!
--actress Drew Barrymore
HERE’S AN ANSWER YOU SHOULD REFUSE
Weakest Link host Anne Robinson: Name the man who was president of Italy until May 2006. Contestant: Don Corleone.
TALK ABOUT YOUR OSCAR-CALIBER FILM DIALOG
I am going to make you as happy as a baby Psychlo on a straight diet of kerbango.
--Chirk (Kelly Preston), in Battlefield Earth (2000)
The giant oak trees that surround us here are what they are because acorns had a plan.
--Florida governor Rick Scott, in his inaugural address
I updated my Kitty-A-Go-Go review with its Final Verdict: tomorrow, Kitty-A-Go-Go becomes Kitty-A-Go-Gone, and the old box comes back. The cats stopped using it. This morning I cleaned out the box that they are using, and topped it off with fresh litter. When I got out of the shower, DJ was in it. 5 minutes later, he was still in it. Not pooping, just chillin'. He was in his zen sand garden for 20 minutes. I don't think I can give a more negative review of Kitty-A-Go-Go than that.
You who don't live here may not remember how WWE CEO zillionaire Linda McMahon tried to buy 2 CT Senate races in a row. $92 million she did spend, and lost by double digits both times. I'm sorry, let me rephrase that--hilariously lost by double digits both times. To show she's not bitter, she's introduced 2 new wrestling characters, based on the Tea Party that gave her no support. Of course, being a Tea Bagger in southern New England is just short of wearing a Klan hood and expecting to be voted Best Costume at an NAACP convention.
PREDITIONS, UITE ETRAORDINARY
There will be No C, X or Q in our every-day alphabet. They will be abandoned because unnecessary.
--journalist John Elfreth Watkins Jr., who collected forecasts by “the wisest and most careful men in our greatest institutions of science,” in the Ladies’ Home Journal, 1900
HAVE YOU SEEN MY DICK? I AM CONTACTING YOU FROM YARM IN ENGLAND. I AM LOOKING FOR MY OLDEST BROTHER, RICHARD JAMES HILL, AGE 83.
--ad in an Australian newspaper
Antiquing a month ago with Mrs J, I saw an old book with a skull on the cover. Keeler! I instantly thought, and I was right. The always entertaining Weird Universe had a post today on awful novelist Harry Steven Keeler. I remembered that I'd briefly written about him while linking to a much better page once. Wait, it was back in 2004?! I quoted myself from the mists of history in the comments:
Keeler once wrote a mystery novel in which the killer wasn't even introduced until the last sentence of a 450-page book. It was about--as much as any Keeler book can be "about" anything--a man who's found strangled dead in the middle of his lawn, with no footprints besides his own. His last words: "The Babe from Hell!" Naturally, the police suspect the Flying Strangler Baby, a deranged midget who hovers his helicopter over people and hangs from a rope and strangles them wid his iddy-biddy handsies...while dressed as a baby. Damn you, Flying Strangler Baby! But FSB didn't do it. No, it seems that the guy was actually killed by--Napoleon! Nappy was the guy's unknown distant ancestor, and passed on the [made-up] gene that kills you with symptoms that look like strangling and cause you to hallucinate. About babies. One assumes that the FSB remained at large, because the Tri-City area is just lousy with midgets in diapers that own helicopters.
The page that made me a Keeler fan was on AOL and long gone, but I found its new iteration immediately. Yes, I did not make any of his FSB story up.
MARCH, AN EXCITEMENT-PACKED MONTH!
National Frozen Food Month March 1: National Pig Day and Peanut Butter Lover’s Day March 5: Multiple Personality Day March 13: Open an Umbrella Indoors Day March 31: Bunsen Burner Day
--official designations for the month of March
I DON’T HAVE TIME, I’LL BE THE TABLE
PLEASE WAIT TO BE THE SEAT.
--sign at the Spaghetti House restaurant in Hong Kong
They call him The Cannibal because of his icy concentration.
--NBC sportscaster, about Olympic luger Armin Zöggeler
UNEMPLOYMENT, THE BRIGHT SIDE OF
We have more people employed in this country than ever before. Sure, unemployment is up but more people are looking for work than ever before.
--columnist and National Review publisher William Rusher
COMPUTER USERS WHO NEED MORE PERSONAL RAM
Tech support: Are you sure you used the right password? Customer: Yes, I’m sure. I saw my colleague do it. Tech support: Can you tell me what the password was? Customer: Five stars.
--tech support call
Special Stinky Chicken Wings Fried Enema Bacteria Dictyophore Wu Chicken
9 Simple Tasks That No One in a Commercial Can Do Right "It's a pretty desperate gambit to hope your audience has no idea what ears are and how they work. We can all agree that if you injure your brain with your own Q-Tip, keep doing it and follow the light. It may one day save the life of the child you mistake for ice cream, you criminally stupid ape. Stop hiding from cotton swabs and call your mother -- science wants to know how she was a handful of goat meat left out in a sperm bank break room."
Weakest Link host Anne Robinson: William Shakespeare wrote seven plays about Kings of England who all shared the same name. What name? Contestant: Oh . . . I don’t have an answer . . . Ralph?
Le Page got a hit looking for "tharg and mom fuking". Which begs the question: Tharg and whose Mom and which King of Fu? Ralph Fu? And the perverted searcher found it! Part of it. Okay, a word of it. As in "Shit, it's not rocket science. It's not even flint-knapping science. In 30,000BC, it's why that asshole Tharg was told to stand near the front of the stampeding mastodon." It was only significant because that was in New 98, the New that began the DJ era. And on last Saturday the 9th, it was Don Juan's 4th birthday! I know it's just a thing that's likely automated, but my vet, VCA Animal Hospital, sent DJ a silly birthday card. "Animal Hospital" makes them sound big, but it's run from a tiny house, and I only first went there because they're just up the road. But I'd never go anywhere else. It's a little practice that takes the time to get to know your kids, their needs, and, in Byron's case, their PYSCHOTIC NEED TO MURDER EVERYONE IN THE ROOM ARRRGH. Starting with me, the guy who gives the food and the pets. At the vet, says Bigfoot, don't bite the hand that feeds you, RIP IT THE FUCK OFF HIS WRIST! Anyway, DJ's ecard is cute, even if they spell his name "D.j."
AND THIS MAKES US ALMOST, BUT NOT QUITE, WANT TO THROW UP
But this book is about big things—friendship, motherhood, love, loss—seen through the prism of smoke from a joss stick, set to jingly jangly music that still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up, produces a shiver not unlike that from a Fox’s glacier mint, and makes me almost, but not quite, want to wet my pants.
--critic Liz Jones, on the novel I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson
PREDICTIONS, FUNDAMENTALLY UNSOUND
[Mortgage giants] Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are fundamentally sound . . . I think they are in good shape going forward.
--Rep. Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts), two months before the government spent billions bailing them out
Only beaten out of Worst Cat Movie by Milo & Otis (the movie that led to the Humane Society being onsite of every Hollywood film, due to the amount of dead pets it left in its wake), here's the merely boring and crappy A Talking Cat!?! What, that's the title!?! YES!?! Do click on the clips from it, as a very bored cat talks via awful CGI, and is voiced by a sleazy-sounding guy who delivers lines like “I’m a talking cat, but I can only talk to a person once. There’s a collar my original owner gave me buried under a grove of magical trees due north of here. Look for a big fallen tree just through a thick hedge. It looks like a fuzzy green wall.” in a slurred snarl that would make a drunk Charles Bukowski scoot a few barstools down. While accompanied by music best described as "My 10 year old nephew owns a Casio!" The climax involves finding the magic collar, which is so "buried under a grove of magical trees" that--Hey! My lost sunglasses were on my head the whole time!
MILITARY INSIGHTS FROM NON-COMBATANT ACTORS, STUPID
In Burton’s day they were itching to get into the fray. Now it is the opposite. They are always whining about the dangers of being killed. Oh my God, they are such wimps now! The whole point of being in the Army is wanting to get killed, wanting to test yourself to the limits. Now you have to fly 15,000 feet above the war zone to avoid getting hit. I don’t think there is any point in having wars if that’s how you’re going to behave. It’s pathetic. All this whining!
--actor Rupert Everett
GUESS SOME PEOPLE NEED MORE THAN JUST A PEP TALK
TIGER WOODS LAUNCHES 2011 CAMPAIGN WITH ENCOURAGING 69
--Reuters online headline
IRRITATION MIGHT BE THE LEAST OF IT
Warning label on a box of nails: CAUTION! DO NOT SWALLOW NAILS! MAY CAUSE IRRITATION!
THE FINNISH REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
. . . and, keeping the Irish theme going, Sibelius is our composer of the week.
--music broadcaster Petroc Trelawney
ANSWERS, SOMEHOW UNSATISFYING
Q: What is the derivation and the meaning of the name Erwin? A: It is English from the Anglo-Saxon and means Tariff Act of 1909.
--from the Columbus (Ohio) Citizen
MEDICAL DEFINITIONS, MADDENING
chronologically experienced citizens...............elderly people compensated edentia.....................................false teeth nutritional avoidance therapy..........................diet