NEW 119

ďGenius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped."
--Elbert Hubbard

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      For once, I was the one who was late. Three times I had to stop because of tree trimming. Then I got stuck on Rt 74, the most one-laniest no-passingest road ever, behind a tow truck with 2 SUVs. As soon as I passed it (on the only place you safely can for 20 miles), a state cop was behind me. And when I got there, she wasn't.
      Her car was, but where was Jess? On the other side of the parking lot, checking out a map. I said "Happy Feral Cat Day!" with a 16-pound bag of Purina One in my arms. "How long will this last you, a week?" She said "Yes."
      We were both impressed by how much Putnam has changed since we were last there--what, only 4 months ago? When the economy tanked thanks to the housing bubble 6 years ago (THANKS OBAM--I mean, DUBYA), every time we went, another business had closed. It was amazing how many had opened since the Spring. A new antiques store had opened, as organized as a hoarder's house. Nothing says "WELCOME!" like a bunch of employees loitering by the door smoking. Tables of dirty old bottles and VHS tapes. Nothing was priced, which is always a red flag. "Oh, you're interested in buying that? Now it's going to cost more!" Jess found a Creepy Doll and a ceramic cat. The girl said "Most things aren't priced, because we haven't figured out what's collectable yet!" That's not a flag, that's a flare gun. She checked the price by taking a picture and emailing it to her boss. Because "He needs to see if it's collectable or not!" 10 minutes later, still no price. "Tell your boss he needs to get on the ball!" said Jess, and we left. When we came in, she asked "How long have you been open?" after we'd threaded ourselves around blocked tables of unpriced, random crap. The girl said "Three--" and I thought "..days?" No, "Three MONTHS." Maybe before you open, you should figure out what things cost.
      The comics shop has been there for a long time, but we made maybe our second visit. She started looking at the old issues bin at Sandman comics, with a slightly baffled look. "My Mom collects these," she said. I said "Those probably aren't the ones she wants." Meaning she was looking at Kirby, not Gaiman.
      There was a replacement for the book store. More of a book kiosk, and used, but I bought a CD. Jess groaned when she saw one of daughter's college textbooks there, for a fraction of what she'd paid.
      New stores galore! But not relevant to our interests, so we went to our old haunts. One was a cluttered mess. And if I complain about clutter and mess...! I almost bought a zeppelin model. But, ten bucks, I'll pass.
      At The Big Place, I saw what I guess was this time's theme: Slim Jim mugs. Minutes later, she pointed at a print of the Last Supper and said "Look! It's Jesus, eating a Slim Jim!"
      At the brew pub for lunch, I had a Nut-Meg Ale (did not contain nutmeg; CT is the Nutmeg State) which was good, and an Oktoberfest, which was meh. She filled me in on the latest with her daughter's romance with a guy her husband calls "Mensa", and does so with great irony, and I told her about Kev & Meg's latest adventures. She showed me her purchases. A 1980 Empire Strikes Back Sketchbook that I found, as an Xmas gift to her husband. I didn't know that taun-tauns originally looked less like camel-llamas than like big-beaked emus. Yoda looked like an old hippie. "Bogart that joint, you should not!"
      She bought a ceramic black cat with one painted eye missing. "He's winking," I said, "just like Kill Kill does to me. I ask her, 'Are you flirting with me?'" Some ugly dolls, because: Jess. I said "This doll isn't that creepy by your standards." She said "Look at her head! And the way she holds her arms. I'm going to cut her head off and have her hold it in her hands." Okay, I think we can go with "creepy enough for Jess" then. She also bought a bag of plastic toddler dolls, one of which came with a huge hat. Like some kind of Pilgrim hat. I took it off, and it had hair above some tiara thing, but it was the ultimate buzz cut. It looked like it was undergoing brain surgery. At my suggestion, she's going to paint it so it looks like exposed brains.
      As for me, I found 4 CDs I wanted to buy, but 3 of them were so damaged that they looked unplayable. One clearly had coffee spilled on it. I got a fridge magnet that says "I MADE IT ACROSS THE ROYAL GORGE ON THE AERIAL TRAM," because my collection of fridge magnets is oddly short of aerial tram magnets. I only get the interesting ones now, as I'm running out of fridge. It was in its original 1970s packaging, and Jess found that the company was still in business. I didn't get a Hanna-Barbera superhero comic from 1969, even though it had the Herculoids. Space Ghost, sure, but "BIIIIIIRD MAAAAN!"? Also, The Mighty Mightor, the caveman hero who was the least imaginatively named superhero since The Fucking Fuckhead. Hey, they were cavemen. They didn't have a lot of names.
      I took some photos, but they came out terrible. The camera claims to have an "Image Stabilizer", but it seems to add shaking hands to every pic. Yes, this is the best pic of 3 I took:


      Cloves, Opium, Extract of Cannabis. Make sure what you're looking for before you give Grandma some cloves. Jess said "This has to be in my house!" But it was full of cleaning supplies, so I guess NFS. I also took shots of a 70s stereo, with "STEREO-MATIC FUTURISTIC SOUND", and "POOPS The Ultimate Bathroom Sport", which was a guy sitting on a toilet with his pants around his knees throwing a basketball, because it was just a hoop you hung by the toilet. You wouldn't need this if you just ate some fiber.
      But I did get this:


      Because like I'm gonna pass up on a "Smoking Monkey with Magic Cigarettes". On the back: "AND THE MONKEY WILL SMOKE BLOWING RINGS LIKE A MAN." Yeah, toy designer, when you're designing toys, maybe lay off the Magic Cigarettes.
      Also, that one CD I bought? I own it already.


      I forgot to mention: yesterday, I twice passed a church with a sign that read "JESUS LOVES ASHFORD JOHN 3:16". I did not know that there was a clear reference in the New Testament to a Connecticut suburb. Well, what else has the guy had to do for the last 2000 years? Just obsess on CT towns and appear on tacos.
      (playing the XBox) "Yah, Dad?"
      "When are you going to go out and look for a job?!"
      "GOD, God! Like who's hiring messiahs right now? NO-BOD-Y."
      "The Jews have been looking to fill a position for millennia!"
      (picks up some food, eats) "Sorry, Dad, I can't hear you over this delicious PORK CHOP. Ooh, wait, is this shrimp cocktail?! NOM NOM."
      "MEDAMMIT! Do you want to move in with Lucifer?! Wait till your mother hears about this!"
      "Mom? How old was she when you magic-banged her, like 13? And Uncle Satan, your drinking buddy? He seems cool."
      "JESUS CHRIST, Jesus Christ! You'll not take that tone with me! It's time you got a job and moved out! You're 2,014 years old!"
      "OKAY, I'm doing it, I'm doing it NOW, OKAY!?"
      NEXT DAY:
      "Welcome to the Ashford Cumberland Farms. I love it here! Would you like infinite fishwiches with that?"

      The latest in the "Dear Kitten" series from Friskies. The ad part is very, very brief. Also: dogs are dumb.







      Woman ahead of me in line today, to the cashier: "I have to go to the optometrist to get new eyedrops, because I'm pregnant and my doctor says I have to be careful what I put in my body. Pack of Marlboro Box, please."

      Also, AGAIN, my site has been hacked by some fucking foreign clothing store. For a change, NOT the Swedish coat factory, but a Chinese maker of Uggs.
      Anybody use a host that's not ReadyHosting? If it happens once, it's bullshit. When it's happening several times a year, it's "fuck you, we got your money already" utter incompetence.


      ...Or, um, I could just re-upload my Thoughtviper index page again. Yeah, that worked.


      We have a donation box outside the store, like the Goodwill boxes you may have seen (they're very large and made of metal). They take bags of clothes and shoes and give your out-of-style workshirts and Nikes that aren't trendy enough anymore to people in the Third World.
      Someone left a bunch of boxes in front of the bin. I'm sure that people in impoverished countries really appreciate a blender and a half-dozen old lampshades. They can wear them on their heads after they make margaritas!

      I went to dinner at Mom's. Chicken Parmesan, twice-baked mashed potatoes, apple crisp with Ben & Jerry's, all home made ("Except the ice cream," said Mom). And for beer: Unibroue La Fin du Monde, because MY MOM IS MORE AWESOME THAN YOURS LIKE TEN TIMES MORE.
      She said "Tell your friend Jess that's what I do now that I'm retired!" Retired at 81, and what she did was bogging. Not blogging, going to a Cape Cod cranberry bog. (Oh, the things you people miss by not being New Englanders!) Dinner was interrupted by a phone call. "I need to talk" said one of her old (and I mean old) friends, about a "meeting." She sighed and said, "It's probably about our friend, who's 87, and has lung cancer. Right after getting treated for breast cancer." We talked for another 20 minutes, then the doorbell rang. For the meeting. So we wrapped things up, and she left me with wrapped-up leftovers, several day's worth. She offered to help me bring it out, and I said "You're going out to the meeting anyway." She said, "I have to freshen up first!" Octogenarian women judge each other on their looks?
      I already only cement my hair on workdays, and alternate between the same 2 pairs of pants every day, because I don't care. And I'm 26 years younger. Until Fashion-Sense Jess says "Bill...You need new pants," that's what I'll keep doing.



      I was looking at some InExObs today--navel-gazing, for sure, but I wrote 'em, I can do that. And the link that was always busted was busted again. Here it is, just play this over and over in your cubicle until someone threatens to kick you with their boots:


      And when they do, say "Cheese, what a grouch!" and then loop this: The Wisconsin National Anthem. Any song that promises "Yodeling, too!" and it's not meant as a threat...
      And then spend the rest of the week trying to get those songs out of your head, too. "Sexy little schoolgirls!"
      "HAIL KINKY BOOTS! Cut off one boot, a second and kinkier one will take its place!"
      "But look inside first. There may be some cheese!"


      I think I may see The Book of Life over my 2 days off, due to its del Toro pedigree, it's "very fresh" Rotten Tomatoes score (every review lists its amazing look, but predictable story), and, because of this review, in 3D. And the fact that 3D movies are only $9 if I go to the first matinee.


      I finally emailed Kevin to see how things are going in Texas. And actually--not that bad! I'm just going to be lazy and include a big chunk of the email that I sent to Jess. I haven't spoken here about some events, so this may be a bit in media res to you. But if there's anything I've learned about my readership over the last near-two decades, it's that you people are very smart. You'll fill in any blanks.      Doctor Who ads! Once it stops showing ads for the Doctor, it's not showing any more. Although you can hang around for a goofy ad for Activision Atari 2600 Hockey if you want. Because if you like hockey, you only watch it for the fighting.





      Hey, Stupidest Things calendar, what's a "TY show"? Does it star Ty Cobb? I think he died before TV shows, so that'd be one slow-moving program.
      "Ty Cobb, what do you think about this?"
      (rotting corpse's arm falls off)
      "There we have it--on this week's 'Ty Cobb's Opinion'."

      I saw The Book of Life. It was good, but not great. The 3D was well-used, but there's no reason to see it that way, or even see it in a theater. It did look truly amazing, with weird character design, a really weird plot--two feuding gods of the Afterlife--but they feud using the ol' love triangle story. The movie should've been weirder. It was only weird in safe ways, like a Nightmare Before Christmas Lite.
      The human characters were rendered as jointed wooden dolls. Since the Gods treated them as puppets, maybe? I did like how the Gods were depicted not as primal forces of Good and Evil, but as angry exes after their bitter divorce.
      The theology/mythology was convoluted. If you die, you go the Land of the Remembered, where you party all the time. Until everyone alive who remembered you dies, then apparantely you're forgotten and you fade away to I guess eventually everyone goes to the cold, grey Land of the Forgotten? And yet, we're shown that you can last a long time as the Remembered when no one should remember you but other corpses? Also, how much does a threat of death matter to a dead person?
      It does feature Placido Domingo as a bullfighter who wants to be an opera singer, and who fought bulls with an arm replaced by a sword, and a leg replaced by another sword, because "Arms and legs are for cowards!"
      TY COBB: "Stop stealing my shtick!" (leg falls off)

      Diner waitress: "How do you want your coffee?"
      "Two sugars and a Hitler, please."
      "We're fresh out of Hitler. Would you like a Mussolini?"
      "Ugh, those are so fattening! Give me half of one."
      (to short-order chef): "One sweet, half stays on the lamppost!"


      Crimeny, Stupid Things! Yesterday, you didn't know how to spell "TV"--which is not that hard to spell, given that it has two letters--and today you just post one done as an obvious joke. An early inspiration for the InExOb was National Lampoon's "This Is True," and even 30 years ago they said "Stop sending us photos of packages of 'Mother Fukker's Nuts'."


      I thought that the worst type of beard was the neckbeard, the kind that exists solely below the jawline. And whose practitioners seem to think "The more pubey, the better!" But I saw one worse.
      The hair was bushy and 3 inches long, but only from a surface area of one inch. One on each side, on asymetrically positioned, hairy facial moles.
      My beard isn't 3 inches long. Or in 2 random spots. And he works in a restaurant, and I'm guessing not as a waiter. Mole Man probably just touches your food in the kitchen, strokes his tiny mole beards, then touches it again.
      Dude, if it hurts to shave that--seeing as you shaved the rest of your face--it's called Nair. Or it's called scissors. You can trim your waving mole beard hair jellyfish. Maybe he got bitten by a radioactive tarantula, and got a really, really shitty power.


      I had to chain Byron down.
      After 3 days out of 5 of me either waking up or getting home from work, he'd knocked his Tower of Solitude down. This clearly caused him stress. And it was his fault--he jumps off it violently, and in the wrong direction, so it falls down, goes boom. Hey, St. Simeon Stylites, you've been living there for over a year, and you haven't learned a proper dismount yet?
      I needed to tie it down, but I didn't have anything. Hey, there's all this 10-years unused crap at work, maybe--Yes! Those giant zip cords! All I need are 2, to tie the tower to the park bench! (There's a park bench in my living room)
      There was exactly one zip tie. And someone had zipped it into a big, empty loop around nothing. I should point out that they were kept in the bathroom, so it was probably some conceptual art project performed by an idiot coworker whilst taking a shit.
      I dug through the bathroom box, full of unneeded screws, empty plastic bags, some caulk, and a mouse. But there was a pair of chains, the kind that hold neon beer signs to the ceiling. Loop on one end, clasp on the other, 18 inches long...Could work. Since they'd been there forgotten for 10 years, probably not going to be missed.
      When I got home, the tower had fallen again, with an agitated cat. Way to stick the landing, Byron. It took a while to get the first one on. The distance was about 17.5 inches. And of course, back on his Isengard, Byron kept swatting at the chain. Before I put the second one on, I held it up so that he could sniff and bat it. This time, he seemed to grasp what I was doing, and watched approvingly.
      That was yesterday, so we'll have to see if it works, but I tried it when he was off it, and it may sway, but it shouldn't fall.
      Why, what did you think I meant when I said "I had to chain Byron down"?


      Worst Album Covers.


      My grandparents got the Farmer's Almanac, which was basically a thing that existed to tell you when the sun came up or set, because you didn't have an internet. I would always read their copy when we visited on Thanksgiving, just to laugh at how wrong their year-long weather forecasts were. Wow, it's snowing now? Looking out the window says No. I'm pretty sure you can't predict the exact weather months in advance based on how many wooly bear caterpillars you saw today.
      They were my Mom's parents, so of course she had a love for it. So for the last 3 decades, I would buy her a copy. Then they offered a gift subscrition service, so that I could give her it, and not worry about forgetting.
      Last year, they sent her the bill for the gift sub. That's not actually how those work. She got her copy anyway, so I said "Let's wait until next year."
      And they didn't send her a copy, or me a bill. I went online, and there were no gift subs available. I could send her a single copy as a gift. It cost $6.99, plus shipping & handling.
      The S&H? $15.50.
      Yes, it's triple the price you'd pay over grabbing it off the impluse rack in the checkout line. Who handles and delivers it? Scarlett Johansson or Tatum Channing in their Underoos, via zeppelin?
      And they have an e-version, which costs $3 more, due to the prohibitive cost of not shipping or handling or even printing it. FU, FA!

      Due to my neighbors refusing to pick up any restaurant fliers that are lodged in their doorways, I've become used to muttering "If you don't want it, don't leave it in the common hallway, recycle it! Shit, I'll just do it myself." And so I have extra coupons for the People's Choice Pizza Soviet, the BEST wings in town! I will use these coupons discarded by the decadent capitalist fools to enrich my life! With wings.
      For once, I asked for the hottest wings, and got them. When asked, I said "As hot as the fires that will scourge the Romanov's dachas when we burn them to the GROUND!" And the guy said "Is that for pickup?"
      Hot they were! Even after washing my hands, casually touching the corner of my eye with my thumb, and spending 5 minutes pouring store-brand Visine in there.

      Linda Scott posted this costume on Facebook:

      I responded with


      I just read the "PLEASE NOTE" on the ebola costume. GOOD TO KNOW. And I was almost planning on wearing it to my next radioactive waste disposal party!

      (Then she posted "Sexy PhD Graduate," although it could be "Any Graduate, Maybe Even Middle School, But Sexy.")

      This is no threat to my "Sexy Barnacle" costume!

      I was going to make a "Sexy Scarlett Johansson" costume, but a sexy PhD told me that it would destroy all life when it created a Sexy Black Hole.

      Sexy Adopt-A-Road sign! Sexy Day-Old Potato Salad Left in the Sun! Sexy Improvised Explosive Device! Sexy Gum on the Bottom of Your Shoe! Sexy Recycling Bin! Sexy Used Condom! JUST PUT SEXY IN FRONT AND IT'S A COSTUME
      Sexy Asexual Organism that Reproduces by Budding!

      Sexy Unexplained Anal Discharge! Sexy Unplayable Netflix DVD! Sexy Invisible Man! (bonus: this costume means you don't have to go to the party. Also applies to Sexy Amelia Earhart or Sexy Jimmy Hoffa) Sexy Spleen! Sexy World War One Infantryman's Trenchfoot Infection! Sexy Bloody Shards of Glass! Sexy Single Strand of Spaghetti! (Cooked for women, uncooked for men) Sexy Cat Tree, Sexy Desk Lamp, Sexy Political Junk Mail! (okay, I'm just glancing around the computer now) Sexy First Trillionth of a Trillionth of a Second Before the Big Bang! (Costume requires infinite density, and can only be seen by anyone wearing the Sexy Large Hadron Collider costume) Sexy Oh God, That Party was 4 Hours of My Life I'll Never Get Back! Sexy JOHN PAUL SARTRE! "Hell is other costumes."

      I think you could trump all these costumes with "Sexy Freudian Psychoanalyst."
      Sigmund Freud's would just be "Sexy My Mom."

      If you're wondering how long it took me to come up with those, it was just a little more time than it took to type them. BILL'S SEXY WEIRD THOUGHT PROCESSES!


      Since this is the last time I can do this before next year...
      Sexy Hindenburg Disaster! ("Oh, the SEXUALITY!") Sexy Meatloaf! (the singer eating the food loaf, meat juice running down his chin, but sexily) Sexy Root Canal! Sexy Panama Canal! Sexy Love Canal! Sexy MiG Alley! Sexy Captain Kangaroo! Sexy Tire Fire! (Do not wear costume in room with a sprinkler system) Sexy Gingivitis! Sexy Square Root of [your favorite number here]! Sexy Burqa! (this easy costume cancels itself out; becoming a tshirt and mom jeans) Sexy Pond Scum! Sexy Elephant Man! Sexy Elephantisis of the Testicles! (maybe TOO sex-ay!) Sexy Aluminum Siding Salesman! Sexy Aluminum Siding! Sexy Battle of Dorking! (Which is not a Comic-Con argument between a Sexy Star Wars Nerd and a Sexy Star Trek Nerd over which franchise is sexier, because there are no sexy Trek vs Wars nerds) Sexy Soren Kierkegaard! Sexy Honey Boo-Boo's Mother! (the only Sexy costume that involves putting on more clothes) Sexy Scarlett Johansson, Except Her Mother's Egg Was Fertilized Just 2 Weeks Ago, So She's Still Only a Sexy Zygote! Sexy Yalta Conference! (requires 4 people: Sexy Churchill, Sexy FDR, Sexy Stalin, Sexy Multi-Lingual Translator) Sexy Badly Translated Kung Fu Movie Subtitle! ("You, so loamy! I punch in the odd face you own, for it offends my glands!") Sexy Third Stage Syphillis!


      Out of 27 Halloweens living here, this is the 26th without a single beggar. The only time I had a visit, it was just an older sister and a little brother, and luckily, I actually had some candy. I gave them all I had. After that, I'd be handing out individually wrapped slices of American cheese.
      Since then, nobody. Thank you, USA, for your quarter-century of paranoia about Halloween! No thanks for your unending paranoia of "BOMB THE WORLD! Bombing will make us SAFE! Can we bomb ebola, too?"       


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