November 30, 2004

Tooting My Own Horn

Tomorrow night is my first improv show of the season, so I've been practicing line games in my head today. Some of my favourites:

187 horses walk into a bar; the bartender says "We don't serve your kind here"; the horses ask why not; the bartender replies "Hey, you whinney some, you lose some."

Life is like a Rubik's cube: your parents give it to you when you're very young, and by the time you're fifteen you think it's the lamest thing ever (also: "life is like a Rubik's cube: fucking annoying").

187 communists walk into a bar; the bartender says "we don't serve your kind here"; the communists ask why not; the bartender replies "Because you never want to pay for your damn drinks!"

Ahem. That is all.

November 29, 2004

The Not-so Magical Kingdom

Seen on CNN.com:



Yikes! Which Disney character is that? Uncle Who-The-F*ck-Are-You-Calling Scrooge?

November 27, 2004

Neighbourhoodlums

I'm having flashbacks to my apartment in Boston. The three male students who lived above me there were fucking horrible, if you'll excuse my English. They had their furniture set up in such a way that their couch blocked their front door, and thus, anytime they entered or left the apartment, I would hear the loud scrape of the couch being moved across the floor to allow the door to open.

They also liked to yell a lot. You know, loud, drunken, fratboy yelling: "YYYEAAAAARRGHGHHGGH!!!!" I never did work out what they were so happy about.

Sometimes they had parties; loud, loud parties that invariably resulted in either

a) the communal (carpeted) stair well stinking of vomit for one day, then stinking of a combination of vomit and Pine-Sol for another two days, or

b) my being woken up at 4am to the sound of the theme from Beverly Hills Cop blasting down the airshaft outside my bedroom window, or

c) copious amounts of water leaking through my ceiling as they more-or-less flooded their own apartment in an attempt to mop up all of the vomit/spilt beer/blood/semen from the night before, or

d) all of the above.

You might well ask: why bring this up now? The answer, unfortunately, is that they seem to have all of a sudden moved in upstairs from my current apartment. The sounds eminating from up there the last few days have been eerily similar to what I had to put up with in Boston, and are definitely just as irritating.

At least I'm paying less rent here.

November 26, 2004

Conversations With Greatness VII



Tonight, I attempt to roast a chicken for the first time ever! So if I seem a little strange tomorrow, it's because I'm still getting over the experience of having my hand inside an animal's body cavity. *shudder*.

November 25, 2004

Drugs Are Bad, Mmmkay?

I just had a sobering experience (sobering in the figurative sense, sadly, and not the literal one). I took some Sudafed this morning to try and clear out some of my post-cold congestion-- sadly, it didn't work in the slightest but, as is usually the case when I take Sudafed, I have been feeling disturbingly edgy all afternoon (you should have seen me when I took the stuff in high school-- I'd bounce up and down the corridors, manically giggling the whole time).

But I generally thought that, high school bouncing aside, my Sudafed-induced aggitation was not something that other people really noticed. This afternoon, though, I called Alison to see if she'd like to come over to my place for a little while, and she said (quote):

"Um... I'm not sure I want to hang out with you right now. You seem like you're about to snap."

The moral of the story is: I need a downer.

PS. Hey, guys: need a pirated Lux serial number?

PPS. Not really.

November 23, 2004

Don't Try This At Home...

Sadly, I think it's beyond my abilities as a cultural commentator to explain why, when they're drunk, young British men feel the need to place traffic cones in improbably high places. But however it started, it has now ballooned into a sort of machoistic competition to see who can get a traffic cone into the highest possible spot, and towns up and down the British Isles are often littered with the things after a big Saturday night. This one, though, really is a beauty...



Many thanks to my man in Aberdeen for bringing this to my attention. (No, Nige, I don't mean you. Sorry.)

November 22, 2004

Bored of Patrols

I went to New York for the weekend, ostensibly to attend the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival at the American Museum of Natural History. But even the anthropologists I was with decided, after seeing one film, that they would rather go to Victoria's Secret. Go figure.

On the way to New York, I was granted an illuminating glance into just how tough a line the Dept. of Homeland Security is taking against people sneaking illegally over the US border. About half an hour after crossing the border, our bus was pulled over and made to stop at a highway rest area by New York State Border Patrol officers. They boarded the bus and announced, very sternly (and I swear I'm not making this up):

"If you're from a country other than the United States, we'll need to see your passport and/or your resident card. If you're an American citizen, we don't need to see your passport, you can just tell us."

Is it just me, or is national security one department of the government that really shouldn't operate on the honour system?

Bra. Vo.

November 19, 2004

Conversations With Greatness VI



Happy Birthday, Dustin!

November 18, 2004

They're A Little Off-Track

I installed a tracker on my blogs last week to see just how many readers I actually get (more than you might expect, but less than sounds impressive).

What I've been particularly enjoying about it is being able to see where my visitors are coming from. It's pretty predictable for the most part: a bunch of people have me bookmarked, a bunch click through from Sillytech, and a couple come from Jerry's blog. But then there are the people who find me through search engines-- and you wouldn't believe some of the search terms that throw up my humble little blog, here.

That Tennessee spanking story has been generating quite a lot of referrals from Google-- mostly from people searching for that story, but one was looking for 'Japanese girls spanked over knee', and one, rather bizarrely, was looking for 'Condoleezza spanked' (which, naturally, brings up my page as the first result if you do a Yahoo search for those two words).

I've also had a hit from someone searching for "shower curtain rod", one from a search for "William Shatner bran flakes", one from a search for "British humour" (I'm rather proud of that one), and, most disturbing, one from a search for "Colin Farrell's cock" (boy, must they have been disappointed!).

I'm going to New York for the weekend, so this is the last you'll hear out of me for a while. But I'll make sure I post this week's 'Conversations With Greatness' before I leave.

November 17, 2004

Annals of Alarmist Parenting, Part 2

Parenting expert Jan Faull, MEd, continues giving her eloquent advice...

"Q. My 15-year-old son recently made the varsity baseball team. Ever since, he has been hanging around with an older group of boys who stay out late on the weekends. We've given him an 11:00 p.m. curfew, and he had been respecting it until this past Saturday when he didn't get home until 1:00 a.m. He said he simply lost track of time and had a hard time getting someone to drive him home since everyone else had later curfews. I am concerned he might be partying with this older crowd. How should I approach this topic with him?"

Here's an idea: 'listen, son. I know what you told me happened, but clearly I don't believe you, so let's stop pretending that I actually respect you as a person and I'll just ground you for a few weeks'. No?

"A. When your son sits down at the kitchen table to eat, sit with him . . . Say to him what you've asked in your question. Do so by creating your own version of the following, 'I'm so proud that at 15 years you're on the varsity baseball team. Since making the team, however, I've noticed you're hanging around an older group of boys . . .' "

Good one, Sherlock. You've noticed that since your 15-year-old joined a varsity sports team he's been hanging around with a group of older boys. That does seem pretty fucking bizarre.

" . . . Continue by expressing empathy and stating a rule, "I know that it's important for you to be accepted by your teammates, but in this family, underage drinking is not okay." With care and concern, articulate your fears: "I fear that you'll get caught and lose your position on the team, become addicted to alcohol, or be in a drunk-driving car accident . . .' "

You know who else drinks? Terrorists. Terrorists and 'the gays'. Tell your son you don't want him to turn into some kind of limp-wristed dissident.

"Give him time to respond but don't expect him to be gracious. He may blow up, he may stomp off in a huff, he may roll his eyes and tell you how ridiculous you're being, or he may deny any such behavior. How he responds is not of consequence."

It's funny how much of Dr Faull's advice seems to include this caveat. 'My advice will make your teen angry, but that just means it's working.'

"In addition, let him know that he can refuse a beer while staying friendly to the person who offered it. Also, tell him that you're more than willing to pick him up and bring him home if he doesn't have a ride . . ."

Gee-- thanks, mom.

I should point out that from this point onwards Dr Faull's advice gets pretty decent and no longer joke-worthy. I say this only to avoid the accusation that I'm distorting her words. I've been reading a lot about the laws relating to what you can and can't say in a blog and-- boy!-- am I lucky I haven't been sued yet!

And now, to bed.

November 16, 2004

Annals of Alarmist Parenting, Part 1

Today, some parenting 'advice' from Jan Faull, MEd (taken from HealthyKids.com):

Q. My 15-year-old daughter has been dating an older boy from another school for about 6 months. Both my wife and I like the boyfriend, and of course we trust our daughter, who has always been responsible and outgoing. However, they are extremely affectionate around each other, constantly holding hands and often kissing and hugging."

Surely not!

"And my daughter has recently begun to wear shorter skirts and more revealing shirts."

The slut!

" . . . How should we handle this situation?"

Jan Faull, MEd, what should they do?

"You cannot leave this situation to chance. It's best to bring up the issue of premature and premarital sex, and voice your concerns. Talk of your hopes and dreams for your child's future."

'I hope you die a virgin.'

" . . . To forbid your daughter to have sex or to deny her contraception is naive. To think that you can watch your daughter and her boyfriend at all times is unrealistic. Teens are very skilled about finding a way to satisfy their sexual urges."

Crafty little buggers.

"Let her know the message her clothing conveys; it suggests she's interested in revealing her body and possibly satisfying her sexual desires."

Mom: Honey, I'm concerned about the message your clothing conveys. Do you realize that it suggests you're interested in revealing your body and . . . [*looks around, then continues sotto voce*] possibly even satisfying your sexual desires?

Daughter: No shit, mom.

"Telling a sexually interested or active teenager to not engage in sexual activity is like shoveling sand against the adolescent tide."

Therefore, the only solution is to actually bury them in sand.

" . . . Despite the need to open up dialogue with your daughter about her clothes and public displays of affection, it's important to let her know that you love her no matter what."

You know, despite her brazen harlotry.

" . . . Proceed with love and determination to make your points regardless of how you fear your daughter will respond.

Unless she's been brandishing a revolver and getting murderous glints in her eye whenever you come near her. Then it's probably best to leave it.

Tomorrow: What to do if you suspect your child of-- *gasp!*-- partying.

November 15, 2004

Let's Not Beat About the Bush...

I've been trying ever so hard not to give any coverage to post-election fallout, because if there's anything more irritating than a conspiracy-toting liberal (deal with it!), it's a gloating conservative.

But today, I thought I'd point a spotlight towards Not Sorry Everybody, a spirited retort to the creators of Sorry Everybody by a person who is, by all accounts, a bit of a fanatic:

"The basic philosphy of this blog - as Americans, we are NOT accountable to the rest of the world on how we conduct elections or for the results of those elections."

But listen here, Rest of the World: don't piss us off or we'll be there in a flash!

Ooh, look! He's a bit of a racist, too! There's a surprise!

"Hello,
I don't agree with you . . .
pl
Paris, France

This coming from somebody who lives in a country where:

1. Industrial espionage is alive and well.
2. Was not willing to be a member of the coalition of the willing.
3. Was more than happy to take the father of modern terrorism [Arafat] in for medical care.
4. Refused to turn over Ira Einhorn to Pennsylvania authorities until it was assured the death penalty would not be imposed.
5. Etc, etc, etc...."


2. Was not willing to be willing? Bravo.
3. What's surprising is that they probably wouldn't take *you* in for medical care.
4. Ira who? What? Refusing to release a murderer from the 70s is the fourth worst thing the French have ever done? Blimey. That's pretty tame-- I bet they wish they'd joined the coalition of the willing now.

This is, of course, just a smattering of the hundreds of gems on display at the website. Go, visit. Be amused and horrified at the same time.

Because 50% of My Readers Live in Canada...

From CNN.com: Colin Powell submits resignation - Nov 15, 2004

"National security adviser Condoleezza Rice is the 'likely' choice to succeed Powell, a senior U.S. official told CNN.

Rice is 'the president's choice,' . . . another senior U.S. official said"


Ladies and gentlemen, your new Secretary of State:



Nyuk nyuk.

November 12, 2004

Conversations With Greatness V



New! You can now see a list of all the 'Conversations With Greatness' posts here (there are some duplicates... blame Google).

November 10, 2004

No Biz Like Sno Biz

From Netscape News: Women Allege Boss Spanked Them For Errors

"RED BANK, Tenn. (AP) - Two young women complained to police that they were spanked by their 57-year-old employer for mistakes on the job."

Oh boy.

The two women, who cannot be named because "they may be victims of a sexual crime" (I can certainly see the grey area), worked at a shaved ice business, called 'Tasty Flavours Sno Biz', in a Chattanooga suburb. Allegedly, their boss (Paul Eugene Levengood) made at least one of them sign a statement before starting work at the store that read (quote):

"I give Gene permission to bust my behind any way he sees fit."

Apparently thinking the waiver to be entirely innocent, the 19-year-old was understandably shocked when, on forgetting to put a banana into a smoothie she was making, she was taken into the back room by Mr Levengood-- who then proceeded to "ben[d] her over his knee" and spank her twenty times.

After receiving the spanking, however, the woman stayed at the store for the rest of the day, explaining to police that she (quote) "could not leave because she had no transportation".

I'm sorry, she said what? 'Oh, like, yeah... He was like, spanking me and stuff, and I like totally felt really violated and everything, but it was like, kind of hot outside and my car was in the shop, so I just thought I'd stay, you know, and see what happened next.'

The second woman continued to work at the shaved ice store for one further year after her spanking. It isn't clear whether or not she was made to sign a waiver similar to the first woman, although she claims her suspicions were aroused when Levengood asked her, during her job interview, "how she felt about things that were shaved."

Actually, I made that last part up. It's sort of hard to tell with this story.

Levengood was also notorious among his staff for snapping candid photographs of their behinds in various positions, but a spokesperson for the Tasty Flavours company denied that they had ever received any complaints about Levengood, who was described by the spokesperson as "a very Christian person"

. . . A very Christian person with an inordinate fixation on young girls' asses. Just like God intended.

I think that's enough.

November 09, 2004

Talking Out Of His Ashcroft

From Netscape News: Ashcroft Resigns

John Ashcroft tendered his letter of resignation today, creating in the process what is sure to be one of the most oft-quoted lines by us lefty bloggers-cum-comedians in the next few days.

Writing to Bush, Ashcroft said: "The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.''

Well, fuck me! No wonder the Republicans got re-elected!

Actually, the Ashcroft quote is being taken out of context; the Attorney General was, in fact, in the midst of making an homage to Wayne's World.

Tomorrow: the hilarious vagaries of life in Tennessee! (Oh, Adrienne, how you're going to cringe.)

November 08, 2004

Misplaced Anger

From BBC NEWS | Magazine:

"The BBC News website received several e-mails from Democrats and other anti-Bush activists threatening, in varying tones of seriousness, to quit their homeland if George Bush was to win again."

Why on earth would anybody threaten the BBC, of all things, about the outcome of the US election? What are they supposed to do about it?

'Dear The BBC, please make George Bush lose the election. Be warned: if you don't, I have a cousin in Britain and I'll get him to stop paying his license fees. Muah-ha-ha! Sincerely, John Kerry'.

November 05, 2004

Conversations With Greatness IV



Happy Guy Fawkes' Day!

November 04, 2004

Funny Generalization Of The Week

From Emile Durkheim's Suicide:

"The readiness of the Japanese to disembowel themselves for the slightest reason is well known" (p222).

Those kooky Asians!

---

By the way, this passed me by when the official announcement was made in August, but apparently Victoria Beckham is on her way to ejecting another ridiculously-named child into the world. And with Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow hotting up the competition, who knows what dizzying heights of bizarreness will be reached with Beckham Junior Number Three's moniker.

Bets, anyone? My money is on 'Coffee' it's a boy, 'Tea' if it's a girl.

November 03, 2004

America Has Spoken: "We Suck"

I imagine I'm not alone among the apparently dying breed of liberal American citizens in feeling a little numb today. My mind can't quite conceive how, in the four years during which I've gone from "Gee, maybe I'll live in America permanently" to "Gee, maybe I'll renounce my citizenship", the rest of the country has apparently grown happier with the miserable state of the US government.

Ultimately, I wonder if I'll ever go back to feeling like I have something in common with other Americans. Sociologically speaking, I'd say this Republican victory is at the top of a very, very slippery slope. As the liberals in America begin to feel more and more isolated from the (apparently majority-constituting) conservatives, they're liable to insulate themselves, group together in those small enclaves they still have left in the Northeast and West (or leave the country altogether, naturally). And as they do that, their influence in those all-important swing states is going to grow smaller and smaller until the Democrats really lose all hope of ever winning an election. Not to mention the fact that as the Heartland continues to elect unilateral leaders that incite terrorism through their ham-fisted foriegn policy, it's those liberal enclaves (New York, Washington, Boston, San Francisco) that will continue to be the main damn targets of foreign violence. So really, why would any liberal want to stay in America? Slowly but steadily, they're going to disappear, and leave behind in America a majority of the stubborn, individualist, fag-hating, gun-toting conservatives that scare me half to death already.

As in the last election, the enormous dildo that is Florida played a crucial role in sodomizing the rest of the country and, come to that, the world-- though in the end, it was the mildly pubic-region-shaped Ohio that really sealed the deal. And if you think that jokes comparing state shapes to genitals are pretty weak, well, you try thinking of something funny when your faith in humanity has just had its lunch money stolen.

Okay! I've finished being a downer, now. Check back soon for David Beckham jokes and a humorous take on advice columnists! It'll be like nothing has changed!

November 02, 2004

11:11pm

It's currently 197 Bush and 188 Kerry-- with most of the swing states left to go (most are calling Pennsylvania in favour of Kerry).

Frankly, I'm sure nobody is reading this right now, because really, why would you be? I'm going back to the TV.

6:05pm

The Daily Show is keeping a rather entertaining 'Election Day Blog' here. In other news, I just lost some more readers.

Early exit polls are suggesting that maybe, perhaps, who knows?, John Kerry is going to finish ahead of George Bush in several of the key swing states. In response to this, the stock market went down... ON YOUR MOM!

Meanwhile, before returning to Washington to await his victory/concession/I'm calling my lawyers speech, Bush swung by the swing state of Ohio to do some last minute campaigning-- at his campaign headquarters:



You've heard of Veterans for Bush? Now there are Phones for Bush! Nyuk nyuk nyuk...

4:09pm

From Netscape News:

"Long lines greeted voters in many big cities in closely contested states: Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Columbus, Ohio, Detriot and elsewhere. Five locations in Franklin County, Ohio, opened up to a half-hour late because poll workers did not show up on time."

What on earth were they thinking?!?! 'Meh. Maybe it's sort of important that I get to work on time today. I guess.'

"In Essex, Md., an election judge left a polling place briefly, saying he forgot something at home."

Clean underwear, I bet.

Meanwhile, astrologers in India have predicted that the position of Bush's planets shows conclusively that the President cannot win a second term. Kerry's planets, on the other hand, are in ascendance, which is apparently a good sign for him.

Bush has turned the prediction around and used it as an attack against Kerry: "See?! If my opponent is elected commander-in-chief, not only will he delegate control of US affairs to other countries, but to other planets! He's such a hippie!"

Kerry responded by calling the prediction "magical".

11:45am

From Netscape News:

President Bush cast his vote in today's election near his ranch in Texas, early this morning. Surprisingly, he voted for Libertarian candidate Mike Badnarik. Said the President of his choice: "I just loved that guy in the Sonic the Hedgehog games."

Discussing the importance of today's polling, Bush seemed calm: "This election is in the hands of the people, and I feel very comfortable about that." After a moment of confusion, the President clarified: "Oh, I'm sorry-- did I say the people? I meant my people." He then chuckled nervously.

Meanwhile, Bush's main opponent, Mass. senator John Kerry, was still trying his hand at last minute campaigning in Wisconsin. "We're going to take America to a better place,'' he pledged to voters; "Canada."

As polling got started early this morning, long lines at polling stations were reported across the country. When asked for comment, one excited voter remarked: "I hear the first one hundred people to vote get to see Britney topless!"

Kerry expressed delight at the huge voter turnout, saying: "It's just a magical kind of day." On-the-spot polls are already indicating the remark has cost Kerry support among the cynically snorting college student demographic.

The Ballad of the Ballots: 9:30am

Because I know I have so many readers who check my blog multiple times every day, I'll be keeping a running commentary going of election day jokes, as and when I think of them.

From CNN.com: 2004 voting under way in Eastern states

As has always been the tradition, voters in New Hampshire got to make democracy before anybody else (chanting "Live Free or Die!" as they marched, zombie-like, to their polling stations). In Dixville Notch, one of the two 'special' early-voting towns, Bush swept to success with 19 votes to Kerry's 7; meanwhile, in Hart's Location (The Dumbest-Named Town in America), Bush had a much narrower win, with 16 votes to 14. Out of the 31 voters in Hart's Location, Nader also had one supporter-- probably his highest ever percentage share of any poll, ever.

Both major candidates are doing some last minute campaigning today, Bush in Ohio and Kerry in Wisconsin. Kerry will be back in Boston to vote by lunchtime, after which he'll be enjoying his election day tradition of lunch at the Union Oyster House. He will then return to his Beacon Hill mansion to bath in champagne and drink cat's milk, cackling maniacally until his Rally for the Ordinary Worker in the early evening.

More later.

November 01, 2004

Never Gets Old



Is that really "news"?