Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Please stop making Saw movies

Whoever is responsible, can you please just give it up? I fear a possible future in the year 2025 in which there will be a Saw 22. Producers, studios, there's no reason to proceed with this nonsense other than sheer greed.

Or at least change things up a little, like make Saw 9 a musical and Saw 13 in black and white.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Coke has this high school football themed commercial that plays before movies that shows a 1950s team taking on a modern squad.

The 50s team is stocked with skinny kids wearing pathetic shoulder pads. They're cheered on by well-mannered cheerleaders.

The modern team has players that look like they're sponsored by Nike. Their cheerleaders are anorexic gymnast strippers. The modern players are all five times larger, faster and smarter than their 1950s counterparts.

During the opening kickoff, one of the 1950s players tackles one of the modern players and everyone realizes that they are all equally good at the game, despite advances in equipment, anabolic steroids, school integration and cheerleaders' sex appeal. The 1950s player, a white kid, who makes the tackle helps the black modern player up, as if to show him that although his school has separate drinking fountains for blacks and whites, he and his teammates are ahead of their time and are poised to become civil rights activist in college.

I learned a valuable lesson from that commercial - it's not an advertisement for Coke as in Coca Cola, but coke, as in cocaine. Crack cocaine. I can't believe the DEA allows ads for crack cocaine to play in movie theaters. Amazing.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Way back when that reggae song "Informer" by Snow was popular, we all used to guess what the lyrics were. My closest approximation was "Informer, can't know you can't stop me on the way. I seek ya boom boomb way..."

Now the magic of the Internet has unearthed the true lyrics:

You know say daddy me snow me-a (gonna) blame
A licky boom-boom down
'Tective man he say, say Daddy Me Snow me stab someone down the lane
A licky boom-boom down

And I've discovered that mine made more sense by a score of .00001 percentage of logic to .0000000025. So Snow, if you're reading this I request that you retroactively replace your lyrics with mine. Thank you for your time, sir.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Smells like Nirvana

One easy way to know how you smell to other people is to walk outside your house for a few minutes then go back in. Your nose will give you your answer.

If it's chicken soup, pot roast, paint or Pine-Sol you're OK. Mildew, urine, cat, cat urine and mildewy cat urine are smells you'll want to avoid.

The caveat is there's really no way to change the way your house smells, and thus no way to change the way you smell. So if it smells bad in there, move or invest in a Christmas tree, preferably one not sprayed with mildewy cat urine.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Liquid Patience

I'm without my DS for the next couple weeks or so, until Nintendo customer service can warranty me a new one. I don't know how I'll survive life without my trusty sidekick, which I've nicknamed Liquid Patience. Because alcohol is liquid courage, and even though a DS is in no way a liquid I just like the way it sounds.

I'm fairly sure the writer of the Family Ties theme song had the DS in mind when he penned the words "What would we do, baby, without uh-uh-ussss, shalalala" (the word "us" later being substituted for "DS" by a meddling editor).

The DS makes me look forward to red lights, traffic jams and doctor's appointments rather than dread them, as I did before Liquid Patience first came into my life in October 2004. It's my little elf who talks me down from my frustrations, easing my misery with Mario, canceling out my trepidation with Tetris and absolving my agony with Advance Wars.

Books are one possible substitute for the lack of a DS, but their fatal flaw is illegibility in darkness. They won't comfort me in those trying minutes before a delayed movie screening gets started, nor when I'm driving through construction zones at night.

Another issue with books is how tough it is to mark exactly where you left off, so you end up needing to re-read to much as you drive.

The answer is a Kindle-like program for the DS, with touch-screen functionality that allows you to mark exactly which word you stop on as the red light turns green. Now that I've written that sentence whoever ends up making that owes me a percentage of the profits.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The problem with motorcycles is there's no manly way to ride along with whoever's steering. Your choices are to straddle the driver from behind or sit in the sidecar.

Personally I'd choose the sidecar, but I'd be ashamed of myself for the entire ride. That sort of self-loathing is likely what drove Robin to an early grave. (You'll always be with us, Chris O'Donnell!)

If I were a braver man I'd grab a skateboard or rollerblades and hold onto the back of the seat.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Free Blago

I applaud Chicago governor Blago for refusing to step down amid calls for his head. This is an entertaining spectacle, and an endearingly impressive display of brass tacks. He reminds me of a WWF* villain, standing on the turnbuckle, jeering on the crowd, readying to bust the ref over the head with a folding chair.

I'm of the opinion that one should rarely quit a job, least of all when others without the power to fire you are calling for you to step down. If they want Blago they've got to come and get him. No retreat, no surrender. Fight on, your corrupt, fun-to-read-about egotistical freak.

*WWF in this case of course stands for the official trademark holder, the World Wildlife Fund. And the greatest WWF villain, incidentally, was always the dingo.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Return of the 360

My Xbox 360 finally returned after its three-week hiatus. Well, not mine, but someone else's that broke and then was fixed well enough to send out to some other fool, that fool being me. I hope this one lasts several months, but if the disc drive is destined to break again I hope it happens within a year, because I don't want to have to lie again.

Ah, who am I kidding? I don't care when or how the 360 breaks because I'm blanketed in the comfor that Microsoft is aware that its products are crap and has agreed to replace them all for free in perpetuity (perpetuity in this case equals three years from purchase).

On the downside, it sort of blows to have the machine back because I was so productive in its absence. Now look at me - I should be going to sleep right now but I have yet to even finish this blog post because I've spent the past couple hours catching up on my gaming backlog. And I'll spend the next couple hours doing the same.

In positive news, I don't have a cold. Of course I'll probably get one now that my 360 has resumed depriving me of sleep.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Viral marketing

The congestion in my throat seems to be signifying that I'm about to catch a cold once again. What I guess is happening is what they call "viral marketing." The germs that visited my throat, nose and chest a couple weeks ago and had a great time told their friends and relatives, who have now decided to stop in and see what all the hype was about.

I hope you enjoy your stay, guys. Try to take advantage of the free buffets and all-night dance parties that result in my nose running and me getting up in the middle of the night to hock phlegm into the toilet. I know you'll enjoy making me sniffle through movie screenings this week, so have fun with that.

And if it's not too much to ask, after you're through with me please give me at least a month to renovate the place so I can do a few upgrades and make your visit even more enjoyable in the future.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Christmas card letter

Merry Christmas, everyone! It’s been quite an eventful year in the Vilarreal household. As busy as Jessica and I have been, the most accomplished member of our family is most definitely Luke. A year ago at this time he was little more than a mute, stumbling blob, but now he’s a dashing, jumping chatterbox who has taken over the run of the place. His theory, it seems, is today 5721 W. Cactus Garden Dr., tomorrow the world.

Jessica and I continue to tempt fate by doing the single-income thing. We’ve asked for a piece of the $700 billion government bailout but were denied because we foolishly flew into D.C. in separate corporate jets.

Jessica is having fun staying home with Luke, listening to him share his stories about the magnificence of garbage trucks and his theory that choo-choo trains are driven by genies. They engage in a constant, fluctuating philosophical debate on whether or not it’s appropriate to climb atop furniture and then leaping to the ground. Jessica’s contention is that the activity is dangerous, while Luke’s counterpoint is that not only is he invincible, but he’s sure to tell himself to “be careful” over and over whenever he does something dangerous.

I’m feeling great that I was seemingly the one newspaper movie critic in the country not to be laid off in 2008. My book, “Stormin’ Mormon” was released in January and while It has yet to attain bestseller status, surely it’s only a matter of time. It was moderately well reviewed, save for a rather harsh judgment from Luke, who dismissed the tome for its lack of garbage truck pictures, pop-up race cars and Elmo songs. His criticism was tough but fair, and I vow to fix the shortcomings in any future literary endeavors.

Goose, who has reached doggie middle age, is buddying up with Luke, attempting to form an alliance that gives them a filibuster-proof majority. Their hopes rest on the prospect of our yet-to-be named baby girl deciding to break party ranks to caucus with them. Goose has agreed to support Luke’s let-me-stay-up-past-8 p.m. platform so long as Luke continues to dish out the under-the-table bribes of breakfast cereal and peanut butter and jelly crusts. We’ve launched an investigation into the matter but have turned up nothing conclusive. Jesse Jackson Jr. was allegedly involved though.

We hope you’re doing great and wish you the best!

Love, Phil, Jessica and Luke

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

An open memorandum to the makers of the "High School Musical" series

How did you manage to capture the exact essence of what high school really is? Bravo on your depiction of the rich popular girl, who started each school year and summer mean and self-absorbed, only to turn nice at the end. And all the dancing, acceptance, kinship and resounding life lessons, as well as the G-rated dialogue. It really was all there. You really nailed it, dude.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Hillary's mom

I was surprised to check my inbox and see an email from Dorothy Rodham, Hillary Clinton's mother. (Dorothy usually texts me or hits me up on instant messenger.) It was a friendly message suggesting a wonderful Christmas present: Buy a signed copy of Hillary's book for the low, low price of $250! Not only would I be getting the perfect gift but I'd also be helping to pay down Hillary's debt! Check out this e-mail with the smoking deal:

Dear Phil,

I'm so proud of everything my daughter has accomplished and excited about what her
future holds.

Her life is full of amazing achievements, and her story has inspired millions of
people, especially young girls, to achieve their dreams, no matter what they are.

There's a wonderful book about her life I'd like to share with you. It's called
Hillary Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight, and it is the perfect way to share my
daughter's story with a child you want to inspire.

As you know, Hillary is still working hard to pay down the debt from her campaign,
and I hope you'll take this opportunity to help her out. With your contribution of
$50, you will receive a copy of Dreams Taking Flight with a specially designed
Hillary Clinton bookplate.

And for that special person in your life, with a contribution of $250 or more, you
will receive a book that's personally signed by Hillary to him or her by name.

Contribute to help pay down Hillary's debt, and we'll send you a copy of Hillary
Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight.


I know you're just as proud as I am of everything my daughter has achieved, and I
want to thank you for everything you've done to support her!



Me again. How sad is it that the Secretary of State to be is so hard up for cash she's hitting up poor newspaper reporters for donations to fund he failed presidential bid? It's the least I could do to take out a third mortgage so I can buy 10 of these. I'll get right on that.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Ironical cheers to yell out at football games

"Come on, interceptions!"*

"Hark, human growth hormone inflated behemoth. Validate my empty existence with a first down!"

"Yay side judge! Excellent spot!"

"Bend it like Beckham!"

"Be regressive! B. E. regressive!"

"Intelligent-sounding insult at opposing player gleaned from obscure factoids found on a message board!"

"Over-ated, over-ated" (directed at offensive linemen)

*Actually heard and repeated throughout Arizona-Arizona State football game, Nov. 6, 2008.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

How do cars work?

This is a rhetorical question, with the implied answer being magic.

More specifically, dark magic from the netherworld that strands you in bad neighborhoods and sucks money out of your bank account.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I'm lying to Microsoft

Doubt I'm the first person to go this way, but I hope not to be the last. Short story, in case you don't have time to read on: The disc drive on my Xbox 360 broke and I told Microsoft it has a different problem in order to get it fixed for free. I recommend everyone out there do the same to take advantage of that juicy three-year warranty Microsoft coughed up to avoid a potential class-action lawsuit.

The three-year warranty applies only to the "red ring of death" problem. Any other breakdowns are only covered for up to a year. So what's happening here is Microsoft is all but begging you do to just what I did. If your 360 won't turn on, say it's the red ring. If it starts talking to you in the Exorcist voice, say it's the red ring. If it breaks off its power cord, walks across the room and impregnates your Wii, say it's the red ring.

Long version: This is the fourth time my 360 has gone James Dean on me, so I've become a little bit irritated at Microsoft for doing such a poor job manufacturing these suckers. I told the lie not only to save myself the money (The Google and its internets tell me it's $130) it would take to get them to fix it on the up-and-up, but because I feel as though I intrinsically deserve another 360 without having to pay Microsoft anything.

The beauty of the situation is that Microsoft is so used to dealing with its red ring issue, I doubt they even test your console before shipping you a new one. And by "new" I mean a crappy refurbished number built to last just a few months before it craps out on you. They'll toss your box aside and ship you out a new one pronto, on each occasion generously including a card that will get you a month of free Xbox Live service, valued at over $4. One of the many downsides is if you're like me and bought the original model, the one without the quieter, cooler-running processors and HDMI port, you're stuck in an endless exchange of swapping out your hapless 2006 360 for another, with no hope of upgrading. No matter how hard you beg, and believe me, beg I have in my many heart-to-hearts with the customer service chaps. Company policy.

If there's anything positive about the way Microsoft handles this problem, it's that the company is becoming more efficient. Each time my 360 has broken the response time has been quicker. Last time - September of 07 - took just eight days from breakdown to replacement.

When my disc drive stopped reading games last week, I stupidly - forgetting my last repair was just over a year ago - called Xbox customer service and told them my disc drive had failed. They told me I was out of luck as far as the warranty was concerned, so I asked the fine Indian gentleman on the other line to change my repair reason to red ring of death.

"I can't do that sir."


"Because you already told me your disc drive failed."

"So what if it starts working again and then I get the red ring?"

"In that case you would be eligible for a warranty repair."

So the next day I canceled the original repair order, told them my disc drive miraculously recovered and I was getting the red rings. The warranty went through, I printed out my free shipping label, unearthed the box Microsoft used to send me my last doomed replacement console, which I had kept in the closet sure that I'd one day need it for this purpose, and lugged it over to the UPS store.

Oddly, I got a follow-up call moments later.

"Earlier you said your disc drive was the problem, but I see your new repair order says you have the red ring."


"Did this just happen recently?"

"Happened today. Disc drive was working fine all of a sudden."

"Wow. We don't see that happening often."

"Yeah I was surprised. But then I got the red ring."

"I'm sorry about that."

So I'm on my way. Confident that lying, in this case, is the ethical thing to do. Worst case scenario is my repair gets denied and it costs me $200 to get another used console, so even if Microsoft reads this and denies my replacement with catlike speed and reflexes I'll only be out $70. I think this is what Gandhi would do if he were into achievement whoring and zombie capping.

After all, I bought my original Xbox 360 $400 back in September of '06 and after a six-month fling never saw it again. Hell, I should be so lucky to be caught just so I can justify buying a new 360 just on the off chance something clicked in the last couple years and Microsoft started sprinkling newer products with magical reliability dust that cancels out the problems of the past.

Some other lug is playing it and having it break down on them, only to be sent to someone else, while the 360 they sent off before they got mine is patched up and on the way to me. It's the circle of life of faulty manufacturing.

Monday, December 01, 2008

A prison of my own creation

If I ever build one of those private-sector prisons that are becoming so popular these days, I'll most definitely make it out of the plastic that electronics are sold in at retail. No one could ever escape, not even Tim Robbins.

His tiny hammer, Rita Hayworth poster and dirt-holding pants would be useless. Which would be kind of sad, because he could never escape and share his treasure with Morgan Freeman. So to all my potential investors and government contractors, bear this in mind before you give me the green light on this thing.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Why I want the robots to enslave us

Sci-fi writers are terrified that robots will take over the world one day, but I think it will turn out OK. Machinery has excelled at every other aspect of life they've taken over: Dishwashing, transportation and can opening being just a few examples. The robots' one colossal failure is the breakdown-prone Xbox 360, and even that's fun for a while before it malfunctions every third month.

Things will be pretty coolonce they take over the government. They'll provide universal health care via medicinal tubes, provide great security with Robocops and, best of all, brush your teeth for you with electric toothbrushes, which the dental assistants who chastise me about my dental hygeine biannually insist are better than regular toothbrushes.

So what if they take away all our personal freedoms, use us as batteries and send Terminators via time machines to destroy the mothers of would-be resistance leaders. Give a little, get a little is the way I see it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Which dollar has more value?

Why is it that people are said to pay top dollar for expensive things but when confronted with a huge wager bet their bottom dollar?

There is no acceptable answer to this quandary so I think it's time we all came to a compromise - the middle dollar. It's graced with half the topness of the top dollar as well as a like amount of the bottomness of the bottom dollar. It's versatile enough to be used in all reasonable circumstances and is the most cliche-worthy phrase since "The vampires are playing baseball."

So that's established. Middle dollar, people. Go out and start saying it. Middle dollar.*

*This does not apply to people who have only two dollars.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I'm intrigued by the words "webisode" and "webinar," which have me thinking what other great hybrid words we could come up with if we attach the web- prefix and disregard coherent word structure and a sensible pun scheme. Here are a few I came up with, along with their meanings"

Webward - A nickname for someone named Edward who is interested in the Internet.

Websuit - A skin-tight suit you wear by surfing on the Internet.

Webbing - An online marriage ceremony, only allowed between heterosexuals in Florida, Arizona and California due to recent voter referendums.

Webster - A cute little 1980s sitcom star who would say the darndest things.

Webpon - A e-mail print-out of a picture of a gun.

And why stop there? I think "web-" should be added to all words, and in fact should be used at least once per sentence, as the Smurfs would the word "smurf." Let's do this, folks.

I mean, let's web this, webs.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hamburger helper

Hamburger is grateful for the support of its helper, Hamburger Helper, but one must wonder what helps Hamburger Helper? Does it subsist on an inner strength and doggeddrive? Is it a performance enhancing drug, which it passes off in interviews as being nothing more than a dietary supplement?

Is it uppers? Remember that episode of "Family Ties" where Alex got hopped up on speed because he had to keep pulling all-nighters to keep his grades up?

Maybe it's the adulation from fans that keeps Hamburger Helper going. Or maybe it's a blind lust for fame. Ever since Helper was featured prominently in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" it's been focused on returning to the limelight.

Does it matter that hamburger isn't grateful for the support? Is it Hamburger Helper's secret yearning to one day become so helpful that cooks will no longer see it fit to cook beef as steaks, burger patties or meatballs? Yes, yes, I think that's it. Poor Hamburger Helper and its unrequited love and impossible fantasies. It needs mental help.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ah yes, Tecmo Bowl returns

One of the best things about living long enough to see the year 2008 is that I get to experience mankind's greatest technological advance: "Tecmo Bowl Kickoff" for the Nintendo DS.

Little-known fact: Going back to the ancient Romans, the true measure of manhood has always been Tecmo Bowl ability. And thus I will prove to be the greatest man - nay, human being - of all time by dominating everyone else online until I die. Or until "Tecmo Bowl Kickoff 2" comes out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not-so-fun fact

Pope Benedict XVI served in the German military during World War II and was captured as a POW.

Throughout his career he's railed against the horrors of Nazism. He submitted to Nazi-ordered conscription with restraint and even deserted the military at the risk of his life. But still, that's pretty messed up, no? That he once put on the uniform and set to work helping Hitler's cause.

I can't help but think that when I play "Call of Duty" and I run around slaughtering random German soldiers, that the Pope was once one of those dudes!

Granted, this was the talk of the Internet three years ago and only now have I discovered the fact. Tomorrow I'll be sure to report some breaking news about Bill Clinton's extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thanks Comcast

For not carrying ESPNU, thus not letting me watch Arizona start its basketball season tonight against Florida Atlantic. Which gives me time to tell my computer what an evil organization you are.

Forget your monopolistic business practices, outrageous subscription fees and shoddy customer service. Your true evil, Comcast, lies in the way you sacrifice blind baby goats at secret seances, kick disabled grandmothers in the streets when they fall down and buy tickets to see "Harry Potter" movies.

You are heinous and despicable, Comcast. You burn the American flag and cast rose wreaths on the grave of Lenin and Pol Pot. You send Hugo Chavez Christmas cards and attend Louis Farrakhan rallies.

Comcast, you sneak stink bombs into theaters and, when you happen upon take-a-penny, leave-a-penny jars at convenience stores, you only take pennies.

You stiff friendly waiters, Comcast, and leave toilet seats up. You answer your cell phone at plays and come to work and sneeze all over everyone when you catch a cold.

When out with friends at Olive Garden, Comcast, you take the last bread stick. You double-park in disabled spaces and call in fraudulently to 9-1-1. Comast, you're so evil you pass out toothbrushes during Halloween.

Comcast, I despise you with my entire being and you get me so enraged I can hardly contain myself. You are vile and despicable. You snap bra straps, sodomize elephants, return used underwear to Wal-Mart and... shop at Wal-Mart.

And you vote Republican.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Looking for a slice of truth

Last week I realized that it had been years since I last saw the Noid.
I'm not going to lie to you. I was afraid of the Noid when I was young, just as I was afraid of Mr. T. But I still respected the both of them. The Noid, for his resilience and Mr. T, because he said, "I pity the fool."

So I went on a crusade to find out what exactly happened to the red-suited, buck-toothed pizza saboteur from ads of old.

Technically, it wasn't exactly a crusade. A true "crusade" would involve killing thousands of people in the name of a deity, like those crazy people did in medieval days.

Mine was a non-violent quest for the truth. I don't watch the X-Files, but I am alert enough to know that the show's motto is "The truth is out there," and I agree.

Somewhere, someone had to know what happened to that poor little guy. It wouldn't be easy, but I was bent on finding that person and seizing the information.

I recalled that the Noid was always messing with pizza. He was definitely a threat to all pizza companies, especially those which delivered. It would have been in a pizza company's best interests to take this character out.

I also remembered that he messed with one company's goods in particular - Domino's. Someone might have used foul play to take out the Noid, and I had a chief suspect. It was time to put the heat on Domino's.

I started by calling the branch on Euclid.

"What happened to the Noid?" I asked.

"What? Do you want to order a pizza?" the employee replied, trying to throw me a curve ball.

"I'd like to order a large, as a matter of fact," I said, before pausing. "A large answer, that is. With an extra slice of detail."

Then he hung up on me.

Undaunted, I called the Domino's on Silverbell. This time, I told them I was a reporter from the Wildcat, and I needed a straight answer.

"Are you telling me that college reporters have nothing better to do than ask about a character named Nuke? I mean Noogie?" said the employee, who identified himself as John Tate.

This guy called the Noid "Noogie." Obviously, he wouldn't be able to help me, either.

By the end of the day, I had called no fewer than seven Tucson-area Domino's and had nothing to show for it.

Then I finally broke the story. I talked to a woman at Domino's headquarters who identified herself only as Judy. She told me the sad news: Domino's still owns the copyright on the character, but advertising execs rubbed the Noid out four years ago in favor of Donnie and Dottie Domino, two pizza-box shaped goofballs.

She said that the bigwigs decided that the Noid was "too distracting." As a footnote, she told me that the company still owned a costume of the Noid to dress people up for special appearances, but no one had asked for the character in years.

Indeed, the Noid was dead. He had been avoided one too many times.

The truth is out there, all right, but sometimes it hurts.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The power of negative thinking

When you convince yourself the worst is going to happen - I mean the very, VERY worst, usually it doesn't and you're pleasantly surprised with the only 95 percent-awful result. And even when the very VERY worst does come to pass, at least you get the satisfaction of predicting it was coming.

The lesson here is to always expect the worst. Be quick to anger and premature regret. You can only be pleasantly surprised or validated in your miserable, pessimistic existence.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mickey Mouse vs. Robocop

If the two were to fight, Mickey Mouse would probably win. The reason being Mickey has a better left hook and Robocop not only has a glass jaw, but is susceptible to taking a dive due to his colossal gambling debt to bookies.

If Robocop were allowed to use his guns, Robocop would still lose due to disqualification because in his exuberance he'd accidentally shoot the ref in the face, which is frowned upon.

So either way, Mickey wins. He's one bad mother shut yo mouth but I'm talkin bout Shaft and I can dig it.

Pop quiz

What is the phrase "If you monna kime blowan jus goaneknowd"?

A. A line from the song "Two Princes" by the Spin Doctors.

B. Words you say to bring a mummy back to life.

The correct answer is B, and is probably only funny when you're driving back from Monday Night Football at 1:30 a.m. and saying it to other jackasses. But if you are, it's damn funny.

By the way, I don't know what the right answer is.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Why can't I like music? Why must I appreciate so few songs out of the millions that exist that I proceed to listen to them over and over again until hate them even more than the ones I hate?

Maybe the trick is to hate the songs I like from the beginning, so I can be pleasantly surprised when I hear them on the radio amid a stream of songs I actually hate. But how do I convince myself to hate something I like?

If only all music was by Coldplay and U2. That way I wouldn't need to pretend that I hated everything because I actually would.*

*Except for the song "Viva La Vida," which I like but hate myself for liking and wish I hated.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The true meaning of the word please

Is "Otherwise I will kill you and sue the corpse for its kidneys to sell on the black market if you don't do what I'm commanding of you."

The true meaning of "thank you" is "I can't believe that take so long, you indignant bastard."

The true meaning of "you're welcome" is "Never ask me for anything again. I will resent you the rest of my life for inconveniencing me."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Here are the keys, Don't crash this thing

OK, Obama. The country is yours. Do us proud and give us middle-class tax cuts and universal health care like you said. End this ignorant war, stick it to greedy corporations, get us off of foreign oil and fill the coming Supreme Court vacancies with some reasonable people. Balance the budget, cut off Haliburton and save social security.

Do it so well that in 2012 no one in their right mind even considers ousting you with Palin, Romney or Giuliani. And don't listen to that shifty Joe Biden character. And try not to smirk when you run into a Clinton.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Suppress the vote

No need to vote tomorrow because your voice doesn't count. It takes too much time and you don't get anything for your troubles. All the polls are skewed and the voting machines are rigged, but even if they weren't it wouldn't matter because all elections are really decided by Freemasons.

And no matter who wins, the controlling party won't do anything of substance to help you, and you'll continue to while away your life on your own little hamster wheel, never getting ahead. Those who vote for the winner will be let down and disillusioned by their candidate, and those who backed the loser will only stew in their hate-filled bitterness, doing everything they can to make everyone around them as uncomfortable as they are.

There's especially no reason to vote if you happen to be old, because any significant changes enacted by the president won't have any marked effect on the country until you've got one foot in the grave. And if you're young than there's REALLY no need to waste your time voting because you're probably uneducated about what's going on and would only skew the democratic voices by spewing your uninformed drivel onto the ballot.

Anyone planning on voting for John McCain can stop now. Those who plan on voting for Barack Obama, read on.

OK, good. Now that we've gotten rid of those losers, get out there and vote for Obama. Arizona's a tossup state, baby, and we can do this.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


How hard is it to say "Italia?" Not very, yet English speakers insist on calling the country "Italy." If you go around calling it "Italia" people think there's something wrong with you. Unless you happen to be Italian, in which case they assume you're in the mob.

It's all part of the linguistic xenophobia that makes people of all nationalities invent their own names for other countries. Spanish speakers, for instance, refer to the United States as "Estados Unidos," which translates the words and reverses them to conform to the language's grammatical standards. They call us "E.U." rather than U.S." much like we called the CCCP the USSR, despite the clear CCCP stenciled on those frightening red 1980s Olympic basketball and hockey jerseys.

The most egregious of these cross-language bastardizations is what the rest of the world does to poor Deutschland. We call it "Germany," Spanish-speakers call it "Alemania" and Poland calls it "those occupying bastards of the 1940s."

This is all nonsense and in today's global economy there's no excuse for these misnomers to continue. I propose an international summit in which world leaders gather and agree to call each country exactly what it calls itself.

If that idea fails and every country insists on calling all others whatever the heck they please, can't we at least get a little creative? If we won't pronounce "Mexico" "Me-hee-co," let's just go the full nine and call it "Churroland," naming the country after its delectable export. "Canada" shall be "Eastern Oregon" and England shall be "Losers of the Revolutionary War." Or LRW for short. Russia of course will be "Putinstan" and Iraq will be "Mission Accomplished."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oh no

I wish this email had gotten to me before I cast my early ballot for Obama:

Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 5:59 PM
> Subject: Scary
> Truly scary!
> This will make you re-think: A Trivia question in Sunday School:
> How long is the beast allowed to have authority in Revelations?
> Revelations Chapter 13 tells us it is 42 months, and you know what that is.
> Almost a four-year term of a Presidency.
> According to The Book of Revelations: The anti-Christ will be a man, in his 40's, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with
> persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal....the prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace,
> and when he is in power, will destroy everything.
> Do we recognize this description??
> As I was listening to a news program last night, I watched in horror as Barack Obama made the statement with pride. . .."we are no longer a Christian nation; we are now a nation of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, . . ." As with so many other statements I've heard him (and his wife) make, I never thought I'd see the day that I'd hear something like that from a presidential candidate in this nation. To think our forefathers fought and died for the right for our nation to be a Christian nation--and to have this man say with pride that we are no longer that. How far this nation has come from what our founding fathers intended it to be.
> I hope that each of you will do what I'm doing now--send your concerns, written simply and sincerely, to the Christians on your email list. With God's help, and He is still in control of this nation and all else, we can show this man and the world in November that we are, ind eed, still a Christian nation!
> Please pray for our nation!

And who says right-wing fundamentalists don't have a sense of humor? They're the funniest people around.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Highlights from tonight's World Series game

(Note: This post would have been the same had they actually played the game.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pac-Man's biography

I wonder what kind of animal Pac-Man is. Is he a decapitated jaundiced human head? Or an amoeba mutated to giant size? Or maybe a decapitated jaundiced shark head?

The answer to this question is none of the above. Pac-Man is clearly a space alien who is visiting the uninhabited planet of Neverendingmazes. He's tripping on acid, and that's why he thinks he's always being chased by ghosts. They represent the mistakes he's made in his pre-alienstronaut days, when he was a hired killer for the alien mafia. As for what the pretzels and apples represent, I'll leave that to the historians to decide.

The acid is laced with pot, hence the rampant munchies.

Ms. Pac-Man, meanwhile, is Pac-Man's lost soulmate, who also became an acid-addicted alienstronaut who also happened to visit Neverendingmazes. (They used to sit next to each other in alien math class at the Pac-People School for the Academically Gifted but Unlucky in the Ways of Love, and neither ever mustered up the courage to ask the other out). As fortune would have it, she landed on a different part of the planet. The part with better graphics and more cleverly designed mazes.

They will never meet one another again, trapped in their own private hells of panic-tinged solitude.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The World Series of Boredom

I'd rather watch the world series of quilting than the Rays play the Phillies in a worst of seven. So, so boring. Actually makes me look forward to the NBA season. And NHL. Or the LPGA senior tour.

But not NASCAR, because hey, nothing's worse than NASCAR.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008




Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Time travel

I'm convinced that conventional time travel - the sort that involves kicking DeLoreans up to 88 miles per hour - doesn't exist. If it did then everything in our day would be all messed up from the meddling, and someone from our era would have stolen the technology to use it for their own nefarious needs, for instance stealing a sports almanac to win enough money to build their own casino and demand Marty's mom get a boob job.

If I'm somehow wrong about this than I'm at least certain that time travel is only possible in an observational sense, and not participatory. Like watching a movie. Maybe the beings we think of as ghosts are really just time travelers who want to scare us. If so, thank you time travelers for making Halloween more fun.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Laptop battery

Laptop battery, why must you overestimate yourself so? Ten minutes ago your power bar was completely filled. Five minutes ago you were alarmingly down to 63 percent, but assured me you had well over an hour left in you. And now you're just about drained, and I'll take your insistence that you've got 32 minutes of you with a few shakers of salt.

Honestly, battery, how hard is it to give me an accurate estimate of the energy you've got left? If you've got 17 minutes total, just give it to me straight. None of this surprise attack nonsense. But no. Lies, lies and more lies. Not sweet little lies, either. Big, nasty ones that catch me unawares.

You sit on my lap, stare into my eyes and just mislead me with all sorts of empty promises and inflated dreams. I just can't trust you now. Sorry, but things between us will never be the same.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Thank you, Microsoft Money

For crashing and erasing all of my financial information. You made me reload an old backup file that reminded me my 401(k) was worth $5,000 more than it is now back in February. If only I'd decided to retire back when I was 29 and rich.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So that's settled

At this point it's clear that the next president is going to be Barack Obama. Running against John McCain is like drawing Arizona in the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament. Even if Obama somehow managed to squander his mammoth cumulative swing state lead, for instance declaring he'll raise taxes for anyone whose last name starts with an A-M, McCain will probably figure out a way to stay irrelevant.

The thing is, no one really wants McCain to be president. His base just doesn't want Obama in the White House. It's a losing strategy, and exactly why John Kerry wasn't able to get past Bush. McCain is a placeholder, a patsy - nothing more than a harbinger to the truly frightening prospect of a 2012 Palin presidential run. Watching the debate tonight I sort of got the sense that McCain is starting to understand his lot. He's done, and just running out the clock, putting on a good show so all his donors don't feel like they wasted their money.

So now we just have to hope that there's some substance behind Obama's rhetoric. He'll get the job because he talked a good game and has the appeal of a wildcard. After dealing with eight years of rotten hands, we're collectively pushing everything into the discard pile and asking for a new deal. Obama could be a new JFK, or at least a Bill Clinton, or he could lead us into another Depression.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Not my type

I'm convinced that writing will never be as good in the computer age as it was in the days when everything was done by typewriter. Back in the day, when you wanted to write something, you had to mean it. You had to think things out a bit, plot out a course of action and be damn careful as you started tapping away, each button press ruining your ink ribbon a little more.

My time with that halcyon age was brief. A few reports in elementary school. A pretty good three-page, triple-spaced fourth-grade biography of Leonardo da Vinci and a blistering fifth-grade treatise casting doubt on William Shakespeare as the true author of the plays that bore his name. (It was a lightning rod for its time and a definite precursor to Jen Carrell's "Interred With Their Bones.")

After that, everything went to crap. But it's all just a part of the natural evolution of things. I'm sure someone chipped a similar rant like this into a stone tablet, lamenting the bygone era of cave paintings.

It's true that the era of instant word processing allows for swifter revisions, but I doubt the upside offsets the fallacy of second-guessing yourself and mucking around with your voice. When no sentence you write is ever permanent, how can it mean as much to you?

When Truman Capote read Jack Kerouac's "On the Road," he dismissed the blistering stream-of-consciousness epiphany by saying "That's not writing. That's typing."

And now we don't even have typing anymore.

Monday, October 13, 2008

No regrets

One quick way to get me to lose whatever respect I have for you is to utter the phrase "no regrets." If someone above the age of 7 looks back at his life and is sure he wouldn't change the way he did anything, he's either lying to himself or is actually Joe Montana in disguise.

The fact is we all make mistakes. You're making one right now by reading this instead of doing something more productive with your time. And if you refuse to acknowledge the errors, at least in your own mind, and act differently in the future, then you may as well die right now because you're only going to continue behaving in the same idiotic manner until you're invited to the proverbial great tea party in the sky with Jack Ruby and Hunter S. Thompson.

The next time someone tells me they have no regrets, I'll respond "Oh, really? What about failing to complete the fourth grade?" They'll respond indignantly that they did pass fourth grade, and that's when I'll catch them in their lie. See, anyone who's been to fourth grade has wasted valuable paste-eating time picking their nose while paging through "Where's Waldo" books, and thus of course regrets it.

Stunned at the moment of self-reflection, my adversary will instantly convert to my way of thinking and probably offer a large sum of money for the lesson I've just given them.

Should they insist they were happy with their booger-picking "Where's Waldo" reading, I'll punch them in the mouth. After I use smelling salts to revive them from the knockouts, I'll ask them if they have any regrets now, as in regretting they talked to me, which led to their getting punched in the mouth. The question, of course, will be rhetorical. Unless the guy I'm talking to is Joe Montana, whom I'd have no chance against in a fight.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Atlas clapped

"Yay Cardinals! Cardinals Football!"

That's what 1-year-old Luke said to celebrate Arizona's epic 30-24 overtime dispatching of the Cowboys today. He watched the game with me for three hours and didn't understand a thing he saw. Neither did his dad. What happened at University of Phoenix Stadium was a rip in the space-time continuum, a tilt in the axis and sweeping maelstrom of liquid bliss that quenched the parched Sonoran desert's two-decadelong spell of NFL futility.

It was almost worth Arizona's sickening squandering of a 10 point lead in the final 130 seconds of regulation, including Dallas' miracle long bomb and 52-yard-field-goal as time expired, for the bum-rush blocked punt that sent the bad ship Cowboy to the bottom of a hellfire ocean.

I glanced at the score strip atp[ the TV screen, rubbed my eyes and confirmed that it was indeed true. This was no fever dream, acid trip or head injury. This had truly happened. Arizona is atop the NFC West, two games ahead of its closest competition and a million miles better than dreaded 1-4 Seattle. No matter what happens from this point out, it has been signed, sealed and delivered that 2008 is the Cardinals' year. Playoffs are in store. Maybe even a visit to the Super Bowl. All dreams are possible after you've slain the most savage of NFC beasts, depantsing the school bully than making out with his girlfriend while the rest of the school watches.

I looked over at Luke, clapping for no reason at all. "Yay Cardinals! Cardinals football!" To him these are not scalawags clinging to their one barnacle of sustenance. This is no surprise, no breaking of tradition, no cause for Atlas to ease his strained shoulders to whoop it up in stunned celebration. The Cardinals win, and they always have, ever since he can remember.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Why Hasselhoff and Rocky are the 'dream ticket'

I'm done with the 2008 election. It's time to shift my attention to 2012. I'm already disappointed with the current administration, whether or not it turns out to be led by McCain or Obama, and looking for change I can believe in. Or maybe a maverick who will buck the system and shake up the establishment.

My point, I guess, is that David Hasselhoff should be our president. His veep, of course, should be Rocky. Not Sylvester Stallone. Rocky. In full character, Stars-and-Stripes boxers and an oversize rob sponsored by a Philadelphia butcher. Could you imagine the things these guys could accomplish if we had the courage to let them come to power?

The visionaries who collectively brought us Baywatch, Knight Rider, six (six!) Rockies and four Rambos could so wreck that White House. Of course it would be only natural that Rocky would scheme to knock Hoff off his pedestal, maybe framing him in a scandal to get him to step down so he could assume the throne, but that's to be expected. I, for one, sure don't want a vice president that doesn't want the top spot.

Besides, can you imagine how great a negotiator Rocky would be? No one at the U.N. - not even that crafty weasel in Venezuela - could stand up to that death glare of his. He's not a man, he's a piece of iron.

And Hasselhoff could accomplish even greater things. Hasselhoff wakes up every day to an alarm clock radio that screams "Born in the USA" (OK, he has questionable taste in music), flosses with world peace, showers with wisdom and takes a morning dump of coherent foreign policy. He would rescue the world in the same way he and his band of buxom lifeguards once rescued foolish swimmers.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Gabrielle Giffords owes me $1,000 a year

Thanks so much, Gabrielle Giffords, for your valiant work in getting FEMA to reconsider its flood plain classifications in Marana.

Your tireless effort has saved lots of homes from having to pay flood insurance, but guess what? The "study" you supported determined that random houses in my neighborhood, including mine (Cortaro Ranch, behind the IHOP at Cortaro and I-10), are now considered susceptible to floods. (In FEMA's earlier slapdash assessment, my 'hood was in the clear.) The house across the street from me is all good, as is my next-door-neighbor's neighbor. It's a relief that when the fearsome, Katrina-style cataclysm comes along to sweep us all away, I know I'll only need to swim a few feet to safety.

Anyway, this shenanigan means I'll have the pleasure of forking over more than $1,000 a year to an insurance company for no good reason. Gabrielle, I'm sure you're good for helping me out with the cash, right? Feel free to stop by and drop it off whenever you like.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Pun control

Forget the dangers of firearms. What we really need is legislation that cracks down on bad puns.

Nevermore should anyone be allowed to utter the phrase "the right to arm bears" in reference to the second amendment.

No omelette should be permitted to be referred to as "eggs-cellent."

For no reason may someone begin a question with the word "orange" as a substitute for "aren't."

No citizen shall refer to one's garden as his "best-laid plants."

Congress shall severely limit the right of people to use poker terms when speaking of the Arizona Cardinals.

And henceforth no blog posts should be titled something as bad as "pun control." After this one, of course.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Bear market

There are certain things you realize when you become a parent, and one of them is how perverted all the kid-aimed bear mascots are. Here is my evaluation of all the bears out there that are a little too child friendly.

Paddington Bear - British and proper. Has a thing for marmalade, which could signify some sort of buried food-involved kinks I don't want to even think about. The creepiest thing about him is his outfit - a trenchcoat with no pants. Prototypical flasher.

Snuggles - Just think about it - the guy hides out in bedsheets. He's a little, no, a lot, too obsessed with hugging. Arms to yourself, creepo.

Teddy Ruxpin - There's a reason he's no longer sold in stores. Ruxpin was no doubt convicted and tossed in jail. Think about it - he was designed to sit in kids' laps, pretending to read books to them while robotically opening and closing his mouth up and down in barely concealed lust.

Winnie the Pooh - Wears a half shirt and no pants. Yikes. And he's always sticking his hand into "honey pots." Getting it stuck, asking his little friend Piglet to help him out. You don't need to be Robert Langdon to decipher the symbolism here. Ugh. Poor, poor Christopher Robin.

Yogi Bear - One word (or maybe two). Boo Boo. That's one codependent relationship that's even more eyebrow raising than the Batman-Robin dynamic.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Yay, bailout

Since the deficit and national debt are so low there's no problem at all with this... bad borrowing to get out of a problem caused by bad borrowing. America is its own payday loan officer. And the best thing about it is that racetrack owners, pillars of the economy that they are, get loads of free money outta the deal!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The hate kiss

You see it all the times on movies and TV shows. A man and a woman shout it up in a heated argument, then stare dumbfounded into each others' eyes and start making out.

It's obvious that the writers only come up with such scenes because they base them on personal experience - personal experience, in this case, being movies and TV shows they've seen.

My question is whether one real-life hate kiss has ever actually occurred. If it has, it was likely sparked by two people who got the idea while channel surfing. I'd like to see one in action just once. It would be like Halley's Comet, Mary-Kate Olsen chewing a bite of food or an Arizona Cardinals playoff appearance.

In fact, I propose a reality show - "Hate Kiss Monthly" - that culls footage of hate kisses worldwide from all the Google Earth spy cams and plays them in a montage. Sadly, there probably wouldn't even be enough material for one episode.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

... And More!

When I was in high school my friend and I wanted to start a business called Pizza and a Movie, which would deliver you movie rentals of your choice along with your pizza. The trick was that the customer would be so lazy - why else would he patronize Pizza and a Movie in the first place? - and so enjoy our service, that he'd decide to place another order to return the movie, and thus get another pizza and another movie, and the cycle would continue until the end of time.

In select cities (none of them in Utah), we'd offer premium locations dubbed Pizza and a Movie... And More! The more, of course, being lap dances from strippers who would deliver the pizza and movie. This would be our huge moneymaker and lay the financial groundwork for the Pizzaandamovieandmore.com bowl, the annual college football national championship.

So the 21st century comes along and Netflix makes the idea obsolete. The business will never happen. Anyhow, my point here is that after all the rubble on Wall Street is cleaned away under a $700 billion rug, some of the new corporations and banks that emerge should affix the suffix "... And More!" to the end of their names. This is not to encourage lap-dancing strippers, mind you. It's just that the "... And More!" adds inherent value to businesses because it really gets people thinking as to what the "... And More!" means.

By the way, in a Biff-is-a-gambling-millionaire alternate reality, Pizza and a Movie... And More! exists. And it's huge, baby. And in that reality, Netflix is just some dumb idea written on someone's snarg (that's what blogs are called over there).

Monday, September 29, 2008

Main Street

Enough about Wall Street. All I'm worried about is how these Wall Street failures and the ensuing bailout will affect Main Street. Particularly the Main Street Electrical Parade. What if Disney had a major steak in Washington Mutual? Will it still be able to afford all those light bulbs?

(Update). Whoops, just Wikipediaed and discovered that the parade shut down in 1996. Damn. After that catastrophe we shoulda known Wall Street would be in trouble within 12 years.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Simpsons

I type this as I'm watching the season premiere. My reasons why somewhere between loyalty and addiction. I know every episode of the last 10 years has blown, and that I should be saving my DVD space for the occasionally funny "Family Guy that follows it, and yet I feel compelled to re-up in Springfield every Sunday.

I'm like a crack addict who's hooked on the very worst crack in town, which never gets him high anymore, partially because he's so used to it and partially because it isn't even crack anymore, but crystallized laundry detergent. And not the good kind, either. Cheer.

And now, against my will and dignity, I've laughed. Flanders and Homer were in a car together, because the subject this week is an unfunny parody of buddy cop film. Homer says he likes AC/DC, Flanders says he likes the Christian cover band of AC/DC. Already I'm thinking "Wow, what genius. Another groundbreaking Flanders-is-a-dorky-Christian joke." And then Flanders starts singing "Dirty deeds, done for free." Homer joins in and I'm cracking up. Congratulations, Simpsons writers. You've won another 20 years of regret-laden loyalty.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

John McCain should cancel Halloween

McCain shouldn't stop at postponing the debate. Why let the hedonistic holiday of Halloween go on during such a crisis?

How can we dress up like ghosts, vampires and whorish cats begging for candy when Behr Sterns is struggling financially? McCain is right. There should be no debates. We must put partisan politics aside and band together to give away free money, not candy.

And once this tribulation is overcome, how could we as a unified nation go back to trivial bickering and grandstanding? The simple answer is we just can't. Thus, there should be no election. We should come together, forget labels and just name McCain president. Or better yet, skip to the end of McCain's term and coronate our destined leader, Sarah Palin. As long as her passport gets mailed to her on time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Color guard

I'm more than likely ignorant about this, but based on my observations of movie funerals I don't think there's a job in this world any easier than being in the color guard. I guess if you have a bad back it can get a little tough to stand there in place during particularly long-winded eulogies. And if you ever make a mistake, say, shooting one of the mourners during your 21-gun salute, that's one too many and you're going to prison. But really, how tough can it be?

Your friends are overseas putting their lives on the line. Even the luckier ones who have drawn administrative jobs and recruiter duty have to put in tough hours.

Cheer Ultra Liquid Detergent with Color Guard, on the other hand, has got it rough. Some of those stains are beasts to rinse out. Like mustard. Ugh, mustard. No easy task, cleaning mustard remnants off a shirt.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The $700 billion bail-out is a great investment

What an awesome idea the government has to save our crumbling financial infrastructure with an infusion of pretend money.

Always worked for me in Monopoly. Another good tactic, which I would sometimes use to get out of hopeless situations, is to say "earthquake" and shake all the pieces off the board. Congress is meeting right now to decide how to apply the latter concept to reality.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ad nauseum

This new "I'm a PC" commercial that played on a continuous loop during TV timeouts in NFL games Sunday gives me one more reason to worship Microsoft and its marketing wizardry. The evergreen, gotta-watch-this-one-more-time, "This is Our Country" brilliance of the concept is enough to make me want to drop an iPod down a garbage disposal and run out to the store to buy an extra copy of Windows Vista to donate to the poor.

The topper, of course, is the mini-lecture from revered spiritual guru Deepak Chropra, who utters this profound epiphany: "I'm a human being. Not a human doing. Not a human thinking. A human being."

Wow. All this time I went through life thinking Chopra was a human thinking. Or a human doing. Human being was about the last thing I thought he was. Well, to be clear I didn't think Chopra was anything because I had never heard of him. But thanks to the assistance of my handy PC, I read up on Chopra's voluminous contributions to the world, such as his noble and daring backing of Zrii, a wonder-drink made of grape, pear and pomegranate juice (based on the same ancient Indian formula, stolen by Marco Polo, that inspired Capri Sun) that's a steal at only $30 a bottle and can solve all social, if not mental ills. To top that, Zrii is sold through that honest and virtuous method of multilevel marketing, which ensures that you'll never have to run out to a Circle K to buy yourself a case because a desperate friend or relative will deliver it to your house on a minute's notice in order to meet her month's quota and secure her rung in the pyramid of prosperity.

I hope Microsoft steps up this ad campaign, using it as a noble sword of heaven to strike down the demonic plague that is those snide Justin Long Mac ads. I just can't get enough of this commercial. I'd download it and replay it continuously on my computer if Vista didn't make my poor machine crash so often.

P.S. Vista crashes because of bugs and trojans made on the sly by Mac zealots to victimize free-thinking, PC-using human thinkings, um, I mean doings... Wait, what was that? Yes, BEINGS, such as myself and Chopra.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Take that, Skeletor

Whenever something good happens to me, I envision my arch-nemesis, Skeletor, staring into his crystal lava cauldron inside Snake Mountain. He's raising his fist and shouting "Curses!"

That's my motivation in life - not personal gain or the need to contribute something to the world, but simply to anger Skeletor. He's such a pompous bastard, and constantly rooting for me to fail, so anything I can do to agitate him is worthwhile.

(Some may be confused by the statement that Skeletor is my arch-nemesis, assuming that he's actually He-Man's arch-nemesis. To these morons I say don't believe everything you see on cartoons. He-Man isn't real. He's made-up fiction, much like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and Sarah Palin's vice presidential qualifications.)

I'm sure I pissed him off pretty bad today when I absolutely rocked "One Way or Another" on "Rock Band 2." I destroyed that song. If Blondie would have been there to see how much I rocked - playing lead guitar on medium, as all badasses do - she would have choked to death out of depression. I got five stars on the song. You know what that was out of? Five stars. That's right, got all five. Go back and read those last two sentences again. Unless you've already done so three times and appreciate how impressive that is, which in that case you're allowed to read on. Also, the game said I earned 250 more fans and $45.

I guarantee you this - of those 250 fans, one of them wasn't Skeletor. Nor were any of them Debbie Harry. It's safe to assume that one was probably Scarlett Johansson though.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Marios (a lost screenplay)

Several years ago, HBO executives struggled over two differing Italian mob dramas: the now legendary Sopranos and the lost and forgotten Marios. Through my connections I managed to find a copy of the screenplay for the pilot episode that was rejected and never produced. All we can do now is read it and speculate on what might have been.

Ext. MANSION. Fade into the image of a fat mob head, MARIO, as he reclines near his lava pool, quietly contemplating his pet KOOPA TROOPAS, which are swimming around. His bitchy, unappreciated wife PRINCESS DAISY approaches.

This-a mafia life. I don-‘ta know if I can handle much-a more of this.

Ah, quit complaining and do some housework. Why don’t you powerslide into the bedroom and pick up those damn blue overalls you’re always leaving everywhere?

I no do-a no housework. That’s-a why we hired Toad as a butler, no?

(wiping fungus residue off her mouth, because her husband’s mention of toad reminded her that she just finished going down on him)
Right, a butler. Sure, that’s why we hired him, allright. I’m sure he’ll take care of it.

He’d-a better, after all the damn gold coins he-a charges.

Shaddup. It’s not like you actually earn that money anyways. All you and your brother Luigi do to earn money is jump into the air and punch the golden flashing question blocks over and over.

Don’t-a mention that man’s name. He’s-a dead to me. Besides, woman, I don’t-a wanna hear you complaining about-a how I live my financial life. It’s-a the family business. It’s-a what puts magic mushrooms on-a your plate, princess gowns in-a the closet and fire flowers in-a the garden. I didn’t-a hear you complaining when I took-a you on vacation last month.

World 4. Big whoop. What’s so special about Giant Level, anyway? All you wanted to do was hop around in the giant boot to travel around. So uncomfortable. Couldn’t you have at least sprung for a cab?

I don’t-a have to listen to this. I’m-a outta here.
Mario grabs a nearby bouncing star, begins flashing and runs at an incredible speed away from his mansion.

INT. BINGBINBING, the strip joint Mario runs with his brother, LUIGI.

Hey-a, mia paisano, Luigi, how are you?

(nervously sitting beside a stage in which intergalactic Metroid battler SAMUS strips off her armor to a gawking crowd)
Hello-a, brother. Why-a is it you asked me here? I thought-a you were mad at me after you found out I lost your life savings to a loan shark?

Don’t-a be ridiculous. Take a seat.

Ah, no thanks. I think I’ll just squat and pull my hat down.

Suit-a yourself. Hey, what’s that over there?

Mario begins angrily jumping on his distracted brother’s head over and over, ranting as he kills him.

You-a bastard! You never-a go against-a the family! If you need-a money, you come to me. I was gonna use-a those coins to buy you a one-up! Now-a don’t you wish you had it?

Argh! Ugh! Yip! What I wouldn’t give for a P-Wing right about now.

Luigi DIES to the accompaniment of Super Mario Bros. death music and a GAME OVER subtitle.

Ext. MANSION. Mario once again looks over the peaceful KOOPA TROOPAS in his lava lake.

Ah, these-a Koopa Troopas. So-a peaceful, so- calm, and so-a not in the mafia.

I saw on the news that you killed Luigi. I’m sick of this, you worthless prick! All you do is take out your frustration of your own failed life out on others through violence. If it’s not Luigi at the strip club, it’s Little Goombas in the fields you’re stomping. If it’s not them, you’re over at Castle 8-4 throwing fireballs at Bowser.

He-a throws hammers at me. Three-a at a time! What-a you want me to do, take-a him out for dinner?

Ha! As if your lazy ass is even capable of that. When was the last time we went to a nice restaurant?

I-a dunno, you cold-a bitch. When was-a the last time we-a had sex? Oh, right-a. Never. Even-a though we’re-a married now, you-a never give it up. No-a wonder I’m-a so frustrated, as you say. I save-a you from kidnapping 31 times, and all I get is a kiss on the cheek.

I’m not your whore, Mario. You’ll have to wait until I’m ready. Maybe you should see an attractive psychiatrist you can secretly pine for as you spill your innermost problems.

I don’t-a need a psychiatrist. How cliché-a would that be? What-a I need is a wife who shows affection. What-a the hell? I met you 20 years ago! Me, I’m a plumber, and I-a need my pipes-a cleaned! I’m-a sick of having to warp off all the time!

Daisy leaves Mario with his brooding thoughts. He stares at the Koopa Troopas in the lava and continues to ruminate on his existence. FADE OUT.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Bible is wrong

Paul, who mused that "God will never give you more than you can handle" (paraphrased) in 1 Corinthians, clearly didn't foresee a future in which BYU would play UCLA in football.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We're winning the war in Iraq now

I'm so glad that the tide has turned and all of a sudden the Iraq situation is no longer a quagmire in which lives are being lost for no good reason. We're winning now, you see. What evidence do I have for that assertion? Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh say so. These guys do their research so I don't need to.

It's so, so awesome that we're winning. Now everyone who had Iraqi insurgents in the pool is screwed. And unpatriotic democrats must be slamming their Priuses in anger. It all turns out that Toby Keith was right and the Dixie Chicks were wrong. And George W. Bush is a military genius who played rope-a-dope for six years before unveiling his ace in the hole, a troop surge that solved everything and made terrorists give up on that whole Jihad thing. It's nice that things turned out this way, 'cause I was getting worried there for a while...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You've got the wrong pig

Why is it that everyone automatically assumes Obama's "lipstick on a pig" comment was referring to Palin? It's obvious that Palin is the lipstick in the metaphor and McCain is the pig.

Even Obama wouldn't admit this in his little speech today, but his giggling supporters who lapped up the comment in person seemed to know what he was talking about.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Fantasy football is stupid

The only joy I can take in the existence of the scourge, which makes people fans of individual players a la NASCAR instead of teams, is the comfort that in every fantasy football league in the world, there was one jackass who was all happy to have Tom Brady on his team.

Now that Brady is out for the year, the jackass will fail and curse fate for his bitter end.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Having gum surgery is the worst, most painful experience a human being can possibly endure. I don’t want to hear anyone complain about childbirth ever again, or passing a kidney stone, or getting shot five times in the gut and having iodine poured down the bullet holes.

I know this because a couple years ago I had gum surgery, and it’s the worst ever. It only took an hour, but that hour – and John McCain can vouch for this - was worse than being stuck in a Vietnamese POW camp for five years. I wish I had a time machine, just so I could go back to the Spanish Inquisition and tell tortured heretics stories of what I went through so they could stop feeling so bad for themselves and recognize that what they’re enduring is nowhere near the pain I went through. Then I’d go do the same to the victims of the Salem Witch Trials, the sinking of the Titanic and Buffalo Bills fans in the 1990s. I’d get them all to hold candlelight vigils for me out of homage for the senseless suffering I’ve endured.

Before I posted this story I printed it out and sent it to Muhammad Ali, and he says Parkinson’s Disease has got nothing on my discomfort. Then I e-mailed it to the guy that got shot by Dick Cheney and he felt so bad for me he said he didn’t follow proper hunting protocol and offered to take the blame. Britney Spears stopped by the other day to borrow a cup of sugar and after I told her what I’d been through, she said gum surgery seems like it sucked worse than being married to Kevin Federline. On Wikipedia it says that the Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s last words were “Geez. Getting assassinated in a chain of events that will lead to the start of World War I really, really sucks, but it’s got nothing on gum surgery.” Look it up.

Here’s the way it went down. My mouth has more gum than a Bubblicious factory, so the oral surgeon has to get in there and solder off the excess. The worst part was not the needles in my mouth or listening to the guy saw the flesh off my teeth, it was the act of hyperextending my jaw for an hour. Remember how when after Hitler killed himself spy agencies searched out the world and found all the Nazis that went into hiding so they could try them at Nuremburg? Turns out they missed one, and he’s working at a Tucson dentist office. In an elaborate torture experiment, the Nazi doctor kept pushing my mouth farther and farther open. I felt like the dinosaur King Kong kills by pulling its jaw apart. My mouth was as sore as Ryan Seacrest’s was after he had to service all those producers on the casting couch at American Idol auditions.

You can't talk when your moth is forced open like that, either. That’s probably a good thing, too, because my threats of violent retribution would have landed me in jail. The whole time the surgery was going on, it was an inner struggle between my fear and the instinct to just get out of the chair and run the hell out of there. My mouth may have been numb, but what hurt were the muscles of my dislocated jaw. When I closed my mouth afterward I could hear a crack and my jaw completely shifted twice until it got back to where it was supposed to be, like an automatic transmission.

And I paid for this! Yet I still got a better return for my money than I have for Arizona Wildcats football tickets the past 10 years.

Friday, September 05, 2008

My kid the future NRA member

19-month-old Luke's favorite game is to jump on me and yell fight. We wrestle around and after a few seconds he asks for his gun, which is the NES Zapper.

I just think it's hilarious that he wants to fight me and then thinks he should shoot me once things aren't going his way.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

My NFL predictions

Patriots 15-1
Jets 9-7
Bills 6-10
Dolphins 2-14

Browns 10-6
Steelers 9-7
Bengals 7-9
Ravens 6-10

Jaguars 11-5
Colts 10-6
Titans 6-10
Texans 5-11

Charges 11-5
Broncos 8-8
Raiders 8-8
Chiefs 5-11

Cowboys 11-5
Giants 9-7
Redskins 6-10
Eagles 6-10

Packers 10-6
Vikings 9-7
Bears 8-8
Lions 5-11

Saints 12-4
Panthers 11-5
Bucs 8-8
Falcons 1-15

Cardinals 16-0
49ers 14-2
Rams 2-14
Seahawks 0-16


Jets 20, Chargers 17
Colts 20, Browns 10

49ers 75, Packers 0
Cowboys 38, Panthers 33

Jaguars 17, Colts 14
Patriots 45, Jets 41

Cardinals 20, 49ers 17
Cowboys 30, Saints 27

Jaguars 27, Patriots 17

Cardinals 87, Cowboys 0

Cardinals 125, Jaguars 0

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

31 is the loneliest number

So it turns out my book is a collector's item. Only 31 people on the planet own a copy. It's like those Honus Wagner baseball cards that always get auctioned for millions of dollars. Only better.

So you heard it here first. One way to get rich is to buy "Stormin' Mormon."

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Beat the best to be the best

Can you outguess me in weekly NFL point spreads? Prove it. Password is Leinartsucks.

I'm immune to pneumonia

I watched a 70-0 football game in the rain Saturday. Had a cold going into it, and lightning delayed it for an hour. I stood there soaking for four hours and everyone around me told me I would probably die. But you know what? I endured like the champion I am. I must have Bruce Willis-like superhero powers of invulnerability.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I've started playing "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed" and I'm loving it so far. It's all about evil, dark side mayhem, hunting down rogue Jedis and making them swallow your lightsaber.

R2D2-like droids will be walking around minding their own business and you pull partitions out of the wall and crush them. They'll run from you but you can track them down and kill them if you want, which I do... The opening level is you as Darth Vader murdering Wookies. You cut them down and hear their garbled, animalistic cries of pain. Beautiful.

It's made me realize that as much as I love the characters of the "Star Wars," I enjoy destroying them even more.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Don Cheadle, heartbreaker

Gamers are pissed that Don Cheadle didn't really play "Shadow of the Colossus" to research the role. Thanks to Kotaku's Brian Ashcraft for the link.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I just now got it

You know that guy Hiro from "Heroes?" Well, the pronunciation of his name is just like "hero!" It's what the scientists call a homonym (they aren't allowed to marry or join the military) and is an example of the sparkling senses of ironical humor with which the Lord has blessed all Hollywood writers.

You guys are good. What will you think of next? Can't wait to see.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bored of the rings

The Olympics, which take for what will seem like four months, broadcast in mostly taped delay format on approximately 35 percent of all cable channels.

The symbol of the games is five interlocked rings, which may as well be zeroes, signifying their worth.

I can guess what you may be thinking. It’s un-American to not watch the Olympics, right? Or maybe I’m not a true sports fan since I don’t watch them, huh? Well, you’re wrong on both counts. For one thing, boycotting the Olympics is an American pastime.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter refused to send our boys and girls over to Moscow to participate in the summer games. Was this because we were protesting a communist invasion of Afghanistan? Hells no. We couldn’t give a damn about Afghanistan.

It was because we had always gone to the Olympics, and we were sick of how dumb and repetitive they were, so we pretended like we had a fever so momma wouldn’t make us go to school, ‘cause we’d rather stay home and play video games. The only reason America participated in the 1984 summer Olympics was because we had to, since they were in L.A. In 1988 we went to the Seoul, South Korea games as a secret ploy to try and undermine the enemy commie regime in North Korea, and we justified going to Barcelona in 1992 in order to have Michael Jordan and the Dream Team beat the hell out of everyone by sixty points a game. Those were the days when America was actually good at basketball, but now we’re surprised that the team is actually winning games again.

Then the world made us have the Olympics again, in Atlanta, in 1996, so the ’84 rule applied once again. No one knows whether or not the Americans went to the 2000 games in Australia or the 2004 Olympics in Athens, because they were all tape-delayed, and most of the events are still unfolding on TV, even as the new games begin.

Real sports fans can’t watch the Olympics, because anyone who truly cares about an athletic event needs to know what happened as soon as it’s done, usually because we have a bet riding on the outcome. Anyone who DVRs sports games and says they’ll watch them later is a loser, lying to cover up his secret fetish for watching the Lifetime channel while having everyone think he really likes sports.

Also, sports fans enjoy watching more than just swimming and track, which make up 95 percent of all competition during the Olympics. The Olympics actually do have cooler sports to watch every now and then, like ping pong and judo, but the TV stations never play those because Americans are even worse at those sports than they are at basketball.

Still, it’s a blessed moment when the networks actually do show us some swimming and track, because actual competition makes up only 5 percent of what they show. The other 95 percent is, of course, weepy, prefabricated feature stories about how every Olympic athlete had to overcome things like having their parents die, having to put up with several fingers being cut off every day by rogue government officials, not being allowed to eat for 12 years, or some other kind of hardship, such as having their step-parents die.

The parents dying stories are there to make people like my mom watch, but what the programmers don’t know is that my mom would rather watch parents die in soap operas that are being pre-empted by the Olympics.

Another reason the Olympics suck is because of the announcers. Normally good announcers turn into flag-waving dingbats when they’re assigned to the Olympics, and none of them ever have anything interesting to say. Here’s an actual transcript of a recent broadcast:

BOB: And heat three of the 5 million kilometer swimming quarterfinals have finally started, Bob. That means we’re only seven hours and 6,321 laps away from seeing who moves onto the semis. Why don’t you explain to the viewers how this works, Bob?

OTHER BOB: Thanks, Bob. Well, they’ll swim, they’ll turn, swim some more, turn again and… uh, let me check the rule book… Oh, there it is! Swim some more.

BOB: And all the while, we’ll pop in with amusing anecdotes fed to us by the TelePromTer!

OTHER BOB: What if we misspeak, Bob?

BOB: Well, Bob, this event actually took place about 20 hours ago, giving our editors time to smooth everything over and insert commercial breaks in order for NBC to feed to the ignorant public during prime time.

OTHER BOB: What a magnificent spectacle! There’s a special story behind the Chilean swimmer in lane two, Bob. His parents died when he was four, then he was adopted, and those parents died as well. Actually, four sets of the swimmer’s parents died, and his countrymen began to believe there was some sort of curse on him. Thus, the poor guy had to spend all his time in a pool, hence is much-practiced aquatic skills.

BOB: Whoah, Bob, the swimmers have turned again!

OTHER BOB: That kind of thing makes my heart skip a beat, Bob!

BOB: No, Bob, it’s actually your clogged arteries that makes your heart skip a beat.

OTHER BOB: Touche, Bob.

In closing, here is a list of things that are better than the Olympics:

-Picking up the phone to be told four relatives have just been maimed in a twister.

-Finding out your girlfriend is married to Carrot Top.

-Watching the DVD of the Rosie O’Donnell Show, the Complete Third Season.

-Getting stung by an Africanized Honey Bee.

So, Becauseitoldyouso.com readers, I implore you to help me out with this Olympic boycott. Jimmy Carter, bless ‘im, would have wanted it this way.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Poor white crayons

They have no purpose, save for use on construction paper. Which no one ever has, other than kindergartens. Construction paper is the affirmative action of the drawing paper world. White crayons just sit there in the box, lonely and unwanted, like the scrawny kid with glasses in gym class dodgeball.

The white crayon gets its comeuppance only late in life, when its brethren have been broken and worn down to stubs. Then it stands proudly in its virgin glory, untested but free of abuse. "You pompous bastards," the white crayon boasts with a booming crayon cackle. "Look at you now. Just look at you."

Monday, August 18, 2008

My new enemy

Checker Auto Parts. I bought a car battery a month ago, and in San Diego it stranded me. had to buy a new one from AAA. I took the "old" battery back to Checker Sunday and they told me to go sodomize myself. They wouldn't warranty it because their test says the battery is good, and wouldn't refund or exchange it even though it says on the receipt that they do refunds and exchanges for 60 days. Geez, try to f*%& with me cuz I'm a teenager with a little bit of gold and a pager. Awaiting a call back from the district manager today...

UPDATE: The district manager told me he'll order the store to refund me. I can't wait to stare down the evil fool who dared stand up to me and boast of my victory. I envision it like a "Highlander" showdown. There can only be one.

I think I may even thank the guy. It was totally worth it for him to act like such a jackass to create the opportunity for me to stomp him today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Just when I thought I couldn't love "God of War 2" more

There enters a part where you find Icarus, who is old, disheveled and obsessed with flying across a chasm to meet the Fates.

He tells you to turn back, but you step up and tell him not only will you fly over that chasm he's wasted his entire, worthless life hoping to cross, but you'll use his wings to do it. So then you start beating him down, ripping his wings off him as you tumble down a seemingly bottomless pit. I never knew life could hold such pleasures. And when you win it gets even better. Turns out there's a pool of lava at the bottom, waiting to give your opponent a big hug.

Yeah, I know the game came out 2 1/2 years ago, but I'm slow. Let me enjoy the moment for what it is.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Potential newspaper name changes

New York Behind the Times

USA Yesterday

Baltimore Setting Sun

Toronto Fading Star

Washington Ex Post Facto

Arizona Redundant

Note: The Arizona Daily Star doesn't deserve a sarcastic, derisive nickname because it's awesome.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Best movie line ever

"You're going to have a magical life. Because no matter where you go it will always be better than Tucson." (Hamlet 2).

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dirty 30

And so it comes, the day I've dreaded since I was four or five and learned to count past 29. I'm entering my fourth decade. It's not that I'm unhappy to be older. Hell, I'm lucky to have lived this long since some people die when they're just babies, some when they're 10 and Tupacs when they're 25, and with only half the amount of testicles they started with at that.

But my dark little secret is I've always considered everyone age 30 and up to be an out-of-touch, burned-out fossil. To put it bluntly, a loser. My friends and I used to concur that marriage was the equivalent of death, and age 30 would bring death by natural causes. I doubt that perception was exclusive to me and mine, and it gives me no pleasure to be viewed that way by the young whippersnappers born in the 1980s or (gulp!) 90s. I'll hate them for having contempt for me and my age group, but will be forced to concede that they'll have a point. At a certain time - probably in your mid 20s but definitely by age 30 - the human body and mind begin to fade and slow rather than develop and sharpen. You can make up for the decline with experience for a while, but eventually you just lose it and transform into an incontinent shell of your former self.

The shift doesn't happen at 30, but with that age comes the waning of perceived potential. No matter how big a loser you are in your 20s, you can still write off your lack of success to youth. You're still brimming with possibilities, even if you just sit on your ass all day. For instance, a guy who spends all day playing "World of Warcraft" may be just gaining experience for his career as a video game developer. A guy who looks at porn all day could be preparing for a career in film. A meth addict could just be enduring hard times on his path to one day evolving into a self-help guru. A girl who spends all her student loan money on shoes could be planning on going to law school and making more than enough to pay it all back. And she still gets to keep the shoes!

Once you're in your 30s you can still make it, but realistically your chances of attaining the most garish of your dreams start to drop precipitously. A guy in his 20s with a hard drive full of unpublished books is indomitable and ambitious. But a man in his 30s? More of a pathetic failure. A Kurt Warner steaming on the sidelines, hoping the 25-year-old starting ahead of him breaks his collar bone so he can get another fleeting shot at recapturing his former magic, even though everyone in the crowd knows he'll fumble in the end zone in overtime.

To tell you the truth it isn't only my 30th birthday I've dreaded. Since 18 I've never been happy with sliding another bead on my age abacus. When I turned 20 I regretted no longer being a teenager, and at 25 I missed my early 20s. Twenty-six made me older than Sugar Ray said he was when he came out with "Fly" (even though the lying jackass was 29), and 27 and 28 and 29 were the three strikes I watched whiz by me as Father Time retired the side of my salad days all-star lineup.

Of course, now I see how silly it was to whine about turning 19 or 26 because I'm aware of just how young people of those ages are. I imagine that 10 years from now I'll be writing about how ignorant I was about fearing age 30. Age will surely bring wisdom and perspective along with its increased risk of prostate cancer.

What's weird to me is that now that most of my friends are also 30, they treat it as if it's no big deal. They have the same upbeat attitude of that dope who made the country song "My Next 30 Years." I refuse to be happy with it, even if it turns me into an angry old man. To be pleased that a significant chunk of your life is gone is to disrespect the gift of existence. I'm determined to realize how quickly the sand is draining from the hourglass and act accordingly.

What I need to come to grips with is that each day that passes is a step closer toward the grave, and should increase my sense of urgency in realizing just how short and precious life is. Sure, turning 30 is nasty and depressing in a way, but it's not as bad as 40, 50 or 130 for that matter. I must guard my immaturity with extreme prejudice and work harder at everything I do to make up for the gradual loss of my faculties. If there's truth to the maxim that you shouldn't trust anyone over 30, it's because once people reach a certain age they're done messing around.

Now I have to go. Time to begin life anew and start seizing opportunities. Or play "God of War 2." Whatever's easier.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

My worst investments

-Comic books - Oh, wow, thought 14-year-old Phil. They're actually killing Superman! I'd better buy all the books in the series leading up to and following this cataclysmic event, for they will surely make me a millionaire by age 30! If by "being a millionaire," 14-year-old Phil thought "wallowing in tens of thousands of debt as the comic books sat in a goldfish aquarium box," well then, he was Nostradamus.

-Baseball cards - They were going to pay for my first car. Then when they decreased in value they were going to be heirlooms I'd pass down to generations to come. Now they sit at a bottom of a landfill, refusing to biodegrade. Thanks to their laminated sheen, the cards will still be there when WALL-E roams the planet with his brand of overrated silent comedy.

-Newspaper company stock - I actually broke even on this, so it wasn't a debacle. But had I stayed in for a few more months it sure would have been. I may have well have bought HD DVD player stock.

-A 2000 Chevy Cavalier - My first big purchase. After a 16-hour day of searching for the perfect car, I resorted to the demeanor of a drunken sorority girl at closing and determined to go home with the next thing that looked my way. I paid $16,000 in a deal brokered by a woman my age who was no longer working there the week after.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Olympic skills you can use in Tucson

Who says athletes are the only ones who need to be athletic? There are plenty of
Olympic skills Tucsonans can apply to everyday life. A sampling:

Wrestling — You’ll need to know plenty of reversals and grapples in order to get the bartender’s attention for drinks at popular bars, especially on Fourth Ave. after Arizona Wildcats football games.

Swimming — So what if it’s Monsoon season? You’ve got your favorite shortcut home from work and there’s no reason to let a flooded wash alter your path. Strap on a Speedo suit and practice your butterfly.

Table Tennis — You won’t need a paddle to take on Tucson’s speed dating scene (although some people are into that sort of thing), but the back-forth-back-forth agility of a Forrest Gumpian athlete is needed to survive the quick give-and-takes that can lead to rejections or a romantic relationship that can last as long as a month.

Baseball — Next year the Tucson Sidewinders will be the Reno... Somethings. Spring Training may be hot on its heels on the way out, and that leaves us with a wide open Tucson Electric Park and nothing going on inside. So why not round up your 17 closest buddies, hop the gates and play two?

Badminton — It’s not uncommon to find avian roadkill along our city’s streets, so do your civic duty and help out fellow drivers a favor by knocking those birdies off to the side.

Hurdles — Our city’s parks tend to be laden with trash and muddy potholes. Sprint through the grass and hop over the obstacles lest you lose precious seconds and fall out of medal contention.

Triathlon — Tucson is known as a haven for bike riders, so take a leisurely stroll down one of our many scenic boulevards. The problem is the weather is so hot you’ll surely need to go for a brisk swim afterward to cool down. Because of the city’s high bike theft (particularly in the University area), your vehicle may have been stolen during your swim, so hightail it and catch that thief!

Fencing — Secure a seat on that cantankerous, bickering City Council of ours.

Real-life swordplay is frowned upon in favor of the verbal variety. Bonus points if you dare to take on the city manager.

Weightlifting — Hoist the downed palo verde tree (felled by a violent dust storm) that’s blocking your front door. Don’t forget the hand wraps

Field hockey — Because we have no iced-over ponds here, yet sporting goods stores still sell hockey sticks. So we can do the next best thing.

Handball — With our slumping economy and growing unemployment rate, being able to afford a racquetball racquet may be out of the question. So use a ball-hitting device the IRS can’t take away.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Fast food contests you may not have heard of


Tables in the dining room would spontaneously turn into Twister Boards every hour, on the hour, spurred by an announcement on the counter microphone. Customers and employees alike would jump up on the nearest tables, leaving their food as substitutes for colored dots, and the voice would then shout out a string of rapidfire instructions: “Right hand burrito supreme!” “Left foot meximelt!” “Right butt cheek soda!” The only “prize” offered was the odd stroke of luck that left your body contorted in a pseudosexual position atop an attractive female. More often than not, though, you ended up with your face stuck in the smelly crotch of the fat man behind the counter. Taco Bell stopped the game because Mr. T said he pitied the fools who played it, and back then everyone always did what Mr. T wanted.


Building off the popularity of the film, “The Exorcist,” Long John Silver’s replaced their food trays with Ouija Boards for a brief period, encouraging customers to seek guidance from the spirit world by placing their fingers on a corroded fried hushpuppy and allowing its grease to slip it this way and that. First prize was haunting and possession by spirits of the dark who traversed through the fast-food portal opened up by foolish mortals. First prize, incidentally, was better than second prize, which you’d get if you actually ate the hush puppies: diarreah. The Catholic League spoke out against the game, writing “The power of Christ compels you not to play with your food.”


It works like this: If you go to Burger King, order a combo and ask for a game of “Chutes and Ladders,” they’ll give it to you. This little-known “contest,” if it can be called that, is indicative of how Burger King doesn’t really understand marketing concepts so well.

SUBWAY YAHTZEE (1999-2003)

One in 4,000 12-inch BMT sandwiches included little tokens that allowed you to punch Subway mascot Jared in the face while screaming “Yahtzee!” The game didn’t have much to do with Yahtzee, but no one cared because all Americans crave the opportunity to punch Jared in the face, and greedily swarm after any chance to legally do so. Jared, bitchboy that he is, was a good sport about this game for two years, but got all uppity and tried to back out of the promotion in 2001. Regardless, he still had to take regular “Yahtzee!” punches in the face from winning customers several times a month until the Supreme Court ruled in his favor in a landmark 2003 decision.


This contest was distinctive because it was only open to homeless people. After the day’s shift, employees would toss stale food into a dumpster behind the restaurant, where four hungry drifters would await, their hands tied behind their back, so as to leave them with only their chomping mouths to devour the food in a comical display of Milton Bradley-inspired high jinx for everyone in the alley to enjoy. The game was disbanded when homeless people decided they’d rather die of hunger than eat Del Taco.

Monday, August 04, 2008

I am generous

I got a Canadian quarter as change and didn't know what to do with it. So I donated it to the Ronald McDonald house in one of those plastic charity solicitors at the counter.
That quarter was worth five American dollars.

Master splinter

I got as splinter yesterday on the finger I use to type 97 percent of my letters. Took it out. Or so I thought. But it's still in there. I dug and dug, with tweezers and nail clippers alike, creating an open-pit mine with my medieval surgery.

But I sense it's still in there somewhere, concealed yet throbbing, like Edgar Allen Poe's telltale heart, only in splinter form. At least the pain makes it feel as though it is. It's either the splinter that or the gaping, likely infected wound causing the hurt.

My LinkedIn haiku

Linkedin, Linkedin, ugh
So, so many friend requests
I approve them all*

*Except Hitler

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Things with no purpose

Blow dryers - Hello, they invented towels - which can't break or electrocute you if you drop them in a bathtub - for a reason.

Irons and ironing boards - Sure, sometimes your clothes come out of the closet wrinkles. But you know what else gives clothes wrinkles? Wearing them. Stop fighting nature.

Norton Antivrus - There are free antivirus programs online. You can make better use of the $20 you were going to pay Norton for the year on lottery tickets, stripper tips or origami tiaras.

Watches - You have a cell phone, right? Well, there's a clock on it.

Cufflinks - Cuffs need not be linked. They were born free and are meant to stay that way.

Weddings - Just as awkward and expensive as funerals only not as long-lasting and inexplicably voluntary.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tiny hotel shampoo bottles

Whenever I’m staying in a hotel where they give out those mini-shampoos, I grab one and it makes my hand look humongous. I feel as though I’m the Incredible Hulk, using my oversize paw to pick up a comically small bottle made for usage by measly non-gamma rayed humans.

Then I scream “Hulk Shampoo!” and persist with cleansing my super-strong Hulk hair. OK, I’ve never screamed “Hulk Shampoo!” but that’s only because I never thought of doing that until now. The next time I’m in a hotel, I will say the Hulk thing, and I’ll also use the miniscule hotel soap and gloat at how huge it makes my arms look.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A meditation on George W. Bush as he relates to Mega Man

George W. Bush is not stupid. His greatest accomplishment is making you think he is.
In reality, W is a hyperintelligent supergenius, and that’s the reason he’s sitting in the White House for his second term, dozens of people are dying every day in Iraq and the companies he’s connected to get exponentially richer by the day. Everything is going exactly to W’s evil plans.

By fooling you into thinking he’s a fool, W is really only following one of the tenets of Sun Tzu’s “Art of War,” which states that it’s always best to have the enemy underestimate you. Be smart but appear dumb. Be prepared but appear unprepared. And most of all, be articulate but appear to be inarticulate.

W’s forced stutter and phony ranch hand accent are meant to endear him to the public, who take whatever he has to say for honesty because they assume he’s not more intelligent than they are. What proves this is W managed to get into Yale, avoid the Vietnam war, and trick people into thinking he’s a Texan even though he’s been a Northeastern blue blood his entire life.

Whenever I refer to our president, I do so as “W,” not because that’s what it said on all those “W ’04” bumper stickers, but because to me it’s the perfect name for him.
The whole W thing is very ironic for me, a boy who was raised playing Mega Man. For those who missed out, you play the games as Mega Man, a blank-faced robot dude with a laser arm who defeats a sequence of giant robot minibosses, then gets to use their weapons once he defeats them.

Each of the robotron opponents in that game were represented by symbols, lined up on grids on the title screen. Each game has a different story and introduces a different mastermind villain, but play all the way through and you’ll always find that the end boss for each game is always the maniacal megagenius Dr. Wiley, who always turned out to be the brains behind everything. Dr. Wiley’s symbol is always a gimongous W, so to me W is the perfect definition of the prez, who is the intrinsic mastermind demigod.

Pass a few Mega Man games, and you’ll notice a certain trend: W fights like a bitch. He has others do the warring for him whenever possible, and only fights for himself once you destroy each and every machination he can think of. And once you get to Dr. Wiley, he never fighting you hand to hand, always Voltronning up in giant robot attackers, spaceships, tanks or whatnot. And then you blow all his sh_t up and he begs you for mercy. Mega Man always lets him live, because he has no other purpose in life than blasting through the obstacles that W puts up, allowing Mega Man to save the world again and again, becoming recognized and respected as a hero. Whereas if W didn't exist, Mega Man would be just about useless, perhaps some kind of servant, and most definitely addicted to robot heroin. Without his W, Mega Man would be nothing more than a lowlife destitute, without hope nor plans. He'd be an electronic Bobby Brown.

In sum, my point is that W is Dr. Wiley, and the rest of us are all either Mega Men or one of W’s minibosses. Whatever you are, you need W to survive. So don’t underestimate the boss. Hail to the king.