Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My evaluation of my writing ability

My writing is like sunshine and air, allowing other things to develop under its radiance and nourishment. Even I benefit from reading my own stuff.

It's a good thing "Stormin' Mormon" didn't exist in Shakespeare's day, because he would have been like, damn, no way I can compete with that, and just given up. and the world would be without so many good plays that are impossible to understand.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Why it's fun to give unsolicited advice

Making crucial decisions in your own life can be tough and ulcer-inducing, but it’s pure, stressless fun to dispense random, off-the-top-of-your-head advice to someone else who's suffering a crisis. People who bring their difficulties to us usually just want some reassurance or someone to vent to, but sitting there and being reassuring doesn’t make for much entertainment value. I’ve found it’s much more exciting to not so much listen as the poor soul dumps his or her problems on you, but to spend that valuable time thinking about what you’re going to say in response. Once the advice-ee finally shuts the hell up, you tell them what they should do to erase that stupid, inconsequential adversity from their insignificant lives.

You'll probably be ignored, which is fine, but if they take the advice and it works, you can take credit for solving their problems, and smile in the knowledge that you're better at living their lives than they are. In the much more likely instance that the advice makes them end up homeless, dead or in jail, you can just put the whole thing behind you as a lesson learned at someone else's expense. In any case, you're feeling better than before you gave the advice. And remember, it’s all about you.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The pleasures of blowing a bug off a urinal wall

I did this for the first time last week. On a bathroom break at work, I was tending to my business when I noticed a gnat on the wall beside the urinal. It was perched parallel to my face, and I think the perverted insect had one of his eyes pointed down toward my machinery.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not into the whole exhibitionist thing. I decided to remove the gnat, albeit in a peaceful manner, for although I’m adamant about protecting my private parts from viewings by bugs, I’m always looking for ways out of problems that don’t involve adding more violence to this beleaguered world. Instead of swatting the gnat down, I blew a small puff of air to attempt to remove it. The gnat would not back down so easily, his sticky feet clinging to the porcelain tile, his eye probably still pointed you-know-where.

Then I readied my powerful lungs, which have been tainted only by secondhand smoke, and unleashed a powerful gust of windborne destruction, the likes of which the gnat had never felt. So powerful was the gale force of my blow that it dislodged the gnat’s sticky feet and the creature was sent hurling into oblivion. I felt like Superman when he uses his freeze breath to kill a robot.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The five bands that suck the hardest

As an art form on the whole, music is pretty overrated. When I turn on the radio, 97.3 percent of the time a song that I can’t stand is playing on each and every one of the seven stations I have programmed into my Toys-R-Us quality car stereo that doesn’t have a CD player, tape or even 8 track. That’s because my stereo was invented long before 8 tracks, and only one year after the first music – a caveman banging against a cave with a stick – came into being.

I have no reason to get a better car stereo because today’s music hasn’t much surpassed the whole caveman with a stick thing, and while man has been able to invent the nuclear bomb, the aeroplane, the Vanilla Coke and has even been able to trick one each other into thinking we actually landed on the Moon, our race has fallen woefully short in music making. In the entire 10,000 years of human existence, exactly 192 really awesome songs have been made, and I downloaded most of them from Napster when I was in college. All other songs that have been invented range from OK to mediocre to hellspawn three-day-old puke. And there are five bands that lots of people love and worship and spend money on and flash their boobs at that can’t even aspire to making music worthy of being labeled hellspawn three-day-old-puke. And they are…

I do give him props for working his mojo on Courtney Cox in that one music video way back in the day when she wasn’t old and Alex P Keaton was always trying to slip her the Lil’ Overachiever on “Family Ties,” but other than that, Springsteen hasn’t served much of a purpose in life. He has a horrible voice, makes horrible music and will NEVER EVER RETIRE and end his pathetic career. Plus he’s always, always, ALWAYS bitching about something in each and every one of his songs; crying about how blue collar folks have got it rough and how sad life is. People call him the boss, and I think it’s a Freudian slip thing that “boss” spelled backward is “ssob,” the way illiterate Springsteen lovers would spell “sob” if they understood the alphabet.

Some complainers out there might argue that P. Diddy isn’t a band, and thus shouldn’t qualify for the list, but P. Diddy sucks so bad he simulates the cumulative suckiness of five other people, thereby forming an entire band of dumbass-osity.
This is the most unoriginal, uncreative hack to ever have sex with four chicks at the same time (I just KNOW he’s done it… Grrrrr…) All of his songs are nothing but samples of other dumb songs to have come before, mixed in with Diddy doling out his monotone recital of nonsensical lyrics like “Who hot, who not…” which is the most profound thing he’s ever said. He puts the “c” in front of “rap.”

The worst thing P. Diddy ever diddied came after his pimpmaster Notorious BIG died – by the way, the movie “Biggie and Tupac” sort of accuses Diddy of orchestrating the Tupac and BIG murders – and Diddy, then called Puff Daddy, made that song and music video with Mrs. Notorious, “I’ll Be Missing You,” in which you can tell that P. Diddy was definitely trying to get with that. This was purportedly meant to be a tribute to the fallen BIG, but why would the ghost of Biggie want to see his girl dancing around with a hornball dumbass?

If I’m dead, there are a few things I want to see: A.) A golden statue of me built in my honor; 2.) Into sorority showers (when you die you get x-ray vision) and III.) Free HBO. You’ll not that nowhere on that list is an item called “watch my woman dance around with a hornball dumbass.” And while I’m alive I want to see P. Diddy continue his new love of marathoning and run straight off into oblivion like Forrest Gump.

I can’t even talk about these talentless closet cases without bursting into a rage. They finish each others’ sentences like an old married couple, scream instead of rap or sing, and were so evil as to have inspired Limp Bizkit. Beat your cat and you’ll get better sounds than anything the Beasties crap out. It’s time to get ill, alright, of chronic, irreversible laryngitis.

The worst offense of all from Pearl Jam was that obnoxious “Oh were or where can my baby be” song, which is a remake of a tune of some dude singing about his woman getting killed in a car crash or something. For starters, the song isn’t good, and secondly, it’s freaking morbid to sing a tribute song to a chick you never even had sex with. The rules go that if you had sex with some chick, then she dies, you’re allowed to make a song about it. If not, then no song. Pearl Jam was a bad copy of Nirvana and got completely surpassed by STP, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. One time when I was nine I made up words to the Super Mario Bros. music that went “Su-PER Mar-i-o BRO-thers; we like to COL-lect coins and mush-ROOMS…” and that song, though bad, was infinity plus five times better than every song ever made by Pearl Jam put together times 17.

1. U2
As the only known person who hates U2, I take a lot of crap for my take on the Irish do-gooders who are always trying to get on TV showing that they give money to African babies and put on a concert for the drying refugees and whatnot. Good job on that, U2. But here’s an idea, how about instead of spending all your free time trying to book appearances on Oprah and Jay Leno, you sit down and try to make a good song for once. I used to only kind of hate U2, until 1997 or so, when that “Pop” album came out, and the very worst song I’ve ever suffered through, “Discotec,” was played every seven minutes by clueless, sheeplike DJs who were too afraid not to fall in line and play the humiliating garbage. Even people that love U2 hate that song, which is so sulphuric-acid-on-the-eyeballs painful that it undermines the entire reason for the existence of music. When my cousin was 4 years old, I told him that U2 was actually “U-Pooh,” and he called them that for the next two years until he learned how to read and found out it was actually U2. Hopefully someday he’ll realize how correct I really was.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

GTA or Kart?

I'm having a nervous breakdown about both "Mario Kart Wii" and "Grand Theft Auto IV" coming out at the same time. It's the ultimate concurrence of both awesomeness and suckery. These two games are more important than many aspects of life, especially sleep.

I've already told myself i will do nothing but play video games for a month straight and stay up until at least 3 a.m. every other night. but now I'm coming to the realization that it won't be enough. There is just not enough time for that much video game brilliance. It's the same dilemma Archie faced with Betty and Veronica. Whenever he was making sweet love to one of them, he was always dreaming of the other.

"Stormin' Mormon" price slashed in half for one week

As pissed as I am at Publish America for not kowtowing to Amazon's demands in order to give my book a better chance to sell, I'm pleased that the website is doing the sensible thing and cutting their too-high prices in half for one week. You can buy the book for $10 here (you'll have to type Stormin' Mormon into the search box - don't forget the apostrophe.

If you want to the book on the cheap, now would be a good time to get it.

Monday, April 21, 2008


It doesn’t surprise me that we don’t have flying cars yet. I predict we still won’t have them in 2015, as “Back to the Future Part II” claims, or ever for that matter. Not because the technology won’t be there, but because of common sense. Drivers are too stupid to avoid crashing into one another on the ground, let alone if they were airborne. And cars themselves are way too unreliable. Could you imagine how dangerous flying cars would be? The flying Chevy Cavaliers would always stall at inopportune times, but instead of calling a tow truck, you’ll need to call the people who scoop up your remains and turn you into Soylent Green, because you’ll be dead.

My vision of the future is free of flying cars, and unless maybe this ethanol thing takes off, regular cars as well. Traveling itself will be obsolete, because everyone will sit at home all day pretending like they’re working while playing on the Internet. All vacationing will be done by microchips you download into your brain. The downside of this is that you won’t get to actually experience Hawaiian sea breezes or the firsthand sight of the Eiffel Tower. The upside is that you’ll get to vacation with Luigi or Pac-Man if you so desire.

Another change you’ll notice is that every business with more than two words in the title will go by an acronym. This I’m sure of not only because of “KFC” and “DQ,” but “BR,” which Baskin Robbins is trying to call itself now. This is gonna get out of control, I tells ya. ESPN will be known as EN.

I know what you’re wondering now. Will we ever go to Mars? Well, yes and no. The government will convince everyone we did, but the mission will really be faked and fool the populace as it’s broadcast over hover TV. The video game Grand Theft Auto 75 will lampoon this. Meanwhile the real Martians, who hide from our telescopes by living underneath the surface, will invade and conquer us, only to later be overthrown by the very robotic army humanity has constructed in order to fend them off. The Matrix had it wrong. Humans won’t end up as batteries – Martians will. We’ll just all be dead, save for the few of us who managed to burrow into volcanoes and evolve into volcano beasts that venture out at night and kidnap robotic children.

Next question – will there ever be nuclear war? Again, a good news, bad news situation. The good news is that there will be no nuclear war, and the bad news is the reason for this has nothing to do with mankind’s evolution toward a peaceful state. There will be a World War III alright, and countries will try to nuke each other, but it just won’t happen. It will just turn out that all the long range missiles worldwide are just as ghetto as North Korea’s, and all will plop harmlessly into the Sea of Japan.

My final prediction: Biff really will get his hands on a sports almanac, then travel back in time and give it to his younger self, who will become the richest man alive, then marry Lorraine and make her get a boob job. Hey, the movies can’t be wrong about everything.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

On drugs

One of the reasons I’m not a junkie is because the narcotics that exist don’t do it for me. According to the movies I’ve seen, drugs like crack and heroine get you high for a while but then leave you only craving more, willing to just about anything – and I mean anything – to get some more. Hence the occupations of “crack whore,” “heroine slut,” “smack prostitute,” “ecstacy trick” and “opium polesmoker.”

I’ve never tried any drugs, mostly because I’m afraid of the police – they’ve got pepper spray, and pepper spray kills. I’ve never even smoked a cigarette, because I hear that Surgeon General guy can be a real bastard. My fears aside, it’s too hard to get drugs anyway. That’s why no movie drug exchange has ever been successfully completed. Producers and directors, after all, don’t make these things up. Except for “Pirates of the Caribbean,” which is totally full of lies, filmmakers pull their stories from real life. It’s called “cinema verite.”

And one thing these filmmakers know is that these drug deals, they never work out. First you’ve gotta bring the briefcase full of cash to the abandoned warehouse, which is a hassle in and of itself - because Wells Fargo tellers aren’t cool about filling briefcases and abandoned warehouses don’t come up on Mapquest - and then you have to deal with all the potential pitfalls of the exchange. Someone’s probably been flipped by the Feds and wearing a wire, waiting to rat you out, and if that’s not the case the drug lord you’re doing business with will probably just shoot you, take your cash-filled briefcase and keep the money. Because, let’s face it, the only reason the druglord wouldn’t cap you is if he’s got a strong moral compass, because it would be so very easy, let alone profitable, to just shoot you and take your money instead of go through with the deal as promised. You’re probably out of luck, because I saw this thing on the Discovery Channel that says those with strong moral compasses make up only 13 percent of the North American druglord population.

But for the sake of conversation, let’s just say you do pull off the one successful drug deal ever. Okay, then you’ve got your blow, you shape it into lines on a small mirror (and this also assumes you can find one of those small mirrors, because they don’t sell them at the Targets I frequent), then you sniff it up and get high. While you’re laying back in your dazed stupor, you’ve gotta start questioning whether it was really worth all the work for a few moments of bliss. I mean, do you really feel any better high than when you’re playing “Super Mario Bros.” and you’re at the end of a level at the giant block staircase and you time your jump just right so the last digit on the countdown timer stops on a six just as you hit the flagpole, sliding down to enjoy a dazzling display of six – count ‘em – six, life-affirming fireworks? I really freaking doubt it.

Sorry, illegal drug industry. You’re gonna have to do better than a simple high to get my cash-filled briefcases. I’m disappointed in my limited options, and I’m holding out until there‘s a drug that offers something that would make me a bit more like Superman, like heat-vision or freeze breath. If those can’t be done than I’d settle for a drug that gives me temporary x-ray vision, but I’d only pay half a briefcase full of cash for that.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Everything I know I learned from playing Super Mario Bros.

Back when I was seven, there were news stories that ranted that “Super Mario Bros.” would rot kids’ brains. Years later, it’s obvious that quite the opposite is true. In fact, I’d venture to say that of all my knowledge sources: elementary school, high school, college, Sesame Street, my parents, all of them combined don’t equal the education I received from playing the greatest Nintendo game ever made.

While the suckers will plug through each and every measly level to get through life, the smart ones are always searching for the shortcuts. Jump over the brick wall at the end of world 1-3, and sure enough, there is your warp to worlds 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1. No one has ever warped to 2-1 or 3-1. In fact, I’m not even sure those warp tubes work. They’re just there as decorations, and to make you feel like you’re getting an even better deal. Warping also teaches you that it’s smarter to warp than to go straight through, because only if you warp will there be a invisible one-up mushroom block waiting for you. As it says on the “Alexander” movie poster, fortune favors the bold.

The more food you eat, the bigger you’ll get. While in real life mushrooms don’t quite have the power to immediately triple your size, eat enough mushrooms and you will one day grow to be a bigger person. Once you stop growing up, you can still grow by getting fatter.

Turtles may look all dumb or innocent, but they’re all secret minions of King Koopa. They’re evil and they’ll go on to kill unless you crack their shells. Give ‘em a quick stomp on the back to put them out of commission, and don’t let anyone from PETA see

While the fireball is an amazing and formidable weapon, it doesn’t pack enough juice to destroy or even slightly injure a black-shelled Buzzy Beetle. It’s this type of forethought that gave the founding fathers the idea for the second amendment. We as a society need the right to bear arms because sometimes a “fireball” i.e., rational discussion, is not enough to defeat an enemy. Sometimes you need an AK.

Certain things in life exist only to trap you. Swim around all you like, and there’s no escape at all. You’re just stuck until time runs out and you die of asphyxiation. The programmers put world -1 in there to remind us not to do drugs, because drugs are just a one way ticket into the minus world. Except for mushrooms. Those will make you feel real good.

In life, timing is everything. Lean in for a kiss at the wrong time, and you’ll get slapped in the face. Ask the boss for a raise at the wrong time, and you’ll get fired. Run a red light when there’s another car coming, and you’re dead. Only make your move when the last number on the clock is a six, and you’re golden.

You have to go through lots of castles, spend a lot of golden coins and get with lots of girls who only turn out to be dudes dressed in mushroom suits in disguise before you find your one true love. And even she won’t give you sex.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

In observance of the funniest moment in the history of movies

Wait until the scene that comes at the 2 minute mark. No funnier moment has ever been recorded in the history of film.

The best place to find comedy

Is often your neighborhood church. This church my wife drags me to is asking its followers to donate 90 percent of the tax rebate checks they get to them. The pitch went "How lucky are you that the Lord lets you keep 90 percent of your income and all he asks for is 10 percent. How about just this once you tithe to yourself and give the rest to God?"

My immediate response, other than stifled laughter, was "Go tithe yourself."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Text messaging must die

It’s not that I don’t understand HOW text messaging works – obviously it has to do with the biorobonuclaic principals of cell phones, with the chrononucleaical transferation module that transports quadricameral nomenclature differentials from cell phone to cell phone – but rather WHY people would actually use text messaging to communicate in a timely manner.

Whenever I ask any texting addict why it is they spend hours using their cell phones to send IMs for the wonderful privilege of being charged by a shiny electronic nickel for each usage, or an unnecessary flat fee of $5 a month, they almost always respond with a dumb grin and a chuckle. They say, “I dunno! I just like it.” Hmm.

I’m no cell phone expert, but my research has shown phones are equipped with speakers which can be used for talking and hearing others talk. These speakers negate the need to use number pads to complicatedly type out messages. Text messaging on a cell phone is like walking on your hands. Sure, it’s possible; maybe even a little fun. But why would you do it constantly when it’s so much easier to walk on your feet?

Others try to rationalize, but can’t explain it any better than the dumb grin and chuckle. Some say they text because they don’t want to seem rude when they’re with other people. My reply to them is that staring at your obnoxious phone for the 10 minutes it takes to text “C U l8r at the bk str” is ruder than a 0.7 second phone conversation.

Friday, April 11, 2008

An alphabet of overrated things

A is for avocados. They look like grenades and, when guacamole’d, make me eat too many tortilla chips.

B is for Brady, as in Tom. Sports Illustrated sportsman of the year, my anus. He throws like Cindy Brady.

C is for cannons. What dumb weapons. All they did was shoot big, heavy balls at ships dumb enough to float in their way. This excludes laser cannons.

D is for defense. Don’t listen to what they say, it’s offense that really wins championships.

E is for Everybody Loves Raymond. I secretly called it Not Everybody Loves Raymond. Burn!

F is for food. It costs too much, doesn’t taste all that good, and if I stop shoving it in my face constantly, I die. Not that it has its own channel, with its fanbase of morons who talk about it constantly, food really thinks it’s hot shit. I say we rebel and go to Matrix cocoons for sustenance.

G is for Gus, the field goal kicking mule. Mr. Ed could take you down any day of the week, jackass.

H is for Hannukah. I have eight presents for you, annoying, overlong holiday that falls on different dates every year. Here’s a hint, they’re all punches to the throat.

I is for irritating column devices, such as writers using the alphabet when they can’t think of anything else to write.

J is for joints. Crack is where it’s at, baby.

K is for karate, which is no match for a gun.

L is for length. It’s all about girth, according to women as well as Jake Gyllenhaal’s character in Brokeback Mountain.

M is for Mike Tyson. First he loses to Little Mac, then he gets jailed for rape and when he gets out he bites peoples’ ears and moves to Phoenix. You are stupid. (Please don’t read this, drive down here and attack me).

N is for New York Yankees. You are losers, especially you, Alex Rodriguez.

O is for other websites. If they didn’t exist, would get more traffic.

P is for Pussycat Dolls. Doncha wish you’d shut the hell up and go back to your careers as strippers?

Q is for Q-Bert. Just kidding. Q-Bert was the mothableepin’ bomb, yo.

R is Rainbow Brite, no match at all for the underrated Strawberry Shortcake.

S is for Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliette? More like Romeo and Poo-liet.

T is for tarantulas. Brown recluses and black widows are more venomous, you big, hairy oafs.

U is for the University of Dumbass, which is my nickname for Arizona State.

V is for Villarroel. Some people have that as there last name – I saw it in the phone book. What happened to your “A,” you illiterate jagoffs?

W is for the song “Who Let the Dogs Out,” which should be renamed, “Who Let the Suck Out”

X is for X-Men. Superman could beat up all 1,000 of you. Even the effeminate-looking
Superman from the latest movie.

Y is for yo-yos. They always get tangled up and broken.

Z is for zebras. Like horses, only slower and with stripes. What are you, the referees of horses? I call a 15-yard penalty on you for stupidness.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Never buy a Filet-o-Fish. You can’t trust them. For not once in the history of McDonald’s has anyone ever ordered a Filet-o-Fish intentionally. Sure, people have gotten them by mistake sometimes. On occasion some generous cubicle drone makes a McDonald’s office run and buys everything on the menu to distribute to coworkers, and at the bottom of the bag will be the pathetic green wrapper containing the bun-and-tartar-sauce draped mystery of the oceansea.

And a mystery it should remain, because who really wants to know what deranged process it takes to turn one of Nemo’s associates into a flat, square shaped patty? It’s a true distortion of nature’s plan to create such a monstrosity, and while comparably disturbing ventures are taken to create such substances as McNugget and hamburger, those don’t seem as revolting because they are accepted blocks of the food pyramid. The Filet-o-Fish, though, is an anomaly, a crime against our underwater brothers akin to making Shamu bounce a ball on his nose.

I of course am not alone in this opinion, and that’s why the sandwich is never ordered. That’s why McDonald’s used to slap it with the stigma of the No. 9 combo, relegated to the end of the line, relegated to the outer reaches of the customer’s peripheral vision. Only later did they move it around, to Nos. 4 or 6, hoping to increase volume by tricking people into ordering the restaurant’s shame instead of their usual double quarter pounder. And while all this chicanery occurred, the poor tastilicious McRib had to sit on the sidelines, only able to pop out for a gleeful romp once every other year or so, soaking in its delectable sauces, waiting to pounce for brief glory, only to fade back into oblivion, while its incompetent rival, the Filet-o-Fish, was allowed to stay.

At this point I must admit that I’ve never tried one. The Filet-o-Fish, that is – not the McRib. The McRibs I’ve not only tried but inhaled, three to an order during those glorious jubilee periods in which they’re made available. And during off seasons, I sate my McRib fix by buying them on the black market. I’m reduced to shady back alley deals and occasional sexual debasement for the salve to my addiction. But that’s off the subject. I’m not able to comment on the taste of the Filet-o-Fish because of my inexperience in munching them, which I think is a testament to my wisdom and worldliness. Only a fool, after all, would order something no one else ever does. While trying anything else on the menu offers reasonable odds of getting a piece of reasonably freshly made cholesterol-dripping, preservative-wafting fulfillment, you just know the Filet-o-Fishes on the burger ready-rack have been there since the joint opened that day at 5:30 a.m., if not the day before, if not the week before. Never having been ordered, never to be ordered. The bastard sandwich is kept alive only by the moaning drone of the heat rack, as if it were some sort of edible version of Terry Schiavo, alive but somehow dead; staleness warmed into floppy submission.

If only it were possible to catch Filet-o-Fishes and release them back into the waters from whence they came, allowing them one last swim, as a watershed homage to the environment we debased in mankind’s blind urge to make gross burger alternatives. They could peacefully drift to the bottom of the ocean and stay there. During the long float to the bottom, they would drift undisturbed. Other, living creatures, some destined themselves to become a Filet-o-Fish, will swim by and look at the sandwich with their big round eyes, then lose interest and jet off to some other place to blow bubbles, hassle the plankton and try to look up jellyfishes skirts. They won’t even take a nibble, because even fish have standards when it comes to getting their grub on.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Coffee conundrum

I don't see how people become addicted to coffee, given how awful it tastes, which is at least better than its aftertaste - similar to that which you get when you lick asphalt.

It's like I know why people like coffee, cigarettes and hard liquor, because it's a chemical thing that associates the high of the product with the awful taste, twisting your senses into registering the nastiness as a positive. But what I don't get is how people swill enough coffee to fall under the influence to begin with. Making it is so labor intensive and buying it is so expensive. Getting addicted to coffee seems as appealing as slamming an aluminum bat against your nose.

Some people tell me they like coffee because they're into bitterness. For those people I have a recommendation: try some ape piss. It's even more bitter than your drink of choice.

By the way, it's true what they say about there being no accounting for taste. I loved enchiladas as a kid. Hate them now. Always hated olives until two years ago, but now I really like them - but only the high-class non-vinegarred olives you'll find at Sweet Tomato troughs or at the bottom of Olive Garden salad bowls. Regular canned olives are still revolting. Also, I hated grapefuit juice when i was 5, called it swamp juice. Now I love swamp juice so much I buy it flowers and pretend to laugh at its unfunny jokes.

A brief glossary of evil twins

In “Charles in Charge” sometimes Charles would get knocked on the head and turn into Chaz, an evil alter ego who would cause all sorts of mischievous high jinx. Chaz would slick his hair back, talk smack to everybody, hit on the girls he babysat, try to have sex with old girlfriends and skip class. Chaz, come to think of it, was a lot cooler than Charles. The way to change him back was to either hit him on the head (once – not twice, because that would turn him back into Chaz) or hope he gets into a motorcycle crash.

Mario was the savior of the Mushroom Kingdom who saved Princess Toadstool four times (“Super Mario Bros.,” “Super Mario Bros. 3,” “Super Mario World,” “Super Mario Land”) Then he found out that a bastard named Wario took over his castle, sealed the door with a magic lock that could only be opened if six golden coins were placed along the frame, then scattered the coins throughout the world and released loads of monsters to guard them in “Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins.” Stupidly, Wario did not think to take the six golden coins inside the castle with him. Wario’s origin was unknown, but he kind of resembled Mario, only fatter and with an upside-down M on his hat to cleverly appear as a W. Anyway, Mario did the sensible thing and killed Wario’s ass, then he came back to life and now plays tennis, golf, baseball and go-kart racing with Mario.

Punky had an evil twin, too, although I think this only happened in one episode, and not in the real show but the trippy little cartoon spinoff. That nutty little flying Munchkin from beyond the rainbow, Glomer, took her picture when she was frowning. The picture turned out to be magic, and Mean Punky Brewster leaped out of the frame and started throwing rocks and insulting everyone she saw, including Cherie, who was probably still recovering emotionally after having been locked in the refrigerator. They killed Mean Punky by making her go back into the picture then tearing it up.

Cassius Clay was a nice boxer who did what he was told and lived by society’s rules. Then he changed his name to Muhammad Ali, who was evil for three reasons: A.) Because he stopped believing in Jesus, B.) He had the gall to say black people weren’t treated well in the 1960s, a time of perfect racial equality and idyllic harmony, and C.) He refused to defend our freedom by going to Vietnam and joining coalition forces in dying in a very, very important war that really, really needed to be fought. Luckily our government recognized his evil and threw him in jail.

Urkel was a nerd who invented a machine that made him cool, and he walked into it every sweeps period to become Stephan Ur-kel (accent on the “kel”), which turned him into a smooth pimperator who no longer spoke in a nasally voice, did not annoy Carl and macked hardcore on Laura and her hot friend Maxine. What made Stephan even cooler was the fact that he – get ready for this – DID NOT WEAR GLASSES. Stephan wasn’t completely evil, but he had a way of acting like a pompous ass so that others would eventually conspire to trick him from walking back into the machine and get him changed back to Steve.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Hell yes, Bases Loaded is on the Wii's Virtual Console now

"Bases Loaded" shaped the way I view baseball.... and in turn, life itself.

Today is like the end of "Con Air." I feel like the stuffed toy rabbit, and Nicolas Cage (Nintendo) is giving me back to his little daughter (Wii) after too many years apart, and the song "Hoooow Do Iiii Liiiiiiive Without You" is playing in the background.

I love "Bases Loaded." Doesn't everybody? Oko on Philly is the best natural athlete I've ever seen in my life, and Paste on Jersey is no slouch either. Paste-Oko, and not Obama-Clinton, would truly be the dream ticket.

There's also a player in the game named Saint, forget which team he plays for. One of my friends I used to play it with couldn't read for shit and pronounced Saint as "Satan."

I once played this game on "Bases Loaded" that was such a dramatic and inspiring comeback I made my own sports section about it. I wrote a headline, drew a picture, wrote up the box score in and had a game story with quotes from the players who participated in the historic event.

Friday, April 04, 2008

You Cain't Choke This

I’ve got a pretty good plan for if someone ever tries to choke me to death. I’ll struggle for a few seconds, then fall limp and pretend I’m dead. The choker will then ease his grip, giving me a chance to kick him square in the nuts and run off to safety. Why don’t characters in movies and TV shows try this more often? They’re the ones that need the technique the most, since people get strangled for our entertainment a whole lot more often then they do in regular ‘ol boring life.

Maybe I should start a training academy to help people get out of tough spots they don’t know how to deal with. The above technique would rescue you not only from a choking, but from a Wild West hanging. Whenever a desperado is hanged for his crimes in the town square, they cut the guy loose as soon as he goes limp. Well, my advice to an unlucky bandit would be to play dead, get cut free, then use your noose to lasso in the nearest six-shooter and blast your way out to glory, shouting, “Whoomp, they it is!!!” as you ride off into the sunset with the sheriff’s daughter.

Getting choked and hanged are two things that tend to freak people out, and my class would help ease their fears and allow them to live more normal lives. Another problem a lot of folks have is trepidation about getting into a fight with someone who’s really good at karate. You know, the kind of people who can break cement blocks with their heads and whatnot. To those who cower in fear against such opponents, I say this: Get out a gun. No matter how good they are at karate, they’ll be no match for a bullet through the kneecap.

Student: Um, Teacher, teacher!

Me: Yes, what is it, student?

Student: Did you say “kneecap?”

Me: That’s right, son. Kneecap.

Student: But why not shoot him in the face?

Me: Because the people who are REALLY good at karate will try to dodge your gunshots like Neo, bending backwards and waving at the bullets aimed at their face whiz by. If you shoot them in the kneecaps, that defense technique won’t work.
Student: If only the agents from “The Matrix” had known this, we wouldn’t have had to deal with the crappy sequels.

Me: Shut your mouth. While “The Matrix Revolutions” was subpar, “The Matrix Reloaded” was misunderstood and underrated. Go sit in the corner!

As you can see from that example, I’d make an awesome teacher. The only reason I don’t sign up is because they don’t pay teachers enough to put up with all the crap they’ve got to deal with. I think it’s a cultural thing. I’ll bet that at Ninja schools, teachers get treated right.

I wonder what Ninja Kindergarten is like? Instead of naptime, they probably have throwing star target practice. And none of this half-day nonsense. Five-year-old ninjas have got to go to school all day, because you don’t learn how to shoot poison darts and nunchuku skills in only four hours – not if you want to learn them right, anyway. And storytime is replaced by deathmatch tournaments. That’s what I’d make them do if I were a ninja teacher, anyway. I’d also teach them to do the Matrix bullet-bend trick, too, only I’d make sure they wore bulletproof kneepads.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Things I Like: The Mode

This specifically has to do with "Tecmo Super Bowl” for Nintendo or Super Nintendo. Anyone who has ever played those games has fallen into instant, hopeless love with them, to the point where they almost want to give the games back rubs, buy them expensive jewelry and go to boring parties with the game's annoying friends, just to show how much they care.

Every Tecmo Bowl player probably has generated their own nickname for what I refer to as “The Mode.”

The Mode occurs about three or four times during a year of constant Tecmo Bowl playing, or, about one time per every 275 games. After one player gets an interception or recovers a fumble, he’ll suddenly kick into the Mode, which means he’s spontaneously imbued with eight times the speed of any other player on the field, is made completely invulnerable and possesses massive hitting power. (Players such as Bo Jackson, Barry Sanders and Christian Okoye, as depicted in the above video, were born into the Mode, bursted out of their mothers' wombs and knocked the delivery nurses on their asses).

One could theorize that, if Natalie Portman were ever to have sex with a Tecmo Bowl character, she would hold out for one that was in the Mode, because he'd be able to give her nonstop multiple orgasms.

Let me tell ya, they almost do the same fore me.


Oh, the things an In-the-Mode character can do. A ballcarrier in the Mode can freely ram all defenders off the screen over and over for infinity, but usual sportsmanlike protocol calls for only using the Mode for the remaining time in the quarter before finally lending your opponent some mercy and scoring the inevitable touchdown. Doing so is completely at your discretion, though, since no tackler, not even if he's using the vaunted Tecmo Five-Yard Superhuman Dive Tackle, can bring a Moded player down. Only two things can stop a ballcarrier in the Mode: A.) Stepping out of bounds inadvertently, or B.) The fiery sword of God. Anything else won't cut it, including nature. One time I was playing a game and I got the Mode, and there was a power outage. The Moded player actually stepped out of the TV, repaired the downed power line outside the house, then jumped back into the game to resume mowing down defenders. I think, while he was out, he also rescued a cat from a tree and knocked up my next-door neighbor's daughter.

When you’re on the mode, life is at its very finest, and you can truly taste the splendor of humanity at its greatest perfection, with limitless optimism and unending joy. And don’t just take my word for it - ask Natalie Portman.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

In Praise of Duct Tape

Once, when I was a stupid kid, I had no respect for duct tape. I was hardly introduced to its prowess before my freshman year of college and even then, I made fun of my roommate, Cracker, for using it to construct a crude cabinet system out of cardboard and abandoned pieces of particle board.

But soon, I came to see duct tape's value. That cabinet system held up, and although it was ugly, it got the job done.
I’ve retained exactly two things I learned in college; one, A-1 and tuna make for a good low-budget sandwich and two, duct tape is the bond that holds our fragile society together.

Soon, I found myself using the tape to better objects in everyday life.

I've always carried around a folder in which I keep all the tools that help me as a journalist - phone numbers, notes, pencil and such - but whenever the folder started to deteriorate because of the rugged use, I always had to buy another.
But not so with the folder I received as a birthday present in 1997. Three months after I started using the folder, a rip opened up the middle of it. I sealed it with a smooth piece of the sturdy, metallic adhesive.

Other rips and tears sprouted up in the folder and I covered each one in turn. The folder was ugly, but the duct tape got the job done.

Now the folder is actually more duct tape than paper. Scientists estimate that my folder will be entirely composed of duct tape by the year 2012.

But recently, I realized that I've been using duct tape blindly all these years. I had absolutely no knowledge of who invented the stuff so I decided to find that answer myself with field research. I wasn't going to use fancy tools like "the Internet" or "encyclopedia books."

This is what I discovered: duct tape was invented by the great Dutch explorer Alexander VanDucTappen, who collected the ingredients from each of the Seven Seas in 1585, on the very same voyage in which he became famous for discovering Portugal and for taming the women of the Amazon.

The legend says that one stormy August night, the oceanic phenomenon which would later become known as "El Ni¤o," severely ravaged VanDucTappen's boat, causing a gaping hole in the side.

Amazingly, the ship didn't sink. But, VanDucTappen's crew who considered their captain an incompetent drunk, turned to mutiny because there was no way to fix the ship. But just as VanDucTappen was about to walk the plank, he pulled out a roll of his then-experimental roll of "DucTapp."

He could have easily used the tape to fix the boat and win back his crew's confidence, but VanDucTappen was a vengeful and foolish man who instead tried to use the tape roll as a bludgeon to beat up 30 angry sailors. Needless to say, VanDucTappen died that day. But before he went down, he made sure that his aggressors were sticky.

About VanDucTappen, well, I'm not even sure that he existed. It's just a story that I heard. Well, actually made up. But it really doesn't matter if the story is true or not. What matters is that we appreciate the magical adhesive concoction.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Screw you, Amazon and Publish America

Don't bother trying to buy my book on anymore. The bungholes no longer sell it or anything else from Publish America, a pseudo self-publisher that prints authors' books on demand for free and gives them a tiny cut of the proceeds. In theory Publish America was a nice option for people like me, who couldn't break down the doors of the publishing mafia but still wanted to make a go of their project without having to plop down thousands of dollars with a true self-publisher.

This really sucks for me, because the opportunity to sell the book on Amazon was the main reason I stopped trying to shop it around and went with Publish America. I think this development violates the spirit, if not the letter (although it hopefully does violate the letter - I need to check) of the agreement. Publish America, which makes most of its money by having writers buy their own stuff in hopes of reselling it, makes you sign on for a seven-year contract.

Both greed-mongering parties are definitely at fault in this mix-up, but I place more of the blame on Publish America. Amazon is the big dog in the yard and can dictate its own terms.

At least "Stormin' Mormon" is still for sale at Barnes & Noble.