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I Am About to Share the Greatest Idea Ever Conceived

January 16, 2013


I am about to share the greatest idea ever conceived. It’s an idea without peer, parallel, or precedent. It’s an idea whose time has come, has passed, and has cycled around again, twenty-nine times. It’s an idea that will not only shift paradigms, but will light them on fire and juggle them as part of a figure-skating routine to “Nadia’s Theme.” If this idea could be expressed as eBay feedback, it would be even better than FANTASTIC SELLER LOVE MY GENTLY USED SPANX A+++++++++++++++++. It’s an idea so powerful that a single drop could generate enough heat to make a Shrinky Dink for every man, woman, and child on the planet. If this idea were a man, it would be Channing Tatum doing an impression of George Clooney while wearing a Brad Pitt–circa–Thelma and Louise mask. If this idea were a woman, it would be Helen of Troy, in Spanx. The physics-bending properties of this idea are so unusual that they can make water flow uphill, cause helium-balloon avalanches, and turn black holes shocking pink, with faux-leopard throw pillows. Upon encountering this idea, bright ideas quietly slink away to join convents and monasteries in order to spend the rest of their lives contemplating the idea. Good ideas turn to a life of crime and an endless string of meaningless one-night stands. Bad ideas become worse, then become guys who sell cell-phone cases from kiosks at the mall. People  invariably insist on picking up the check when dining out with this idea, and though the idea appears to protest, it never ends up paying. This idea acts like its shit doesn’t smell, even though it does, like a combination of new car and wild strawberries, or, during the holiday season, gingerbread men wearing CK One. This idea always ends up as the owner of Park Place and Boardwalk in Monopoly, with hotels, and invariably swallows the last marble in Hungry Hungry Hippos. Oprah begged to join this idea’s book club. This idea knows what really happened at Roswell, what was in Marcellus Wallace’s briefcase in Pulp Fiction, and who Tony saw when he looked up at the last moment of the last episode of The Sopranos (newlyweds Jimmy Hoffa and Amelia Earhart). This idea scored a perfect 1600 on the SAT and finished in time to run the Boston Marathon in 2:15:09. This idea’s soufflés never fall, and its pie crusts are always flaky and light. Whenever this idea makes public appearances with Muhammad Ali, Ali is billed as “The Second Greatest.” This idea got the highest appraisal in the history of Antiques Roadshow, even though it was missing the original box. This idea is fabulous in bed, doesn’t snore afterward, and sends flowers the next day. This idea can do that dexterity trick where you rotate a half-dollar around each of your fingers in turn, only with its toes, both feet simultaneously, using wheels of brie. This idea laughs at danger, yet isn’t afraid to cry, but doesn’t. This idea waits for no man, gathers no moss, and is free of clichés. This idea uses different passwords for each site, incorporating both letters and numbers, and changes them religiously every month. This idea was born fully realized, never passing through the awkward notion stage. This idea always finishes its term papers well before the deadline, then parties when everyone else is pulling all-nighters. This idea can calculate the correct tip instantly, and always adds a little extra for outstanding service. This idea has never missed a 7–10 split. The camera actually takes ten pounds off this idea. This idea eats tacos with ease while keeping its head fully vertical. This idea has never gotten confused in the correct usage of “affect” and “effect.” An adequate superlative to describe this idea has yet to be invented, but when it is, it will no doubt be the idea’s own invention, which will also make radish roses and curly fries with consistently flawless results.

Here it is: a secured credit card for dogs, so that they can learn fiscal responsibility and build a solid credit history at the same time.

Nice Knowing You: Some Apocalypse Scenarios

December 21, 2012


Major metropolitan areas are completely wiped out, while remote rural locales remain untouched, since apocalypse reception is so unreliable once you’re out of the city.

As thousands gather on a mountainside to watch in horror as a rogue asteroid hurtles toward the earth, a sage old man philosophizes that “the apocalypse is in each of us.” Another man, pointing upward at the ever-growing fireball, shouts hysterically, “Oh, yeah? Then what the fuck is that?!,” to which the old man replies, “Look, I’m not a scientist, okay?”

It turns out that the apocalypse was all the dream of an innocent young child. That young child? Jayden Scovill of Prescott, Arizona, who grows up to be the prick of a boss who fires your ass.

The apocalypse decides to postpone because it wants to find out what happens next on Mad Men, especially whether Don Draper has really turned over a new leaf and remains faithful to his new wife, or lapses into his old habits and sleeps with that woman in the bar in the last episode of Season Five. Also: Will the firm change its name following Lane Pryce’s suicide? Are we ever going to see Peggy again? Will budding teenagers Sally and Glen ever “do it?” And is Betty fated to remain a cold, brittle, emotionally distant bitch for the rest of her life? Once these questions are answered, all life suddenly blinks out of existence.

People cower in terror as the apocalypse begins, only to discover that it can be staved off, like a cat, with a spray bottle.

The unimaginably massive global tidal waves that threaten to submerge every land mass on earth abruptly recede. We later learn that the apocalypse is six months behind on payments to the moon, and that, as a result, its gravitational pull has been disconnected.

What is thought to be the apocalypse is actually an M. Night Shyamalan movie about the making of a movie about the apocalypse directed by a man with a remarkable gift of prophecy (played by Shyamalan himself) who knows the exact moment at which the actual apocalypse is to occur, and thus organizes the movie’s shooting schedule so that the the filming of the fictional apocalypse coincides with the exact instant of the actual apocalypse, mainly to avoid paying overtime to his cast and crew. In a twist ending, however, it turns out that the movie, and the movie-within-a-movie, are part of an elaborate ruse, and that the real-life Shyamalan is in fact the infinite, omnipotent Universal Supreme Being who has completely masterminded and executed the actual apocalypse, mainly to “show” the kids who picked on him in high school. Universal Supreme Being Shyamalan is bitterly disappointed when unenthusiastic critics, blogging from deep subterranean bunkers, describe the apocalypse as “tepid,” “utterly predictable,” and “his worst effort yet, by far.”

The apocalypse actually occurred thousands of years ago, and, unbeknownst to us, modern history has represented the slow, gradual rebuilding of a post-apocalyptic world. While we have been led to believe that our civilization represents the pinnacle of human achievement, newly discovered clay tablets finally reveal that in the pre-apocalyptic era, cable TV was free and Baskin-Robbins had 96 flavors.

The apocalypse fails to materialize. Scholars eventually realize that the circular stone “Mayan calendar” used in their calculations is actually just an ancient sewer cover.

The meek inherit the earth, but are too shy to do anything except kind of shuffle uncomfortably as they look down at their feet.

Want to see more on how it all goes down? Try this. Or this.

I Now Own the Internet, and Things Are Going to Change

December 5, 2012


Several days ago, bored and in explicit violation of my parole—I was convicted in 2011 of hacking Google, which I did with a surplus Vietnam-era machete from the Army-Navy store—I found my way onto a heavily trafficked entertainment-and-gossip website. While I was there, one post inspired me to leave a mildly entertaining quip in the comments section. I can’t remember now exactly what I wrote, or what the original story was about, but I’m pretty sure it was a bit of salacious innuendo about one of those rambunctious “rock and rollers” all the kids are listening to—Shaun Cassidy, maybe, or Olivia Newton-John, the one who starred with John Travolta in XanaxDu, that movie about prescription-drug junkies on roller skates. (I can’t believe it lost Best Picture to License to Drive. Still, that Corey Haim sure is making a big splash as JFK in Stephen Sondheim’s new Lincoln movie! Yes, I am unbeatable at film trivia.)

Anyhow, one reader was sufficiently amused by my comment to comment upon my comment with a comment of her own. Her name was “H@rleygrrl” (what were her parents thinking!), and here’s what she wrote: “LOL! You win teh internetz!” At first I felt bad for her, since I knew she must be facing an uphill battle in her remedial English class, because, I mean, who misspells “the?” And, frankly, I was completely baffled by the weirdly abbreviated allusion to Lowell, Massachusetts, unless she was referring to the New England Quilt Museum, in which case I guess I should be flattered, because have you ever seen one of those New England quilts? That’s real hand-stitching!

Anyhow (again), after puzzling over this enigmatic missive from H@rleygrrl (I think it’s pronounced “hatterlygrill,” kind of pretty), I suddenly realized the significance of what she had written. I had won the internet (singular). It was mine. All mine. Needless to say, this came as something of a surprise, if not an unexpected occurrence. For years now, I’ve been quietly socking away my tips and gratuities and I.O.U.s and Camel cash (I don’t smoke, but I buy the cigarettes for the coupons) and fool’s gold (which I was going to spray paint and pass off as plutonium to those idiots at the swap meet in Pyongyang this weekend), all with the express hope, and this is where it gets spooky, of someday owning the internet. I figured it was going to take a cool six or seven hundred dollars, and I wasn’t even close yet. But now, I have clear title to the internet, and without spending a cent. Hell, I hadn’t even won anything since that $1.00 scratch-off lottery ticket in ’96, and when I redeemed it for another ticket, that ticket had a message demanding that I fork over another ten bucks to the cashier, just to teach me a lesson about wasting my money on lottery tickets.

Naturally, winning the internet has raised a number of vexing, difficult questions. Will it fit in the back of my car? Is the cap the kind you have to squeeze and press down while turning? Does it come in cool ranch flavor? Are the “extra features” actual extra features, or just the original trailer and previews of coming attractions? Is there a pop-up timer to tell me when it’s done? What if it’s a “summer” and I’m an “autumn?”

As I continue to grapple with these issues, I’ve also been giving quite a bit of thought to some other important considerations. As the new owner of the internet, the world is my candy store, like a kid in an oyster. So why shouldn’t I make a few improvements? Hope you like them.

  • The internet will close between 8:00 and 10:30 P.M. EST on Thursday nights for Glow Bowling. Sign-up sheets are at the shoe rental counter.
  • Censorship is now banned, except for objectionable material.
  • I have decided to make the internet more inviting to kids by coating it with that spray-on chalkboard stuff from Home Depot.

    READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP:Meet the new face of cute pet videos

    Meet the new face of cute pet videos

  • The days of cats’ primacy as the internet’s favorite animal are over. The new favorite animal is the sea cucumber (see photo at right). Submit your outrageously funny sea cucumber videos at
  • The internet will now come with Magic Fingers. Quarter slots will be mandatory on all new computers and hand-held devices. I get to keep the quarters.
  • Statements followed by “LOL” must be accompanied by audiovisual evidence confirming that actual laughter occurred, and that it was, indeed, audible. For “LMAO,” a notarized letter from a proctologist is also required.
  • All memes currently in existence are hereby declared null and void. New memes will be officially selected and approved by a committee of hummingbirds. The first new meme is “NECTAR.” The second new meme is “MORE NECTAR.”
  • All pornographic film clips must now share a split screen with a sign-language interpreter.
  • The sale of Nazi memorabilia is still forbidden on eBay. However, the listing of actual pre-owned Nazis is permissible under the category Collectibles→Plush Toys & Sociopathic Ideologues→Beanie Babies & Nazis→Vintage.
  • The speed of Google searches will now depend upon your previous treatment of Google. If you regularly asked Google if it wanted anything when you went on a Starbucks run and listened politely every Monday morning to the breathless, protracted recap of its “crazy” weekend, your results will be returned with astonishing rapidity. However, if you curtly pretended to be on the phone or “really swamped right now” every time Google attempted to initiate some pleasant small talk at your desk, you may as well buy an encyclopedia.
  • Blog posts that essentially take the form of lists are hereby prohibited.
  • The winner of Twitter feuds will be determined by a committee of hummingbirds. Winners will become a meme. Losers will be processed into nectar.

Least-Rescue-Worthy Endangered Species

November 16, 2012

Grating white shark
Drama queen bee
Spray-on tanager
Red-breasted sluthatch
Texting-while-praying mantis
Incessantly Monty Python–quoting python
Polar bear who’s always claiming how many black friends he has
Constantly interrupting squid
Backstabbing guppy
Clam with no sense of boundaries

Less-Anticipated Oscar-Season Presidential Biopics

November 6, 2012

Madam, I’m Adams: A Palindrome Thwarted

The Jeffersons

Robert Ludlum’s The Monroe Doctrine

Action Jackson Van Buren

Tippecanoe and Tyler II: Whigged Out (aka the Party Party)

Millard’s Crossing


Rutherford B. Hayes: The President No One Gave a Shit About

Terence Malick’s A Pensive Grover Cleveland Standing Heroically in a Breeze-Rippled Wheat Field at the “Magic Hour” on a Summer Evening in 1885

Dirty Harrison

Terence Malick’s A Pensive Grover Cleveland Standing Heroically in a Breeze-Rippled Wheat Field at the “Magic Hour,” Looking Vaguely Older Yet Well Rested, on a Summer Evening in 1893

Warren: Die Hardinger

FDR After Dark: The Nude Deal

LBJFK: The Chief Executive with Two Heads

I, Asshole: A Nixon Portrait

Fordo: The Non-Elected Hobbit

Blow Hard: A New Hampshire–Based Live Blog of Hurricane Sandy

October 31, 2012

1:32 a.m. Somehow, I missed all the warnings about the hurricane. I kept catching only the tail ends of the bulletins, mentioning “Sandy,” and, like any rational, thoughtful, well-informed person, I just assumed that every news outlet and weather channel had interrupted their normal programming to report on the long-awaited comeback of Broadway’s Peter Pan, TV’s favorite fill-in surrogate mother figure, and Wheat Thins’ perkiest spokespixie, Sandy Duncan. When I discover the truth of what’s actually happening, I am devastated. She’s so talented. Why hasn’t she gotten another series?

6:07 a.m. Caught unaware during my walk of shame this morning after drunkenly going home with a stranger from the bar late last night and engaging in an uninhibited, hours-long session of bean-baking, I find myself weathering the storm in the most stereotypically New England manner possible. So, here I am, cowering under a covered bridge across from a picturesque cider mill, no one but a lobster to keep me company, no clothing except for pilgrim-style shoes with extremely large buckles. Fortunately, I have enough Yankee ingenuity with me to last for two days, common sense for three, and maybe a week’s worth of thrift. After that, I’m fucked.

8:45 a.m. After deciding to brave the merciless onslaught of piercing wind and driving rain so that I can make my way home, I find myself pelted with raw cranberries, which have evidently blown here all the way from Cape Cod, without even paying the toll on I-95. So painful! And tart!

10:12 a.m. I finally make it back to my place, which is in near-total darkness, thanks to a downed power line and IKEA windows made from laminated cardboard. Fortunately, I have plenty of candles, having requested to take my recent lottery winnings in candles. Unfortunately, I have nothing to light them with. I lost all my matchsticks playing pinochle with the guys down at the VFW hall a couple of days ago. Still, I learned that kids today don’t have no respect for their elders, that those bums in Washington are ruining the country, and that America is going to hell in a handbasket. Fearing severe repercussions, I nonchalantly slid my handbasket under the table when this last point was raised. I need to get a backpack.

11:29 a.m. Having cleverly peeled all the glow-in-the-dark star decals from my bedroom ceiling and stuck them to one of my lottery candles, I’m finally able to find my gym bag. Somehow, I make it to the gym, only to find it closed. My plan to have a tub of cream cheese and a bag of Mallomars for breakfast and then work it all off on the treadmill has been completely ruined. Thanks for making me fat, storm. And now I’m out of cream cheese. I have nothing to spread on top of my cheesecake.

12:30 p.m. The cheesecake is all gone. All I have to eat for lunch is a jar of capers and a jar of maraschino cherries. I try stuffing the cherries with the capers. It’s kind of like a tapenade sundae. Or an extra-salty fruitcake, without the cake part. This observation makes me sad about cheesecake all over again. I do my best to get drunk and forget my troubles with a Shirley Temple made of maraschino cherry juice and caper brine.

2:55 p.m. As the storm rages on, I run out into the backyard to check on my most recent work-in-progress, and my worst fears are confirmed. My half-scale cotton-candy replica of Mount Rushmore is ruined. Now I know how Michelangelo felt when Pope Julius II changed his mind and covered the Sistine Chapel ceiling with wood-grain Con-Tact® paper.

3:47 p.m. Desperate, starving, and unable to finish my Lite-Brite portrait of Mitt Romney for lack of spray-tan-colored pegs, I decide to try my hand at looting. As I exit the supermarket with an armful of peanut butter, I collide with another looter carrying an armful of chocolate, and I realize what a mistake it was not to take the jars as well. I angrily accuse him of getting his chocolate in my peanut butter. He retorts that my peanut butter is in his chocolate. We both realize that it’s a total loss and head back into the store. Unfortunately, most of the good stuff is already gone. In fact, I’m unable to find anything else but an envelope of yeast and some salt substitute, which is the salt that passes out word-search puzzles and threatens you with detention on days when the regular salt calls in “sick” but is actually just hung over. When I spy the other fellow again, this time clutching a box of salt and some yeast substitute, I wax philosophical and comment upon our strange, reciprocal rivalry. He wanes philosophical and punches me in the balls.

4:51 p.m. A brief lull. Am I in the eye of the storm? I look outside. Two-lobed, hairy, a large cleft running down the middle. Yikes. The ass of the storm. This is what Doppler radar never warns you about.

8:49 p.m. I’m freezing. Desperate for something to burn, I head to the basement to see what’s in my kindling box. Fortunately, it’s overflowing with books by Mitch Albom and Dan Brown. Realizing that I’m still without matches, I try rubbing copies of The Five People You Meet in Heaven and The DaVinci Code together. Eventually, a tendril of smoke begins to waft toward the ceiling. It spreads and glows and turns into a genie, who wears a backwards baseball cap, a tribal tattoo around his bicep, and an “I Like Boobies” t-shirt. He tells me that if I close my eyes and concentrate silently on three wishes, he will grant them. In an instant, all of the Mitch Albom books disappear. Then all of the Dan Brown books disappear. Then I’m holding a cheesecake in one hand and a tub of cream cheese in the other. The genie disappears. I look down at the cream cheese and notice that it’s caper-maraschino flavored. Then the guy from the grocery store steps out of the shadows and punches me in the balls. And then, as the wind and the rain continue to wreak destruction and upend untold thousands of lives, I realize what I should have wished for all along: an athletic cup.

Lowest-Rated Cat Videos on YouTube

October 16, 2012

Cat photo (prior to alteration): MDphotography, via Flickr

Boots Sits at Starbucks with a Laptop “Working on His Novel” While Nursing a Small Coffee for Five Hours

Coco Approaches Piano Keyboard, Plays “Knuckle Song” Once, Sighs with Boredom, Riffles Through Three-Month-Old TV Guide

Noodles Draws a Series of Transparent Skeletal Cubes on the Back of an Envelope While on Hold with the Representative from Geico

Baby Sorts Whites and Colors

Mr. Tibbs Gets Stuck with a Q, but No U, During Scrabble Endgame

Queenie Takes a Cosmo Quiz, Discovers That She May Not Have What It Takes to Really Please a Man

Max Watches 216-minute Director’s Cut of Heaven’s Gate

Princess Temps at a Call Center for $8.45 an Hour

Patches Idly Peels Condensation-Soaked Label from a Beer Bottle While Half-Listening to “Margaritaville” on the Jukebox

Miss Kitty Divides Ten-Pound Package of Hamburger into Individual Portions and Freezes Them

Felix Applies a Second Coat to the Dining Room, Silently Worries That It Looks More Like Antique Ivory than Eggshell

Ginger Scrapbooks

Smokey Microwaves a Lean Cuisine and Eats It Over the Sink Alone, Before Going to Bed Alone, as Usual

Muffin Vacantly Stares Out Window and Wishes She Had Completed Her Art History Degree Instead of Getting Married and Having Four Children

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