Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Chrysler Faces Criticism for Full-Page Ads in WSJ, USA Today

Dear Chrysler,

I appreciate the thank you. I really do. But seriously, full-page newspaper ads? Those things aren't cheap. I mean, you put ads in USA Today, Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Washington Post, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (And you skipped the Indianapolis Star?! Jerks.)

Think about what you're doing, just for once, please. An ad in the WSJ can cost anywhere from $206,000 to $264,000, while an ad in USA Today can cost between $112,000 and $217,000. Meanwhile, the New York Times charges $194,000 for a full page ad in their business section. And given your track record, I'm guessing you got soaked for the whole $675,000 just for those three.

Not smart, even for you guys.

I wouldn't be surprised if your ad buys hit $750,000, or even $1 million, tops.

Given your complete boneheadedness on the whole "taking three private jets to tell Congress we don't have any money" screwup, this is just the cherry on top of the Bonehead Sundae.

Instead of buying the ads, you could have saved at least 10, if not 15, jobs by NOT thanking us. I'm sure your employees would have appreciated that a whole lot more than I appreciated an ad in six newspapers I never read.

Instead of paying $1 million to place ads in a dying medium, hire Funny Or Die to produce a hilarious video that millions of people would have watched, laughed at, and appreciated.

Or better yet, I'll do it for $10,000 and a free video camera.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Erik's Culinary Adventures: How I Got a Friend to Eat Haggis

It’s how David must have felt after he watched Goliath topple to the ground: a feeling that he had just achieved a major milestone. A milestone whose effects would ripple through history and be spoken of by generations.

It’s how I felt at lunch one autumn afternoon. That’s because I got my friend Dave to eat haggis.

Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish, which includes a sheep’s heart, lungs, and liver, mixed with some vegetables, and barley. It’s the same consistency as pâté or deviled ham. I happen to like it, although I’m in the distinct minority.

We were eating at MacNiven’s, a Scottish restaurant in Indianapolis, and I showed up a few minutes early.

“I’m meeting a friend,” I told our waitress. “He doesn’t like anything too weird or different, and it was a stretch to get him to come here. So could we get a very small sample of haggis, and a couple pieces of bread? Just bring it out when he shows up, but don’t say what it is, or he won’t eat it.”

When Dave sat down, he was greeted by another friend at a nearby table. As the two talked briefly, the haggis arrived, and I put a small shmear on a piece of bread, and set it in front of him without saying a word. When the other guy left, Dave picked up his bread, and asked, “So what am I eating?”

Dave is not known for his culinary curiosity. He’s Amish when it comes to flavors and dishes: meat, potatoes, a little salt, and that’s it. No curry, no sushi, no pickled herring. Beef or chicken, potatoes, and maybe a little pepper if he’s feeling daring.

Needles to say, it’s hard to get him to try things that come from different parts of the U.S., let alone entirely different continents. Getting him to try something made from sheep innards was going to be tough. So I waited for him to put it in his mouth before I answered.

“It’s haggis. Do you like it?” I asked

“Sort of. It’s not bad,” he said.

Our waitress showed up. “So did he like it?”

“Sort of,” I said.

Dave looked a little worried. When a waitress shows up and asks a question about what he just ate, a question he thinks he should be privy to, one tends to get a little worried.

“So what is haggis?” Dave asked, realizing he was the unwitting target of a food conspiracy.

“It’s the inside of a sheep,” our waitress said. “Liver, heart, lungs.”

Dave looked stunned, and then laughed. “That’s what I get for being late, huh? Man, the things I do for friendship.”

I explained what I had done, and he made me write it down in my Moleskine notebook, like I was confessing my guilt. He even made me call my wife to tell her what I had done, but she knows about Dave’s eating habits, and later considered this a minor victory on my part.

He left her a voice mail saying he didn’t like it, but I burned that “sort of” into my memory forever.

His public proclamation of “sort of” is my game-winning home run, my first step on the moon, my personal victory in my food competition with Dave.

It’s when my giant toppled, struck down by a little piece of haggis.

It’s also why I have to let him pick the restaurant from now on.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Palin versus PETA: Snowballs at 10 paces

I'm not a big fan of PETA or Sarah Palin. So in this latest battle between Caribou Barbie and the Caribou Bulkwarks, I can't decide who I want to win. (I'm leaning slightly in Palin's favor, since she doesn't hide the fact that she kills animals; PETA does.)

It seems Governor Palin's office is not very happy with PETA's new online game that lets you pelt the former Republican VP candidate with snowballs. PETA president Ingrid Newkirk received an angry phone call from an unnamed person at Palin's office. When she asked the caller for his name, he yelled, "Just take the game down or you'll read my name on the lawsuit."

Well, now that sounds like a challenge. I say let the lawsuit go through just to see who the obnoxious jerk is.

To be fair, Palin is not the only one you get to hit. You can also go after Anna Wintour, Madonna, the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen , and Colonel Sanders.

Here's a piece of what PETA says on the Alaska Report, their Alaskan animal rights news aggregator blog:

Within a few hours of our posting information about the call on our Web site, the Governor’s communication director, Bill McAllister, emailed (he must have been monitoring to see if the call would have the desired effect), and our President had an interesting follow-up exchange with him.

You can read the full exchange between Palin spokesman Bill McCallister and Bruce Friedrich, PETA's VP of Policy and Communication on their blog.

Of course, this isn't Sarah Palin's only animal controversy. She was interviewed back in November – after pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey – in front of other turkeys being slaughtered.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

International Stupidest Criminals of 2008

It's heartening to see that the United Stated is not the only country that suffers from stupid criminals, like the three separate morons who attacked their girlfriends with a sandwich.

Thanks to a recent story in New Zealand's Stuff news website, we can learn about other stupid criminals from other parts of the world.

Like German tourist Jan Philip Scharbert who sprayed graffiti on the Franz Josef Glacier. Some English tourists videotaped Scharberts schtupidity and he was ordered to clean up the graffiti. It took him a day and a half, but he was able to avoid any charges because authorities were pleased with his efforts.

Like Hayden Tibbotts from Christchurch, who was arrested for drunk driving after his 1988 Ford Laser got stuck in the sand at Waikuku Beach.

But Tibbotts said he hadn't been drunk when he was driving. Instead, they got drunk to "celebrate" the car getting sucked into the ocean.

Tibbotts said they left the car as the waves got bigger, and called the police for help. Then they cracked open a few cold ones and watched "the waves smash into the car."

"We had been there four or five hours," Tibbotts said. "We thought we may as well have a drink to celebrate the sinking of the ship.

"We weren't doing anything stupid, it doesn't sound right that I'd ring the cops if I was drunk driving."

If you weren't doing anything stupid, you wouldn't have been driving a freaking car on the wet beach to begin with. And if you weren't drinking and driving, where'd you get the beer in the first place?

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Welcome Bilerico Project Visitors

Hello Bilerico Project visitors!

If you're here because of my gay penguins column at the Bilerico Project, welcome and thanks for stopping by (if you're not, welcome anyway). If you're here because you hated it, you don't want me, you want the Belgian Erik Deckers.

If you have a few minutes, take a look around and check out some past columns. I publish a weekly humor column on Friday mornings, and have some shorter humor posts every day of the week.

Some past columns of interest:

Again, thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend.

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MIchigan Makes 'Being Annoying' a Crime

Brighton, Michigan just gave me the best reason to consider moving up there: it's now a crime to be annoying in public. I hope this includes people who drive with their stereos loud enough that the bass defribrillates anyone within 50 feet.

Earlier last week, the Brighton City Council voted to adopt stricter rules for public conduct, including not annoying someone else. Annoyers can be ticketed and fined by police.

One of the new sections says, "It shall be unlawful for a person to engage in a course of conduct or repeatedly commit acts that alarm or seriously annoy another person and that serve no legitimate purpose."

This means people won't be allowed to say "it is what it is," the OxyClean commercials will be eiliminated, and police have Shoot On Sight orders for Andy Dick.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Gobbledygook, Drivel, and Tripe in 2008

Gobbledygook, Drivel, and Tripe in 2008

Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year. With grammar geeks yelling, and the PEC telling, for us to be clear. It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Earlier this month, the annual Plain English Campaign (PEC) Awards were handed out, praising those who communicate clearly, and pointing their fingers and laughing at those who don't. Recipients are given the Foot in Mouth and Golden Bull for garbled messages, and the Plain English for the year's clearest.

This year, the PEC gave out eight Golden Bulls to Scottish Life pension specialists, DC Site Advisors, and the Financial Services team at McGill University, Canada, plus five others. My favorite is from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (the British IRS), which wrote this little gem in a letter to a taxpayer:

"Thank you for your Tax Returns ended 5th April 2006 & 2007 which we received on 20th December. I will treat your Tax Return for all purposes as though you sent it in response to a notice from us which required you to deliver it to us by the day we received it."

Thank you for your letter. I will treat it for all purposes as though it is something I wiped off the bottom of my shoe.

Financial advisors Balfour Beatty use some of the worst example of corporate bloviating to fully explain what they do. By fully explain, I mean not explain at all.

"Our goal at Balfour Beatty is to deliver consistent, long-term growth to our shareholders. We do this by striving to remain or become the leading provider of high-quality, customer critical infrastructure in each of our markets."

What does this even mean? It's the same kind of babbling nonsense that every financial services company, IT provider, and emergency plumber puts in their brochure.

"Here at Three Sweaty Guys Plumbing, we strive to remain the leading provider of high-quality, customer critical toilets in each our our markets."

I know that "customer critical" means "important to our customers," but I would hope that anything a company does is important to the customers, not to the company. That's just smart customer service. But if you're going to use nonsense words, at least tell the truth about what you're doing.

"Here at Bank of America, our goal is to remain the leading provider of executive bonuses and legal-loophole critical infrastructure for each of our senior VPs."

Meanwhile, President George W. Bush – the Susan Lucci of the PEC Awards – finally struck gold when he received the Foot In Mouth Lifetime Achievement Award. It's given for an odd, baffling, or downright garbled comment by a public figure.

Last year, I complained about hometown favoritism when former British soccer coach, Steve McClaren, won with, "(Wayne Rooney) is inexperienced, but he's experienced in terms of what he's been through."

I said it was rather unfair, because McClaren only had one little gaffe, and everyone fell all over themselves to give him the award. Meanwhile, Bush is out there every day, gaffing his heart out, and he's passed over for the seventh year in a row. All PEC spokesman Ben Beer said was, "We thought it was a bit obvious to honor Bush as he comes up with them every day."

Although I'm not a fan of Bush's, our national pride was on the line, and I griped about his second place finish.

"You can't tell me that newbie McClaren could nose out the veteran Bush at the post with such a clumsy blunder," I said in 2007. "The PEC failed to take into account Bush's entire body of work over the past seven years. Makes you wonder why the poor guy even bothers sometimes."

However, I made this prediction at the time: "There's always next year. I'm sure he can come up with one or two more. This week."

And gaffe he did. Bush was given the first and only Lifetime Achievement Award in the award's 15 year history. So take that, McClaren, you poser.

But after years of reporting the awards, I want to win one. Next year, I'm going after the International Media Award. The Times of India won it this year, Bruce Hill, an Australian radio personality won in 2007, and in 2006 was Pacific Beat, a show on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

So, please nominate me by sending my information to Media Awards, Plain English Campaign, PO Box 3, New Mills, High Peak, SK22 4QP, or e-mailing They are accepting entries for 2009 until October 31.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Just a quick Christmas wish to all my readers from Indianapolis, home of the world's tallest Christmas tree (so suck on THAT, Rockefeller Center!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bird Poop Crushes BMW, Hummer

I know bird poop can damage a car's finish. But to crush a BMW and a Hummer? That's a lot of poop.

But that's what happened in Yuma, AZ. According to a story in the Yuma (Ariz.) Sun, police there believe a thick layer of pigeon crap got soaked with rain and caused a gas station's canopy to collapse on top of a BMW and a Hummer. Luckily no one was injured, except for the Shell Station's manager's pride, who had no comment.

The owner of a nearby appliance store said there was at least 4 to 5 inches of pigeon poop on the canopy.

"It never fails," said the owner of one of the vehicles. "I just washed the thing, and I get bird crap on it."

"Our officers are not structural engineers," Major Leon Wilmot of the Yuma County sheriff's office told the Sun, "but a large amount of pigeon excrement has built up on that roof. It had been up there quite awhile.

"Initial information says that because of heavy rains, it is being speculated that the pigeon excrement made the awning collapse the way it did."

I just love the way cops talk, and their overuse of second person, and official-sounding big words like "excrement" instead of "poop."

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Woman Sues University For Not Being Named Homecoming Queen

Sandra Howery, a non-traditional student at Sacramento State University, is suing SSU because she wasn't named Homecoming Queen. She says she scored the most points to win, but lost the Electoral College vote, and someone else was named the winner.

"I am not a sore loser; it's just the principle of everything," Howery told CBS13, Sacramento, California's local CBS affiliate.

No, you're a sore loser. "It's the principle of the thing" is the battle cry of the sore loser.

Howery believed that if she made more donations than anyone else, she could win. She had over 1,400 points just for donations.

Sandra claims student affairs made it seem like if she got the most donations she could win.

"I knew that I donated a lot more than everybody else; I had over 1,400 points for donations," said Sandra.

Meanwhile, Cassy Hughes, a friend of the winner, says it takes more than just donations. She told CBS13, "there's an interview, your essay, your clubs and activities you're involved in are going to get more points.".

Howery says she believes she lost for one simple reason: "I would have thought I would have been an embarrassment."

Not like now. Because if they give it to you, you can hold your head up high knowing that you have won the crown with honor, dignity, and hard work.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Metallica's "Enter Sandman" Performed on Kazoo

Rarely do you ever see the words "kazoo" and "rocks" in the same sentence. but Mister Tim's performance of Metallica's "Enter the Sandman" just rocks. And it's funny. Mister Tim performs all four parts, including James Hetfield's menacing stare.

I try to only post once a day, but there are videos that just call for a second post. This version made me go out and buy it on iTunes.

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British Bankers Mock People Harmed by Credit Crunch

It's not enough that they caused the crisis, now British bankers are mocking their victims.

In an article in the Sunday issue of the London Express, a group of idiot bankers calling themselves the City Boyz (note the 'Z,' to make them more cool and hip) released a video on YouTube laughing about the misery the banks have caused their fellow Britons.

The chorus includes the lovely line, "Sorry we f---ed up your Christmas, but really we don’t give a s---.”

City Boyz spokesman Dave -- probably the one most able to form complete sentences -- told the Express, "We were down O'Neills, pissed (drunk) as usual and pissed off that we were getting the blame for the crunch all the bloody time. Then we all thought you know what, we don’t really give a s--t. We’ve all done OK, sod ’em."

So, not knowing anything else about British investment bankers, I have learned the following:

  1. They're often drunk, as shown by the "as usual" statement.
  2. They made plenty of money, but don't accept any blame for the British financial collapse.
  3. They don't care about the plight of others, but rather choose to mock the people they've harmed.
  4. They have learned nothing from the French Revolution.

The paper identifies the morons as Ciarran “The Brawler”, Dave, Jeremy and Marcus. The gutless cowards did not want to reveal their employers, although they have admitted they are City bankers and stock brokers. One claims to work for Lehman brothers, the collapsed investment banker.

If there is any justice in England, their employers will figure out who the asshats in the video are, fire them, and rescind their salaries and bonuses. Then, when they're on the dole (in the unemployment line), someone will come out with their own video, mocking the plight of insensitive louts who finally get what they deserve.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

English Salvation Army Not Allowed to Shake Collection Tins

Every Christmas, the Salvation Army can be found outside most supermarkets and malls, ringing their bells with their little red buckets, asking people to spare some change to help the poor, needy, and anyone own on their luck.

But in a few cities around the U.S., some cheap Scrooges who don't want to be reminded of their stinginess have managed to stop the bell ringing, if not banning the red kettles outright.

Meanwhile, England has managed to top them all. After 130 years of rattling tins – they don't ring bells over there – the Salvation Army has been told they can't do it anymore, because it might "offend other religions."

They could shake a tambourine, but they can't shake a can.

Salvation Army volunteers have been told they can't shake their charity tins, because it might harass or intimidate people, or offend other religions. They can't even do it in time to the music.

City councils and the police can enforce the no-rattle rule, and prosecute or ban the scofflaws.

This push to avoid offending religions is nothing new. And of course, by not offending other religions, the UK government has managed to offend all Christians instead.

So in England, they don't want to offend other religions, and in the U.S., they don't want to offend cheap Scrooges by reminding them there are poor people in the world.

God bless us everyone.

Photo credit: Clyde Bentley (Flickr, Creative Commons)
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Top Five Grammar and Language Pet Peeves of 2008

Language maven and podcaster Grammar Girl, a.k.a. Mignon Fogarty, compiled a list of the Top Five Language Pet Peeves, as submitted by her listeners and chosen by her.

Numbers 5 and 4 were two of my biggest pet peeves, and to be honest, I had never heard of numbers 3 – 1. Here they are.

5. Carelessness – Just general carelessness. Misuse and misspellings in professionally produced materials and errors in comment posts where people are talking about their peeves. (Translation: if you complain about peeves in a grammar blog, make sure you use proper grammar yourself.)

I have seen a number of mistakes that should never have been made, including news casters – professional communicators who ought to know better – using "further" instead of "farther," or say "you and I" when they should say "you and me."

Also, we who hate carelessness are tired of being called pedantic for their concern for language. (Translation: We're not a bunch of uptight grammar Nazi A-holes. This name calling is something up with which we shall not put.)

4. Myself –
Don't use "myself" unless you're talking about yourself. This is not a suitable substitute for "me" or "I."

"Give a copy of the report to myself." "Refer all calls to Sarah or myself." "Steve and myself went to Hooters." These are incorrect. If you can use "me" or "I" in the sentence, use it. Don't say "myself."

There's nothing that makes me jump up and down, shouting, "No. No! NO!" more than hearing people use "myself" incorrectly.

I don't want to steal all of Grammar Girl's thunder, so you'll have to visit the transcript page, or even download the Grammar Girl podcast, to find the last three pet peeves.

If you're a gramar geek (or even if you're not), you can subscribe to the Grammar Girl podcasts via iTunes.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Toni Deckers Wearable and Carryable Art

My wife, Toni Deckers, is an accomplished artist working in mixed media. She creates bracelets, earrings, and necklaces from semi-precious stones, glass beads, and metal beads. She also turns old cigar boxes into one-of-a-kind handbags.

When you get a chance, please stop by her Etsy site and check it out.

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I Don't Believe in the Little Drummer Boy - 2008

I Don't Believe in the Little Drummer Boy

Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2008

Christmas is a time of traditions. One of Erik's Christmas traditions is to reprint the Little Drummer Boy column because he's usually on the couch, sleeping off too much egg nog again.

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. My birthday, my anniversary, and any other time people give me presents are also big favorites.

To get myself into the Christmas spirit, I like to listen to Christmas music. So I hit the department stores around mid-August to hear "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Jingle Bell Rock." But while I appreciate the Christmas cheer, I'm amazed the sales clerks haven't killed anyone by the middle of November.

I'm a big fan of the classics, "Jingle Bells," "Silent Night" and the Sex Pistols' "Have Yourself a Merry $%@&#! Christmas." But there are a few songs that, given a choice, I'd attack my radio with a pick axe before listening to them again.

One of my least favorites is Bruce Springsteen's live version of "Santa Claus is Coming To Town." It's nothing but Bruce singing "Santa Claus is coming to town" over and over and over for 20 minutes. By the time Bruce finishes his Yuletide droning, Santa is already back home, slamming Upside-Down Margaritas with the elves.

The worst Christmas song ever, the song that makes me want to sleep straight through to Easter is "The Little Drummer Boy." Not only does it repeat the same annoying phrase over and over -- pa-rum pum pum pum -- but the song is too unbelievable to begin with.

I realize songs about a fat guy sliding down chimneys or a flying reindeer with a 300-watt halogen schnoz aren't believable either, but at least they're grounded in reality.

What's wrong with the song? you're wondering.

First, drums do not go "pa-rum pum pum pum." They do not make pleasant little melodies sung by children's choirs. They make headaches. Drums go "KA-WHAP WHAP WHAP WHAP!"

Second, when the Little Drummer Boy asks Mary if he could play a song for the Baby Jesus -- pa-rum pum pum pum -- no one says, "Wait a minute! He's just going to pound a drum. Somebody stop him!"

I believe the gift of music is one of the greatest gifts you can give, because it comes from the heart. (But I'll accept a big screen high-definition TV as a substitute.) But when your newborn baby has finally gone to sleep after screaming for 6 hours because his bed smells like cow poop, do you really want someone going "ka-whap whap whap whap!" at him?

So what did Mary do? She just nodded, -- pa-rum pum pum pum -- listened appreciatively, and smiled quietly to herself.

Not being a mother myself, I can't speak for other mothers. But I'll wager your Christmas gifts that if you've been riding on a donkey for several days, and spent the last 36 hours in labor, the last thing you want is some snot-nosed kid beating a drum at you. The song should say "Mary leaped from her stool and chased the little brat away, pa-rum pum pum pum. "

Third, did the ox and lambs really keep time -- pa-rum pum pum pum? Not hardly. Oxen are tone deaf and lambs have a poorly-developed sense of rhythm. Besides, the drum in question was made out of ox or lambskin, so they would not have appreciated the irony.

Then He smiled at me -- pa-rum pum pum pum? Uh-uh. It's more likely that the ox and lambs doffed top hats and sang "Puttin' On the Ritz." How would you feel if you had been removed from a nice warm womb, stuck in a bed of itchy, smelly straw, and some jerk started beating a drum at you?

Try it for yourself. Find a newborn baby and start pa-rum pum pum pumming on a pot with a couple of wooden spoons. I guarantee he won't smile, he'll shriek. If he smiles, he's colicky.

Now, I'm all for the magic and wonder of Christmas. But I know mothers. And I know babies. And I know new mothers don't even want people speaking in conversational tones around their babies, let alone pounding drums at them.

Gift of music or not, banging on a lambskin stretched over a hollow log is not something a new mother wants to deal with. I realize we're talking about Mary, the mother of the Messiah, but everyone has a limit to their patience. And little drummer boys whose love of rhythm outweighs his common sense is way past that limit.

So if you're ever in the mood to serenade a newborn baby and his mother with anything noisier than a single blade of grass, don't. Trust me on this. If you really want to be helpful, give the mom something useful, like a set of ear plugs and a weekend's free babysitting.

Pa-rum pum pum pum
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes

From the guys over at, here are 40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes from some of the greatest (and funniest) movies in the last 50 years.

Some of my favorites:

  • Charlie Brown as the only animated clip. (:46)
  • Clint Eastwood: "I mean plum mad dog mean" (1:03)
  • Kirk Douglas shedding a tear in "Spartacus" (1:58)

    There's more. Lots more. But if you want to be inspired by every great inspirational movie speech, check this video out.

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  • Wednesday, December 17, 2008

    Poets Take a Frigid Plunge to Increase Awareness of Poetry

    Twelve poets from Seattle were silly
    They jumped into waters quite chilly
    They want us to care
    About verses so fair
    But instead they shrunk up their willies.

    Twelve poets in Seattle jumped into frigid lake waters to help increase awareness of poetry.

    According to an article in the Seattle Times, poet/artist Mimi Allen has organized similar "guerilla" art events. Her goal was to "make poetry fun, get it in the news, wake people up and bring together rival camps of 'page poets and stage poets.'"

    By fun, I don't think she meant freezing ones' uhh. . .
    barbaric yawps in a lake in December.

    The best line from the whole event came from Drew Curtis over at Fark:

    "Twelve poets plunge into a frigid lake to to bring attention to the world of poetry, also because "shrunk" and "junk" rhyme.

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    Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    Third Sandwich Attack in Florida

    It's becoming an epidemic in the Port St. Lucie/Vero Beach, Fla. area: there has been a third sandwich-related attacks by guys on their girlfriend.

    The previous two were a Vero Beach man who assaulted his girlfriend with a cheeseburger, and a Port St. Lucie man who attacked his S.O. with an unnamed sandwich.

    This time it's 20-year-old Matthew Rubin doing the attacking. The police report says Rubin hit his girlfriend with a sandwich, then bopping her on the top of the head with his fist, before fleeing the scene. Rubin admits to hitting her with the sandwich, but not his fist. He was arrested this past Friday, and is being charged with battery. Police have not specified what sandwich was used.

    While the coincidence would be delicious, I doubt it was a Reuben sandwich.

    Normally, I would suspect copycat crimes for something like this, but something tells me these sandwich slappers aren't the type to read newspapers or keep up on current events. I can only conclude it's something in the local water. Or mayo.

    View Larger Map

    You can see by the map that the two cities are about 18 miles apart. And now Port St. Lucie has suffered two attacks less than six weeks apart.

    Related articles
    Man charged with smashing cheeseburger in girlfriend's face
    Florida man accused of sandwich assault

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    Monday, December 15, 2008

    Madonna is Worse Than a Mass Murdering Dictator, says Catholic Priest

    American singer and sex fiend Madonna's behavior is "lustful, a stain on humanity, and offensive to God," said a Roman Catholic priest with close ties to now-deceased military dictator and mass murderer General Augusto Pinochet.

    Cardinal Jorge Medina was speaking at a mass for Pinochet, who is responsible for the disappearance or death of 3,000 people, when he told the cong
    regation, "The atmosphere in our city is pretty agitated because this woman is visiting and with incredibly shameful behavior provokes a wild and lustful enthusiasm."

    Madonna appeared in Santiago. Chile as part of her "Sticky and Sweet" tour, in support of her Hard Candy album.

    Really?! You're honoring a guy who is responsible for the deaths of 3,000 people, and you're worried about middle-aged women with granny arms doing a sexy dance on stage? Really?!

    This is like Rod Blagojevich lecturing Elliot Sptizer on marital fidelity

    "Thoughts of lust, impure thoughts, impure acts, are an offense to God and a dirty stain on our heart," Medina told the crowd. "But feel free to kill people who disagree with you or question your authority."

    Pinochet died in 2006 without facing trial for all the people who died and disappeared while he was in power from 1973 –1990. Medina is hated by some Chileans because he was closely tied to the dictator/killer.

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    Sunday, December 14, 2008

    More Stupid Baby Names in Australia

    If you're new parents in Australia, you can't name your kids Coca-Cola, Gummi Bears, or King John I. Similarly, if you're an adult, you can't change your name to those either.

    The Queensland Registry of Birth, Deaths, and Marriages quickly nixed those names for name change requests in 2008.

    "Parents are able to decide their own spelling when choosing a name for their baby, however in Queensland there are certain regulations governing what the name can be," Kerry Shine, Queensland's Attorney-General, told the Brisbane Courier-Mail. "You cannot choose a name which includes an official title or rank ... it also cannot be a trademark, or consist of or include symbols without phonetic significance."

    New Zealand has similar uptightness about stupid names, having rejected the name "4Real" for a baby, but reluctantly allowed "Superman" instead. Apparently, New Zealand doesn't have the same restrictions on trademarked names, choosing instead to veto only the stupidest of names.

    While I never like government interference in how parents raise or even name their children, I sometimes envy Australia and New Zealand's ability to nix stupid names. Too many celebrities give their kids dumber names than 4Real or Gummi Bear. Dumb names like Jermajesty (Jermaine Jackson, Michael's older brother), Audio Science (Shannyn Sossamon), Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily (Paula Yates and Michael Hutchence), or Moxie Crimefighter (Penn Jillette).

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    Saturday, December 13, 2008

    You Oughta Know Inbound Marketing

    Back in October, I wrote a post about White Female Gangsta Bloggas, two women from Indianapolis-based Compendium Blogware, who did a parody of SNL's Lazy Sunday to discuss the features and benefits of their blogging software.

    Now it looks like HubSpot is getting in on the action. Rebecca Corliss has done a great job spoofing Alanis Morrisette's You Oughta Know, with You Oughta Know Inbound Marketing.

    Now if I can just get Kyle Lacy at Brandswag to do something on social networks to J*** In My Pants, we'll have a social media hat trick. (Maybe Ning In My Pants?)

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    Friday, December 12, 2008

    Victoria Beckham Says Her Husband Likes Her "Natural." Uhhhhh....

    Victoria "Plastic Spice" Beckham recently told Cosmopolitan Magazine that her husband, soccer superstar David Beckham, likes her "natural."

    She told Cosmo, "I rarely wear (makeup) at home. I think men probably like women more natural than we think they do - David always says he likes me make up-free."


    By natural, can we assume you don't mean fake boobs, hair dyed by nuclear reactors, or enough spray-on tan to paint the entire Seventh Fleet?

    "Contrary to rumour, I don't hop into my own tanning booth," Beckham told Cosmo. "I did get sent one once, but I don't use it! I get spray tans by this talented guy in LA who makes it look really natural."

    Again with the "natural" thing. "You keep using this word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

    (That's pre-David Posh Spice on the right.)

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    Thursday, December 11, 2008

    Education Reform Eliminates Red Pens, F Grades

    Education Reform Eliminates Red Pens, F Grades

    Erik Deckers
    Laughing Stalk Syndicate
    Copyright 2008

    Do you remember when we were kids, whenever our teacher marked our papers with a red pen, we became despondent, realized we were complete failures, and would spend the next three days in bed without showering or eating? And we would wail, "why can't she use a blue pen for once? Or even a black pen?"

    Of course not. But that's what the Queensland, Australia state health agency thinks happens. They distributed 1,000 "Good Mental Health Rocks" kits to 30 schools, offering different tips to help build students' self-esteem. Useful tips like "don't mark in red pen (which can be seen as aggressive) – use a different color."

    I was an emotional kid growing up, but I don't ever recall flying into a murderous rage, screaming "Red pen?! What are red pen marks doing on my paper? No red pens ever!"

    But to hear Stephen Robertson, Queensland's Health Minister, tell it, red pens are at the root cause of most mental problems for Queensland's teenagers, not peer pressure, drug use, and whatever else causes teen angst.

    "If mental health professionals determine that as one of a number of strategies teachers should consider, then I'll support them every day of the week," Robertson told the Brisbane Courier-Mail. "This is not a matter for ridicule, this is serious."

    No, it's a matter for ridicule.

    Better funding and teachers makes students do better. Doing better makes them feel better. But getting dozens of blue X's instead of red ones won't change a thing.

    In the Queensland Parliament, Opposition spokesman Mark McArdle said pen color shouldn't be a priority when literacy rates are low.

    "This is a kooky, loony, loopy, Left policy from a Labor Government that is out of touch," McCardle said.

    "Mental health is a serious issue," Steve Ryan, president of the Queensland Teachers Union, said. "It is disgraceful the Liberal National Party would make fun of mental health." Then he apologized to McArdle for hurting his feelings.

    Not really. What he really did was hang up on the Courier-Mail reporter after claiming the kit did not exist and the government would never give that advice to teachers.

    Now who's the crazy one?

    But before we Americans get too smug at Australia's kooky, loony loopiness, we've got something equally asinine over here. Surprisingly, it's not in California.

    In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the school system has stopped handing out "F's," choosing instead to give them an "H." As in "Holy Crap, Can You Believe This?!"

    Actually, it stands for "held." As in "held over until improved or completed."

    School superintendent Bernard Taylor said the new system gives students several choices, like retaking a course, doing additional work, or agreeing on a new plan with teachers. But the student will get a real "F" if they don't do anything within 12 weeks.

    "">I never see anyone doing anything but punishing kids," Taylor told United Press International. "If the choice is between letting kids fail and giving them another opportunity to succeed, I'm going to err on the side of opportunity."

    Right, because kids will never figure out that H is the new F, and it means exactly the same thing.

    Many teachers and administrators believe children become discouraged with bad grades, which has led to the high dropout rate in the country. Taylor says children need to "see a way forward."

    Ooh, ooh, I know! Use a blue pen! There's a guy in Australia who says it works miracles with their kids' self-esteem. Grade the kids' tests with blue pens, they'll feel great, and you don't need to use this "H" business at all.

    "The task is to change the reality, not the labeling of it," Alan Kazdin, a child psychiatrist at Yale, said. "The fact is children are failing, yet we don't want to call it that. It's this whole notion that everyone's a winner and everyone gets a trophy."

    They don't give all the Olympians gold medals, only one NFL team gets a Super Bowl ring, and only one person in your office will get the big promotion. And if you slack off, it won't be you.

    We need to teach our kids that failure is a part of life, that you have to work hard to succeed, and occasionally your jerk of a boss is going to mark on your life with a big, fat red pen. If we don't teach our kids this now, they're going to be in for a rude awakening when they're older.

    Like when they're 30 years old and living in your basement.

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    Britain Has Some Odd Laws, like Don't Cause Nuclear Explosion or Disturb Eggs

    British MPs (Members of Parliament) have introduced some pretty stupid laws over the past years. Eleven years, to be exact.

    These aren't old, outdated laws from the 1800s that forbid unmarried people from sleeping in the same hotel bed. These are laws the Labour party has introduced since they took power in 1997. Labour has created 3,600 new criminal laws since that time.

    According to a story from Agence France-Presse, it's against the law to disturb packs of eggs after being ordered by an "authorized officer" from doing so. It's also against the law to offer to sell wild birds that were killed on a Sunday or Christmas Day, willfully pretending to be a barrister, or to cause a nuclear explosion.

    Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne has accused Labor of creating these stupid laws, and accused Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government of doing nothing to repeal the laws. He was then clapped in irons and hauled away, since it's against the law to accuse Gordon Brown of not repealing laws.

    Justice minister Jack Straw has asked Huhne for a list of the laws he wants repealed, and promised to review them.

    However, the question on everyone's mind is, are there really officers whose job it is to order people not to disturb packs of eggs?

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    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    British Man Dies From Picking His Nose

    I had always thought it was a joke, but apparently you can die from picking your nose. It happened to Ian Bothwell of Manchester, England on or around September 5.

    According to a story in the London Telegraph, the 63-year-old man, who suffered from dementia as a result of alcoholism, had picked his nose so much he bled to death.

    In an inquest last week into Bothwells death, Nigel Meadows, Manchester coroner, said, "There is no explanation for this death other than he died from a nosebleed, consistent with picking his nose. I do not think for a moment he knew what he was doing was going to cause his death."

    Meadows said the death was a result of "misadventure."

    My dad once told me he suffered a nosebleed so bad he went to the hospital because it wouldn't stop. However, in his defense, I don't think it was a result of picking his nose. At least I hope not.

    (BTW, that's Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands going for gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Future king of my dad's home country, making us all proud. Leef lang de Koning!


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    Tuesday, December 09, 2008

    Paul and Storm's 25 Days of Randy Newman Christmas Songs

    Musical comedic geniuses Paul and Storm have their own little Christmas offering, the 25 days of Newman. As in Randy "Short People" Newman, not the fat guy from Seinfeld. If you're a Bob and Tom fan, you've no doubt heard Paul and Storm. B&T are big fans of P&S.

    To celebrate Christmas, Paul and Storm are writing new movie themes in the style of Randy Newman (Songs in the Key of Newman?). They're posting the new ones every day from December 1st to December 25th.

    You can download them free on iTunes, an RSS feed, or their Bandcamp page.

    (Special thanks to good friend Rhett Cochran for the heads-up!)
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    Monday, December 08, 2008

    Australian Parliament May Require Breathalyzer Test

    Australian politicians in New South Wales may have to submit to Breathalyzer tests before they're allowed to enter Parliament. It happened after Nationals MP (Member of Parliament) Andrew Fraser shoved fellow MP Katrina Hodgkinson.

    According to a story in the Australia Daily Telegraph, Fraser had been at a Christmas party before returning to Parliament for a late night vote. However, he denies he was drunk.

    Fraser started talking smack to John Aquilina, the Government leader in the Legislative Assembly, when Hodgkinson tried to mediate. So Fraser shoved her.

    If he wasn't drunk, then he must be a real A-hole.

    Since Fraser ruined it for everyone else, a group of MPs began demanding voluntary breath testing machines so the MPs could show they weren't drunk before voting on important issues or shoving each other. However, the MPs seem to forget that "voluntary" means you don't have to do it, and you're free to get hammered and push your colleagues whenever you want.

    Fraser apologized a couple days later and offered to resign his position as Opposition spokesman for primary industries, whatever that does.

    You can see a video of Fraser shoving Hodgkinson here.

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    Sunday, December 07, 2008

    Assault With a Burger, Food Related Assaults on the Rise

    Authorities (mostly me) are becoming alarmed at the increasing number of food-related domestic violence attacks in Florida.

    An unnamed Vero Beach, Fla. man allegedly assaulted his girlfriend with a McDonald's cheeseburger during an argument in a car in front of their home.

    According to the Indian County Sheriff's office, the woman threw the guy's drink out the window, so he smashed her in the face with his burger. After they got out of the car, he hit her in the face again.

    This is the second time in two months that a man has hit his girlfriend in the face with a sandwich. Back in November, a Fort Pierce, Fla. man whacked his girlfriend in the face with a sandwich while they were driving down I-95.

    Emmanuelle Rodriguez admitted to police that he hit his girlfriend with the sandwich, because "he didn't want to hit her." Instead, he ripped the rear view mirror off and started whacking the windshield with it.

    It's interesting to note that Vero Beach and Fort Pierce are about 15 miles apart. Is there an epicenter of food-related violence on Florida's east coast? What is it about the Sunshine state that's causing people to perpetuate domestic food crimes?

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    Saturday, December 06, 2008

    Let Me Google That For You

    If you've ever been asked a question that can easily be Googled, there's a new website that will help you answer your friend's question and make him feel like a complete moron at the same time. (Friendship WIN!)

    Let Me Google That For You was created by Jim Garvin and Ryan McGeary as a way to show people how to answer questions that could be answered if they only knew the name of the most popular search engine in the universe.

    "'Let me Google that for you' is something I think most people in the IT field have had to say to someone they were frustrated with," Garvin wrote in an email to LA Times blogger Mark Milian. "For me and a few people I know, it happens with regular frequency."

    You can see a little LMGTFY sample and find out what the original capital of Indiana was. (Hint: It wasn't Indianapolis.)

    Thanks, Mr. Obvious. You're a life saver.

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    Thursday, December 04, 2008

    The Worst Christmas Gifts of 2008

    The Worst Christmas Gifts for 2008

    Erik Deckers
    Laughing Stalk Syndicate
    Copyright 2008

    Internet stupid heads and online store,, have released their list of the 10 worst presents to give someone this year, and it looks like a good one. These guys have created an online empire of stupid, tasteless, or just plain gross gifts, and they're probably rich as a result. So if anyone knows stupid gifts, it's these guys.

    They sell the stuff people give as a gag gift. Stuff that Jeff Foxworthy mentions right after the words, "You might be a redneck, if. . ." Here are a few of the items that made their list.

    Pole Dancer Alarm Clock – For the strip club aficionado in your life. The alarm sounds, the little blond dancer gyrates around the dance pole while disco lights flash, and she pretends to like you for as long as you have money. Future models will include a "tuck a buck" snooze button and a bouncer to throw you out of bed if you stay too long.

    2009 Dog Poop Calendar – If you've ever said, "I just don't see enough dog poo these days," then this 12-month wall calendar is for you. Someone actually took the time to take high-resolution, professional quality photographs of dog doots arranged to match that month's theme. February is in the shape of a heart, September is surrounded by a green army man battle. I hate to think what December's entry is.

    The "How to Tie a Tie" Tie – For the guy who has everything except for genetically imprinted man knowledge of tying a piece of silk around his neck. The tie is printed with a basic diagram, which will help any non-tie wearer with the complex act of self-strangulation. It would be even more helpful if the diagram was printed upside down. But rather than pay $14.99 for the tie, send me 10 bucks, and I'll send you a piece of paper with the instructions on it (shipping and handling not included).

    Men's Underwear Repair Kit – Contains needle and thread, iron-on patches, duct tape, safety pins, and of course, White-Out. Or for the $9.95 price, you could just buy some new underwear.

    I've got a few stupid gift ideas of my own to add. These didn't make's Big Stupid Christmas List, but they deserve their own special place.

    The Bill Cosby Sweater – I tried not to grind my teeth when the 70s came back into style, and all the teenagers and college kids started wearing 35-year-old obnoxious colored patterns without any sense of irony or shame. I've been looking forward to the 80s – my decade – when Spandex, thin ties, and crazy stripes come back into fashion. But I'm dreading the return of the Cosby sweater.

    The Cosby sweater was kind of cool back in the 80s. It was a technicolor force of nature. A rainbow tornado captured in 100% cotton. Salvador Dali and Henri Matisse's love child. Now they just look horrible. If, for no other reason than you love your fellow man, and would never, ever cause the suffering of another human being, don't ever buy the Cosby sweater for anyone. Not even as a joke.

    Snuggie Sleeved Blanket – The blanket jacket for people stumped by the technological intricacies of a regular blanket. If you've seen the commercial lately, you've laughed out loud at the poor saps who struggle with the only technology older than the wheel, but younger than fire. Somehow this marvelous invention is supposed to eliminate all the headaches of the blanket by combining it with the ease of a backward bathrobe. Or you could just put on a backward bathrobe.

    Songs in the Key of Hanukkah – No, I'm not being anti-Semitic. I just hate albums that use the phrase "Songs in the Key of—" in the title. Songs in the Key of Life (Stevie Wonder), Songs in the Key of Z (Irwin Chusid), Songs in the Key of Sea (Jon Edwards).

    Erran Baron Cohen, brother of Sacha Cohen (Ali G, Borat), produced and performed Songs in the Key of Hanukkah. From the description, it actually sounds a little interesting, but the title ruined it for me.

    Of course, none of these will ever beat the king of bad Christmas presents. Holder of the Worst Present Ever title for the last eight consecutive years is the Big Mouth Billy Bass singing fish. It would sing "Don't Worry, Be Happy" and "Take Me to the River" whenever you walked by it.

    Or as I like to call it Songs in the Key of Melted Plastic.

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    Massage Neglect Syndrome: The Bane of Humor Columnists Everywhere

    I suffer from Massage Neglect Syndrome.

    At least that's what my chiropractor, Dr. Jared Himsel, says. I mention his name, because he's a doctor, and if a doctor says it, it must be true. Jared has been working on my neck for the last couple of weeks, and has been having trouble getting it to adjust.

    "Jeez, your neck is really tight today," he said a couple of days ago.

    "You could write a prescription for a massage that I can give to Toni.," I said. Toni is my wife.

    "That's a good idea," he said, and grabbed a special form called a Letter of Medical Necessity. He wrote out that I had Massage Neglect Syndrome, which resulted in a stiff and sore neck.

    "Requires one 30 minute neck massage each day for a week from his wife," said the form. I showed it to said wife when I got home.

    "Yeah, right" she said, unsympathetically. "Looks like you're going to have neck problems."

    "But you have to. It's on a Medical Necessity form. That's not just a suggestion, it's a Necessity."

    "Uh huh."

    "No really. There's even a name for it. Massage Neglect Syndrome. They don't give those names out to just any old affliction. It's an honest-to-God Syndrome. See, it's capitalized and everything. That means it's serious."

    "I'm not buying it," she said. "I know you put Jared up to it."

    My oldest daughter grabbed the Letter of Medical Necessity out of my hands.

    "What's this?" she asked. I grabbed it back, scribbled something on it, and gave it back to her.

    "Requires one 30 minute neck massage each day for a week from his wife or oldest daughter? Daddy!"

    "See, it says so right there. Doctor's orders"

    "It's in a different ink color."

    "That's for emphasis."

    "I saw you write it."

    "Uh, I was highlighting it so you could see it better."

    "I'm not buying it."

    I called for my youngest daughter. "Sweetie!"

    "I'm not buying it either!" she hollered from her room.

    "Me either!" hollered my son, without even waiting to be asked.

    So I sit at my computer, silently suffering from my horrible affliction. Massage Neglect Syndrome strikes dozens of humor columnists every day, and the only relief is for our spouses or significant others to massage our necks for at least 15 minutes per day, if not 30 minutes. Won't somebody please think of the humor columnists?
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    Wednesday, December 03, 2008

    Did they 'blah blah' fundraising? You can't 'blah blah' fundraising.

    Imagine receiving this fundraising letter from your alma mater:

    With the recent economic downturn and loan crisis, it has become even more important for Framingham State College to receive your support. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

    That's the letter the Framingham Alumni Association sent out to thousands of their recent graduates this past September. A letter that has since become known as the "blah blah" letter.

    What did the alums of the small Massachusetts college do? Did they pony up? Did they recognize the humorous send up of traditional college fundraising letters?

    No, they stamped their little feet and said they were offended because the school insulted their intelligence, was unprofessional, and absurd and ridiculous.

    They blah blahed fundraising? You can't blah blah fundraising! (Or is that yada yada?)

    Steve Whittemore, current president of the college student government association, told the MetroWest Daily News the school wasn't wrong in its creativity. He just didn't agree with their attempt at humor.

    "I thought it was absolutely absurd and ridiculous," Whittemore said.

    Wah wah wah. Or should I say, blah blah blah?

    You can see the actual alumni letter here.

    While I admit that using "blah" 137 times might not be the best method, it was at least a new approach. I would hope the students and alums wouldn't be so sensitive as to get their panties in a bunch because someone wanted to try something new and humorous. What should they have used? A bunch of rich white kids in Abercrombie & Fitch sweatshirts?

    Christopher Hendry, Framingham's VP of College Advancement, later said it was a "misguided and embarrassing attempt to connect with alumni in a different way."

    Give the poor guy a break. He was new, wanted to try something new, and get out of the same old BS that most fundraising letters use.

    In his defense, they received $2,000 from 40 alums who had never donated to the school before. Maybe Hendry's next letter includes the phrase "nyah nyah nyah."

    Just don't look for anything creative with a sense of humor to come out of Framingham anytime soon. Especially the students.

    (Hat tip to Randy Cassingham of This is True for the heads up.)
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    Tuesday, December 02, 2008

    Rhonda Key, Riverview Gardens, Gives Worst Interview Ever

    From the Worst PR Ever files:

    Rhonda Key, co-superintendent, Riverview Gardens school district in St. Louis needs to take some lessons in public relations. She agreed to be interviewed by Elliott Davis of KTVI, the St. Louis, Missouri Fox affiliate. But once Davis showed up, that's where the interview went downhill.

    KTVI had received a viewer email tip that Riverview Gardens had spent thousands of dollars to send several teachers and administrators to the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development Conference in Los Angeles, California, which includes Goldie Hawn as part of the 2009 conference. So Davis wanted to find out who went and how much it cost.

    I’d love to be able to embed the video here, but you’ll have to go to the KTVI website to see the just plain painful interview with Rhonda Key.

    Davis, to Key, “What administrators are going on this trip?”

    Kay: “Sir, a group of teachers are going on this trip.”

    Davis, “But what administrators are going?”

    Kay: “A group of teachers are going on this trip.”

    It's like her interview instructions came from a shampoo bottle. Blather, rinse, repeat.

    It only gets better. Kay seems to think that by using a different inflection – a group of teachers; a group of teachers – would make Davis go away. Then she finally expands on her answer.

    “A group of teachers and educators are going on this trip. Are you still here? Dammit!"

    It’s so sad to see a train wreck taking place, especially when the train doesn’t want to admit there’s an accident in the first place.

    Who is going? Davis asked.

    “A group of teachers and educators.”

    Who are the teachers?

    “A group of teachers. . .”

    How much is this costing?

    “A group of teachers. . .”

    Finally, mercifully, Kay ended the interview. She wouldn’t answer any more questions, wouldn’t address Davis directly, other than to thank him for coming, blah blah blah.

    Davis filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and found out the Riverview Gardens school district sent 10 teachers and 6 administrators to this conference, for a total cost of $30,148.01, despite all the financial troubles the district has been having.

    I hope Goldie Hawn knows a lot about curriculum development.

    Here’s a little PR hint for you. When you’re confronted by an investigative reporter, don’t hide from them or repeat the same stupid answer over and over. That only makes them suspicious and start digging like a hungry dog after a bone. Instead, answer the questions honestly and directly. You’ll spend one day in the news, rather than 5 or 6.

    Guess who taught me that little piece of advice.

    “A group of teachers. . .”

    So, Rhonda, who is going to storm the school district building and mutiny against the leadership because of bad management and horrible financial practices?

    “A group of teachers. . ."
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    Monday, December 01, 2008

    Scottish Cops Learn Difference Between Pot, Tomato Plants

    Scottish police apparently can’t tell the difference between tomato plants and pot plants. Which is why they conducted a full-scale raid on 79-year-old Lulu Matheson’s house in Sieldaig, Scotland.

    It took three squad cars, seven officers and drug dogs several hours of ransacking her house to conclude that the plants they saw in the window – the ones with red, apple-sized balls hanging from them – were not tomatoes after all.

    To make sure, they sent it off to the lab for testing.

    During the raid, they kept Lulu’s son Gus locked in his room for two hours, and handcuffed her grandson Stephen.

    "I got a terrible fright and I couldn't understand what they were doing here because I knew we had nothing more than tomatoes in the window. I don't know what the neighbours must be thinking,” Lulu told the Times of London.

    “It was a terrible carry-on,” Gus said. “The police didn’t even apologise.”

    Needless to say, Gus will make a formal complaint. Meanwhile, I hope the police will take some botany classes to learn the difference between cannabis and tomato plants.

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    Saturday, November 29, 2008

    Boob Job Piggy Bank Makes a Great Gift Idea. . . If You're an Idiot

    A recent post in Contexts magazine reveals one of the signs of the Apocalypse: A boob job money jar you can purchase on a website. For girls.

    That's right. You can teach your young daughters fiscal responsibility and artificial self-esteem by getting them this money jar.

    Or if you're not comfortable with this as a gift for your daughter, get it for one of your female coworkers. Have a good chuckle at the look on her face when she opens her gift. Enjoy a good laugh just before she slaps your face. Have a hearty guffaw as you're fired and hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit.

    If you're not convinced the site is aimed toward girls -- and not a gag gift website -- check out this image from the front page.

    ("Hot Science Teacher?!" Yeah, right.)

    Frankly, this is a horrible gift for a young girl, whether it's given in irony or she chose it. Some of the comments on the Contexts page said this was more of an ironic/gag gift, rather than a serious one. Even if this won the Most Ironic Gift for 2008, what kind of creepy parent gets this for their kid?

    Bottom line is this: if you get this for a female co-worker or your daughter, you get what you deserve: lawsuits or children with emotional issues.

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    Friday, November 28, 2008

    Monty Python Channel Now on YouTube

    Monty Python fans rejoice! The creators of the Dead Parrot sketch, the Lunberjack sketch, and the Cheese Shop Sketch now have their very own channel on YouTube.

    No longer will you have to watch entire episodes on DVD just to get to the best bits. No more sitting through How to Defend Yourself From Fresh Fruit just to see Lemming of the BDA. No more "The Larch" just to find Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge. And definitely no more searching for Python sketches online, and then scrolling through countless sucky spoofs, parodies, and send-ups of your favorite sketches trying to find that one gem.

    Instead, just go to, search for Monty Python, and you'll be taken immediately to their channel where you can enjoy Argument Clinic to your hearts content.

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