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Showing posts from November, 2008

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

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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…

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 YouTube.com, 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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How the Lawyers Stole Christmas

How the Lawyers Stole ChristmasErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2008

The city of Louisville is really quite lucky
They are the best town in all of Kentucky.
They have city pride, and a great big horse race
And a warm friendly feeling, like a hearty embrace.
Their mayor had a plan that he liked a lot
But some lawyers out west, oh no, they did NOT!

They tried to wreck Louisville's whole Christmas season
You don’t need to ask why, we can all guess the reason.
They may just be lawyers trying to cause an upheaval
Or maybe they were just this side of evil.
But Louisville’s mayor gave the best reason of all
"It appears (their) hearts are two sizes too small."

Their holiday fest had a kids' story theme
A tasteful affair, nothing extreme.
The city was planning its holiday celebration
To give the Louisvillians a sense of elation.
"Light Up Louisville" is the annual theme
They would light all the lights to make the place gleam.

They wanted more than the same Christmas tree
A…

A Real Live RickRoll at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

There was a real live RickRoll with a real live Rick Astley during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.



According to Wikipedia, the Internet's infallible authority on everything, a Rickroll is a practical joke where a person finds a link to something interesting and cool, like the Laughing Stalk blog, but the link actually goes to a Rick Astley video, usually the Never Gonna Give You Up video.

Special thanks to Wil Wheaton for the heads up. And for those who laugh at me for using Blogger, Wil uses Typepad. So nyah! (I don't actually know if that's better or worse for me.)



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Ann Coulter's Jaw Wired Shut: Best. Miracle. Ever

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To all my agnostic and atheistic friends, especially the liberal ones:

You can't tell me there's not a God anymore. Ann Coulter's jaw has been wired shut.

Coulter, the pretty-yet-evil right-wing crazy woman, who believes that all Democrats are going to Hell simply because they're Democrats, will not be allowed to say anything for weeks. Needless to say, the blogosphere is alight with schadenfreudic delight at Coulter's silencing.

Okay, okay, she broke her jaw falling down some stairs. And I feel bad that she hurt herself. I just don't feel bad that as part of her recovery process, she won't be allowed to spew her hatred and venom on the airwaves for several weeks.

Best. Miracle. Ever.

(Thanks to my friend Douglas Karr for the heads up.)

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13-Year-Old Boy Arrested for Farting

“Hey kid, what’d they arrest you for?”

“I farted during computer class.”

A 13-year-old Stuart, Florida boy was arrested -- arrested! -- for farting during computer class. According to a story in the Stuart (Florida) News, the unnamed boy had been continually disrupting class by breaking wind and shutting of his classmates computers.

The last person to be arrested for farting was Antonio Cruz of West By God Virginia, who farted at a Charleston police officer and was then charged with battery. (But not ass-ault. Apparently Charleston police officer’s don’t have a sense of humor.)

According to a report from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office on November 4, a school resource officer (which apparently is not a librarian) arrested the boy after he confessed. The boy was charged with disruption of school function. He was then released to his mother’s custody.

The resource officer, Warren Pettaway, wrote in his report that he asked the boy if he deliberately farted in his teacher’s general directi…

Governor Sarah Palin Interviewed While Turkeys Killed in Background

I used to work in the poultry production industry for about 10 years. We sold supplies and equipment to poultry farmers around the world, although we never dealt with the actual birds. So I understand what goes on in the animal production world. And that is, animals are grown, animals are killed, animals are eaten.

I think animals need to be treated with respect and honor, since they're giving our lives so we can live.

Still, it's a little awkward when you're Sarah Palin, sitting Governor and former VP candidate whose still in the news, and you pardon a turkey for Thanksgiving. But then you give an interview where all the unlucky candidates are being killed. In the background.



To be fair to the guy in the background, this is how turkeys are often killed, at least on the farm. He's not doing anything wrong or cruel (although I recognize that my vegan friends will vehemently disagree with me).

But still, Governor Palin is either still gaffe-ing it up after the campaign, or s…

I'm one of Indianapolis' Top 50 Bloggers!!!

According to Kyle Lacy, I'm one of Indianapolis' Top 50 Bloggers.

I know the list isn't actually ranked, but I'm clinging to that #2 spot and rubbing Patric Welch's face in it. Take THAT, Mr. My Blog is Read by Thousands of People Because I Post Good Content Every Day!!!

A few blogs that I'm proud to be associated with:

Douglas Karr - Technology and everything web - Anytime someone mentions his name and mine in the same sentence, I'm so proud. At least as long as that sentence isn't "Erik Deckers can't hold a blogging candle to Doug Karr."

Chris Baggott - Blogging and SEO - See Doug Karr above.

Joe Wikert - Joe Wikert's Publishing 2020 Blog - Mention the Amazon Kindle Reader, and Joe Wikert's name follows soon thereafter.

Ruth Holladay - All The News Not Fit to Print - Former Indy Star columnist has more bite than she used to after she left the Star. If you're tired of the national content posing as local in the Star, read Ruth inste…

This Movie Will Make You Smile -- "Validation"

Start your week off right, do yourself a favor, and watch Validation. It's well worth the 16 minutes. It even made me a little verklempt, especially near the end.

This movie will make you smile, because it's about you: someone who is great, special, and wonderful.




I love Hugh Newman's outlook on life and easy ability to make everyone feel good about themselves. I wish I was more like Hugh.

Have a wonderful day!

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Nicolaus Copernicus' Remains Finally Discovered

Polish archaeologists have identified the remains of 16th-century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, whose theories identified the Sun, and not the Earth, as the center of the universe.

In his book, On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres, Copernicus said there is no one center of all the planets, and that they all revolve around the sun as their mid-point, and therefore the sun is the center of the universe. This is known as the heliocentric theory, as opposed to earth-centric, which Ptolemy believed, and the Catholic Church forced Galileo into espousing.

The discovery of Copernicus’ body finally ends centuries of searching for his final resting place.

Surprisingly, his remains were found at the outskirts of the cemetery, and not in the center, as previously believed.

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Mayor John Moloney of Mount Isa is Australia's Top Sexist for 2008

Congratulations Mayor John Moloney of Mount Isa, Australia for winning the top award for the most sexist public comment of 2008.

Moloney won the award for inviting ugly women to move to his little mining town, saying they could easily find a man, since there was less competition.

Moloney offered his controversial proposition in August 2008 as a way to help solve the shortage of women in his outback town. His comments offended men and women of Mount Isa, who said it was an insult to their town.

According to an Agence France Presse story, the winner of the Ernie award is chosen by the volume of boos and jeers given to each nominee during the annual women-only Ernie Awards in the New South Wales parliament.

The purpose of the Ernies is to shame men for “outrageous sexism.”

Sexism (n.) - Discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of the opposite sex.

Irony (n.) - A group of Australian women who gather at a women-only event solely to shame and embarrass men for “outrageous sexism.”

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Lik…

UPDATE to Attleboro, Mass sends 1-cent bill to 74-year-old blind woman

In a story I posted earlier today, Eileen Wilbur, a 74-year-old blind woman, received a bill for one cent from the city of Attleboro, Massachusetts, claiming an overdue water payment. The city's utility threatened to file a lien against Eileen's house if they did not receive remittance for this staggering debt.

After this story received national attention, people from all over the country mailed in the necessary one cent to pay Eileen's bill.

According to a story in the Associated Press, Mayor Kevin Dumas (that's doo-moss, not the other thing you were thinking) says the whole situation was blown out of proportion.

Notably, Mayor Dumas does not say who blew it out of proportion. But if the news coverage was any indication, I say it would start with the agency that sent a bill on a piece of paper that cost more than the amount Eileen owed.

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Grinch of the Week: Attleboro, Mass sends 1-cent bill to 74-year-old blind woman

Boo, Attleboro, Massachusetts! Boooooo!!!!!

City officials sent 74-year-old Eileen Wilbur a bill for one cent and the threat of a lien against her house and a $48 overdue fee if she didn't cough up the charge from an overdue water bill.

Eileen, who is blind, has apparently been on the lam from the city for this hefty bill since as long ago as July 2007. She pointed out to the Attleboro Sun Chronicle that the stamp for the bill cost $.42.

Now I'm no accountant, but even I know that $.01 minus $.42 equals negative $.41. That's just not good business.

City Collector Debora Marcoccio said all collection letters are automatically printed out, and are never reviewed by staff before they're mailed.

"My question is, how come it wasn't paid when the (original) bills went out?" she told the Sun Chronicle.

Ooh, that's a good point. That method of blaming the victim -- especially a 74-year-old blind widow -- is always a good one, and I am now firmly on the side of the …

A Laughing Stalk annual tradition - The retelling of ‘Twas the Month Before Christmas

‘Twas the Month Before ChristmasIt’s just not the holidays unless Erik’s whining about the commercialization of Christmas. So we’re continuing the Laughing Stalk tradition, and reprinting the reader favorite “Month Before Christmas.”

'Twas the month before Christmas, and all through the town
Halloween decorations were just coming down.

I went to the mall for a weekend reprieve
And saw such a sight that I could not believe.

The place had gone crazy, the mall was just packed.
With new clothes and new toys and cheap plastic sacks
The store owners were praying and pulling their hair
Desperately hoping we'd spend money there.

When in one of the stores there arose such a clatter
I thought to myself "Now what's the matter?"
Away toward the noise the crowd flew like a flash
And knocked an old woman right on her caboose.

The cheesy green lights and the canned Christmas music
Made me realize no word rhymes with "music"
What I saw next made me scream and turn pale
A red and green…

Update to Ye Gods! Be God's article - BMV Overturns Ban on License Plate

Update to Ye Gods! BE GOD'S License Plate Banned in IndianaIn an article in this morning's paper, the BMV loosened their restrictions on Liz Ferris' denial of the BE GODS plate.

Staring down the twin barrels of a First Amendment lawsuit, BMV Commissioner Ron Stiver overturned a previous ruling that denied Ferris a license plate she had held since the late 1990s.

Ferris had had the same plate for eight or nine years when she missed the deadline to renew last fall. "No problem," she thought. "I'll just renew in March." She submitted the $48 fee with her application, only to be denied her plate under a new rule that had gone into effect in December 2007.

So she sued the BMV for violating her First Amendment rights to freedom of expression and religion. Stiver wisely gave in, because while it's a small loss today, they still get to keep their "no religious expressions" rule intact.

"Simply stated," Stiver said in a written statement,…

Ye Gods! BE GOD'S License Plate Banned in Indiana

In Indiana, it seems that you can have a license plate that says "In God We Trust," you just can't own a personalized license plate that says BE GODS.

In a story in today's Indianapolis Star, Liz Ferris of Richmond is suing the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) because they won't let her get a personalized license plate BE GODS, even though it's one she's had since the late 1990s.

Keep in mind, this is the very same BMV that was recently embroiled in a legal controversy over the In God We Trust plates.The Indiana Court of Appeals recently upheld the plate's constitutionality, which means it's perfectly okay for the state government to issue license plates that espouse a single religious view.

This is the very same BMV that has issued 2 million of the In God We Trust plates.

This is the very same BMV that has a rule that forbids any reference to religion or a deity.

"If you permit one," Dennis Rosebrough, BMV spokesman, said, "you ha…

Sport Stacking: Pretty Cool, but it's not a Sport

Have you seen the videos of people stacking and unstacking cups?



I don't know that I would call it a "sport" per se, but it is pretty cool to watch.

Pick an activity, any activity, and add speed or style or difficulty to it, and you can make it a competitive event. (However, that does not make it a sport.)

There are world air guitar championships, world texting championships, and even hitting a ball with a stick and then walking after it. None of them are sports though!

I also cast doubt on whether you can call darts, bowling, and auto racing a sport. They are activities, games, and even competitions. To me, a sport is something that makes you sweat when you do it (and with all due respect to my NASCAR-loving friends, wearing a flameproof suit in 90 degree weather doesn't count). But that's another matter entirely, and not one to be taken personally, like a friend from Ireland who got really upset when I told him darts wasn't a sport.

But sport or not, sport stack…

It's Official: 'Meh' is Now in the Dictionary

When I was growing up, I always hated those kids who, when you told them, "'ain't' isn't a word," would holler "is too! It's in the dictionary." They said it with that really snotty, gloating attitude, like their little dictionary victory somehow made them smarter than everyone else.

"'Ain't' isn't a word smart people say," I said to one kid.He threatened to beat me up, but I just said, "Meh."

At least I would have if I had known it was a word.

Because now, thanks to the Collins English Dictionary, "meh," which means indifference or lack of enthusiasm, is now In The Dictionary.

The addition was made as part of Collins' campaign to have readers submit words to the dictionary to be included in the 30th anniversary edition.

"This is a new interjection from the US that seems to have inveigled its way into common speech over here," Cormac McKeown, head of content at Collins Dictionaries, told Age…

Ancient Greeks Steal Dead Parrot Sketch

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Apparently, the Ancient Greeks were wild about sketch comedy, if a new joke book is any indication. According to a recent Reuters story, a joke book from the 4th century AD, Philogelos: The Laugh Addict, those wacky Greeks had their own Dead Slave sketch, predating the Monty Python Dead Parrot sketch by more than a few centuries.

Compare the two:

Monty Python
Mr. Praline: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.

Owner: Oh yes, the, uh, the Norwegian Blue...What's,uh...What's wrong with it?

Mr. Praline: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it!

Philogelos
“A man goes up to a student dunce and says, ‘The slave you sold me died.’"

"By the gods," answers the slave's seller, "when he was with me, he never did any such thing!"

Now, there's no pining for the fjords, or pining for the Pindus, as it were, but it&#…

The Top Ten Most Annoying Phrases in the World

The Top Ten Most Annoying Phrases in the WorldErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2008

"Those people at Oxford University sure are smart," said Karl, my friend, literary drinking buddy, and part-time curmudgeon. "Smart and irritating."

What are you talking about? I asked. We were sitting in Van der Weiden's, our favorite Dutch pub. The place was decorated with wooden shoes, replica windmills, and orange soccer jerseys. And a picture of Prince Willem-Alexander, the Netherlands Crown Prince, picking his nose at one of the swimming events at the Beijing Olympics.

"This week they just came out with a list of the top ten most irritating phrases in the entire world," said Karl.

Just ten?

"Well, you've got to draw the line somewhere. At the end of the day, people just don't want to read a lot."

Seriously? I asked, taking a drink.

"Absolutely," said Karl. "I personally have seen most of them used in the last 24 hours."

Thank you, Veterans. Have a special Veterans Day

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The moon gives you light,
And the bugles and the drums give you music,
And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans,
My heart gives you love.

Walt Whitman (1819–1892), U.S. poet.
Dirge for Two Veterans (l. 33–36). . .


2008 Ballot Measure Breakdown

2008 Ballot Measure BreakdownErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2008

We all watched history unfold Tuesday night when we elected our first black President, just 44 years after the Civil Rights Act was passed. President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama was born three years before the crucial piece of legislation that eventually paved the way for him to become President of the United States. So for everyone who thought we would never see a black President in our lifetime, you can imagine Obama's excitement when he became one.

I kept my kids up to watch Obama’s acceptance speech so they could say they got to see it. And it's all I heard about the next day from the news and my family. As proud as I am of our new president, I'd like to hear a little more about the rest of the election. And since everyone in the media is talking about Barack “that’s PRESIDENT Hussein Obama to you, buddy,” I want to talk about the part of the election people really care about: state ballot mea…

U.S. News and World Report to stop killing trees

Just heard from a Twitter follower who directed me to an online site that US News and World Report, the #3 news magazine in the country, is dropping their print edition and going strictly to online service. (No, the irony is not lost on me.)

A few weeks ago, I pondered this question a little bit when the Indianapolis Star announced they were switching to a national provider for their local content. Now it seems that US News & World Report has discovered that many of their readers are online, and so are going to quit littering airports around the country.

Is this a precursor to what is going to happen to the newspaper industry? How long will it be before the Indianapolis Star announces they're not in the print business anymore? Or before they start doing a limited print edition and put more of their content online?

More importantly, what will the advertisers say? Whether you like print publications or not, there is just something satisfying about knowing you have a magazine ad. It…

Create Your Own Suite Talk with Peyton Manning commercials online

Create Your Own Suite Talk with Peyton Manning commercials onlineYou know those great Peyton Manning MasterCard commercials ( “Cut that meat! Cut that meat!”), and last year’s Priceless Peptalks with Peyton (“Just buy some bigger shirts.”). Now you can send a personalized pep talk from Peyton to your pals, with the new Suite Talk with Peyton Manning.

You just fill out a little online form with your name, your friend’s name, select a couple of options about why he or she is down in the dumps (a case of the 4th downs), how you want to help (get them out of this pickle), and what they need to fix it (a train ride), and you’ve created your own personalized video. From Peyton, to your friend.

They created the video by having Peyton put his hands in front of his face when he says your friend’s name or reason for his ennui. Then, they pre-recorded the different names and problems, which get inserted at the appropriate times.

(Note: If the correct spelling of your name isn’t on there, choose the…

Lost in Translation: Email Error Ends Up on Welsh Road Sign

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If you read English, you can understand the directions on the sign in Swansea, Wales: "No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only."

In Welsh, it's a little bit different: "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated."

According to a recent article on the BBC's website, the Swansea council sent an email request to their Welsh translation service for translation. However, he had the Out of Office Assistant turned on. So what they received back was a note about his absence. Only they thought it was the translation.

"When they're proofing signs, they should really use someone who speaks Welsh," journalist Dylan Iorwerth of Golwg magazine, told the BBC. Golwg is a Welsh-language magazine.

All official road signs in Wales are bilingual. There is a similar bilingual requirement in Canada for English and French language.

"It's all too common that things are not just badly translated, but are put together by …

Halloween's Ebenezer Scrooge: Shirley Nagel of Gross Pointe Farms, Michigan

If Halloween has an Ebenezer Scrooge, Shirley Nagel of Gross Pointe Farms, Michigan is it.

According to a recent AP story, Nagel denied candy to trick-or-treaters if they were Barack Obama supporters. She allegedly had a sign outside her house that said "No handouts for Obama supporters, liars, tricksters or kids of supporters."

When Detroit TV station WJBK asked her about her small children who were turned away empty-handed and crying, she said, "Oh well. Everybody has a choice." (Special thanks to fellow humor writer Amanda at ZupHo.com for the link.)

Look, I may not like a particular political candidate, but I surely would never discriminate against his or her supporters. And I certainly wouldn't make little kids cry about it. Nothing says "compassionate conservatism" quite like making little kids cry.

Nagel may have had an influence on undecided voters in this election. Only she may have just gotten people to vote for the other guy.

So when neighborho…