Showing posts from March, 2009

I'm Not Just Famous, I'm "On the Side of a British Bus" Famous

Hey, if it says it on the side of a British bus, it must be true.

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High School Principal Rewrites School Song Because it's "Sexist"

Jeff Finstad, principal at Waupun High School in Waupun, Wis., had his school's fight song rewritten because he thought the word "fellow" was sexist.

Finstad changed the words after he realized the offending, sexist, female-oppressing term was in the song. Only after getting all students to pass the No Child Left Behind tests and passing all classes, and solving the school's funding issues, teen pregnancy, and dropout rate, of course.

He made the discovery after some of his students wanted to paint the words to the son on the gym wall, which included "Fight fellows, fight, fight, fight." So he nixed the plan until a student, junior Bridget Nickel, came up with a less offensive version that used gender-neutral terms, like "OMG" and "w00t."

So if he's so uptight about the word "fellow" (which makes me wonder what he feels about the word "fellowship" or if he'll throw a hissy if his students ever become "doctor…

Phone It In Sunday: The Twitter Police

Are you on Twitter? Are you tired of people telling you that they just took the dog out, or that they had a salad for lunch? Or that they love their Cheetos?

Or worse, are you doing that yourself? Watch out, or the Twitter police may be busting down your door.

By the way, if you are on Twitter, you can follow me at

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Mass. City Cancels Ice Cream Fundraiser Because It's Not Healthy

From the "We Just Don't Get It" files:

Peabody, Mass. High School is canceling the students' ice cream social fundraiser, because the school district doesn't understand that people can just buy this stuff at the store. Or that there are stores that specialize in selling ice cream.

Students have a monthly ice cream social as a way to raise funds for school clubs, the student newspaper, sports teams, and local charities. They raise about $400 each month, but they'll have to find another way, since the dunderheaded administrators (who probably eat ice cream at home) have canceled the best possible, safest, most wholesome fundraising event a bunch of high school kids can put on month after month?

The school district says the school is in violation of state and federal wellness guidelines that apparently say ice cream should never, ever be eaten by children under any circumstances, whatsoever.

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Toboggan Trip Diary Reveals Fun, Hallucinations

Toboggan Trip Diary Reveals Fun, HallucinationsErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2009

Several weeks ago, my family and I had the chance go with some friends and their kids to the Pokagon State Park Toboggan Run. This quarter-mile artificial hill looks like a bobsled run, but it's a straight-downhill run. This is a mini-diary of my day, and the five trips up and down the slope.

Trip #1 - We rented three sleds and dragged them 50 yards from the toboggan rental up to the run. Well, the others did. I hoisted mine by the rope and carried it. They're only 60 pounds or so. Not that heavy. The rental place were out of the 30 pound toboggans, but that's okay. They're not that heavy.

I can't understand why the kids are so lazy. Maybe this will be good for our kids. Show them what real work is like, and that a trip down the hill can be rewarding after a good, brisk walk up the quarter-mile hill.

Some people are actually getting their cars and driving down to the parki…

Window Guy Busted for, uh, Busting Windows?

I know the economy is bad, but if you're in the repair business, you don't go breaking things in order to create more business for yourself, because you're going to get caught.

That's what happened to Andrew Krogh, owner of AA Glass and Mirror, in Sacramento, Calif.

He was caught after a stakeout at a martial arts school that had been suffering broken windows for months. Students of the Cassio Werneck Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school were hiding in the area when the caught Krogh in the act. They held Krogh and alerted a sheriff's deputy, who is also a student at the school.

Krogh was found with a slingshot and ball bearings in his possession.

The school's landlord had spent at least $12,000 with Krogh over the last six months to fix 13 broken windows. Another of Krogh's clients said he had replaced three of her windows and doors earlier this year, after they had all been shot out or shattered.

According to a story on KXTV's News10 website, Krogh is being charged w…

PETA Wants to Open Chicken Empathy Museum in Louisiana

PETA's getting themselves in the news again for more of their stupidity (or is that stu-peta-ty?)

Down in Farmerville, Louisiana, the old Pilgrim's Pride chicken processing plant is closing down, and Governor Bobby Jindal wanted to spend $20 million to help another company buy it.

So PETA said, "Ooh, ooh! We know. How about a 'Chicken Empathy museum?'"

Needless to say, Governor Jindal thought the idea was as dumb as a bag of Alabamans, and said no.

According to John Kelso's column in the American Statesman, PETA's plan would have included a kids' play area that looked like a chicken cage that showed the cramped living conditions are for chickens. (Never mind that chickens that are processed in processing plants aren't raised in cages. They're raised in open poultry buildings.)

Ashley Byrne, campaign coordinator for PETA, told Kelso that the museum would have an educational display highlighting facts about chickens.

"They're intelligent …

Australian Netball Assoc. Bans Oranges. World says: What the Hell is Netball?

Britain has been earning a reputation as the nanny state because its various groups and companies have banned stupid stuff for lame reasons. But Australia is nipping at their heels after Netball Queensland banned oranges at games because it could possibly damage children's teeth.

According to a story in the Brisbane Courier-Mail, this seeminlgy out-of-hand decision has gotten Netball Queensland into a little hot water with the country's citrus growers, which affects 82 different netball associations around the Australian province. The nannies staff are concerned about high levels of oranges and the potential damage it could do.

Never mind the players could get the oranges at home.

"Most of our associations have banned oranges at half-time or are discouraging coaches from offering oranges," an unidentified Netball Queensland spokeswoman told the Courier-Mail.

But the Queensland Citrus Growers is up in arms. They were about to launch a campaign that promoted fruit at sport…

Arizona state senator Linda Gray Insults Student via Email

Arizona state senator Linda Gray really put her foot in it when she emailed a high-school freshman about her poor writing skills, and said the girl would have trouble passing the AIMS language test and is a poor learner.

According to a story on, Gray received an error-filled email from an unnamed girl at Sunnyslope High School in the Phoenix area.

The student wanted to know why lawmakers cut the state's education budget, but not any of their own. The story said it was "an unbroken string of sentences with no punctuation.

So Gray, helping to underscore why they should have raised the education budget rather than cut it, wrote to the student: "I have grave concerns on your ability to pass the AIMS language test," she wrote.

"Why didn't you take to (sic) time to write an e-mail with the proper punctuation? By your poorly written e-mail, your example tells me that all the money we have spent on your education shows a lack of learning on your part.&quo…

Phone It In Sunday: Dutch Insurance Commercial

Since my family is from Holland, I have a special place in my heart for Dutch television. When I would visit my grandmother in Den Haag (The Hague), we could always watch American television shows without the commercials, because they always appeared at the end. Most of Europe requires TV and radio license fees, which eliminates the need for commercials -- think PBS but with regular commercials, not "underwriting messages" -- which means they only play them at the end of shows for about 10 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to do something else.

One thing I always love about Dutch commercials is that you don't need to understand the language to understand the message. This is a commercial for a Dutch insurance company.

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That Family That's Arrested Together Stays Together

It had to be a banner day at the Hartford (Connecticut) Police Department. They arrested two people for shoplifting and got two more in the bargain.

According to a story in the Hartford Courant (official motto: we taste great on buns), Elizabeth Russell, 45, and her 13-year-old daughter were arrested for shoplifting. Elizabeth and her daughter were caught stealing clothes and jewelry at Kohl's Department Store in Hartford.

So, like a good husband, Daryll (yes, that's how they spelled it) Russell showed up at the police station to bail the two out, and was promptly arrested for violating the conditions of his probation for burglary and larceny in Cheshire, Conn.

Then, like a good son, Jonathan Russell showed up at the police station to bail the three out, and was promptly arrested for violating the conditions of his probation for larceny and motor vehicle case in Southington, Conn.

"I don't ever recall having four related people in lockup at the same time," Lt. Brian …

You've Got Something on Your Face

I made this at LOL News, part of the I Can Has Cheezburger site.

moar funny pictures

Some things don't need an explanation. . .

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Toronto's Tempest in a Coffee Cup

Toronto's Tempest in a Coffee CupErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2009

How many people does it take to figure out how to dispose of paper cups?

If you're the city of Toronto, it takes six months for 40 people divided into five sub-committees to thoroughly examine the issue, followed by $50,000 worth of consultants' reports.

Consultant REPORTS? I could do it in two words.

"Recycle them."

Cost per word? $25,000. Oh sure, I can expand that to "You should recycle the cups" to increase the value of the report ($10,000 per word), but the net result is the same.

To be fair, Toronto is dealing with 350 million cups, but still 40 people divided into FIVE sub-committees? $50,000 of consulting reports?! I could get rid of that many cups by myself for $50,000, and it would take me ten minutes.

"Dear Montreal, Have I got a deal for you!"

In Toronto's defense, this is actually part of a larger problem they're dealing with. According to a story …

Casino Reneges on "Winning" Slot Machine. Claims Malfunction

Pawel Kusznirewicz, Wasaga Beach, Ontario, is suing the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation for $45 million. Not because he lost. Because he won.

Kusznirewicz had played at the Innisfil casino with his wife on December 8, sinking about $60 on a slot machine called the Buccaneer. He made his last pull when the lights started flashing and sirens started wailing.

The video screen showed that he won $42.9 million. The casino management said he didn't. They said the machine had malfunctioned and said they weren't going to pay him one dime.

But to make up for the devastating loss of nearly $43 million, the manager gave him her business card for two free dinners in the casino restaurant. But then she realized that seemed pretty stingy, so she upped it to four free dinners.

Yeah, four dinners. That's just as good. Besides, they must be good meals, since each dinner is worth $10.725 million. ($2 million drinks not included.)

Needless to say, Kusznirewicz was extremely upset (maybe if…

Since When Did Basketball Referees Get to Arrest People?

One of my big frustrations at the fairness of the universe is when stupid people get away with their stupidity, and don't have to face the consequences.

Of course, sometimes justice is served on a high school gymnasium floor.

Patrick Rempala, a 64-year-old Northwest Indiana man, threw a hissy fit at a high school basketball game, and got belligerent with referee Glen Fifeld. Rempala got into Fifield's face, and yelled "you suck!" He bumped Fifeld, pushed him when Fifeld tried to walk away, and then grabbed Fifeld's whistle lanyard and tried to choke him.

That's when things got interesting. Fifeld told Rempala he was under arrest for battery.

Because, you see, Fifeld is an Indiana state trooper. And if there's one thing you don't mess with in Indiana, it's a state trooper.

"You can't arrest me, you're a referee!" Rempala shrieked at Fifield.

Au contraire, my d-baggy friend. Refereein' is just his hobby; arresting jerkwads is his day…

200-Year Dead People Have Privacy Too?

Amateur genealogist David Shannon of Lexington, KY has a passion for old gravestones. The gravestones at the Old Union Christian Church Cemetery to be exact.

According to a story in the Lexington Herald-Leader, Shannon has been collecting the names, birth dates, and death dates on the tombstones, which date back to the early 1800s. Several of his relatives are there, so he has a familial interest in his new hobby.

And, since other people have ancestors buried there, he started collecting their information as well, even creating a website at, posting the information of the 475 burials and a photograph of each stone.

"Once I got into it, I figured other people trying to find ancestors would find information in the cemetery helpful," he told the Herald-Leader.

However, the Old Union church board told Shannon he had to take the information down. They sent him a letter demanding he "cease publishing pictures of stones ... not part of your family because it i…

450-year Dead German Mathematician Gets Bill from Math-Stupid Government

Adam Ries, a German mathematician received a letter that required he pay his long-overdue television and radio license fees. (European countries require license fees for all TVs and radios, which pays for commercial-free stations.)

Problem was he's been dead for 450 years. I can't imagine what his license fee will be, but since TV has been around since the 1940s, I can imagine it won't be cheap.

According to a Reuters story, the broadcast fee collection office sent the bill to the last address they had on record for Ries, who bought the house in 1525. Four hundred years later, the house was turned into a math club, named in his honor.

"We received a letter saying 'To Mr Adam Ries' on it, with the request to pay his television and radio fees," club manager Annegret Muench told Reuters.

So Muench returned the letter to the collections office with a note that said Ries had died in 1559. But in typical German efficiency, the office sent a reminder to the dead alg…

Phone It In Sunday: Mother of All Funk Chords video

This is a video, found at, made by editing genius Kutiman, who spliced and cuttogether all these different YouTube videos. It sounds like something you'd hear in a 1970s police movie or in a Quentin Tarantino flick.

This may possibly be way cooler than the Playing for Change: Stand By Me and Enter the Sandman on kazoo videos I posted a few months ago.

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Christian Science Monitor Proposes Socialism

Apparently the Christian Science Monitor has gone socialist. Writing in a recent issue of the CSM, paid writer Jonathan Zimmerman believes university professors should write for newspapers.

For free.

Zimmerman, who teaches history and education at New York University – for money, presumably – says university professors used to write for their city's newspapers 100 years ago without getting any payment. So he sees nothing wrong with them doing it now.

Most professors, says Zimmerman, aren't paid for what they write now. Academic journals don't pay anything, and they only reach a few hundred people in their field. Newspapers, on the other hand, reach thousands of people, and the professors could do the writing so they could reach lots and lots of people.

(This seems to forget that professors write for academic journals as part of their job responsibility. They're not really doing it for free. They're already getting paid for it.)

This is the same dorm-room logic the musi…

Wine vs. Beer: Spitting Is For Sissies

Wine vs. Beer: Spitting Is For SissiesErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2009

Erik is out of the office this week, so we are reprinting a column from 2004.

Spring is in the air, and a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of love. And that's fine for young men, but when you hit your 40s, your fancy turns to thoughts of beer.

At least mine do. There's just something about Spring that draws me outside, like a moth to a flame. But not just any flame. A flame with a comfortable camp chair and a cold beer where I can sit and watch the kids play in the yard.

And not just any beer either. I have a few important rules about the kind of beer I drink. I don't drink beer that has the words "Lite" or "Dry" in the name. I don't drink beer that advertises on the side of a race car. And I certainly do not drink beer whose name is preceded by "Hey, Billy Ray, can you throw me another. . ."

I enjoy good beer, but I'm very particular about what …

Senator David Vitter (R-LA) Goes Ballistic at Dulles Airport

Senator David Vitter (R-LA) either had amnesia or a case of the grumpies last week at Washington Dulles Airport, when he showed up 20 minutes late to catch his flight back to New Orleans.

Upon finding the gate closed, Vitter opened the door and set off a security alarm. An airline worker warned him that he wasn't allowed to enter the gate after it had been closed.

According to a Heard On the Hill story in Roll Call, Vitter unloaded on the airline worker with a "do you know who I am?!" rant that got pretty loud.

You've got to love politicians who puff up their chest with self-importance and believe their position gives them special privileges and exemption from the laws they've sworn to uphold (and in some cases, helped to pass).

"Sure, I know you," the employee should have said. "You're Senator David Vitter. The same Senator David Vitter whose phone number appeared on the D.C Madam's prostitution phone list. You're the same Senator David Vi…

Florida Fish Tank Attack? At Least It's Not Hamburgers

You'd never think of attacking a friend with a fish tank and a beer bottle over $3, would you?

Of course not, that would be stupid. Which may explain why Daniel Winter, 26, of Florida attacked his friend, Shaun Nater, 30, with both implements.

According to a story on, Winter had spent a quiet Monday evening at a strip club called Calendar Girls. A few minutes before midnight, Ashley Decicco, 18, and her boyfriend, Nater, picked him up and they ate a pleasant dinner at Burger King before going home.

(By the way, did you notice the age difference between Decicco and Nater? I'm just sayin'.)

As they drove home, Decicco asked Winter for 3 bucks to help defray gas costs. Fair enough. If you pick up a friend at a strip club, it's perfectly acceptable to ask for a little help with gas costs.

Winter, still full from Burger King and still. . . entertained by the strip club, said he couldn't come up with $3, because his rent was due.

According to the Pasco County Sher…

Canadian Igloo Torn Down for Being a Fire Hazard

From the We Don't Understand Science files:

According to a story in the Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) Star-Phoenix, a Canadian property management company told Bruce Lunan to tear down a snow fort he had built in his apartment complex back yard because it posed a fire risk.

Lunan had checked with his power company, who told him there was no danger to have an igloo close to a power box. But the apartment management company told him no way

Bruce Lunan built a room from snow in the backyard of his apartment complex but was told it raised safety concerns.

The Canadian man even checked with his power company, who said it wasn't dangerous to have an igloo close to a power box.

But he was forced to relent two weeks later and pull down the structure, which had become a hit with local children.

According to the CKOM NewsTalk 650 AM website, Lunan has now been asked to move out of the condo he was renting.

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Food Related Assault Epidemic Reaches Illinois, Man Throws Defective McGriddle at McD's Employee

The food-related attacks have finally left Florida and have hit Illinois. Peoria, to be exact.

This past Saturday, an unidentified man became violent and assaulted a McDonald's employee when his McGriddle sandwich didn't have an egg in it.

At 5:20 am, the man became irate when the sandwich didn't have the egg, so the woman in the window said she would correct the problem. However, he got angry when the driver behind him began honking at him to move.

That's when he threw the sandwich, and drove off like an immature coward with anger issues.

This attack comes just a few months after four different food-related attacks in Florida.

Past Florida food attack articles:

Two More Food Attacks in Florida
Third Sandwich Attack in Florida
Assault with a Burger, Food Related Assaults on the Rise

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Robby Slaughter Totally Looks Like. . .

Special Sunday-only post:

I like the website, brought to us by the good folks at

For the last several months that I've known my friend Robby Slaughter at Slaughter Development, I've thought he looks like someone else. And then it hit me:

Robby Slaughter totally looks like. . . Oscar Wilde!

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Font Conference Video from

Another video for Phone It In Sunday (I've decided I'm only going to video posts on Sunday, since no one ever really shows up).

This is one of my favorite College Humor videos ever. As a font semi-geek, it cracks me up. I love this kind of esoteric humor.

Watch Font Conference on CollegeHumor

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West Virginia Wants to Ban Barbie

Having solved the rampant unemployment, mortgage foreclosures, and other social ills that plague West-By-God-Virginia, state delegate Jeff Eldridge wants to ban Barbies on her 50th birthday.

This past Tuesday, Eldridge proposed a bill that would ban all sales of the 50-year-old doll in the state.

Eldridge says the toys place too much emphasis on physical beauty in the minds of young girls, which lessens the importance of intellectual and emotional development.

I see, so it's Barbie's fault, and NOT the poor school system, the celebrity-obsessed entertainment industry, crappy TV programming, and uninvolved parents that causes a girl to focus on physical beauty instead of school and friendships?

According to WSAZ NewsChannel 3, Eldridge knows the bill will get shot down, but says he introduced it because he wanted to get the conversation started about brains before beauty.

I'll let you make your own jokes about West Virginian politicians and brains. My cup overfloweth at the poss…

British Earl Ordered to Take Out the Trash

British Earl Ordered to Take Out the TrashErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2009

When I lived in Indianapolis, every few days I would often find a couple pieces of trash pitched in my yard by passing motorists. I cleaned them up, and would silently curse the mouth-breathing jerkwads who treated the city streets as their own private trash can. (I also have a few choice words for people who pitch their still-lit cigarette butts out their car window, but that's for another, less family-friendly column.)

I often wished I could find whoever dropped the offending garbage, so I could mail it back to them. Postage due, of course.

But that's nothing compared to what the Earl of Iveagh, Arthur Edward Rory Guinness (yes, THAT Guinness), found on his property in Suffolk, England almost a decade ago: 1 million tires and 1,000 tons of shredded rubber.

The earl and his estate managers have spent all this time clearing away two-thirds of the tires, but now the local council is whining…

Real news poll question: Is it a Good Idea to Marry a Serial Killer

I don't know who's dumber, an Australian woman who wants to marry a serial killer, or the online newspaper editor who asked the poll question: "Is it a good idea to marry a serial killer?"

Is it a good idea? Hell no, it's a bad idea. It's possibly the. Dumbest. Idea. Ever.

According to AdelaideNow, Bianca Roberts of Adelaide, Australia will marry the Snowtown serial killer James Vlassakis on September 2, even though he's not eligible for parole until 2025.

It goes without saying that one should not ever associate with, befriend, get to know on a first name basis, or hang out with a serial killer, let alone marry the guy.

Or, you'd think it goes without saying. But apparently, the AdelaideNow newspaper thought it needed saying, so they ran the. Stupidest. Quiz. Ever. (see, it emphasizes how stupid it is if I break it up into three one-word sentences).

The choices?

Yes - love transcends all boundaries
No - his crimes were monstrous
Who are we to judge?

Seems obv…

I'm Not Just Famous, I'm MAPLE SYRUP Famous

I'll be a judge this Saturday, March 7th, at the National Maple Syrup Festival in Medora, Indiana.

Here's a description of the competition, from the Sweet Victory Bakeoff website:

Sweet Victory Bake Off
Two Divisions (Adult, Youth), Three Categories (Savory Main Dish, Dessert, Breakfast)

Recipe Submission Deadline: February 23,2009
Finalist Notification: February 26, 2009

Judging to be held at the National Maple Syrup Festival. Finalists do not have to be present to win. The festival is located at Burton’s Maplewood Farm, 8121 W. County Rd. 75 South in Medora, IN 47260

Tel: (812) 966-2168
Fax: (812) 966-0231

If you're heading down, be sure to stop by. And look for my writeup on an upcoming post on

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The Problems with Skype

I've been using Skype for nearly three years, even before we moved down to Indianapolis. It's a computer-based Voice Over I.P. phone system that lets you treat your computer like a phone. You purchase a phone number, a basic calling plan, and you're all set. The caller's voice comes from the speakers, and your internal mic picks up your voice.

So I've been on a number of phone calls on my laptop, using earbuds and a microphone to have a private conversation. And sometimes, if I don't use them, a not-so-private conversation.

I was sitting in the conference room at my employer's office yesterday when the phone on my computer rang. It was the vet's office, asking me about my dog, which my wife had brought in for some persistent diarrhea.

Since I was alone, I hit the button to answer the call.

"Hello?" I said.

The vet introduced himself, said my wife had brought our dog in that morning, and could he ask a few questions. No one was around, and I didn…

RyanAir Calls Bloggers Idiots and Lunatics; Bloggers Switch Flights to All Other Airlines

Irish low-budget/no-frills/crappy-service airline Ryanair called bloggers idiots and lunatics this past Wednesday after a customer pointed out some flaws in their website.

In a fit of patriotic support, Dubliner Jason Roe was booking plane tickets on his home country's airline, when he thought he found a glitch in the system that allowed him to book free tickets. So to be helpful to the Irish airline, he wrote about it on his blog, and posted a message to Twitter:

More Ryanair security issues
8:35 AM Feb 28th from TweetDeck

Not too surprisingly, other people tried to repeat what he had done, but without success. Roe later confirmed that he had made a mistake, and actually had to pay for the tickets to begin with.

However, after being made aware of the possible security glitch, Ryanair sent him a nice, polite thank you email, with two free tickets as their show of appreciation for alerting them to the problem.

Just kidding. You don't make the Laughing Stalk …

Bionic Man Finds Wrapper in his Candy Bar, Smashes Hershey's

A Tigard, Oregon man is making himself nuts, chomping at the bit to get sweet, velvety satisfaction against the Hershey company, and their apparent packaging shoddiness.

Steve Austin – not the Six Million Dollar Man – was watching TV one night at 2 am, recovering from surgery, and chowing down on a Hershey's bar.

According to the blog, Austin noticed, as he was swallowing a bite of his chocolate, that there was something chunky in it.

Notice, he found the chunky item in mid-swallow, not in mid-chew, or as he bit into it, but as. He. Was. Swallowing. It.

"I started choking, and I was up, all alone - my mom was asleep - so it was pretty scary," Austin told Oregon Live. He dislodged the tasty morsel and found a piece of the wrapper baked into the bar.

"I've got false teeth," said Austin. "Someone with real teeth probably could have chewed on through, but I couldn't get it down. And it shouldn't have been there in the first place. I choke… Optical Illusion Girlfriend Video

I was at a restaurant this weekend and my oldest daughter was fascinated by a kid's menu filled with optical illusions. I found this video and it cracked me up.

See more funny videos and funny pictures at CollegeHumor.

(Yeah, I'm phoning it in today, but it's freakin' Sunday, and my web traffic drops to 10% of my weekday traffic, so it's not like anyone's around to notice. Check back with me on Monday. But, hey if you're here on Sunday, I really appreciate you. Thanks a lot for stopping by.)

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