Showing posts from January, 2010

Phone It In Sunday: Will Ferrell's "The Landlord"

Will Ferrell has some of the craziest ideas. If I had done something like this, I would totally have to do it without my wife knowing.

The Landlord from Will Ferrell

After you watch the video, make sure you watch the outtakes. It shows why kids are notoriously hard to work with. The landlord in question is his daughter, Pearl. But I was surprised to see Pearl's mom was in on the show.

The Landlord Out Takes from Will Ferrell

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A One-Sided Conversation With My Daughter

A One-Sided Conversation With My DaughterErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

"Daddy, are you awake?"


"I said, are you awake?"

"I want to watch TV."

"I don't want to watch football."

"You weren't watching it, you were asleep."

"But people don't snore when they rest their eyes."

"How does meditation make you make that noise?"

"Nuh-uh. I don't believe you."

"I'll ask Mommy."

"No, she's — oh, I guess she's meditating too."

"Why can't I watch my show?"

"You can watch football later."

"But my show is on now."

"Yes, twice."

"Well, the DVD is somewhere. We were playing with it."

"No, we were really careful."


"But why?"

"But why are you saying so?"

"We didn't scratch it. We didn't even take it out of the case. We were stacking them all up and …

Phone It In Sunday: Lisa Nova Does "Twilight"

The great thing about YouTube is that people like Lisa Nova can unleash her creativity on the entire world, and we all get to see it. I love her takeoff of Twilight. I've seen enough of those friggin' spoofs people have done, I'm glad I finally got to see a good one.

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4 Dollar Footlong on "Up Next InSports"

I just made this at the Up Next In Sports blog, which is part of the I Can Has Cheezburger/LOLCats family.

You can actually help my photo make it on to the Up Next In Sports front page by voting for me. Stop by the actual photo, vote for it, and tell your friends.

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Review of Richard III at the Indianapolis Fringe Theatre

Review of Richard III at the Indianapolis Fringe Theatre

I'm never sure of what to expect at the Indy Fringe Theatre. It's always something fun, but thought-provoking. This time, it was William Shakespeare's Richard III, as produced and adapted by Tristan Ross.

Ross said his version of the play is "non-tights-and-doublet-epic Shakespeare; this should get back to base Shakespeare with ink under his fingernails. I want to see people connecting on stage. I want the violence ultra-violent."

The story of Richard III is a well-known one. The brother of King Edward IV, Richard decides he wants to rule, and systematically dispatches everyone who stands in his way: Edward, Clarence, Edward's two sons, and six of the other characters.

This was a more challenging play for the troupe, since all of the actors, except for Ross, played two roles. He played only Richard.

To make the play more "Fringey," the play was done in modern dress and with modern weapons, but with…

Deckers Family, Inc. Annual Report for 2010

Deckers Family, Inc. Annual Report for 2010Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

To: All members of Deckers Family, Inc.
From: President Daddy
RE: Yearly Evaluation Report

Dear Employees of DFI:

It's been a year since my last report, so in keeping with our corporate by-laws, I want to evaluate our progress over the last 12 months.

First, I am pleased to report that DFI has finally moved to its permanent headquarters. I appreciate your understanding and flexibility, since this is now our fourth HQ since arriving here four years ago. However, this one is permanent, and we have no plans of moving.

This is also an important move for all of us, because this is the first time that any of the junior staff have each had their own workspace. Previously, the Senior Manager and Assistant Manager of Daughter Operations (SMDO, AMDO) were required to share space. In fact, this has been the case since the Coordinator of Son Operations (CSO) joined us six years ago. So I'm pleased to se…

Facing a Tough Choice On the Comedy Crossroads

I'm changing this blog. I can't go on the way I have been.

I've been writing humor of one sort or another for 16 years. In fact, I can't write anything else. Can't write drama, can't write romance, can't write science fiction. I do humor. That's it.
I've been a newspaper humor columnist since 1994. Haven't missed a deadline yet.
I've been blogging since 1999, before it was even called blogging, and we did our coding by hand, like real men.
I've written 7 or 8 audio theater plays which were all produced (honest to God, I lost count), and 5 of which will be produced by Decoder Ring Theatre in Canada next year.
I've written three stage plays (I won Best Comedy at the 2005 IT Works conference for my play, Cabin Fever U), and recently started a fourth.
In 2007, I received an art grant from the state of Indiana to write a humor novel, which I completed last October.
I've written a number of comedy sketches, some of which were even produced by…

Ancient Greeks Don't Know Squat About Sex Education

My daughter nearly gave me a heart attack last week.

We were sitting around the dinner table, and my wife gave me an orange.

"Do you remember what these are called?" she asked. "We get them every year around this time."

I was stumped. "Uhh, oranges."

"No, they're not quite oranges. They start with a T."

"Trains!" says my 7-year-old son.

"Tangerines," offers my 9-year-old daughter.

"Trojans?" says my 13-year-old daughter.

My daughter realized she might have said the same thing when she saw the horrified look on my wife's and my faces.

"Where did you learn about those?" I choked out, trying to ignore the shooting pain down my left arm.

"In history class. They fought in the Trojan War, had the big wooden horse."

My wife and I heaved a sigh of relief.

"Why, what are they?"

"We'll tell you later," we promised.

Much later.

(The answer we were looking for was "tangelos." We wo…

Phone It In Sunday: Cop Assaults Affirmation Girl

Affirmation Girl is back again and this time she's taking on the police. She's giving polite society the bird. She's sticking it to The Man. She's. . . she's. . . she's a freakin' mess.

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The Dangers of Writer's Block

Bet you didn't know writer's block could kill a guy.

Neither did one writer at Tuesday's Jabberwocky event.

I was attending the joint event at the Indy Fringe Theatre, hosted by the Storytelling Arts of Indiana. The theme of the night was "Writer's Block," and the premise was that different writers from Indianapolis would stand up and tell their experiences with writer's block and how they overcame it, or didn't.

Shari Scales Fennell, editor-in-chief of Indianapolis Woman, Dennis Ryerson, editor of the Indianapolis Star, Lou Harry, arts reporter for the Indianapolis Business Journal all spoke about their experiences with writer's block.

For Shari, her own experience led her away from and then back into journalism, taking her down the editorial path. Dennis was at the Iowa Writer's Workshop when he witnessed a woman break her 8-year dry spell and write one of the most beautiful essays he had ever heard. But Lou had never had an experience with writ…

Because I Said So, That's Why

Because I Said So, That's WhyErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

Erik is out of the office this week, so we are reprinting a column from 2002.

"Okay, Honey, it's time for bed."

"Because you're six years old, and it's 9:30. It's already past your bedtime."

"I know you don't feel tired. But you should have been in bed 30 minutes ago."

"Yes, I know you want to play with your new Barbie doll. But she looks a little tired. And so do you. So get moving."

"OW! Sorry, I stepped on one of Barbie's shoes. You need to clean this up tomo—Honey, why doesn't Barbie have any clothes on?"

"No, it's not funny to take Barbie's clothes off. Where's your Ken doll?"

"You didn't take his clothes off, did you?"

"Good. Why don't you keep him in Barbie's Dream House tonight."

"No, you don't have to put naked Barbie in there with him."

"Uhh, just because…

British Model Told Protecting Her Family With a Knife is Illegal

British celebrity model Myleene Klass (yeah, I didn't know who she was either) was in her kitchen after midnight on Friday when she spotted a couple people looking in her window. With her daughter upstairs, and her fiance away on business, she did the first thing that came to mind: she grabbed a knife and banged on the windows.

Which, according to the Hertfordshire Police, is illegal.

The two teens — the British press said the peepers were teens, although they were never caught — ran off, and Klass called the police.

The Hertfordshire police told Klass that even in her own home, brandishing a knife is illegal, because it's an offensive weapon.

"I totally respect British law - but surely everyone has the right to self defence in their own home if they are in danger?" Klass said in a statement. "However, I was left shocked and surprised to be told that a private individual in the privacy of their own home runs the risk of committing a criminal offence if, out of fear …

Phone It In Sunday: Blanket!

I thought the WTF Blanket was funny, but this is actually funnier. And I don't think the Snuggie people can or should complain about how Dustin McLean made the Snuggie sound stupid. They made blanket owners everywhere look like mouth-breathing morons. And I would have done something about it too, if I could have just gotten my hands out from under my blanket.

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TV Weather People Create Fear Mongering

TV Weather People Create Fear MongeringErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

The TV weather people are turning us into sissies. They're doing everything they can to force us all into our homes, where we'll be found dead after the Spring thaw, huddled together in frozen masses.

Don't believe me? Watch your morning news next week and see how dramatic the weather reporters sound, especially when there's anything heavier than a snow flurry. They'll stand on the city streets in the "dangerous cold" (10 degrees), telling people why they should stay inside. We used to go out and play in 10 degree weather. It was double digit temperatures, so we were okay. Now, they're telling people how to avoid frostbite during the short walk from the parking lot to the office.

Just three weeks ago, my oldest daughter and I were watching the morning news on our local FOX affiliate, as I was getting ready to take her to school. All the news casters were using their…

A Mystery Pizza Thank You

Earlier today, someone sent me a pizza in response to this morning's post about E.J. Montini being sent anchovy pizzas by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona. Here's my appreciative response.

Many thanks to whoever sent it.

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Arapaio, AZ Sheriff Delivers Anchovie Pizza to Newspaper Columnist for Negative Story

Arizona Republic newspaper columnist E.J. Montini wasn't too surprised when he returned to his office on Wednesday and found an anchovy pizza ordered and paid for by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, AZ, with a note attached to it.

The note said:
Dear E.J.,

Thanks for another negative story about me. (“Criticism that Arpaio, Thomas can’t shake” Jan. 5, 2010 Arizona Republic) As it is my tradition, I hope you enjoy the pizza (with anchovies). Have a Happy and Prosperous 2010!


Joseph M. Arpaio, Sheriff
Apparently this is an ongoing thing. Montini writes a negative column about Arapaio, who is accused of abusing his power, the FBI is taking a personal interest in the self-proclaimed "America's toughest sheriff." In return, the sheriff sends him anchovy pizzas to thank him for negative columns. Montini doesn't like anchovies, so I guess this is Arpaio's way of yanking Montini's chain.

I happen to like anchovies, so I don't see what the big fuss …

Wayback Wednesday: I'll Have What She's Having

I'll Have What She's HavingErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2003

Every Wednesday, I republish old columns from years past. I've got 16 years of the things sitting in the garage, so they might as well serve some other purpose. This is one originally published in 1999.

I've sometimes considered being a restaurant critic, but I'm worried about the restaurant that delivers shish kebabs William Tell style, so I've held off. Unfortunately most restaurants sell the same items with no great variety, which means the reviews would all end up being the same.

The typical restaurant, assuming it's not a four-star gourmet restaurant, serves some sort of hamburger. They also have chicken, vegetables, and salads. There's no major difference in taste or quality. The biggest difference is the name of the food, which varies wildly from restaurant to restaurant.

Since the hamburger is usually a restaurant's flagship sandwich, it's named after the restauran…

Scottish Man Forced to Choose Between His Wife and an Orc

One British man was lucky enough to escape from his parents' home and marry a real live girl.

But he nearly lost her over a 6 foot model of an orc.

According to a story in The Scottish Sun, Robert Cushnie had a giant model of an Orc in his home for nearly six years, but his Canadian wife, Dee, said that he had to choose between the grumpy, bloodthirsty monster, or the orc.

He gave up the orc.

"I've had him for six years but Dee means more to me, so he had to go," Cushnie told the Sun.

Robert has actually known the orc longer, having bought it from a toy shop in Falkirk. But he married Dee last February, and the pair are moving to Canada in a few weeks. Plus there are concerns the orc would not have passed quarantine laws.

Dee said, "I just don't like it. I'm only 5ft 3in, so it towers over me, which is quite creepy."

Other computer geeks were heard to murmur, "aww, that's nice," before returning to their World of Warcraft games, and promisin…

LSSU's List of Banned Words for 2010

LSSU's List of Banned Words for 2010Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2009/2010

It's the end of the year, which means word nerds and writer-types around the country are rejoicing: the Lake Superior State University has released their 35th annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use, and General Uselessness.

The list was created by former LSSU PR director Bill Rabe and a few of his cronies in 1975 and released on January 1, 1976. Back then, words like "meaningful," "macho," and "detente" felt Rabe's wrath. This year was culled from tens of thousands of submissions from all around the world, and released in time for this column.

In the past, the list has usually been released on the first day of the new year. This is the first year I can recall it being "shovel-ready" on December 31st. In other words, the list was completed and ready for implementation.

The problem is "shovel-ready"…