Showing posts from August, 2010

McStupid Lawsuit By McDonald's McLawyers

McStupid Lawsuit By McDonald's McLawyersErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

It's understandable: if you own a company, you don't want people to confuse you with another company that sells a similar product with a similar name.

If you're Starbucks Coffee, you don't want someone calling theirs "Starbux." If you're Nike, you don't want another shoe company called "Nikey." And if you're Ford, you're going to have a problem with someone calling their car company "Fjord."

But if you're McDonald's, you're pushing it if you think people will be confused by someone sticking "Mc" in front of the name of their restaurant. Especially if the restaurant doesn't even serve hamburgers.

According to a story in The (London) Guardian, that's what McDonald's has done to a little restaurant on the Italian island of Sardinia. The all-beef bullies are threatening the tiny, family-owned restaurant w…

A Day at the Museum

A Day at the MuseumErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

"Okay, remember kids, this is a museum filled with very expensive items. You absolutely may not touch anything."

"The guards will arrest you and put you to work cleaning the toilets for a month."

"What? I'm just trying to keep them from touching any of the artwork."

"No, they know I'm kidding."

"Yes, I was really kidding, you guys. You knew that."

"Then tell Mommy you knew I was kidding."

"These are called Impressionist paintings, Buddy."

"No, not like Bill Hader. He's a comedian."

"No, he does impressions, he's not an Impressionist."

"Yes, Sweetie, I know that's what you call people who do impressions. But some words can have more than one meaning."

"It means a painting that sort of looks like the thing it represents. It doesn't look quite like it, and could never be mistaken for the thing it's …

Woman Thrown Out of Starbucks Because She Wouldn't Use Their Terminology

I knew Starbucks was a band of corporate drones bent on world domination, but to get the police involved because someone won't use their teminology?

A woman was thrown out of a New York Starbucks by police because she wouldn't use the Starbucks termninology when ordering a bagel.

According to the NY blog, the Gothamist, Lynne Rosenthal, a college professor, was nearly arrested after she took a noble stand against the corporate tyranny that is Starbucks. I've always refused to order a "grande" anything, preferring instead to ask for the more commonly known "medium."

But Rosenthal trumped my civil disobedience by making a stand over a bagel! (Good on ya, Lynne!)

The barista asked if she wanted butter or cheese, and Lynne said calmly yelled, "I want my multigrain bagel!"

The barista, incredibly, said she wasn't going to get anything, unless she said, "without butter or cheese."

Lynne told the New York Post, "Linguistically, it's …

Engaged? Engaged in What?

Engaged? Engaged in What?Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

A friend of mine told me today was his 22nd anniversary — five years longer than I've been married. It got me to thinking about when my wife and I got engaged. When we did it, it was a complete surprise.

I'd like to say it was one of those big romantic surprise engagement stories that people tell, like I proposed at a baseball game, or stuck the engagement ring in a bowl of ice cream, or even hired a Haiku skywriter to spell my message out to her.

"To my Beloved/Would you please become my wife?/Burma Shave."

But it wasn't that kind of surprise. We actually surprised everyone else.

We met in graduate school at Ball State University, and had been hanging around "as friends" for a few months. In fact, we were so good at appearing "as friends," that no one knew we had been dating since the middle of August. So good, in fact, that she didn't even realize it until September.


Amazon to Block

I received an email at the end of the day yesterday from Stephanie Mantello, Senior PR Manager, Kindle for Amazon, in response to my previous post, Amazon Kindle Game "Every Word" Uses N-Word:

Just wanted to let you know we’ve done the following…

We have made the following post in our Kindle forum:

We have stopped distributing the game Every Word because it has been brought to our attention that the dictionary it uses does not block some inappropriate words. Once fixed, we will make the game available for download. We will also make available an updated version to customers who have already downloaded the earlier version.

It's nice to see that they're so responsive. Still, it would have been nicer if someone had asked the question, "do we know if it will block all the inappropriate words?"

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Amazon Kindle Game "Every Word" Uses N-Word

A lot of Kindle owners were very excited when Amazon Digital Services released two new Kindle games, Every Word and Shuffled Row. I downloaded them both a few days ago, and have been playing Every Word for a few days. The object is to take a 7-letter word and create as many words as possible from it.

I just didn't know the N-word was one of those words.

I was playing last night, and had nearly completed a board. The main word was GASPING, and I was missing one 6-letter word. Not wanting to leave an incomplete board before I moved to the next level, I logged on to an online Scrabble anagram generator to see if I could find it.

The generator gave me three choices: agings, gaping, paging. The game accepted gaping and paging, but had a word in between that I just wasn't getting.

Three different Scrabble generators gave me the same three words, so I decided to give up and see what the word was. I hit the button, and Easy Word filled in the missing word:

Did they just use the N-word in a…

The Impossibility of Cleanliness

The Impossibility of CleanlinessErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

Erik is out of the office this week, so we fired up the Wayback Machine, and are reprinting this column from 1997, with a few changes that 13 years of experience will reveal.

As I get older, I'm more concerned with cleanliness and neatness. (Not the rest of the house, mind you. That's still a free-for-all.)

No, I don't mean personal hygiene. My personal hygiene habits are beyond reproach, no matter what you may have heard about me or my feet. I mean, I'm more concerned with how neat and tidy my office is.

I'll admit this isn't major news, but if you saw my room when I was a boy, you'd realize what an earth-shattering change this is. You'd also know most guys feel silly saying the word "tidy," so you'll realize the sacrifice I'm making.

When I was a kid, I was a major, Class-A Number One slob. I thought neatness was for prudes with nothing better to do. (I hav…

IndyCar and Helio Castroneves Prove That Fame and Popularity Help You Avoid Punishment

I just saw that IndyCar hero Helio Castroneves was fined $60,000 — or as Helio calls it, "money I found in my couch" — and placed him on probation for his outburst at the Edmonton Indy race on July 25th.

Helio was black flagged for blocking his Penske teammate, Will Power, but instead of taking the drive through pit penalty, he was docked 20 seconds, which dropped him to 10th. The call resulted in, what Bill Zahren over at called, "Helio losing his shit." That's when Helio grabbed two different IndyCar officials by the collar, shook them, and shouted at them.

I understand his outburst, although I think there are rules about physical contact that just need to be honored. But Randy Bernard, CEO of IndyCar said something that rather disturbed me.

"This is a very serious matter and we weighed all options, including suspension. But we felt suspension would hurt the fans more than anyone else. Fans have paid their hard-earned money to watch the best dr…

Phone It In Sunday: Sassy Gay Friend: The Giving Tree

This is the final Sassy Gay Friend from Second City. Hopefully they'll be back with some more episodes, since these are freakin' awesome. Maybe a Sassy Gay Friend: You've Got Mail.

(I never read To Kill a Mockingbird, so I had to read about it on Wikipedia.)

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