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Showing posts from December, 2010

Things That Go Bump Under The Bed

Things That Go Bump Under The BedErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2010, 2004

Erik is out on vacation this week, so we are reprinting one of his columns from 2004, mostly to see if we can scare the bejeezus out of him.

My oldest daughter is afraid of basement noises.

She told me this a few days ago when she raced upstairs from the basement after hearing a noise.

"I'm afraid somebody is in the house," she cried.

I assured her there wasn't, and we talked for several minutes about how there was nothing to be afraid of. She said she had watched a movie with my wife, and some bad guys were sneaking up on the heroes who were trying to solve a mystery. So she thought there was a Guy In The Basement.

"I know no one is there, because the dogs are calm," I said. "They'd go nuts if anyone was in the house."

Actually, my dogs are to home security what a tripwire and a cowbell are to Fort Knox. I'd be better off with an ill-tempered hamster.

My dau…

Karl the Curmudgeon Hates, Like, Whatever

Karl the Curmudgeon Hates, Like, Whatever"OMG," said Karl. "Did you see the list of the most annoying words of the year?"

Did you just say 'OMG,' Karl? I asked.

"I was being ironic," said Karl.

Yeah, ironic. Whatever, dude. I took a drink of my beer. We were sitting in Holv Utca, a Hungarian bar and grill, enjoying a couple rounds of Dreher, a Hungarian beer. We were watching the Hungarian national soccer league on satellite TV. Fradi was playing Ujpest, and the score was 2-1 — a real barn burner.

"No, seriously," he protested. "Didn't you hear about the new Marist Poll that covered the most annoying words and phrases of 2010?" "'Like' was second with 28 percent, and your. . . 'whatever'" — he said it with a sneer — "was first with 39 percent."

Muh-huh.

"Don't give me that, Kid. I know better than to actually use 'like' as a verbal filler.

You said 'OMG.' What are you,…

Wikileaks' Julian Assange Doesn't Like Info Leaked About His Case

I'm not sure how I feel about the whole Wikileaks disaster. On the one hand, he has put out some important information that people ought to know, like the fact that the Chinese government ordered the hack on Google in early 2010. On the other hand, they gave out information about how the US military can more easily detect roadside bombs in Afghanistan and Iraq, which means the Taliban can figure out how to hide them better.

While I think it's important that some information needs to be put out into the world, a la the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, I don't think information that can lead to death and maiming should. Hence my confusion.

However, what's done is done, and Julian Assange may be to blame for the deaths of more soldiers and civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq.

His belief is that information needs to be made readily available, no matter the cost. "Information wants to be free," he has said in the past.

Unless it's information about his pending rape tr…

British Bureaucrats Are Trying to Kill Santa Claus

British Bureaucrats Are Trying to Kill Santa ClausErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

It must suck to be British.

I'm not saying British people suck. I love British people, and am something of an anglophile. I read British mysteries, drink British tea, watch British television, and enjoy writing sentences where I say "British" at least four times.

No, what I mean is, the British bureaucrats can suck the fun and common sense out of anything they put their fingers on. They're like King Midas, only everything they touch turns sucky.

And the British citizens are forced to live under these rules being foisted on them by people who wouldn't know Common Sense if it kicked them in the googlies wearing a pair of sensible shoes and a crash helmet.

This month, as I write about all things Christmas, I'm wagging a finger at Dr. Franco Cappuccio and Dr. Michelle Miller, who work at the University of Warwick Medical School.

Dr. Miller and Dr. "Skim Milk" …

Phone It In Sunday: Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer Meets the Police

Kris Kringle meets Der Stingle, thanks to Callron's brilliant mashup of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Roxanne. Anyone who grew up with both will appreciate the sheer hilarity of the whole piece.

If you only watch one stop-animation children's Christmas TV special set to an 80s pop song, make it this one.




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Karl the Curmudgeon Meets a Jolly Stranger

Karl the Curmudgeon Meets a Jolly StrangerErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

"Man, I'm tired of the TSA," said Karl, my friend and part-time curmudgeon. "The groping, the full body scans, the loss of personal freedoms."

We were sitting at Njáls Saga Bar & Grill, an Icelandic bar, after a particularly hectic day of Christmas shopping. Harold, the bartender, had just set two mugs of Egils Premium, an Icelandic beer, in front of us.

"You're telling me," said a stranger sitting nearby. "It's getting to the point so I can't do my job without a big hassle."

"I don't even like traveling anymore," said Karl, raising his mug of Egils to the stranger.

I don't even fly when I can help it, I said. If my destination is six hours away or less by car, I might as well drive.

"I've at least got my own transportation," said the new guy, tugging at his beard. "But even so, I still have to go throu…

'Baby It's Cold Outside' is Actually a Little Creepy

Baby, It's Cold Outside
When you think about it, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" seems like a date rape song disguised as a Christmas tune.



I really can't stay
(but baby it's cold outside)
I've got to go away
(but baby it's cold outside)

This evening has been
(been hoping that you'd drop in)
So very nice
(I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice)

My mother will start worry
(beautiful, what's your hurry)
My father will be pacing the floor
(listen to the fireplace roar)

So really I'd better scurry
(beautiful, please don't hurry)
but maybe just a half a drink more
(put some records on while I pour)

The neighbors might faint
(baby it's bad out there)
say what's in this drink
(no cabs to be had out there)

I wish I knew how
(your eyes are like starlight now)
to break this spell
(I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell)

I ought to say "no, no, no sir"
(mind if I move in closer)
at least i'm gonna say that I tried
(what's the sense in …

My Son Has a Few Questions

My Son Has a Few QuestionsErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

"Sure, Buddy, you can ask me anything."

"Wait, you don't want to have THAT talk, do you?"

"Okay, you had me worried. You're only 8."

"Christmas will be here in about 21 days."

"Well, he comes down the chimney."

"No, I guess we don't have a chimney, do we?"

"The front door."

"No, we can't leave the front door unlocked."

"He'll still be able to get in."

"The way my father, your Opa, explained it to me is that he has a magical key that lets him into the front door of any house."

"I guess because chimneys are faster than doors."

"Because he wears mittens. It's hard to dig a key out of your pocket when you've got mittens."

"Of course I think he's real."

"What do you think?"

"Then if you believe he's real, that's all that matters."

"I don&…