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Showing posts from February, 2013

Men Have Discuss-Your-Feeling Friends

Several weeks ago, fellow humor columnist Jenny Isenman wrote about women's "move-a-body-friends," those friends who would help you move a body with no questions asked — or at least only a few, with "why?" not being among them.

It's often been said, especially on Facebook, that while a friend will bail you out of jail, a true friend will be sitting next to you, saying "Man, didn't we have fun?" But the move-a-body-friend (MABF) will hide you out at her place until the heat is off.

But Isenman says you only get one or two MABFs in your lifetime. These are the friends who will tell you "'That skirt/dress/jumpsuit makes your butt look fat,'" when that skirt/dress/jumpsuit actually makes your butt look fat" or "pretend I need you to fix my bra strap to save you from a tedious conversation with a boring mom at the playground or that annoying guy at Starbucks."

Isenman has come up with a list of 20 expectations she h…

Can You Copyright a Toilet Flush?

Erik is out of the office this week, and is actually driving through the night at deadline time, so we are reprinting this column from 2002.

I thought I had heard it all. Or, it's what I DIDN'T hear that's the problem. Some news from the British music industry may have copyright lawyers wringing their hands and cackling with glee.

Apparently, silence can be copyrighted.

You're probably gaping, open-mouthed, in stunned silence at this. Yes, silence can be copyrighted. And by gaping silently at these words, you're violating that copyright right now.

Okay, maybe not. But creating a silent track on your own CD can actually land you in some legal hot water, as Mike Batt, former member of the UK band The Wombles, is finding out. He's facing a potential lawsuit for copying silence from avant-garde composer John Cage ("avant-garde," from the French meaning "No one cares except a bunch of black turtleneck wearing beatniks.")

According to the London I…

Society Has Gotten Ruder. Jerks.

We're getting ruder and more inconsiderate as a society. We're not only less formal — we used to call each other Mister, Missus, and Miss — but people are forgetting even simple manners we were all supposed to learn when we were kids.

When I was a kid, manners were easy. You opened the door for other people. You said "please," "thank you," and "you're welcome. You gave up your bus seat to seniors. And children sat still and behaved in restaurants.

Over the last few years, I've witnessed some abhorrent behavior from people who are close enough to my age that they should know better. They won't open the door for anyone. They rarely say "please," while "you're welcome" has become "no prob!" Seniors are on their own on the bus or anywhere else. And children are allowed to run amok and shriek loudly in restaurants.

What has happened that we no longer care about basic civilities? Since when did it become too burd…