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Showing posts from September, 2016

We're Being Invaded by a Horror Of Clowns

Halloween is coming, and I'm not looking forward to it. It's the second biggest holiday, bumping up against Christmas for the "Most Obnoxious" awards.

It's also the time of year when costume stores stock unveil their two most popular costume styles: Zombie and Slutty.

No longer satisfied with someone just being a nurse, a firefighter, or a circus ringmaster, they offer instead Slutty Nurse, Zombie Firefighter, or Slutty Zombie Ringmaster.

Haunted houses are over the top as well. When I was a kid, haunted houses were usually just mazes made in our grade school gym, where teachers dressed like the Wicked Witch of the West and the Werewolf to jump out to scare us.

Now, haunted houses have monsters with such disgusting special effects that even the Walking Dead makeup artists are grossed out.

It's not just enough to have a werewolf with a leg bone clutched in its hairy paw. Or a zombie with gray skin and wild hair. Now, we've got demon-possessed killer pirat…

Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich?

Hey, Karl, here's a deep philosophical question for you: is a hot dog a sandwich?

"What? What the hell kind of question is that?" Karl turned and faced me. "That may be one of the dumbest things you've ever asked me."

Oh yeah? Then answer the question.

We were sitting in Victory Field on a Thursday evening, watching a minor league baseball game. The Indianapolis Indians were taking on the Louisville Bats, and I had just returned to our seats with our obligatory hot dogs and ballpark beer.

"Of course it's not," he said, taking his hot dog. "I mean, look at it. Does this even look like a sandwich?"

What is it then?

"It's. . . well, it's just a hot dog! It's a thing unto itself."

Like a hamburger, I said.

"Exactly. Like a hamburger."

A hamburger's a sandwich though.

"A hamburger's a hamburger. It's not a hamburger sandwich."

The hamburger was created either by a guy in Connecticut or …

Sloganeering Needs to be Left to Professionals

Sometimes marketing just needs to be left to the cool kids.

Too many advertising campaigns and marketing slogans sound like they were dreamed up by a committee of people who only rhyme words by accident, and then say "Hey, I was a poet and didn't know it!" The kind of committee a mayor would appoint from a bunch of people standing around the office.

A committee that spent their first three weeks creating a mission statement that included the phrases "dynamic synergy" and "core values."

I recently spotted a billboard that said "Better left unread than dead," which lacked the power punch of "Don't tempt fate. That text can wait." But I've seen it around a lot, so I figured it must be effective.

Turns out "Better left unread than dead" was made by an Anaheim, Calif. student who entered a contest to help curb texting and driving, and it's been placed on 1,000 billboards around the country. Still, it was approved b…

Southern IN Schools May Drop Valedictorians, Hand Out Participation Trophies

Imagine a competition where a winner is never crowned. Instead, the top 10 percent of all finishers are given a hearty pat on the back and warm congratulations.

Imagine an Olympics, where no one received a gold, silver, or bronze medal, but instead, all three were melted down and the top three finishers, no matter who "won," received one of the molten lumps.

Now, imagine a high school graduating class without a Valedictorian, the person who had the very best grades throughout all four years of high school.

That could happen down in southern Indiana, in the Greater Clark School district. They've proposed doing away with the titles of "highest achieving student" and "second highest achieving student" (Salutatorian), and instead giving special recognition to the top 10 percent of all students.

In other words, participation trophies for smart kids.

I'll admit, I was not academically minded when I was in high school. I graduated 93rd out of 272 students…

Chinese Artist Captures British Ghost, Puts It On Display

Why is it ghosts can walk through walls, but they don't fall through the floor?

I grew up on stories of ghosts walking through walls, disappearing and reappearing at will. They make footsteps walking up a flight of stairs, or make boards creak as they walk down a hallway.

But they're apparently unable to fly through the floor. Why else would they need to walk up stairs, I guess?

Worse yet, they apparently don't have the ability to pass through anything other than walls of a house. They couldn't pass through, say, the sides of a metal canister. Unless that metal canister were made entirely from floorboards.

Chinese artist Lu Pingyuan claims to have captured a British ghost in just such a canister. He has it on display at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester, England. And maybe I trapped an invisible fairy in a pickle jar.

At least we think he's in there. It could just be an empty cookie tin with "GHOST" written in magic marker.

"I wis…