Friday, May 29, 2015


In the not-too-distant past, a particular hashtag/topic was trending on Twitter. The implicit assignment in the hashtag "FattenAMovie" was to alter a movie's title to include a fattening food item or an activity that would lead to gaining weight. Being an unrepentant punster, I dove in with all ten fingers.

Herewith, my highly-caloric list:

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Gallstone
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Skittles
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Baked Alaskaban
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fine Chardonnay
  • Harry Potter and the Take-Out Order of the Phoenix
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood-Pudding Prince
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Halloween Candy
  • The Lion, the Sandwich, and the Mayo
  • Braising Arizona
  • Rocky Road and Bullwinkle
  • Sweet Potato Home Fries Alabama
  • While You Were Eating
  • The Mint Jelly of the Lambs
  • Black Forest Ham Gump
  • The Curds and Whey We Were
  • The Cheese Whiz of Oz
  • The Count of Monte Crisco
  • Heaven Can Weight
  • American Moon Pie
  • We BBQed a Zoo
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Croissant

And for some reason, the one that garnered the most positive results, i.e., retweets and favorites:

  • Cool Ranch Luke

Excuse me now, I've got a deep yearning to fill my belly with anything that isn't moving.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Stop the Inanity!

My hand is being forced.

I try to let bygones be bygones.

But my deep, motivational urge to leave the world a better place than when I entered it demands that I speak up.

I've said it before, but society has failed to listen...failed to rise up in a singular voice of reason and demand an end to the comic world's worst assault on the senses since the first T-Rex set foot in a tar pit.

Simply put...Fred Basset Must Die.

I really did try to put my mini-campaign against this pile of putrid pixels in the past, but then they insisted on printing the following attempt at...well...I just don't know WHAT they were attempting. I can't imagine anyone, from the creators to the publishing syndicate to the individual newspaper editors, actually thinking this was funny. Maybe whimsical? Quaint?

Here...let me show you what I'm railing about. From the Mother's Day comics page...

I just...ugh...why?!!?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Beware the Ides of May

According to legend, Julius Caesar had a rough time on the 15th of March, but throughout history, the 15th of May hasn't been a red-letter day for humanity at large.

Just look at these nasty bits of history that all happened on this day....

In 1252, Pope Innocent IV authorized the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition.

German mercenaries killed 232 residents of Alkmaar, Netherlands, as part of the Cheese and Bread Rebellion of 1492.

In 1718, a London lawyer named James Puckle patented the world's first machine gun (making us wonder why they call it a tommy gun and not a jimmy gun).

May Laws-Tsar Alexander III banned Jews from living in Romania on May 15, 1882.

In 1886, Emily Dickinson died at the age of 55.

Seventy-eight people were killed by a Texas tornado in 1896.

In 1934, Karlis Ulmanis names himself fascist dictator of Latvia.

General Winkelman surrendered to German troops in Amsterdam AND McDonald's opened their first restaurant in San Bernadino, California, in 1940.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

All of this would be bad enough, but beyond them all - in terms of the overall negative effect on society - was this date in 2005, when Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith opened at the Cannes Film Festival.

Oh! The humanity!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Observed Absurdities™ 17 - Stop Picking That Thing

It was a simple trip through the Wendy's drive-though. Really shouldn't have been an occasion worthy of comment...but the strangeness of what the person in the vehicle in front of me was doing changed all that.

This is an actual-factual picture of the scene in question...taken through my windshield. The minivan had pulled up far enough for a person in the middle seat to be able to pay for the order and accept the several bags of Wendyosity.

Please notice the two large, yellow door-dingers...those concrete posts designed to really frustrate a person who accidentally drops his or her debit card. You see the front one? The one that has a dark patch at the top where the yellow paint is missing?

Yeah, well, while the fine folks at Wendy's were taking their sweet time at producing the mini-van's order, the driver reached his arm out and flicked a couple paint chips off the post...creating that dark patch.

I put it up to an absent-minded product of being temporarily bored...until several seconds later when the driver's arm made a second appearance in order to remove more paint.

When he started going at it a third time, I began considering the distinct possibility that the driver's mind was actually absent. That's when I noticed his bumper sticker: Minnesota Mental Health Services - I've got half a mind to go there.

Friday, May 1, 2015

I'm in Love with a Town Named Fred

It was a little sentence tucked deeply inside a story about evacuation efforts in Texas...but it has led me into an exercise in self-education unparalleled in my past.

It read: "The Texas Transportation Department dispatched a 30-vehicle convoy from Beaumont to clear a debris-covered highway to the north. Department spokesman Mike Cox said some vehicles would detour into the small town of Fred to check out reports that a nursing home still occupied by scores of patients had lost power."

What was it that jumped off the page and planted itself firmly in my brain? The words "the small town of Fred."

How cool would it be to live in a town named Fred?!? "Hey, where y'all from?" Fred.

Fred, Texas.

It's bound to be an unpretentious kind of place, isn't it? I mean...FRED, for cryin' out loud! Not "Grand Forks," or "Mount Pleasant," or even "Two Harbors." Just plain old Fred. Not

And who picked out that name? According to The Handbook of Texas Online, "The Fred post office was established in 1881 with Wiley Cunningham as the first postmaster," but that doesn't tell me why it was named Fred. Was Fred Wiley Cunningham's son? Or dog?

What were the other choices that made "Fred" stand out as the front-runner?

Chairman: Alright! Alright! Come to order! Y'all shut yer tater traps and listen up! It's time to decide what we're gonna call our new town. The choices are Puke Holler...

Woman: Oh, that's just disgusting.

Chairman: Fred...

Woman: Well, that's kind of cute, but it doesn't sound much like the name of a town.

Chairman: ...or Fungus Crossing.

Woman: You know, Fred is sounding better and better all the time.

There are fewer than 300 residents of Fred, and over half of them are students at Fred Elementary School: Enrollment for grades K-5...170.

  • 94% White
  • 5% Hispanic
  • Less than 1% Asian/Pacific Islander (which must mean there's ONE Asian kid, since 1% would be 1.7)

Apparently, that's about as diverse as it gets in Fred, Texas. There are six different churches in the thriving metropolis, but three of them are Baptist. (There's got to be some kind of wire-vs-wooden hangers debate in the past that resulted in that mish-mash.)