Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Things Brooke And I High Five About


Remembering important dates like birthdays, anniversaries, and when Puppy gets his heartworm pill.

Homemade turkey chili.

Finding a prime parking spot.

When one of us speaks with a passable foreign accent.

Coming up with which Law & Order we recognize an actor on TV from.

Showering before five o’clock.

Not tearing my groin in half after doing this at a recent circus class.


When we stopped at a Dunkin Donuts on our way home from a party one night and the cashier accidentally rang up our two bags of coffee beans as one.

A perfectly executed breakfast burrito.

Forgetting that Mad Men was on until it shows up on the TiVo list unexpectedly.

Successfully sneaking Puppy aboard a plane to avoid the $100 fee.

A particularly witty diss.

When people we don’t like get kicked off reality TV shows.

Good sex.

Having a five day weekend. Have a great holiday everyone – enjoy the fruits of your constant efforts at avoiding labor.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Social Insecurity Card

Before moving to Miami back in March, I’d visited here only once before. It was 2001, the summer before my junior year of college, and me and three of my friends flew down for a long weekend of blowing off steam before the start of senior year.

This was back before the internet became as prevalent as it is today, though my friends and I considered ourselves ahead of the curve and booked our flights on and got our hotel room from Not knowing anything about the city, we inadvertently booked ourselves a room at a hotel some 50 blocks north of South Beach, where all the “partying” we had planned on was happening.

So while it wasn’t non-stop booze-addled revelry like we originally planned, there was still one night we chose as the designated “party” night. It started (like all things in college do) with a bathtub filled with ice and beer in the hotel room, followed by a cab to South Beach. We ended up at Miami’s historic Clevelander hotel/club. I remember it being so packed that I considered doing that thing where you “moo” while you shuffle along with the crowd, until I looked to my right and saw one of the biggest black men of my life and was suddenly worried that it would somehow sound racist.

Once we were inside, we drank and danced and flirted with (read: pointed to) women. At the time, I wasn’t the best at picking up girls (I once cut a girl off mid-sentence to tell her that I like-liked her), but when in Miami, do as the whores. I picked out a girl at the bar (not dancing=less intimidating) and decided to work my charm.

After an awkward introduction about buying her a sink (it was really loud) I found out that her name was Katie and she was from Alabama. Plagued with a rudimentary understanding of geography, I asked her if she lived on a farm. She said she did, and I was intrigued.

Just then, my friends told me they were ready to move on to somewhere less stabby. In a rush, knowing that this was my one chance to meet the farm girl of my dreams, I asked for her number. She had a pen, but nothing to write on. So I pulled out the only piece of scrap paper available to me – my social security card.


There have been many times throughout the years where I have looked at the card and chuckled, “Oh, youth!” Luckily, you don’t really need your social security card for anything. It’s not like a passport or a birth certificate. All you need is the number, and once you’ve committed that to memory during college orientation you’re all set.


Last week, I had to fill out some forms for work. I received an email from HR with the forms to be completed and the instructions for what to send back: signed copies, updated contact information, and a copy of your social security card.

WHAT? You mean you actually need the card for something? IT’S NOT EVEN LAMINATED. Color me ignorant, but if the government wants you to hold on to a something for what might be the next 100 years, shouldn’t it be printed on a material that won’t biodegrade by the time you’re 70?

Reluctantly, I scanned in my social security card and sent it in with the following note:

Attached are all the forms you requested. Please let me know if I overlooked anything. Also, please disregard the girl’s phone number on my social security card. I was young, on vacation, and apparently lacking scrap paper.


Out of curiosity, I called the number five minutes ago (with my number blocked, of course). It went directly to the voice mailbox of a bubbly girl named Rachel, who implored me in a thick Southern drawl to “leave a message and she’ll hit me back.” Guess Katie died. Sad.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Be All You Can Bee


The other night I was in the kitchen waiting while Brooke finished getting dressed for our night out on the town. We were running late, so I had already shut out most of the lights in the apartment, not unlike they do at the theater when the curtain’s about to rise and everyone needs to take their seat. Except Brooke keeps the lights on in the bedroom, so really I’m just an asshole standing there in the dark.

While I was waiting, I indulged a bit of my OCD and straightened up the kitchen. On the marble countertop next to the cutting board was a small dark fleck. Assuming it was a breadcrumb or other random bit of foodstuff that goes flying around the kitchen whenever I get over-hungry, I picked it up to throw it away.

Immediately something felt weird: The breadcrumb was sticking to my thumb. And not in a “breadcrumb covered in chocolate pudding” kind of way, but almost latched on. I opened the trash and tried to flick it off, and that’s when I felt the sting. Not of regret or rising gas prices, but a literal sting. I brought my thumb close to my face and there, clutching my thumb with all its tiny might, was a little baby bee.

My gut instinct was to yelp and dance around like a Indian until it came off, but for the briefest second I thought BE A MAN. My dad could have a rattlesnake on his thumb and he would still take the time to properly grab the snake by its head to release its fangs, which only made a shallow dent in his manly calloused skin anyway.

Halfway through thinking all this I began to violently shake my hand and bang it against several things, like the countertop, my leg, the refrigerator, and my other hand. I figured a compromise of flailing without making any emasculating guttural noises was the appropriate response. Baby steps.

Finally, the little bee fell off my finger and into the trash. I looked down at it on top of a heap of magazines and bean salad and thought, “What up now, bitch?” I finally turned on the light and noticed that the stinger still sticking out of my thumb. With a coolness that can only come with being a victor of war, I carefully removed it and threw it in the trash with Bumbley.

As I was running my hand under cold water, I took a moment to replay the situation in my head. Clearly, I thought, the bee must have been nearly dead for it to lay so still on the countertop. What had happened? How did a nearly dead bee end up in my kitchen? Was he beaten and left for dead by a rival hive? Did he get lost in our air conditioning ducts and, after a harrowing, chilly journey, end up (to his ultimate dismay!) to have made it inside instead of out? Was it retarded?

It was then that I started to feel a bit ashamed of my actions. Here’s this undersized bee, on the brink of death in an unfamiliar place, yet when an enormous human thumb closes on it, it still, still summons the energy somehow, someway to battle back, not go down without a fight, to use the last of its energy to preserve what little time it had left to think about his family, his comb, that time he and he Queen’s daughter got in trouble for flying off to the orange grove and staying out past curfew. And here I was acting like a wuss. That brave bee didn’t deserve to die. I did. He is the better warrior then me.

Too bad the bitch ate it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Q&A Friday!

I think it’s fair to say that every fear I had about making a commitment to the Beijing Olympics came true. Not only did I stop watching as soon as I realized that, despite my formidable skill with a TiVo remote, it was physically impossible to follow every Olympic event, I also developed a sizeable hatred for the most populous nation in the world. I won’t call it a racism, per se, because it has nothing to do with the fact that they are Chinese; it does, however, have everything to do with the fact that they are manipulative cheaters who are mean to little girls.

In truth, I imagine the games will be better in hindsight anyway, when I can pick up a magazine from the local newsstand and have all the heartwarming triumphs and bitter defeats condensed and organized like a Chinese take-out menu. Maybe it lacks the emotional cache of witnessing the events in twice-pre-recorded time, but my emotions are stretched thin as it is, what with Brooke and Puppy and the upcoming fall TV season.

Besides, all isn’t lost. Now that a majority of the events are said and done, it’ll free up some time for me to catch the rhythmic gymnastics competition this weekend. Those girls are really bendy.

On to the questions.

Does James have a girlfriend? If not, do you think he'd be interested in a pale, Jewish, Seattle native who enjoys sewing, brewing spicy chai, making wallets out of cassette tapes and who may or may not get around in a Rascal? I'm asking for a friend.


PS: I think the Confederate flag adds some panache to my her mobility scooter.

Funny you should ask, because in fact James doesn’t have a girlfriend. He has a fiancé.

I’m not sure exactly how it happened. I assume it was some sort of mistake because I assured James from an early age that as an artist he could snag a bunch of weird tail. But the next thing I know he’s falling in love and planning a wedding, which will make him the fifth of my friends to tie the knot in the past two years – an epidemic by any governing board’s standards.

But fear not, Rachele! I am nothing if not a helper. Though I technically haven’t fixed up two friends since the great blogger set-up of ’06 (code name: Must Love Blogs), I have to say I had quite a knack for it. (I think they could have had something special if not for her crippling Ambien addiction.) I’m pretty confident I could find a nice, pale Jewish girl who appreciates Eastern teas and Western crafts a decent boyfriend.

So please, anyone who isn’t a murderer in Seattle, send me a note! Petty crime will be judged on a case by case basis. Put your best (read: most attractive) foot forward, and you may be the recipient of a cassette tape wallet – and some delightfully weird tail.

Hang in there, Rach! (Can I call you Rach?) I won’t let you die alone in the rain!
Hi Dan,

Lots of bad things happen to good people. Specifically in financial exchanges, I tend to believe people. I get burned a lot (as does everyone). As a younger man, I would pass it off as tuition, and move on. Lately I am getting too angry. My question is: How do I protect my "Karma" from dishonest assholes?


I have a mean uncle who used to spout pearls of wisdom between scotch-soaked spittle, one of them being “Bad things don’t happen to good people. Bad things happen to stupid people who let bad things happen to them.” (He probably wouldn’t have liked you.)

Now, I’m not sure what kind of financial exchanges you’re talking about: Did you submit your credit card information for identity verification and you’re still waiting for that free iPod? Or did you lend a hooker money for an abortion, only to find out she wasn’t really pregnant. (Again!) Regardless, let’s just say that, as a general rule, you should think of all financial transactions like Craigslist casual encounters: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Moreover, you have to do your due diligence. Just like Bob Barker used to remind us at the end of every Price is Right – most people are ruthless and out for themselves, the animals be damned. This means that before you do business with someone, you have to perform surveillance on them. An easy way to do this it to friend them on Facebook from a fake name and start tossing sheep at them and giving them toy boats. If they don’t toss back, they’re probably scoundrels.

And for god’s sake, the next time Candy comes asking for cash, ask to see the sonogram.

My girlfriend ex-girlfriend is an avid reader of yours so I thought you might be able to help me out. She tells me how much in love with me she is, but also thinks we're not "right" for each other and therefore shouldn't date anymore. I don't understand the reasoning. If we both agree we love one another, then aren't we "right" for each other and shouldn't we continue dating? Would you please tell her she's crazy? She seems to take offense when I say it.

-Pookie (nyc)

Pookie (if that’s your real name), I’m going to be frank here: Your ex-girlfriend hates you. She can’t stand how you still listen to The Police and wear t-shirts under your button-downs and call her “Baby” in that soft voice when you’re trying to calm her down, because how dare you SHE HAS A RIGHT TO HER EMOTIONS.

Here’s a story: Back when I worked in the Financial District in New York, there was a deli I would go to almost every day for lunch. The Pakistani guy behind the counter was really nice. He would help me pick out which sandwich I wanted that day, not charge me tax, and sometimes even throw in a free soda.

Then one day, after eating the Italian hero, I got violently ill. It was the flu, not food poisoning, but because the two incidents had happened so closely, my mind connected them. I was out of work for a week, and when I finally went back, I couldn’t return to the deli for lunch. I could hardly even look at the place due to of all the bad memories.

Almost a year later, on a day when it was bitter cold out and I didn’t feel like traveling far, I finally went back. My old friend recognized me as soon as I walked in. I made pretend he didn’t. I ordered a sandwich, and while he was ringing me up, he coyly said, “Haven’t seen you around in a while.” Caught off guard, and not wanting to hurt his feelings with my story of the flu and his Italian hero, I lied. “I was transferred for work. Been in London for the past year. Just got back and had to stop in!” This made him happy, and he gave me four cookies when I only ordered three.

When I got back to the office, I could only eat half the sandwich, so strong were my negative sensory memories. I threw the other half away and never went back. Pookie, you are that Pakistani guy, and I am your ex-girlfriend. And your love is that sandwich in the trash.

The cookies, however, were delicious.

(Think you’ve got what it takes to have a question? Email me at

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bigfoot Found! – UPDATE!

In case anyone was wondering whatever happened with the groundbreaking discovery of Bigfoot last week, and the subsequent press conference to disclose the results of DNA testing to prove that the beast in the freezer was, in fact, a Sasquatch . . . well, you’ll never guess how this one ended. If you’re retarded.

According to the New York Times:

Results from tests on genetic material from alleged remains of Bigfoot, made public at a news conference in Palo Alto held after the claimed discovery swept the Internet, failed to prove the existence of the mythical half-ape and half-human creature . . . One of the two samples of DNA said to prove the existence of the Bigfoot came from a human and the other was 96 percent from an opossum, said Curt Nelson, a scientist at the University of Minnesota who performed the analysis.

THIS IS AMAZING NEWS TO ME! I was all ready to board a plant to Georgia (the state where the Sasquatch live, not the war torn country; that would be silly), bringing with me all sorts of raw meat and gadgets covered in tin foil for tracking down a furry beast of my own. And I was willing to pay these guys the $499 they were asking for to lead me on the groundbreaking expedition! But now this!!!

Seriously though, someone needs to tell these pranksters that a good hoax involves thinking ahead. Sending a vial full of possum DNA to the lab doesn’t exactly buy you time to plan your next move.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mother Nature def. My Mother

After all the hoopla, Tropical Storm Fay came and went like my first sexual experience – quietly. But it turns out the only game in town weaker than Fay was the Florida Power & Light Company. The smattering of rain and few gusts of wind proved just enough to knock out our electricity last night.

We’d just finished watching Mad Men (thankfully) when I sat down at my desk check my email. Like a scary movie where a haunted spirit is tampering with the electrical wires, the lights began to dim. And dim. And then flicker. I looked outside at the misty rain delicately floating by the window and wondered Why? And then that was it – like the pig who lived in the house of straw accidentally sneezed, it all came crashing down.

Brooke, who was outside walking Puppy, who, in turn, was fucking pissed off as all hell because to him drops of water are like little tiny taser needles coating his body and ruining his coif, returned to the darkness looking concerned, perhaps because she thought I may be trying to seduce her. I told her the power had gone out (“Really? With that rain?”) and we sat there in the dark for a few minutes not really knowing what to do. Finally, we decided to pour a glass of scotch and devise a plan.

Unfortunately, directly after pouring the scotches, the planning came to an abrupt halt. We found candles, but no matches. Batteries, but no flashlights. It turns out that my mom’s way of doing things works great – if it’s not pitch black outside, you have a working electrical outlet in which to plug your blender, and it’s not growing increasingly hotter with every non-air conditioned second. (Some footnotes would have been helpful, mom.)

Brooke and I decided right then that we would be ready and organized for our next hurricane experience. By scotch number two, we were ready to begin our List of Things To Do Before Another Stupid Hurricane with Another Stupid Name Comes to Town:

1. Put batteries in flashlight before power outage.
2. Buy flashlight.
3. Let the dog out before settling in for Mad Men and scotch. (Alternative method: Teach the dog to let himself out.)
4. Buy all-purpose candles. Romantic bedroom tea lights very difficult to transport, fire hazard.
5. When you hear a crash, do not go outside to “take a look.”
6. In hours leading up to the storm, set air conditioning on 55 and run NONSTOP to create excess coolness.
7. Don’t run out of toilet paper.
8. On the day of the hurricane’s arrival when your refrigerator will probably stop working, do not stock up on milk, meat, and fresh soft cheeses.
9. Scotch.
10. Don’t go kite surfing on the beach.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Never Liked The Name Fay

The last time I prepared for a hurricane was the summer of 1996. I was working on a small ferry that carried passengers to a nearby private beach on Fire Island. By the time Hurricane Bertha reached Long Island, it had weakened to a tropical storm. Still, the morning before the worst of it was to arrive I had to take the ferry with the captain and one other deckhand to baton down the hatches beachside. Literally. There was a snack shack, a bathroom, and a utility closet, all of which were seemingly made of driftwood and a carefree dream. We had to make sure all the doors were bolted shut, and the windows covered with plywood. (Why exactly this job fell to me I’ll never know, but seeing as how it was my job to stare at girls in bikinis all day I was in no place to ask questions.)

The heavy rains and winds started on our trip back to the mainland. Being sixteen, I thought of the semi-dangerous trip as an adventure, with three-foot waves crashing against the side of the boat, shooting dirty baywater spray in my face. When we arrived at the dock, my dad was there to pick me up and take me home, just like I imagine it was for Columbus and Magellan.

At home, I walked in to find the whole family huddled together in the basement watching TV, surrounded by board games, playing cards, and candles. It was a serious scene – a family glued to the Weather Channel, gripped by the fear of mother nature’s fury. Until my mom came down the stairs carrying another tray of piña coladas. I was shocked. Not because there were teeming rains and 50mph winds knocking down tree branches outside while my mother blended tropical frozen drinks, but that my mother blended any drinks at all. She had a noted reputation for hardly ever drinking. A sip from my father’s beer here, or a glass of wine there – that was all. But apparently hurricanes were a real fete, reason enough to dig into the back of the liquor cabinet for the rum and break out the blender. I remember hoping it would escalate to a full blown hurricane so maybe we would get some appetizers, too.

Half an hour and one round later, my mom tripped up the steps, signaling an end to the fun.

My point being, that’s the way I learned to prepare for a hurricane, so that’s how I’m doing it now. At the Publix today while everyone else stocked up on bottled water and canned goods, I filled my cart with beer, salsa, and the ingredients for turkey chili.

As the woman at the cash register scanned my Pepperidge Farm cookies and fresh mozzarella, she shot me a look like You know there’s gonna be a hurricane, right? and then asked, “Do you need any batteries?”

This threw me. First of all, because I really did need batteries for my electric toothbrush. But how did she know that? I look at her confused.

“For your flashlights.”

My first impression was that it’s probably best not to engage this crazy woman going on about flashlights. But then I gradually put two and two together and was like, “Oh right! Flashlights. For all the darkness.” So I bought a pack of batteries for my “flashlights” and went on my way.

At home, I immediately started looking for my flashlights. I must have some, right? I remember it being one of those things my mom made me buy when I first moved out. I made fun of her at the time, reminding her that I was moving into an apartment in Brooklyn, not a crawl space under a house, but I guess the joke’s on me because I can’t find it anywhere. I did, however, find a pen sized flashlight in my desk. And while it may prove inadequate at lighting up the whole apartment should all the electricity fail, it should at least provide me with enough light to grill up my organic, free range chicken with tomato and fresh mozzarella paired with a nice New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Except it takes AAA batteries, and my electric toothbrush takes AA.

Advantage: Fay.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fun With Committed Relationships, No. 347

Here’s something people don’t tell you when you move in with your girlfriend: If you spend more than five minutes in the bathroom, when you come out sometimes she’ll ask, “Is everything OK?” It’s startling because you want to respond, “Yeah, everything’s great now,” but that implies a back story about you taking a poop vis a vis a process that maybe took a bit more time and energy than you initially anticipated. And the question (however misguided it may be) is borne out of a general concern, so you can’t really get angry about it.

Although you have to wonder what kind of answer they’re expecting. Do they think that something different happens for guys in the bathroom? Or that we don’t know what to do once we’re alone in there, or how to handle a tricky situation that may arise? Like:

Her: “Is everything OK?”
Him: “No! You should have seen it. I took a poop, right? And it’s kind of big so I decide that I need to flush once now, and once after I wipe. But then I flush and the toilet clogs! Even without paper! So there I am, standing with my pants around my ankles, a wad of toilet paper in one hand and the plunger in the other, only problem being my natural instinct is to wipe first, but then I’d have nowhere to put it, so at this point I’m really confused . . .”

Conclusion: Better to just silently nod and carry your book back to your desk.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My What Big Feet You Have


According to reports by a website I’ve never heard of that has the looks of a disreputable source, the legendary Bigfoot has been found in the woods in northern Georgia . . . DEAD.

The press release by Searching for Bigfoot, Inc. (what?) CEO Tom Biscardi reads:


DNA evidence and photo evidence to be presented at a PRESS CONFERENCE to be held on:

Date: Friday, August 15, 2008

Time: From 12Noon-1:00pm

Place: Cabana Hotel-Palo Alto (A Crown Plaza Resort) 4290 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, California, 94306

Naturally, I’m incredulous. Being a man who values science and his own uninformed opinion over news sites with the slogan “Tech, pop and penguins”, I’m going to call bull donkey here. DNA evidence? Palo Alto? A CROWN PLAZA RESORT? Color me skeptical, but if Bigfoot was really found, don’t you think Fox News would be all over this, with some chap in a bow tie arguing with some pantsuited powermom about how this is just a ploy by the liberals to further their bogus claims of alleged global warming?

Of course Searching for Bigfoot, Inc. expected this response, which is why they included details about the creature in their press release for added authenticity:

– The creature is seven feet seven inches tall.

– It weighs over five hundred pounds.

– The creature looks like it is part human and part ape-like.

– It is male.

– It has two arms and two legs, and five fingers on each hand and five toes on each foot.

– The creatures walk upright. (Several of them were sighted on the same day that the body was found.)

Two legs? Well in that case where do I sign up! And I’m sorry, but on the same day that you find and drag out of the jungles of Georgia the body of a real life Bigfoot, you just happen to see several others milling about? What, were they just curious? Like, “Hey, where do you think they’re taking Phil?” No way. In my experience with Sasquatch (which is mainly derived from the hit family film Harry and the Hendersons) if one Sasquatch saw another Sasquatch being hauled off by some humans, he would probably eat them. Or at the very least throw a coconut at their head. They’re very protective of their own, which isn’t surprising; I imagine being make-believe is a pretty exclusive club.

Still, I’m intrigued to see what DNA evidence will be presented at this press conference. Is it man? Is it animal? Is it responsible for the disappearance of Jon Benet Ramsey? Stay tuned to find out!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Let The Games In My Pants Begin – TRICKERY UPDATE!

After watching the Olympics’ opening ceremonies on Friday night, Brooke and I decided two things: 1. that maybe, just maybe, the Beijing Olympics really are worth our time; and 2. that the Chinese are dangerously organized, and could rule the world with martial arts, mesmerizing rhythmic drumming, and trickery* if they wanted to.

And yes, it may sound smug of me to say that the Olympics, the oldest and most cherished global sporting tradition, borne of the ancient Greeks and Romans nitpicking about who would be ancestor to the modern world, isn’t worth my time. But I don’t mean it like that. I love the Olympics. I love the national camaraderie, the chill moments, the pursuit of perfection, and the heartwarming stories – like the 9-year old Chinese boy who not only survived the earthquake but saved two of his classmates by digging them out of the rubble, and when asked why he risked his life to save his classmates, said, “I was the hall monitor, it was my job to look after my school mates.” INSERT SNIFFLING HERE.

The problem I’ve always had with the Olympic Games is how big they are. For a control freak like me, I hate feeling like I’m missing out on something – that someone is winning a gold medal over here, while the inspirational Eric Moussambani is competing over there. It’s the same reason why I don’t read about global economics or the Electoral College: I’m never going to know everything about it, so better not to broach the topic at all.

So in a two-week event that encompasses sports as varied as archery, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, canoe/kayaking, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, gymnastics, handball (WHAT?), judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, tae kwondo, track & field, triathlon, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling, you’re bound to miss something. Which is a shame, because even though the American media would have you think differently (Why don’t you just give Michael Phelps a handjob and get it over with, NBC?) all the gold medals are equally important regardless of what event they are won in. Just because everyone goes gaga over the 100m dash doesn’t mean that the guy who secured gold in trampoline should go home with his head hung low because no one want-

Wait, did I say trampoline? You bet I did! Apparently it’s been part of the games since the year 2000 and, in my opinion, has remained a grossly underappreciated event. Which is why, aside form a new, limited edition sidebar box detailing my Olympic Moment of the Day, the only sport I will be covering here is trampoline. (That’s probably a lie.) And I promise to do it with style, grace, and thoroughness, or, in the event that those three things are unavailable to me, humor and guesswork. Trampoline doesn’t start until day 8, so that gives me plenty of time to prepare.

In fact, Brooke and I have already started. We began trying out some moves on the bed yesterday, but after one of us (her) hit our head on the ceiling fan, we thought it would be best to have sex instead. Don’t worry, I brought home the gold. U-S-A! U-S-A!


* If you were as blown away as we were by the pyrotechnics display, someone had better call the cops because you’ve been had. It turns out that some of the beautiful and seemingly dangerous explosions that took place during the opening ceremonies were in fact computer generated for TV. Because that’s what the Olympics are all about – deception and tomfoolery. Who does China think they are, American sprinters circa 1998? HAHAHA, steroid humor.



It seems that fireworks aren’t the only victims of China’s rampant duplicity. Reports came out today that the adorable little pig-tailed girl who sang China’s national song “Ode to the Motherland” during the opening ceremony was nothing but a red herring! And that’s not even a communism joke! The Chicago Tribune explains:

“Lin Miaoke may have appeared to be the star of the Olympics opening ceremony after she sang "Ode to the Motherland;" however, one member of China's Politburo revealed Miaoke had lip-synched the song, after the original singer, Yang Peiyi, was told she was not good-looking enough.”

It’s the old switcheroo! Once again, Beijing has managed to capture the true essence of the Olympic games: breaking the hearts of unattractive little girls. Chen Qigang, the ceremony’s music designer, was quoted as saying, “Our rehearsals had already been vetted several times – they were all very strict. When we had the dress rehearsals, there were spectators from various divisions, including above all a member of the politburo who gave us his verdict: we had to make the swap.”

I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I’m confident that Angelina Jolie will get to the bottom of it. Also, Puppy just laid his chin down on my foot and it’s the cutest thing ever. Way cuter than Yang Peiyi.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The World’s Oldest Jokes, a.k.a Proof That Ancient History Is No Laughing Matter

You know when old people make a joke, and it’s kind of awkward because it’s not really funny and you kind of just chuckle along to humor them even though you have no idea why the secretary forgetting her cardigan in the sweatshop is supposed to be funny?

Well it turns out it’s not their fault.

They were simply raised in a time when humor hadn’t reached the full maturation that it has today, where jokes routinely start with “So I was having anal sex with my wife . . .” and end with “. . . and my neighbor’s like, ‘Hey, that’s my wife!’”

At least that’s what I gleaned from an article I found listing the top ten world’s oldest jokes. The oldest one dates back to 1900 BC, which seems a little recent if you ask me considering how funny those cavemen in the GEICO commercials are. Either they’ve done some major evolving or someone’s been taking improv classes!

Herewith, the list and my comments for each joke:

1. Something which has never occurred since time immemorial: a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap (1900 BC – 1600 BC Sumerian Proverb Collection 1.12-1.13)

Comment: I’m not even sure what this guy is saying, let alone if it’s funny. But one time an ex-girlfriend of mine was sitting on my lap at a party and someone fell down the stairs spilling their beer everywhere and she laughed so hard that she farted on my lap. So naturally I started laughing too, but I pretended I was laughing at the guy who fell down the stairs, not at the fart on my leg. It kind of smelled, too. We broke up not long after that.

2. How do you entertain a bored pharaoh? You sail a boatload of young women dressed only in fishing nets down the Nile and urge the pharaoh to go catch a fish (An abridged version first found in 1600 BC on the Westcar Papyrus)

Comment: One big problem with this one – You can’t convince a Pharaoh to go fishing; that’s common knowledge. So what’s going to happen is that those young women are going to go floating down the Nile for days and days, wrapped up in fishing nets, and eventually starve to death. Which reminds me of another ancient Egyptian joke. What did the Pharaoh say when he discovered a boatload of pretty dead girls wrapped in nets? “Seems fishy.”

3. Three ox drivers from Adab were thirsty: one owned the ox, the other owned the cow and the other owned the wagon's load. The owner of the ox refused to get water because he feared his ox would be eaten by a lion; the owner of the cow refused because he thought his cow might wander off into the desert; the owner of the wagon refused because he feared his load would be stolen. So they all went. In their absence the ox made love to the cow which gave birth to a calf which ate the wagon's load. Problem: Who owns the calf?! (1200 BC)

Comment: Those crazy Arabs! Nothing’s funnier than 13th century BC property rights. Here’s a piece of advice though. Everyone should stop worrying about who owns the calf and start worrying about the mutant calf who apparently came out of the birth canal eating.

4. A woman who was blind in one eye has been married to a man for 20 years. When he found another woman he said to her, "I shall divorce you because you are said to be blind in one eye." And she answered him: "Have you just discovered that after 20 years of marriage!?" (Egyptian circa 1100 BC)

Comment: Saddest joke ever told?

5. Odysseus tells the Cyclops that his real name is nobody. When Odysseus instructs his men to attack the Cyclops, the Cyclops shouts: "Help, nobody is attacking me!" No one comes to help. (Homer. The Odyssey 800 BC)

Comment: That’s why Odysseus is the fucking man. He was like the George Clooney of ancient times. As a side note, this sounds suspiciously similar to the time when my doctor took his pants off to give me a rectal exam and when I asked what he was doing, he said he was “Doing a necessary procedure that a lot of people complain about because it’s a bit uncomfortable.” When I got home and told my mom about it, she told not to be such a cry baby and she laughed at me. So I guess it is kind of funny.

6. Question: What animal walks on four feet in the morning, two at noon and three at evening? Answer: Man. He goes on all fours as a baby, on two feet as a man and uses a cane in old age. (Appears in Oedipus Tyrannus and first performed in 429 BC)

Comment: Better answer: A well-hung gay porn actor. (Of course back then they just called them “actors.”)

7. Man is even more eager to copulate than a donkey - his purse is what restrains him. (Egyptian, Ptolemaic Period 304 BC – 30 BC)

Comment: Call me low brow, but I like jokes involving donkeys and prostitution. I can’t say I’m in love with the set-up here, but there’s something to it. It just needs something more. Maybe a line about “going to town in her ass”? I don’t know, I’m just thinking out loud here.

8. Augustus was touring his Empire and noticed a man in the crowd who bore a striking resemblance to himself. Intrigued he asked: "Was your mother at one time in service at the Palace?" "No your Highness," he replied, "but my father was." (Credited to the Emperor Augustus 63 BC – 29 AD)

Comment: Not so sure about this one. I’m no humorist, but it seems to me what started out like a promising “Yo mama” joke devolved into a legitimate conversation on paternity and the royal hierarchy. Is it really so funny that this guy may be your cousin. Well that depends, is he retarded? Because THAT’S good laughs.

9. Wishing to teach his donkey not to eat, a pedant did not offer him any food. When the donkey died of hunger, he said "I've had a great loss. Just when he had learned not to eat, he died." (Dated to the Philogelos 4th /5th Century AD)

Comment: This joke has been redacted by PETA.

10. Asked by the court barber how he wanted his hair cut, the king replied: "In silence." (Collected in the Philogelos or "Laughter-Lover" the oldest extant jest book and compiled in the 4th/5th Century AD)

Comment: Genius. This works in so many situations. How would you like your steak cooked? In silence. How would you like me to tailor your clothes? In silence. How should we bury my dead donkey? In silence.