Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Florida Marlins Introduce First Openly Gay Logo In Professional Sports

In a move that is being praised as a "breakthrough" by the national gay and lesbian community, the Florida Marlins have introduced the first openly gay logo in professional sports.

Team owner Jeffrey Loria announced that he is, "very proud of my team's logo, whatever makes it happy... makes me happy. I just want the logo to be itself. To live its life. That is all me and Michael (Hill, team general manager) want."

The Marlins announcement was made possible by a recent proclimation from Major League Baseball commissioner, Bud Selig. Selig declared during the 2011 All-Star festivities that the league would no longer enforce it's "don't ask, don't tell" policy for logos and team mascots. The policy was originally promulgated by former commissioner Peter Ueberroth in 1988, and while many Major League Baseball (M.L.B.) logos and mascots have been rumored gay in the intervening years, the Marlins logo will become the first openly gay and active mascot in the sport.

A History of Discrimination
M.L.B. has a long and unfortunate history of discrimination. Racial segregation was strictly maintained until 1947, when Jackie Robinson played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Boston Red Sox, the last team to field an African-American, did not become integrated for another 20 years.

Discrimination towards gay logos and mascots was even more pervasive and overt. While fielding African-American players usually provided immediate competitive benefits, teams had little incentive or desire to support gay logos and mascots. Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, a former Federal judge most famous for banning members of the 1919 Chicago "Black Sox" who allegedly conspired to fix the World Series, proved to be a determined and consistent enemy to integration. Landis also made it clear his sport would not permit any homosexuality among its logos and mascots.

"The abominations of sodomy and perversity must never be allowed to insinuate itself in our mascot-ry (sic) and insignia," began Landis in a 1923 open-letter sent to every M.L.B. front office. "It would corrupt and erode the moral foundation of our national pastime, subjecting our Christian fans, players, and team officials to a harmful, sinful influence." Landis proceeded to require all logos and mascots to consist exclusively of block letters, script writing, and anthropomorphic "baseball-headed men of upstanding character."

Gay logos and mascots were forced into silence, fearing permanent expulsion, or worse, for well over half of a century. "Mr. Red", a popular and beloved team mascot of the Cincinnati Reds, was found dead in his home in 1972 after commiting suicide. While Mr. Red was famously accused by Senator Joesph McCarthy of being "one of twenty-three known Communist mascots in professional sports," other friends and family members expressed a belief that the kind and genial Red was in fact a homosexual, and the anxiety and shame resulting from the policy of M.L.B. largely drove him to his death. "Mr. Red was a good, decent man," recounts a contemporary mascot, Chief Wahoo, "he deserved better from his sport. He deserved better from all of us."

M.L.B. policy began to soften in the decades to come, as gay and lesbian activist groups repeatedly protested outside of ballparks, bringing the sport large amounts of negative publicity. In 1988, commissioner Ueberroth, with the support of several liberal M.L.B. marketing departments, announced a "don't ask, don't tell" policy for all M.L.B. mascots and logos. Mascots and logos could not openly express their homosexuality; however, they would not be screened for homosexuality, as long as they maintained "complete discretion".

Ueberroth, who was the top executive of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, privately disliked the policy. Ueberroth's Olympic background was far more liberal than most M.L.B. marketing departments. Olympic mascots, unlike M.L.B. mascots, were predominantly gay, and quite open about it. Every Olympic mascot since Amik the Beaver, from Montreal's 1976 Summer Olympic games, had been openly gay. This included Sam the Bald Eagle, the 1984 Summer Olympic mascot, who Ueberroth considered a personal friend. Ueberroth believed the "don't ask, don't tell" policy to be a necessary, and hopefully only temporary, compromise. Instead, the policy lasted nearly a quarter century.

Gay Mascots and Logos In Other Sports
While the Marlin's logo will become the first openly gay, active logo, in major professional sports, other retired logos and mascots in various other sports have previously announced their homosexuality. The Pittsburgh Mauler of the United States Football League announced its homosexuality in 1992.

"I am so excited for the Florida Marlins. Don't get me wrong, it took far too long for an environment to develop to make this announcement possible, but this is an important first step. I think we are coming to a day where every gay logo will be comfortable to live as it chooses. Major League Baseball has taken the first step, and the Florida Marlins logo deserves so much credit for the dignity and bravery it has shown."

The former logos of the U.S.F.L., which folded in 1987, have been at the forefront of gay logo rights. Four other U.S.F.L. logos, including the Portland Breakers, Birmingham Stallions, Denver Gold, and New Jersey Generals, have also announced they are gay.

"Living as an openly gay logo was not an option in 1985," explains the Portland Breakers logo. "It's our responsibilty as retired gay logos to help the gay and lesbian mascots and logos of today. It's one thing for a retired logo to be out, or a gay Arena Football logo, but this is huge. An openly gay Major League Baseball logo? I couldn't even imagine that in 1985."

LEFT: The logos of the United States Football League, five of which have announced they are gay.

"25 years later, I know a couple other U.S.F.L. logos who are still not comfortable living openly gay," continued the Breakers logo, "Me, the Gold, and the Mauler, we've tried to persuade them, but we respect their privacy. Even in 2011, it's not easy. Hopefully the Marlins will be an inspiration to others."

Gay mascots are also far more prevalent in college, but the more liberal atmosphere that allows the Hawai'i Rainbow Warrior and Herbie the Husker to roam college sidelines hasn't spread to professional sports. "I was just talking with (fellow gay Big 10 mascot) Goldy Gopher about when we would see the first professional gay mascot or logo," says Herbie the Husker. "I think this will be the first of many. We all support the Marlins logo. We will support all gay logos."

LEFT: Herbie the Husker, the openly gay mascot of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers. Herbie the Husker legally married the Stanford Tree in 2009.

"We need to do a better job as college mascots and logos of educating sports fans about on-going discrimination. Every sports fans has rooted for a team with a gay logo or mascot at some point, believe me. If people knew how many logos and mascots of the teams they love are gay, they would see things in a whole new way."

The Long Road Ahead

The announcement by the Florida Marlins logo has not been met with absolute support. There will undoubtably be fans who taunt the logo, inappropriate catcalls from road crowds, fellow mascots who turn a cold shoulder.

LEFT: Mr. Met, with his family in 2001. Also pictured is his ex-wife, Mrs. Met, who made numerous accusation regarding Mr. Met's sexuality in her 2007 autobiography.

The most vocal critic of gay mascots and logos has been Mr. Met, who has worked for various right-wing mascot groups, and has been involved in the campaigns of numerous Republican presidential candidates, from Richard Nixon to George H.W. Bush. Met released a brief statement that he was "disappointed" with the Marlins announcement, and that he hopes Major League Baseball will finally consider his amendment to the Major League Baseball bylaws that would ban gay logos and mascots.

Mr. Met has been far less vocal as a critic of gay mascots and logos since the explosive accusations made by his ex-wife, Mrs. Met, that he was involved in several illicit, homosexual relationships with other mascots at the time of their divorce in 2005. In her 2007 book, Mrs. Met claims to have found numerous explicit text message from several other mascots to her then-husband's cell phone.

Mr. Met has denied all allegations in the book.

Most discouragingly, criticism has also come from within the organization, with new Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen claiming he is, "disgusted" by the new logo.

Acceptance will not be universal, but the Marlins logo stands proudly by its decision. "This was not the easy decision," says the Marlins logo, "but, it's the right decision."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Peyton Manning To Miss 2-3 Months of Sony Commercials

Sony pitchman Peyton Manning's cervical neck fusion surgery was announced a "success" by Sony corporate surgeons, but the pitchman is still expected to miss two to three months of Sony commericals. Some estimates place the recovery period as even longer.

The delicate surgery is considered potentially devastating to the entire Sony Bravia sales season, which kicks into high gear in the months leading up to the holidays.

"This is the worst time of year to lose Manning," confided one industry insider.

The entire Sony 3-D television campaign may also need to be scrapped, as Manning is one of the few pitchmen capable of orchestrating the complex ad campaign necessary to sell the units.

"You need a pitchman the caliber of Peyton Manning to convince consumers to buy a television that requires them to buy and wear expensive and uncomfortable glasses," the insider continued. "That guy from Dirty Jobs isn't going to move those things. They're not selling Fords Fusions and Levis there."

Michael Fasulo, Sony Executive Vice President of Sales Operations, expressed optimism that Sony's sale season can still be successful.

"It’s frustrating for Peyton, certainly it’s a bit frustrating for us, but we recognized that the most important thing is that he heals up and he gets ready to go. It’s no sense having him out there in an impaired condition, so the bottom line is he’ll be back at some point. We don’t know when. We can’t predict when. But whenever it is, it will be good to have him back. In the meantime, Erin [Andrews] and Justin [Timberlake] will hold the fort, and we’ll go from here."

Others expess less optimism that Sony can make a seemless transition without Manning, noting that Timberlake and Andrews are mere "system" spokespersons. Peter King of Sports Illustrated doesn't go that far, but he does believe losing Manning could severely impact Sony sales.

"Justin Timberlake is excellent playing off Manning's easygoing charm, but without the veteran pitchman, middle-America isn't going to buy his products. That's no slap at Timberlake, but let's be honest. It's Peyton Manning who moves the Bravias."

Rumors have begun to circulate that Wranglers pitchman Brett Favre would consider coming out of advertising retirement to pitch for Sony, but as of now, it seems unlikely.

"Favre has seen his best pitchman days," explains King. "You can't just plug him into a Peyton Manning commercial and expect the same results."

While the neck fusion surgery could potentially limit Manning's mobility, often essential to his lighthearted antics with Timberlake, Sony doctors believe his charm should return quickly, and expect a full recovery for the 2012 sales season.

"Look, you can't have Peyton in a neck brace running around a Bravia commerical set with Justin," notes Fasulo. "Television viewers don't want to see that, and Peyton could be putting his health in danger. We're 100% focused on getting Peyton healthy, and we're confident he'll be back selling 3-D TVs."

Eli Manning, pitchman for Samsung and Peyton's brother, also expressed confidence Peyton will be back to his pitching ways, possibly sooner than anyone else believes.

"Peyton is a competitor. He wants to sell TVs. It's all he wanted to do since we were kids, so I know he's going to work like heck to get out there for Sony. I wouldn't be shocked to see him out there, selling TVs, before Christmas. You watch."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Backstage at WWF Wrestling Superstars

ROAD MANAGER: OK, up next, we got Brutus Beefcake against the Brooklyn Brawler. Give us about 3 good minutes guys, Brutus knock him out with a clothesline and get a clean pin....


ROAD MANAGER: Yeah, and we're going to push that new angle. Got it, Brutus?


BROOKLYN BRAWLER: He's gonna stand over me and kiss his muscles, right? That'd be good... oh, wait, maybe he can hit me in the head with the ring bell! The crowd would eat that up!

ROAD MANAGER: Yeah sure, maybe next week.... Anyways, Brutus, just cut his hair like we discussed. OK, next match, we got Koko B. Ware against...

BROOKLYN BRAWLER: Whoa-whoa! He's gonna do what?

ROAD MANAGER: Cut your hair. And by the way Brutus, do a really bad job, leave 'em looking really bad.

BROOKLYN BRAWLER: What? Why would he cut my hair?

ROAD MANAGER: We're going to work a new "barber" angle for awhile, see how it goes. Get a good chunk Brutus, so it shows up on camera when you drop it to the canvas.

BRUTUS BEEFCAKE: Got it... I'll get a big clump right off the top.

ROAD MANAGER: Great. Anyways, Koko, we want you to find some kid near the front row and put your bird on his arm. Really get the crowd going...

BROOKLYN BRAWLER: (interrupting) I'm sorry, I was just thinking about the end of the match... instead of cutting my hair, Brutus could just give me a couple good kicks to the ribs. Ya know, really give me the business! And hit me over the head with the bell! I think the crowd would love that, I can't stress that idea enough. Ya know... instead of cutting my hair.

BRUTUS BEEFCAKE: I can kick him in the ribs...

ROAD MANAGER: (exasperated) You're not going to be Brutus "The Rib Kicker" Beefcake! Just cut his goddamn hair! And do a bad job, for chrissakes!!!

BRUTUS BEEFCAKE: Bad job, got it.

ROAD MANAGER: OK, Koko, I'm sorry. Put the bird on the kid's arm...

BROOKLYN BRAWLER: (interrupting again) Sorry to interrupt again, but I'm getting the feeling that you're really committed to this crazy "barber" idea. Now, I've already stated on the record that I think the crowd would prefer to see a good kick in the ribs and a nice braining with the ring bell, but let's agree to disagree on that! OK, Brutus is going to be a "barber". That's fine, too. Let's maybe set up a comfortable reclining barber chair at ringside, and maybe Brutus can give me a nice hot towel on the face for a few minutes, ya know, to open up the pores. Then, he can give me a nice straight-razor shave... and let me be clear, this is a major sacrifice on the part of my character! The Brooklyn Brawler is hardly the Brooklyn Brawler anymore with a nice, professional, straight-razor shave! I'm not Ted Dibiase! Am I right!?!

BRUTUS BEEFCAKE: (shrugs in mild agreement)

BROOKLYN BRAWLER: And then Brutus can give me a little trim on the side and top, and if we're compromising here, I think it's only fair if you let me let Brutus hit me over the head with the ring bell when he's finished with the trim! Let's compromise, it can't just be me giving everything here!

ROAD MANAGER: Is that all?

BROOKLYN BRAWLER: I think it will be great.

ROAD MANAGER: (to Brutus) Cut his hair like we discussed. And.... hit him with the ring bell, or whatever.


BROOKLYN BRAWLER: I got kids I have to go home to...

ROAD MANAGER: Well, they'll appreciate the paycheck you bring.

BROOKLYN BRAWLER: (existential sigh)


Monday, July 25, 2011

Miracle Bible!!!

Oh, the Lord never ceases performing miracles!

A compact bible, and yet it has LARGE PRINT!!!

Only the Lord could complete such an incongruous task! Only the Lord could create "Jumbo Shrimp". And only the Lord can spread His word in large print, for all to plainly see, and yet in a form so compact, it is effortless to carry to the masses who yearn for His gospel!!!

Truly, miracles become commonplace with the Lord! Let all who would doubt Him gaze upon the wonder of a compact bible... with large print!!!

What? It's a reference bible?

Oh, well never mind. Anyone can make a book smaller with larger print if they leave stuff out.

Never mind.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Game of Thrones Fan Fiction

NOTE: Game of Thrones fan fiction generally explores the wide array of characters from the novels and television series. I believe my Game of Thrones fan fiction is far superior, because it exclusively follows the two best elements of the show, The Midget and The Blonde Girl. By focusing on these two essential characters, I am able to make something awesome even MORE awesome. Imagine a Game of Throne world that does NOT involve old, boring men talking about obtuse Westeros history, or normal-sized people doing things, or non-The Blonde Girl women. I cut straight to what everyone wants, what everyone is waiting for... The Midget and The Blonde Girl.

Game of Thrones: A Song of Midgets and The Blond Girl

MIDGET KING: (sitting on his throne, next to his wife, The Blonde Girl) Bring the The Midget before me! (two midget guards bring The Midget to the throne)
THE MIDGET: You can never do anything yourself, can you Midget King? Always your lackeys doing your bidding.
MIDGET KING: Shut your impudent midget mouth!
(Scene cuts to the The Blonde Girl for 20 seconds)
THE MIDGET: You seem content to sit on your midget throne and idle away your time. Do me the favor of speaking directly, for I am not so idle, and my time is not so free.
(Scene cuts to the The Blonde Girl for 30 seconds)
MIDGET KING: So it will be, Midget! I am exiling you from Midget's Landing, to the North at Tinyfell. Your midget treachery will burden me no longer!
THE MIDGET: You're nothing but a miserable midget, Midget King.
(Scene cuts to the The Blonde Girl for 40 seconds)
MIDGET KING: Midget guards! Take this disgusting midget away from my Midget Court immediately! His midget-face disgusts me.
THE MIDGET: You haven't seen the last of me, Midget King! I'm thinking of a clever plan already!
(Scene cuts to the The Blonde Girl for 40 seconds)

Meanwhile, across the Midget Sea...
THE BLONDE GIRL: (sad, looking out over the Midget Horde) I am so sad, I spend my days longing for home, looking out at this Midget Horde. (shot lingers for 20 seconds)
MIDGET SLAVE: Blonde Girl, we have prepared your midget-feast.
THE BLONDE GIRL: I tire of eating midget. Can you not prepare me something else to eat? (shot lingers for 20 seconds)
MIDGET SIR MORMONT: Blonde Girl, the Midget Horde only has two things in abundance... grass, and midgets. Humans cannot eat grass, so I suggest you get used to eating midget.
THE BLONDE GIRL: I am the wife of Khal Midget, leader of the Midget Horde! (shot lingers for 40 seconds). There is nothing else I can eat!?
MIDGET SLAVE: We will slay a mini-goat.
THE BLONDE GIRL: I will bath again, now. (shot lingers for 40 seconds)

Meanwhile again, in the North...
THE MIDGET: Midget Bastard Son of Midget Ned Starks, what do you see when you look at me?
MIDGET BASTARD: Is this a trick question?
THE MIDGET: You see a midget, just as the rest of the world sees a midget. And because I am a midget, I must rely on my wits. My handsome midget brother may be able to get by on his looks, but not I. I must use my midget cunning, Midget Bastard!
(cuts to The Blonde Girl's bath scene for 15 minutes)
MIDGET BASTARD: Do not call me that!
THE MIDGET: Whatever should I call you? You ARE a midget bastard. Own up to what you are, and no one can ever use it against you.
(cuts to The Blonde Girl's bath scene for 15 minutes)
MIDGET BASTARD: Remember 15 minutes ago, what you said?
(cuts to The Blonde Girl's bath scene for 15 minutes)
MIDGET BASTARD: You were right. You are wise above all others in this Midget Kingdom.
THE MIDGET: Call me by real name, Midget Tyrion. And I will call you by yours, Midget Jon Snow... Now, if I am as (cuts to The Blonde Girl drying herself for 5 minutes) smart as you think I am, I will need a most clever ruse to put the Midget King in his place! Follow me to my Thinking Trampoline, I must jump on it for several minutes to devise a plan.
(Cuts to trampoline, where The Midget and The Blonde Girl jump for a half-hour, or so.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Warning To All History-Making Professional Athletes

In light of the ball used for Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit being returned to him by a Yankees fan, let my thoughts be absolutely clear to all athletes on the cusp of a record-setting performance.

I am not returning any of your valuable shit for tickets, handshakes, autographs, etc. I am selling it to the highest bidder.

Many sports fans will gladly return historic home run balls, some worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, presumably out of some combination of adoration and generosity, or possibly because they feel pressured to do so.

Once again, let me be clear to all history-making athletes. I will not give you a quarter-of-a-million dollar ball in exchange for a handshake, some luxury box seats, and a signed bat. I'm taking that ball you hit into my section down to Sotherby's, selling it to the highest bidder, and buying a house.

You, the record-setting athlete, can go fuck yourself.

Take for your consideration of the above-linked article about a 23 year-old moron returning the Jeter ball.

"It didn't cross my mind until they asked me what I wanted," he said. "The only thing I could think of was a few signed balls would be nice, and to meet him. It wasn't about the money. It was about a milestone and I wasn't going to take that away from him. Money's cool and all, but I'm only 23 years old. I have a lot of time to make that."

"Mr. Jeter deserved it," Lopez said. "It's all his."

Lopez, who sells cell phones for a living, already was receiving calls from friends and co-workers


Essentially, a grown man who sells cell phones for a living gives away what amounts to a very nice house to another grown man who makes $15,000,000.00 this year. Because he thought it would be "nice" to get a few signed balls and meet him.

Sure, generosity in any form is rare, and should always be welcomed by society. Except when it involves a workingman giving away property that may equal six or seven years of salary to a professional athlete, for whom the property amounts to a trinket to be displayed in his second winter home, worth about three days of salary. Just because the workingman presumably had a poster of said athlete in his bedroom as a teenager.

In that rarest of cases, what appears as generosity to the naked eye is actually deep, thorough, stupidity. You would need to be a very dumb human being to give the ball away.

What a stupid, fucking idiot.

So, you are forewarned, Andrew McCutcheon. If you hit a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth of the World Series, after you called your shot for a boy dying of cancer, and you want the ball back to present it to that boy, and I catch it... well, fuck you both. Make the highest offer.

Sidney Crosby cures that same pediatric cancer at center ice of Pens-Flyers game, and then triumphantly whips his gloves into the crowd? Keep an eye out on eBay for that one, I'm paying off my car.

Derek Jeter smacks his 4,000th hit into the bleachers of PNC Park? Guess what? I don't give a shit about meeting you, or having a signed ball. Let's start the bidding at $2,000,000.00.

Now that you have been warned, athletes, you may proceed.

Post-Script: What a stupid, stupid, fucking idiot. Seriously, how many cell phones do you need to sell to earn $250,000.00??? 250,000? Yeah, you have plenty of time to make that money, assuming you plan to live to be 240 years old. Idiot.

Friday, July 8, 2011

What's The Best Thing About Summer???

Getting beat-off by the sun!!!

Looks like Mr. Sun has that monster worked to the "Danger" zone.

USA Today is probably flattering the American public with that thermometer... most people aren't getting past 90 degrees, let alone 100 or 120. But, flattery is always welcome. As is a good 'ol celestial tug-job!

Thanks to Schuyler Sheaffer for passing along this gem of an infographic.

Things That Work Better Than My Comcast DVR

-Communism, in both theory AND practice.
-The "rhythm method" in Irish-Catholic households.
-The "run-and-shoot" offense, in pee-wee football.
-Russian motorcycles.
-Jerry Lewis Holocaust movies.
-"Crossing the streams", in Ghostbusters.
-Actual magic, as opposed to illusions.
-Polish cavalry charges in World War II.
-A Nintendo cartridge, after blowing on it.
-The clear plastic audience-covers, at a Gallagher concert.
-Hockey in Atlanta.
-Art History degrees.
-Working on your novel while acting as a winter caretaker, in Stanley Kubrick movies.
-Mark Hamill's career, in roles not involving children's space fantasies.
-Army Corps of Engineers levies.
-Chevrolet Covairs

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Fevered, Absurd Nightmare Appears On Basic Cable

I'm of the opinion that dreams are mostly poor avant garde theater, made up of the worthless detritus of our minds. I'm sure they serve an important function, though I am equally certain that trying to divine any meaning from them is a ridiculous pursuit.

All that being said, it's not surprising that I rarely remember my dreams. They're usually not worth remembering, like a poorly directed commercial, or a rambling and incoherent plot in a novel.

Unless the dream involves Gary Busey and a person in a hamster suit.

What made this dream even more bizarre is that it appeared on local basic cable. Or maybe it wasn't a dream. Though it had a fevered, dream-like feel, nonetheless.

Gary Busey appears on screen/in my mind, and makes a lewd comment about a young girl. Busey turns to the camera/my mind's eye, and reassures us/me that his comment was directed at a "cute, little" car, not the girl. So far, nothing out of the ordinary.

It proceeds to get weird. Busey announces that he has come to Pittsburgh, and made contact with a group known as "The Party Patrol". A montage of tableaus over Busey's shoulder introduces us to the group, which appears to consist of the previously mentioned young girl, a man in a hat, and someone in a hamster costume. "The Party Patrol" is seen in various locations around the city.

The commercial/dream takes an ominous turn. Busey announces, "I know I'm gonna be stayin' for awhile," and this comes across as much more of a threat than an idle comment. When he declares that he and "The Party Patrol", "will be lookin' for you," the effect is quite chilling.

Busey abruptly re-appears in a blazer and open collar shirt. The commercial/dream ends. I wake in a cold sweat. Or maybe just the next commercial started.

Was it just a dream? Random images of deranged actors and hamsters, poorly plotted and rambling, like any other dream. Was it real?

I hope to never find out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Heart-Warming Free-Throw Article

This contest was originally called "Shoot For Your Academic Life, Poor Kids".

Almost as heartwarming as the boy who shared the grand prize 6-ways in the "Punt, Pass, and Kick For A New Liver For Your Ailing Mother" contest.

Vignettes From The Life Of Jaromir Jagr

Jaromir Jagr, age 7:
JAGR: Mother, I have always dreamed of having a sandwich for lunch with peanut butter on it. I would not ask for any others sandwich if you also put raspberry jelly on it. I will soon inform you what type of sandwich I want for lunch.
(MOTHER JAGR hands Jaromir PB&J sandwich she was making while he was speaking)
JAGR: No, I have decided I would like salami and mustard.

Jaromir Jagr, age 14
JAGR: Tereza, ever since primary school, I have wanted nothing more than to take you to junior promenade. You are the most beautiful girl in all of Czechoslovakia. I would labor for an entire year, without income, if you will take my offer.
TEREZA: Yes, Jaromir, I would love to join...
JAGR: I have decided to take Martin Straka to the junior promenade.
JAGR: If I hurt you, I apologize. I didn't mean it, but this is my life and I want to make the choice.

Jaromir Jagr, age 19
JAGR: Since I was little boy in Kladno, it has been my dream to own a Chevrolet Camaro. I would always say, "I do not care what Chevrolet Camaro costs in American dollars, I will pay that price gladly!" Chevrolet Camaro has always been in my heart.
CHEVY SALESMAN: OK, you've been going on like this for 5 days, and frankly, you are starting to scare away other paying customers. Could you please leave now?
JAGR: I have purchased Ford Mustang yesterday.
CHEVY SALESMAN: (exasperated)
JAGR: I hope you are not mad.

Jaromir Jagr, age NA (ruminating on his death bed)
JAGR: Our great Czech writer Milan Kundera once wrote, "We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come."
TEARFUL FAMILY MEMBER: Yes, life confounds us to the end...
JAGR: I know exactly what I want, as I have always known what I wanted. I will be buried in Philadelphia. Unless you can find a cheaper plot elsewhere.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Kustom Karriers, Kansas

When you don't want to use "Two Guys In White Hoods And A Truck" or "Grand Wizard Moving And Storage", give the nice folks at Kustom Karriers, Kansas a call.

Unless you're black. Or Jewish. And just to be safe, Catholic. Or any minority.

Monthly Grift: Family Bible Grift 2.0

The modern grifter faces an ever-changing landscape of challenges and opportunities. Yesterday's "Spanish Gold-Grab" is today's "Nigerian Prince Flam". The old "Glass Eye Scam" was nothing but a precursor for the "Organ Bank Liver Pig-in-a-Poke". Even as we recognize this fact, nostalgia will often compel the most conservative and successful grifter to prolong the use of a favorite, increasingly out-dated, grift.

For example, take the classic "Family Bible" grift we previously highlighted in Monthly Grift (July, 1978). The grift was summarized as follows:

Grift Synopsis: Scan latest obituary pages for recent deaths, and most importantly, surviving relatives. Pay particular attention to potential marks who have planned religious services. Several days after funeral, dressed in appropriate "delivery man attire", approach mark in the home. Explain to the mark that you are delivering a gold-engraved family bible on which the deceased placed a $100.00 down payment, one week prior to death. Show appropriate sympathy, and explain the total cost to be $250.00 (or $150.00 owed, minus the down payment). Price can range upward or downward, depending on the home and expected resources of the mark (...)

Results: Marks have shown a strong desire to receive the "final gift" from their deceased relatives, given its perceived sentimental value. Many will gladly pay remain "fee".
Elegant in its simplicity, the "Family Bible" grift evokes a simpler, more personal era of grifting, when marks were both God-fearing and unlikely to ask for a sales receipt. A bunko artist needed nothing more than a recent obituary page from the local daily, a box of bulk bibles, a gold marker, and his shining (empathetic) smile.

But, the practice of purchasing family bibles has waned in many parts of the country. Worse yet, secular humanist are seemingly everywhere: university campuses, upscale-residential urban areas, independently owned coffee shops/book stores. Does this mean the "Family Bible" grift is going extinct? Not if you plan carefully and change your mark.

Family Bible Grift 2.0: Grifting the Secular Humanist

Secular Humanist
What You'll Need: A bulk box of Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker and The Selfish Gene.

It goes without saying that grifting a secular humanist with a variation of the "Family Bible" grift will present numerous difficulties. (Remember! If grifting was easy, everyone would be doing it!). The primary difficulty will be a scarcity of obituaries reading, in essence, "No service will be held, as the deceased was a secular humanist who disdained all religious services." While few obituaries will be this explicit, look for codes such as "in lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the ACLU" or "following cremation, his ashes will be spread on his/her favorite bike trail." Keep a keen eye, and in no time you'll be spotting the secular humanist mark.

Once the mark is spotted, feel free to run your "Family Bible" script, with perhaps the following alterations:

(knocking on door)
GRIFTER: Why, hello sir! I'm from Acme delivery. I'm here to make a delivery for a Rose Smith.
MARK: (uncomfortable) That was my Aunt, she died last week.
GRIFTER: Oh... I am so sorry. I couldn't have known. Just doing my job, delivering this lovely, gold-embossed edition of The Blind Watchmaker. The departed Mrs. Smith made a down payment last week of $100.00, the remaining $150.00 being C.O.D. I guess she intended this to be the Family The Blind Watchmaker, I see several family names mentioned in the beautiful engraving on the title page.
MARK: (manifesting an emotion-like reaction) Well, that seems very generous of her.
GRIFTER: Very generous, indeed. This is such a lovely family home, I can't imagine it without it's own Family The Blind Watchmaker.
MARK: Well, I have a copy I bought...
GRIFTER: Yes sir, I never even met your Aunt, but it breaks my heart... thinking that right now she's not looking down from nowhere, completely unconscious of the thought that her last, not-sacred gift to her family won't be delivered for just a few dollars...
MARK: (uncomfortable) O.K., I guess we could just square this up and get you moving along. How much did you say she owed?
GRIFTER: (looking again at large house) Just $200.00! Plus, a $14.00 sales tax. And well worth every penny if you ask me!
MARK: (reaching for wallet) I wasn't particularly close with my...
GRIFTER: Yessiree! Your Aunt would be so happy if she existed in any form right now. She must be up/down in nowhere with a big smile on her face!

As you can see, the grift plays itself out naturally, and little deviation from the Family Bible script is needed.

But, don't limit yourself to grifting the mildly, rationally grieving secular humanist! Graduate students and men in black turtlenecks are also ripe for grifting. Approaching the mark at an independent coffee shop/book store will often play out as follows...

GRIFTER: Aw man, it's so nice to have a coffee/buy a book at a locally owned business like this, and not at Starcrap/Barnes & Nobodies... am I right!?
MARK: You sure are! You know, I can tell by your thick black-rimmed glasses and that copy of Albert Camus' The Stranger under your arm that we have a lot in common!
GRIFTER: What? Oh, this old thing... Yeah, it's pretty special to me. It's a first-edition copy, signed with a written note to Sartre, giving him a list of driving safety tips.
MARK: Wow! That's amazing!
GRIFTER: Yeah, pretty ironic too, I guess. Anyways, my friend Marcel shipped it to me, C.O.D., and I had to spend all my money just to get it from the post office. International shipping fees, and such. Now, I don't have the money to buy tickets for Christopher Hitchens' lecture next week! Oh, if I just had my $200.00, and $14.00 in international sales taxes, I wouldn't be in this predicament!!!

The grift proceeds naturally from here. (NOTE: In this example, make sure your "note" from Camus to Sartre is written in French, as a note written in English will create suspicion in some graduate student/black turtleneck secular humanists.)

The Family Bible grift is not dead. It can still thrive in many parts of the country outside of the deep South. And it even works with secular humanist, as long as you know your mark and stick to your script.

Get griftin'!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hey, Richard Simmons! Yoplait Thinks You're Fucking Tripping Balls On PCP.

Craving some key lime pie in the desert isle?

Well don't. Otherwise, you could face an unwelcome appearance from Richard Simmons, fucking tripping balls on PCP.

Apparently, the sensation of drowning is a major side effect of long-term PCP use. But, as long as it discourages you from even mentioning desert treats out loud, Yoplait is willing to inflict the damage on Richard Simmons' physical and mental health.

That's right, Yoplait is so tired of you being fat, Yoplait is going to pump Richard Simmons full of Angel Dust, and release him in your local supermarket. Yoplait thinks this is your fault.

Are you crying again? You know what Yoplait thinks about that.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pricing In Beaver County

1/2 hour= 10 cents
1 hour= 25 cents
2 hours= $1.00*
4 hours= $3.00*
8 hours= $10.00*
All Day Pass= $50.00* (unless you go back every few hours to put dimes in the meter, in which case 24 hours = $4.80)

(* denotes estimated projection)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two Disgusting Furries Bother Locals

It's June in Pittsburgh, and that can only mean one thing.


And while the convention formally began today, the so-called "furries" are already into full-swing, bothering and disgusting local residents.

Take for instance this supposedly innocent "couple". Consisting of a "husband" penguin and a "wife" neon-green bird (her gender made clear by the thick, red lipstick on her "beak"), they have been spotted throughout Pittsburgh in the days leading up to the Anthrocon convention, pinching noses, twisting beaks, gyrating their pelvises, and placing the heads of children in their mouths.

I consider myself a tolerant person, but how much do we really need to tolerate as a society before we stop and say, "this is too much!" Consenting adults should be free to do as they like in private. But, when their bizarre sexual peccadilloes spill into our streets, our restaurants, and even our ballparks, I'm comfortable saying, "too much."

These furries may pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into our economy, but at what cost? Sure, they stay in our hotels, but is a weekend of no-vacancy worth defiled rooms, with "Mrs. Bird" defecating on a newspaper in the Westin? Is it worth "Mr. Penguin" and his open back-hatch wandering through the Marriott lobby? How does this reflect on our city? What does a legitimate traveling family think of Pittsburgh when a woman in a bird suit, as filthy as any street vagrant, places their child's head in it's foul, stained "beak"? I strongly doubt they will make another trip to our fair city.

Live and let live, I suppose. And I comfort myself in knowing this will all wrap-up by Sunday. But, in the meantime, I say, "No thank you, Mrs. Bird... I do NOT want a hot dog from your air-cannon."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hey, 125 lb. Ladies! Yoplait Thinks You Look Fat.

Hey, 125 lb. ladies!

How many times have you gone into the kitchenette at work, opened up the fridge, and next thing you know, you're confronted with the most immaculate, perfectly decorated, raspberry cheesecake?

Of course, you start reciting the math in your head, calculating the most recent international celery-to-cheesecake exchange ratio (one large slice equaling eight celery sticks, as of the filming of this commercial). You pause to briefly consider jogging in place, because you always maintain levity, even in a crisis. And hey, you've been good today. You deserve it. Having done your due diligence, this looks like it's going to happen. Cheesecake it is!

But, hold on just a second! Because here comes a sinewy neck, two sunken-cheekbones, some pulled back hair, and a couple earrings. This changes everything, and the previous five seconds of deliberation go right out the window. Hey, you have to compliment the woman with the Shawn Bradley-frame for the ability to avoid going into heat over an office cheesecake. Give her due, and follow her lead. Grab a Yoplait.

Anyways, it's all Yoplait's subtle way of saying, you look kinda fat. Yoplait thinks you should give one of its 30 flavors at around 100 calories a try.

Yoplait agrees we have all put on a few pounds, but are we just giving up?

Yoplait is tired of you wanting to change your look every two weeks, and running out to buy a pair of Sarah Palin glasses.

Yoplait thinks you complain about your Mom so much, but you're really alot more like her than you think.

Hey, wait, come back! I'm sorry, that came out the wrong way. Yoplait wants to apologize. Oh, now you're crying, just because of one commercial and one innocent comment...

Yoplait thinks you should stop crying, because you look so ugly when you cry.....