Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mushroom Tea, Anyone? How About the Guy with the Bulging Neck Veins?

When I was a youngin' I formed the opinion that athletes were all either dickheads or psychotics.  How did I come to form this opinion?  By being systematically out-run, out-jumped, out-swam and out-everything else.

I've since learned that not every athlete is a dickhead and not every athlete is a psychotic.

Sometimes, though, they are.

Take, for example, this dude who drank a "mushroom tea" and then gouged the eye out of some dude right before ripping his still beating heart from his chest.


I'm trying to think of an instance in which it would be acceptable to pull the heart out of the chest of your friend.  Only one comes to mind:

Note to self: avoid mushroom tea.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's Tuesday; What Else Do You Want Me to Talk About?

And now something from the "Random Piece of Nerdery in the Form of a Memory That I Feel Like I Need to Share Because, I Don't Know, I Just Find it Interesting" file.

(The lettering on that file is incredibly small to accommodate such a gigantic file name.  Anyway.)

I don't know where I was or who I was talking to, but we got on the topic of secret passageways and hidden rooms - I think it was an interior design conversation, one of many I'm sure I've had, as is my wont - and I was suddenly reminded of this lodge out in the middle of the forest in Michigan that was built by a lunatic. 

That's right.  I'm an excellent conversationalist and not at all given to awkward outbursts of hazy memories of my past.

I had visited the place when I was a kid because it was now part of a Boy Scouts camp.  I was a Boy Scout for about a year and a day, until I realized that everyone in the troupe was in the early stages of becoming douchey and that I much preferred playing video games.

Anyway, I remembered that the lunatic had build the lodge out of cement but had it formed to look like log cabins.  There was a moat - an actual ditch around the whole property that was filled with spikes - a machine gun pit for a BBQ area on the roof, and a bunch of secret passageways that lead to indoor shooting galleries and tunnels to a garage where a car was constantly left running and all sorts of other insanity that only a true lunatic with a lot of money could possibly dream up for a vacation home.

Naturally, my conversational partners must have thought I was insane for bringing up a demented Boy Scout memory in the middle of a conversation that must have been about interior decorating.  They also probably thought I was making it all up too.

Well, I had completely forgotten about that conversation, as well as the lunatic and his summer home in the middle of the forest, until today when I randomly came across an article about Harry Bennett.

Mr. Bennett was a former Navy-sailor and boxer turned head of security for Henry Ford back in the 1930's and 40's.  His general animosity towards union workers and gang members lead to rampant paranoia, so as a result his house in Ann Arbor AND HIS LODGE are like fortresses for the insane.

The Lodge, Bennett's Lodge, is now part of the Lost Lake Scout Reservation in Freeman Township, MI.

Here's a wikipedia article about Bennett and his summer home.  It's a quick read, and kind of shows the extend of the guy's paranoia, which for whatever reason had stuck with me through the years.

Monday, May 24, 2010

12 Angry Sketches - COMING SOON!

You may have noticed I've finally updated the Events sidebar foochie manoolie.  That's because daddy's got a new sketch show with Robot vs Dinosaur.


Come, friends!  Come in droves, and bring likeminded comedy loving individuals!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Save the World: Parallel Park

You all don’t need me to tell you there’s a lot of hatred in this world. People kill, people lie, people cheat, people steal, people lie again, and then people go home and engage in sexual activity with your family members and call you up afterwards to brag about it. There’s a lot of anger out there.

No, you don’t need me to tell you any of that; you know it all already. But what if I told you I have a way to help ease some of that anger, some of that frustration? I’m not talking about solving everything. Just alleviating a little bit of the pressure so maybe one less person kills, one less person lies and steals, one less person engages in sexual activity with your family members and then brags about it. Hear me out, people:

Learn to parallel park.

I know it’s a pet peeve of mine.  But I’m telling you people, this is important.

Let me paint you a picture. Joe Everyone is trying to get to work. Joe is driving because he’s already running late. Joe gets to his place of employment, but it’s street parking only and there’s nowhere for Joe to park. He drives around for thirty minutes, desperately trying spaces that are just a little too small for his car. Finally, he parks way the hell away in a seedy neighborhood. While he’s walking from his car to his work, he passes by ten cars that left too much space in front of or behind them, meaning that if these a-holes had parked correctly there would have been room for another five cars. Joe gets to work late for the last time; Joe’s boss fired him.

On the long treck back to his car, he begins bashing in the windows on the poorly parked cars. He then goes on a city-wide crime spree, stealing and vandalizing, before he’s finally cornered in an abandoned factory. He’s surrounded by police and SWAT but he refuses to give up, opting instead to burn down the factory. Joe goes down in a senseless blaze of violence. The night news runs a piece wondering why a seemingly mild mannered man would suddenly snap like that. The news runs an interview with Joe’s young wife, holding a little baby boy in her arms, crying and talking about how she never saw that coming and how her son will grow up without a father now because YOU CAN’T PARALLEL PARK.

That kid? He grows up to be the next Hitler. War and genocide.

Here’s an alternate picture. Joe Everyone is trying to get to work. Joe is driving because he’s already running late. Joe gets to his place of employment, which has street parking, but he’s immediately able to find parking because everyone who parks in the neighborhood (a) actually knows how to park, and (b) is considerate. Joe goes in, works a full day, then goes home to his loving monogamous relationship, attends some sort of religious service regularly, performs charity work and teaches his young son not to become a genocidal maniac.

Which is the better (fake, completely loaded for the sake of making a dumb argument) world? I think you’d agree with me that it’s the second picture. Unless you’re Hitler.

You’re not Hitler, are you?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Iron Man 2: POPSICLES!!

Over the weekend, the best baseball girlfriend ever, her brother and I took in a showing of that dandy motioned picture show entitled "Iron Man 2."

Before going, we got dinner at a pizza place in Schaumburg - can't remember the name.  It was good.  Family pizza parlor kind of thing: kids running around while parents are drinking beer.  No, not Chucky Cheese.  What's it called?  Anyway.

We're sitting in our booth; I'm watching college softball because it's on the TV for some reason and I can't help but to glance at it occasionally because of the bright flickering lights, when suddenly my girlfriend and her brother start laughing.  'What's so funny?' I asked.  Apparently some kid near us had shouted 'Popsicles!'  No context to the outburst, just a little voice shouting 'Popsicles' with all the glee that a little kid can muster.

Sometimes you just want a popsicle.  Why?  Because they make you happy.  There's no nutrition to speak of; the damned things are mostly frozen corn syrup and food dye.    But damn it: it's Saturday afternoon and I just spent the past week running around with little to no free time for myself.  I want a popsicle.

Iron Man II is a popsicle.

"I am a popsicle.  Lick me."

I could summarize the plot, or say something about how the sequel is good but not as good as the first, but really who gives a damn?  Can we be honest for a minute?  There are explosions, there are hot cars and cool special effects, there are battles with robots; there are attactive women running around; there are super cool actors like Robert Downey Jr. and Mickey Rourke.

There's probably no artistic value to it other than to reinforce the fact that archetypes are archetypical for a reason, and there's certainly no omega 3 or whatever.  Who cares?  Look outside: we're halfway through May going into summer.

Iron Man, kiddies.  It's cold, it's sugary and it's artificially red.  Treat yourself.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday: Make Like a Third Grader; Post Dirty Words!

And now, ladies and gents, a quick Friday tour around the e-phemera collecting in the corners of the interwebs.

Oh boy. What’s first?

Ah yes! Those good ol’ college days! From my alma mater:

I feel a swelling (or pride) coming on.

Hey! Speaking of dicks!

(Are we really going to use that as a transition?)

We have no shame here, Parentheticals. Get used to it.

Bold Type is right.  There is no shame here.  Where was I?

Ah yes.

Speaking of dicks, add one more downside to the ever increasing list of publicly embarrassing acts the TSA makes you perform to get on your way to your gloriously comfortable flight to Charlotte: showing off your winkle to the body scanners.

As a side note, I love local news web stories. Why? Because (A) they will give you headlines like “Suspicious Package: TSA Worker Jailed After Junk Joke” which, like, if ever there was a Clever Title it’s that, and (B) you get to see mugshots of the type of person who beats the hell out of people for laughing at their penis size.

Take, for instance, this dude:

This guy gets riled up when people laugh at his package? Never would have seen that coming.

Enough dicks! Let’s talk about pussies!

(Come on, guys)


Not innuendo, but weirdly funny nonetheless:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Abu Dhabi: Now With More Gold!

There's nothing worse than being at an expensive French restaurant with a bunch of your well-to-do, afluent friends, just finishing up your incredibly opulent and decadent meal, when the check should come and in reaching into the pocket of your fine diamond studded trousers you discover that you LEFT YOUR GOLD BARS AT HOME!!

I'm sure you all can relate.

Never fear, ludicrously rich person: should that insanely expensive French restaurant be in Abu Dhabi then your hotel will likely have you covered.  Because if you're at the right hotel, they may have an ATM machine that dispense gold.

Not cash.  Gold.  One gram, five gram, ten gram bars of gold and, of course, gold coins.  You name it, Moneybags, they got it.


But then again, I guess when you're diving head first into a swimming pool filled with gold coins, it probably tends to cause some head trama.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Adventures in Biking: Step One, Avoid Hills

Today I have Jello for legs.  There may as well be little pieces of pineapple peering out of those two translucent wobbly bits.  Next time you are on your way to potluck or a barbeque, bring my legs.  They'll be very popular.

How did my legs become gelatinous masses?  By biking.

That's right, ladies and gents.  Your resident hairy bespeckled ape of a writer has taken up biking.

Why would I do such a thing?  A couple of reasons:
  • Gas prices are ridiculous in the city.
  • Biking - even at the incredibly slow rate of a slightly overweight hairy bespeckled ape - is quicker than both mass transit AND driving.
  • Evidently I desperately need the exercise.
I usually don't realize how out of shape I am until I try to do something that requires me to be in shape and then, consequently, suffer for it.  This time, I've slowly been working up my biking endurance by riding to rehearsal; taking longer and longer test rides; getting my ass used to the incredibly uncomfortable seat.  I thought it would be enough.  I failed to account for The Hill.

My buddy Pat, who rides in to work and has for a couple years now, forwarned me about The Hill.  It's a stretch of Halsted in between a bridge over the Chicago river and a bridge over a giant set of traintracks right before Chicago Ave.  I've never appreciated flat stretches, never praised the engineering greats who first decided to make streets level, never cursed bridges and inclines as much as I did cursing and peddling my way up the street.

Anyone strolling along the sidewalk this morning would have seen this grown man, beard and glasses spilling out of a helmet, mistaken me for an escaped lunatic with tourettes and a penchant for self-mutilation. 

Actually, that might not be so mistaken a judgement come to think of it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


EXTREME last minute notice!  My buddy Geoff from RvD and I are performing some stuff under the name CRASSUS at Fizz Bar tonight.

This is on the CRASSUS blog, that I just made yesterday!!

"CRASSUS appears at SketchTest on Tuesday 5/11.

Fizz Bar @ 7:30 PM
3220 N Lincoln,
Chicago IL

We try twelve minutes of new comedy. Come watch and bring friends."

Also, there is a review of the show posted on RvD.  Which is funny because we literally have yet to do a single show yet.  In reading the review, though, we sound pretty impressive.  Particularly since we're able to cram seven scenes into a span of 12 minutes.  That's less than two minutes per scene!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tasing: That's Your Answer For Everything, Isn't It?

It’s the new millennia, people, and tasing is all the rage. Where once police officers used to have to beat slightly rowdy people into submission with clubs, offering their Irish broguey advice the likes of “Yer only making it worse fer yeself, boy-o,” now the cops can just send a couple of quick electrical shocks through your system. Like the electric chair except less deadly and more portable.

As a result, you hear more and more about teens getting pulled over for traffic violations who are then tased twice and sent to the hospital.

I’m not against tasing, per se. I just think it should be limited to potentially violent situations. It’s hard to tell from the above mentioned article whether or not anything violent was intended – the only thing it says really was that no drugs or alcohol were found in the car and that the kid “resisted arrest” – so, hey, maybe he was threatening the police.

I don’t think the same can be said for this latest instance of a fan running on the field during last night’s Phillies game and getting tased for it. There’s video at the link.

Was that really necessary? The guy clearly didn’t mean any physical harm. He was just dicking around – it happens at sporting events. Everyone laughs, then the grounds people tackle the guy, and everyone moves on.

Dude didn’t have to tase him. What happened to just tackling those people? That was just lazy. And also potentially dangerous.