Thursday, October 30, 2014

No pumpkin cookie!

One of the clients I do freelance work for was doing a potluck Halloween get-together and I was on the e-mail list. The idea was that everyone who wants brings something homemade, and a panel of judges gives awards for the best dishes. I have a butt-kicking recipe for pumpkin cookies, and I went as far as holding a can of pumpkin in my hand, ready to roll.

Then I decided: No pumpkin cookie for you.

Why? Am I just a party pooper? Am I the kind of punk who goes to a party and brings nothing and eats everything? Am I just a rotten, no-fun weenie?

Yes, but that's beside the point. Here are the reasons that rushed up on me while I held that can of pumpkin:

1) Freelancers never win competitions. You're always an alien in a party like that if you're not a full-timer. Even those who are part of the Obama 29-Hour Army are just endured, never welcomed into the bosom of the family. Everyone will know what you brought, even if the competition claims to be a blind taste test, and you will automatically if subtly be disqualified.

2) It's tiresome to bring sweets to an office, even for a party. You wind up having to hear from everyone who went to the gym that morning, and everyone who hasn't had a sweet thing since Valentine's Day, tee hee. Which brings me to the latest revelation:

3) The last time I was at that office I heard a tedious one-upmanship conversation about who was better at giving up gluten. This was the worst excuse for a pissing contest I have ever heard, and I've been in lots of battles that were not even worth being won. Why would I waste cookies on people like that? I use gluteny flour with extra gluten: so there!

4) And of course, when I make my fine, fine cookies, who winds up eating most of them? Fat Freddy Key, that's who. Got to taste them, make sure they're okay, then make sure they didn't get hard the next day, then one more to see how the icing took... I'm fat enough now, thanks.

And 5) As King of Suburbia, I'd have to bring these cookies into the city. They're a crisp cookie. One bonk on the bus and I've got a bag full of crumbs. Which I would then have to eat myself.

So, the hell with it. I'll slip a box of Twinkies into the mix and eat nothing myself. I may be a party pooper, but this party is probably pre-pooped for the sake of convenience.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dial up the terror!

Oooooh! Scaaaaaaaaaary!

Okay, maybe not too scary. This is Dial's Halloween hand soap, in non-Halloween scent. It has a very nice scent, I should say, but it's just a foaming hand soap, not, say, a pumpkin-scented or burning-leaf-scented or candy-corn-scented soap. This doesn't quite make the cut for the Great Lileks's "Pumpkinification of Everything" that he's been running through October, as there's no pumpkin flavor; also, he's focusing mostly on candy and snacks.

The Dial bottle is disappointing enough. It's certainly got nice art, and the standard Dial foaming soap bottle shape gives it a more pumpkiny look than many other seasonal pumpkin-themed products. The problem is, it is supposed to be glow-in-the-dark. Twenty minutes of light supposedly fires up the glow-in-the-dark outline of the spooky face. Look out! Could scare the kids!

Well, here's my artist's impression of what it looked like in the dark:

And it thereby fulfilled a longstanding tradition of non-glowing glow-in-the-dark products for Halloween.

It's important to keep these holiday traditions going from one generation to the next. In November we'll focus on your aunt's dry turkey and watching your school lose on Homecoming Day.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

“Black Widow” Confesses to Serial Killing.

Elizabeth Noone, 53, of Bow Road, Cheapside, was arrested this morning and charged with the murder of seven men, all of whom had been married to her. Her current husband, Henry Noone, still lives, currently under police protection.

Police Superintendent Antony Murst issued a statement shortly after the arrest: “The suspect, Mrs. Noone, 'oo's full name is Elizabeth Ann Regall Leckenby Murray Bim Weston O’Toole Murgatroyd Pung Noone, is charged wif 'aving 'anged, poisoned, stabbed, shot, pushed off a railway platform, smothered, and bludgeoned 'er seven previous 'usbands to death, and attempting to gas 'er current 'usband, Mr. 'enery Noone.”
The case has excited all of London not only because of the viciousness of the crimes and the deviousness of the killer, but also because of the bizarre link that each of the murderess’s husbands, including the current one, shared the same first name.
Ev’ry one was a 'enery,” said Superintendent Murst. “Wouldn’t 'ave a Willie or a Sam.”
The suspect, Elizabeth Ann Regall Leckenby Murray Bim Weston O’Toole Murgatroyd Pung Noone,
shown with officers, would have neither Willies nor Sams.
Mr. Noone, speaking by telephone with police permission, confirmed that his wife made an attempt on his life.
“She says ‘I fink somefing’s wrong wif th’ oven, an’ would I 'ave a peek inside,” Mr. Noone told reporters. “Soon as I’m in she turns on th’ gas and rams me 'indquarters in firm. She’s a strong woman, is my wife, stronger'n she looks, an’ I was lucky to escape. I runs to the coppers and when they investigate they find out 'er previous 'enerys 'ave all hexpired under other mysterious circumstances.”
According to reports, Mrs. Noone has maintained her innocence, but has yet to attempt to explain how all seven of her deceased husbands happened to come to violent and premature ends, as exhumation has confirmed.
The London coroner's office has come under fire for failing to realize the connections during the killer’s spree, signing reports with causes of death listed variously such as “accidental poisoning,” “suicide by hanging,” “accidental stabbing in the back seven times,” “accidental smothering with big embroidered pillow,” and “forgot to check body; got planted; too late now.”
As for the remarkable coincidence of all her victims being named Henry, Harley Street brain specialist Dr. William Thropwicke Jerkins suspects there is no coincidence at all.
“Mrs. Noone’s late father was named Henry,” he told reporters, citing police reports. “Obviously she wanted to kill someone, and I would hazard a guess that she wasn’t too fond of the old man, so she married and murdered surrogates. If I were this Murst chap I would dig her father up, too.”
“Glad I’m not named Henry, by the way,” he added.
Mr. Henry Noone was asked by reporters why he never thought something was odd about his wife having seven dead husbands and all of them named Henry, he said, “I dunno. She called it 'The Importance of Bein' 'Enery.' As for all of 'em dyin', I guess I just thought she was unlucky. Somethin’ to think about, though, ain’t it?”

Monday, October 27, 2014

Amazing weight loss plan!

Trees! Do you want to lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds? Are you tired of being called "full-figured"? Do you wish you had the bony look associated with Hollywood stars and fitness celebrities?

It's easier than you think! Just use Autumnal Equinox, the new weight-loss plan that's sweeping the northern parts of the nation!

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BEFORE                                                                                                   AFTER
And it's so easy! Just expose yourself to strong winds and diminished temperatures and light, and Autumnal Equinox does the rest! The excess weight just disappears**!

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*Results completely typical.

**Autumnal Equinox is not recommended for fir trees and other evergreens, palm trees, or small houseplants. May cause seasonal affective disorder. Foliage may not return if you die over the next six months in the dead miserable cold. Autumnal Equinox must be taken with Winter Solstice whether you like it or not. Use only as directed. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Don't wear that.

I don't want to be mean about it---Lord knows I've been inappropriately dressed many times. I once got scolded (nicely) by a priest for wearing a hat into church. That was decades ago and I still feel bad about it.

And I do wear plaid, at least when Mrs. Key is not looking and I can sneak out the door.

But this is just not right for a nice restaurant.

The guy seemed to be uncomfortable about it, which leads me to believe he was tricked into taking his lady to a nicer restaurant than he expected. Management didn't care; with the margins in the restaurant business these days they're just relieved everyone shows up with pants. But there are ways to dress to go out to dinner and ways not to dress to go out to dinner, and this is part of category 2. 

Still, I do give anyone high marks for at least being aware of being underdressed. These days everyone slumps around like dumb oafs everywhere---TGI Friday's, the mall, Disneyland, work, interviews, childbirth, church, weddings, funerals, surgery, it's all the same to the lumpen proletariat. This was not the way the world looked just twenty years ago. What the hell is happening to us? Where will it all end? 

My guess: No pants in the restaurant. 

As for me and mine, we will stand by our trousers. Call me a reactionary if you like. That's how we roll.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Secrets of history.

World War II: Although feared, and renowned for its ability to deliver 206 troops in a single C-53 Skytrooper, the United States Army's 113th Airborne Comedy Division ("The Fightin' Paraclowns") was not particularly effective and was tragically wiped out in Operation Market Garden.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Never watch anything being made.

They say people who like sausage and respect the law should never watch either being made. I'm here to tell you should never watch anything being made.

For example, if you're familiar with the Children's Place, you know it as the friendly store for sweeeeet huggy lovey kids' clothes like this:

But the headquarters in New Jersey looks like THIS:


You don't even want to know what the factories look like.

Nah, I don't know. Even though this onesie is said to be "imported," I don't imagine dark satanic mills cranking out the duckies and bears. I just thought it was funny that the big CHILDREN'S PLACE sign is on a glass building that looks like the kind of place that would make a kid faint from boredom just standing in the lobby.

But you get the idea. The creative process for anything is ugly, dull, and very, very often fruitless. Even, or maybe especially, writing. P.G. Wodehouse was known to make himself laugh, but most comic writers are more like Dave Barry, engaged in strenuous toenail maintenance. S.J. Perelman was known to crank out one slow word at a time, while Thurber just tossed off draft after draft. Either way it would be dull viewing.

There's a reason that there's no Authors Channel, where you watch authors composing at their laptops. You'd enjoy programming from the Emergency Broadcast System more.

You see it at your own job. You know how much crap goes on behind the scenes of every shiny new car, every freshly washed child, every lovely painted wall, every rock-solid contract. It's sausage all the way down. But that's part of the wonder of humanity---we take scattered stuff 'n nonsense and turn it into something grand. (Of course we do the reverse as well, but that's another story.)