Friday, November 14, 2008

Stuff old people like (#6)

At some point in everyone's life, unless they die an untimely and tragic death, they get old. But how old is old? 70, 40, 25? Can you really put a number on it? How does one know when one is old?

One answer that most people seem to agree on is that when you're interested in things that old people are interested in, then you're old. But what are old people interested in? As always, I am here with the answer. Part 6 of our series, "Stuff _____ like" lists a few things that old people consider to be "the cat's pajamas."

Ever walk into an antique store and realize the youngest person in there makes your old, haggard mother look like a spring chicken? That's because antiques are a thing of the past. Nobody cares about a little framed picture of your great-great grandma working on a spinning wheel anymore, and if anyone actually buys that old piece of crap, they probably just want to use it as a vintage beer coaster. If you're into antiques, chances are you are an antique yourself.

The modern-day replacement for antiques is the act of antiquing, which means throwing a large quantity of flour on an unexpecting person. If you are the victim of an act of antiquing, do not look at it as a cruel prank, but instead look at it as a thoughtful homage to past generations.

For only a few hundred dollars of your hard-earned money, you can be the proud owner of a whole cart full of this useless old crap!

See above. In today's world, compact discs are like ancient Egyptian pottery or ancient Greek sculpture: good for showing your friends you are cultured and knowledgeable about history, but otherwise completely and utterly useless. If you don't have an iPod by now, you probably don't have much time to listen to music anyway with your busy schedule of bingo, shuffleboard, bridge, and AARP/VFW/Elks Lodge meetings. CDs are so 2002.

John McCain
Hanging around old people will make you look old. John McCain is very, very old. If you hang out with him, talk about him, or campaign for him, people will think that you are also very old. Case in point: Sarah Palin is 44 years old, or as most people would refer to it, "middle aged." A survey released in early 2008 before she was chosen to be McCain's running mate showed that the average American thought she was 41 years old. A survey released in October 2008, however, showed that the average American thought that Palin was 137.

2008 election results
NOTE: 100% of the 2% of 60-and-over voters who voted for Obama answered either "Yes" or "Eh? What did you say, sonny?" to the follow-up question, "Are you in denial about the fact that you are old?"

Nobody carries a handkerchief around anymore. If you do, or if you even use the word "handkerchief" for any reason other than to mock someone else's antiquity, you will appear to be a dinosaur.

Anything having to do with the show "Happy Days"
If you still watch or refer to anything having to do with this show, you probably also have some great stories to tell about hunting woolly mammoths as a young lad. News flash: Henry Winkler (the guy who played "The Fonz") is 63. Hell, he was old when he starred in "The Waterboy," and that came out over 10 years ago. Imitating or quoting The Fonz in any way, even something as simple as snapping your fingers while saying "Aaaay!" will reveal you as the geezer that you are to all observers.

"'Aaaay!' sonny! Could you hand me my handkerchief? It fell on the floor and I can't reach it because of my bad back!"

Neil Young
This is a tricky one. Judging by his name, you would never suspect that Neil Young is actually old. But the truth is that he is really old, as in 63 years old, or the same age as Henry Winkler. He's also Canadian. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can judge a person by his or her last name. Is Jack Black black? Is Barry White white? Does Britney Spears stab people with long, pointed objects? Does Tiger Woods use woods (a type of golf club)? Is Martin Short short? Ok, never mind those last two.

"Rockin' in the Free World"? Maybe in 1967. Nowadays the only rockin' "Neil OLD" does is in a chair on his front porch.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Revised presidential projection

Oops. Looks like we were a bit premature in calling Bob Barr the next U.S. President. Apparently it seems that U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) has won the election. In an extremely close race, Obama has defeated Barr in the popular vote, 52.4% to 0.4%, as well as in the electoral vote, 364 to 0.

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama
(who we now project will narrowly defeat Bob Barr)

The key outcome of this election is a shift in power from George W. Bush of the Dumb Redneck Party to Barack Obama of the Radical Communist Hippie Party. Bob Barr, the candidate supported by the Good Presidents Party, will apparently have to wait until 2012 to run again.

What exactly happened to cause this unexpected outcome, you may ask? One word: COMPLACENCY. Going into election, most polls predicted that Bob Barr would garner (the verb, not Jennifer) between 85% and 90% of the national popular vote. However, when people actually went to the polls, a strange thing that historians may someday refer to as "The Barr Effect" took place: Everyone assumed that everyone else was going to vote for Bob Barr, so they tried to get cute. At this point, approximately 99% of voters thought one of the following thoughts: "My vote doesn't matter anyway, so wouldn't it be awesome if I voted for that guy whose middle name is Hussein who supposedly pals around with terrorists?" or "Dude, everyone else is already voting for Barr, but it would be pretty sweet if I voted for that old geezer who called his wife a trollop that one time." or "Screw it, all of these candidates suck. I'm just going to write-in Ronald McDonald again."

And at this fateful moment, a tragedy of the commons like never before unfolded.

The rest is history.

"Buffalo This" salutes President Barack Obama. Better luck next time, Bob.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

And the next president is... BOB BARR!

This is the moment you've all been waiting for. Today, November 4, is Election Day in the United States of America, and based on early results, "Buffalo This" officially declares that this race is in the books and we can safely declare the winner to be the Libertarian candidate, former U.S. Representative from Georgia's 7th district BOB BARR!

The 44th U.S. President, Bobbert L. "Bob" Barr
(Fun Fact: the mustache is real and it is awesome)

To get an idea of how this happened, let's take a look at the voting results from several key U.S. states:

This is Sarah Palin country through and through. Screw McCain - as you've seen in the news, Palin has gone "rogue" and is hoping to pick up some electoral votes of her own. With 97% of precincts reporting, the Alaska vote currently stands at:
Palin 44% (all write-ins)
Obama 28%
McCain 27%
Barr 1%

I think we can safely call this one for "Caribou Barbie."

This historically blue state was expected to provide 55 easy electoral votes for Barack Obama. The results so far, however, have been fairly surprising. This year, California implemented a new voting system where each voter simply writes the first three letters of the candidate's name. On the ballot, the example provided is: "If you wanted to vote for Ichiro Suzuki, you would write 'Ich.'" Of course in Japanese the last name comes first, so the voters should know that they are supposed to write first three letters of the last name of the candidate rather than the first name. With 93% of precincts reporting, the results are as follows:
"Bar" 57%
"Joh" 34%
"Ich" 8%
"Bob" 1%

These results have been translated into the following outcome:
Bob Barr 57%
Scarlett Johansson 34%
Ichiro Suzuki 8%
John Bobbitt 1%

This looks like a definite 55 electoral votes for Bob Barr, despite impressive third-party showings from Johansson and Ichiro, who somehow failed to receive even 0.001% of the vote in any other state.

Unfortunately they forgot to un-rig the voting machines here after the 2004 election. As a result, George W. Bush is expected to defeat John Kerry by the slimmest of margins, of 51% to 49%.

Like California, this reliably red state also instituted an innovative new voting method for the 2008 elections. Instead of picking a candidate using traditional voters, Texans must pick the symbol for the candidate or party they support. The three choices this year, excluding minor-party candidates were a donkey (Democrat), an elephant (representing Babar, i.e. Bob Barr), and Sarah Palin hunting wolves from a helicopter (Republican). With 99% of precincts reporting, it looks like the results are as follows:
Elephant 45% (see right)
Donkey 42%
Palin hunting wolves 12%

Despite the fact that Obama has made a surprisingly strong showing here, enough results are in that we can confidently call this one for Bob Barr. That's 34 more electoral votes if you're keeping score at home.

This super-conservative Mormon State was considered solid McCain territory until early this morning, when the Barr campaign released a statement that Joseph Smith himself had just descended from the heavens to endorse Bob Barr. Since then, Barr has taken a commanding lead with 89% of the overall vote in this state.

As you can see in the below electoral map, Bob Barr has won this election in a landslide. Obama, once considered the front-runner, carried only his home state of Illinois, his birth state of Hawaii, and two super-hippie New England states, Vermont and Massachusetts. McCain, who many also thought was likely to pick up a fair share of electoral votes, won only his home state of Arizona and Florida, where there are a lot of old people, who often name the #1 quality they look for in a leader as "not plastering on the make-up like a trollop."

Final Electoral Vote totals:
Barr 438
Obama 40
McCain 37
Bush 20
Palin 3

Well, it looks like America has spoken. All hail President Barr!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween tips

If you've checked your calendar recently, you've probably noticed a weird occurrence that's scheduled to take place today, October 31. This odd event is called "Halloween." Now most Americans aren't aware of this holiday, but there was a time in our nation's history when people actually cared about Halloween.

How can I find out how to celebrate this "Halloween" without coming off as a clueless buffoon, you may ask? Not to worry, I have a few little tips for you right here:

1) Remember the tradition
Halloween started as a pagan ritual in which people dressed up in the scariest outfits possible and danced around a fire in an attempt to frighten evil spirits. This is NOT the tradition that you should remember, however.

Halloween today is just like any other holiday: the goal is to get drunk and get laid. What makes Halloween different from other get drunk/get laid holidays (St. Patrick's Day, New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, etc) is that one part of the original tradition is retained: the costume. However, do NOT dress up in a scary costume whatever you do. It makes you look like too much of a traditionalist and also tends to freak people out, which may make them choose not to engage in drunken sexual relations with you.

2) Stick to the unofficial costume code
If you are a single woman, your options are the following: slutty nurse, slutty cat, slutty rabbit, slutty devil, slutty witch, or prostitute. If you are not comfortable with any of those, you must dress up as a nun (which most people probably already think will be your future career).

If you are a single man, you must dress up in whatever costume gives you the best chance of getting laid. Creativity and uniqueness generally make you stand out from the crowd. Group costumes also attract attention, especially ones that women will consider cute. Dressing up as the cast of "Happy Feet" (penguins) might be a good choice. The drawback to a group costume, however, is that you must fight off your similarly-dressed "bros" for women that fall into your clever trap.

If you are a married couple, you have to dress up as two things that go together, such as salt and pepper shakers, a plug and an outlet, or a prisoner and a warden (the last one may hit a little too close to home for some of you). NO EXCEPTIONS.

3) Don't dress up as anything related to a tragic event unless it's been long enough that it's funny
If you dress up as Alexander Hamilton with a bullet wound or a deformed Chernobyl victim, people may consider it rather humorous. The first of those two examples happened over 40 years ago (the general cutoff) and the second happened over 20 years ago (the cutoff if it happened in a different country). A tandem costume of Catherine the Great and a horse would be a particularly big hit if you could pull it off. However, if you dress up as Steve Irwin with a stingray attached to your chest, that is NOT FUNNY! It is WAY too soon for that, you insensitive prick!

4) Three words: "Where's your costume?"
This is a hilarious joke that never gets old. You can always be sure to get a lot of laughs by making this comment or something along the same line when the person really is wearing a rather scary or disgusting costume. Is your boss's wife dressed up like Frankenstein? Is your friend's mother wearing an impressive Linda Tripp outfit? If so, then insinuating that this person does not look any different than normal is a guaranteed knee-slapper.

You: "Where are your costumes?"

What if someone is extremely sensitive and gets offended, you ask? Easy. Just say, "Come on, don't be such a Hallo-weenie." Everyone dreads being called this, so on October 31 it is an easy out that can serve as an escape ladder after any inappropriate comment.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Six more months!

No, this isn't a post about the remaining tenure of George W. Bush (which is actually less than 3 months). Besides, why would you ever want "W" to leave office? That guy is hilarious! I guarantee you that neither McCain nor Obama will be half the comedian that our current president is.

Bush with flag

No, this post is actually about a fairly common topic on this blog: The Large Hadron Collider. If you haven't been reading this blog or the news very much, I'll sum up the LHC for you in one brief sentence:

The LHC is a big, scary atom smasher in Europe that's going to kill you.

Now, the LHC should be well on its way to colliding protons, lead ions, babies, kittens, and the like head-on (apply directly to the forehead) at near-light speeds, smashing them to pieces. Unfortunately (or fortunately for those of you who don't want the world to be destroyed), a transformer (robot in disguise) failed and some wires melted. Then some helium leaked out, making the scientists' voices too high for them to understand each other. And now, winter's coming and people don't really feel like fixing the LHC now because it's getting too cold outside and they're going to start showing holiday specials like the claymation version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" on TV soon. As a result of all these problems, the startup of the collider has been delayed until Spring 2009.

So what does this mean for you, Joe Sixpack? Simple - it means you just got six extra months to live. This may pose a dilemma for those of you who have already accepted your fate as a black hole's mid-morning snack and are currently lying on the floor of your parents' living room in the fetal position waiting to meet your doom. That dilemma is: Now that I have six more months to live, what the hell do I do?

As with all other problems you face in your life, "Buffalo This" is here with some suggestions to help you out. Here they are:

1) Take up a charitable cause
There is no more honorable use of your pre-apocalyptic time than working to make life more enjoyable for disadvantaged people between now and the time their very molecules are ripped apart by a black hole.

A few examples of major problems that you can do something about right now are:
-Starving children in Africa
-Obese children in the U.S.
-People failing to clear unused time off the microwave after cooking their food
-Unfortunate investment bankers who have recently had to trade down to smaller yachts
-Human rights violations in the Middle East
-People talking during other people's backswings on the golf course
-Lack of access to education in poor neighborhoods
-Paris Hilton
-People eating all of your favorite type of candy bar out of the variety pack, leaving only the not-as-good ones
-Homes needing rebuilding in areas hit by natural disasters
-The fact that humanity does not know how to stop black holes from expanding

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start saving the world before there's no world to save!

2) Save yourself
Not exactly the charitable type? Then screw those starving kids in Somalia - just try to save yourself! How exactly do you save yourself from a black hole, you may ask? Easy - you get the hell away from it as fast as possible. Now that you have six more months, you may want to consider building a spaceship that will do just that. Just build a compartment with at least a few years' supply of oxygen, food (Easy Mac or Cup o' Noodles will work), and water, strap a big-ass engine to it, add fuel, then light it, jump in, and let it blast you off into space in whatever direction you think is most likely to have a planet you can live on (try Alpha Centauri). The rest will take care of itself. Hey, it's better than being sucked into a black hole, isn't it?

3) Build ships in a bottle
Ship in a bottle
Do it while you still can! When you learn that a black hole is waiting to spaghettify you, you will be too mentally distraught to have the dexterity you'll need to build that little ship. Why enjoy the last few months or years with family and friends when you can do something really useful with your time? People of course will be amazed at your craftsmanship, saying things like, "No way! How in the world did you ever get that ship into that bottle? That's impossible! Come on, tell me!" You must never reveal your secret, however. That way, people will spend their remaining time wondering how you did it, rather than worrying about their impending fate. Think of it this way: if you were falling into a black hole, would you rather be screaming, "AAAAAH!!! I'm falling into a black hole! Oh no, it's starting to spaghettify me!!! AAAAAAAH!!!" or, "How did that guy get that darned ship into that bottle? If I come out of this alive I absolutely must figure that out."

4) Attempt to do everything listed in Tim McGraw's song "Live Like You Were Dying"
This song is a handy guide to all the things you should do before being spaghettified by a black hole (or dying in any other manner). Some examples are the following:
  • Skydiving
  • Rocky Mountain climbing (Rocky Mountains, NOT the Alps or the Himalayas)
  • 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu (this is the hardest one - you must both verify the bull's name and keep a stopwatch with you to make sure you fall off after exactly 2.7 seconds, then get out of the way before the bull gores you)
  • Fishing with your dad exactly three times the year before the black hole kills him (and you)
  • Speak sweeter
  • Give forgiveness you've been denying (maybe to Henry Paulson for the bailout or to Ryan Reynolds for marrying Scarlett Johansson before you were able to make your move and for failing to participate in the sequel to "Van Wilder")
  • Read "the good book" (any good book will do - you may want to try The Great Gatsby as it is relatively short and manageable)
  • Watch an eagle as it is flying
One thing Tim forgot to include, however, is "two chicks at the same time." That is an essential element that should be on everyone's bucket list (women included).

5) Panic
People panicking
If crazy shit is going on and you don't know what to do, panicking is always a reliable fallback option. The tricky part here is knowing when to start panicking. If you start panicking too early, people are going to think you're crazy. If you start too late, on the other hand, people are going to criticize you as a bandwagon-jumper.

The best advice I can give you here is to find the coolest, most stylish and with-it person you know, then wait til he or she starts panicking. When this happens, take to the streets and run around maniacally while throwing your arms in the air and screaming like a banshee. Everyone else will most likely follow your lead soon after.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The World Series

World Series 2008
As a baseball guy, I feel that it would be criminal for me not to post at least once on the current World Series. Now since baseball doesn't have much mass appeal these days, I'm not going to analyze obscure sabermetrics and launch into prolonged discussions regarding whether Chase Utley is a better complete player than Evan Longoria.

So the 7-game series is tied 1-1, which means the two teams will basically play a best-of-5 from here on out to determine who is crowned World Champions. (Quite a coincidence how the two teams playing for the WORLD championship are both from the east coast of the U.S., isn't it?)

Well without further ado, here are 5 fearless predictions for the remainder of the series:

1) One of the announcers makes a B.J. Upton joke, then gets fired
Chances are it goes something like this:
Announcer 1: "It's back...way back...and it's gone! Home run, B.J. Upton!"
Announcer 2: "B.J. Upton has really played well in this postseason. He's going to be a terrific player for the Rays in the next few years."

Announcer 1: "You got that right. He's the best B.J. Upton since that time I picked up a hooker on the Upper East Side last year."
(Cut to "technical difficulties" screen as a TV executive comes over and tries to choke Announcer 1)

Tony and Evan2) Tony Parker sighting!
As most of you probably know, San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker married Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria in 2007 in San Francisco despite major protests from the religious right.

Chances are Tony shows up to a game or two to cheer on his beloved in his first season in the big time.

3) America gets a "Hot Carl" at some point or another
There are three players in the current World Series named "Carl" or something starting with "Carl": the Phillies' Carlos Ruiz and the Rays' Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford. One of these players is bound to break out with a game-changing performance at some point? Who will it be? I'm going with Carl Crawford, the only real Carl on the list.

This season was rather disappointing for proponents of crude sexual maneuvers, as the "Cleveland Steamer" ran out of gas early (Indians finished 81-81) and the Reds failed to pull of a late-season "Cincinnati Surprise" (instead finishing 74-88). What's going to happen now? My guess is that the Phillies take a two-run lead into the 9th inning of Game 7 and seemingly have the series in hand, but then pull a "Philly Fakeout" as closer Brad Lidge allows Crawford to defecate on the Phillies' faces (figuratively speaking of course) with a huge bases-load triple that drives home the winning run.

4) Rays pitcher Grant Balfour gets into a confusing exchange with the umpire after allowing a walk
Chances are it will go something like this:
Ump: "Ball four! Take your base!"
Balfour: "What do you mean 'take your base?' I'm the pitcher."
Ump: "Not you. The hitter. That was ball four."
Balfour: "No, I'm Balfour."
Ump: "I know."
Balfour: "Then what's going on here?"
Ump: "Ball four."
Balfour: "What?"
Ump: "I'm not talking about you."
Balfour: "Then who are you talking about? My brother?"
(and so on)

Balfour and Navarro

Left: Rays catcher Dioner Navarro settles down pitcher Grant Balfour by saying something along the lines of, "Settle down, dude. The ump's not trying to call you out. You just walked the guy."

5) 99% of America won't care what happens
Who's playing again? The Yankees? No. The Red Sox? No. The Cubs? No. That zapping sound you just heard was the simultaneous turning-off of approximately 200 million TV sets across America. There are really only three teams in baseball as far as most of the nation is concerned.

America is about as bummed about this year's world series matchup as Michael Vick would be if he showed after being promised an exciting dogfight, only to find that the "fight" was really just a heated argument between two of the miniature purse-jockeys from "Beverly Hills Chihuahua." Unless you're in Philadelphia or Tampa, don't be surprised if your local sports bar opts for bowling, poker, midget tossing, or the World Series of Darts.

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