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.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Word on the street #8: A prostitute

You may be wondering which term you should use when referring to your friendly neighborhood prostitute, depending on how you feel about her at the time. Well wonder no more. Here are 10 different terms for "prostitute," "streetwalker," or "woman of ill repute," ranked from most offensive to least.

So the next time you want to take a page out of John McCain's book and say, "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a _____, you _____!" you'll have just the words to fill in those tricky blanks!

10) Village bicycle
What you may think is a clever metaphor is the ultimate insult to your local streetwalker. Not only does it imply that she has been "ridden" by many men, it also calls her one of the cheapest, slowest modes of transportation out there. It beats "village pogo stick," but "village Maserati" or "village Concorde" may be a better choice.

9) Ho-bag(g)
Well I never! If you refer to a prostitute by this term, you are insinuating that she is somehow descended from the families of Ho Chi Minh and Richard Bagg (of "Van Wilder"). Illegitimate love-child of an evil Communist leader and a douchey, uptight pre-med frat boy? No thanks.

8) Trollop
As John McCain once said to his wife, "At least I don't plaster on the make-up like a trollop, you cunt!" This term is something that John McCain pulled from his childhood in the late 1800's (or was it mid 1800's?). The term is extremely antiquated, but legend has it that a "trollop" was a very, very bad thing to call somebody.

7) Strumpet
Another old one, similar to "trollop." However this one is very easy to play off, as the sound "strumpet" comes up quite frequently in the English language. For example:
"Strumpet? No, I said, 'He was playing his trumpet.'"
"Strumpet? No, we were just playing a game of cards and I said, 'If you play a club, my hearts trump it.'"
"Strumpet? No, I said, 'Captain Morgan's parrot is definitely the best rum pet.'"
The possibilities are endless.

6) Hooker
Sounds a bit offensive, but fortunately you have an easy out here. When the strumpet in question takes offense to this term, you should clarify what you meant by saying, "I was talking about T.J. Hooker from the TV series, you know, William Shatner." To which the prostitute will likely respond, "Shatner? I barely even know her!" You will then both have a good laugh and be on your merry way.

5) Whore
Actually quite an offensive term, but the prostitute will appreciate that you expended the energy required to move your facial muscles enough to pronounce the "w" and the "re" rather than just saying "ho" (which it ends up isn't really that offensive - see below). Just make sure you enunciate.

4) Ho
This is actually a common Chinese surname. To be offended by this would be to admit that you are ethnically intolerant, and nobody wants to be branded as that. A surprisingly safe bet.

3) Working girl
With this term, you are acknowledging that being a prostitute is a tough job that requires extreme mental fortitude as well as physical endurance. Quite respectful.

Ford Escort2) Escort
Escort is a pretty nice term to use, as it was derived from the old English term "Ford Escort," which means a comfortable yet affordable car that gets you where you're going and can be counted on to last well upwards of 100,000 miles. Compared to something like "nasty, disease-ridden weather-beaten chickenhead" or "village Pinto," this one sounds pretty good.

1) Mom
Because really, it would be disrespectful to refer to your mother by any of those other terms. Shame on you! (Yes, I had to go there.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The "smart" bus

If you've been living somewhere other than under a rock for the last few years, you've probably noticed that you hear the word "hybrid" a lot. Ok, "a lot" is an understatement - "hybrid" has basically become the second most common word in the English language after "the." Your typical hybrid car is one that runs on a combination of gas and electric power which gets over 40 miles per gallon and is usually driven by hippies, yuppies, or any other types of people who might be called "'ppies" for short.

If we can "hybridize" cars to make them fuel-efficient, why not buses? Those big old hogs irresponsibly tool around town, carting kids to school, rock bands to their venues/drug dealers, and compulsive gamblers to Atlantic City, all the while getting something like 6 miles per gallon. Now we could make every bus a gas-electric hybrid to improve that figure to 15 mpg or so. Unfortunately that would not be a feasible solution, as approximately 78% of Americans pride themselves on not being part of the "Prius crowd" and would refuse to ride in such a vehicle.

Smart car
Fortunately there is another way to make vehicles more fuel efficient rather than resorting to that ridiculous gas-electric mumbo-jumbo: just make them smaller. The "Smart car" is an example of this technique. This Gary Coleman of vehicles has been popular in Europe for years and is just starting to take hold in the U.S. The top 3 reasons to drive a Smart car are as follows:
3) To save gas.
2) To feel like you're playing golf all the time by cruising around in something the size of a golf cart (except without room for your clubs).
1) To "live on the edge" and add excitement to your life by knowing that you're completely screwed if you're ever involved in a crash with anything larger than a pygmy ground squirrel.

If we can shrink cars, why not shrink buses? The fact is that most buses don't use anywhere near their full capacities. I mean it's not like the notoriously global warmers known as the Partridge Family needed those extra 5 rows of seats! Shame on them! As punishment for his egregiously large carbon footprint, David Cassidy should have to be smacked upside the head by Al Gore with the skin of a dead polar bear every day for the next 10 years.

Partridge Family bus

So why not apply the Smart car idea to create a Smart bus? It would allow people to transport fairly large groups around AND save gas and the environment while still maintaining that ultra-cool "bus image."

Smart carbus


The Smart car-bus hybrid might look something like this:

Short bus

When people see a bus like this, you can rest assured that the first word that will come to their minds regarding the people riding inside is definitely "smart."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Name game #1: Joe

Well, I'm back. Hopefully you didn't jump off a bridge thinking this award-winning blog had gone the way of the dinosaurs and John McCain's presidential hopes (sorry - too soon?). Ends up I've just been bogged down with the usual stuff: work, anti-Large Hadron Collider protests, several-day peyote and/or acid trips in the Mojave desert, and trying to revive my baseball career by playing in the local "senior" league.

Now I'm back and bloggin' once again. So what's been going on in the world for the past week or so? The economy totally tanked and we're heading for a second Great Depression. Whatever. I've got my money safely tied up in AAA-rated Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs), as should any smart investor. People have also been talking about a lot of Joes recently - Joe Biden, Joe Sixpack, Joe the plumber. Who are these mysterious yet intriguing characters?

This brings me to a new segment I'd like to call "Name game." In each installment of this segment, I'll list the top ten people with a certain name and describe why each should be either loved or hated. Here we go with Name game #1: Joe:

10) Joe the plumber
The best friend of Senator John McCain and arch-nemesis of Senator Barack Obama, Joe the plumber is a rich-ass pipe-fixer who brings in over $250,000 a year. Obama contends that because Joe is wealthy, he could afford to pay a little more in taxes. McCain, on the other hand, believes that because plumbers have to deal with unclogging toilets all day, they deserve a tax break no matter how rich they might be. We must say NO to the plumber tax breaks! If we allow this to happen, pretty soon we will have "Bill Gates the plumber," "Warren Buffett the plumber," and probably even "John and Cindy McCain the plumbers." Everyone will become plumbers just to avoid paying taxes, leaving nobody to do the rest of the work that society needs done. Hey, at least we won't have to deal with clogged-up crappers ever again!

9) Joe from the saying "Say it ain't so, Joe"
Nobody likes a naysayer. Besides, there's no denying the fact that "it" definitely IS so. This saying originally referred to Shoeless Joe Jackson of Black Sox Scandal fame, but can refer to any Joe who is considered to be "rain on a parade" or "ants at a picnic." From now on I propose that we refer to such Joes as "Debbie Downer" or just "Debbie."

8) Joe, North Carolina
A couple miles south of the bustling metropolis of Hot Springs lies shitty little Joe, NC. If you Google Map it and zoom in further, you will see that Joe is nothing more than a random location in the middle of the woods. The only other town nearby (a few miles east) is named Stackhouse, after obnoxious UNC basketball star Jerry Stackhouse. For these reasons, Joe, NC wins the official title of "Worst place to live in the universe," narrowly beating out the surface of the sun and just inside the event horizon of a supermassive black hole.
Joe, NC
7) Joe Biden
Listen, I already covered this guy in this post. He's old and he's from Delaware. Yawn.

This show was based on the age-old trick of pretending you're rich to get a woman into bed (much like N.W.A.'s classic hit "I Ain't Tha 1"). "Joe" a.k.a. Evan Marriott, the star of the show, pretended he had inherited a huge fortune, but was really just a run-of-the-mill construction worker. Hey, Joe the plumber should try that trick! Oh wait, he already is rich.

Tom Hanks' greatest performance of all time. The part where they jumped into the volcano and were blown out by a sudden gust of wind was priceless! Damn it, I just ruined the movie for you. Sorry.

Joe Camel4) Joe Camel
Because sometimes you just need a cigarette, and this lovable cartoon icon reminds our kids of that indisputable fact.

3) Joe Sixpack
Everyone (not just Sarah Palin) loves the town drunk. He can always be counted on to tell us entertaining war stories and conspiracy theories at any hour of the day, any day of the week. Just head to your local bar and he'll be the old, dirty guy who hasn't shaven in a month with an impressive number of pint glasses and beer bottles haphazardly scattered around him.

cup of joe2) Joe (coffee)
Without this miraculous liquid, we would live in a world where nobody did anything productive until after noon (similar to the world that is currently called "college").

1) Joe Mama
An endless source of hilarity, "joe mama" jokes are perfect for any occasion: the playground, the bus ride home from middle school, weddings, funerals, kickball games, presidential debates, labor strikes, you name it. If you're going to insult someone, hit 'em where it hurts!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Stuff white buffalo like (#5)

For the 5th part in our series of blatant ripoffs of "Stuff white people like," it's the biggest ripoff yet: "Stuff white buffalo like." In case you've never heard of white buffalo, they're basically similar to white people: they enjoy such activities as drinking a glass of Chardonnay on a sailboat, playing a round of golf at the country club in argyle sweaters, voicing their support for Barack Obama, and lecturing others on the cultural traditions and needs of "colored" buffalo. Unlike white people, however, they are a very small minority in the U.S., where brown buffalo comprise more than 99% of the population. This demographic difference makes the social plight of white buffalo rather interesting. Right now you're probably on the edge of your seat wondering what these strange yet beautiful animals might be interested. Well the wait is over - here is some stuff white buffalo like...

Correcting bad grammar/typos
Like many white people, white buffalo are absolutely sickened by poor grammar or spelling. They will without exception instantly correct the offender and most likely ignore whatever message he/she was actually trying to get across, as important or interesting as that message might be.

For example, the following conversation would be fairly typical:
Brown buffalo: "Your never going to believe this! I just discovered an extension of Einstein's special theory of relativity! By my calculations, it should allow for faster-than-light interstellar travel as well as time travel to both the future and the past. This is going to revolutionize science! When you get some time, you should read my 83-page mathematical proof."
White buffalo: "Um...did you just use 'your' instead of 'you're?' You honestly must be mentally retarded. You disgust me, you ignorant slob. Begone!"
Note that white buffalo consider any grammatical errors in the buffalo phenomenon especially egregious. If you make such an error, prepare to be permanently ostracized from white buffalo circles and possibly even burned at the stake.

After writing this, I realized it also appeared in "Stuff white people like" (see post here). What a coincidence! Like white people, white buffalo consider irony to be the highest form of humor and will use it at every opportunity. For example, when something crazy and unpredictable happens, you might hear a white buffalo use the phrase "black swan event" to describe it. Normally using this saying would not be considered strange. However, since a white buffalo is much more rare and striking as a black swan, you would expect a white buffalo to instead use the phrase "white buffalo event." The fact that the buffalo ignores such an obvious and pertinent alternative saying is a classic example of irony at its best.

Now there is one trap that you must be certain not to fall into when interacting with white buffalo, and that is mistaking Alanis Morissette-style "irony" for actual irony. If you make this error, white buffalo will usually respond derisively and instantly lose all respect for you. For example, if you say something like, "Dude, the other day I needed a spoon to eat my yogurt so I went to the silverware drawer and there were like 10,000 knives in there but NO spoons. It was so ironic." then you can expect a response along the lines of, "That's not ironic, idiot. It's just poor silverware management. I mean who doesn't own a single spoon? Also, if it's really true that you have 10,000 knives, then you've just removed the last shred of doubt in my mind that you're a psychotic killer. Go bison yourself, OJ Simpson."

The name "Mark Ruffalo" (and the activity)
White buffalo enjoy the name "Mark Ruffalo," and not just because "Ruffalo" is the only true rhyme for "buffalo." You see, white buffalo have the chameleon-like advantage of being able to take on the color of any liquid that is thrown on them. If you cover a white buffalo in buffalo sauce, it becomes a red buffalo, commonly known as a "ruffalo." In addition, like people, buffalo refer to someone who is weak and easily duped as a "mark." A common prank that white buffalo will pull on each other is called "Mark Ruffaloing." To Mark Ruffalo a buffalo, you must trick said buffalo into walking into some kind of booby trap where a series of strings and pulleys or the like are rigged up to a bucket waiting to cover him/her in buffalo sauce.

A white buffalo about to be Mark Ruffaloed:
Mark Ruffalo

It is important to note that white buffalo absolutely do not actually like Mark Ruffalo the actor. Believe me, they found "13 Going on 30" and "Rumor Has It" just as nauseating as you did, if not more so.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bailout bonanza part II

Uncle Sam shakedown
On Thursday I explained to you how the bailout is an excellent tool that the government can use to help downtrodden victims of tragic events such as investment bank CEOs.  So it looks like the $700 billion Wall Street bailout is going to happen now that both the House and Senate have passed it.  It will only be a matter of time before we're bailing out airlines, oil companies, healthcare providers, and gamblers in Las Vegas.  But why stop there?  There are so many more problems in this country that can easily be solved with a few hundred billion dollars!  Here are a few other bailout ideas that the government absolutely MUST consider to make things right for victims of other major crises:

The prisoners' bailout
Criminals are a demographic group that has been mistreated by the U.S. government throughout our nation's history.  Instead of allowing them the freedoms afforded to the rest of American citizens, we keep them locked up in cells all day, being forced to make license plates and play on terrible football teams with Adam Sandler as their quarterback and Burt Reynolds as their coach.  How can we make it up to them?  Bail them out - literally!  The government should post bail money for every criminal, from Winona Ryder to Charles Manson.  Then, to give them a good start in their new life of freedom, give each of them $10,000.  If after a few years many of them end up in jail once again, another bailout may be needed.

Jared Fogle
The Jared Fogle bailout
Obesity has become an increasingly serious problem in America.  How do you conquer obesity?  Well, exercise is obviously out of the question, because 1) nobody can afford gym memberships with the economy as bad as it is, 2) global warming has made outdoor exercise unbearable, and 3) there are so many good TV shows on these days, leaving no time for exercise.  The one factor that is within our control is how we eat.  As our beloved Jared Fogle showed us, you can lose a lot of weight just by eating at Subway for every meal.  So why not bail out everyone in America with a BMI (body mass index) over 30 (the cutoff for obesity) by giving each of them $10 a day to use on Subway subs?  Let's just hope they don't use that money to wolf down footlong Chicken Bacon Ranch subs with cheese, which weigh in at 1280 calories and 70 grams of fat apiece.  But why would they - they want to lose weight, don't they?  There's no way obese people would ever choose to eat something so unhealthy!

The smugglers' bailout
Every year, drug smugglers lose many millions of dollars worth of product due to crackdowns by U.S. government officials.  These huge losses have put many a smuggler's business and livelihood in peril, and the drug smuggling community has become increasingly agitated by these government seizures.  How can we make it up to them?  Bail them out, of course!  Whenever smugglers are caught before delivering a shipment, compensate them for this inconvenience with a $1,000,000 check!  Remember to suggest to the smugglers that they should use the money to stimulate the U.S. economy, rather than to buy better smuggling boats or more drugs.  Can we trust them to actually do this?  Well, we trusted Wall Street, didn't we?

The bailout bailout
Despite the fact that the government supports it, a lot of (extremely unpatriotic) Americans are outraged about the bailout.  How can the politicians appease them?  Bail them out, of course!  Allow any American citizen who did not support the bailout to send an official statement of their position to Washington, and then send each of them a $5,000 check.  Of course there will be people out there who supported the original bailout and are angry about the bailout bailout, but then they can be bailed out in a bailout bailout bailout.  

The buffalo bailout
In the late 19th century, millions of buffalo were killed by hunters across the American plains.  Yet 100 years later, the government has done next to nothing to make amends for this atrocious act.  But what can the government do?  Money obviously has little use to a buffalo, but money does have considerable use to buffalo activists.  Therefore I propose the government should give $10 million to anyone who publicly supports buffalo, specifically buffalo conservationists and anyone who writes a blog having to do with buffalo.  Like the economic bailout, this is an urgent matter and must be done immediately as there is no time to think about it or consider the alternatives (there are none anyway).  So George, if you're listening, I would like my bailout money in a suitcase of unmarked $100 bills, and if you could deliver that by next Wednesday or so, that would be great.

Buffalo Thi$ logo

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bailout bonanza part I

Well, I'm back.  I'm sure many of you thought (or hoped) that I was lost forever to a Vermont hippie commune, sitting around a campfire and singing "Kumbaya" with a bunch of scraggly long-haired shower dodgers.  Or maybe you thought I was actually a major investment bank in disguise as a blogger and had gone the way of Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch.  Well the truth is that I occasionally have to deal with this minor annoyance called a day job, and let's just say that if things went sour I wouldn't be the last person they'd show to the door.  Anyway, I'm back and ready to start bloggin' it up once again.

So, in case you haven't been following the news, the U.S. economy is in shambles!  Americans in all walks of life are beginning to suffer, but none are suffering more than the honest, well-meaning bankers and traders on Wall Street.  I would like to share with you a few examples of the horrors they have had to face.  WARNING: What you are about to read is extremely disturbing and may not be suitable for small children.  Here are a few of the more heartbreaking cases:
  • Scrooge swimming pool
    The investment banking managing director who, thanks to a meager $2 million bonus instead of last year's $15 million, has to survive in the dirty squalor of a house with only 3 butlers instead of 5.
  • The hedge fund manager who is struggling to make ends meet and had to go as far as to sell his private jet just to afford the mortgage payments for his 8th home.
  • The bank CEO who recently lost his job and was thrown out on the street with a mere $40 million and is now scraping by to survive.
  • The head of mortgage-backed securities at a major bank who now has to suffer through the heartbreaking indignity of having to fill his Olympic-sized swimming pool with $100 bills rather than gold doubloons worth over $1000 each.
Roulette wheel
The humanity!  Fortunately for these poor, dejected souls, there is a ray of hope: a $700 billion government bailout.  If it works, this could put the beluga caviar back on their plates and the doubloons back in their swimming pools.  Unfortunately the bailout failed on its first vote in the House, but most people expect that a slightly modified bill will be passed within the next month.  Well, when you recklessly gamble and lose, it's nice to know that the government, led by Henry Paulson (or "Saint Henry" after he heroically rescues the American people) will gladly repay your debts.  Speaking of which, I lost $50,000 on the roulette wheel when I was drunk at the Mirage last weekend - remind me to call ol' Henry and have him cut me a check for that.

You see, the U.S. government has access to an endless supply of money that it can whip out at any time to do whatever it pleases.  If you succeed in getting the politicians in Washington to feel sorry enough for you, you will be rewarded with a huge check.  But you'd better have a pretty damned sad story (see those above).  Do NOT go crying to Uncle Sam with something lame such as, "I'm a recently widowed mother of 4 who has been working two jobs since the death of my husband 6 months ago just to make ends meet.  Now I can't pay the mortgage for my family's home since the rate has jumped from 7% to 20% and my home's value has been cut in half.  Please help!"  If you whine about a mild inconvenience such as this rather than a real problem, the government will not only ignore your request, but will take actions to spite you, such as giving the CEO of the bank that will soon own your about-to-be-foreclosed house a $1 billion check, no questions asked.

Where does this money come from, you may ask?  Well, there are 3 major cash cows that the government can milk until the cows come home (sorry about all the cow references):

1) Taxpayers
A sucker is born every minute, and these suckers are known to the government as "taxpayers."  There are approximately 140 million of them in the country.  The best thing is, they're usually so caught up in party bickering that they won't even notice if you stick your hand in their respective cookie jars and pull out $5,000 or so from each (on average).   They'll be too busy having arguments like:
"Bush ruined the economy!"
"No, Clinton ruined the economy!"
"Palin's daughter is a slut.  Like mother like daughter!"
"Well 'Obama' sounds like 'Osama.'  That proves he supports terrorists!"
"I heard Obama once snorted coke off the buttcheeks of a transgendered prostitute!"
"Oh yeah, well I heard McCain once clubbed a whole bunch of baby chipmunks to death!"
These people will NEVER notice the missing cash!

2) The national debt
Why even bother robbing the general public when you can just borrow money and never pay it back?  Right now, the U.S. government is over $10 trillion in debt and couldn't give a rat's ass!  Who cares if we owe China $1 trillion and they want us to pay it back?  George W. Bush can just walk up to Hu Jintao, slap him across the face, and say something like, "You ain't getting it back, because we're America!  Woohoo!  Deal with it, bitch!"

Money printer
3) The money printing machine
Finding some cash to throw around is never a problem when you're the one that prints it!  Want to give your Wall Street buddies some money to cover their losses on Bear Stearns stock?  Just print out $100 billion and give it to them!  Want to fund a war in Iraq?  Fire that thing up and print out $1 trillion!  Want to cover the entire outer surface of the White House in high-quality diamonds?  Print out $10 trillion and "git 'er dun!"  It's that easy!

So bring on the bailouts!  What's the worst that could happen?
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