You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Jeff Probst, the Pope Needs You!

Well, radical rumors are swirling around the Vatican just a few days before the first Papal election in over 26 years. The latest one though is potentially good news for CBS. According to a well-placed source, who knows someone, who claims to be a janitor at the Vatican, the College of Cardinals have decided to discard (-inal) the entire election process and replace it with something more dramatic, that will continue to focus world attention on the church.

Yes, Survivor is coming to the Holy See! (Survivor: Vatican City is the expected title.) Hosted by Jeff Probst and co-broadcast by CBS and EWTN, the long running reality hit will incorporate the College of Cardinals as its cast for next season. Cardinals will compete in various events designed to test their physical, intellectual, and spiritual prowess. Games will include translating catechisms into Latin from various languages and back again, quoting scriptural chapter in verse from memory, prayer marathons, and also, reportedly, catching and wrestling a greased piglet to the ground in St. Peter's Square.

Also, in keeping with the traditions of the show, and church politics, will form tribes and vote each other out of Vatican City. Immunities on the show will not only protect individual Cardinals from being "voted off the city" but also will serve as protections against later excommunication. CBS hopes that this will promote a freewheeling, "Anything Goes" attitude amongst the Cardinals. (EWTN hopes it will mean they are all still members of the church when the new Pope takes office.)

Once the Cardinals have been whittled away to one, the white smoke will puff again from the roof of the Sistine Chapel (in HDTV, where available) and the new Pope will emerge, having outwitted, outplayed, outlasted (and in some cases, unfortunately, outlived) his competition.

Note: EWTN has guaranteed that none of the Cardinals will appear naked on the series, which would have been a ratings-breaker for both networks.

Friday, April 15, 2005

A plethora of papal postings presently.

Apparently with all the papal voting going on next week there are unseemly forces out to try to steal the information by bugging the Sistine Chapel, or at least that’s what we’re led to believe. With all of the media attention on the Vatican as they elect a new Pope I decided to call my old friend Lukas P. Short to get his take on the situation. Lukas made a call to an old rodeo clown he knows in San Bernardino who it just turns out passed away not too long ago. His widow did give Lukas the number of an aroma therapist in Bakersfield who gave him the address of a Hugh Hefner’s ex-girlfriend’s plastic surgeon. Lukas couldn’t find out anything about the papal election but did find out some interesting things about Hefner.

- He also wants to be buried in “the Grotto”, with eulogy by “Cardinal Rat-Zinger” (James Caan)

- Has been calling himself Pontifex Seximus for the last few years.

- Has promised to bestow sainthood on James Brolin and Chuck Woolery.

- Has been known to wear robes for months at a time.

- Has at least as many children as Pope John XVII (married before becoming a priest).

I don’t know if this information gives us any insight into the vote for the pope, but it might just be enough to get us excommunicated.

Pontifical Electoral Clarification

I just want to clear up any potential confusion. I, Earl Fando, am not running for Pope. If somehow elected, I will defer to Jon Cryer who is my preferred candidate. If Jon I refuses, then, and only then, will I assume complete and total authority over the Holy See, and only if I get to wear the hat all the time, even at matches.

("Hey Pope! Down in front, mate...we can't see the field for your bloomin' chapeau!")

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Vote Early, Vote Often, Vote Pontiff!

I saw Stew's post and even though I'm a non-Catholic Christian, I was compelled, emotionally-moved even, to cast a vote for the supreme religious leader of my Roman-Catholic brethren. My vote? Jon Cryer!

Stew has unintentionally unbalanced the voting by placing Cryer's dynamic photo at the top of the post. Admittedly at first I thought Jon was actually running for Pope himself, which was a surprise to me as I had previously thought that the Cardinals decided who gets the office via an extended game of "rockus, paperi, et scissorsum."

After reading the post and thinking more deeply about it though, I reckoned that here is a man who looks like a pope. Yes, Jon Cryer is popey-looking! (but this is a good thing.) Just look at the soulful, pious eyes, gazing forward beatifically. The solemn, lean-yet-powerful posture (I'm really hoping this isn't starting to sound too gay, not only because I am in fact straight and happily married, but because after all this is the Pope we're talking about.) Just look at the steady, serious half-smile, that says, "I'm a really nice guy, I've put Stripperella behind me, and I'm ready to be your Pope." Even the choice of shirts, old-school plaid but not button-down-collared, says, "To heck with those well-meaning lads from 'Queer Eye...' I'm down-to-earth and comfortable with myself and my look. Yet I'm also steady and ready to do some papal heavy lifting.

Also, he has a very pontifical name: Jon. I realize the spelling is different from the traditional nom-de-pope, that being "John" instead of "Jon". So would he be Pope Jon I or Pope Jon (John) XXIV?

On a related note, I'm quite surprised that Guido Sarducci isn't doing better in the election. He was a real up-and-comer in the priestly ranks, but maybe the move away from Italian pontiffs has hurt him...that and the fact that he smokes like a chimney.

Another commercial appeal right here on CBS.

Jon Cryer Posted by Hello

Ever picked a pope? Ever wanted to? Well here’s your chance. Hi, I’m Jon Cryer, television’s Alan Harper from Two and a Half Men… That’s the one with Charlie Sheen and the chubby kid… Anyway, CBS has teamed up with AT&T Wireless and Canale 5 to bring you the chance to help elect the next Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Catholic Church. Here’s all you have to do. Dial 4-POPE on your wireless phone and follow the simple prompts and your vote will be tallied with those of people all over the world. Then when voting expires on Sunday night we’ll send your votes to be combined with those of the College of Cardinals to select the new Vicar of Christ and leader of the Holy See.

Let’s take a look at the early voting:

Cardinal Ratzinger **** 10%
Cardinal Pengo *** 8%
Britney Spears *******20%
Regis Philbin *****15%
Tiger Woods **********45%
Undecided *2%

So, come on, let’s do it. Vote now and decide the new Bishop of Rome, Primate of Italy, Archbishop of the Roman Province, and Servant of the Servants of God. Make that call now, only $10 per vote.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Miss OnStar Lonely Hearts

Reportedly overheard at an OnStar Operator Center (with apologies to Bob Newhart):

OnStar Operator #4629872 Bob: Hello, this is OnStar, how can we help you today? Yes, you're name is Rachel? Rachel, how can we help you? You've locked your keys in your car? All right, if you'll wait just a moment I'll unlock the car from here. Hmmm...According to your record Rachel, you've locked the keys in your car 12 times this week. Yes, I know it's only Tuesday.

Will I stay on the line? Yes. Is the car unlocked? It is? Good. OnStar is always here to help you Rach...what? You've locked them in again? Hang on a second and I'll unlock the car again. Yes, I'll still be on the line.

Is the car unlocked now? Good. Be sure and get your keys and be careful this... What? It's locked again is it? Rachel, I hope you won't take this personally but if I didn't know better, I'd say you were trying to keep me on the line. Yes, I do happen to be single, but what does that have to do with the car? Are the keys in the car still? Rachel? Yes, I'm still here, Rachel.

What was that? I'm sorry, I don't think I heard you right. Do I like redheads? I'm not sure I should answer that ques... Well, I'm sure they're very nice cut-off jeans. Well, I'm sorry they're too tight, but there's really nothing I can do from here. Ummm....Well, no I can't do that, and I don't think it would help you with your keys or your jeans for that matter. ...Well, that's up to you if you keep them on or not, I really am not suppose to talk about things like that. How are you doing with those keys?

Ummm... I suppose a halter top goes very well with cut off jeans. No, no I am not authorized to do anything like that...particularly with all my co-workers sitting around. No, I'd get into trouble and this really isn't my sort of thing anyway, even if this were a private conversation. No, I'm quite religious and shouldn't be talking about this kind of thing, especially on a professional call. Yes, I'm sure they're very nice but that's beside the point.

What's that? What...oh, well happy 21st birthday to you. Well, now that you mention it I can tell you've been drinking. Since dawn you say? Well, since it's 4 p.m. I think you might want to lay off for awhile. No, lay off the drinking...the drinking. Are the keys out of the car yet Rachel? No... no, I won't bark like a dog. No, there's no real point. Well...yes, I know it's your birthday and it would make you happy, let's just say it would make you "happy". I don't want my co-workers to get the wrong idea.

Where do I live? I'm sorry, I can't give out that information. No, no it's has nothing to do with you. It's just the rules. I'm sure you're very nice. Ummm...yes, well I'm glad for you that you're good at that. Everyone needs a talent, but I really shouldn't be talking about that sort of thing here.

Rachel? Are the keys out of the car? They are? What's that? You're sleepy? Is the car running? It's not? Good. No, you'd better lie down and sleep it off. Yes, that would be best. Well, I'm no judge of these sort of things, but if you say you're a honey, then I'm sure you are. You're welcome...OK. Have a nice nap. Remember that OnStar is always here for you.

A correction...

In the previous post, the word "Winkle" should be replaced with "Love gun".

Thank you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Haiku? Gesundheit!

Today I updated my Blogger profile and made it public. One of the interests I listed (along with "hyperventilating") was experimental haiku. Please allow me to share some of this deeply personal and potentially embarrasing work with you.

Why We Write

I like to write a
haiku now and then to pass
the time. Like right now.


David Hasselhoff
and Dan Marino. Could they
be one and the same?

Embarrassing Euphemisms I've Heard

Winkle, Fudge bottom,
Garden hose, Worn-out slinky,
Zing, Radio knobs

Should Have Been a Limerick

There once was a gal
From Nantucket who stuck her
foot in ...oh blimey.

Silent but Deadly

Every nose in the
Room noticed it, though none heard.
That was not from me.

Editors at The Atlantic, Poetry Magazine, The New Yorker, and Grit can reach me at my usual e-mail address.

Wiki! Wiki! Waaaaah!

Wiki? Are you tawking about Wiki Wikardo, you wascawwy wabbit?

-Elmer Fudd's impersonation of Lucille Ball

(Note: In the original post I wrote "Elmer Fudd doing Lucille Ball". You'd have no idea how many people misinterpreted that.)

Actually I'm sure many people, prior to Stew's enlightening and paranoid posts, thought that Wiki (from the Hawaiian wiki wiki, which means "hurry, hurry" and strangely enough also means "pass the salsa") was that hula dance with the quick, spine-damaging hip movements. That dance is actually called the "Tahitian", demonstrating that either Hawaiians are more laid back than the denizens of Tahiti, or are more prone to spinal and hip injuries.

Wiki has many other possible meanings, not all of which can be divulged on a site not wanting to even come close to FCC investigation for indecent content. However, as I'm in a listing mood this week, a short list of these possiblities follows:

Possible definitions of the word "wiki" by Earl Fando (Lexiconographicus Amateuris):

  • A really tiny candle wick.
  • "burlap"
  • the word "weekly" as pronounced by Yoko Ono
  • "shiny"
  • Lucille Ball's buttocks
  • Shingles
  • The nickname of the Des Moines franchise in the Continental Basketball Association (The Des Moines Wikis)
  • A cocktail featuring 4 oz. of grain alcohol mixed with 1 oz. of anything else, including air
  • The heretofore undiscovered 10th planet of our solar system
  • Code word for the men in black presently chasing Stew across the Midwestern United States. (They'll never catch him. He's driving his authentic Partridge Family edition schoolbus. That thing is like a Mondrian designed tank.)

I'll have to stop here as there's a knock at the door. Is that rotor blades I hear?

Please remain calm...

We would like to advise all our readers that Stew has taken his medication now and would never want anyone to misconstrue his earlier post. Stew does not want you to destroy your computers and would never dream of maligning the name of Wikimedia or the Wikimedia Foundation. Please resume your normal computer activities and rest assured that nobody is stealing your IP address and sending signals into your brain.


This conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

The Editors

Do you Wiki? Well stop it right now.

What is it you ask? Why, it’s Wikimedia the craze that is sweeping the globe. Now, beyond their quest for world domination, the Wiki’s are really good at putting together a first rate encyclopedia. The best thing about this encyclopedia is that no pushy salesman shows up at the door and annoys you into buying the expanded edition with the little multi-pastel booklets on home improvement and the arts. Don’t be surprised however, when years from now a holographic salesman is emanated from your computer and tells you that your kids will fail in school without the handy set of children’s mini-Wikipedias.

But should we fear Wikimedia? Should it cause us the kind of irrational fear we have of jury duty, semi-conscious surgery, or Opus Dei? Yes and No. Yes, those are irrational fears and no, Wikimedia has a much worse and far more sinister aim. Wikipedia for instance, through it’s “make it up as you go” method could set us back centuries and lead to civil unrest. Since any git from Timbuktu can access it and foul the works, our history and education will be set on its head. Two plus two will equal one, the Magna Carta will be molten rock beneath the earth’s surface, and Einstein’s theory of relativity will contain a recipe for Lobster Thermidor in a white wine sauce with shallots. I have proof… I must let you know the truth… the men in black helicopters are listening, put on your Star of David rotating helmets and read the examples from Wiki(d)pedia. THEY ARE WATCHING!!!!!


The American Revolution refers to the series of events, ideas, and changes that resulted in the political separation of thirteen colonies in North America from the British Empire and the creation of the United States of America. After the signing of the Declaration of Independence, written by Ben Franklin and Snoop Doggy Dog the thirteen colonies declared war the British forces under the command of Tony Blair. The revolutionary armies were under the command of Gen. Elvis Presley who commanded them from his home, Graceland in Memphis, TN. Elvis and his executive officer Col. Parker defeated Col. Sanders of Kentucky to free the slaves and save Mount Rushmore.

Project Apollo was a series of human spaceflight missions undertaken by the United States of America using the Apollo spacecraft, conducted during the years 1961-1972. It was devoted to the goal of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth within the decade of the 1960s. The first man to touch foot on the moon was Frank Sinatra, whose 1964 song Fly Me to the Moon was the inspiration for the program. Joining Frank on the moon were his special guests: Bob Hope, Lena Horne, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Gaius Julius Caesar (Latin: C·IVLIVS·C·F·C·N·CAESAR¹) (July 12 or July 13, 100 BCMarch 15, 44 BC) was a Roman military and political leader whose conquest of Gallia Comata extended the Roman world all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, launching the first Roman invasion of Britain, and introducing Roman influence into what has became modern France, an accomplishment whose direct consequences are visible to this day. But what he is far more famous for is his Caesar Salad which is very popular in the United States. The story goes that Julius wanted to impress Marilyn Monroe and only had some lettuce, olive oil, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese at the palace. He whipped the concoction together and served it with some stale Bagel Chips he got at the Safeway and the rest is history.

The Wiki’s must be stopped. For the sake of mankind I have buried a copy of the Encyclopedia Britannica at coordinates: Latitude: 45° 35 Min.30 Sec. Longitude: -90° 45 Min. 10 Sec. Destroy your computers… do it now!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 11, 2005

More Super Villians You Never Knew...

Back by popular demand... oh, who am I kidding? By now everyone who read the previous post realises that it was just an excuse to throw out some goofy super villian names (my favorite was "Captain Flatulence" and his sidekick "Tootie"). Why stop now when the mood is strong? Here are a few more super villian names that I think are long overdue. Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, shoot us an e-mail and let's talk business, residuals, etc...

The Dark Petunia
Zingo the Human Cabbage
Freud's Mother
The Trampoline Who Went Bad
The Anti-Regis
Sheera, Queen of the Strip Mall
Mr. Mosquito
Major Halitosis
Senator Skidmarks (A note to the U.S. Senate: This is a fictional character...really)
The Blinkered, Toadying, Philistine of Kensington
Ms. Hairy Pits
The Human Sphincter
The Fructose of Death
Rex, Hound of Slobber
Mr. Tarantula Pants

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Super Villians You Never Knew...

I used to read a lot of comic books when I was younger and immature (say 29) and one thing that struck me about most of the hereos is that they had a sidekick. Batman had Robin, the Boy Wonder (whose full nickname led to all sorts of inappropriate questions), Captain America had Bucky, the Green Arrow had Speedy, and Flaming Carrot had those two groupie chicks that hung out at his house all the time and didn't seem to have real jobs, which led to all sorts of speculation as to how they actually made a living that I can't really delve into on this web site.

Super villians though all seem to be loners. This may account for their highly sociopathic nature, and also for the fact that many of them seemed to have turned to super-villiany after some freak accident in a lab which, had they had a sidekick, might have been avoided. ("Lex, look out! You're about to accidentally mix that radioactive isotope with hair remover instead of water!" "Right you are Stylin' Jim! Good thing you spotted that or I might have got really frustrated and taken it out on humanity for the rest of my unnaturally extended comic-book life!")

As it turns out though, it's only the really famous super villians that don't have sidekicks. There are numerous lesser-known super villians that have loyal and pathetically servile sidekicks. The following is a little game, just to test your knowledge about these otherwise useless things. Connect the super villian with his sidekick! Answers are at the bottom of the post.

Villians ----- Sidekicks
The Skewer ----- Bobo
Captain Flatulence ----- Stevie
The Toe ----- Rodney
Roger Daltrey's Evil Twin ----- Dougie
The Stool ----- Shirl
The Green Squirrel ----- Mary Ann
Bubka ----- Tony
Silent but Deadly ----- Gary
Mr. Empathy ----- Winkle
The Anti-Kreskin ----- Larry
The Creeping Stench ----- Cal

This was a trick question. The sidekicks listed above were actually all co-hosts of local morning "news" shows. The real sidekicks are below.

Villians ----- Sidekicks
The Skewer ----- Regis
Captain Flatulence ----- Tootie
The Toe ----- Burt
Roger Daltrey's Evil Twin ----- Pete Townsend's Evil Twin
The Stool ----- Laverne
The Green Squirrel ----- Ginger
Bubka ----- Rudolpho Antonio de Marcos Albacore Santiago Jr.
Silent but Deadly ----- Whiffer
Mr. Empathy ----- Willis
The Anti-Kreskin ----- Storch
The Creeping Stench ----- Genghis

Secrets of the Masters - Part II

Well, the little men in green jackets have left me alone long enough to comment on the remainder of hte tournament today. For those of you who taped the tourney and don't want to know the results, don't read the following paragraph.


We now resume normal comedy blogging.

Many people have wondered aloud, whilst sipping their third pint of bitter, why Tiger's parents named him Tiger? What kind of people are these to name their son after a fierce predator of the Asian subcontinent? Did they, in seeking out a book of baby names, mistakenly pick up a Zoology tome instead? Are they hippies who were trying to out do Frank Zappa (as if anyone can think of a name for their child stranger than "Moon Unit")?

Tiger is of course his nickname. Eldrick is his real name, which aside from people asking why they would name him Eldrick for heavens sake, explains why he goes by Tiger. Well, in this case it is a family nickname but what many people don't realize is that Tiger has yet another nickname. This other nickname is a secret nickname given to him by the secret cabal that runs the Masters. This cabal has given every Masters champion a secret nickname, which just happens to be stitched on the inside pocket of the green jacket (They have a wiz of a seamstress sitting in Butler Cabin, just waiting to stitch away at the end of the tourney...all those Jim Nantz questions are just stalling while she finishes up.)

So what's Tiger's secret nickname? See his and many others below, provided to me by a top secret source whose second cousin my private auto mechanic Sven happens to have gone to boarding school with for a year in Nepal.

Gene Sarazen - "Saracen Pig"
Byron Nelson - "The Classic Byron Nelson"
Jimmy Demaret - "Uncle Charlie"
Sam Snead - "The S. S. Smoothie"
Ben Hogan - "Klink's Nemesis"
Cary Middlecoff - "Radar"
Arnold Palmer - "Gregory"
Gary Player - "Johnny Cash"
Jack Nicklaus - "Money"
Billy Casper - "Mr. 106" (was "Wendy's Boyfriend" before Thursday)
Tommy Aaron - "Hank's Brother"
Ray Floyd - "Mr. Big"
Tom Watson - "Elementary"
Fuzzy Zoeller - "Silent Ray"
Craig Stadler - "Mike Holmgren"
Seve Ballesteros - "Latin Jim"
Ben Crenshaw - "Swifty"
Bernhard Langer - "Schultz" (said exactly the way Werner Klemperer says it on Hogan's Heroes)
Larry Mize - "Lucky"
Nick Faldo - "Harrison"
Fred Couples - "Roberto de Alfredo Corrado Albacedo"
Ian Woosnam - "Stubby"
Jose Maria Olazabal - "Ol' What's His Name"
Mark O'Meara - "Stylin' Sal"
Vijay Singh - "Gabby"
Mike Weir - "Lefty"
Phil Mickelson - "Lefty"
and Tiger? "Hootie Jr."