You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Remember to read the label, even if you are the bloody king!!

Some detective work by scientists in the UK has led to the discovery that "Mad" King George III probably suffered from arsenic poisoning. Strands of the loony royal's hair were found to have traces of arsenic in them. The question, how did the arsenic get into his hair? We at the DOUI Institute for Discovering How Arsenic Got Into King George the Third's Hair or DOUIIFDHAGIKGTH, have made a breakthrough discovery of our own. It seems the cracked monarch did not read the fine print on the back of his shampoo bottle as he should have.

Mystery solved!!!!!!!

A Superbluous Vacation...

At least that's what I hope it will be when I, Mrs. Fando, and the littlest Fando set off for Washington D.C. next week. I fully intend to post on a regular basis and also to entice one of our potential collaborators to join us here on the blog. This business aside, I thought I'd run down a brief itenerary of the trip for our many fans (You know who you are!)

Day One - Drive all day. Eat at crappy fast food restaurants. Stay in something a cut above the Days Inn. Hire a lawyer to handle the Days Inn lawsuit. Post, if there is a wireless connection and Mrs. Fando will let me borrow the laptop. Sleep like a comatose bear in winter.

Day Two - Drive until we reach D.C. or pass out from exhaustion (we'll be the swerving vehicle with the laptop in the front seat. I'll try to wear a white t-shirt so you'll know me.) Settle down with family. Mooch bottled water from fridge. Sleep like Walt Disney.

Day Three - Sleep until noon. Take the Metro into DC and avoid rush hour and all the people we've hacked off by pointing out what a vicious bastard Osama Bin Laden is. Attend the DC United/Chelsea match that evening. I'll be the one disguised as Jose Mourinho on the sideline. As an Arsenal fan, attempt to confuse Chelsea by leading chants of "Come on City!" and "One-nil to the Arsenal!" Ask Freddy Adu to sponsor the blog.

Day Four - Sleep until one. Visit Kings Dominion. Ride the Scooby-Doo coaster until I upchuck the onion rings I had for breakfast. Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower replica there and do my best Inspector Clouseau impersonation in the elevator. Drive back early. Sleep like a a mummy.

Day Five and Six - Sleep until two. Visit Smithsonian, Monuments, and Capitol. Call Ted Kennedy a souse, then offer to buy him a drink. Watch as his head explodes like one of those androids on Star Trek. Loudly ask Denny Hastert to fix me an Ultimate Omelet.

Day Seven - Drive like a bat out of hell for a day. Stay in a hotel with a mini bar.

Day Eight - Try not to sleep while driving. Do the headbanging move from Wayne's World while passing cops. Arrive home. Sleep until October.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"I canna' get the power!!!"

James "Scotty" Doohan has passed on. It's sad to see the old Canadian, faux-Scot go. It's like hearing that another of the Beatles has died (in this case, Ringo), and let's face it, the cast of Star Trek, the Original Series, are the Beatles of SciFi.

However, I also can't help but think that all over the world right now millions of people are reading the news and thinking to themselves, "He's dead, Jim."

In tribute to J. D. (James Doohan, not one of Scotty's favorite drinks) , I have composed this little ditty. Let us not speak ill of the dead, but instead remember that, while alive, James had plenty to say about things himself!

(Sung to Born Free)

Scot-ty, you've beamed up finally
The transporter's lonely
Scot-ty's gone into the stars

Scot-ty, though Shatner confounded you
Uhura astounded you
Each time you looked at her parts

Scot-ty, no Jeffries tube holds you
No captain can scold you
While the scotch is inside!

Scot-ty, so Bill's a disaster
but you are his master
Those Alltel ads top Priceline's

Scot-ty, your phaser was glowing
Your belly was growing
But you took it all just fine.

Scot-ty, the engines are shut down
The shuttlecraft's touched down
'cause you're history!

"Oh, you must have been a beautiful monkey..."

Yesterday we learned of previously unpublished photos of the famous “Scopes Monkey Trial” found at the Smithsonian Museum. While this is undoubtedly a boon to historians and egghead types, it does not mean a great deal to the common man or Joe Six-pack of the country. In order to bring a little more interest to the story we must enter: BIZARRO WORLD()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()
Planet of the Apes (July 19) – Today photos were found at the Dr. Zaius Museum of Antiquities which depict the famous Zira Human Trial that determined the teaching of evolution (apes evolving from man) could not be taught in the public schools. The trial took place when the chimpanzee Zira was discovered to be teaching evolution using a restricted textbook to her students which violated the law set down by the Council and Ministry of Science. Cornelius Darrow defended Zira and William Jennings Bryan, or Coco as he was known, prosecuted the trial. The trial ended in a conviction of Zira and she was banished to the Forbidden Zone along with Cornelius for six months. The photos discovered at the museum are displayed below.

William Jennings "Coco" Bryan, lawyer for the plaintiff.

Cornelius Darrow, famous chimp lawyer.

Zira, teacher at P.S. 107

Judge Raulston

Bryan (Coco) seen during voir dire. He had a unique way of picking a jury.

The jury reacts during the defense phase of the trial.

Darrow's famous cross-examination of Bryan ends unexpectedly.

A surprise witness for the defense. Smelled oddly of gunpowder.

"When you pry it from my cold, dead hands. You damn dirty apes. And I ain't talkin' about the gun."

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Tom Cruise - Renaissance Man

It's no coincidence that in the last two weeks, there have been two huge FDA warnings. We wouldn't have these warnings without Tom and others speaking out”. - Kelly Preston

Da Vinci, Archimedes, Descartes, and Cruise. Men who have excelled in multiple disciplines and have passed their wealth of knowledge on to the common man. Now, from Time-Life Books comes the collected works of the great Masters in a limited edition gold bound 24-karat eponymous volume "Oh, To Touch the Face of Gods". The knowledge of the history of mankind wrapped up in rich naugahyde, untouched by the greasy fingers of lesser forms of human trash can be yours for the low, low price of $24.99.

Archimedes - "The buoyant force is equal to the weight of the displaced fluid."

Descartes - "Thus what I thought I had seen with my eyes, I actually grasped solely with the faculty of judgment, which is in my mind."

Cruise - "No, you see. Here's the problem. You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do."

Da Vinci - "Although nature commences with reason and ends in experience it is necessary for us to do the opposite, that is to commence with experience and from this to proceed to investigate the reason."

Cruise - "If you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, okay. That's what I've done."

The depth and breadth of the knowledge contained in this magnificent tome truly boggles the mind. Pick up your copy today.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Escape from Potterworld!

You may have been wondering where I've been these last few days. I've actually been recovering from one of the most arduous, energy-sapping, life-threatening, soul-searing, skull-splitting, bollocks-crushing and sweaty experiences of my life. Yes, I have survived a Harry Potter book release party. On the whole though, it was quite enjoyable.

We arrived with 4 hours to go until the magical midnight moment when sullen college student bookstore clerks would boxknife open the stacks of 650+ page treasures and ring them up as fast as their highly frappuccinoed nervous systems would allow. In the meantime, our local bookstore's managers had devised a series of games, adventures, and challenges, all which seemed to involve groups of people wandering aimlessly about, occasionally stopping to admire each others' plastic round glasses, or painted-on lightning bolt scars.

One of the challenges was a scavenger hunt. Unfortunately, the "scavenger hunt" was just a list of books, for which participants had to find the authors. (I was hoping we'd be tracking down actual scavengers.) This proved two things, first being that the bookstore clerks knew as much about scavenger hunts as Tom Cruise does about psychiatry, and second, that surprisingly few people realize that Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations. I was also personally disappointed to learn that Where the Red Fern Grows was not written by Jerry Seinfeld. (He only did the forward and at least two book jacket blurbs.).

There were trivia contests for the kids, run by a tall woman wearing a sorceress hat and a smile that grew steadily grimmer with each round of questions such as, "Who does Hermione Granger's hair in Book number 4 and do they have discount rates?" and "What kind of grip does Ronald Weasley use with his wand?" It probably didn't help that I stood off to one side and occasionally shouted the answer "Chicken necks!" in tribute to the well-known Saturday Night Live "Family Feud" sketch. I don't think she understood the joke, as she kept menacingly waving her toy wand at me.

About midway through the party there was a short magic show. The magician was OK, although about half of his tricks consisted of the beginners list of tricks in the magic book I borrowed from the local library recently. The magician's patter though consisted of a lot of "Ooooh, wasn't that fun boys and girls!" leading me to believe that most of his gigs were birthday parties, pre-schools, and Lions Club meetings. This was confirmed when his biggest trick consisted of making his "Have a nice day", size 46 boxers (pants/underwear) magically appear outside his trousers. If it had been briefs though, it would have been highly creepy under the circumstances. (Comedy rule #473: Loud boxers = somewhat amusing, Tight briefs = uncomfortably personal.)

Several of the participants wore Harry Potter costumes, most of which looked like bargain basement magic costumes without the top hat. Incidentally, this had the effect of making the professional magician look quite underdressed. In fact, in his spangled vest, he more or less resembled a Las Vegas busboy.

My own daughter wore a web-ordered Quidditch costume with the name Potter printed on the back and she carried a plastic racing broom with her much of the evening. At one point a young boy saw her costume and responded "Awe------soooo-----mmmmmme!" before passing out from a combination of Potter overload and the odd jerking motions his head was making trying to get a good look at the broom. He only looked to be about 8 years old or I would have suspected crack.

The night continued to wear on and the bookstore became steadily more crowded, much like the stateroom scene in the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera, only as filmed by Federico Fellini. Then there was a jellybean counting contest in which the winner won the jar of jelly beans, many of which had flavors from the "Bertie Botts All-Flavor Beans" of the Harry Potter series (With flavors like grass, pepper, bangers & mash, escargot, vomit, rotten egg, booger, sardine, soap, cholera, bubonic plague, spittle, ripple, funk, and Port-a-Potty.)

Finally, the magic moment came, when all of the eager customers were lined up by store managers whose crowd control skills appeared to have been honed at football riots. Their organizational incompetence was only matched by their nonexistent personal skills, which seemed to be limited to the ability to smile and pretend that 300 people jammed like jellybeans in a 10 foot wide space between bookshelves and the register constituted a "line".

The other annoying thing was that, those of us who had arrived early received wristbands which were supposed to allow us to go first. Imagine our surprise when, with wristband number 24, we found ourselves standing in line with people who wristbands numbered 243, 341, and 10,765. One poor soul had a wristband with the infinity symbol on it. I hadn't the heart to tell them that it meant they would never actually be served. (They remained firmly convinced however, that it was the number 8 and had only fallen on its side because of an evil plot by Lord Voldemort.)

At last, one of the store managers announced, via fast food drive through speakers, that we were just 10 seconds away from the witching hour. This caused almost everyone to scratch their heads in confusion, except for a few Wiccans who alternated jubilantly rolling on the floor and ceremonially burning copies of Dianetics and The Collected Works of Deepak Chopra to great applause.

After about a fifteen second pause, in-between chants of "Burn, Chopra Burn", the manager decided to lead a countdown, which may have lasted another 25 seconds. Fortunately people realized that the only way to escape the mosh pit of robed, broom-wielding, and pointy-hatted maniacs (and to actually get a copy of the book) was to play along with this chronologically-challenged, caffeine-addicted, novel-pusher's little game, despite the fact that that it would cost them another precious 45 to 120 seconds of their lives that they could have spent rereading Book 5.

The line began to move, and soon, at only the cost of a small car payment, we had our copies of the book, and were fleeing the premises of the store faster than Dead Heads out of a Barry Manilow concert. We climbed into our vehicle and drove home, staying up until the wee hours reading Rowling's latest edition of the young electrically-scarred wizard's adventures.

Or would have... Unfortunately, I passed out just as I sat down to open the book. I hear that it's not bad though.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Great White Warwick Way

It's coming, just like we hoped, just like we dreamed, it is coming to Broadway. No longer will this musical masterpiece play in the Grinny Goodtime Theater in Greenwich Village where the beer flows like wine and the wine flows like something you going to find coming out of the rusty random pipe jutting from the dungeon wall. At last, it is coming to the Neil Simon Theater near loverly Times Square. That's right, Waiting for Warwick, the musical extravaganza is opening soon, and tickets going to be more scarce than a, how you going to say, barbecued spotted owl at a Peta convention, so get your tickets right at this very exact moment that I am making these letters appear on the screen! Did I mention Waiting for Warwick is playing in the Neil Simon Theater? Yes, the very theater that previously housed the musical Gay Ducks.

Waiting for Warwick is based upon the life and times of none other than Warwick Davis, and has a cast of multitalented stars the likes of which you never going to have been seeing on one stage together before, during or after this one. Danny Devito plays the coveted role of Warwick Davis, and Warwick Davis plays the role of James Cromwell, his grandfather. Also there is a special appearance by John Leguizamo as Heddy Lamar and Burt Reynolds as an ostrich egg. This musical is full of dancery, prancery and fantastispecial songery. The following is a sample chorus line for you to read, with bonus guitar tab to help you play and sing along whilst reading and dreaming about the rare tickets that you will never buy.

( C Em D Em C)
Warwick! Oooooh! Warwick Davis!

(D A C A D A)
Seventy pounds of dynamite. He's alright.

(A C Em D A C A C Em)
He's Warwick! Make War not love! Make Warwick!

(C D Em C D)
Three feet of magic in a homespun leathern satchel!

(D C A Em A)
Mystical, magical, fun-fantabulal Warwick!

(C A Em D A)
I think he stole my wallet! Warwick? WAR-WICK!

(now there is some prancery and screaming and lights dimming and general sweatery and excitement abounding unto thee)

Can you not sense in your sacred tissues how powerful this musical will be? I mean, we all enjoyed Gay Ducks, but this will be ever so much the, how you going to say, good. Go right now and see it. Right now! Don't even read the last sentence of this blog entry but go see Waiting for Warwick instead. You are reading the last sentence instead of seeing it, just like I warned you not to do, you fool, for now you are accursed!