It's Oscars time. Somebody wake the Grouch.

Friday, September 30, 2005

I'll have the Calamari Grande please

Japan has finally done it. After years of searching and hoping, they have at long last discovered an actual sea monster...sort of. Japanese researchers have photographed the long-sought-after giant squid.

Toho Studios immediately issued a news release in which they stated their hopes to negotiate a movie contract with the squid. In a related press release from the studio, their latest monster film, Godzilla vs. the Giant Squid was put on hold due to a "possible casting change."

The scientists who photographed the squid noted that they lured the squid into camera range using bait at the end of a long rope. Project leader Tsunemi Kubodera said, "The bait itself is a complex mix of sea bass, tuna, shrimp, and Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch." "I was in favor of using Count Chocula, but fortunately, an assistant talked me out of it," he added.

Apparently, the squid was momentarily caught in the baited rope before pulling free. A six metre tentacle was torn off and left behind by the squid. Scientists commented that this was unfortunate, but on the bright side, they were happy about their second entry into the record books that day, for the largest calamari dish ever caught, cooked and eaten.

One of the marine researchers on the project, Kyoichi Mori, claimed, "It tastes just like chicken."

In a related story, Ingrid Newkirk of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, fired off a stinging rebuke to the researchers for their "wanton abuse of a giant squid." The rebuke was contained in a 500 page letter to the editor at the Village Voice, written in dolphin-free crayon. "They claim it was unintentional," read one excerpt, "but that's what they said about Old Yeller and Free Willy too! Don't they realize that squids have deep and complex feelings!!! I know, because I was married to one in Holland in the 70's!!!!!!! Don't they understand that a squid losing a tentacle is like one of them losing a leg, that is, if there were five of them and they were all genetically fused at the shoulders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" The remainder of the document appeared to consist entirely of exclaimation points and one very large bacon grease stain on page 452.

As for the intrepid researchers, their actions may come back to haunt them. The eight metre long squid was last seen heading for Tokyo accompanied by a certain 400-foot tall radioactive dinosaur.

(Note: Toho Studios issued yet another press release stating that Godzilla was acting on his own and they were not responsible for any actions he took on behalf of the "giant" squid.)

Must have landed on her head...

The title of my little post today concerns Madonna and her run in with the pony at her posh cottage in the British countryside. The singer is coming out with a new album and reports from reliable sources say that it includes, yes I'm afraid so, a Kabbalah song. Many of you (and by that I mean our multitude of regular readers) may remember a small piece I wrote about the Kabbalah hotel that Madonna was going to (or has) open(ed) up. Well now the fruitcake is taking it even farther by writing a song about the founder of the mystical faux-Jewish religion, if it can be called that.

Anyhow, this is another example of a person or organization (FONZie we're talkin' about you) that is stealing my ideas. It so happens that I wrote a Kabbalah song long before Madonna and must ask her to either cease publication of her song, or give me a cut of the "Like a Virgin" money, whichever is more lucrative.

Kabbalah
By Stew Miller
Sung by Maddona (I couldn’t get the original so…)

(To the Love Boat theme)

Fluff, mys-ti-cal and screwed,
Enlight-ten-ment. We're just foolin’ you.
Odd, but we have star power.
Tinfoil hats, Crazy as moonbats.

Kaaa-BBAAA-laaah,
soon will be fleecing another one.
Kaa-bah-LAH,
promises nothing but empty fun.

Think I’m kidding? Just try it,
You’ll lose much more than your mind.

And riding won't hurt anymore
at your cottage, paid for with soft-CORE.

It's Fluuuuffffff!
Welcome aboard - It's Fluuuufffff!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Today's Theme...Going Green

Strangely enough I seem to have had a similar dream to that of my colleague Stew's. I remember the cast was the same as well, except that Tom Cruise appeared as Arnold the Pig.

Unfortunately, the only other thing I can remember is the theme song:

Green Acres
as dreamt by Earl Fando (right after the dream where Lindsey Lohan turned into Carmen Miranda and went waterskiing with Johnny Weismuller in space.)

Green Acres is the place to be
Wood chippin' is the life for me
Papers spreading out, from roof to pool
Keep Manhattan, just give me that redneck drool.

New York is where I'd rather go
I get withdrawals baking blow
I just adore a cafe' latte'
Darling, I love you, but I want Starbucks today.

The Bugs!
Shag Rugs!
Pancakes!
The Shakes!

You are my spouse.
Goodbye swank townhouse.

Green Acres, we are there!

Green Acres is the place to be...

While reading Earl’s post from last night I clicked on the link to Green Acres to re-familiarize myself with the show. When I got to the bottom of the page I saw the discussion board had a posting of which actors people would like to see as characters in a Green Acres movie. Among the various serious and sometimes silly posts I noticed this one:

Tony Shalhoub as Oliver
Uma Thurman as Lisa
Steve Buscemi as Eb
John Goodman as Hank Kimball
Billy Bob Thornton as Mr Ziffle
Bob Hoskins as Mr Drucker
Jon Polito as Mr Haney
And either the Coen Brothers or Sam Raimi could direct.

Immediately upon viewing the post I fell into a deep slumber. The dreams roiled in my head and all I can remember is the one where the above listed cast starred in the Green Acres episode where Mr. Haney mistakenly gets the delivery of cocaine meant for Hank Kimball with hilarious results. I wrote the dream down on Subway sandwich wrapper and it goes something like this:

EXT. DOUGLAS FARM MORNING

Oliver Douglas comes out of his house to grab the morning paper. He looks around but can’t find it but finally spots a corner of it protruding from the top of his roof. He grabs a chair from inside and is about to pluck it off the roof.

Mr. Haney: (in a raspy voice) Mr. Dougalase, are yuz having problems with ya paper delivery?

Oliver: Oh, Mr. Haney. Good morning. No, it just ended up on the top of the roof again, that little snot that delivers it must have some arm.

Mr. Haney: (raspy) Ah, well let me give ya my card…Haney Newspaper Delivery systems. We get the paper to ya front door with no problems. Only cost ya 50 bucks a month.

Oliver: But the paper is only 10 cents a day, why would I want to pay $50 a month?

Mr. Haney: (slightly raspier) Well Mr. Dougalase, those motza’s over in Pixely de got der way a doin’ things and I got mine.

Oliver: I think I’ll stick to the 10 cents, thanks Mr. Haney.

Mr. Haney: Alright, Alright. Say can I interest ya in some first class blow.

Oliver: Pardon me.

Mr. Haney: Yeah, I just came into possession of a kilo of top grade snow and need some new customers, here take a sample bag.

Lisa comes out of the house and sees them talking.

Lisa: Oliver, I’m going to make us some of my world famous hotscakes. (sees the bag and grabs it) Just what I was looking for, some powdered sugar.

Oliver: Lisa, don’t…

Lisa: Thanks darling.

Mr. Haney: Those euro types, dey do like the White Lady. Well, see ya later Mr. Dougalase.

Oliver: But…Oh great.

Hank Kimble and Mr. Ziffle come walking up after Mr. Haney leaves and smell the pancakes cooking inside.

Hank: Mr. Douglas, how are you today. (sniffing the air and rubbing his nose) Are those pancakes I smell?

Oliver: Yes they are Lisa was just making some.

Mr. Ziffle: Arnold’d make good bacon, mmm. Coffee makes me nervous when I drink it, mmm hmmm.

Hank: Say Mr. Douglas, you didn’t get a box marked for me did ya? It had my monthly supply of Bolivian marching powder and I can’t seem to find it.

Oliver: (patting Hank on the back) Would you like some hotscakes Hank?


This is of course followed up by the scene where Lisa puts Eb in the wood chipper after stabbing him in the eye with a katana.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The High Cost of Driving

Gas prices have risen again. Strangely though, Hurricane Rita has well passed, the Labour Day holiday is well behind us, OPEC is talking about increasing volume, President Bush is openly considering going to the Strategic Oil Reserves, and Tom Cruise hasn't said a single crazy thing about petrol (gasoline) or oil, at least this month. These are all normally signs that prices will come down, but today, at a local petrol station (CITGO, if you must know...of course, I normally prefer BP) the prices jumped up by twenty cents a gallon. This can only mean one thing...a conspiracy.

I'm not normally conspiritorially minded. So many conspiracy theories are bland attempts by people to attack their political enemies, rationalize their vices, or explain why they get that throbbing pain in the back of their skull when AM radio is on. Still, petrol prices are ridiculously high.

I realize some people argue that they were higher in the 70's during the Nixon and Carter Presidencies specifically. They may have been high when Ford was in office, but his term was so short, many of you may not have had to fill up during that period. Anyway, these immensely high prices during that era are now "adjusted for inflation." That means that if petrol was $1.75 a gallon then, today, given the reduced price of the American dollar, it would have sold for $256.22 a gallon (my figures may be slightly off.) This is hardly comforting in an age when it costs me more to fill up my sedan than to take Mrs. Fando and the Littlest Fando out for steak and frites and a film.

So a conspiracy it must be. I decided to call my most immediate contact in the oil industry, a former service station grease monkey turned convenience store manager named Kelvin Zebrawinkle (Not his real name. His real name is Hubert Whistlebritches.)

I asked Kelvin who he thought was behind the conspircay to raise petrol prices. "What's petrol?" he asked. "Gasoline," I replied. "Who's behind the conspiracy to raise gasoline prices?" "What conspiracy?" he responded.

Instantly, I knew he too was in on it. It was like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, only with the faint smell of unleaded, windsheld washer fluid, and Splurge.

Next I decided to contact an activist, someone outspoken and well-known, but also crazy enough to out a conspiracy as murky and devious as this one. I immediately dialed up Arriana Huffington to get her take. Unfortunately, her answerphone said that she was on her honeymoon with new husband Lucas P. Short. Talk about a whirlwind romance. I hope Lukas got a good prenup. I suspect she married him to get a chunk of the inevitable Grassoline royalties. I was interested to find out about Arianna's upcoming role in a film based on the television series Green Acres. She was born for the part.

Unable to contact oil industry reps and activists/Eva Gabor impersonators, I was left trying to use pure reason to deduce who was behind this plot. Finally, after ruling out the Olsen twins, Captain Beany, and Lance Armstrong, I came to a frightening conclusion: It's the Friends of the National Zoo.

No wonder I can't get them to respond to me. They've been busy. All those Golden Marmosets are just a front.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Cruise, Kidman, Psychiatry

During a recent press junket for her new movie, The Visiting, in which she plays a psychiatrist, Nicole Kidman told reporters that psychiatry was a worthwhile profession.

"I have a father who is a psychologist, so my life has been research," she pointed out.

After hearing the news, Tom Cruise burst onto the Oprah program, repeatedly bounced up an down on a sofa, and open-mouth kissed fiance' Katie Holmes in front of several thousand photographers, Steadman Campbell, and at least one pope. He later issued a press release, which read in part:

"Has Nicole read her father's research papers? I have, at night, when everyone else was asleep in the Kidman house, when I would go down and pretend to be raiding the fridge for shrimp cocktail and some Sanctuary Cove Premium! Has Nicole looked into the theories her father's research was based on? I have, while traveling on the astral plane in my magical hovercraft, accompanied by my pet Rhinocerous Norton!"

Katie Holmes could not be reached for comment, as her publicist informed us that she was busy practising rolling up into a fetal ball and sucking her thumb. Well, he didn't actually use the word "practising."

Monday, September 26, 2005

Germany Election Chaos

Speaking of Der Spiegel, they report on their website that Germany has actually lost its own election. After careful counting and recounting of the votes, the final results of parliamentary elections worked out as follows:

Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union - 35.2%
Social Democrats - 34.3%
Belgium - 78.9%

Based on the total percentages, German elections officials admitted there may have been some malfunctions with the vote tallying machines. One possibility is the fact that they were last maintenanced during the previous year's Oktoberfest.

Meanwhile, Belgian officials were estatic. Gerd LaFarge, Assistant to Prime Minister (and Bill Gates lookalike) Guy Verhofstadt said, "It's about time we took over Germany. After the two Great Wars and years of NATO submission, we're tired of the nickname, 'Dusseldorf's Doormat.'" Later, the Prime Minister's office issued a publique communique which stated, "Free steak and frites for everyone! (Buy Windows XP!!)"

Other world leaders were effusive in their reactions. French President Jacques Chirac sent a telegram to Belgium congratulating them on their surprise victory and offering to show them how to "run a really first-rate European nation, if they struggle under all the pressure, because you know, we are watching all the time." British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed his personal satisfaction at a press conference and credited the Belgian victory to Labour's street cleaning programme in Cheshire. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi called the Belgian Prime Minister to offer congratulations, and to find out how to install a wireless router on his home computer network, but was unable to stop laughing on the phone long enough to be coherent.

Fiiiiigaro!!! Fiiiigaro! Figaro!!!

French Daily Le Figaro is changing its look to attract more readership.

The new look? Take a gander at this.

Sales of Le Figaro just shot up 10,000% in Barking and Dagenham.

In a related story, Le Monde has stated that, in order to slow declining subscriptions, they will no longer refer to Americans as "scumbags", but will substitute the softer, more positive "slimeballs." Massachusetts Senator John Kerry stated through a spokesperson that this is exactly the kind of diplomacy he was talking about in 2004 and that he was vigourously trying to get Der Spiegel to downgrade its description of Americans from "filthy degenerates" to "cowboys." President George W. Bush responded to the news by referring to the editors of Le Monde as a "bunch of poodles" and by high-fiving his life-size poster of Lance Armstrong.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

We do RSS!!!

If you should happen to be interested in receiving your daily dose of DOUI via RSS feed, you can point your RSS thingys to the following address:

www.washingtonpost.com/style

No, no, sorry!!! Got in a bit of a muddle. Try this one instead:

www.possumwrassling.com/deathmatches

No, no, wrong again!!! Third try's the charm, yes?:

unfortunateideas.blogspot.com/atom.xml

Yes, that's the one!!! I don't do RSS feeds myself, but I'm told they're very delicious and fit well within the Atkins diet. Also, as always, we can not be held responsible for anything that may appear in the feeds, including and especially anything we may have written ourselves. That's just something the lawyers have told us, so there you have it!

Cheers,

Earl

DOUI versus the FONZ - Part IV - A New Hope

Well, there are only 5 days until the end of DOUI's, excuse me, I mean The National Zoo's contest to name the little blighter born to their resident pandas Chow-Chow and Ding-Ding...or something like that. The Friends of the National Zoo, despite their nickname (FONZ) have displayed an utter lack of cool, betraying their nervousness, fear, and general cowardess by failing to respond to the e-mails I have sent them so far. I've not got a peep from them. Of course it could be because they are all so busy shoveling Golden Marmoset poop, after all, they have about 10,000 of those bleeding things running around. A few of them were even running the concessions when we were there in the summer with Linus Coconut's family. (He is a real person mind you!) However, someone's got to check e-mail every once in awhile, just to make sure the receipts for the online orders of Purina Marmoset Chow come in. (The 100 lbs. bags)

I had suspected that they think they simply can't be troubled to deal with every Tom, Dick, and Martin Antonio Salvador de la Cuela Portomento that comes along. After I thought about it though, and remembered what a grand idea the panda-naming contest was when Stew first thought of it and posted it (in advance of the FONZ people, so far as anyone knows), I realized that they must be completely inundated with e-mail submissions to the contest. There was one problem with this theory, and that was that the submissions are not via e-mail at all, but are set up so that you make a choice online and then submit it, along with your e-mail address. This means that all they are doing is counting, and probably not even that, as any bat custodian or wallaby groomer could find free software on the Internet to automatically tabulate the submissions to a CGI setup like that.

So I have e-mailed them again, just sent. Let's see them ignore us now! (Which, in all likelihood, is one wish I will be granted.)

**********

Dear Henry Winkler Stalkers,

Re: Panda naming contest that my friend came up with before you lot.

All right, I've been nice about it up until now. I've made some very healthy and creative suggestions about alternative names (And let's face it, a little panda with a name like Long Shan [dragon, mountain... yeah, right!] is going to get bullied by all the other pandas in zoos, especially the ones with names like Pauley, Nick, and Mongo.) I've suggested some alternate ways to credit Stew Miller, and suggested some very plausible reasons for obsessive government types like yourselves to deviate from your original plans - which I realize is like asking a glacier to take a 5,000 year break from slowly rolling over whatever lemming-infested part of Northern Canada it happens to be on at the time.

Still, no response from you lot. I reckon it's time to take off the kid gloves. It's time to throw down the quaint pen of reason, the chairs of discourse, the slightly unfashionable bow tie of diplomacy, the ribbon of genteel manners, and the knickers of decency (all right, please scratch that last one...I'm not sure where I was going with that) and take decisive and possibly ridiculous action.

I'm forced to do the one thing that no self respecting blogger wants to do. I must take it to the press. I must sound the media clarion call and alert those who will spread the news of this injustice to the people, far and wide across this great nation we call home, and that the pandas refer to as "The place we ask for asylum from when it's time to go back."

It's too late to protest! You had your chance. A brief form letter, an electronically delivered snub, a free FONZ cap with elephant ears...any of these might have dissuaded our anger, frustration, and general trance-inducing boredom. Now, things have gone far too far too far too far, etc. (Sorry, got stuck in a loop there.)

I'm calling Variety right now.

Sincerely,
Earl Fando,
Co-Editor and Contributor
The Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas
http://unfortunateideas.blogspot.com

PS. OK, Variety isn't taking my calls. Would any of you happen to have a 1-800 number for The Washington Post? People? The Weekly World News???

Jailhouse Blues

So, Jorge Carlito is in prison now, no doubt after attempting to put either Danny DeVito or Warwick Davis in a trophy case at his palatial estate in the Hamptons. (Danny DeVito or Warwick Davis's palatial estate. Jorge Carlito lives in a "double-wide" trailer outside of Hampton, Virginia.) This explains his lengthy absence. I figured it was prison or he'd got a role in the Swiss version of Big Brother.

This presents a problem, as we are not about to bake Jorge Carlito a cake with a file in it to help him escape. The main reason for this is that neither Stew or I can bake at all, although Stew can make a mean plate of crepes. So, apart from any appeals or unlikely sudden revelations of mistaken identity ("It was Ben Affleck who was the culprit after all!") he's going to be incarcerated for a short while. Parole will be interesting as well, as Jorge Carlito make his way to the "house that is halfway".

We'll try to keep you posted on JCV's experiences in la casa grande. In the meantime, I expect he'll check in now and again. He's bound to get some good-behaviour privileges, due to his natural charm and amazing forging ability.

Update
Word on the street is (or the blog-street, or whatever it's called) there is a remake of Elvis Presley's Jailhouse Rock planned, with JCV in the lead role. Expect loud rock music, dazzling sets, and numerous hip-injuries.