You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Hang on you Turkey!!

As many of our more internationalist readers are no doubt aware, the nation of Turkey is applying to join the European Union. Since the EU is run by a secret cabal of lifelong bureaucrats, addicted to expensive French wine, Russian caviar, British Sterling, and racy Swedish undergarments, one can see the difficulties in a second world Islamic country, only recently committed to democracy, getting membership in this club.

There are certainly legitimate concerns where Turkey is involved, in human rights, economics, and the complete refusal of Ankara to recognize the beginning of the fashion season.

The real difficulty though is that the membership requirements are simply complex and, quite frankly, bizarre. What follows are excerpts from the European Union secret handbook on approving and initiating new member nations:


Section 2.3.2 - Applicant nations shall maintain a gross national product growth of at least 1 percent, ten years prior to admission to the European Union. Nations will agree to lend half of this to the governments of France and Germany, to cover their gambling losses in Monaco. This money shall be left in a brown paper bag outside the Gare d'Orsay, Paris, France, or alternately, in a shoebox at the service enterance of the Reichstag building, Berlin, Germany. No mention of this payment, or even this section of the handbook, shall ever be made to the British or Italians, lest they desire a cut of the action.


Section 2.4.5 - Applicant nations must be able to demonstrate that they have sent a finalist to the Miss World beuty pageant in the last 20 years running, and that, if asked, each of these women will be willing to date EU parliament members. Libertines preferred.


Section 2.7.7 -a. Applicant nations must own a plunger. The bidet at the EU building in Brussles backs up quite a bit, and if it happens while you're in there, your not using ours.


Section 3.1.0 - No hippies.


Section 3.51 - Applicant nations must present at least 4 citizens of their nation who have an extra nipple. Acceptable substitutes will include 7 citizens with an extra finger, 12 citizens with webbed feet, or 120 citizens who can touch their noses with their tongues. Nations may be accepted on a probationary basis if they cannot meet these requirements but can provide at least 13 citizens who are certified by the EU as contortionists.


Section 4.80 - Applicant nations must have soft, silky hair, that does not contain an excessive amount of conditioner or other hair care products. They must brush their hair at least twice daily. Extensions are expressly prohibited.


Section 5.37 -c. - Applicant nations must own a duckbilled platypus named Dweezle. No exceptions.


Section - a. - Applicant nations must change their name to one of the following: Chiracland, Brusselvania, Heinrichland, or Steve. Something with the word "Dingo" in it may be acceptable, on approval from the "Subcommittee for Renaming Nations in Order to Humiliate Them and Make Us Feel Superior."


Section 9.9 - Applicant nations must pick up the tab at all EU cocktail functions. Heavy tipping encouraged.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A TomKat by any other name...

So Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have decided to get a jump start on the whole marriage thing and begin reproducing. While waiting until after, say, the wedding vows might have been nice (What do Scientologists say at their wedding? To love, honor, and audit until the day the mother ship takes you away? I'm just asking.), this is Hollywood and celebrities get so bored sitting around waiting for things like wedding licences and church bookings.

Anyway, I'm sure they appreciate Stew helping out with the baby naming. I don't have the Big Book of International Baby Names handy myself, but I do have a few suggestions they might fancy. Tom and Katie, I hope these help your youngster avoid severe beatings and - fight back the tears, Tom - lengthy psychiatric analysis.

If it's a girl:

  • Katie Jr.
  • Tina Louise Cruise
  • Conchita Cruise (My favourite choice, just so you know)
  • Mongo Cruise
  • Nicole Cruise (Kidding!!)
  • Moon Unit Cruise
  • Anna Nicole Cruise
  • Spacey Cruise
  • Barbarella Cruise
  • Queen Elizabeth II Cruise
  • Earlene Stewia Zimpterina Juanita Carlita Cruise
  • Secretariat

If it's a boy:

  • Tom Arnold Cruise
  • Tom Green Cruise Jr.
  • L. Tom Cruise Jr.
  • Slappy Cruise
  • Squiggy Holmes-Cruise
  • Joe Namath
  • Dawson Creek Cruise
  • Thomas Rainman Cruise
  • Earl Stew Zimpter Juan Carlos Cruise
  • Sigmund Freud Cruise (I'm kidding! Get off the bleedin' couch Thomas!)
  • Dr. Funkenstein Cruise
  • Katie Jr.

Best of luck to the both of you, and especially to your child, who, I predict years from now, will dearly wish you had chosen from the above list rather than the name you wound up giving them.

The rare speckled Hollywood loons...

are at it again. When Earl sent me the article linked to in his post below, I had to do a double and spit-take simultaneously. Now that I've returned from the chiropractor I can make a comment. What will these loons do next? With that comment out of the way let us move on to ridiculing Nick Cage and a few others. VIVA LAS VEGAS, what was he thinking?!?!?!? Wow, I just can't get over the thought of young Kal-El hanging upside down from a tree at some prestigious west coast private school listening to taunts of "Let's see ya fly down from there, Superman!". I'm sure young master Kal-El's bodyguards will thrash them within an inch of their lives; but still, it could be damaging to his young psyche.

In other news, TomKat is expecting and one must wonder what name this poor spawn of the off-kilter Hollywood duo will be shackled with. I understand that Tom is working with a fitness and couch jumping expert now for his next stint on Oprah. Since I often wonder about these things I went down to the local B. Dalton's and bought my own copy of Webster's Book of Common Hollywood Names. Here are some of the more interesting choices for the progeny of Tom and Katie.


Apocalypse - brother of Regis.


Batman- he who wears the Bat-a-rang.


Cyclops - he who could be played by LaVar Burton.


Doctor Doom - one who needs Zoloft.


Elektra - she who is sponsored by Ginsu.

...skipping down a little.


Hulk - he who you don't want to make angry, you wouldn't like him when he's angry.



Jor-El - Marlon Brando on a bad hair day.

...skipping, already know what Kal-El is...


Mr. Fantastic - (From the Spanish) SeƱor Fantastico.

...getting really tired of this


Professor X - he who makes Mr. Clean look like Fabio.

Anyhow, you get the idea. I just hope that little Jor-El Hulk X Cruise doesn't end up with too many wet willies from his classmates. I say this concerned about the classmates when young JHX's father comes to school and threatens them for being rude.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's...Nick Cage's son?

Nicolas Cage and his wife Alice have named their newborn son Kal-El. No, they aren't converting to Islam; the name Kal-El is actually the birthname of one Clark Kent, better known to the world as Superman.

I have this picture of them in my mind. They're looking through Webster's Big Book of Baby Names and suddenly:

Nick: Ooooh, here's a cool one. "Kal-El"

Alice: What's the background?

Nick: It's Kryptonian.


Alice: (suddenly confused) Wait a minute. Where's Krypton? Is that near Krygystan?

Nick: No honey, it's another planet.

Alice: (smiles) Just like his father.

Nick: The book says the name means "Sent off in a rocketship just before the planet explodes." Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

(General all around laughter and bong rattling)

Of course, what I'm really looking forward to is the transcript of the eventual "birds and bees" conversation:

Nick: Kal-El, you must always use your powers for good, to help mankind and promote Elvis. One more thing - It is completely forbidden for you to change history...even if you knock some chick up.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

An oldie but a goodie

In honor of Stew's birthday, allow me to take a moment and present one of our earlier comedic efforts. Some of you, particularly the more easily bored ones, may remember a website called Modern Humorist (sp. of course.) Stew and I sent many rejected submissions there. We assume they were rejected because of all of them, we only received two messages. One was to Stew's original submission, to which the writer, a helpful bloke named Peter Saltpork (the name has been changed to protect the guilty), helpfully advised Stew on how to get published in Modern Humorist. He stated they were looking for "unreal" ideas. "We're looking for square pegs in round holes," he revealed. In my humble opinion, to date, that remains the funniest line to ever come out of Modern Humorist.

The online site has stopped developing new material, presumably because they ran out of round holes to put those square pegs in. However, there is one submission we made that I would like to share on this occasion, because I promised myself it would see the light of day after it inspired the folks at Modern Humorist to respond a second and final time (let's just say it was a polite but snippy response regarding #12 below.) We had sent several submissions in without response and decided that there must be some good reasons that they hadn't got back to us. Here then, are those reasons:


Top Reasons Modern Humorist Doesn't Get To Your Submissions
By Stew Miller and Earl Fando

As pointed out on our submissions page Modern Humorist is unable to review or respond to all of the submissions it receives due to the staff's busy schedules and lifestyles. In order that you may better understand the hectic work pace we deal with, we have listed some key reasons we haven't had the time to get back to you.

1. Staff's 286 can't handle new "fancy" e-mail applications.

2. Editor too busy trying to save Mario's girlfriend from clutches of that rotten
Donkey Kong.

3. actually front for "axis of evil" propaganda

4. is across the hall.

5. Thought submissions were pixies trying to replace their brains with
those of N'Sync. Realized that the water cooler was laced with PCP.

6. Staff too busy with bitchin' game of Dungeons & Dragons.

7. Three words: Oprah! Oprah! Oprah!

8. Editor thought he saw Santa's elves dancin' around the ghost of
Elvis. Water cooler again.

9. Staff got tickets to Gallagher show over at the Indian casino. Ain't
got no time for lame submissions, there's Gallagher to be seen!!

10. Replacing submissions with calls for jihad against The Onion.

11. Cleanup duties from Modern Humorist "Live" (anyone know how to get puke stains off a wooden floor?)

12. Editor had to go get broken crack pipe fixed.

13. Busy scouring "Milton Berle's Private Joke File" for new "unreal" ideas

14. Staff stumped trying to work out "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" for Margaret Thatcher

15. Fighting off landsharks (Actually that was from Top Reasons NBC Saturday Night Live Writing Staff doesn't get to submissions)

16. Staff still can't get over loss of Jim Varney.

17. Too tired from all night "Taxi" marathon. Can't get Tony Danza's
tight derierre and sonorous voice out of their minds.

18. Busy with phone: Madonna won't return our calls.

19. Constant strip searches from John Ashcroft's staff.

20. Staff hypnotized by "Tom Jones" elevator muzak piped in offices.

21. Locked out of offices and Osama has the key. (How were we to know?)

22. Busy calling to get on "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire" show. With no one watching these days it's our best chance ever.

23. Didn't realize white powder in envelope was anthrax.

24. Still in a funk over Cruise/Kidman break up

25. Busy weeding out constant Miller/Fando submissions

Stew Miller and Earl Fando are the authors of the still unpublished "It All Started With Ed or A Yeti In Times Square". They will write for money or food, but only really good food. No Argentine currency please.

A little older, a little bloggier...

...That our Stew Miller, who celebrates his 76th birthday today! (Whoops, he's only 38...I accidentally carried the two.)

Be sure and e-mail Stew to wish him a very happy birthday, and to offer a cheap and reliable way to buy Cialis. I'm sure Stew doesn't need the stuff (not that I have any way of knowing...thank heavens) but that is about 90% of the mail we seem to get.

Those of you at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. know exactly how you can honor this legendary blogger on his birthday. So stop dawdling and get the panda name mess straightened out while there's still time.

Happy Birthday, Stew! "...and many more on Channel 4", as the Littlest Fando likes to say.

...and speaking of golf!

"Bendin' the shafts" got me thinking about my golfing experience over the weekend. On Sunday I played a round with Earl and some of our compatriots at a local course. While playing the par four sixth hole, I did something I haven't done in many years. My second shot, or approach shot as the lingo goes, landed on the opposite side of the green from where the flag was located. Faced with a 70 foot birdie putt I was hoping that I could get it within three or four feet to finish off the hole with a respectable par. So that the reader can get a feel for my experience I will provide a more detailed breakdown of the shot.

Oct. 2, 2005 3:10 pm

I study the shot and determine the speed I want to hit the ball and the break I will play on this 85 ft. putt, which ends up being about five feet to the right of the hole.

3:21 - I let the shot go feeling relatively confident that I have taken all of the variables into consideration.

3:21:22 - As the ball proceeds on its 200 ft. path to the hole I have a few seconds to breathe, catch up on some correspondence, write a treatise on Speebek's Third Law, and provide an alternative proof of Fermat's last theorem.

3:28 - The ball has now made half of the 2000 ft journey to the hole and I have made camp at the 19,000 ft. level of Mt. Everest as my Sherpa guides are exhausted.

3:45 - The ball makes its way through the Khumbu Icefall and is now on the way to the final 1000 ft. to the hole as I rouse the Sherpas and we continue to the hole wondering what we may find.

3:52 - Through binoculars I see the ball fall into the hole and we break out the celebratory champagne and buckwheat pancakes that the Sherpa's have brought along. A small monument is left on the green to mark the occasion and we continue down to base camp to get ready for the next hole.

So you can understand my enthusiam at the putt and results. I do miss Tenshing and Nemba though, we'll always live with the memories of those plucky little Nepalese... Excuse me, it's tough you know. Mmmm hmmm, needless to say, we'll be looking forward to the next round.

Nipsey Russell 1924 - 2005

To Nipsey, RIP

What I'll miss most is his rapier wit,
The gleam in Nipsey's eye when he laughs.
I still snicker at the Letterman bit,
when you said, "Stop bendin' the shafts."

(Whoops, sorry that was apparently Slappy White. Oh well, Nipsy would appreciate it.)

It must have been the cap that threw me.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Sniffles Rides Again

When things become a bit pressing and I need a little break, I know that I can always turn to an old friend and teacher, Sniffles the Mouse. The former Warner Brothers cartoon actor spends most of his time these days relaxing at his Palm Beach villa (Rancho Sniffles), and sipping expresso, which has long been his favorite drink and is probably the source of his rapid and unique manner of self-expression.

Knowing that Sniffles can be counted on to offer an opinion on just about anything, and as I was bored, I called up my old friend and asked him about some current events.

Earl: Sniffles, it's great to be chatting with you.

Sniffles: My name is Sniffles. What's your name?

Earl: It's Earl. We've known each other since 1985, when you taught that Animation, Slapstick, and Psychiatry course at university.

Sniffles: Hi, Earl. That's a funny name, "Earl." It's like "pearl" only without a "p". Oh, I remember you! You were the funny kid in the back who kept sticking his finger in his ears and scratching his...

Earl: (Coughing loudly) Ahem! Sniffles, you've seen a lot in your lifetime. What's the most amazing thing that has come along during that period?

Sniffles: Well, Earl...I'm wondering about this thing called the Internet. What is the Internet anyway? Is it the same as the World Wide Web, because a net and a web aren't the same thing. I mean they look like the same thing and both of 'em are used to catch stuff, but one is made of rope and the other is made of a spider's web. Is the World Wide Web made out of a spider's web, cause how could they send a computer signal over a spider's web? Wouldn't that make the spiders angry? Do the spiders operate the World Wide Web or do they just live there? I've heard of spiders on the World Wide Web but they must really be hungry on account of the flies, 'cause I ain't never seen any flies on the World Wide Web. Do the flies live over on the Internet? Maybe the spiders have to jump from the web to the rope and then eat the flies. I think they must like the rope, 'cause it's not sticky like an ol' spider's web, but I sure think they're real glad when they're fed and back home. I bet it's just like when I go out to a restaurant, except that I don't eat any nasty flies, preferring Fettucine Carbonara, yep, that's it I betcha!

Earl: Fair enough. How do you feel about the changes in the movie industry?

Sniffles: I love movies. I was in the movies, you know. I went to see Titanic the other day. Have you seen Titanic? I saw Titanic. What did you think about that scene where that skinny guy stands up in front of the ship and shouts, "I'm the King of the World!" Wasn't that silly? Have you ever wanted to be King of the World? I haven't! That seems like a really big job, and I'm only a lil' old mouse. I couldn't even wear the crown, it would be so big. Did you see the scene where he drew that picture of the naked lady? I was real embarrassed when I saw that scene. Have you ever seen a naked lady? I did, when I saw that movie. Why'd they drive that ship into the iceberg? Didn't they see it coming or were they too busy shouting "I'm the King of the World!" and drawing pictures of naked ladies. I saw Kill Bill Vol. 1 too. Did you see Kill Bill Vol. 1? I thought it was real violent. I'm not really into to violence. Are you into violence? You don't look violent. How'd they do that scene where the blood gushed out of that guy's head? Did it hurt the guy? Do they have to kill a lot of people when they make these movies, 'cause that wouldn't be a good job. Sure you get to be in the pictures, but then you're dead and no matter how much money they pay you, you can't really spend it if you're dead, can you? People always say, you're suppose to make a living, right? Dying ain't much of living, boy oh boy it ain't. Didn't Clint Eastwood say somethin' like that one time. He sure is a crusty ol' fella, that Clint Eastwood. He always plays a cowboy in the movies, 'cept when he plays a policeman, and then he plays him like a cowboy. I wonder if he can really ride a horse? I bet he can shoot a gun real good, I betcha! My name is Sniffles!

Earl: Well Sniffles. I was going to ask you about the United Nations, the European Union, North Korea, Iraq, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston's divorce, Tom Cruise's lunacy, the World Cup, and the state of quantum physics science over the last decade, but I would be dead long before you'd halfway finished.

Sniffles: Why would you be dead, Earl? You aren't gonna jump off a bridge are you? I don't know why people would jump off a bridge, cause not only would they get killed but they'd be wet too. At least blood wouldn't gush out of 'em but still, that would hurt I betcha, and wouldn't they be better off sittin' down with a nice piece of cheese and a warm fire and...

Earl: Until next time, my friend. (Disconnects)

Sorry About That Chief!

Well, apparently Don Adams has passed away and we failed to immediately notice and express our heartfelt appreciation for his unique contribution to television comedy. There's really only one thing we can possibly say:

(holds up index finger and thumb) Missed it by that much!

Peace Rocks

Or at least it could rock if some people are correct in their guess that Bono and Bob Geldof will win this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

I called Dr. Sigmund Andersmickelgroenigensonson, noted Nobel Prize authority and habedasher for his take on the possibility. Here are the highlights:

Earl: Do you think it's likely that Bono and Bob Geldof could win the Nobel Peace Prize?

Dr. Sigmund Andersmickelgroenigensonson: Anything is possible with this committee. They vote like they were smoking crack in an opium den during a kegger. I heard they briefly considered David Hasselhoff last year for his work promoting peace via a German version of Baywatch, but they had to move in another direction becuase of an unfortunate technicality - Hasselhoff wasn't actually nominated. Also, it turns out that in the German version, Hasselhoff's role is played by Dan Marino.

Earl: Why would rock stars have a particularly better chance this year?

Dr. Andersmickelgroenigensonson: The committee has been really interested in picking up chicks all year, and this would be a real plus at the awards dinner-party. Also, the music at these ceremonies has been a pretty staid affair in the past - Bach, Vivaldi, Palestrina, the occasional ABBA - so this would pep things up a bit.

Earl: Any truth to the rumour that the committee is trying to sell the rights to the awards show to ABC?

Dr. A.: CBS got them, but only if Bono and Bob Geldof win. If it's Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, the show goes straight to the Biography Channel.

Earl: Is Bono the first person with only one name to be considered for such a prize?

Sig: Cher was considered for the Peace Prize in 1978 for breaking up a fight between former husbands Sonny Bono and Gregg Allman. Also, Jack Lemmon was considered in 1964 for his efforts to bring peace to MGM.

Earl: Isn't Jack Lemmon's name, in fact, two words?

Siggy: Yes, but he was working under an assumed name: Charo.

Earl: What an amazing disguise.

Little Siggy Wiggy: It helped that he was an outstanding Flamengo guitarist.

Earl: If Bono and Geldof win, would that signal a major change for the Nobels?

Sigmund the Sea Monster: Well, it would open up the awards to a number of previously fringe candidates - David Blaine for his work in Physics and Robert Downey Jr. in Chemistry, for his experimental work in drugs. Also, French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin might finally bag the Literature award for his translations of Rod McKuen and also his original work "My Mistress's Other Lover", "Staring at Myself in the Mirror for Hours on End," and "Poems from a Gasbag."

Earl: That would be a shocker.

Siggy-siggy-bofiggy-bonanarana: It would almost top Fidel Castro's extermely controversial Medicine award in 1971 for his purported research into the healthful benefits of cigar burns on political prisoners.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

DOUI versus the FONZ - Part V - The Panda Strikes Back

Well, it's all over bar the shouting. That's right, The Friends of the National Zoo have put their world oil manipulation scheme on hold long enough to end their little "contest" to name "Stew Bon-Bon", the baby panda at the National Zoo. Over 200,000 people happily and ignorantly cast votes for one of the five pathetic names the National Zoo staff came up with for this poor little black and white, bamboo-snarfing media bonanza, not knowing that weeks ago, we held a similar contest and were able to name the panda in a few days, once again proving that private citizens can do anything government can, excepting misplace a billion dollars, and in only 1/30th the time. "Bon-Bon" was the best name our readers sent, and the Stew is to recognize the person to come up with the contest idea, our own Stew Miller.

Let's revisit the five names the National Zoo suggested, along with an analysis of why each name is horribly unsuited for this panda:

  • Hua Sheng ("China Washington" and "magnificent") - Somehow China, Washington, and Magnificent are only two words in Chinese. Ridiculous. Why not just name the poor thing "District of Columbia, inefficient"

  • Sheng Hua ("Washington China" and "magnificent") - It's just the first name flipped around. How lazy can these National Zoo crocodile scrubbers get? No wonder there's a billion golden marmosets at the Zoo. ("What animal shall we order now?" "Aw, I'm too tired to look up new animals, let's just use the form we sent last week for the marmosets.")

  • Tai Shan ("peaceful mountain") - Peaceful Mountain sounds like the name of a bluegrass band, not a ferocious wild bamboo thrashing machine.

  • Long Shan ("dragon mountain") - Maybe as a title for a Tsui Hark film, but a panda?

  • Qiang Qiang ("strong, powerful") - Umm, how about just one Qiang? Doesn't this name really just mean "Strong Strong?" Why not "Big Big" or "Large Large" or "Dig Dug" for that matter?

It's all so hopelessly ridiculous, and still nary a letter from the "Friends" of the National Zoo. More like the "Mafia" of the National Zoo (MONZ), or the "Control Freaks" of the National Zoo (C-FONZ), or even the Misappropriating Unfortunate Missives Enabling Nationally Set-up Contests Heisted At the National Zoo (MUMENSCHANZ).

When will these contest copycats respond to our protestations of foul play!! Why do they insist that they are above the rules of fairness, and why must they hog all the publicity surrounding this giant bichromatic rodent of a panda?

As usual, I sent a letter asking just that.



Well, I hope you're satisfied. Your "little" contest is over and you have escaped responsibility for your inappropriate duplication of my colleague's idea to have a contest at all to name the baby panda, currently residing at your zoo, but destined to be recalled home, just as soon as the Chinese government realizes you offered to name the little penguin-colored hairball something with the word "peaceful" in it.

It doesn't matter. We have decided that this little bloke's name will forever more be "Stew Bon-Bon" in accordance with the contest we started and that our loyal readership participated in. Every time we visit the zoo we will shout out "Hellllloooo little Stew Bon-Bon!" at the top of our considerable lungs and let passers-by know that whatever "Washington Peaceful China Bejing Mountain of Powerful Dragons" name you have given him is merely to suck up to the Red Chinese and avoid the national embarrassment that people thought the best name for him was that of a stewed French candy.

We will still accept a compromise. We'll not embarrass you, your patrons, the pandas, and ourselves, by shouting out this name, if and only if you all privately refer to the panda as "Stew."
If you do this, we will only whisper the name in private and wear it on t-shirts (along with the odd airplane smoke advert) and we will link to the Zoo from a prominent location on our site, which we know must be giving you goosebumps.

Do the right thing MUMENSCHANZ!!! Give this panda a name that he, you, we, and Mr. Stew Rabinowitz of 1143 18th St. NW District of Columbia can be proud of.

Earl Fando
Co-Editor and Contributor
Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas

P.S. If you agree to call the panda Stew, we'll also throw in a can of bamboo shoots, just to help make ends meet.