It's Oscars time. Somebody wake the Grouch.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

United States Surrenders to France

(AP) After almost 230 years of independence and freedom, the United States suddenly and inexplicably surrendered to the nation of France, despite the fact that there is no state of war between them.

"It was Senator Kerry's idea, but I just loved it from the get go," said President Bush. The surrender ceremonies will take place in Terra Haute, Indiana, because the President said, "That sounds like a pretty Frenchy name to me."

The United States will immediately become part of France, and will instantly outnumber their fellow French citizens. "We figure we can put together a coalition with the Republicans and pretty much kick a little ass in the next French parliamentary election," said Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean. Republicans agreed. "Jacques Chirac is about to get his toes run over with Harley," stated Republican senator John McCain.

Also, the United States as new majority citizens of France, plan to pull France out of the E.U., rename Paris to "East New York," set up at least 3 NFL franchises in the country, and pass a proclamation declaring the Big Mac as national dish of France. Several prominent French chefs and Morgan Spurlock committed suicide at the news.

The former Americans declared that once they fully take over French government, they will reestablish the United States and divide France into five states: "Bushington, Clintonsas, Reaganfornia, New Kennedy, and East Texas." "That last one was Vice President Cheney's idea," said Dean, "Just to piss 'em off."

The French government appeared completely stunned at the news. "Normally, we would employ a tactical surrender, but they have beated us to it," said Prime Minister De Villepin. "Now, we have no choice but to make them all French citizens and soon they will control the government. As for me, I plan to emigrate to Belgium."

"We surrender," stated President Bush, "and...we're taking over, mon amis!"

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Football, Football...continued

I am now in a mental war with myself to see whether my footie management addiction will overcome my blogging addiction. As usual with me, mental wars are a bit like turtles mudwrestling, but I do feel the conflict.

You, the tall blond-headed bloke in Montreal with the insubstantial goatee... I heard that snide comment suggesting that the world would be better off if footie management won. The ruddy nerve...and shave your face! You look like someone hit you in the mouth with a small, yellow cactus

I will say, for those who happen to be desperately interested in my gaming progress, please seek psychological help. I will let you know anyway that I decided to play Kansas City in the MLS. Why not take on Arsenal right away, you ask? I want to earn it. Plus Arsene's done such a great job, the supporters are bound to hate me if I just come in and snag the job.

No, I'm determined to prove myself, to pull together this little MLS squad and win the World Club Cup or something a bit smaller perhaps, like the Eastern Division, whatever that is. Then, I'll try and jump to the Championship in England, maybe bag a team like Barnsley or Derby County or even Leeds. Finally, when Arsene retires in 2020 (fingers crossed) I'll graciously offer my services.

Anyway, we did win our first game against New England, 4-1 and I chalk it all up to my decision to up the pace of the game slightly, and also to let my assistant manager pick the squad, as I'm still getting familiar with them. ("Jimmy who? Oh, you're a starter.") I need to build up the squad but unfortunately, while in the real world Eddie Johnson is playing for Kanasas City now, in my simulated world he's still in Dallas and costs about 50 times my transfer budget. I had no idea Lamar Hunt would be such a tightwad in the game.

Also, Virtual Josh Wolff is telling me off for not letting him transfer. Allow me to present you a generalised version of the conversation the game says we had in my office:

Josh Wolff: I'd like to transfer to a bigger team.

Earl Fando: Has maintenance had a chance to get my name painted on my private parking space outside? I always feel that gives a sense of permanence to a new post, don't you?

Josh Wolff: I feel I should be playing for championships.

Earl Fando: How do you like my framed picture of the 2004 Arsenal Undefeated squad behind the desk? Too obvious? Maybe on the wall just there by the door? I wonder if I can use my new position to get this signed by the players there? Care for a biscuit?

Josh Wolff: I need to test myself in a bigger league.

Earl Fando: Could you run and get me a cup of coffee? I don't actually drink the stuff, preferring tea and bottled water, but I've always wanted to have a professional athlete get me coffee, and as Mia Hamm in a bikini isn't available...

Josh Wolff: I can't be happy playing at a club that doesn't share my ambition.

Earl Fando: Two lumps of sugar with that... oh, and some milk too, if you can manage it.

Josh Wolff: I really...

Earl Fando: (Puts hands over ears and begins to sing MacArthur Park in a loud voice... The Richard Harris version.)

Notice how I bamboozle him with Socratic dialogue.

I'd never be that rude to Josh Wolff in real life, as he seems a nice bloke. In the game though, I don't take crap from players, especially not now, since I spent the pre-game run up to the New England match lavishing praise on Steve Nicol so he'd lose focus. I'm a bit cranky now from all the fake sucking up. If Wolff's not careful, I'll sell him to Carlisle.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Football! Football! Football! Simulated Football!!

Or Soccer, as it's known to some parts of the world, including the rather large part I live in.

I just got Football Manager 2006 and am rather brain dead as far as anything goes. Unfortunately, I set the game to start me out unemployed, so I'm waiting for a job. Since I'm a U.S. citizen, I put down American under manager's nationality and even Walsall and Hartlepool turned me down.

I could be in for a long wait.

Eventually, I'll just take Arsene's job and manage Arsenal, although I wish there was a feature that would let me be his assistant coach. I could be in charge of autographs and bringing the players' fancy autos around to the front after practise.

I wonder if Bruce or Sven would like a little break?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

An innovation tweel all be glad to see

Speaking of scientific innovation, French tire fanatics and restaurant reviewers Michelin have invented the future of auto tyres: The airless tyre. What was the old joke about French technology? All right, so they can't make a decent computer, but their tyres are smashing... or not smashing, in this case.

They could use a bit of help with the name. This new, earthshakingly revolutionary tyre is called: "The Tweel." Apparently, Elmer Fudd works in the marketing department of Michelin.

No more playing with the airhose to inflate a mate's trousers or blow air up the skirt of some bird you fancy in school you knicker-peepers! Michelin promises to make flat tyres ancient history, just like Madonna's acting career. (Well, I know she's got another film coming out this year...but it should be.) Blow outs on the motorway will now be replaced with hooligans stuffing empty beer bottles, toilet tissue, and rolled up copies of The Sun in your spokes. (If it happens to you, I promise it wasn't me.)

What's really amazing is that no one has thought of this before. One would think that the old wagon wheel design might find its way back in America, but apparently tyre manufacturers in this country are too busy coming up with clever ads featuring animated squirrels. "Take the air out of tyres? What is this, the Flintstones? Now, what were you saying about that scene where the squirrel dances in front of the oncoming car?"

Now if only the French would come up with some technology to drain the massive amounts of hot air from Prime Minister Dominique De Villepin. Admittedly, that's an exponentially larger task, a bit like trying to hoover the rings from around Saturn with a straw.

Hat tip: Linus Coconut

Monday, March 27, 2006

Bacon that's good for you? I must be dreaming!


Actually, that second line is what Bond said when Ms. Galore told him her name in Goldfinger. Erm...I can't seem to remember the rest of the line now.

Still, when scientists tell us that bacon might one day be good for you, those of us who consider it to be the fourth food group (Breads and Grains, Fruits and Vegetables, Meats, Bacon) are as happy as clams on a welk. (No, that was not some kind of sexual reference. To be honest, I'm not sure what it means. It sounded rather happy at the time, though. I can see that brain-enhancing bacon can't come soon enough for some of us.)

Actually, I've been eating bacon as though it were healthy food for quite some time now. If I survive to 50, there's a slight chance I can undo the existing damage enough to reach 51. If not, I can at least live knowing that future bacon-lovers (NOT a sexual reference!) can enjoy this delicious smoked meat without personal risk to themselves or their aortas.

For those of you on kosher diets, I apologise for any distaste you may be feeling now. Please replace all references to "bacon" with the word "knish."

Surely then, this is only the start of a whole new trend in science to get the best out of the best tasting foods. After all, that's what science is really good at, isn't it? Predicting global warming? Call me back when you can tell me if it's going to rain or not for sure this weekend. Establishing personality through genetics? Why aren't any of these scientists looking for the "genetics geek" gene, hmmm? No, this, disease cures, better tasting pain relievers, and developing a Windows computer that won't crash are the primary good of science.

Since we're on about getting great-tasting food to have some actual benefit without losing the taste (Something scientists call the "Yuck factor" but that I call the "What's the bleedin' point factor."), I have a few more suggestions for directions these brilliant geniuses should be plowing their efforts into:

  • Bangers that take off the pounds as you eat
  • Fried Chicken that cleans out those clogged arteries
  • Ice cream that opens up the pores
  • Soda that doubles as petrol (We're not far off from that, I suspect.)
  • Fried chops that will stimulate hair growth (In the RIGHT places, mind you)
  • Bratwurst that teaches you foreign languages (and sauerkraut that enables you to write Kanji!)
  • Fish and Chips that will end potato blight
  • Beer that not only contributes to your heart healthiness but also will tie your shoelaces for you!
  • Donuts that steam clean your trousers (Is there anything they can't do? Yes, but modern science can fix that.)
  • Fettucine Alfredo that will do windows AND floors
  • Chicken Curry that can cure Tom Cruise's mental illness (A long shot, but for the good of humanity)
  • Doners that can do anesthesia-free surgery
  • A Flaky bar that will bring peace to the Middle East
  • Pizza that can solve Pi to a trillion digits
  • Kung Pao Chicken that will provide the developing world with a cheap source of power (Besides the flatulence)
  • Salt and Vinegar Crisps that will allow humans to travel beyond the speed of light
We stand on the threshold of a tasty new era in science, if only we can get these blokes and lasses to stop fiddling around with nonsense like Universal Field Theories and Human Genomes. Pudding that walks the dog and calculates your taxes...that's progress, mate!

Where, oh where has our little Stew gone?

I warned Stew that he should have stretched properly before doing the Live Oscar Blog. Now, he's vanished from blogdom to heaven knows where. Actually, I got an e-mail from him indicating he's in ISO hell this week. That's no excuse, lad. Dial up. Vent a bit, just as I did about Subway (Still haven't eaten there since Wednesday...join the boycott!)

In the meantime I shall endeavor to carry on until Mr. Miller comes up for air, or paper clips, or whatever else is needed for ISO circle 7 or whatever Dante called it. I spoke to Zimpter this weekend as well and he has vowed to add to his 2 posts over the last year, if he can only remember his password to Blogger.

Juan Carlos Vega remains missing, presumed deported.