You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Is Castro Alive?

Probably not. After all, the man's 79 years old, he's hated by millions, and the CIA has slipped him more toxic substances than Keith Richards, John Belushi, and Rasputin ingested combined. That and he had "internal surgery," which is secret code in dictatorspeak for "someone put a bloody bullet in his bean" or possibly "I'm out of Fruit Loops." I can never remember which.

Anyway, the rumours are flying about the Cuban Generalissmo baseball-fanatic. Here are some of the one's I've personally started:

Top 20 Causes of Castro's Death

20. Committed suicide when Madonna rejected his romantic overtures
19. Ran into outfield wall while chasing down a flyball
18. Accidentally wandered into Guantanamo Bay. Not the military base...the actual bay
17. Died of disappointment after cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise
16. Assassinated by mutated gophers
15. Drank himself to death in drinking contest with Peter O'Toole
14. Brown recluse spiders took up residence in his beard.
13. Someone popped a cap in the murderous old geezer. Blimey, what did you expect?
12. Accidentally swallowed cigar (This is not meant to be a euphemism.)
11. Heartbreak of psoriasis
10. Developed sudden violent allergy to military fatigues
9. Sudden apoplectic fit when Elian Gonzales referred to him as "Aunt Fidel"
8. Squashed to death by Michael Moore bear hug
7. Pat Robertson snuck up behind him with a Louisville Slugger.
6. Failed attempt to reenact filibuster scene from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
5. Failed attempt to reenact filibuster scene from Billy Jack Goes to Washington
4. Overdosed on mojo
3. Swallowed his own tongue while trying to read book of Bush mispronounciations
2. Raul let off a "silent but deadly," and what do you know? It was.
1. Headbutt by Zidane proved fatal

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Elvis is dead? Really?...

I could have sworn I saw him the other day at the local convenience store. He was buying pork rinds and fizzy soda, and reading a copy of the Weekly World News.

Still, this is the 29th anniversary of Elvis's "passing." People mourn "The King" and dream of what could have been. Given my discovery that he lives in the area, I tracked him down and asked him what he thought of all of this. Here are some excerpts:


Earl: Elvis. I really appreciate you sitting down with me to do this interview on the anniversary of your (making quote signs with hands) "death."

Elvis: No, no...Ummm... My name is umm...Randy... Randy Jones.

Earl: Sure it is... (winking) Randy. I know you're a private man and that this interview might jeopardize your whole "dead and gone" gig, but seriously, a lot of people have questions.

Elvis: I'm telling you man, (looking around suspiciously) ...the name is Randy.

Earl: So, why the rhinestone-spangled white jumpsuit? Why the horrendously out-of-style ducktail haircut? Why the 57 cadillacs in the front yard, the 34 Harleys in the back, and the George Foreman grill splattered with peanut-butter and banana?

Elvis: I'm a... umm... Elvis impersonator. Yeah, man... that's what it's about. I impersonate that there Elvis fella.

Earl: So that why you have the 75 guitars in your sitting room.

Elvis: An Elvis impersonator can never have too many guitars...especially ones personally signed by Les Paul and Leo Fender.

Earl: What about the tattoo that says "Priscilla Forever," the one that's crossed out and has "Lisa Thompson Forever" written under it, which is also crossed out and has "What I meant was Ginger Forever" written underneath it?

Elvis: Umm... Priscilla, Lisa, and Ginger were my... my... cats.

Earl: ...And the wall full of pictures with Lisa Marie... You and Lisa Marie at her fifth birthday party, you teaching her to ride a bike, you riding her around on the steel blue Harley on your back porch, you at the birth, showing Lisa Marie your "Priscilla Forever" tattoo, you, Lisa Marie, and Ginger Alden on the front porch of this house, underneath the large sign that says "Elvis Doesn't Live Here!"?

Elvis: Umm...

Earl: Photoshop maybe?

Elvis: (Looks around suspiciously) How many people did you say would read this thing?

Earl: 3 or 4, not including the Blog authors and the members of their families patient enough to put up with this sort of nonsense.

Elvis: OK, man. You got me. I am Elvis Presley.

Earl: I don't see why I had to drag it out of you like that.


Earl: So, what's it like being Elvis in the 21st Century.

Elvis: Well, I've had plenty o' time to get used to it. I took some courses at the local community college to learn how to use the Internet. Man, you should see some of the wacked stuff that people put online.

Earl: Well, I am a semi-professional blogger and I can tell you that just about everyone blogs these days. Do you?

Elvis: Well, actually I was talkin' about porn and online video games, but now that you mention it, I did have a blog for a short while.

Earl: Really? What was it called?

Elvis: Let's Ponta.

Earl: You're kidding. The Let's Ponta? I've read that blog a dozen times, each one like steel claws on a chalkboard spine.

Elvis: Thankyou...Thankyouverymuch.

Earl: Riiiight. Let's move on. What for you has been the biggest change since you left public life?

Elvis: Well, I really miss Happy Days. That Chachi kid had something.

Earl: An annoying prepossessed narcisism? A severely underdeveloped acting technique? Boils?

Elvis: Naw. A cute girlfriend. That Joanie was a little fireball.

Earl: She was cute, but I'll just write down "Boils."


Earl: Elvis, have you done any musical work since you "retired" from public life?

Elvis: Well Earl, music's in my blood. So, although I try to resist the temptation to do somethin' that would blow my cover, sometimes I can't help myself.

Earl: Would you consent to singing something you've written for our Blog audience?

Elvis: All 4 of 'em? All right, I suppose so. (Sings) When there's trouble you know who to call... Teen Titans! They can...

Earl: Wait a tick, that's the theme song to Teen Titans. PuffyAmiYumi wrote that.

Elvis: (Laughing to himself) Yeah, that's what they tell everyone.

Earl: Well, I have to admit it's a change for you, but it's not bad. Anything else?

Elvis: The theme music to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, and also HonkyTonk Badonkadonk.

Earl: Well, nobody's perfect.


Earl: Finally Elvis, doesn't it bother you that the world believes you died of a drug overdose on the toliet.

Elvis: I know some people think it's kinda sordid and all, but it appealled to my sense of drama. I course, I primarily watch soap operas. Also, I spend a lot of time on the pot. You do the kind of hip dancin' I did... It shakes up your colon real good.

Earl: Well then, it is dramatically consistent.

Elvis: Still it wasn't my idea. I really wanted people to think I'd died jumpin' over the Grand Canyon on my "Blue Hawaii" Harley.

Earl: Who came up with it then?

Elvis: Some cat named Andy Kaufman. Ever heard of him?

Earl: Yes...Yes, I think so.

Elvis: His original idea was that I was killed by wrasslers, but no man drops "The King," if you know what I mean.

Earl: Indeed.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Blogger Doesn't Love Us and Neither Does the Buffalo News

I'm sure I've probably noted this before, and as much as I hate repeating myself, why, oh why can't we get a little love from the Blogger "Blogs We've Noticed" people?

I don't mean sexual love, as we're all happily married here at DOUI (Though not to each other, I hasten to add.) I more or less mean the kind of love network television gives a company when one of its products inexplicably turns up in a popular situation comedy, or the kind of love that shows like Saturday Night Live give "artists" like Ashlee Simpson and Brittney Spears when they invite them to perform instead of throwing rotten fruit at them and introducing them as "That popular no-talent screecher of banal overproduced crap."

I realise that out blog design is relatively similar to one of the base designs Blogger uses for beginners, but you try finding a background and template that says "Dictionary" like this one. Still, plenty of the blogs identified as "noticeable" use standard templates, including the ever-popular basic, "I was too tired to bother" white layout, prominently featured on the incredibly, inevitably, and unavoidably noticeable (DOUI sarcasm overload warning) Teare Software Soultions.

Take for another example a currently "noticed" blog, The Fanatic Cook. What's so bloody fanatical about a large picture of ginger root and a few niche articles? A really fanatical cook would be completely out of his gourd, like Gordon "I'll $#%&ing slide tackle you if you mix the salad in the same bowl twice you *^%#-er!!" Ramsay, or this disturbing bloke. A complete fanatic of a cook would be Emeril if he blended with an aeroplane propeller.

No, it's pure petulance that can scan the few million blogs that make up the Blogosphere and lazily drift by a blog that details Peter Graves new career as a expert consultant for George Romero's films, Ben Affleck's peculiar sense of humour, our dazzling public relations campaign for New Jersey, an interview with a massive crustacean (Oops, sorry... I mean this one!) or pretty much any crazy thing Nuffy has posted in the last 3 months. For example.

So, I'm already depressed a bit about Blogger's loathing of our otherwise cheerful and perky site, when I read that Greg Connors of The Buffalo News (Motto: All the News That's Fit to Buffalo) has produced a list of his selection of best Group Blogs, and not only are we not on it, but all my sources indicate that Mr. Connors doesn't even know we exist and refers anything with the words "Unfortunate Ideas" in it to the Buffalo News' Lemony Snicket desk, which has a staff of over 45 people.

This is of course, an outrage.

Please allow me to rephrase that for effect: THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!!!!!!!!!

The Lemony Snicket desk deserves at least 50 staff on it.

Thanks for that.

I'm not sure where Mr. Connors (If that is his real name) gets off declaring himself an expert in group blogs or a journalist for the Buffalo News (Update: OK - Apparently he really is a journalist for the Buffalo News. I'm completely off-base on that one), but I think he should have done a little more research into the whole group blog thing before dimissing us along with the hell of blogs like Diet Discount Supplements, Blogging Along 2006, and CY-BAR, the last of which admittedly reminds me of Zimpter's posts in that there are so few of them.

No, Mr. Conners needs to know just exactly who The Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas really is before dismissing us as a bunch of lunatic, short-tempered, insulting cranks.

Erm... Actually, upon reflection, that was how I described us to Stew at lunch today. Nonetheless, Mr. Conners and the myopic, gastronomique-biased, "noticers" at Google need to visit our site to see what real fanaticism looks like.

And we need you to tell them.

Unfortunately, no one seems to have an e-mail address on their pages these days. Hmmm...isn't that suspicious.

Planetary Politics Piss off Pluto. (Not the dog)

It has certainly been a slow news cycle lately. Oh, I know we’ve had our foiled terror plots, mayhem in the Middle East, and heat which would burn the whiskers off a marmot, however, we can’t make fun of any of that now can we. Just when we thought all was lost, comes a fascinating story concerning planetary politics and their possible effect on one of our favorite planets, Pluto. It seems some astronomers are up in arms about the size of Pluto and are pushing for it to be downgraded from planet status.

Clearly this brings up many relevant questions concerning planetary science not the least of which is; don’t they have anything better to do? Shouldn’t they be scouring over space charts and peering into their telescopes making sure that a stray asteroid is not bearing down on the Earth, ready to turn us all into unrecognizable char? Personally I would like to see them more involved in that kind of activity and not just changing planetary body’s statuses willy-nilly, thank you very much. I actually enjoy Pluto as a planet, it was good enough for my father and it’s good enough for me.

Since I have little expertise as an astronomer, although I’m pretty good at phrenology (sorry, bad astronomy joke there), I decided to meet with Pluto and get the inside scoop. I grabbed my trusty notepad, journalist’s fedora, and digested a large amount of hallucinatory substances in preparation for what I thought would be a rather intriguing interview.

Tripping the light fantastic on a mixture of Pop Rocks and mescaline (don’t try this at home kids) I quickly caught up to Pluto, who was in actuality an old mop and string of Christmas lights.

Stew: Pluto, please tell us how things are going since the news that you might be downgraded from a planet?

Pluto: Dude, I have to say it sucks. One day you’re a planet, with all the perks that come with being a planet and the next you’re yesterday’s news. Jupiter won’t even return my calls now.

Stew: What perks come with being a planet?

Pluto: You’re on all the charts, people care about you; you get credit for gravitational pulls and all that sort of “astronomical” stuff. Mostly I liked the free theater tickets and unlimited soup and salad at Ruby Tuesdays. That was pretty sweet.

Stew: There is word now that a little known planetoid, 2003 UB313 may take your place in the official planetary system.

Pluto: Yeah, well screw 2003 UB313. you know what I’m sayin’. I’m calling you out 2003 UB313, you and me at the Kuiper Belt, bare knuckles. My boy Stew here can be the referee.

Stew: Whoa, whoa Pluto, easy man let’s not get into something over this.

Pluto: Sorry, I got carried away. But if he thinks he can just waltz in and take my celestial space, he’s got another thing coming.

Stew: What do you plan on doing if you are removed from the planet line-up?

Pluto: I’m going to write a tell-all book about the other planets. You should see that things that Neptune and Saturn are doin’ with those rings they’re so proud of and you don’t even WANT to know what Uranus is up to.

Stew: What is my anus up to?

Pluto: Man, SOBER UP!!!! I mean the planet you idiot.

Stew: Sorry, it must be the mescaline. Anyway, what will you do with the money you make writing the book?

Pluto: Buy a new crib, get a sweet ride, and settle down, I got to tell you it’s pretty damn boring out here and the edge of the solar system. Maybe I’ll learn origami, I always wanted to do that.

Stew: Well Pluto zopiute auli aliu lsiurel s o89ufsl.

Pluto: Go get some coffee, please.

Stew: Yaseo.

Sometime after that I woke up half dressed and laying on the salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays. Whatever you do, don’t try the sprouts.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

What I Did on My Summer Holiday - Part IV

All right, I've about worked through the psychological torment of my summer holiday. So, here's the wrapup, and I'll aim for brevity, which is French for brassiere.

What I Did on My Summer Holiday - Part IV: Team Fando Hits the Road

Day Seven - The Highway is Long and Straight and Boring Us out of Our Sand Infested Minds:

Day Seven finds us traveling back to our home in an undisclosed location somewhere in the United States. (Sorry, the CIA won't allow me to say more.) After a dramatic departure, in which mum teared up as though we were being sacrificed to an active volcano, we began traveling down beach roads, through busy, gaudy little seaside towns populated with huge hotels, colourful condos, bright bungalows, dandy duplexs, sordid souvenir shops (The towels with nude women painted on them was a real eye-opener to the Littlest Fando... we told her they were for medical purposes only)... Where was I? Ah, yes, grand, green golf courses, restless restaurants, and Artery Klogging Krispy Kreme donut shops. Also, a surprising number of karate schools and "adult superstores" (Which I'm almost certain are nothing like Wal-Marts, in that Wal-Marts rarely advertise using the word "exotic.")

We traveled through five states on our journey home, and although I had no boiled peanuts to speak of, having found a dead mosquito in my batch from the day before (thank heavens it wasn't a Mansquito) I did have a large quantity of sweet tea, which caused my otherwise uncaffienated heart rate to triple in the span of 30 minutes. What a rush! I had no idea the mini-van could do 150 miles per hour! Pity about all thouse stoplights.

The day's journey took 15 hours, which is 5 hours longer than commercial lorry drivers are allowed to spend on the road. So, for any of you lorry drivers who spotted a mini-van swerving past you, and the driver pointing, laughing, and then yawning... my apologies. Except for the stupid git at about 9:15 p.m. who was trying to pass another fully loaded 18-wheeler uphill. That V-sign was for you. My contempt knows no bounds, but I do forgive you, which his required by the tenets of my faith and good sense. Just grow a brain, lad. That's all I ask.

Also, to the woman who would not let the Littlest Fando pick the numbers on my Lotto ticket, or indeed sell us one because of that... we're never buying anything at your store again. So there! Given that we drive through there about once every two years on average, that should drive your business down by at least .0000000578%! Enjoy your penury!!

There was an interesting stretch of road where we were being more or less raced by a woman who appeared to be in her late 60's. She passed us at one point on what was two and four lane U.S. highway (meaning stoplights and speed traps through little towns) and then we passed her back and stayed ahead of her for quite some time. Both of us were...erm...pushing the speed limit, but I tried to lose her on two lane roads by passing slow cars and then opening up some distance. She did pretty well for someone who was knitting and driving at the same time.

Later another car joined the "game" and added some entertainment by getting between us and granny leadfoot. Finally, all three of us got stuck behind two vehicles who were both slow-moving and reluctant to pass one another. I normally almost never pass two cars at the same time, unless they are very slow and refusing to pass one another, but I almost did this time.

Then, suddenly, the second car, a black pickup, whipped around the first one and began to move off about 15 to 20 MPH over the speed limit, as if bored by everything, including life. We and our two hangers-on stayed well back and sure enough, not 5 minutes later, a police car came up over a hill in the opposite direction, and hit its lights as soon as it saw the pickup. It passed us and then turned around and all three of us slowed gracefully and moved to the side of the road to allow it to pass by to nab the other vehicle.

I did my best not to wave or blow kisses as we passed by. It could very well have been us, or the car behind us, or the little old lady who was now apparently baking something in the passenger seat of her car. I could have sworn I saw all three of us wiping sweat off of our brows at the exact same time.

Most of all, we got home safe and sound, thank the Lord. That's all I really ask and I'm thankful for it.

I bet that Lotto ticket would have been the one though... just saying.