You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Amazing World of Laura Croft

I was playing one of the old Tomb Raider games this evening on the PS2 when something occurred to me.

Yes, I know Laura Croft, that impossibly sleek, overbuxomed, virtual adventure tart is old hat by now. After numerous games and two mindnumbly atrocious films, most people's eyes automatically roll up into their heads at the sound of her name. Still there is a certain nihlistic charm to watching a young English woman, with a physique that would send Kate Moss to Jenny Craig, jump around blasting villians and enraged animals to kingdom come.

However enjoyable the game might be though, there are certain things that simply make no sense at all. Yes, reality is often suspended in these sort of amusements, but after several hours of shotgunning my way around an impossibly large oil drilling platform, the mind begins to wander back to reality. Here's what I noticed:

  • Let's start with the obvious. Laura's physique is the stuff of teenage puberty fantasies. There simply isn't a real woman who looks like her, not even Angelina Jolie, whom the actual virtual Laura would no doubt find flat-chested and a bit "hippy." If a real woman went to a plastic surgeon and asked to be modeled into the shape of Laura Croft, the surgeon would smile, calmly step out of the office, and slit his wrists in despair.
    I've never been to a Hooters restaurant, but I've no doubt that the proprietors daily ring the video game company asking for the rights to put up posters of Laura Croft in a Hooters waitress outfit.
  • The arsenal. No, not my favourite footy franchise. I'm talking about the vast array of weapondry that Ms. Croft manages to squeeze on her person. During the most recent outing, I had a shotgun, two diffferent pairs of pistols (for shooting Chow-Yun-Fat-style) , several flares, over 1600 shotgun shells, a harpoon gun, and various other ammo. Laura Croft however has only the pockets of her bermudas cut as "hot pants," a small backpack, and her cleavage to store things in. Admittedly, she could hide a bazooka in the latter.
  • The bad guys' hideouts. If you've played the game, you'll know what I mean. To get from one place to the next, Laura has to push ridiculously large blocks, traverse waterways and complex passages, find hidden keys, fight off sharks, snipers, and thugs, battle tigers, avoid razor sharp blades and darts, and try not to fall off of things into a bloody pulp. All this is to "sweeten" the challenge of the game, of course. However, who builds their hideout like this? Even James Bond's enemies had the decent sense to build lairs that were at least manageable for their dense henchmen to navigate. In Laura Croft's world, you'd overheard henchmen talking like this: "Well, I was gonna take tea to the boss, but after just getting by the shark on level 16, the cart got sliced up by the buzzsaw on level 9. The sugar spilled and all of the death bats and radioactive worms came out then, so I had to ditch the biscuits and sandwiches and make a run for it past the automatic machine guns."
  • The game is ridiculously hard at some points. This actually isn't very unreal, but it is a per complaint of mine and so I thought I'd make it whilst I had your attention.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Keith Richards is Insane

Yes, Keith Richards is insane, but most of you knew that already. The 63-year-old (470 in Richards-years) guitarist for the Rolling Stones has admitted to taking many drugs in his unnaturally sustained life, but the strangest one of all of these has to be his father.

"The strangest thing I've tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father,"Richards told a British Music periodical. Apparently, Richards ground up his father's ashes with cocaine and snorted the lot. Next, I expect we'll hear that the ashes weren't the result of cremation but of that other time when Keith smoked his father's remains in a giant doobie.

The funny thing is that Keith's dad is probably the only legal substance he's snorted.

The other thing is that you'd have to be pretty high already to snort someone's ashes, much less a relative's. So, this wasn't just recreational drug use. It was a (wait for it) ...cry for help.


So, the Rolling Stones' axe man has now sunk to a weird psuedo-cannabilistic, necro-incestuo-narco-habit that would make Robert Downey Jr. tremble in revulsion and tears. Soon we can all look forward to the fearful sight of Keith "The Mummy" Richards frequenting mortuaries, looking for a little stash or blow in amongst the memorial urns.

The saddest thing about the whole story is that about 40% of people reading this are thinking to themselves," Had to happen, didn't it?"

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The race to be President!

Sorry for the dearth of posts here lately. My idea was to let people enjoy the "Best of" post for awhile, but after my last post on death and funerals I suddenly realized that people might have thought I'd snuffed it.

Meanwhile, here in the States, the Presidential race is heating up. That's right, the 2008 presidential race. As people are so eager to see who will replace George W. Bush, I decided to do a little informal polling. My methods are, to be perfectly honest, highly unscientific.* However, here are a few results about some potential candidates.

Hillary Clinton

38% would vote for Senator Clinton
38% would not vote for Senator Clinton
20% think that Senator Clinton is a giant ventriloquist's dummy crudely manipulated by ex-President Bill Clinton
4% think that Senator Clinton should beat the stuffing out of ex-President Bill Clinton with her handbag.

John McCain

42% have a favourable view of Senator McCain
34% have a negative view of Senator McCain
19% think that John McCain sounds an awful lot like Clint Eastwood on helium.
5% think that John McCain is the real-life Bruce Willis character from the Die Hard films.

Barack Obama

47% have a favourable opinion of Senator Obama
31% have a negative opinion of Senator Obama
15% are suspicious of anyone whose name sounds even close to "Osama."
7% think that Senator Obama is the offspring of Sidney Poitier.

Fred Thompson

50% have a favourable opinion of former Senator Fred Thompson
31% have a negative opinion of former Senator Fred Thompson
10% say that Fred Thompson's nickname is "Iron Fist."
9% think that Fred Thompson is the current sitting president and admires his ability to run the country and keep a steady acting gig on NBC's Law and Order.

John Edwards

37% say they would vote for John Edwards
32% say they would not vote for John Edwards
30% say they think John Edwards has the best hair in the campaign
1% say they would vote for John Edwards's hair to run the country.

Rudy Giuliani

57% say they have a favourable opinion of Rudy Giuliani
30% say they have a negative opinion of Rudy Giuliani
12% say that Rudy Giuliani is the salt of the earth despite his two divorces and wearing women's clothing on Saturday Night Live!
1% says that Rudy Giuliani is the salt of the earth because of his two divorces and wearing women's clothing on Saturday Night Live! **

Newt Gingrich

95% said it would be hilarious to regularly utter the phrase "President Newt."

*Loosely translated: I made things up.
** My thanks to President Clinton for participating in the poll.

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