You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

How to Annoy People - Part 767

One of yesterday's trending topics on Twitter was "How to Annoy People." Quite frankly, this topic is as old as dirt, yet always fresh and timely, given mankind's capacity to annoy their fellow man (and woman, of course).

So naturally, I just have to offer some advice on the subject myself. Annoying, isn't it? (As always, our crack legal advisers remind me to let you know that this "advice" really isn't advice. Only a stupid person would do some* of the following.)

How to Annoy People

  • Take the stairs... on your motorcycle. (Robbie Knievel gets a pass on this, but only if in full Evel costume.)
  • Suck your teeth as you talk, especially when complimenting people on their patience or tolerance.
  • Wear paisley after 1972.
  • Use expressionist brushwork in a surrealist painting. Just saying.
  • Wear high water pants. Mid-calf should generate the strongest effect (not capris, ladies)
  • Replace the word "the" with "What?!" in casual conversation
  • Soggy pretzels - Serving or eating them
  • Confuse the Taliban with the New York Philharmonic in conversation
  • Assume the "noogie" is a warm gesture of friendship
  • Mimes. Yes, I went there.
  • Build a giant house of cards in a wind tunnel. Well, try to.
  • Time travel without a TARDIS.
  • Gratuitously mention the Jonas Brothers just to attract followers. I however would never, ever do that.
  • Wear a tie made of cardboard
  • Impromptu impressions of Thumper from Bambi
  • Impromptu impressions of Flower from Bambi, if you know what I mean
  • Use a salad spinner to deal cards
  • Practice dentistry without a licence. (Please leave me and my family and friends out of this one, if you don't mind.)
  • Answer requests for directions with interpretive dance
  • Take your pet clam for a leash walk. If anything, the scraping sound on the sidewalk will get them.
  • Cracking walnuts during a recital
  • Take your Hummer limo through the drive-thru.
  • Use the phrase "Bad hair day?" in non-applicable situations.
  • Pluto is still a planet, people! I use this one regularly.
  • Hats on dogs. C'mon now, dogs don't like hats! You can see it in their sad little eyes.
  • A week without deodorant. For added effect, try using a variety of European cheeses in its place.
  • Pay everything in pennies by flicking them one at a time at the recipient. Count loudly as you proceed.
  • Clear your throat loudly right at the part of the ceremony wear the pastor says, "If anyone has any reason why this couple should not be joined..."
  • Wear your clothes inside out and when people notice scream, "Someone's turned me inside out!"
  • When ordering food at a drive thru, talk in a voice that sounds electronically garbled.
  • Eat your soup with your salad fork
  • Design an operating system full of errors and then call the repairs a brand new version. (This is the marketing strategy for Windows 7, is it not?)
  • Re-tweet only the most mundane and lame tweets you can find. (Yes, this could be self-serving on my part.)
  • Wearing the pope's hat to a movie theater. You know, the really tall one.**
  • Change your name to a brand of breakfast cereal.
  • Loudly announce your every action: "I'm sitting down now! Gonna have a sip of coffee! Putting the cup down! Going to the little boys’ room next…"
  • Move your franchise late night star to prime time and then change your mind, upsetting everyone else.
  • Drinking coffee as though it were a slurpee
  • Buy the neighbors' kids a pet porcupine
  • Slap fight in church
  • Riding your horse on a trampoline
  • Bring your disco ball to the movie theater
  • Vigorously stretch before mundane tasks, such as shopping or playing poker.
  • Complain about the problems of reconciling quantum mechanics w/ classical probability during a sporting event.
  • Pretend you're Barack Obama and then get annoyed when Michelle doesn't return your calls
  • Eat overstuffed chicken feet sandwiches in public
  • Say anything political to someone you know disagrees with you. It's not always fun, but it does work, judging from Twitter.
  • Don't just sing loud, sing Air Supply tunes loud.
  • When boarding elevator, push all the buttons, and then get right back off on the same floor. It's safer that way.

*Meaning, the stuff I haven't actually done myself.
** Just don't wear the actual Pope's hat as this will annoy the pontiff and he may, justifiably I might add, sic the Swiss Guard on you.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Time Flies By...

...When we're having fun. Surprisingly, it also flies by on this blog. Wednesday, the 20th of January will be the fifth birthday of The Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas.

I know I've promised this before, but changes are coming:

  • A new layout*, which we hope will be easier to read, more entertaining, and one that our lawyers will approve of. (You have no idea how hard they can hit you with those alligator skinned briefcases.)
  • Comments! Yes, that's what I wrote: comments. You people seldom mail us, so we're making it easier to participate. There will be a few rules of course, for courtesy's sake (see: lawyers above), but we want you to get your funny on with us. (Don't get too excited; that's a reference to your comedic "funny.")
  • Personality disorders! Waitaminute, we've already got those in spades.

Who knows, maybe there will be even more surprises in the near future.

And of course, we'll have the Best of 2010, and a few other reminiscences from the last five years.

Stay tuned!

*It helps ratchet up the excitement if you say this in the same voice as the presenter on The Price Is Right.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Scorin' Warren?

According to Peter Biskind's new book about actor Warren Beatty, the screen lothario has allegedly had "flings with approximately 12,775 women."

Approximately 12,775 women? Approximately? That sounds like a pretty specific count to me.* It's not like you can narrow it down to 12,775.5 women, especially given Biskind's clarification that the number doesn't include "daytime quickies, drive-bys, casual gropings, stolen kisses and so on." Given that statement and assuming Beatty's "casual gropings" average would be comparable to his actual "scoring" average, this leaves open the possibility that the complete number is well above 20,000. It also means that "fling" is a well-defined term in Biskind's tome. I wonder if there's a checklist: "Dinner? Check. Sex? Check. Flowers and poetic break-up note? Check. Cab? Check."

Now, even if we stick to the "approximate" 12,775, that still calculates to 35 years of one "fling" per day. Warren Beatty is 72 years old. So, if the allegations are true, at the very least he's had a fling with a different woman on average every other day since the age of two.

Is this even possible. I mean, even if Warren Beatty were the vain, immoral, creepy sociopath some have suggested; even if he is the chap in the Carly Simon song "You're So Vain;" even if he's possessed by the spirits of Don Juan, Casanova, Wilt Chamberlain, and the late President Kennedy simultaneously, is it physically possible that he's been that busy? Wouldn't he need the occasional celibate weekend to recover his mojo, replentish personal bodily fluids, or to refresh whatever alien blood courses through his extraterrestial veins?

More to the point, are there really 12,775 different women who couldn't see through lines like "I'm a movie star, about you and me do a love scene?" Sure, maybe 6,000 or so wine-cooler addled groupies, but over 12K? Wouldn't the word have gotten around just a bit at Hollywood cocktail parties? Wouldn't they have noticed the other women disappearing behind the hors d'ouvres table with Warren?

I would also like to suggest that given we are speaking of averages, Mr. Beatty's numbers are quite likely to have declined a bit once he hit his sixties, not to mention after his marriage to Annette Benning (one would hope). This means that in his younger days his bedroom would have to have had a revolving door to keep the pace up.

Also, what of sexually transmitted disease? Was the man on a constant penicillin drip? Did he travel with a U-Haul trailer full of prophylactics hitched on to whatever 60's era van he tooled around in (no pun intended)? Does he have a personal physician who manages a quick blood test of every prospective conquest? ("Mr. Beatty is so completely enamored with you that he requires a vial of your blood as a token of your everlasting love, and he'll be with you in just about 20-40 minutes depending on how fast the results come back.")

Among Beatty's reported paramours are Madonna, Julie Christie, Jane Fonda, and Joan Collins. No word on whether they were all in the same room at the same time.

It all beggars the imagination, except for, possibly, that of Peter Biskind. One can only hope that the book isn't too detailed. ("Day One: Mary Sue, Ginger, and Nanny Marjorie.")

Mr. Beatty's lawyer has denied Biskind's claims, which is an unsurprising but sensible response. The kind of behaviour described is reprehensibly irresponsible. Even American frat guys are sitting around thinking, "What kind of crack was that dude on?" Somewhere, Austin Powers is thinking, "The chap's a desperate shagaholic!"

Still, maybe somewhere Tiger Woods is reading about Beatty and thinking, "there but for the grace of God..."

*It's enough to make you wonder if there were receipts.

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