Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Now That's a Warm Bed!
The Telegraph is reporting that Holiday Inn hotels in London and Manchester, England will soon be trying out "human bed warmers."*
The first time I read that, I thought the line was "human bed wetters." Technically, I suppose they would be bed warmers, too.
Apparently, the principle behind the new policy is using human body warmth to pre-heat the beds for residents. It's eerily similar to NBC's policy of using Conan O'Brien to keep Jay Leno's seat toasty.
According to the director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, Dr. Chris Idzikowski (pronounced "I-doze-off-ski"), a warm bed can help start the process of sleep, whereas a cold bed inhibits sleep. This explains why Holiday Inn's earlier "A bucket of ice in every bed" promotional only led to surly, damp insomniacs.
As sound as the basic reasoning behind this program goes,** I think I may have detected a snag or two.
How about disease, for starters. After all, in the age of panic over bird flu, H1N1, cooties, and various other potential pandemic people poisoners, nothing says hospitality like having a total stranger sprawled and sweating all over your mattress for the evening. You can't just shrug off this kind of concern by having the concierge observe, "Hey, he's OK. It's not like he's got a hacking cough or anything...not today, anyway."
No one wants their resting place to become their final one.
The second problem is having complete strangers in your bedroom moments before you retire for the evening. Not everyone sleeps in the Ozzie and Harriet brand full-body pajamas with the optional Ricky Nelson monogrammed robe and slippers. Many people only sleep in the slippers.
That's bound to cause to unpleasant moments, and I mean for the bed-warmers. Supermodels and other celebrities don't exactly frequent the Holiday Inn nearly so much as hairy Teamsters and sedentary, mid-level sales reps.
"Well, your bed's heated now, sir. (long pause) If you like, I can send someone up from room service to shave that back for you."
Also, in a position where your job is to lay around in a bed for five minutes at a time in full-body suits, employees are liable to doze off from time to time. The last thing I want at the end of a long day of traveling or vacationing is to walk into my room like one of the three bears and find a Holiday Inn-themed Goldilocks snoring in my bed.
Finally, if something like this takes off there's a very real danger that hotel owners will be falling all over themselves for the next big human-themed service.
"Mr. Fando, welcome back to your room. Whenever you're ready, I've got that toilet all warmed up for you."
"Uh, no thanks. I kinda like the one at the 7-11 down the street."
h/t Jonah Goldberg
* I suppose this is better than the canine version some other hotels seem to be using. Of course, I'm just going by the smell.
** What do I know though. I'm sitting here typing this at midnight with a warm computer in my lap.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Nothing is Funny, A Lament for Conan O'Brien.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Five Years Older?
Labels: Five Times Better
A Brand New Us!
The Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas is FIVE years old today!
You may have noticed there have been a few changes around here. (For one, I showered today! However, enough about me and my personal growth.)
We're trying to make our blog cooler looking and friendlier to our audience's participation (all three of you). We want you to feel like this is your second home, except for the fact that there's no guest room, no couch to sleep on, and we'll thank you to keep your hands out of the cupboard, you devious grifters.
Seriously, we want you to visit every day. Tell your friends and family to visit! Click on the ads if you like! Favorite/bookmark us!! Read our tweets!! For goodness' sake, don't just sit there, do something!!!
Yes, we are a bit anxious about the changes. Why do you ask?
Anyway, here's what's new:
- An all new look! The page is wider and with a new layout that we hope is easier to read. I can't count on my hands and toes* the number of times someone has written in and told me that they didn't get the jokes in a bit at all, and I just knew it was because they lost them in the quaint papyrus background of the page. After berating them for their weak perceptive skills, I'd sulk for minutes at a time.
- Comments! Comments! Comments! Now you too can experience the exciting world of a DOUI contributor and be ignored by the general blogging public. No, really we've just decided it's easier for people to comment than to e-mail us or snail mail those fascinating letters that some of you build out of cut up newspaper headlines and ads. (Igor in Detroit has produced some especially lovely ones.)
- A new sidebar! Well, it's somewhat new. We've rearranged some items so that they are easier to access. (No, I'm not just referring to the ads!) A good blog sidebar should compliment the main part of the blog. Thnk of it like this: If the blog were a motorcycle, say the Batcycle, the sidebar would be the sidecar. So, please let us know if Robin, the Boy Wonder stars turning up over there so we can slap a restraining order on the little stalker.**
We hope you enjoy both the new features of the blog as well as the old writers.*** We're thrilled to have been around for five years and look forward to an even bigger and better five to come. Thanks for reading!
* This is especially so because it's never really happened. If you people would write more, we'd have better anecdotes.
** And with any luck, the cops will get a decent pair of shorts on the little exhibitionist.
*** Don't ask how old, if you know what's good for you.
Earl Fando's Five Year Hommage to English Comedy...
...is officially over. I'm chuffed. It was a wonderful run!
Monday, January 18, 2010
Lead Foot or Gold Foot?
A Swiss millionaire has been fined the equivalent of $290,000 for speeding. This is the kind of fine that produces anxiety attacks in certain people just reading about it. (Deep breaths. Knee bends. You'll get through it Mr. Letterman.)
Supposedly, the legal justification for this bank account-vaccuuming penalty is the practice of fining people proportionally to their wealth. This is probably why people like Bill Gates avoid Switzerland. The gendarmes on Swiss motorways know that one little citation for the Microsoft founder could fund the Swiss police nationally for a decade or more. I'm also sure there are more than a few references in Swiss police chat to the "Sheik" lottery ticket, when obscenely wealthy Middle Eastern oil barons are in country for some high-class chocolate and the obligatory novelty cuckoo clock. [The one where your favorite Eurovision singer pops out and does a cover of Edwin Starr's "War (What Is It Good For?)"]
So the strategy for any wealthy would-be speeder should be to feign poverty. "How'd you get the Jaguar then?" "Stole it off a dealer's lot in Bern. I got sick of hiking the Alps on my skateboard."
Claiming to be an impoverished car thief is likely going to be cheaper than admitting you're stinking rich and and stamp on the accelerator like a cast member in an amateur production of Riverdance.
The only other alternative is to put all your cash in one of those famous Swiss bank accounts that no one can ever seem to track down. That'd show the Swiss authorities.