You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Goodness is Out, The Chin is In

Leno has once again vanquished goodness with the evil benzene gas that seeps out of his chin. In ancient times, a crack opened deep in the bottom of the Sea, and death vapors from the Abyss escaped. Those vapors bubbled up to the surface of the raging waters and entered the atmosphere like a dark ghost. It roamed from cloud to cloud looking for an opportunity to ruin the world, and, as its dreadful imagination churned, it began to take shape. Yes, the evil vapor took the form of a massive fleshy chin, and it took upon itself the name of LENO.

This chin spent centuries warping the minds of good people everywhere, conquering nations, perverting pure bloodlines with its corrupt genetic material, and driving Conans out of the Tonight Show. LENOchin with blood of gasoline and a necklace of human eyes around its neck is now foisting itself upon our generation and corrupting our time with its mutinous backstabbery and latent Tonight Show re-taking.

What can we do about this? The funniest Conan O'Brien you've ever known has just been driven out of our Tonight Show by this chin. It's like locusts devouring the wheat fields of ancient Israel. Decay, decay, Lords of Decay in the guise of Man Chins. And I say again, what can we do about this?

Repeat this mantra, dear television watchers, for I have the answer for you hidden herein: "Avoid the Chin. Avoid the Chin. He stole it from Conan. He'll do it again. So Avoid the chin. Avoid the chin. He ruined your TV. He'll do it again."

Yes, chant this to yourself every evening when the late night talk shows are coming on, and I am certain you will make the right talk show viewing decision.

Chant it, People of Earth!

Avoid the Chin.
Avoid the Chin.
He stole it from Conan.
He'll do it again.

So Avoid the chin.
Avoid the chin.
He ruined your TV.
He'll do it again.

Avoid the Chin.
Avoid the Chin.
It's swollen with Benzene.
It eats human skin!

Avoid the Chin!

--sincerely, Nuffy Sarge Noe

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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.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nothing is Funny, A Lament for Conan O'Brien.

Here's the problem, people. Nothing is funny. In a world where Conan O'Brien can be driven out into the wheat fields like a scalded horse, and his television show can be given to a ginormous anthropomorphic chin instead, how can we find the laughter? How can we find the giggles in a world where giant shaven man-chins are our overlords and masters? We can't, that's the thing. I know you want to laugh, and you want me to prance and caper and tell silly ha-ha's, but, people, Conan was swept out to sea by a tsunami of cold hard cash, and he is drowning in his money, literally drowning. On the other hand, a grotesque skyscraper-sized chin is still there on a major American network telling Bill Clinton jokes. How can this be?

I don't even like chins. That's the thing. A chin is just a gross protuberance made of bone and gristle with little whisker specks all over it and lunch stains. I can't sit there in my black velvet recliner, churro in hand, dulce de leche dip on the table beside me, and turn on my 120 inch flat screen television and watch a massive tumor-shaped human chin standing under klieg lights telling rad 90s-era jokes. That literally makes me want to puke my dulce de leche into my own lap and die. Literally.

Yes, it's a time for literalism. Right now, Conan O'Brien is building a life raft made of his own sinew, sweat and skin in order to ride out the money waves, whilst in the dark shadows of some back room, Leno-chin is putting on its stage make-up and making kissy faces to itself in the mirror.

I might just have to turn off my TV and go back to playing my gnome mage in World of Warcraft. He is about to complete the Dead Mines. It might not be funny, but at least World of Warcraft doesn't have any Texas-sized living chins rising up from the Abyss of Decay to tell Monica Lewinsky jokes.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Five Years Older?

Rumor has it that the Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas is five years old. That is a lot of years of propagating unfortunate ideas. Sadly, rumor does NOT have it that the Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas is five times better. This is mostly due to my absence, but, look people, I can't prop up this whole dog-and-pony show with my intellect alone. The burden is too great! I can't be funny every single day when the polar ice caps are attacking the polar bears with global conditions and the dolphins are turning to communism. It's too much, people. Too much even for the likes of a Five Times Better individual like Nuffy Sarge Noe.

Noble Reader, you've got to do your part to make the Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas better. You've got to quit watching Jay Leno inflate his chin with benzene every night, put down that platter of balut eggs, and do your part. And what is your part, you ask? Your part entails the following things:

1) roll up your sleeves
2) cinch up your belt
3) wipe the crumbs off your face
4) prefer pants to no-pants
5) log onto the e-mail program of your choice
6) contact America, the United Kingdom, parts of Canada, select cities in Latvia
7) obligate people to become regular, nay obsessive, readers of the Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas
8) send cash donations to me or my lawyer

Now, if every man, woman, child, man-child and semi-woman would rise up from the couch of decay, turn away from Leno's gas-chin, put the leftover casu marzu back in the maggot barrel, and get your sweet, sweet behind onto the computer, then everything will be as it should be.

I have faith in you, loyal good people. I love your scent and your tenacity. Together, we can undo five years of decline and Earl Fando's pantsless dancing. Don't leave Earl in his pantslessness. Only you can help him, and only pants can help you help him, and only I can help myself to a delicious steaming bowl of escamoles.

Thank you. Now, I must go put brownie batter in my socks and put my socks on my feet and watch dear, dear handsome Coco O'brien look at me through the television screen and know my heart.

Yours Truly,

Nuffy Sarge Noe


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.

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Earl Fando's Five Year Hommage to English Comedy... 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.

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