Archive for July, 2012

It Was 35 Years Ago Today

July 30, 2012

[The following is a piece I originally wrote back in 1977 on my old Usenet site, “Sparky Mac’s Super Special Ultra Groovy Love Machine”…]

It was shaping up to be a pretty good year.

That real square Son of Sam was finally off the streets. The Alaskan pipeline was making sure the energy crisis was a thing of the past. I got to return from Canada thanks to the Prez from Plains. I came one step closer to living the Jetsons life when I picked me up one of those groovy Apple IIs. I even got that dy-no-mite Kiss comic that Marvel put out with the group’s very own blood in the ink. And to top it all off I discovered the most outta sight piece of celluloid fantasy Tinseltown has ever seen fit to lay on us masses – “Star Wars!” (And before you ask, I’ve seen it nine times. It’s the coolest, man! Luke and Leia are the bossest screen couple since Bogey and Bacall. And back off, Solo! She’s obviously Luke’s squeeze!)

Anyway, as I said, it _was_ shaping up to be a pretty good year. Now, I just got some really bad news which all but ruins the whole dang decade (even moreso than that over-hyped bicentennial barf last year). Hold onto your hats, gang – here it is:

Farrah Fawcett is leaving “Charlie’s Angels!”

No, that’s not a mistake. I just read the article in TV Guide and I’m one POed cat! In fact, I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore! How in hades is this show going to continue?! How will television go on?! How will I ever look forward to Wednesday nights again?! NO FARRAH!?!? Say it ain’t so! I mean, it’s bad enough that ABC is losing “The Bionic Woman” to that jive Peacock and that they’ve taken “The Captain And Tennille” off the air, but to lose Ms. Fawcett as well is just too heavy, man. I can’t deal. Somebody’s cruisin’ for a brusin’!

Sure we’ll have her groovy posters and t-shirts and she says she wants to do more movies but I saw “Logan’s Run” and if you blink you miss her. [And forgive the aside but what a head trip that movie was. Sanctuary and killing people at thirty! That’s like old, man. I _should_ be killed when I get that ancient and gross and uncool.] Why can’t the blonde goddess just be happy with her life? She’s one of “Charlie’s Angels,” man! One of the foxiest ladies on the planet! And she’s married to that Six Million Dollar Man hunk too! Who couldn’t be happy with all that?

So, please, Farrah Fawcett. Please stay on “Charlie’s Angels.” If it’s the bread, mama, then I urge you to reconsider and think of your fans. There’s a lot of horny guys out here who need you each and every week to give flight to our far out fantasies, babe. And there ain’t no replacement Angel who could ever fill your wings.

To quote super rockers Firefall: “You are the woman that I’ve always dreamed of. I knew it from the start. I saw your face and that’s the last I’ve seen of my heart.”

Right on!  

                      Sparky MacMillan was born on a summer day 1951 and with a slap of a hand he had landed as an only son.


Sword & Snarkery

July 28, 2012

It’s Stephen Lynch’s birthday, so here’s an old favorite to celebrate: D&D!

Catch It!

July 26, 2012

I thought I had Olympic fever but I think it’s just allergies and a little flatulence.


July 24, 2012

I read earlier that gun sales in Colorado have spiked since last Friday’s deadly shooting rampage in Aurora. Gun sales. Spiked. Over 40%.

Since then I can’t stop picturing a Venn diagram of two unconnected circles, one with the word Solution in it and one with the word Problem in it. 

And I can’t help but wonder which one the people buying all the guns think they’re in.


July 24, 2012

You know those oh-so-clever kids who when asked “Whaddaya wanna be when you grow up?” would always reply slyly “Older” like they were above it all and putting one over on the adults who asked – well, I’d like to think those kids all grew up to be the panhandlers who now stand by the side of the road begging for money. Why? Karmic justice for being a smart-ass at a young age. That kinda thing’s only funny in Little Rascals shorts.

Poetry Spam

July 23, 2012

Back in fourth grade we studied poetry for a while.  I guess they figured they’d shoved enough metric system down our throats so they’d let us be creative.  It wasn’t bad, all things considered, especially once you got past the need to rhyme and you could just sort of free associate and impress the teacher.  They even put together a book of some of our poetry … ah, well “book” is being a bit gracious – it was more a mimeographed handout with construction paper covers.  I had a poem or two in the book but that’s not what I remember best about it.  See, one of the assignments we had was to write a poem about what we’d see with our third eye.  Yeah, you read that right – our third eye.  Hey, it was a far groovier time, coming on the heels of TM and biorhythms and waterbeds and free love and all that New Age BS, and I guess the TA who was instructing us for our poetry lessons got this bright idea to tell us all about Eastern mysticism and stuff.  Of course, the way she described it, these meditating dudes over in India would drill holes in their foreheads, giving them ESP.  It sounded cool enough and we all wrote our little poems about it.  Of course, being ten, the concept of head hole drilling and psychic powers conjured up more Marvel Secret Origins than enlightenment and nirvana.  One kid, Stephan, imagined that the third eye idea was not limited to the sense of sight and wrote a wild little piece that I still quote as a delicious non sequitur to this day.  Mind you, the wonder of it all is predicated on the mere fact that there was a typo in his poem, spell check and the PC being in the not too distant future and, thus, not available.  And so, I present to you now that line, that memorable line, from that fourth grade poetry collection:

And with my third ear I could hear three ducks swimming in a tur.

No, it doesn’t make sense, even without the typo, but I love it nonetheless.  It’s one of those things, an inside joke in a way, that just makes me smile regardless of what else is going on.  And, to me, that sums up poetry in a nutshell.  And with my third ear I could hear three ducks swimming in a tur.  Perfect!  Just perfect!

But why am I relating this memory of decades and poetry past?  It’s fun, for a start.  And an easy pin for helping deflate the pretentiousness of all and sundry.  Now, it’s my hope that you too can use it to fend off the nattering nabobs of negativism in your own life.  Perhaps we can turn it into a rallying cry for all that ails and fails.  Maybe it can become a meme of sorts, turn it into a new rickroll or “All your base are belong to us.” 

So spread the word, please.  And with my third ear I could hear three ducks swimming in a tur.  Shout it at the top of your lungs. Whisper it to strangers on the bus. Use it as your catch-all greeting when signing birthday cards.  Just get it out there.  I won’t rest until it’s on every pair of lips that speak English and many that don’t.  Heck, I’d like to see it emblazoned on t-shirts in Japan and chanted by extremists in the Middle East.  Ultimately, it needs to be a caption on I Can Has Cheezburger or #1 on a Letterman Top Ten list to reach ubiquitous pop culture saturation.

And with my third ear I could hear three ducks swimming in a tur. Trending now.


July 21, 2012

Five Rarely Used Map Features

Shundle – small hill, higher than a mound, lower than a ridge

Thripp – dried up estuary

Preel – sandy enclosure surrounded by a thicket

Strunt – dilapidated hut, usu. of military origin

Bwlchcaerpont – lane connecting two or more Welsh communities


Five Things My Grandmother Had That I Thought Were Kinda Useless & Dumb

S&H Green Stamps

A hot water bottle

Lawrence Welk LPs

A Ronco Veg-O-Matic

My mother


Five Movie Lines With A Key Word Replaced With Monkey

Go ahead. Make my monkey.

I love the smell of monkey in the morning.

You’re gonna need a bigger monkey.

Nobody puts monkey in the corner.

Monkeys? We ain’t got no monkeys. We don’t need no monkeys! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ monkeys!


Five Lame Excuses

I’ll be out of town then.

It was the chair.

I’m washing my hair.

My dog ate my homework

It happens to every man. 


Five Movies Playing In Hell

Eternal Damnation of the Spotless Mind

Some Like It REALLY Hot

Madea Goes To Hell

Paths of Gory

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked


Sparky Mac is bluer than blue, sadder than sad.


July 20, 2012

“I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.” — G. C. Lichtenberg

Yeah, I could use a change. But my nurse is off shift.

Science Feral

July 18, 2012

If Life Gives You Lemons…

July 16, 2012

Every summer there’s at least one story about some kid somewhere in these United States of America who sets up a lemonade stand and runs afoul of “the man.”  You know, some bureaucrat who wants to rain on some poor snowflake’s free trade parade by citing laws and ordinances and zoning and sanitation and crap.  Bad, bad big brother government and its rush to squash the hopes of the little guy or gal, some moppet with grand plans and a pitcher of sour, lemony goodness in a front yard or at the end of a cul-de-sac.  Let wee Susie sell her delicious refreshment, the public cries!  Leave little Larry alone and allow him to learn the free enterprise system in a wholesome and innocent way!

Of course it’s all utter shite.

Let’s face it – you want, you need, some suit in city hall to come down hard on these cherubs with citrus schemes and money-raisin’ dreams.  Otherwise, it’s salmonella and contamination thanks to those innocent little dirty hands and irresponsible ethics.  Think an 8-year-old cares about a sanitation grade?  Think a third-grader gives a damn about the proper sugar to water to fruit ratio?  Leaving liquid or foodstuff sittin’ out in the hot sun may make your urchin vendor seem cute and precocious but know those refreshments are a bullet in your digestive tract once the botulism and dysentery get to work!

Open your eyes, you gullible proles!  Kids who sell lemonade are not adorable!  They aren’t sweet roadside peddlers with a song in their hearts and a wish upon their lips!  They are death merchants trading in potable risk!  Is your life worth that brief moment of Norman Rockwell bliss?  No.  Hell no!

So the next time you read about some precious tyke whose lemonade stand got shut down by some civil servant, don’t sympathize with the little angel.  Instead, cry, “Jail’s too good for the sprog!” and breathe easier knowing that your elected officials are doing the work of the just!