Archive for May, 2014

Spellchecked

May 30, 2014

I have many reasons to dislike the Scripps National Spelling Bee …

Like the way the bee isn’t broadcast on a major network but relegated to the various ESPNs, for starters. This suggests that a more cerebral pursuit such as spelling isn’t worthy of non-cable channel like ABC or even PBS. (Heck, they put the preliminaries on ESPN3, which is one step away from The Ocho.)

The way bee contestants can seem like dictionary-spewing automatons, formed by years of intense, near-abusive drilling by overzealous parents living vicariously through their borderline-Aspergers academics.

The way the bee allows ties, as exemplified by this year’s co-winners. Seriously, the final round is composed of 25 words and if the uber-brains make it through then they are both crowned Supreme Spellsmith. What? The nerdbiscuits can’t grab a dictionary and come up with some more words?

The way the bee organizers have unceremoniously swept Howard under the rug after his and Scripps’ same-sex divorce.

…but the main reason the National Spelling Bee pisses me off so is that they use a bell to denote incorrect spelling. See for yourself…

See! He gets it wrong and – ding! No, no, no, no, NO! A bell is for when you get something right, a buzzer is for when you get something wrong. Have these geeks never seen a game show?! That’s how competitions work, especially competitions on TV. It just sounds so wrong and if these little scholastic show-offs aren’t messed up enough by the rigid mental discipline their rents have inflicted upon them then this gross misuse of tournament sound effects will surely do the trick.

 

People I Hate #11 (In A Series)

May 29, 2014

Who: Charlie Brown 

Clarification: First of all, no, not that Charlie Brown. Although I think the comic strip Peanuts should have been retired when Charles Schultz passed on and would further add how I feel Schultz himself should have retired decades before he died, I dig that lovable loser Charlie Brown and think he and the whole Peanuts gang were pretty damn hep back when the strip was relevent and funny – oh, in the fifties and sixties. Nope, I’m talking about Charlie Brown, the titular character from the #2 Coasters hit. You know: “Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown. He’s a clown, that Charlie Brown. He’s gonna get caught; just you wait and see. Why is everybody always pickin’ on me?” Yeah, THAT Charlie Brown. 

Why: At first blush, ol’ CB seems like a good-natured chucklehead who just may be in the wrong place at the wrong time or perhaps the school loser who gets picked on unjustly. However, if you listen to the lyrics precisely then you know that Charlie Brown is nothing more than a punk, a hoodlum. Listen up: “Who’s always writing on the wall? Who’s always goofin’ in the hall? Who’s always throwin’ spit balls?” Seriously, he’s that problem kid – every school has one – that makes the principal’s hair fall out and all the faculty want to give up teaching and sell Amway. Moreover, check out this bit: “Who walks in the classroom, cool and slow? Who calls the English teacher Daddy-O?” This was 1959! Kids didn’t talk to adults like this. The little bastard was not only in danger of getting expelled; he’s lucky that the teacher didn’t smack him upside his dumb-ass thick head. Of course, Charlie Brown would have probably pulled out a switchblade and that would have made it a vastly different song. Hey, I’ve seen Blackboard Jungle! I know those ‘50s teens were nothing but trouble – what with their gum chewing and their rock and roll music and their malt shoppes and jalopies. And Charlie Brown was the epitome of this good-for-nothing ilk. Hey! You’re one step away from juvie, mister!

How I justify it: He’s a fictional character. I think I can hate all the fictional characters I want with impunity. Next up: Chilly Willy and that dead dog from For Better Or For Worse!

Ten Random Things That Have Kept Me Awake At Night

May 27, 2014

My massive college loan debt.

The Kimye nuptials.

MERS.

There’s gonna be a “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” sequel?!

That 2,500 pound snake that devoured giant crocodiles.

Giant crocodiles.

What if someone’s has hacked my webcam and they’re watching me? They’ll see me surfing for LOLcats in my underwear while eating Chunky Monkey.

Sad Batman.

World Cup Fever.

Billy Bob Thorton’s hair in Fargo. (Seriously. What is that? Trump is laughing at him.)

Action!

May 25, 2014

My love life stinks. Big time. To high heaven.

I mean, it’s not just that I’m going through a dry spell but – dammit … Vulcans do it more often than me! Man, I’d throw in the towel (and, no, that’s not a euphemism) and give up and join a monastery or something except for the one thing that’s kept me going through the years of loneliness:

If a guy who looks like Garrison Keillor can father two children, then I think I at least have a chance of getting some action sometime this century.

Of course, that’s what I thought last century too.

Unfounded

May 23, 2014

When I was ten I played hide and seek with some kids in my neighborhood. There was this one little kid, Brucie, who kept getting found first because his hiding places weren’t very well thought out. He was maybe around 7 or 8 and he started to cry a little because he was so bad at the game. I tried to calm him down by telling him he had to be more creative in his hiding. Standing behind a small tree wasn’t enough. Inside things or under things was good. My stupid little pre-adolescent brain attempted to give this little crybaby a lesson in concealment like I was the head guy at MI5. Well, we started to play the game again and Brucie got this look on his face like he was going to crack this thing. As he trotted off down the street I heard him mutter, “I’ll show ’em all. They’ll never find me.”

And he was right. We never saw him again. Being kids, we stopped looking after about 10 minutes, figuring he’d gone home or something. But we saw cops at Brucie’s house that night and Missing posters popped up around the neighborhood the next day. His family moved away about a year later. They never found Brucie.

I’d like to imagine that some day, decades from now, somebody’ll be doing some yard work or renovating a garden shed and find an 80-year-old Brucie stashed away in a hole in the ground or behind some lawnmowers and rakes. Still hiding. Because, as he said, he’d show us all.

People I Hate #21 (In A Series)

May 21, 2014

Who: The guy who, when you see a spider or a snake or some creature like that, says “It’s more scared of you than you are of it.”

Why: This dude thinks by pointing out the fear of the animal he is defusing the situation but he is instead magnifying any apprehension I had to the point of fear by injecting his own brand of smugness. It doesn’t matter the state of mind of the creepy crawly in question. It could be freakin’ mortified to see me. Heck, I wouldn’t blame it; I’m 100 times its size. But whatever fear the little bastard feels it does not negate for one second the anxiety, apprehension or outright phobia I have when I see something so minute that could (although, rationally, I understand the odds are against it but this is not a fear born of rationality) kill me without a bloody sound!

How I justify it: Spiders and snakes creep me the hell out. Just let me revel in my stupid, impotent aversion and shut the hell up about it.

Chemical Reaction

May 18, 2014

How do you get rid of old batteries? I used to flush them but I didn’t think that was good for my septic system. Sometimes I like to drop them in those kettles that those bell ringing dudes have out in front of the Walmart, primarily because it’s convenient and they always thank you with a smile, but that’s only a few weeks out of the year so it’s scarcely a solution. Do third world countries need them? They seem to need a lot, you’d think old batteries would be on the list.

Meanwhile I got a couple of boxes full of these things that are just sittin’ around collecting dust and leaking chemicals. That can’t be healthy. Should my hair be falling out in patches like this and should my eyesight be this blurry? If I didn’t have such debilitating muscle degeneration, I’d haul these boxes down to the curb and let the garbagemen deal with ’em!

Pork Pork Pitiful Me

May 16, 2014

It is not true that kielbasa makes a bad housewarming gift. Everyone loves a good sausage! Except, of course, vegetarians. And people of the Jewish faith. And pigs. And Toodee and Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba. (Don’t ask.)

100 Pwns Of Clay

May 14, 2014

The guy who was running against Clay Aiken in a North Carolina congressional race has died. Died … or was it – MUUUURDERRRR? No, of course not. The dude was 71. He fell down the stairs. Besides, Clay would never kill an opponent like that, otherwise the bloated corpse of Ruben Studdard would have been found floating in some L.A. pool shortly before the season two finale of American Idol in 2003.

Sailor Mook

May 13, 2014

What do you do with a drunken sailor … what do you do with a drunken sailor … what do you do with a drunken sailor early in the morning? 

Seriously, I really need to know as soon as possible. My cousin Sean is right in the middle of a 72-hour shore leave – and a 48-hour bender.