Archive for December, 2016

TCM Remembers 2016

December 31, 2016

Getcher hankies out. You’ll need ’em.

December 28 Trivia Rankings

December 29, 2016

A gracious thank you to all the Quizlings who came out to play for the last trivia bout of 2016. Don’t fret – we’ll do it and next week and every Wednesday after that.

The big news is that one lucky Quizling walked away with a prize basket containing loads* of swag and miscellanea. Congrats, Darby! I did neglect to mention the basket also had a $5 Tomato Jake’s Gift Card (so you can buy dessert) and a $5 Rise Gift Card (so you can buy breakfast).


Thanks, again! Now check out the full rankings…

I Thought We Were Going To Have An Adult As The President – NOT! 70
Keep Calm And Carrie On 62
3 Days Left To Protect Betty White 56
See You Next Year 55
2016 Took The Rest Of Our Team 52
Tiny Kitten Kisses 49
2016, Take Trump Instead 49
A New Hope 48
The German Christmas Pickle Is A Lie 45
Latke Masters 43
Taking The Bus To Syracuse 42
Pepperoni, Peppers, Pineapple, Pizza Pie 39
7 Of Spades 37
Party Of 5 35
Frack Is Whack 34
It’s Yuge 25

*Gift Basket was full of the following: One Of A Kind Tomato Jake’s Trivia T-Shirt, Framed Picture Of Elon Musk, Sour Patch Kids, M&Ms, Chapel Hill Toffee, Shatner RulesSwept Away, Canada Keychain, How To Survive A Sharknado, ESPN Water Bottle, C3PO Pez, Dunkin Donuts Gift Card, Starbucks Gift Card, Hollywood Video Membership Card, Frozen Calendar 2017, Bottle Of Water for Bottle Flip Practice, Tomato Jake’s Pizzeria Sunglasses, One Million Dollars Chocolate Bar, AMC Theater Tickets, Selfie Starburst, Wooly Willy, Rise Gift Card, Tomato Jake’s Gift Card, Ginger Bread Cookie Mix and Celebration’s Bottle Of Favorite Mixed Candies

People I Hate #789 (In A Series)

December 25, 2016

Who: The guy who, when singing Jingle Bells, belts out “Ha Ha HAH!” right after the “laughing all the way” line.

Why: He’s usually part of a choral or a cappella group or maybe just a bloke who’s had one too many at an office holiday party. Regardless, he thinks it the height of seasonal joviality and outright hilarity to punctuate a simple line in a yuletide favorite with some boisterous pretend mirth as if anyone hearing the song couldn’t understand the concept of someone “laughing all the way” (which isn’t, by the way, literally “laughing all the way” like some maniac in a Napoleon XIV song but more of an illustration of how joyous the sleigh ride actually is). He doesn’t think it necessary to pepper other lines from the song with extraneous sound effects. I mean, there’s no horse whinny or bobtail growl (I will admit to being somewhat vague on what the other lyrics are but, still, the point is made). Basically, his desire to be the center of attention supplants any regard for his audience, fellow singers or musical sensibilities.

How I justify it: He’s just some grandstanding doofus who deserves coal in stocking and a damn good thrashing by the Krampus.

The Clause That Represses

December 23, 2016

Okay, let me get this straight…

“You better watch out…” Ooh, sounds ominous. Nothing good can be on the horizon with a warning as dire as this.

“You better not cry…” Morality seems an absolute here. Very puritan. Very Amish.

“You better not shout, I’m telling you why…” Forget reasonable discourse. This is a dictate derived from a simple purpose: to bend others to one’s own will. My way or the highway. A parental “Because I said so!”

“Santa Claus is coming to town.” A notice of this calibre can mean one of two things: the subject is either a great egomaniac or a criminal who’s been forced to alert the populace when he’s entering a neighborhood.

“He knows if you’ve been sleeping, he knows when you’re awake…” So he’s spying on you, is he? Perhaps he’s outside right now, watching you. Sounds like a stalker to me.

“He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake…” And he’s apparently heavily judgmental too. Good, bad, what kind of labels are these? Is this based on ethical relativism or mere casuistry? And I think I detect a slight element of fear and inducement there as well.


Santa Claus. Father Christmas. Saint Nicholas. Not a very good role model, is he?

Basically, we’re talking about an obese elderly man who invites young children to sit on his lap and tell him what they want. He dresses flamboyantly and lives alone with a large collection of freaks and bizarre zoo rejects in what can best be described as an isolated compound. His whereabouts and activities are largely secret. He claims to have superhuman abilities. His PR is delivered in such a way as to suggest a Nazi-like propaganda machine.

And yet, he is beloved. He is anxiously awaited. He is considered to be the Spirit of Christmas.

Are we one ridiculously screwed up and loony nation or what?

December 21 Trivia Rankings

December 21, 2016

Happy holidays, Quizlings! And many thanks to those who came out to share a pre-Yule triviaganza with us. I guess if you could have made a meal off of the trivia this week it would consist of sufganiyah, provolone, salt, liver, Captain Morgan, Monster Energy Drink and, uh – candles. Not sure if that’s palatable but the trivia sure was fun. We’ll wrap up 2016 next Wednesday with some year-in-review questions and the December raffle (bring those newbies, wear those sweaters and post those fliers).

Here are the team rankings …

Fugly Sweaters Are Our Business And Business I Good 71
A Lump Of Coal For Pat 70
Naughty By Choice 64
Our Elector Voted For Jake’s 64
My Yule Log Is Yuge 63
2016: It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like $#!tmas [poop emoji] 62
Phishing For Access 62
Hoping We Do Better Than Last Week 57
Yule Fools 56
The Know-Nothings 52
Elf On the Shelf 52
Now Accepting Donations For The Human Fund 51
Los Tres Amigos 48
Trump Trivia Advisory Council 47
Inflatable Pimps 44
The Chocolate Cherries 37

Celebrity Dissonance

December 19, 2016

I was perusing for a side project and noticed that if you click on a date you can see all the folks in the Internet Movie Database born on that particular date. Neat enough but more interesting to note is that the names are all ranked according to some sort of popularity matrix called STARmeter. Now, I’ve no idea what the criteria STARmeter uses but I assume it’s along the lines of name recognition, star power, credits, etc. Most of the time, the rankings seem obvious. (For example, were they born on the same day, Bill Murray would be ranked higher than Bill Maher and both would be ranked higher than veteran actor Bill Macy.)

Sometimes, however, the rankings are more inscrutable.

Take the stars born on December 24, for instance. I won’t really get into the subjective nature of fame but I would point out that Ryan Seacrest is ranked at #22. Is that the correct ranking for someone of his stature? Probably not. He was the host of that television blockbuster American Idol for years. He’s executive producer of lots of shows, including the mega-hit Keeping Up With The Kardashians. He’s even conquered radio with a syndicated show and American Top 40 hosting duties. Given all of that, I’d day he’s pretty famous. Personally, if he dropped off the face of the planet tomorrow, I wouldn’t miss him but I acknowledge that he’s a major star and probably a household name. Regardless, STARmeter ranked him  at #22 for those born on December 24.

The major problem with that ranking? The dog from Frasier was ranked #21. Yep, Moose – the dog that played Eddie on the Cheers spin-off – is one notch higher on the STARmetter, one rung up and over Ryan Seacrest.


What the hell, imdb?!?! Not only does Moose have only four credits to his name (Frasier, My Dog Skip and guest roles on two TV shows) but the canine hasn’t worked in ten years because he died in 2006! 

Yes, Ryan Seacrest is ranked lower than a dog that’s “been living on a farm upstate” since before there was Twitter.

What does all this mean? For you and me: nothing (unless you get off on schadenfreude). But for Ryan Seacrest – wow, that’s gotta be a pretty low blow. I mean, armed with this ego-crushing data, I think it’s amazing he can muster the willpower to get out of bed in the morning. Yet assuming he does, there are three ways he can deal with it…

1) Laugh it off and chalk it up to the vagaries of fate.

2) Raise his profile in hopes of increasing his ranking.

3) Punch his agent and/or publicist right square in the face.

Me, I know which one I’d choose.

Big Mad On Krampus

December 16, 2016

This is the Krampus. It’s a real thing – in the sense that Bavarian youngsters believe it as much as American kids believe in Santa.

I think it is so unbelievably awesome that kids in Austria grow up believing this crap. And I think the problem with kids in the United States is that they don’t.

December 14 Trivia Rankings

December 15, 2016

A fun night, Quizlings! Thanks to all who came to play (18 teams, give or take). The holidays won’t stop the trivia so spread the word and come back for more next Wednesday and beyond. Plus – don’t forget to post those fliers, brings newbies and wear your ugly holiday sweaters for extra raffle tix (one per Quizling per reason per week).

This week? It was all about blue movies and dino parts and the 12 Days of Christmas. Oh and the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum …

Now here are this week’s rankings. How’d your team do?

Trump: Kremlin’s Employee Of The Month 70
Trump Appoints Kanye Secetary Of Edumacation 69
Fake It Til You’re Elected 65
Why You Gotta Fight With Me At Tomato Jake’s? 64
Gnome For The Holidays 63
Burgermeister Meisterburgers 61
Help, I’ve Fallen And I Can’t Reach My Pizza! 60
Not Rich Enough To Be In Trump’s Cabinet 59
Darth Vader = Drake: Tough Black Outside, Whiny White Inside 59
WTF, 2016! 57
Space Teens 53
Any Dog’s A Guide Dog If You Don’t Care Where You’re Going 52
Bah! Humbug! 47
The Team Has No Name 43
Magic Monkeys 40
Growing Pains 40
It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Week 38
Desperado 33

What Can Brown Do For You?

December 12, 2016

When I was younger, I had a lyrical misconception. You know that song, Winter Wonderland? (Of course you do; what are you – from Jupiter?) Well, there’s a line that goes “In the meadow we can build a snowman, then pretend that he is Parson Brown. He’ll say, ‘Are you married?’, We’ll say, ‘No, man, but you can do the job when you’re in town.’” Obviously, Parson Brown is an authority figure of some sort, most likely a religious personage with the power to bind people together in matrimony. Well, I, naive huckleberry that I am, was under the mistaken impression that “Parson Brown” wasn’t a person but a color, not unlike Lemon Yellow, Midnight Blue, Carnation Pink, or Forest Green, although, admittedly, I could not recall the shade from a Crayola box. This misunderstanding brought about one weighty question: Why would anyone want a brown snowman? I mean, isn’t this perilously close to that old axiom don’t eat the yellow snow? And why would anyone want a brown snowman to marry them? And, if he’s there, right there, I mean, talking to them, why do they have to wait for him to be “in town” to do the job? Does he book in advance? How heavy a schedule can a Parson Brown snowman have?

Granted, these questions all faded away into mootabilty when the actual lyrics were revealed to me. And these days – hey, I’ve got better things to do with my time. (Not really, but I think I should pretend I have.)

Dear Santa …

December 10, 2016

Dear [insert child’s name here]:

Thank you for you recent correspondence. Unfortunately, Santa cannot answer all of the millions and billions of letters he receives each year as he is busy in his workshop getting ready for Christmas. We hope that the following will answer any and all questions you might have about Mr. Claus.

(And please visit us online at to order from our vast merchandise catalogue.)


*Who Is Santa Claus?*
Santa is a jolly fat man who delivers presents to all the good little boys and girls around the world. He is the living embodiment of the Yuletide season, the spirit of Christmas given human form.

*Does he have any other names?*
Santa is known by many names throughout the globe, including Criscringle, Father Christmas, Father Frost, Joulupukki, Kris Kringle, PPre Noël, Sabdiklos, Saint Nicolas, Sancte Claus, Sinter Klaas and Weinachtsmann. His gmail screen name is YuleLog. His CB handle is Chubby Hubby.

*Does he live at the North Pole?*
Of course not. The North Pole is really the end of the earth’s geographic axis, located at 90 North latitude, the northernmost point from which all meridians of longitude start. It lies in the Arctic Ocean and is covered with drifting pack ice, making settlement by Santa or anyone else highly unlikely. (This is not to be confused with the magnetic North Pole, which in 1993 lay at about 78 27’N, 104 24’W, or with the geomagnetic North Pole, which is at about 79 13’N, 71 16’W. Huge killer frost bees live at these locations, making human occupation difficult.)

*Do elves make Santa’s toys?*
Santa no longer uses elves as his primary labor, due to the Pixie/Sprite/Elf/Brownie Emancipation Act of 1973 (UN General Statute 87292). Most of Santa’s labor is now farmed out to third world countries and unregistered sweatshops.

*What does Santa do when it’s not Christmas?*
Primarily, he binge watches Netflix (Bloodline and Lady Dynamite are personal faves). However, Santa has been known to dabble in origami, Suidoku and cross-stitch. He also hosts a Game Of Thrones podcast and writes Pretty Little Liars fan fiction.