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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Super Bowl… Is About Food!


So I’m supposed to have this post off. Walter Bego is supposed to be writing this post! I’m supposed to be lying back on a friend’s couch, eating whatever I can find from his cupboards, and wishing he’d get satellite, or cable, or something that gets more than 2 channels on his TV.
But Walter tells me he doesn’t want to write this post. 
 He says that he’s a Patriot’s fan and he feels deflated – then he laughs. I ask him what that’s supposed to mean, and he tells me a sports fan would get it.
So now I’m supposed to pick the Super Bowl?
“No,” he says, “a deal is a deal - 
Patriots 37
Sea Hawks 25

Well that was anti-climatic. I guess I could end the post here.
Can’t do it. So I asked Nick, my co-worker at Amalgamated Monster what he liked best about the Super Bowl.
“The food,” he answered.
“Oh,” I said with relief. I would have been completely lost if he talked about the half-back toggle post wiggle with a twist,
 but food I could relate to.
“My grandmother goes to town,” he said. “She makes all kinds of stuff – chicken wings, cheese cubes, salsa, cheese cake brownies, little funny things with pretzels and M&Ms.”
“Doesn’t she do that other times as well?”
Nick scratched his head and then stopped. It looked too much like he was thinking. Frederick the Bloody and the management of Amalgamated Monster fine all employees caught thinking on the job.
“There is one thing,” said Nick with as thoughtless an expression on his face as he could manage, “that she makes only during the Super Bowl.”
“What’s that?”
“Little smokies.”
My mouth started watering at the utterance of those two magic words. Little smokies were the ying and yang of snack food – a treat that tastes the ultimate good while looking the ultimate disgusting.
“Yeah,” I said to Nick, looking stupid without even having to make an effort. “You’re right – I never see little smokies unless I get invited to a Super Bowl party.”
“And they’re always gone before kick-off,” Nick added.
“So why don’t they show up the rest of the year?” I asked.
“Because they’re always gone before kick-off.” Nick repeated. “It doesn’t matter how many packages of little smokies my grandmother buys – everybody always eats them first while she’s busy putting everything out. I don’t think Grandma’s ever eaten a little smokie.”
I wanted to make some erudite reference to Dante’s Inferno, but my mind went blank – which was a good thing because Frederick the Bloody was staring right at me.
“That’s not fair,” I said as stupidly as possible.
“Uh-huh,” Nick agreed sounding a bit like Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade.
We must have passed the stupid test because Frederick the Bloody moved on to lower the IQ in another part of the plant.
“Little smokies,” I mused. “I have to get myself invited to a Super Bowl party.”
Nick was conspicuously silent the rest of the day.

So, how do you keep people from eating all the little smokies before kickoff? I asked that question of a select panel of readers. Sally Q. Broqenbuttom of Hackensack New Jersey responded:
I just put my plate of little smokies in my cat, Oscar’s litter box.”
Thank you for the visual, Sally.

Maybe I won’t miss being invited to a party so much this year - as long a Walter Bego doesn't get invited either.


I guess there are more disgusting eating themes.  Squeamish Alert!



Monday, January 26, 2015

200 Reasons I’m Still Just Plain Stupid


Those of you keeping track, (or those that can do the quick math from the column on the right,) are aware that this is the 200th blog post for Just Plain Stupid. 200 useless amalgamations of pixels spit up on the digital cosmos.
I couldn’t have done it without you. So let’s get sentimental and cheesy before the NSA, Vladimir Putin, ISIS, the Disney Corporation, or Starbucks shuts this blog down.
Among all the garbage I've spewed in the last two years, a few slimy nuggets have clung to a surprising number of computers and phones across the globe. My series of creepy things has had several hundred hits, particularly the ones about Diane Keaton
 and Neil Diamond.
 Surprisingly popular was the case I made to change the word ‘off’ to ‘foo,’
 though I suspect that most of the hits were by disappointed fans of Foo Fighters. Excerpts from Trouble in Taos
have gathered thousands of reads, though sadly not as many sales on Amazon.  Even less success with Volition Man.
But the Big Kahuna of all my posts has been Basketball, BWG, but no Little Debbie.
 Almost half of all the hits this blog has received were on that post. Did ESPN think I was really talking sports and link it? Did the Lawyers of Little Debbie hope to bring a service denial shut down of blogspot?
I like to think it was the parody of Little Debbie done to the tune of the Candyman. Parodies frequently do well on this blog, like the parody of Starbucks to the tune of Downtown,
 the one of Gandhi to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,
 or the medley of Christmas Carol parodies in 
Not all parodies prosper. 
 My tribute to the Car Talk guys to the tune of Under the Boardwalk
My Little Loose Glute parodying my fitness struggles to the tune of Little Deuce Coup,
 and The Ballad of Gypsy’s Clean Floor to the tune of the Theme to Gilligan’s Island never got much interest.
Go Figure.
Come to think of it, posts that fail have been much more common than those that succeed. Even some posts that I thought deserved better like,
The Bear is Back,
Headley Who and How,
Annoying Things,
Helix (the Cat), and poor little
  O – I’ll Just Have that garnered only 4 hits.
Of course Stanley McFarland’s guest post, Truly
also got only 4 hits, but I think we can understand why on that one. He’s still trying to get me to post his poem, Garumplephink, but so far I think I've spared you that indignity (though it’s getting hard to keep track of which indignities I’ve foisted upon you and which I haven’t.)

So this is the point where I should make a commitment to give you even better, high quality entertainment in the year to come – to create (and steal) the most fascinating and hysterical content for your blog viewing pleasure.
Not gonna happen. But for the moment, I will continue to throw gobbets of my imagination into our increasingly disgusting cyberspace in an attempt to sell my pathetic novels and live comfortably with a reliable supply of Pop Tarts.

Because that’s what you've come to expect from Just Plain Stupid.

And now, for no reason I can think of - The Llama Song

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Huh?

I’ve been looking at my early columns lately. Not all of them sold – hard to figure why. Well, maybe not. Here’s one from January 2001.

Like thousands of you out there I was very impressed by Ebay when it started up in the mid nineties and thought to myself: “I really should buy a few shares of their stock.” Of course, I didn't and having missed that boat, I made up for it by buying plenty of tech stocks just before the crash. Ebay ran a business that was based on making money as opposed to the other dot-coms that based their business on spending it. I don’t hold a grudge against Ebay for leading me astray (especially since the court injunction). As a matter of fact, I was thinking of running a search, or, if they allow it, placing a want ad:
Balding baby-boomer male WASP in search of cool identity”

All right, I was raised in Leave it to Beaver-land. I even whistled on the way to school. The closest I ever came to being a bohemian was that I took swimming lessons at Walden Pond. I've consumed enough peanut butter, Wonder Bread and Campbell’s soup to sufficiently inoculate me from any inkling of abnormality. My problem is that my decidedly conformist existence has hit the most challenging of all conundrums. Non-conformity is now the accepted norm.
Who would have guessed back in 1973 as I traveled the hallways of Acton Boxborough Regional High School in my Greg Brady style maroon velour button-fly bell-bottoms and my green and gold puffy-sleeved shirt that I was headed for such a predicament? Somehow, miraculously, ninety five percent of the student body, who were also Greg or Marcia look-a-likes were transformed through the process of time, to former rockers, dope-heads and hippies. Am I the sole remaining member of my generation who will admit he faithfully watched the Partridge Family, who found the Courtship of Eddy’s Father moving and who was frightfully disappointed when Mayberry RFD was cancelled? Did no one else marvel at the gastronomical breakthroughs of Bunt cakes, Shake-a Pudding and Jell-O 1, 2, 3? Am I the sole remaining purchaser of either pet rock or mood ring? I could have sworn there were others who enjoyed songs like Mandy, and Brandy and that coke commercial where they’re teaching the world to sing.
What happened?
I’ll tell you what happened. Someone built a clover-leafed on-ramp to the road less traveled by.
Who, you ask?
I know that too. It’s them there kids, dagnabit! (I've always wanted to say that)
Baby boomers were yuppies in the 80s because, let’s face it; kids were boring in the 80s. Campuses were quiet, music was boring and Alex P Keaton was a popular icon. It’s hard to respect serious cultural discussion when both sides wear little alligators on their shirts. Blame Ronald Reagan. Blame Arnold Schwartzeneggar. Blame Jane Pauley for marrying Gary Trudeau and putting his sense of humor in the Goodwill bin along with his old sports coats. Say what you will; Iran/Contra could never hold a candle to Vietnam. Madonna was fun, but Janis Joplin she was not!
Sometime in the last several years something changed. Kids got cool! When I was a teenager if anyone said navel piercing, I would check my lunch bag to see if someone was messing with my orange (OK, it was a lunchbox – but I stopped using the one with spacemen all over it long before high school). Sure, the really cool guys started having their ears pierced decades ago, but now anyone under twenty five without at least one hefty body piercing is given an honorary pocket protector and the keys to the audio-visual department. Limp Bizkit may not be Led Zeppelin but Lenny Kravitz beats the heck out of Barry Manilow. Who clued them into the fact that the Democratic Party was just a sugary version of the Republican Party? 
 These kids are sharp! These kids are savvy! These kids are dangerous!
We baby boomers have always had the market cornered on cool. Sure, the majority of us were still basically geekie but we took pride in the fact that a certain percentage of us were true revolutionaries. Suddenly a generation rises that makes its own rules, revolutionizes its own culture, and then invites everyone into the pool.
The attendance figure at the first Woodstock has tripled over the last several years. I wasn't there but I did go trout fishing in upstate New York that summer and I watched the movie twice so it’s only a matter of time until I claim to have been there as well. Is it natural for an entire generation to resort to revisionist history? No, but at least we have someone to blame!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m splicing my high school graduation photo with a picture of Jimi Hendricks. Anyone know where I can get a paste-on graphic for love beads? 


Penn shows a great trick for our generation.

Monday, January 19, 2015

I've Got Nothing... But Dogs

So if you're a blogger and you've got nothing to say (join the party,) you do a blog with cheesy gifs of cats.  But if you've already done such a post - what then?  As you may have guessed from the title and the unicorn boxer above, your next best bet is dogs.
   Try to avoid the gifs that are clearly manipulated by unconscionable tech geeks.
 In other words, unconscionably steal from only conscionable tech geeks.
this could be real - right?
The best dog gifs are of dogs just being dogs.
Of course it's fair if their humans teach them a trick or two.
The problem with dog humor is that the canine is not mean spirited.
Though appearances can be deceiving.
Dogs are sweet and playful
And impressive in their abilities
sometimes just by being themselves in slow motion

They can look goofy
I don't care what Wikipedia says, we're not dogs.  You got any more cookies?
But there's a wholesome dignity in dog-hood.
Is the post over?  Can I eat these now?
So remember, Dear Blogger - if you've already posted cats - go with dogs.


Not sure if I posted this vid before.  WTH, it fits the theme.