Sunday, November 19, 2017

Details of the top secret iPhone XX revealed!

Apple recently came out with its iPhone X to much fanfare (Slogan: “Now with 30% more price tag.”) Do not ask them why they went from the iPhone 8 to the 10 without a 9. It’s Apple Math. Start flipping beads on that particular abacus and you will find, upon visiting your closet, that all your shirts have inexplicably turned into black turtlenecks. 

It turns out it was all just misdirection, anyway, to keep us from discovering Apple’s secret project, the iPhone XX. I cannot tell you how I came to possess the plans for this amazing product; if I did, I wouldn’t have to kill you, I’d just have to explain how humor columns work.

iPhone XX (Slogan: “One X short of a very, very different product”)

Manufacturer: Keebler (yes, they made space in the tree)

Compatibility: GSM, IMHO, BFD, AAA & IHOP

Size: .275 cubits x .170 cubits (basically like half a panini)

Weight: .0026 Brads (fractions of Pitts)

Operating system: iOS 24.7.365

CPU: PU is right! C? Light a match

The iPhone XX (Code name: “Samsung Galaxy XX”) is the next generation of smart phone, so secret that Apple has told the employees working on it that they are actually building boats. Smart little boats, which can hold more music than the entire Library of Congress. When the more suspicious employees ask where the rudder goes, they are sent to Google for “reeducation.”

The XX is the first smart phone to have the patented XX port, affectionately known as the “Dos Equis” port. Just plug in the external iTap, twist the spigot and fill your mug with a frosty brew. In the mood for something European? There’s an app for that.

The XX is available in three colors—gold, silver and ‘70’s refrigerator green. This is apparently an inside joke.

Facial recognition, a major element of the iPhone X, takes a step further in the XX with French ID™. Just passionately make out with your XX’s screen and your unique style—you know, the one you learned freshman year—will instantly identify you. 

Wireless charging with the XX is also next-gen, requiring only to be in the presence of a celebrity, even, like, a Kirk Cameron level one, to completely refresh. 

In short, the iPhone XX (Slogan: “Please don’t show this column to Kirk Cameron”) is the most advanced piece of technology you will ever own, assuming, of course, you know somebody.

. . .

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday Wa Pic - Inspected by WHO?

 Like Groucho always said, the seltzer bottles were just a "gateway" spritzer.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Hot new trends in holiday entertaining you should know about

You have probably heard of the holiday entree the “turducken,” a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken. But turduckens are sooo 2008.

This year the trendiest dish is the “bimusteag,” a bison crammed tight with a mustang which itself contains an eagle.

“It does not get any more American than that,” said Mae Dupp, a fictitious chef at the Culinary Arts Institute of Boston. “Sure, it takes a long time to cook, but so did democracy.”

Traditionally a Thanksgiving table will have a centerpiece, perhaps a cornucopia, to symbolize just the freaking shameless truckload of calories you are about to consume. Yawn. Every year looks like every other year.

Why not make this year’s table memorable with something which specifically evokes “2017,” like, say, a small festive handmade statue of your p***y-grabbing boss in handcuffs?

Your fireplace mantel nativity scene is traditional, and that is fine, but updating it a little can also add a certain verve to your home. As the years pass, decorating can get a tad predictable and musty. I have always felt that weaving in the new with the old is very important.

This year, how about modernizing the characters in the crèche; one of the three wise men, perhaps, offering the precious babe not frankincense or myrrh but a box of ammo?

Wreaths have undergone creative transformations in recent years, and often now consist of Christmas ornaments, candy canes, autumn leaves or candied fruit.

This year, the hottest trend uses the traditional, fragrant pine boughs, but interwoven are capsules of Potassium Iodide to quickly grab and save your thyroid gland in case this North Korean nuke thing goes sideways.

Most everybody loves pumpkin pie, but updating such common fare with the times is never easy. Except this year. Thanks to the president’s pardoning of Arizona's famously "toughest" sheriff, 2017's trend-makers have brought us "Pumpkin Arpaio."

The recipe is unchanged from any standard pumpkin pie, with the one addition in a separate bowl of powdered sugar, butter and milk for the frosting, to make it white.

Holiday fads come and go, and following the crowd is not always the best call. Cranberry sauce is cranberry sauce, unless it is a political statement (write me for ideas.) The important thing is to remember that unless we decide to respect each other, as a country, like all the glitziest Christmas trees this year, we’re flocked.

. . .

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wednesday Wa Pic - Utensil Wars

And then one day I fully realized the power of the chopsticks lobby.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

An October we won’t soon forget...unfortunately

This whole October’s been one for the books
Not much on charm and certainly not looks

It started with a Vegas killing spree
and stopped with Manafort’s “Not guilty” plea

And in between we had the Weinstein mess
an avalanche of “me too’s” to depress

the sunniest of upbeat forward-lookers
and overwhelm those late night talk show bookers

Halperin, Besh, Savino and Toback
So many creeps, you reach for the Prozac

“Alleged” creeps (my bad) yet who can say
if this will be the start of a new day?

Kevin Spacey's reputation's hurting
Chickens home to roost, it's disconcerting

Is there a man with power in this land
who won't be mounting soon some witness stand?

The Dodgers won the Series, that was great!
Enough to make me wish for a Game Eight

Or did they lose, and have to hit the bricks?
(My deadline here was just after Game Six)

Some serious ball was played, that is for sure
But please let’s fix Justin Turner’s coiffeur

Trim the beard too, dude, please take my tip, sir
Your best look is not called “Brooklyn hipster”

The Northern California fires wrought Hell
Like Satan rang some cosmic dinner bell

Almost four dozen dead, dreams at an end
Who needs a gunman when you’ve got the wind?

In Spain the Catalonians took a leap
declaring independence, their odds steep

We’d crack down too if Florida tried to bail
(Well, maybe not, just raise a tall cocktail)

The Chargers and the Rams are less than stunning
Combine their wins and we'd be in the running

The L.A. Kings are having a heyday
(All due respect, I don't know where they play)

The Galaxy's win column's rather tiny
A burg like San Jose's kicking its hiney?!

Bring up the Lakers and you might provoke
upon your snoot a sudden, painful poke

This month took from us the great Tom Petty
He’s swathed, I hope, in cosmic confetti

The Reaper showed Fats Domino the door
Ain’t that a shame, he’ll rock and roll no more

A truck blast in Somalia killed scores
How quick we move on past now-common horrors

Even Halloween, that sweet dress-up day
Could not quite keep our real world pains at bay

By any measure, this month’s truly blown
I only hope we never see its clone

. . .

Sunday, October 29, 2017

How fast will your country dissolve? Take this quiz!

It is widely understood that our country is at its most divided since, well, since the Patriots’ win last February. Take the quiz below to find out if you know as much as you think you know about your country’s pending descent into idiocracy. 

1. Which divides faster? 

a)      Cancer cells
b)      Party guests discussing taking a knee
c)      Party guests discussing Starbucks holiday cups
d)      A house divided against itself 

2. The word “Kaepernick” refers to: 

a)      Santa’s cousin
b)      A demon sent from the Underworld to dig up our forefathers’ babies and spit on them
c)      Shooting yourself in the foot in order to help stop others from getting shot higher up
d)      A subject more toxic to friendships than the electoral college 

3. Niger is: 

a)      The new Benghazi!
b)      Misspelled
c)      A rare American ally against Islamic militants in Africa
d)      Now hiring! 

4. The recent story that Hillary Clinton sold uranium to Russia for millions in personal profit strikes me as: 

a)      Unassailable truth
b)      Demonstrably false
c)      A laughably transparent attempt by Canada to attract U.S. immigrants
d)      A good excuse to splurge on that lead-lined Hello Kitty raincoat I’ve had my eye on 

5. Assault weapons should be: 

a)      Banned
b)      Mounted on vehicles, for purely defensive purposes, I swear
c)      Paired with grenades, ideally, for a nice finish
d)      Cheaper 

6. The purported “genocide on white people” in the U.S. is: 

a)      A good start
b)      A comically thin premise for the next “Fifty Shades” book
c)      Totally foreshadowed (see: Crazy Horse v. George Custer, 1876)
d)      A term only being used because “White Lives Matter” was already trademarked 

7. Global warming is: 

a)      Great news for Speedo salesmen
b)      Part of a natural cycle the Earth goes through every 12,000 years, which it calls its “mammal squeegee”
c)      A hoax perpetuated by the Clintons and their ilk, and if you didn’t think there was an ilk, oh, there’s an ilk
d)      Not as bad as that last “Pirates” movie 

8. Complete the sentence. “I think America needs to be...” 

a)      Made great again
b)      More open to Cosby’s side of things
c)      Renamed AMelania
d)      More like a fruitcake—nauseating, impervious, eternal  

If most of your answers were: 

a, You miss George McGovern
b, You watch Fox News even while you  sleep
c, You think Libertarian is a race horse
d, You realize this quiz is as bogus as everything you think you know 

. . .

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Dressing up as a frog almost makes writer croak

They say that when you are called you must answer, and so it came to be last Saturday that I dressed up in public as a frog. 

Full disclosure: it was not the first time I had worn a character costume. Decades ago as a theater major I decided that any summer job I took would have to involve performing, and so I found myself on Friday nights dressed as a chipmunk at a local amusement park. My job was to grab an unsuspecting tourist and force her to square dance with me. 

Heel-toe-heel-toe, slide-slide-slide-slide. This was in the days when characters had screen mesh eyes you could sort of see out of, before hard plastic eye technology came in. You got a bit of a breeze. You could smell the popcorn. I absolutely wish that kind of job on every 19 year old. 

In high school I had starred in “Fiddler On The Roof,” but out in the real world I sweated inside a barrel of fur and occasionally got my tail tugged by unsupervised brats. 

There are pictures. They are not on Facebook. 

Nowadays I partake in an outdoor hobby which has, as its mascot, a frog. Several times a year there are huge events in which my kind gathers under one roof and buys hobby-based merch, swaps trinkets and gets their picture taken with their beloved frog. It is kind of like I imagine Friday nights are at the Kremlin.

As Saturday’s event approached, the call went out for volunteers to man the registration tables, stock supplies and so on. I emailed the organizer and offered to help. 

“How tall are you?” came the reply. 

Thus arose the age-old quandary—the truth or what it says on my resumé?

I sent back the truth and evidently I fit the right range for a certain pond-themed costume. So I slid back into the saddle after 37 years. It was like riding a bicycle, except 400 degrees hotter. I could not see much. I heard people squeal, then hug me and pose. I found myself inexplicably smiling for each camera, unseen inside my giant green head. 

Afterwards, in the changing room, stripping off my sweat-soaked clothes, I was reminded of that joke; somebody asks the poop-scooper man who cleans up after the elephants in the circus why he doesn’t quit that job. 

“What,” he says, “and give up show business?”

. . .

Sunday, October 15, 2017

New species of sea sponge does not live in a pineapple

You may think you have it bad, but try living 13,000 feet under the ocean on a metallic nodule. Scientists recently discovered an entirely new species of tiny sponge which does just that. And it’s not even rent-controlled, so have some perspective, people. We are fortunate to have one of these sponges with us today. 

GW: Greetings, Plenaster craigi, as I understand they have designated you.

Sponge: Pfft! Scientists. Am I right? I prefer Larry.

GW: O.K., Larry, I understand that you were only recently discovered?

Sponge: Um, by people, yeah. The lady sponges discovered old Larry a long time ago.

GW: How did you get acquired by the scientists?

Sponge: From far off there was this pinprick of light which got bigger and bigger until the sea floor was glowing, and I was plucked up into a basket. Next thing I knew, I was in a lab on a ship.

GW: They named you Plenaster because your backbone is made up of stars, something we don’t see a lot of in the animal kingdom.

Sponge: Thanks for noticing. I’m not vain, though. My backbone is generally stuck up against a rock, so I don’t get a lot of red carpet moments. 

GW: Yes, I keep hearing you sponges live on “metal-rich nodules” down there. 

Sponge: Yeah, people are talking about mining them for their copper and manganese and stuff. You know what happens then. There goes the neighborhood. 

GW: It’s not clear if mining can even be done at that depth. The water pressure is more than 5600 pounds per square inch. How do you even survive?

Sponge: You think that’s pressure? Try opening a movie on Memorial Day.

GW: You follow the film business?

Sponge: A little. I met SpongeBob Squarepants. He’s real down to earth. Living in a pineapple, though. That is totally now my dream. 

GW: If it’s not too personal, how do sponges reproduce?

Sponge: Well, that’s not really known by scientists yet, but between you and me, let’s just say some Barry White music comes into play.

GW: You get Barry White down there?

Sponge: Haven’t you seen those documentaries? Everything eventually ends up down there. 

GW: How does a sponge eat?

Sponge: I’m a filter feeder, an inhaler. I suck more than an Adam Sandler double feature. 

GW: Well, I hope your options have opened up a bit.

Sponge: Two words for you. Fat. Burger.

GW: Larry, let me tell you about a little something we call pizza.

. . . .

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Saudi women finally allowed to drive...sort of

Last week Saudi Arabia announced it would finally allow women to get drivers licenses, despite protests by nobody. 

Well, there was this one old conservative cleric who, true story, objected because women “only have a quarter of a brain.” To be fair, he meant women’s capacities are diminished while out excitedly shopping, and that driving in that state would be dangerous. He was then banned by the government from preaching henceforth, and will be running for Congress in Alabama.

Saudi Arabia was perhaps the last country which overtly kept women from getting drivers licenses. While technically legal in Afghanistan, culturally speaking, women driving is still seen by men as equivalent to doing a public pole dance slathered in infidel butter. 

In America women tempt an equally violent reaction by appearing on Fox News as brunettes. 

The new law will not take effect for another nine months. Nine. Months. The Saudi ambassador to the U.S. explained the delay; “We have to make sure our streets are ready for a potential doubling in traffic.” 

If I can read between the lines, I think he really meant “We hope the world comes to an end in the next nine months so we won’t actually have to deal.” 

Other things Saudi women still cannot do:

Try on clothes while shopping. The mere idea of a woman in her underwear under the same roof as men who are strangers is apparently too heady. 

This is the party line, but I suspect that men just don’t want to be stuck outside a changing room when the game is about to come on. 

Visit cemeteries. The argument against women driving used to be that it would “harm their ovaries.” Maybe the same goes for being in close proximity to dead bodies. My suspicion is that the average ovary goes through a lot worse each month.

Saudi women cannot swim in a public pool with men, exercise at a gym with men, sit in a Starbucks with men, or enter a bank through the same entrance as men. 

On the plus side, they can totally marry whoever their male guardian agrees to, or sign a contract with his approval, or get divorced if he gives the O.K. Recently a woman’s right to have surgery without a male guardian’s approval was legalized. 

Next June she will able to drive to the operation in a car, unchaperoned. Well, as long as her male guardian says it’s O.K. to leave the house. 

. . . . .

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Waters to world: stop making scents

We do not appreciate what we have until it’s gone, as they say, and this is certainly true of deodorant. Major retail stores seem to have gotten together to stop selling the scent which I identify as me. 

So for months now I have been smelling like some other guy, someone probably not as attractive but maybe with more hair. My arm pits currently evoke a guy who definitely drives something I don’t. I’ll never know what. 

It is surprising the power which scent has over us to evoke memories, people, moments. I did not notice scent, really, until my first girlfriend in high school. If I smelled her brand of shampoo on someone tomorrow, there is no doubt I would have flashbacks like they have in movies—first kiss, walking from Lit holding hands, slow dancing in the dark, begging her to take me back over the phone. 

I could not tell you the shampoo’s brand name, but they should have called it LoveStinks. 

I grew up using Prell shampoo, because that is what my mom bought. The TV ads for it showed them dropping a single fat pearl in the top of the bottle and watching it slowly sink to the bottom. This expressed, I guess, that Prell was wonderfully viscous. Or that elegant people had really simple tastes in visual entertainment. 

It was sold in glass bottles back then, because the world did not hold enough menace already. It smelled like mom, and Cold War.

It is hard to convince people that a little scent goes a long way. Teen boys are notorious for overdoing it. Stores should sell that teen stuff in tiny canisters like pepper spray, behind locked glass cases like spray paint. If you ever drive a carload of teen dudes somewhere, your upholstery is done. You might as well just Thelma and Louise that sucker. You’ll never resell it. 

I work at a public desk, so I am exposed to a lot of people’s fragrances. Perfume, skin lotion, pot smoke. It is surprising how few people understand that cigarettes are basically incense for your face. I guess we don’t smell ourselves, really, unless something seems off. 

Speaking of which, I found my old deodorant online, so after this other guy’s brand runs out I guess I will reclaim myself, olfactorally speaking. Not that you’ll notice. I hope. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday Wa Pic - Patience is its own reward

Sheesh. And after I had been holding it all day in anticipation, too...

 . . .

Guest Wa Pic courtesy of Kelso Greg.

Thank you!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Expose yourself to "Hamilton" at your peril

By now you will have heard the buzz about the Broadway show “Hamilton,” and asked yourself the obvious—why such a boring name? For a Broadway juggernaut, it sure sounds like a paint company. 

I suppose it was better than calling it the altogether too informal “Alex!” Given the inevitably grim ending (you do know your history, right?), I guess they could have called the show “Mort!” But that would assume that a lot more people understand French than probably do. 

It is true that Broadway has previously had one-word hits named after people. “Mame” comes to mind. Who knew a show about President Eisenhower’s wife could be so compelling?  “Gypsy” brought to audiences a newfound respect for an obscure type of moth. “Annie” showcased the darker side of Helen Keller’s famed mentor through the medium of tap dance. And “Fiorello!” and “Oliver!” taught us the difference punctuation can make between failure and success. 

“Hamilton” has broken all records, but just imagine if it had been “Hamilton?” Or even “#Hamilton$”. Not only might it have made even more money, it would have been a pretty solid password.

“Hamilton” the show, like the founding father himself, is known for its brilliance with words. A sample lyric: “A bunch of revolutionary manumission abolitionists? Give me a position, show me where the ammunition is!” 

It is sort of like Gilbert and Sullivan, if their three little maids from school were not “filled to the brim with girlish glee” but were in fact itching to bust a cap in some Redcoats.

A year or two ago, the lyrics of “Hamilton” spread like a wordy virus through my friends. Being a former theater major, I willingly contracted it from my actress friend Susannah, then passed it on to my wife and my coworkers. Soon we became insufferable. 

You know the kind of people who, if you happen to say something about truth, say "You can't handle the truth"? That is us, only in revolutionary-war-themed rhyme. 

I cannot in good conscience recommend you expose yourself to this addiction. Otherwise you will soon find yourself ejecting a CD and sobbing in your car in the employee parking lot. 

"Are you O.K.?" your coworker will ask, seeing your puffy eyes.

"Hamilton," you will rasp. 

It is too late for me. Consider this a warning from a friend. 

. . .