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Die, smiley!

God, I hate graphical smileys. Not ASCII emoticons; those are cool. In fact, that’s partly why I hate graphical smileys: they took a rich and interesting form of post-modern folk art and crassified it.

Mostly, though, I hate them because they’re so fucking ugly and stupid. This little bastard has got to be my #1 graphical smiley hate object: icon_lol.gif The BBCode LOL smiley. Look at the way its upper lip is nickering up and down. Who does that with their front lip when they laugh? Horses! Who else? Giraffes. Who else? NOBODY! Jesus, where did this person go do art school, a dude ranch? You can’t even do that with your upper lip if you try. Go on. Try. Seriously. I’m not writing another word until you do.

Here’s a good one: icon_mad.gif. It means “I woke up this morning Chinese. And grumpy.” Well, at least that one may come in handy some day.

Then there’s: icon_eek.gif I am so constipated. And: icon_razz.gif Look! My mouth is like a red, red rose. And: icon_cool.gif I’m wearing a tiny bra on my face, and that makes me strangely happy.

I was horrified when I realized I had graphical smilies. Yes. Right here at S. Weasel. I made a happy little winky-smiley in my own comment section, and up popped a horrible squinty moonfaced yellow hobgoblin. Huh. They came in a little folder with the rest of the WordPress software. I did not know.

My first thought was to biff the whole directory and go back to clean, pure ASCII emoticons. And then I had a second, more weasely, thought. In short, weasels. I would replace the lot with spritely, handsome weasels. Smiling weasels. Frowning weasels. Jaunty weasels thrusting their pink tongues in good natured ribaldry.

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I had to design the occasional icon back in the days when you got 16 colors and 16 pixels square. It was an asshole of a job. I am not a minimalist. But I figured I’d start with the basics — frowny, smiley, winky and the tongue (sounds like a Hannah Barbera cartoon starring three crime fighting teenage pop musicians and a rogue body part). It went something like…this:

Only frowny really looks like a weasel, because frowny is the only face weasels got. The others look like animatronic gophers or something. No matter. By the time it was squoze down to the standard 15×15 smiley size, I knew they wouldn’t look like anything at all. And they didn’t. At that size, I couldn’t tell one from another.

For a moment, this pleased me. I imagined replacing all the icons with Frowny Weasel, so no matter what you tried to emote, out popped that cranky little puss. But then I realized I would never know what you, my minions, were trying to tell me. Are you happy? Are you sad? Do you have a rogue body part you would like me to examine? I must know these things.

So I gave myself another ten pixels. A 25 pixel smiley is going to blow out the line spacing (I almost said “the leading”; god I’m old). But, hey, it’s not like I’m in some kind of design contest or anything, is it?

So here they are: 🙂 😉 🙁 😛 😆 I added a LOL, so that peals of merry laughter can ring throughout Castle Mustelid. You still can’t really tell what’s what, but I drawed them and I can. Invoke them with smilies.gif. Any other emoticon will get you a busted graphic icon BECAUSE I KILLED THEM.

Have fun and drive safely.

April 19, 2007 — 4:38 pm
Comments: 35

The hard work of being offended

The Smoking Gun put in a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Transportation of Wisconsin (and later of Florida) and got their hands on complaint letters people had sent about obscene personalized license plates. A surprising number were from cops; who knew cops were such tight asses?

I suppose the bureau shouldn’t, on balance, have issued MUFDYV, RUHRNY, COPUL8, FL8ME or HODAWG, but it’s the sheer puffed-up assholery of the complaint letters that astounds.

Like, the woman who wrote to complain about 4U HOES CC’ed two Senators, six State Representatives and demanded a followup letter. The IN2 XTC woman sniffed, “I know you shouldn’t ‘judge a book by its cover’ but his license number fit his appearance that day perfectly.” Like the DOT could do something about ragamuffin haircuts. Dear god, she probably wishes they could.

Can’t you just picture this lady?

While returning from an enjoyable evening out my husband noticed a license plate that absolutely amazed him. Being in the military he is, unfortunately, very often in situations where obscenity is at it’s [sic] very peak. for him to notice this and be disgusted that it actually got on the street proved to me that I am not just being overly prudish.

I will trust you to locate and replace this tag and whomever in your department allowed this on the street. I know that we cannot single-handedly clean up the whole world, but I would appreciate your assitance in at least keeping smut at bay.

The tag is a Florida tag, most probably Okaloosa County and reads: 4NIKATE.

And how about this pompous fuckwit? He’s given this one some thought, hasn’t he?

My family and I were recently driving in our local area and saw a small red sports car convertible with the personalized tag reading “RAIN SUX.” To an owner of a convertible who obviously likes to ride with the top down, I am sure that rainy weather is not what they like, but I found that phrase offensive, especially on behalf of my three children ages 4, 7 and 11.

I request that the Department revoke this license tag immediately and ask the owner that it be returned to a local tag office to be destroyed. Failure for the owner in doing this should result in the suspension of his driver’s license, similar to the action taken for failure to pay a traffic violation within a prescribed period of time.

I ask that I be notified in writing what action has been taken on this particular tag. Please respond within 30 days of the date on this letter.

The guys who complained about FAAHK and FOKEW (this last one wrote directly to the governer of the state) are seriously overthinking their plate interpretations. And, dude, IH8GOP too, and I vote for the bastards every four years.

If you’ve worked out that EMWOLB is BLOWME backwards, you probably should treat yourself to some books on tape. They have them free at the public library.

Okay, put on your thinking caps. This license plate has math. It’s 6Q 2Q and a little piece of tape is put between them as a minus sign. What’s 6Q minus 2Q? 4Q, of course. See, that’s what I’m talking about working real hard to get insulted.

Finally, my favorite:

To whom it may concern,

I am flabbergasted over the fact that I saw a Florida license plate, Brevard County, with the vanity plate of FUCT 24-7. You would think that there is some guidelines to a license plate. Obviously not! You cannot read that plate without saying a foul word. Please receive this letter as a written complaint.

The sweet part? All the i’s are dotted with little hearts.

April 18, 2007 — 5:43 pm
Comments: 12

Pin a rose on my nose


When I designed publications for a living, every year there’d be a whole crop of flyers for contests like the Technical Publication Badge of Excellence Awards and the House Organ Annual Seal of Approval and Magazines That Aren’t Entirely Awful Dot Com. Deal was, you paid a small fee for each publication submitted and I don’t know how bad you had to suck not to get Honorable Mention at least, but I’m guessing it didn’t happen. It was a racket, pure and simple.

The result was a certificate or a little pyramidal slab of lucite or some shit to put in the lobby. Lookit! Valve and Stopper Report got an Excellence in Techdoc Sixth Place from the New England Review of Training Manuals! This company rocks!

Wait, I thought of a better one. In High School, I won a city-wide poster design competition. “Stop pollution” was my theme, I think. I had lunch with the mayor and everything. The city was Nashville, so…you can imagine. He presented me with my…trophy. I shit you not, it was a bowling trophy, with a Winged Victory and everything. It’s in the basement somewhere. I kept it because it was the most tragically tacky blow that had yet struck my young life.

In that spirit, mesablue has very kindly nominated me for a Blogger’s Choice Award in the category of design. Combining my vote with his, I have now zoomed up to Page 18 in the listings. I thought about adding myself to other categories. Freakiest Blogger. Hottest Mommy Blogger. Best Weasel in a Supporting Role. But, I figured, the people have spoken. Person has spoken. Whatever.

He also nominated himself for Most Obnoxious Blogger [this is the title he apparently covets. No, really. He said so], Best Political Blog and Worst Blog of All Time.

Don’t let the heartbreak of self-nomination happen to you. Let me know if you’d like to be nominated for anything, and I’ll gladly take on that karmic burden for you. I actually read all you doofuses. Doofices. Doofi. Stupid people. The site has an irritating registration requirement, so I’m not encouraging anyone to sign up and vote, but we could probably form a pretty nifty voting cabal and push each other to the fifth or sixth page of listings.

Dammit. I just revealed my master plan on the front page of my blog.

See, this is probably why the Joos keep rejecting my membership application.

April 17, 2007 — 5:48 pm
Comments: 20

Rhymes with “penis”

Today is Enas Yorl‘s birthday. After being rude to Pupster for his birthday yesterday, I couldn’t let the occasion pass without mortally insulting Enas in some way.

Every time I see “Enas” I think “rhymes with ‘penis'” — I don’t know if it does, I just think that. I looked it up once. Enas Yorl is a character in the Thieves’ World Series, which is a fantasy anthology written by multiple authors. I missed it somehow. It must’ve happened during my Illiterate Phase.

So it is pretty remarkable that all but one link on the first page of Google hits for “Enas Yorl” — including the top one — are for the blogger, not the book. More popular than the original!

Happy birthday! God, I feel like Miss Nancy on Romper Room.

— 12:07 pm
Comments: 22

Five thousand rabbits block Hungarian highway

Truck accident. They were headed to the abattoir. Five hundred were killed on the spot. Four thousand four hundred were rounded up on the scene, and another one hundred were given the gift of sweet, sweet freedom. But, being bunnies, they will undoubtedly wander onto the highway in the next few days and meet Rabbitgod.

What’s interesting about this is the place I found it: a Basque newspaper, a thousand miles away. Reinforcing my belief that newspapers all over the world employ someone whose main job it is to comb the wires for weird-ass stories from faraway places. If you want to know something bizarre about a nation, cruise newspapers halfway around the world. Bunnies on the highway is a relatively benign example; most of them are of the “Oh Those Silly People from Fillintheblankistan!” variety.

Americans who read the foreign press are all too familiar with this. When I’m in the UK, I don’t even recognize the America they describe. The Brits’ imaginary US of A is, like, fifty percent inbred Bible-thumping retards and fifty percent pornographers. I get the impression people from India aren’t too pleased with Western news reportage, either; all those stories from remote Indian villages about inappropriate people being reincarnated as inappropriate animals and genital-stealing monkeys and so on.

Now clearly I…me…S. Weasel, proprietor of this blog, cruise foreign newspapers looking for mischief. But I am a mere clown. I clown for you, my seven imaginary friends. I don’t claim to be a journalist. Not sober, anyhow. Assuming anyone sober could claim to be a journalist.

Don’t news organizations have an obligation to give us an accurate picture of the world? Aren’t they always banging on about how important they are in that respect? If they feed us a steady diet of stories about the world that are, strictly speaking, true but not at all representative, isn’t that an especially pernicious kind of lie?

— 6:45 am
Comments: 6

Hey, Pups. Let me buy you a drink!

Drink it fast or drink it slow,
But your lips have gotta touch the toe.

I can’t remember where I first read about the Sour Toe Cocktail, the liquorous specialty of Dawson’s Hotel in the Yukon. The original toe belonged to a rumrunner, Otto Liken, who got frostbite fleeing the Mounties with a load of merchandise. He and his brother holed up in a moonshine shack and Otto got blotto so Louie could amputate the frozen digit before it went gangrenous.

They put the toe in a jar of rum and let it mellow in the shack for, like, fifty years until the building was bought by “Captain” Dick Stevenson, a local fleecer of tourists. The cocktail was his idea. He loaned the toe to a local bar and dared tourists to drink from a glass filled with booze (of their choice) and The Toe as a way of proving themselves worthy of the Yukon. He was repaid in drinks.

About 30,000 suckers have “done the toe.”

The original toe — and several subsequent ones — was accidentally swallowed. But such is the generosity of the human spirit that surgically amputated toes are forever offered as replacements.

I consider it no accident that an article about doing the toe should surface in the Toronto Star just in time for Pupster’s 40th birthday.

Dude. Lemme buya drink. It was meant to be.

Here. You can watch the Star’s reporter do the toe if you like. Mmmmm-mmmm!

April 16, 2007 — 8:00 am
Comments: 14

Pupster: come out with your hands up. It’s all over.


Happy birthday to you.
I understand that you’re blue.
Well, you damn well oughta be,
Because it’s all over, Dog.

Today is Pupster’s 40th birthday. I hear he’s a little down about it — quite rightly. This is forty we’re talking here. The big Four Oh. Basically, all his hopes and dreams are dead and we’re just waiting for the undertaker to come cart them away.

So why not wander on over to his blog and wish him a happy birthday while we’re waiting. Or, you know, steal stuff or pee on the carpet or whatever. He’s old. He won’t notice.

He’s liveblogging the occasion. I’m going. I hear there’s booze. And bitter regrets.


— 4:12 am
Comments: 2

Friday, April 13


If I call this an open thread, does it count as a post?
Because, ladies and gentlemen, I am done.

comments closed on account of spambots

April 13, 2007 — 5:21 pm
Comments: 24

It burns, burns, burns


“So many prominent things and prominent people in American history took place in that house — everyone from Billy Graham to Bob Dylan went into that house,” said singer Marty Stuart, who lives next door and was married to Cash’s daughter, Cindy, in the 1980s.

And me! Weasel! I’ve been in that house!

Johnny Cash’s house. Burned to the ground yesterday in Hendersonville, Tennessee. It was a big wooden wagon wheel of a place on Caudill Drive, sticking out of a cliff face overlooking Old Hickory Lake.

Braxton Dixon, locally famous architect, built it for himself, and Cash managed to wheedle it away from him. I remember my mother saying he had to mow his roof. Looking at the pictures (the BEFORE pictures), that doesn’t look right. Maybe it was a joke. Or maybe they changed the roofline at some point. Anyhow, the funky design surely made fighting the fire all but impossible.

It was no big. We weren’t best buds or anything. My family lived in the same general area for a few years and were part of the same general cocktail party circuit.

I was an eight year old knucklehead and I don’t recall a whole lot about it. The thing I remember most vividly about the house itself was the bathroom: it had a small reproduction of Rodin’s The Thinker in it. That was a sophisticated and amusing note, and therefore June Carter must’ve done it, because Johnny was a sweet man but dumb as a stump.

I will forever think of this piece as The Constipated Guy.

And now you will, too.

April 12, 2007 — 12:32 pm
Comments: 27


I know some of Drudge‘s juxtapositions are deliberate, like setting global warming stories alongside record cold snap stories. But even he doesn’t control the dials and levers of fate.

Anybody else amused to see the headline about Imus losing his MSNBC gig for using the expression “nappy headed ho’s” is dominated by a picture of this woman, an actual NHH? >>>>

No, me neither. Because some day, I dream of working for MSNBC.

Oh, like you don’t.

— 6:59 am
Comments: 4