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ROUND FIVE: finally!

deadpoolFinally! It took five months for that last poor bastard to die, but Sockless Joe wins it with good ol’ Al Haig. Joe seemed as happy as a man with two dicks.

Right! The rules:

1. Pick a celebrity. Any celebrity at all, though I reserve the right to nix picks I never heard of.

2. We start from scratch every time. No matter who you had last time, you have to turn up and pick again. Poaching happens!

3. Your first choice is the one that sticks. Choose wisely!

4. The new DeadPool begins the Friday after the next honoree kicks the bucket.

5. You can play for bragging rights alone, but if you want the fabulous prize, you have to trust me with a mailing address. Packages go by slow boat and typically take eight to ten weeks and arrive looking hungover.

And the fabulous prize? Naturally, it’s a double helping of Aunty’s spotted dick! They’re microwavable!

Yeah, I ate the one in the bowl. I bought a bunch of it and, when nobody died, I figured I’d better learn to love dick. Not bad, actually.

So, step up! Strangers, first-timers and noobs welcome. If I can lure you guys with dick jokes, I don’t know what the world is coming to.

February 26, 2010 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 254

Barack Obama, Sooper Genius

Ed Morrissey picked this as his Obamateurism of the day, so it’s not like it isn’t getting attention. But I’m so utterly, breath-takingly stonking gobsmacked, I just have to repost it. Video here.

When I was young, just got out of college, I had to buy auto insurance. I had a beat-up old car. And I won’t name the name of the insurance company, but there was a company — let’s call it Acme Insurance in Illinois. And I was paying my premiums every month. After about six months I got rear-ended and I called up Acme and said, I’d like to see if I can get my car repaired, and they laughed at me over the phone because really this was set up not to actually provide insurance; what it was set up was to meet the legal requirements. But it really wasn’t serious insurance.

Now, it’s one thing if you’ve got an old beat-up car that you can’t get fixed. It’s another thing if your kid is sick, or you’ve got breast cancer.

The President of the United States doesn’t know the difference between liability insurance and collision coverage? He doesn’t know that liability coverage is the only kind that is legally required? He doesn’t know that comprehensive insurance would have been a LOT more expensive — more than a beat up old car is worth? He doesn’t know if the other guy rear-ended him, he had a claim on the other guy’s insurance?

And to this day he obviously doesn’t know it. He (generously, he thinks) declines to name the insurance company, because he thinks they were wrong to laugh at him. He is incapable of processing a basic, grownup point of information I’d expect any kid on his own for the first time to grasp right away.

This guy really was an affirmative action hire, wasn’t he?

— 2:21 pm
Comments: 35

I am so not shitting you

And by “not shitting you” I mean “nobody in this house is allowed to take a shit for the foreseeable future.”

This is our weather forecast as is, was and ever shall be. Have I mentioned the moat?

Okay, it’s not really a moat. We just call it that. It used to be part of a network of drainage ditches that served to control runoff from the farm and pasture lands around us. Now many of them are cutoff and stand alone. Filling with water.

Filling and filling and filling.

Our sewage empties into it. Only, we don’t have a boring old septic system. We have a complex, computer-controlled shit processing factory. And the water level is now within five inches of the outlet.

God knows what happens if the water overtops the outlet. I’m guessing the central computer sings “Bicycle Built for Two” while attempting to shut down our life support systems. Stay tuned!

TOMORROW COMES THE DEAD POOL. I’m going to set it up to auto-post at 6pm Zulu Time. That’s 1pm on the East Coast and 10am on the Left Coast. Remember, no matter who you had before, it all starts again fresh — you have to show up and pick again. Let’s see if we can’t bring BlueHost to its knees!

February 25, 2010 — 10:03 pm
Comments: 18

Cussing works!

My departure from the States was messy. Selling up and moving to a whole ‘nother country is like that. To make sure I had stuff covered during the transition, I didn’t cancel any accounts before I left. I took my last copy of all my bills, made a big pot of coffee and sat down to cancel them once I was safely on the other side.

That’s when I discovered that 800 numbers don’t work from the UK.

Well, they ring. But the bit where you input your account number using the keypad, or press a number for which department you want…that doesn’t take. And that’s often the very first thing you hit on the way in, so you can’t get past it to a human being.

That’s when I discovered that a whole lotta companies ONLY give you an 800 number these days.

No mailing address, no customer service email. Just a phone number. I feel sure that’s a breach of some consumer protection legislation somewhere, but there you go.

That’s when I discovered the ‘fuck you’ exemption.

Guess what? Many voice recognition systems have been programmed to recognize bad language. If you get frustrated and start shouting wirty-dords down the line, you’ll get connected to a human being, pronto. I learned to explode with profanity the moment I came up against a robot voice. I hope somebody’s grandma wasn’t “monitoring the call for quality control.”

It worked for all of them but Checkfree, my bill paying service. Bastards have been leeching five bucks a month out of my account for a year — which I can ill afford, but five bucks, you think, “oh, screw…I’ll work it out before next month.” No, I haven’t worked it out, but I did find an email for them tonight, so we’ll see.

I just wanted to share the thing about the cussing, in case you find it useful. I’m all about the household fucking hints up in here.

February 24, 2010 — 6:43 pm
Comments: 24

Okay, this post has a title now — happy, Gromulin?

Check this out. I make that three 24-inch computer monitors and a thirty-inch television. Behind him. Where he can’t even see it.

Oh, yeah…the fat fuck in the middle is Al Gore.

You know, I have a brand new 23-inch monitor, and I find I can watch a movie, surf the web and do Photoshop on it, all at one time, no problemo. And if I believed CO2 emissions were swiftly destroying the whole fucking planet, I could probably do it on a 15-inch monitor. Or, even more convincing, not at all.

The picture? From Time magazine‘s 2007 profile of Gore, from when they made him Man of the Year. And how did I find it? Al uses it in the sidebar of his own blog.

Yeah, see, that’s what gets me. I expect the hypocrisy — I expect celebrity boneheads to live like gods while scolding me about the lavishness of my pretty damned modest lifestyle. But I am always stunned — every single TIME — that they don’t even realize there’s an issue there.

Al thinks it’s a really cool picture that makes him look all science-y and super-smart and stuff, with the stacks of paper and the globe and, like, FOUR monitors and shit! And the fact he’s a giant useless electricity suck who got rich warning other people to cut back on electricity or we’re all gonna DIE…just does not compute.

My old mother used to say, it’s like taking the back off the television and explaining the innards to the dog.

February 23, 2010 — 5:40 pm
Comments: 39

Dressing for the unserious

Did you see this? A group of Palestinians — during their regularly scheduled weekly protest, no less — paraded around dressed up like those blue things from Avatar. In some of the images, they had the little tails and pointy ears and bows ‘n’ arrows and everything.


Does this mean they watch 3D blockbusters in the camps? Or is there some Rachel Corrie type Westerner in the background telling them, “paint yourselves blue and you’ll, like, totally pwn!”

Or, taking this to the logical conclusion, are they waiting for a sympathetic Jew to come along and lead them to victory against Israel?

February 22, 2010 — 6:31 pm
Comments: 11

Congratulations Sockless Joe!

At last, one of the inconsiderate bastards on the list has died. Sockless Joe had Alexander Haig in the deadpool, and Al will not be down for breakfast. Joe, if you want the precious spotted dick, drop me a line with a snailmail address.

If you don’t, I don’t blame you. Last thing you need is Uncle B and me showing up unannounced at your door to mooch.

Thanks to Janna for noticing Al had fallen off the perch. Hold that thought on your pick, though, please. Since it’s free for all and first come, first served, I think I’ll institute a new tradition — we’ll start a new deadpool THE FRIDAY AFTER THE LAST ONE CONCLUDES. Okay? So that’s next Friday. I can set it up to auto-post.

What time of day is fairest for all?

Remember, it’s for another fabulous spotted dick!

February 20, 2010 — 1:00 pm
Comments: 20

Happy b-day, P’shop!

Adobe Photoshop turns twenty today. And, oh, what fun we have had!

Actually, the image editing system I learned on predated Photoshop by several years. Several years was a millenimum in early computing days; desktop computers couldn’t do shit in 1987. They certainly couldn’t do shit graphically. But my machine was stuffed full of a hundred grand worth of special bits and it could do shit. The image editing software it ran gave P’shop a run for its money for years.

An important part of my job in those days was a sort of vaudeville routine where I demo’ed that big boy for clients in real-time. So they’d know what a righteous, bad-ass research and engineering firm we were.

Can you remember a time when people said things like, “photos don’t lie” (and really believed it) and Leisure Suit Larry was a cutting edge computer game? Well, that’s when I was taking snapshots with a video frame grabber, lassoing bits and moving them around before a customer’s very eyes.

You shoulda seen their faces! (Particularly after I erased their noses and replaced them with supplemental eyes). Many thought it was some kind of trick we were playing with video. Computers couldn’t do things like that!

Anyhow, I know I’ve told all my war stories before (blogger’s privilege, telling them again). Happy birthday, P’shop — and here’s to the next amazing technology nobody ever saw coming.

February 19, 2010 — 6:55 pm
Comments: 20

Oh, now they’re just trying it on…

Laughing at place names is immigrant’s delight — I did it in Rhode Island, too. Come to think of it, I did it in Tennessee, and the Weasel family were founding members.

But, honestly, Tickle Cock bridge? Yes, it was so named for the obvious reason. It’s a local makeout spot, apparently, though it doesn’t look very romantic to moi. When the council discreetly put up a plaque designating it “Tittle Cott Bridge” a local geriatric support group, Voice for the Elderly, howled and waved their walkers about and threw tapioca until they changed it back again. Really.

Unlike the four families who live on Butt Hole Road, who took up a collection to change the name to Archer Way. They didn’t so much mind continually replacing the sign, it was the snapshot-posers that got to them.

For your enjoyment, the thirty rudest place names in Britain.

I notice they don’t include Pratt’s Bottom. I still want to have tea there some day.

February 18, 2010 — 7:44 pm
Comments: 22

How sweasel posts are born

So Uncle B says, “what’s the temperature?” stabbing at the coal fire with a long poker.
“Seventy six,” I say, consulting my therm-O-meter.
UB: hums a few bars of “Seventy-Six Trombones.”
Me: he sure was gay, that guy. The Music Man guy.
UB: was he?
Me: I don’t know.
UB: what’s his name? I can’t picture him.
Me: <heading to Wikipedia>
Me: Robert Preston. And — ZOMG! — he’s the Go You Chicken Fat guy!!!

Go You Chicken Fat. If you’re American and something between, oh, forty and sixty, you’ll know what that means. If you’re not…

In 1956, responding to a report that European children were fitter than American Children, President Eisenhower established the President’s Council on Youth Fitness. Which is still going, as the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. God knows what they do.

Anyhow, the main deal was, they established a physical fitness test comprised of five activities. The current ones are: curl-ups or partial curl-ups, shuttle run, endurance run/walk, pull-ups or right angle push-ups, and V-sit or sit and reach. I don’t know how they compare to the test when I was a lass — I’m not even sure what some of those things are — but I remember the mile walk/run, push ups, sit ups and chinning on the bar.

I mean, I remember that a chin-up was part of the test. I don’t actually remember doing one. I do not believe I have successfully lifted my chin above anything by the strength of my arms ever, in my whole life.

My school made us take the damn thing every year. If you made above the 85 percentile on all five tasks compared to the other kids in the country, you were eligible for the President’s Physical Fitness Award. If you made above the 50 percentile on all five, you were eligible for The National Physical Fitness Award. And if you made it through the test at all, you were eligible for The Participant Physical Fitness Award.

I really think there should have been an additional “Shoot the Moon Award” for mongs like me, who failed all five components. Year after year. I was a tall, wormy, bookish, proto-Goth kid and I had smoked since I was, like, a fetus. You couldn’t make me run a mile if you roped me to a trailer hitch.

In 1961, Robert Preston and Meredith Willson (who wrote The Music Man) were asked to write and record a song to help children prepare for the test. The result was the intensely trippy Go You Chicken Fat, Go!. The most complete YouTube version I can find is here (notice what skinny little weeds all the 1960s kids in the pictures are).

The lyrics are like,

Push up
Every morning
Ten times.
Push up
Starting low.
Once more on the rise.
Nuts to the flabby guys!
Go, you chicken fat, go away!
Go, you chicken fat, go!

It became a surprise novelty hit. They were still using it for Phys Ed a decade and more later, when I was in school.

My PE teacher in Middle School was a little four-foot nothing red-headed fireplug of a woman with (thank christ for my sake) a kindly heart. After she watched me huffing and grunting and pulling on the chinning bar for a while, she leaned in and whispered, “you’re going to be a lovely tall woman when you grow up.”

Sweet. Wrong, but sweet.

As far as I’m aware, Robert Preston was not gay.

February 17, 2010 — 7:05 pm
Comments: 29