28 September 2011

Johnny Depp Disguise Kit

After a careful series of tests, the world is ready for the super-secret Johnny Depp disguise kit.

Here is a picture of present-day Johnny Depp to establish a baseline:

Below, a young Johnny Depp to establish utility in disguising other Johnny Depps:

Still good. Now let's go nuts.

Johnny Deppley, Johnny Depp's co-star from the Pirates movies.

Popular actress Johnny Deppschanel.

The rare Johnny Deppberry.

Johnny Depper.

Johnny Deppen Forty Seven.

Dooney & Depp

I believe I have proved, within reasonable doubt, that this is a foolproof disguise for turning any person or item into Johnny Depp.

300 ppi .png file on transparent background for use in Depping.
Now go forth and Depp!

Pest Control

If you've ever talked to someone who's had an encounter with an opossum they probably called it a possum. I will also call it a possum.

Possums are terrifying night-scavengers with pointy teeth.

If they were a creature from a Russian fairy tale they would pluck the tongues from children who told lies.

Instead, they root through your garbage and startle you when it's dark outside. The best way to handle them is via laser whip but since you've usually left that in your night stand, making noise or throwing rocks to startle them may work as well.

Why did you buy it if you're never going to use it?

If you have a persistent possum problem then you've just noticed how good I am at alliteration. You may also want to invest in fox urine granules, available in 20 oz., 3 lb. and 12 lb. sizes. The granules should rid you of those pesky possums but the scent of fox urine may attract other, larger predators to your home. This may includes coyotes, bobcats or depending on your local geography, timberwolves.

You'd have to live pretty far north.

With your new wolf problems you may find yourself needing a harder-hitting predator to clear the area. Bear urine should do the trick and you'll quickly find your home free of possums, foxes, wolves and friends.

Do not substitute synthetic bear urine with synthetic motor oil when servicing your car.

While wolves may think twice before coming around, you'll find you now have a rather large bear problem. Bears don't have any natural predators - but an unnatural predator's urine can be obtained to chase them away.

Obviously I'm talking about dinosaurs.

If Eric Kirby from Jurassic Park III is not available to collect T-Rex urine, you may have to improvise.

Then, to wrap-up this ridiculous game of animal urine one-upsmanship you'll need a beneficial predator (like bats, if you had mosquitos) to keep your T-Rex infestation in check. I recommend the Great White Hunter.

The most commonly available Great White Hunter is Muldoon from Jurassic Park -- although he may be engaged in a battle of wits and unavailable.

You may also want to consider the bad guy from Jumanji.

His name is Van Pelt and no, I haven't used too many pictures already.

Now that your predators are under control your only remaining concern will be guys with ridiculous accents and giant guns wandering around your property.

You can keep them in check by making a few modifications to a basic deer feeder:

I don't know. Were their accents even Australian?

You may now go on about your life content in knowing that an unceasing slaughter-circle of wealthy hunters, dinosaurs, bears, foxes and possums will be occurring around you at all times.

27 September 2011

Man's Greatest Discovery

It can be stated, without hyperbole, that man's greatest discovery is The Bag
The bag is the one thing that separates us from the foul, stinking ape-men from which we evolved.

Travel, if you dare, to a world without bags.

Your journey begins at the airport. Without bags, we'd feverishly pull fistfulls of clothing from our trunk before the shuttle pulled away. Once on board, we'd find similarly harried passengers with great armloads of travel clothes and toiletries trying in vain to balance themselves without the benefits of poles or grips. 'Cause they can't use their hands on account of they're full of clothes.

The plane itself would be worse! Each overhead bin would be like unto a giant, shared washing machine overfilled with clean clothes. De-embarking would involving yanking your undergarments out of the bin while trying not to let everyone else's fall to the floor. Rates of airplane-related panty theft would skyrocket.

The odds of arriving at your destination with your orginal set of clothing would be slim, at best.

Without the benefit of bags we'd find our yards strewn with garbage, having no suitable way to contain and compartmentalize it. We would be under contstant attack from pickers and hoarders who, not using bags anyway, would see the world as some sort of vast Golden Corral of broken lamps and old computer desks.

Without bags, how would we move the books we don't read from one apartment to another?

Every sharp turn or sudden stop would be followed by the hollow metallic THUMP of 100 loose college textbooks and Stephen King novels slamming against the sides of your rented U-Haul. Imagine the fees! Once you've arrived you'd have no way to store the books you're not reading. You'd have to throw them in the attic without even pretending you'll get them back down, space permitting.

Blood donation would be an unrelenting nightmare. The less said about it, the better.

Except that there would be blood everywhere and in a world without bags, there would be no Capri Sun to help you re-balance your blood glucose levels. You would faint in a pool of everyone's blood.

The bag itself is a miracle. If I take a quarter inch cube of plastic and attempt to balance my groceries on it, I would surely fail. Unless I was buying bouillion cubes - I may see a measure of success there.

If I take that same amount of plastic and blow it into a loose bag shape, imagine how many Lunchables it would hold. It would surely hold inside of it many more Lunchables than I could stack on top of it.

The bag can be used to hold other bags - making it a sort of cornucopia of storage. A horn of plenty that dispenses things to be made into horns of plenty. Each bag can contain more bags and so on and so forth. The bag is the closest thing man will come to clutching infinity.

So let's sing the praises of The Bag, without which we would find our arms constantly full and our flour, sugar and coffee beans just completely spilled everywhere.

23 September 2011

Nothin' Today!


Except, I am working on a super-secret Johnny Depp disguise kit.

Don't tell anyone.

21 September 2011

Conflict Resolution

Having recently written about effective punching -- and given the title of the blog -- one might make me out to be some kind of opposite-of-pacifist.

Quite contrarily I live in the world and I understand that you can't solve all your problems with fists.

With that in mind, I present below three non-punching ways to resolve conflicts.

These are presented in order of increasing violence.

Box Jump

Philosophers of morality maintain that might makes right. You can use this to your advantage by showing your might and accordingly, how right you are.

The box jump expresses, very specifically, how high you can jump on something from a dead stop. It's useful for reaching high places (like a snooty concierge's desk) without using your hands (because they're full of Cirque du Soleil brochures).

A successful box jump ends with a very satisfying and authoritative stomp when you stick the landing. Be sure there's nothing fragile (like the concierge's keyboard) in your landing zone or you're guaranteed to smash it to pieces. This can be considered a "feature" of box-jumping onto things like desks, computers and telephones.

The post-stomp result is an end to whatever argument you were just having, with your victory having been agreed upon unanimously based on your apparent might.

The above video shows excellent box jumping technique onto a nearly four foot high platform from the seated position. Execution of the box jump from a chair can be handy if you sense that your job interview is going poorly and you need to decisively end it.

Drop Kick

The drop kick has successfully been employed by professional wrestlers for several decades. It is ineffective in that it ends with you falling to the ground, but very effective in that you look like a badass when you do it. Looking awesome is almost as important as being awesome and a drop kick is a good way to do both.

A drop kick is not a punt. For many years I thought it was; punting is useful only for sending small items (like the concierge's walkie-talkie) long distances (like across the hotel atrium).

Execution of a drop kick begins with a running leap. Your body should be horizontal when your feet connect with the concierge's face (so damn snooty!) and you knock him out of his chair. Be prepared for a hard landing.

Also be prepared to make that landing look like it doesn't hurt because the rest of the hotel guests will be watching, aghast, at the magnificent violence occcuring in and around the Guest Services area and you'll want to make sure that they think you look cool.

The drop kick is useful when intimidation has failed, but you aren't ready to escalate the situation to full-scale felonious assault.

Godzilla is employing a few advanced techniques here, including magic power enabled flight. Note, however, that he is back on his feet immediately. This is an important thing to remember for drop kicks of any stripe.

Axe Kick

The axe kick comes into play when both implied and theatrical violence have failed.

It may be appropriate to use the axe kick if you have still failed to get tickets to Zumanity, in spite of having subdued several members of the hotel staff and security has been notified.

The axe kick takes advantage of the heel's ability to concentrates the force of your strike into a smaller area. This principal of focused pressure is the same reason why being stepped on by a regular shoe is simply called "getting trampled escaping the hotel lobby" and being stepped on with a stiletto heel is called "an erotic thrill".

The axe kick also takes advantage of several large muscle groups acting in concert. Your posterior chain - and hamstring specifically - will be stretched like a rubber band at the apex of your kick.

That stretch will help you snap your heel down with tremendous force, like some kind of deadly spring loaded swinging thing.

Look exactly like this guy on the left and you've done it correctly.

If the hotel security guard was not expecting an Axe Kick to the face, he may then expect to be rendered unconscious. If the kick is delivered to a prone enemy - such as one who has recently been knocked unconscious - then you may wish to prepare yourself for the reality of having delivered a fatal strike.

If you have delivered a killing blow via axe kick, your feet should end approximately shoulder-width apart and your body will come to rest in a position outside of Nevada and preferably somewhere closer to Juarez where you can hide out for a long time.

Ignoring the soundtrack and focusing on the kicks, it's clear that this technique is viciously effective in addition to being lightning quick. Unexpected, even by the most hardened hotel manager.


You will, hopefully, reconsider resorting to your fists when presented with a tricky situation.

19 September 2011

Leave A Message

I grew up in an era where we had machines that answered the phone for us.

In retrospect it was a despicable thing to do but at the time we didn't know any better. It simply was.

Answering machines were a given in any household because the alternative was letting the phone ring forever. As I understand, that's why so many missing persons cases in pre-answering machine times ended when searchers found a seated skeleton holding a phone up to its ear.

"Wrong number," the police would conclude.

But just as phone-related deaths plummeted with the advent of the answering machine, so too did answering machine purchases plummet with the advent of voicemail. Probably, but almost definitely.

Pressing fast forward to today (and then hitting rewind for a second because we overshot it) I realize that I don't remember how answering machines work. I mean, if I had one, plus the instructions from the box (or maybe just the labeled jacks on the back of the machine) I could probably figure out how to make it work.

What I'm saying is, I don't understand the underlying technology. How did it know when to pick up? How did it count the rings? It must have had a microphone on it somewhere, right?

I don't even know anymore.

Like many things from that time, that tiny cassette tapes were involved. And there was probably an in and an out jack for the phone lines.

Beyond that though... I really can't say. And, I would rather leave some mystery in something that I could easily resolve with a cursory search of the internet instead of cynically tossing it in the bin labeled "shit I know about".

Probably I should know how an answering machine works, though. Just as a matter of principle.

16 September 2011

How To Throw A Punch

Prior to the invention of John Wayne, humankind was unclear as to how to punch properly. In fact, many punches were actually thrown with the feet and called "kicks".

John Wayne introduced several key concepts to the world of punching: Telegraphy, The Windup, and the One-Hit Knockout. These techniques have been heavily documented through John Wayne's cinematic efforts.

Without these innovations, many barroom brawls and punch-fights would carry on indefinitely. Victory would only occur when one or more parties collapsed from exhaustion or succumbed to the twin sisters of scurvy and starvation.

The keys to throwing a punch are outlined below and when followed to the letter, will ensure glory in battle.

The Telegraph

Telegraphing a punch is important. Before the discovery of the telegraph in olden times, people had to write each other letters of intent prior to punches being thrown. This was ineffective and often led fighters to fall back on other means of conflict resolution like matched dueling pistols or mediation through an ombudsman.

The telegraph changed the worlds of communication and fighting at the speed of information.

Now, in the presence of a metaphor for something sent quickly, punch-recipients suddenly had precious few seconds to prepare for a punch. A telegraphed punch arrived relatively quickly. This stood in stark contrast to the time when this information was carried via horseback and, unless the courier delivered the punch personally, gave the victim several days to properly ready themselves.

With telegrams becoming increasingly rare these days, telegraphing a punch is actually an abstract concept and does not involve a telegraph operator. It does involve an elaborate cocking back of the fist, leaning back and getting a mean look on your face. Telegraphing your intent (to punch) strikes fear into the heart(s) of your opponent(s) and in many cases, obviates the need for conflict by making them flee in terror.

This is similar to "tipping your hand" in poker. By letting everyone else at the table know that you have very good cards, they will often hand their money to you in despair without attempting to gamble for it. In either case you've gained the upper hand. Your enemy knows just how badly you want to punch them and they have a rough idea of what hand will be delivering the punch. They'll imagine that getting hit with that fist they see over there will hurt and they'll imagine that it's probably headed for their face, which is undesirable. Wanting to avoid getting punched in the face will put an end to 80% of your potential brawls before they start.

The Windup

Before being outlawed by the Geneva Convention, vast armies of punching robots were deployed as a last result in many of history's worst wars. Lacking reliable, portable sources of electricity it was determined that these robots be powered by energy stored in a wound-up spring. This technology would later find its way into smaller wind-up robots, proving that many of our greatest innovations have come from military technology.

In spite of military grade punching-robots being banned and launched into space via primitive rockets, the notion of "winding up" a punch persisted among human fighters and has proven to be invaluable. As the robo-punch derives its energy from the powerful steel coil contained within, so too does the human punch derive its power from an overly dramatic winding motion.

After having telegraphed a punch appropriately, the windup is the key to putting force behind your punch. The first step is to cock your fist as far back as it will go. Do not straighten your arm behind your head. That would describe the beginning of a windmill attack (suitable for engaging multiple enemies) and is beyond the scope of this article. Once cocked, you may add additional power to your punch by physically moving your fist around in a winding motion, clockwise. This circular winding motion helps slow down the pace of the fight and ensure that when you do finally punch your foe, you will be delivering the very punch they've been dreading since they received your telegram.

If you've wound your punch up appropriately then you will likely move on to the next section without effort.

The One-Hit Knockout

The goal of any proper fight is victory. If you do not accomplish this by telegraphing your blow and winding up your punch, then you will assuredly achieve it when your punch connects.

Historically, punch-dueling was conducted on a raised wooden platform in the town square. A circle was inscribed on the platform and the winner of the duel was decided by whomever successfully avoided being knocked out of the circle. The goal, of course, was to accomplish this in as gentlemanly a manner as possible. That meant a modicum of punches, with the most fashionable number being one. While this style of fighting has largely fallen out of favor, the concept and language of the "knock-out" persist to this day.

To the uninitiated, it may seem very difficult to render a man unconscious with one punch. While true, it is relatively easy to accomplish when fighting children and a sure thing when the Telegraph and Wind-Up have been employed.

As stated previously, the Wind-Up gives you time to breathe and assess the situation. You must take this time to locate your enemy's glass jaw. This will frequently be located in the jaw area but may occasionally be located in the nose or cheek. You'll know you've found the glass jaw when, after having punched someone there, they crumple in a heap on the ground. Depending on how much time you spent winding up your punch it is not unusual for your opponent's feet to leave the ground and/or for them to fly backwards through the air.

Note: If someone flies towards you through the air after being punched, then they are Count Dracula and you should not be fighting them.

Proper punching technique will end with your fist well past your opponent's face and afford you sufficient time to glower. While glowering, you may ensure that you have indeed knocked your opponent out.

You would do well to not have to attempt the Telegraph, Wind-Up and One-Hit Knockout again with the same opponent.

Helpful Tips

While the three techniques above are essentially as good as a guarantee for success you may find the following tips useful, depending on the situation.

Grabbing your opponent by the collar, necktie or bandana can be incorporated into the telegraphing portion of the punch. This helps you place your punch on target.

Assuming that you are fighting men (or children) who have received the same training, you may find that ducking under, leaning back from, stepping to the side of or simply raising your arm may be enough to deflect your opponent's attempt at a One-Hit Knockout. Keep this strategy to yourself.

If the opponent is "fighting dirty", they may grab you by the collar, necktie or bandana. You can break free from this by briefly struggling. Struggling will demonstrate your willingness to not be punched and your enemy will relent and let go of your collar. They will likely be disheartened by this and you'll be afforded sufficient time for the Telegraph, Wind-Up and One-Hit Knockout.

If you witness an enemy who does not employ any of the methodology discussed above, do not engage in combat. An enemy such as this, who is almost certainly a Communist or possibly a vampire, may punch you in the ribs, kidneys, stomach, temple or other non-jaw areas. These punches will be painful, you may not receive advance warning and they will likely come in rapid succession with a tremendous violence of action. They will also attempt to "block" your punch, possibly through holding their hands loosely in front of or near their face and head. Such an enemy is utterly without honor and likely something of an asskicker.


While punching has been around since Man has had fists, it has only been since the early, mid and late twentieth century that the modern form of the punch has been studied and documented. For further research,  look into the fighting styles of Capt. James T. Kirk, Dr. "Indy" Indiana Jones or the earlier exploits of OSS special agent James Bond.

14 September 2011

Choose Your Own Property Name

Some* would say that the best part about our soaring metropoles is the creeping suburban sprawl snaking out from their centers like burst capillaries in a bloodshot eye.

That's true.

Furthermore, the best part about suburban sprawl (which if you're keeping track makes it the best of the best or "Top Gun" of human civilization) is the strip mall. You may know it as a shopping center or "centre" if you're fancy.

The shopping center is the cornerstone of any unremarkable neighborhood. If we lacked a central place to shop -- a shopping center -- then where would we get our clothes dry-cleaned? Where would we buy our comic books or our pool cleaning supplies?

We wouldn't. We'd be driven into the city like feral dogs and we would die in the street. Spawn of the Sprawl are not equipped to handle buildings taller than two stories, one way streets or homeless people.

We would fruitlessly search for a tailor until the blood in our veins thickened and we died, thirsty and insensate. Now dead, no one will be there to hose down our boats when we return from boating or fret over HOA fees. Humanity must make way for the new apex predator (land sharks? bears?) because it has failed to get its shirts taken in and its pants hemmed.

Rather than permitting this doomsday scenario we turn to the strip mall. Strip malls are constructed in a modular fashion like prison cells; each storefront is purpose-built offsite and lowered into place by a crane. This makes it easy to mix and match the needs of the developer and quickly fill their acreage.

If no type is specified, storefronts are left empty with a "FOR LEASE" sign stuck to the inside of the front door. This accounts for at least half of the units produced.

The rest of the shops are often the "dry cleaner", "nail salon" or "DONUT" models. Like a game of chess, you get a free space in the middle of the board with no numbers on it. This free space is often a restaurant or some kind of out-of-date, overly specific retailer.

I love chess.

Often you'll find a VCR repair shop inexplicably still in business, a doll hospital or a catheter supply store in this free space.

When the cranes are done dropping stores into place you can stand back and admire your work. You've created something here. You've drawn order from chaos. You're a god.

Something is still missing and it gnaws at you.

The very thing that distinguishes shopping centres from each other is also the thing that makes them all hopelessly identical: the name.

Someone, somewhere, is selling square footage to an entrepeneur with a really great frozen yogurt store and they need to tell them something besides:

"It's the one by the gas station on the corner. With the nail salon."


"Yeah, the other one."

Strip malls need to sound like they're something substantial and important. So, people like to give them fancy names.

These names are often nonsense and basically interchangeable. Let me come up with a few off the top of my head:

"Towne Centre Crossing"

"Creekbridge Plaza at Magnolia"

"Plaza Creek Bridgecross on Magnolia Center"

You'll notice the third one basically just combined elements of the first two. Wonderful for you to have noticed that and please remember it. You'll need it a little further down. There's only a few rules that you need to make your strip mall sound plausible. After that, all bets are off.

It must contain a metaphor or grandiose adjective for what it is. It's not just a strip mall. It's a destination. With that in mind, you must include one of the following (or a variant) as the foundation. This will serve as the axle to which we'll attach the many spokes of the shopping centre wheel:

  • Corner
  • Plaza
  • Centre (extra points for British English)
  • Crossing
  • Shoppes
  • Market
  • Square
  • Circle

Now unless you were a very, very pretentious real estate developer and you simply wanted to call your place "Centre" (also, you're an asshole) then you'll need one to two more pieces. The first acts like an adverb. Make up something full of artifice that sounds vaguely geographical and old money and you'll be on the right track:

  • Twin Rivers
  • Meadowbrookview
  • Mesa Flats
  • Hilltowne
  • Riverham
  • Fieldholme
  • Dry Creek
  • Foxhunt
  • Any fucking word you want. Really.  

Okay so now we have enough words to mash together and create a new shopping center: 

"Twin Rivers Corner"

That's so fucking easy. You just finished "Naming Conventions 301" (it's a three-day a week class plus lab, sucks) and you're ready to wrap things up after you get the rest of your Gen Ed out of the way.

You can optionally precede the name with "The".  This is important because it can make it sound like the only place the consumer can go to get a sandwich from Subway. Let's pick the next two names on the lists and add the all important article to the front:

"The Meadowbrookview Plaza"

That's pretty good! I would definitely take my shoes there to be re-soled.

All that's left to really class things up is to give your strip mall that Shakespearean, Stratford-Upon-Avon vibe. That is, you need a preposition (at or in are fine) and a name of some kind. A city's usually good but in a pinch you can go with a street name or an intersection. Moving down the list we get two more:

"The Mesa Flats Centre at Stoneybrook"
"Hilltowne Crossing on Main St."

I want to buy discount cigarettes and/or lottery tickets at both of those places very badly. 

With these foundations laid you can riff on shopping center names all day long and irritate your friends.  If you do it long enough, anything sounds like it could be a name. Let me do two with things I see:

"Beer Bottle Scissors at Paperweight Globe"
"Razor Blade Camera on Eraser Skull"

Actually, now that I hear fake names totally stripped of context they kind of have a pleasant rhythm to them. Like naming a show dog.

This dog's name is Fireside's Spontaneous Combustion and it wishes it was one of those dogs that got hoarded instead.. 

PROTIP: If you're lazy you can substitute your street name or intersection for the adjectival portion of the name. So, "The Levee Square on Main St." can just be "Main Street Square". As I said, that's only if you're lazy and/or you suck.

I could do this all fucking day, at the expense of my health and sanity. I challenge you to do the same.


12 September 2011

Crown Fucking Jewel

I recently had the pleasure of renting a car.

To be clear, nothing about the experience was pleasurable except for the part where they told me all they had left were Crown Victorias.

I performed a quick knife-hand strike to the clerk's throat so he wouldn't ruin the moment with any more words, grabbed my keys and ran outside.

There it sat.

The bland exterior oozed sex and power and kill and fuck. I could picture its uninspired lines and long wheelbase cutting a wide, comfortable swath through any who would oppose me. I was staring at a live power cable. The air was thick with ozone and I could faintly see blue sparks dancing about its exterior.

This car that stood before me, quivering with anticipation, was cast from liquid energy and poured into a mold made of power.

That power was mine to control.


The trunk was easily big enough hold an entire mobile meth lab with room for two more in case one explodes. It swallowed my luggage whole and practically begged to be filled with bodies.

It would later go on to hold several bodies.

It drove like two couches strapped to an engine and held together with swagger. After rigging up a rope and zip-line system I was able to reach the passenger side of the vehicle comfortably and the round trip took less than two minutes.

This proved tricky on curves but was otherwise a successful maneuver on long stretches of straight road.

Everything inside was wrapped in leather and unremarkable styling that belied its monster-spirit within.

Also, it had armrests.

Between the power driver-side seat, the automatic headlights and the cruise control, I felt like the car must have arrived from the future, Terminator-like, in a ball of energy specifically to carry out its murder mission of comfortably carrying me to and from my destination.

Mission accomplished.

A pleasing feature resulting from being wrapped in so much steel and capacious luxury was the cavernous gas tank. It was large enough to empty one full gas station and required that I spend a king's ransom pumping the machine with distilled dinosaur-blood.

I also believe that driving a Crown Victoria allows you to blow through stop lights and speed. This belief resulted in a brief stint in county jail but I think that was a simple misunderstanding on the part of  local gendarmerie. I'll bring a light bar next time and I expect I won't have any problems.

The Crown Victoria gets a BBB+ rating and I would definitely rent it again. The only thing keeping it from 100% perfection was its inability to travel faster than light and awkwardly placed cup-holders.

09 September 2011


People like to use words incorrectly.

When that happens, a different group of people likes to make a lot of noise about how they used the word incorrectly.

I tend to fall into the ladder of the two groups.

(Pause for reaction.)

Not only are people using real words incorrectly, they've been given the luxury of inventing words which are subsequently misused. It's a little irritating. English, being what it is, makes it easy to tack a suffix onto a word and create a new one as if by magic.

Alcohol the noun becomes alcoholic the adjective with two letters.

Not really germain to this article but still a strategy is the prefix. There are believable truths and unbelievable untruths and any other number of words that are totally changed with a handful of letters.

English formally lacks an infix but anyone who's ever seen something un-fucking-beliveable or re-Goddamn-diculous may disagree.

At any rate, suffixes seem to be the biggest offenders of fake word creation and so suffixes are what I'll be covering.



If I have bursitis, that means the sacs between my joints are inflamed and I'm probably in a bit of pain. If it's bronchitis then my bronchia is inflamed and painful and so on and so forth. This suffix means that something is inflamed. Swollen, maybe.

So what the hell is senioritis? It's general malaise associated with being a (high school, usually) senior and people like to use it as an excuse for why they spent a year not doing anything. What it doesn't mean is that their senior is inflamed. Regardless, this seems to be everyone's go-to for "general problem":

Boy have I got a case of caption-itis!


How about -osis. Or -sy. Or -sia. Like, halitosis is the condition of having bad breath and leprosy is the condition of being a leper. And anesthesia is the condition of "a wanting of feeling". So right there you've got seniorosis or seniorsy. Which both sound much cooler.

I'll go ahead and knock out those search results as well. That first one has a bad case of Rufusy, the second one has Vancouverosis and that last one has a upgradesia.

Oh and if you're curious, I searched for ["bad case of" *itis]. Without the brackets. Try it and you can write lazy articles too!


I mentioned alcoholics before. The suffix "-ic" can mean, among other things, "having some characteristics of". This is pretty clear cut. It means that something relates to or has characteristics of alcohol. Like, an alcoholic beverage. It's also come to mean (in the context of the word alcoholic) someone who's addicted to alcohol.

But then we also get chocoholic, gasoholic, workaholic and any other number of variations meaning "addicted to".

Yep. Here's another one.

So okay, if an alcoholic is addicted to alcohol then maybe I'd greenlight like something like "chocolatic" or "petrolic" or like...

I don't know.

Maybe you would just say "I'm really addicted to shoes."

This person really likes Polish people. 

Oh - using "ic" to mean that you've got an extreme (excessive) proclivity towards something may be unique to alcohol. Someone who's really into fire is a pyromaniac and someone with an extreme thirst (for booze) used to be a dipsomaniac. People who like... nymphs... are nymphomaniacs. Anyway you could probably get away with shoemania or polishmania or really anything else.

I swear, I'm just trying to help.


Wait come back! This is one people seem to use correctly all of the time. It always triggers a pretty visceral reaction when you hear it -- people understand you're saying there's a lot of something.

So when someone's talking about Vote-a-rrhea or one of the 33,000 sites mentioning blogorrhea as an abundance of blogs, they're getting it right!

Man there's blogorrhea everywhere.

Your task, then, is to exhaustively research medical conditions and make sure that whenever you use a fake word, you're using it correctly.

05 September 2011

Helga; Olga

I kind of have a thing for words and names - as evinced by previous posts.

I realize now that I didn't really capture their full power.

Let's pretend that you and I are lazy, lazy writers. We've got a surefire comedy smash hit involving misbehaving children, a tough-guy caretaker (played by an actor who needs money) and a series of unsuccessful babysitters. Eventually, someone comes to a realization and then roll credits.

We've already covered the scene where the pushover babysitter gets covered in yucky goop and runs away, screaming.

But, before the tough-guy-with-a-heart-of-gold-who's-actually-okay-at-raising-kids-but-doesn't-know-it can step in the picture we need one more foil to really clobber the moviegoers with the idea that these kids, they don't behave so good.

In steps the disciplinarian babysitter. She's stout, she's got her hair in a bun and she doesn't take shit from anyone. Maybe she has a rolling pin or something. The assumption is that she's going to beat the kids with it but, being a lighthearted comedy, this is only implied.


That's a great idea. We'll put her in glasses too so when the pie gets thrown in her face, things get extra funny. People in glasses are justified targets for scorn and ridicule.

Also she has an accent because foreign people are hilarious and as I stated before, we're two very lazy writers.

Now that we've crafted this very flat throwaway character about whom the audience could not give a fuck, we have to name her. It's got to be a hilarious (like Chattanooga or Yazoo City) but it has to probably be an actual people-name.

Remember, she's foreign and her accent is hilarious.

After some head-scratching and a few more hilarious names that are actually cities (thanks, Native Americans!) we both come to the exact same conclusion at the exact same time.

It's Helga. It's got to be.

Or if not Helga then Olga would probably work. They meet all the criteria that we've outlined above and we can forge ahead and figure out how to get Hulk Hogan (or Vin Diesel or Ice Cube or... I dunno. The guy from the Transporter. Jason Statham.) into a tutu.


Is this fair? Should lazy writers try a little harder when they name their stock mean-nanny character? Are uncreative names the lynchpin of lazy character development? Maybe they would have said "We need a Helga" for this scene and everyone woud know what they were talking about.

It seems like it may be typecasting, more than a bit. Evidence?

Here's an actual Helga:

And here's an actual Olga:


Take that, lazy writers.

01 September 2011

The Fascist March of Time

I don't like commercials. A good commercial gets you to remember the brand and the product. In that regard, those damn Head On! (apply directly to the forehead) commercials were "good". They were successful but not clever.

Oftentimes the very clever commercials - the ones people talk about - lose connection with the brand that someone put a lot of time, money and creativity into promoting. Like that one with the guys herding cats? Was that Monster? Or a tech company or something?

I don't know. I don't remember.

I do remember a truck commercial from when I was younger, though. I associate it with night time and foreboding - so I think it must have come on during interminably long Sunday night football games. This was many years before I was able to select my own Sunday night programming (Air Force One/Firewall/Kingdom of the Crystal Skull movie block).

Harrison Ford you magnificent bastard!

This commercial - this truck commercial - had a very crappy, soulful song that accompanied it. Apparently that song was "Like a Rock" and it was written by Bob Seager. These are things I didn't know at the time. What I did know was that it sounded an awful lot like this truck commercial man was singing about Fraggle Rock.

Watch the commercial now and fail to hear "Fraggle Rock" over and over again. You will not succeed.

That is, you will fail to hear it any other way than "Fraggle Rock".

Somtimes I think I should re-write stuff instead of launching into long, drawn out explanations.

I'm reminded of the fraggle rock commercials because there's a new truck commercial making the rounds. It's for GMC -- not that I or anyone who would be reading this cares.

Now, the backing tune for this commercial has been foretold for quite some time.

The "Now That's What I Call Music!" series marched in lockstep with newer and stranger tunes as I aged.

The late night infomercials for massive piles of greatest hits CDs grew closer and closer to the decade of my birth and veered sharply away from a bunch of golden Motown crap.

I don't like Motown.

Also one time I saw "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on some kind of best of the 90's thing. That sucked too.

Finally, this unstoppable Juggernauth of musical memento mori crushed me when I heard this fucking thing on TV:

It's Collective Soul. This is a song I remember. I remember.

I was alive when it came out - I might have even counted it among my total faves at one point.

Now they're trying to sell me trucks with it. That means when I was younger, they wanted to sell trucks to people who thought fondly of Bob Seager and now that I'm not younger they're trying to sell trucks to people who fondly remember Collective Soul.

Also though, fuck. Collective Soul? They don't make me think of trucks. Collective Soul makes me think of a shitty band from the 90's. They also make me think, "Man. I'm getting old."

Let me be absolutely clear on this next point. When life insurance is being endorsed by an aged Tom Araya and electric pickup hover trucks are being marketed with System of a Down in the background,  I will buy the living fuck out of those products.