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Upcoming Titles from Y.P.R. Books: Self-Help

Dear Spike Lee by Nick Jezarian

An AOL Chat among Marcel Marceau, Teller, and That Chick from The Piano

Inner Monologue from This Morning’s Subway Commute by Lisa Grover

“Rectum? I Damn Near Killed ’Em!” by David Abraham

How to Fix Your Canon Copier by Brian Newell

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June 25, 2003

Upcoming Titles from Y.P.R. Books: Self-Help

Deflating Your Pompous Ego:
Getting Your Sorry-Ass Feet Back Down on Solid Ground, You Big Jackass

It's Not Your Fault, It's Theirs

3 Steps to Personal Happiness
Why Tequila Makes Everything Better

Are You Taking Enough Pills?

When Life Hands You Lemons, Throw Them through the Windows of Life's House

7 Habits of High People

The Road Traveled by People More Successful Than You

All I Really Needed to Know I Learned from Correspondence Courses Endorsed by Gloria Bunker

You Need a Hug? Try Getting a Job!

Your Husband Won't Make Love to You Until you Lose this Weight

Self-Help This!

So You're Crippled by Depression

You Smell Terrific!
(And Other Positive Reinforcements!)

Shunning Your Inner Leper

Chicken Soup for the International Fence

The Idiot’s Guide to Being a Cantankerous Curmudgeon

Rid Your House/Body of Evil

How to Maintain a Healthy, Active Relationship with Your Volvo

The Self-Help Guide to How-To Books for Idiots and Dummies

June 24, 2003

Dear Spike Lee

40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, Inc.
75 S. Elliot Pl.
Third Floor
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11217

Dear Spike,

I understand you're in the process of suing TNN because they changed their network's name to Spike TV. They said it was in an effort to lure men to watch. They said men like Spikes. They said they gotta have it. They said it has nothing to do with you, Spike. They said they were just trying to do the right thing. They're a bunch of crackers! Go get 'em Spike!

A little known fact, Spikey-poo: I tried to sue Nickelodeon when I was in fifth grade when they came up with that jingle abusing my name. You remember it, right? "Nick Nick Nick Nick Na Nick Nick Nick. Nickeldeonnnnn." They had some balls, if you ask me. I didn't get any royalties out of the deal. I'm jaded seeing this type of blatant name stealing and abuse is still going on but I'm utterly Spiked with adrenaline to see someone is fighting the power, fighting the powers that be. I also tried to sue Johnny Depp because he starred in that crap movie, Nick of Time, a few years back. It's bad enough my phone rang off the hook with people looking to score tickets to the premiere, thinking I had something to do with it. The cherry on top of that poop sundae, though, was that the movie sucked. He dragged my name through the dirt for no reason. He's a rotten "21 Jump Street" reject. Crybaby. You hear that Johnny? One word: Crybaby.

Anyway, Spike, you seem to have a lot more clout to take these honkeys on, so I figured I'd give you some help. I've compiled a list of people and things to sue for using your name. Don't worry, I don't want any cut of the profits when you bamboozle these fools. Just send me an autographed collector's edition DVD of Girl 6 and we'll call it even. On the other hand, don't hook me up and I'll let the whole world know your real name is Shelton and then your case will get thrown out of court quicker than Earnest Goes to Camp went to video.

Here's my list of Spike intruders:

  1. People who ask if you spiked the punch
  2. Spikes
  3. Cleats that get called spikes
  4. Spiked bats
  5. Spikemagazine.com
  6. Spike Nashbar, the world's number one volleyball supplier
  7. Golden Spike National Historical Spike
  8. Spike Jonze
  9. Spike Dudley, the wrestler
  10. Any dog named Spike, ever
  11. Your mom

I'm sure there are tons of other perpetrators but this is a pretty extensive list. This should keep you plenty busy for a while, Spike. I hope you win your battle for exclusivity of the name "Spike" all over the world. And if you don't I'm going to name my next bowel movement "Spike."

Nick Jezarian

June 23, 2003

An AOL Chat among Marcel Marceau, Teller, and That Chick from The Piano


[ You have been warned by Mime1 ]

June 18, 2003

Inner Monologue from This Morning’s Subway Commute

How many more times can I get excited for someone else's dreams to come true? Here I am, on this disgusting subway car, sitting next to a guy who smells like he just got back from a week-long deep-sea fishing trip, on my way to a marginally thankless job. Fox and NBC show these commercials all night about how there can only be one winner, so tune in now!!! Someone's dreams are going to come true!!! Memo to the network execs: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me thrice, shame on both of us.

Is that stripes and plaid? Are you seriously wearing strips and plaid? How many times does this have to be openly made fun of by every single person on Earth before people stop wearing it?

I think for the sheer comedic value of it all, I might go see this From Kelly to Justin movie. On the scale of 1 to 10, 1 being "Academy Award-winning independent film" and 10 being Showgirls, I'm putting this at about a 12. To be honest, what I'm really waiting for is the From Ruben to Clay film.

I don't think I've laughed as hard as I did when I stumbled across one of the greatest TV ideas ever. "Blonde Week" on "Hollywood Squares," with Pam Anderson as the center square. On a show where intelligence isn't really at a premium to begin with, there's nothing quite like seeing some of the world's stupidest people answer questions. Prime example: Question to the Hilton sisters: "What is the most commonly used household appliance?" Nicki Hilton: "It's probably in the kitchen." Paris Hilton: "What's the kitchen?" You can't make this up. I think the best moment might have been when Paris's cell phone rang in the middle of a question and she answered it.

O.K., mind-boggling discovery of the week: While looking through Tower Records, I came across the following CD: 20th Century Masters: The Scorpions. I'm going to repeat that because I think it bears repeating. 20th Century Masters: The Scorpions. The Scorpions. 20th Century Masters. I looked at the back of the CD and there was more than one song! Maybe it's me.

Whatever happened to Wendy the Snapple Lady? I'm sitting here drinking my Snapple and I realized that I haven't thought about her in ten years. I hope she's O.K.

Jewel, you were so much cooler before you sold out. Sure, your music wasn't all that good but you actually made me believe that you stood for something, namely that being true to yourself was more important than being famous. I didn't stake my existence on it but I believed it. Now you're on the cover of one of those Maxim magazines with your boobs practically pushed out the top of your shirt and you're selling your sexuality. Sure, you're allowed to change but don't expect me to believe a word you say anymore.

Liz Phair, see above re: Jewel.

June 13, 2003

Re: My Afternoon

Dear Y.P.R. Editors,

There are some days in a person's life that go down in the record books. March 13, 1991, was just that for yours truly. Fresh from cutting out of 8th-period gym class, the minutes seemed like seconds as 2:30 p.m. approached without mercy. With two minutes to spare I reached my block and my fast walk skipped jogging speed and went straight to brisk run. Up the stairs and into the living room, my glass of iced tea and bag of BBQ potato chips would have to wait until a commercial break. It was true, the Gulf War had started, and President George Bush was being touted an historic figure of the 20th century, a man who stood by his word.

But none of that mattered, for March 13th was also the day that "Gummi Bears" was squeezed out of the Disney Afternoon by—and I cringe with a horror to write it—"Darkwing Duck" of all shows. Truly a dark day, as the show's name indicates.

In retrospect, I should have seen it coming: Just a year earlier the all-star lineup from 2:00 — 4:00 was deemed the "fantastic four" by consensus of the 5th-period, Section 4 lunch table at Robert H. Goddard Junior High School of Queens, New York. The world of "Heathcliff and Friends," "Gummi Bears," "DuckTales," and the least popular and understandably 3:30 slot "Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers," (which usually lost out to "ThunderCats" anyway down the dial at Channel 5) would all come crashing down without warning. You see, those heartless corporate suits down at Channel 11 decided to drop "Heathcliff and Friends" at 2, with the addition of expert bear pilot Baloo in his breakaway from Mowgli's shadow as the jungle boy's movie sidekick for a starring role, albeit on network TV. And that was "Tale Spin," the beginning of the end. Perhaps the only redeeming quality of the show was the theme song: oh ee oh, Tale Spin, oh-ee-ay Tale Spin, friends for life through thick and thin through another Tale Spin and so on. But honestly, this unwarranted, unnecessary, and unwanted cartoon spinoff was an omen of things to come.

Next to go was "Gummi Bears," a crushing blow to Section 4, but something we all knew had to happen; syndication had began just weeks earlier on the pay-cable Disney Channel, the number one telltale sign that we at Section 4 would have to start paying to see the hijinks of Tummi Gummi (also the voice of Dr. Peter Venkman of "The Real Ghost Busters") and antics of Toadwort and Dukems attempting to steal the recipe for gummiberri juice. But we somehow moved on, we had to.

But then was the final hammer blow that shook the very foundations of childhood innocence and marked the end of life as we had known. The aforementioned March 13, 1991, brought with it both shock and shame for this American institution. "DuckTales" was no more and "Darkwing Duck" took over. Out with the old, in with the new. Most shocking of all Gyro's betrayal. For years he had been Uncle Scrooge McDuck's behind-the-scenes right-hand man, inventing products all too crucial to Scrooge's treasure finds such as Gizmoduck's supersuit and Pep, a productless name which eventually turned out to be chewing gum that enables the chewer to fly, after Pep demand reached a feverish pitch due to marketing strategies. But I digress.

Gyro was now working for Darkwing Duck, and so was Scrooge's old ace pilot, Launchpad McQuack, who managed to be hired for better pay despite a dismal safe-landing career and several warnings from Duckberg's F.A.A. And just like that the supersleuth Scrooge McDuck, his duckling nephews Huey, Dewey, Louie, Webby , their friend Webbigail (Webby as we knew her best) and the rest of Duckberg's population that had grown on us over the years, even old Flinthart Glomgold and the Beagle Boys, would no longer be able to make us laugh and cry for free. They had joined syndication superstars the Gummi Bears on the Disney channel, leaving the hot-lunch kids of Section 4 out in the cold. We reluctantly moved on, aided and comforted by the crap television such as "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" and other Saban real-life morphing shows that followed the loss of "DuckTales" to help us appreciate what we had.

Y.P.R. editors, it's now just over 12 years later, and while coping with the loss will never be a true reality, I can look back to those days of iced tea and BBQ potato chips and smile.

J. D. McGregor

June 09, 2003

“Rectum? I Damn Near Killed ’Em!”

Chapter Titles from Living with Your Colitis and Hemorrhoids (and Related Disorders) by Theodore Berkland, A.M., Leslie Sandlow, M.D., and Richard Shaprio, M.D.

© 1975, St. Martin's Press

[Discovered for Sale at a Thrift Shop in St. Louis, Missouri, and Deemed Too Priceless a Treasure to Pass Up]

1. Brenda's Colitis
2. Understanding Your Colon and Rectum
3. How the Doctor Diagnoses Your Problem
4. How Emotions Affect Your Colon
5. Itchy Anus, Bleeding Rectum
6. Germs and Worms
7. Ulcerative Colitis
8. Polyps and Cancer
9. Before and After Your Operation
10. Living with Your Stoma
11. Living with Yourself

Other Titles Written by Theodore Berland, A.M.

Noise—The Third Pollution
Peptic Ulcer—The Quiet Epidemic
X-Ray—Vanguard of Modern Science
Living with Your Ulcer
Living with Your Bad Back
Living with Your Eye Operation
Living with Your Bronchitis and Emphysema

(with Gordon L. Snider, M.D.)
How to Keep Your Teeth after 30

June 04, 2003

How to Fix Your Canon Copier

It's not an easy decision to come to. No one wants to put their Canon copier through such a traumatic event. But with the Canon copier population spiraling out of control and a shortage of loving homes for the little fellas, many of them end up in shelters or with the A.S.P.C.A. This is why, though it's a difficult decision, it's important that you get your Canon copier fixed. The question is: How?

Check Your Manual: In the back of your Canon copier manual, there is a listing of retail outlets. Each of these outlets has qualified professionals that will be in the position to fix your Canon copier. Call the nearest outlet and make an appointment. Some of these men and women will even come to you. Discuss this with them.

Prepare Your Canon Copier: Your Canon copier should not eat or drink the day before it is fixed. Resist the urge to feed your Canon copier anything in the 24-hour period before it is scheduled to be fixed, no matter the noises that it makes. This includes toner, paper (legal and letter), and labels.

Be Frank With Your Canon Copier: Speak openly with your Canon copier about the procedure. Do not be afraid to explain to the Canon copier that, despite everything, you still love it very much. It isn't getting fixed because it is bad or being punished. This procedure is something that is important for Canon copiers to go through.

The fixing process is generally outpatient surgery. Usually, you can bring your Canon copier into the retail outlet in the morning and pick it up the very same day, good as new, barring any complications. Complications in the fixing process are rare but should not be totally unexpected. Sometimes, the retail outlet will want to keep your Canon copier overnight for observation as a precaution.

An initial sense of rejection from your Canon copier may be evident. Do not worry. It is only natural for your Canon copier to feel a sense of abandonment after its fixing. Try to soothe your Canon copier and allow it to overcome its initial reaction. With a little warmth and care, your Canon copier will be back to its loving self in no time, pumping out sharp, clear copies as always.

Make sure that your prevent your Canon copier from any contact with the affected area. You may hear some noises of discomfort, but these are normal. The procedure is an exhausting one for the Canon copier. Have something prepared for your Canon copier when you return home. It is likely your Canon copier will need toner, paper and some genuine T.L.C. Many people suggest buying something nice for your Canon copier after it is fixed, perhaps a new tray or some heavy stock paper. While this is not required, it may be nice to do something for your Canon copier following the procedure.