& Recently . . .

Friday Morning Lament by Lisa Grover

Short Introduction I Have Planned for When I Get to Break Ground on the New Wing on the Children' Hospital in My Town by Geoff Wolinetz

Eat, Shoot, & Leave This!: Dear Lynne Truss by Josh Abraham

Dear Penthouse Forum

I Do Something Terrible, Liz Removes Her Underwear, & You Start Talking Dity by Nicanor Garcia

Excerpts from the Hipster Law Treatise by Peter B. Silverman

Polish Fact

Population Growth Rate:
0% (2003 est.)

Learn a Foreign Tongue!

Learn Latin!
Mea culpa.
My bad.

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April 27, 2004

Friday Morning Lament

Last night's become a blur it seems
Riddled with odd and crazy dreams
Singing songs with Shirley Jones
Tom Hanks and I ate ice cream cones
Fat guy dancing with Chris Farley
Smoking ganja with Bob Marley
Johnny Carson's house is burning
Belly dancing with Charles Durning
Falling into open space
That man there he has no face
Now he has one. Carrot Top!
I'd prefer a dirty mop
Why'd I drink that jug of wine?
It tasted much like turpentine
A good idea it seemed like then
Drink away those stupid men
I fell asleep with little worry
This morning now I'm in a hurry
Slept right through that damn alarm
Slept like I had bought the farm
Now I'm thirty minutes late
Roommate's in the shower, wait
Forget the shower, go to work
Hope the boss won't be a jerk.
Coffee, you're my saving grace
Allow me to save a little face
In the office, hour past
Sit down at the desk real fast
No one noticed I was gone
I pulled off a real good con
Tonight there will be no more drinking
I don't know what I was thinking.
Happy hour starts at five?
There will be some music live?
I'll come if you buy my first beer
Then I'll be there, thank you dear.

Short Introduction I Have Planned for When I Get to Break Ground on the New Wing on the Children' Hospital in My Town

When Mr. Morgenthau asked me to say a few word at this groundbreaking ceremony, the first thing that went through my mind was, “Is he KID-ding?”

[Hold for laughter]

After all, I don’t have any children of my own. As many of you know, due to circumstances of which we’re not quite sure, my lovely wife Deirdre and I are unable to have children. That’s not to say we’ve stopped trying to make babies, if you know what I mean. Who’s with me?

[Hold for applause]

A short time ago, Mr. Morgenthau came to me and told me that we needed a new children’s hospital. He told me that the old one was in disrepair. He told me that if the children didn’t get the proper facilities that some of them wouldn’t be able to survive. Our old hospital was overcrowded and that we needed money to provide for a new one. I told him that I bought lunch, but I couldn’t foot the bill for everything.

[Hold for laughter]

Who would have ever thought that this dream could become a reality? Today, we break ground on a new facility thanks to your generous support. A call went out to the community and after several unreturned phone messages, you answered in the form of dollars and, in the case of some of you really cheap bastards, cents. Every little bit counts, right?

[Hold for applause]

And now, I’d like to take the ceremonial shovel and plant it in the ceremonial dirt, so we can finally break ground on this long-awaited children’s facility. And as for the hospital administrators, I’d like to thank Dr. Harvey, Dr. Strand, Dr. Gupta, and Dr. Trask. Boy, I’d like to plant my shovel in Dr. Trask’s dirt, huh? This guy knows what I’m talking about. All right.

[Hold for laughter]

Thank you.

April 26, 2004

Eat, Shoot, & Leave This!: Dear Lynne Truss

Dear crazy Ms. Truss,

Jeepers, lady, have you gone totally bonkers? On page 172 of Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, your chipper, chirpy handbook for the pathologically meticulous, you recommend punctuating as follows:

4   Though it is less rigorously applied than it used to be, there is a rule that when a noun phrase such as “stainless steel” is used to qualify another noun, it is hyphenated, as “stainless-steel kitchen”. Thus you have corrugated iron, but a corrugated-iron roof. The match has a second half, but lots of second-half excitement. Tom Jones was written in the 18th century, but is an 18th-century novel. The train leaves at seven o’clock; it is the seven-o’clock train.


Therefore, crazy lady who does not practice what she preaches, one has zero tolerance, but a zero-freakin’-hyphen-tolerance approach. Where the bloody blazes is the dang hyphen betwixt “Zero” and “Tolerance” in your stupid title, you daffy bird?!? For shame, Ms. Truss! You prattle on for 200 pages, cheekily admonishing hardscrabble greengrocers for their naïve misuse of typesetters’ marks, and you bungled the title! What’s that they say about judgment by cover? This, after you take Who Framed Roger Rabbit to task for omitting a question mark from its title (or an interrobang, you crazy bat), and you went apeshit on Two Weeks Notice for overlooking a possessive apostrophe.

Man alive, Truss! You launched a bloody crusade against an incorrect title! You ran around slapping apostrophe patches on movie-theater marquees like some unhinged Gotham City villain. And you’ve encouraged your readers to arm themselves with Magic Markers or Wite-Out and, when they spy punctuation peccadilloes, to deface properties public and private for the sake of proper apostrophizing. O.K., you punctilious practitioner of punctuation punctilios, I call bullshit on you. You want renegade copyediting? I hereby announce a goddamn drive-by hyphenation blitz on your irksomely perky-from-too-many-mocha-lattés guidebook. I’m stabbing every single hyphenless dust jacket of your stupid book with my big, black Sharpie, and no Borders or Barnes & Noble security guard will ever catch me, because I wield a marker like a fucking ninja.

Eat, shoot, & leave this, you proofreading harpy.

J. Abraham

P.S. While I’ve got your attention, Ms. Truss, I’d like to ask about page 75, where you refer to the Jews of Exodus as “a lot of clever, dandruffy people.” I confess that dry, British humour isn’t really my bag (although, in my book, Benny Hill chasing busty broads with his pants ’round his ankles, in fast-forwarded hyper-speed, is comedy at its finest), but does a dig at the pruritic afflictions of a persecuted people really belong in a book about commas?

Eats, Shoots & Leaves. Ha, ha. Funny.

April 23, 2004

Dear Penthouse Forum

Dear Penthouse Forum,

Oh, I love them Neo-Conservatives. Oh, yes. I love them. Crazy right-wing chicks. Nothing lights my fire like a girl who digs smaller government. They drive me mad. Republican. Oh, say it. Re-pub-lic-an. The word is red and smutty, like a lipstick print on a cocktail napkin. Red and smutty like a high-necked, Nancy Reagan dress. Republican. Oh, it rolls off the tongue: Republican. Re. Pub. Lick. Can.

I always thought the Young Republicans meeting would be the place for wild women in favor of states’ rights to hang out. I just didn't know that I'd be so lucky as to find a night of wild passion there myself. This past week, Ann Coulter came to the meeting to spend an hour or two bashing liberals and their tax-and-spend methodology. I had to loosen my tie because the speech got me so riled up. I was in the mood and on the prowl. Luckily for me, my prey was well within my sight.

My opening line was a shoo-in: "Hey, you know Rush Limbaugh? Well, I'd like to Rush you out of here to give my limb a workout." After we compared tax returns and portfolios, she invited me back to her place. I didn't want to admit it then, but her portfolio was so diverse, I almost lost it in my pants right there. When we got back to her place, I knew immediately that it would be a night of wild, freaky sex. She had a huge picture of Ronald Reagan over her fireplace and The Wall Street Journal sat on the table. Next thing, she took out her Capitol Hills. Before I knew it, we were naked, rolling on top of that Wall Street Journal. She took me to places I'd never been before, while she purred into my ear about how blacks and gays and poor people were ruining the country. She cooed about illegal immigrants and how they were a blight on our economy. Oh, that whets my whistle. Rrrrr. Oh, I wanted to get it on Fox-style. Oh, yes. Oh, let's argue the merits of a free-market economy. Oh. Oh. Oh Reilly Factor. Oh yes. Spin my zone, baby. Oh, I want that Grand Old P____.

Then, she whispered the two words that never fail to take me to the top of my climax: "Trickle down."

After we were done, she clicked on the TV and we watched Fox News before we went at it, again and again, all night long. We get together every month now to do a little Patriot Act of our own.

Neo-Con in New York

Dear Neo,

Wow! Sounds like your "Grand Ol' Peter" had a "Grand Ol' Party." Let us know the next time you have another National Review.

-- PF

It's an elephant, jackass.

April 22, 2004

I Do Something Terrible, Liz Removes Her Underwear, & You Start Talking Dity

I Do Something Terrible

Say there’s a crowd. Say it! An enormous crowd. Say you are a member of that crowd, and you are obscuring completely the sidewalks beneath my hotel balcony. You are singing!

Say I turn to the naked woman in my bed. The one on my right. I turn to the naked woman on my right, and I say, “I’m going to shut them up. Tell the woman on my left where I am going.”

Say I get up out of the bed, stepping over women. I mean, just say I do. I scramble over the torsos, and grab an open bottle of red wine.

Say I step outside, with my open bottle, at eight in the morning, to be greeted by this crowd of which you are a member. The crowd and you are still singing! I motion for silence.

“He’s going to talk,” someone says. Not you but someone. Say someone says that.

Say I say: “Piss off,” and hurl the bottle into the air directly above the crowd, thinking very little about the fact that it will come down. Not necessarily upon you, but definitely somewhere, and definitely upon someone.

But that is too far in the future to be mentioning. Say I never mentioned that. Say it!

The bottle is at the moment, still making its ascent. It is rising in the sky. It is spilling little red drops on the people immediately below as if to warn them of the trouble I have made. Say it is obscured. The bottle is too distant and tiny to be seen. Only I know about the bottle, though I have really not given it as much thought as I should have. Had I been clutching a slipper, I would have thrown that.

It would have been a lot softer on your head... a slipper. But I am ahead of myself once again. The bottle is still in the air.

Say the bottle is still in the air. It is spinning a bit, and losing momentum. It is spitting little red drops of wine all over the crowd again. They must think I am bleeding off the balcony. I bet someone thinks that’s pretty holy. Someone always thinks that.

No matter. The bottle has reached its zenith. It is about three feet above my head, and many more feet above the crowd. It appears to dizzy as it begins to make its transition towards a rapid descent.

Say it lingers there, above the balcony, just long enough to discomfort me about the idea, then, as I stand staring at what I have just let loose into the atmosphere, the bottle plunges out of sight, and a small circle forms in the crowd below.

Liz Removes Her Underwear

Say you wake up on the ground and people are crowded around you. Say your head is aching and you are covered in wine. You reproach yourself. You are after all, a lowly drunkard, and this is not the first time you have woken up like this. You take it upon yourself to crawl home, shuddering when you think about the critique you will receive when you finally arrive.

Say your new wife becomes infuriated. She opens the house to your scratching at the bottom of the door, and, expecting to have been letting the dog in, shrieks at finding you on your hands and knees, bloody, and soaked in wine... again.

Say this was the last straw. Say this was the last straw, and you have to watch her packing from the floor. Case after case of undergarments you will never enjoy again. “Oh tragedy!” You say from the floor. Say you say that from the floor.

Why did you say that, she says. Why did you say that from the floor? Say you say, “I bought you all those bits. Some thing to do to me. Stealing them away like that.” “Say pleas” she says. So you plea, and upon your pleading, she takes a particularly lurid red nightie from one of her cases and nails it to the wall. It hangs there lifeless as if she has just killed it. It looks like that thing on a turkey’s neck—a wattle or whatever. In the coming weeks you will engage in endlessly embarrassing activities with this strange-looking thing, till one noble day, all tangled up and ashamed, you denounce the garment, asserting that it is “keeping you down.”

That’s what you said. You said the underwear was “keeping you down.” It’s good you finally realized that.

You Start Talking Dirty

Say there is a knock at the door. The first knock at the door in a long while. It is a small fat man named Gerald. Gerald has come to represent my interests regarding the matter of the bottle-throwing incident of which you are still unaware. He has been tracking you with the intent of offering you a cash settlement.

“Hello,” Gerald says. “Would you like some money?” “Yes please,” you say. “How much money would you like?” Gerald asks. “A lot of money?” “Preferably a lot of money.” You say.

Your newly acquired ex, smelling the money from her bungalow across town, thumbs a cab.

Within the hour she is at the door calling your name. She is saying: “Darnell! Darnell!” You are saying “What! What!” There is a long pause. She is thinking of something else to say. Something that will excuse her sudden appearance.

Say she says she needs her undergarment back. She says she is going to visit her grandma and she needs her undergarment.

Say you are marginally cunning for a moment. No really. Just say you are. Say you ask why she needs her red underwear if she is going to visit her grandmother.

Say she says, very slowly, as if defeated: “My. Grandmother. Wants to. Borrow my... un.d.er.wea.r,” shaking her head sadly at this infantile formulation.

There, she is beat! Now is the time when it is appropriate to start calling her names. Say you start with the classics. You are, after all, well versed in the classics. Say “Cad!” “Mucker!” “Rogue!” “Knave!” “Imp!” “Grafter!” “Vulgarian!” Say “Rutter!” “Skunk!” “Swamp!” “Rube!”

Remember, though, before you chase her off, you are newly rich. This opportunes you to say things you have never let yourself say before. Try out some new grammar on her. Test-drive your new life.

Say: “Wastrel!”

April 21, 2004

Some Things Remain Impossible, Despite the Heart's Will

from: Lonnie Futrill
to: Y.P.R. [ypr@yankeepotroast.org]
subject: Need your help.

Am having Italian painting put in my home and need to have a sentence translated into Italian calligraphy. Can you help me please? The sentence is: "Nothing is impossible where there is a willing heart." I realize this is really crazy thing to ask but I have searched everywhere I know to search and can't find it. I would really appreciate any help . . .

April 20, 2004

Excerpts from the Hipster Law Treatise


“Hipster” is a word holy to some, yet bandied about by many who view it as a kiddy-club; joinable by any post-undergraduate, Lower East Side-moving gadfly with greasy hair and a Puma jumpsuit. This Treatise seeks to clarify and define “hipster,” a goal as elusive as the finding of Waldo, Nemo, or Devo1. Yet through a historical analysis and a review of the black-letter law, this author hopes he has at least separated the good from the bad and the ugly.

§ 1.1 Forms of Hipster:

The debate over “hipster”’s etymology has raged for decades, however a clear timeline of its derivation can be captured with clarity: “Hipster” first came on the scene in the 1930s, initially as part of elitist parlance2. The word conveyed a brash, lucid state of courage, confidence, and intellect3. During that era, hipster too was often used in cloak-and-dagger manners: In Vichy France in 1942 “hipster” was a codeword at the door of the Le Lune, an underground meeting hall/burlesque show. One recited, in casual tones, “Je suis l’hipster,” to be admitted. Although the exact purpose of the meeting hall remains unknown to this day, there are firsthand accounts from Shmuel DeGaul who believed it was a method of keeping out the contra populare, or, the unpopular. Shmuel, in 1943, was quoted as saying of the meeting hall, “Toujour je sais qu’il y a beaucoup drole chose dans l’interior. Mais pour moi je n’ai vu rien4—roughly translated, “I always know there are much fun things in there, but for me I saw nothing.

In the early 1950s the protean meaning and usage of “hipster” took its first radical shift in meaning. Jazz musicians traveling from New Orleans to New York used the term to connote a “hep-cat,” or “one who had both rhythm and soul.” 5. In 1951 at the World Famous Cotton Club in Harlem, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Fats Waller, Billy Holiday, and the Count Basie Orchestra went up on stage in an unprecedented fusion of styles, both old and new to the jazz form. At the end of the set Louis was quoted as saying, “For a fat man, a Jew, a broad and a Drag Queen, these kings and queens of swing are the baddest hipsters this side of the Mississippi. Doo Bee Doo Da, Diddly Dop, Ba Wa!” 6.

Louis Armstrong’s words reverberated off the walls of the Cotton Club and into the vocabulary of the mainstream. Soon after, various sub- and countercultures attempted to shape “hipster” in their own image. Andre Breton, in his waning years, called Marcel DuChamp “the worlds greatest and only hipster.” The agèd DaDaists later denounced this as hyperbole. Reflecting upon their nihilist aesthetic the group released a public statement in 1954 saying, “The Hipster is nothing O0o0O, the Hipster is ~everything~, no-one & everyone. The hipster is +Jesus+, and the *Devil*, light and dark. But most of all the hipster is ﴾vaGina﴿.”

The bohemians and beatniks of the 1950s took Louis Armstrong’s pronouncement literally. Congregating in clustered Manhattan, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and others set out to explore the essence of what it meant to be “a fat man, a Jew, a broad or a drag queen.” Kerouac declared, “If hipster is a fault, then I don’t wannabe right,” and thousands of poets and writers of all varieties followed his lead, swarming cities like an infestation of vermin. And it is in New York and other metropolises such as San Francisco, New Orleans, the Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., and two city blocks in Los Angeles7 where they remain.

§ 1.2 Norms of the Hipster:

By now, it should be apparent that “hipster” is an umbrella term, concerning a variety of disciplines all with important historical theoretical and operational differences. Rather than derive the various strains of hipster discussed above, we provide various black-letter laws that unite these diverse fields, giving a sense of cohesion and boundaries to the lifestyle and its rules. These rules are delineated in terms of what is the hipster is and what it is not. Via this method we hope to highlight the image, etiquette, and ethic of the hipster, elucidating its content while concurrently distancing it from its banal, and ubiquitous doppelgänger: the pseudo-hipster.

§ 1.3 The Art and Lifestyle of the Hipster:

§ 1.3.1 Fashion:

A Hipster does not shop at Urban Outfitters to find faux Goodwill clothes to jauntily stroll the streets of the East Village in high style; rather a Hipster shops at Goodwill because, you know, you spent your last $4.35 on a 40 oz. and three games of Bubble Bobble, and, besides, the old guy who puts out the clothes always hides the cool shirts with the faux-mother-of-pearl buttons because several weeks ago you bought him a 40 as well.

§ 1.3.12 Hairstyle:

A hipster’s hairstyle might resemble, say, that of Squiggy, the goofy character from the sitcom “Laverne & Shirley,” because, perhaps, you cut your own hair, wasted at 3:00 a.m., because you spent your last $4.35 on a 40 oz. and three games of Bubble Bobble, where feeling dejected on account of failure to attain the high score, you sought to reïnvent yourself through your shears and, let’s face it, you barely escaped with your ears intact.

§ 1.3.2 Charity/Concern for Others:

Hipsters do not donate blood for the good and welfare of society; hipsters give blood because when you give a pint it takes fewer to get fucked up. Further, if you stand up from the gurney real quick right after the nurse takes out the needle you get a pretty mean almost-whip-it-like buzz going.

§ 1.3.3 Ecology:

The hipster recycles, not for concern for the environment, but because of the cost benefit is not even close when it comes to letting cans sit in the house attracting fruit flies vs. killing three birds with one stone by (1) taking out the trash, and (2) making $4.35 in refund money.

§ 1.3.4 Nutrition:

The hipster is not a vegan for health’s sake or for hippie love of cows. Hipsters eat vegan-style because, again, you spent your last $4.35 and all that’s in the fridge is your roommate’s broccoli, lettuce, soy milk, and Fakin’ Bacon.

§ 1.3.5 Alcohol:

Hipsters love Pabst Blue Ribbon, not because it is cheap swill; hipsters buy Pabst Blue Ribbon and non-ironically love it because of Captain Pabst, a steamship captain on the Great Lakes who had a “strong belief in the future of American industry,” who married a local brewmeister’s daughter named Marie, bought the father’s business and subsequently turned the little micro-brewery operation into one of the most successful transnational corporations in American history8, and because it is on special.

§ 1.3.5 Art:

Hipsters do not consider anything art that objectifies woman. Hipsters do consider pornography art.

§ 1.3.51 Morrissey:

Hipsters love Morrissey for his lyrics, and they dig the asexuality (and deny the homosexuality)9.

§ 2.0 Identification:

The hipster never refers to him- or herself as such—ever! The hipster does call your own voicemail to remind yourself not to forget your (1) job interview; (2) obligation to pick up your grandmother; or (3) rent check is past-due ten days.

1 . Devo’s last known public appearance was its Oct. 26, 2001, performance at Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom Huckjam in Anaheim, California; the band has not played since. To learn more, visit the unofficial Devo fan club Web site at http://www.freedomofchoice.com/devo/ [last updated Mar. 26, 2004].
2. See J. SMILEY, Hash House Lingo, 31 (hipster: a know-it-all) (1941); MEZZROW & WOLFE Really Blues, 374 (hipster: man who's in the know, grasps everything, is alert) (1946 ); Partisan Rev. XV. 722 (Carrying his language and his new philosophy like concealed weapons, the hipster set out to conquer the world) (1948).
3. Id.
4. SeeFrancois Lorand, LE VIN ET L’AGONIE, 1972 (Random House, Paris).
6. See Jonathan Richter, “Louis Armstrong; A Biography of Beedy Dip Bop, Deedily Da,” 72, 1959 (Penguin, New York).
7. Note L.A. is a city empty of soul, originality, and art, but Vermont Avenue between Los Feliz and Sunset is cool.
8. See http://www.pabst.com/flashsite/history.htm for the full history of Pabst brewery [last updated Mar. 26, 2004].
9. See “Wide to Receive”, Maladjusted: “Because I'm lying here/Wide to receive/Almost anything/You'd care to give/And I don't/Get along with myself/And I'm not too keen/On anyone else/Turn on, plug in/Then just walk away” (Note the hipster’s response in defense of asexuality.”)

April 16, 2004

Pimpin' Like a Pirate

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I'm happy to introduce our next performer, Pete the Pimpin' Pirate. Pete descends from a long line of piracy, dating all the way back to the dreadful Lazy Eye Lester, who terrorized the high seas along the Nova Scotia borders in the 17th Century.

Pete’s pimpin’ piracy has evolved to stay relevant in the mainstream popular culture. He is here today to entertain and educate with his instructional hip-hop medley, “Pimpin’ Like a Pirate.” Please give a warm A.A.R.P. welcome to Pirate Pete!


O.K., class, check it out real closely and see how I break this pirate living down. O.K., yo...

My left hand is a hook,
My booty I took
Always squint with one eye wherever I look
A nice wooden peg
Serves as me leg
I'll run you through if you confuse a pirate with Queequeg
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Rum and pillaging is most of my fun
I say ARRRRRRRRR with a passion
I'm a slave to pirate fashion
With perfectly torn sea trousers, I look perfectly dashing
If I say ARRRR ARRRRR ARRRRR, that means that I'm laughing.

It's just the way that I live, yo
Like a pirate out to get his booty, yo
But yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
I'm gonna pimp like a pirate till my days are done.
If you live by these high rules on the seven high seas
You'll be a perfectly good pirate, just like me

A good pirate name is Pete
Salty meats make good sea eats
Make an effort to plunder every ship that I greet
For good measure, I have an eye made of glass
And an eye patch if you prefer class
I wear my eye patch to every gala ball that I crash
I'm always sure to call every lady a lass
I live by the seas and I'm gonna die from scurvy
Imperial ships make me stomach a little nervy

It's just the way that I live, yo
Like a pirate out to get his booty, yo
But yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
I'm gonna pimp like a pirate till my days are done.
If you live by these high rules on the seven high seas
You'll be a perfectly good pirate, just like me

Carry a big knife or a smart little sword
You'll be a good pirate if you heed my word
Any good pirate ship's got a plank
And an underbelly that's perfectly rank
The worse that I smell, it's the more rum that I drank
"Ahoy there, matey" is the way I say "hi".
Have a parrot on me shoulder, admit it, it's fly
If you live by these high rules on the seven high seas
You'll be a perfectly good pirate, just like me

Edible Television

One Viewer Takes a Bite out of the Food Network

“30 Minute Meals” with Rachael Ray

For a long time, watching Rachael Ray cook delicious and healthy meals in under thirty minutes made me sad. She'd things like, “My niece goes BONKERS over this banana cream pudding!” and, “When I visit my niece, she helps me make this ice cream, so it’s KID-FRIENDLY!” Poor, poor, Rachael, I would think, you’re so busy that you don’t have time for a boyfriend, much less kids. You’re all alone in this world… Then one day she started talking about her “sweetie” and how they’d talk on the phone about this recipe or that. A sweetie? I was sure she’d finally met someone. Later, on a Super Bowl Party Food episode, there was a guest on the show named “Joe” and I’ve never known Rachael to have guests on the show. At first Joe looked nervous to be there and wasn’t building his sandwich fast enough (Tick-tock, Joe. It’s all gotta be ready in under 30 minutes.) but it seemed like he and Rachael had some electricity shooting back and forth between them. I just hope Joe isn’t her brother or something.

“Boy Meets Grill” with Bobby Flay

I used to hate this guy. That orange hair and that fucking slimy New York accent. Whenever the announcer on the TV said “Coming up next… Boy Meets Grill with Bobby Flay”, I would always say “you fuck” afterwards. It bothered me how he grilled everything in sight. Normal stuff such as steak, chicken and burgers are all fair game, but he’d be throwing on lemons, blocks of cheese, fucking everything. The only thing I’ve seen him not grill is rice. But eventually I learned to respect his cooking. The food he prepares always looks really appetizing. And I’m impressed he had the balls to go on Iron Chef.

“Oliver’s Twist”/“The Naked Chef” with Jamie Oliver

Too frantic for me, this guy. And his lips get too juicy while he’s talking, like he might be spitting into your risotto while telling you how ‘gorgeous’ it is. I heard he’s more famous than the Queen over in England.

“The Essence of Emeril” with Emeril Lagasse

Is it wrong that all I want to do with Emeril is cuddle? He’s such a teddy bear! I enjoy “Emeril Live” because he interacts with the audience really well and does the “BAM!” thing for show, but “The Essence of Emeril” teaches you many of the fundamentals of cooking. The thing about Emeril, though, is that it seems like he’s never really sure what he’s going to say next and you get the feeling he’s making the recipes up as he goes along, just cooking things with whatever raw ingredients his staff happened to prepare before the show. On the last episode I saw, he made fricos but I was calling them “Freak-Oh’s” inside my head because that’s how it sounded.

“Tyler’s Ultimate” with Tyler Florence

Tyler’s Ulimate, all right. Tyler’s Ultimate Hot Body. Tyler’s Dashing Good Looks. Tyler’s the Ultimate Guy to Bring Home to Your Mom. On this show, Tyler traipses all over the world, learning differences in the way people cook. Then he returns home to cook is “ultimate” version, taking the best of everything and making an amazing dish. I attempted to make his seafood soup once and spent a small fortune on all the ingredients (lobster, crab, shrimp, sea bass, and saffron to name just a few). It looked nothing like what he made on TV and tasted kind of weird. That’s okay, though. Tyler’s more than hot enough to make up for it.

“Food 911” with Tyler Florence

Help! I got a fire in my pants and there’s only one man who can put it out! I tried calling 3663-911 a couple months ago but Tyler didn’t answer. I thought that was the number you’re supposed call to get on the show. Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t really want to be on this particular show. He comes to your home to help out with a food crisis and my kitchen is really quite pathetic. I remember I got insanely jealous over one episode a while ago. A cute blond elementary school teacher was like “[stupid little-girl voice] Oh, help me Tyler! I need to make cupcakes for a school bake sale but I don’t know how!” Come off it, sister. Children can make cupcakes; it’s not hard. Then as the episode was ending, Tyler gave the woman a little kiss on the cheek. I was so angry I started frothing at the mouth and punched a hole through front of my TV screen. Cheating bastard.

“From Martha’s Kitchen” with Martha Stewart

Poor Martha. I saw an episode she did down in Jamaica and I was sure she was drunk and high the entire time she was on air. Probably trying to forget about her legal woes.

“Semi-Homemade Cooking” with Sandra Lee

There are so many things I can say about this woman and her show (none of which are good). First of all, her motto is something lame like, “The food is semi-homemade but you get 100% of the credit.” [Making jerking-off motion] Whatever. Second, her food isn’t “semi-homemade” at all, unless you count putting a dollop of vanilla Jell-O pudding on a slice of Sara Lee pound cake. Homemade? Bullshit. This is her recipe for semi-homemade Macaroni & Cheese: Make a package of store-bought instant macaroni and cheese, pour into a casserole dish, cover with store-bought breadcrumbs, and bake. Maybe it’s homemade in the sense that you made it at home and not in the middle of the street, but it’s not… it’s just not cooking. It’s not from fresh ingredients and it’s not from the heart. I’m sorry. What she does get creative with are her mixed drinks. She kind of slowed down with the alcohol lately, but when the show first aired, I thought for sure she must have squandered some of her youth as a small-time hooker in Tijuana. All of her drinks were variations on tequila, rum, wine, brandy, and ice. Finally, this chick is emaciated. If her food tastes so shitty that even she can’t stomach it, why would you want to make it?

“Wolfgang Puck’s Cooking Class” with (duh) Wolfgang Puck

This guy is adorable. I love his Austrian accent and he’s probably the best chef out there. I bought a potato ricer after watching his Potatoes Galore!episode. I like the ricer, even though riced potatoes look like a bowl full of maggots until you stir in milk and butter. This show is great because he takes some of the basics of cooking (how to make stock, how to use a wok, etc.) and creates really impressive dishes. He shows you techniques that you can turn around and use at home.

“Molto Mario” with Mario Batali

This guy knows everything about Italy, Italian cooking, and the nuances of cuisine from different Italian regions. Every single episode, I’m floored by how much he knows. BUT… I’ve never replicated any of his dishes at home. I think they look too difficult for me because I don’t have a proper fishmonger or an authentic Italian butcher near me, so I feel like I can’t get any of the really nice ingredients he uses. He was cooking a stuffed rabbit the other day. Rabbit. Where am I going to get a whole, skinned rabbit? One thing I particularly like about his show is that he always has three guests, watching him cook and asking questions. Every now and then an actor from "The Sopranos" will show up and even off the set these dudes still look like scary Mafia men. That guy who plays Chris Moltisanti was on and he was watching Mario (not what Mario was doing with the food) the entire time. I was waiting for him to pull out a gun and start asking where his fucking money was.

“Barefoot Contessa” with Ina Garten

If there is any cook that I wish would invite me over for dinner, it’s this lady. Her food looks fabulous and not too intimidating. Some dishes that other chefs prepare can look hoity-toity, but Ina’s like, “Take this, mix in some of that and that, stir in some cooked shrimp and that’s it. You’re all done.” It looks easy and delicious. She also has the best garden I’ve ever seen. One time she was making a tomato/mozzarella/basil salad and said, “I’m just going to run out for some fresh tomatoes.” Little do you know, she’s going into her backyard to grab a few green zebra heirloom tomatoes. Who the hell grows those? Green zebra? I never even heard of those! When in need of fresh rosemary, she clips a few branches off of a bush the size of a small car. I thought the puny little stem growing on my kitchen windowsill was nice, but apparently not nearly nice enough.

“Paula’s Home Cooking” with Paula Dean

Paula reinforces the stereotype that southern people only cook fried/fatty food. Want mayonnaise-coated chunks of lard deep-fried and tossed with gristle? Cheese-covered butter-soaked marshmallow-stuffed yams? MMmmm MMMmmm. I jest, it’s not that bad and she’s a jolly, colorful character but I haven’t wanted to replicate any of her dishes myself. She tries, though. She says here and there that you can substitute yogurt for the sour cream and regular milk for the heavy cream (even though she never does).

“Everyday Italian” with Giada De Laurentiis

This girl has the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen. I think that if I ever saw her in person, I’d want to pop them out and take them home with me. The only problem I have with her, besides the fact that I hate her show and think she copies all of Emeril’s recipes, is that when she smiles, it looks like she’s trying to grind gravel between her teeth. I did make her farfalle with turkey sausage, peas, and mushrooms once. Everyone loved it. (Bitch.)

“East Entertaining” with Michael Chiarello

This guy needs to get out of the Napa Valley. All he does is invite his rich friends over to eat, drink wine, and take hot-air balloon rides. And get this: On his Christmas episode he shows you how to make basil-infused olive oil, to give as gifts. When I told someone at work what a nice idea I thought it was, I was promptly told that one must be careful when infusing oil because the herbs might breed bacteria and then you’d just be giving out bottles of 100% Grade A botulism. Thanks for the warning, Michael. I could have killed all my friends.

April 15, 2004

Great Moments in Pantyhose Jurisprudence

Since the 1959 invention of pantyhose, this single-garment combination of underpants and stockings has been mentioned time and again in the decisions of American appellate courts. Here are the highlights:

In trademark dispute, pantyhose and tights not equivalent because pantyhose show the leg through the material while tights are opaque and can be worn as outerwear.
Kiki Undies Corp. v. Promenade Hosiery Mills, 411 F. 2d 1097 (2nd Cir. 1969).

Patent covering a "combination panty and stocking" did not cover all such garments but was restricted by its terms to those pantyhose constructed with a single U-shaped seam running from front to back through the crotch area and having no intervening crotch-piece.
Tights, Inc. v. Acme-McCrary Corp., 541 F. 2d 1047 (4th Cir. 1976).

Decedent’s suicide by hanging herself with own pantyhose at Bayonne Municipal Jail not the result of negligence on the part of jail personnel for failing to remove pantyhose when they took her earrings, shoelaces, and gold chain prior to incarceration.
Kocienski v. City of Bayonne, 757 F. Supp. 457 (D. N.J. 1991)

Contract provision regarding amortization applied to all the defendant's pantyhose, not merely those bearing the Sheer-to-the-Waist label.
Doral Hosiery Corp. v. Sav-A-Stop, Inc., 377 F. Supp. 387 (E.D. Pa. 1974).

In prosecution for larceny, trial court not in error when it permitted a witness to testify concerning the value of four cartons of pantyhose which defendant had stolen.
State v. Carter, 211 S.E. 2d 813, 24 N.C. App. 688 (1969).

Criminal defendant’s counsel not ineffective in the testing of garment to determine whether victim’s foot had been cut off while wearing pantyhose when testimony indicated there were strategic and tactical considerations in attorney's decisions regarding the pantyhose.
Stoppleworth v. State, 501 N.W. 2d 325 (N.D. 1995).

Plaintiff, held by store personnel after being accused of stealing coupons from pantyhose packages, established a prima facie case of unlawful detention because a 35 cents-off coupon did not meet legal definition of merchandise.
Liptak v. Rite Aid, Inc., 673 A. 2d 309, 289 N.J. Super. 199 (N.J. App. Div. 1996).

Workers’ compensation commission acted correctly in denying benefits to employee injured in a car wreck during lunch break; retrieving new pair of pantyhose to replace damaged one not considered part of employment duties.
Coble v. Modern Bus. Sys., 62 Ark. App. 26, 966 S.W.2d 938 (1998).

Conviction for robbery of pizzeria overturned on basis of testimony that witnesses could not ascertain whether defendant was wearing both legs of pantyhose or only a single leg.
State v. Jackson, 621 N.E. 2d 710, 86 Ohio App. 3d 568 (Ohio App. 1993).

Most Logical Answer Yet

from: Rob Theakston [busymofo@yahoo.com]
to: Y.P.R. [ypr@yankeepotroast.org]
subject: Don't know if anyone answered yet.

The 'P' in Alex P. Keaton stands for Peace. Elise and Steven were both hippies in the sixties. There was one episode where they had a flashback to when Alex was a baby and showed how Alex got his middle name.

April 14, 2004

My Zombie Movie

With the recent success of the Dawn of the Dead remake, I decided it was as good a time as any for me to dust off the screenplay to my own zombie masterpiece entitled Watch Out, Here Come the Zombies.

I’ve been working on it on and off for the last fifteen years. It will serve as an homage to every zombie movie ever made, yet it will be a completely original piece of cinema, conspicuously free of any derivative material. To the studio that decides to purchase this genius script, I guarantee two things: it will thrash all the box office records set by Mel Gibson’s weak-ass Jesus flick, and it will spawn a line of merchandise so popular that the hacks at Disney will immediately reëvaluate their bullshit approach to market saturation.

Here’s a sneak peek at my zombie opus, Watch Out, Here Come the Zombies:

  • There will be, literally, hundreds of zombies. Fat zombies with stretch marks. Zombies with bad teeth that will have remnant memories of their desire for adult orthodontia. A cute lunch lady zombie. A very serious stockbroker zombie. A zombie that bears an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Christy, my longhaired, Shakespeare-loving, high school English teacher (in a close up shot, you’ll be able to see that his rapidly decaying hand still clutches a leather-bound copy of The Taming of the Shrew, and his ripped shirt pocket stills holds half a pack of filterless Pall Malls). The sheer number of zombies will make you shake your head and mutter, “Shit, man, those zombies mean business.”

  • My protagonist will be a charismatic African-American gentleman named Chris. He will be remarkably strong, able to effortlessly flip over a kitchen table, kick the legs off, and then nail it over a doorway using only four thumbtacks and the heel of his shoe. He will be unnervingly quiet; so economical in his words will he be that when he does speak, others will shut their yammering traps to imbibe his no-nonsense wisdom. Throughout the entire film, he will sport a tattered short-sleeve Z. Cavericci dress shirt and a skinny tie adorned with purple peace signs. He also will be very proficient in the fine art of wielding a pump-action shotgun.
  • The primary setting will include a small farmhouse that sits near a sprawling cemetery; a medical supply warehouse that stores dozens of freshly frozen cadavers; an underground military facility where crazy, mustachioed Lieutenant Campbell and his rogue group of grunts hunt zombies for sport; and a shopping mall.
  • There will be a scene where the survivors attempt to secure the farmhouse by nailing boards over the windows. Jay-Z’s “So Ghetto” will inexplicably provide one of the film’s more memorable soundtrack moments. The scene also will contain several shots of the survivors searching the house for useful items. For comic relief, the wisecracking vacuum salesman, Gary (played by Carrot Top, most likely), will stumble upon a box full of old 1950s stag films. He will smile and say, “Beat-off time!” It will become something of a catchphrase among the hipster set.
  • You know the Mall of America? The shopping mall will be smaller than that. It will be more like a suburban strip mall. The kind that has stores with weird names, such as a shoe store called Kicks, Etc., that sells knock-off brands of shoes that you’ve never heard of like FreeSpirits and American Eagles.
  • In one crucial scene, the survivors will be holed up in a comic book store on the second floor of the mall. Using information they find in The Dungeon & Dragons Monster Manual, they will discover that zombies don’t like fire, so they drive the undead back with a flaming stack of old Archie comics.
  • One of the other survivors will be a frightened young woman named Sarah. She will spend the first 45 minutes of the movie crying in the corner of the farmhouse. She will momentarily snap out of her funk in the 46th minute when she helps Chris and the others fend off an early morning siege led by the stockbroker zombie. Just when you think she’s about to emerge as a strong female presence in an otherwise testosterone-soaked situation — BAM! — she gets her fucking brain eaten by her dead Uncle Raymond who she mentioned in a two-line monologue during the opening credits.
  • The role of crazy, mustachioed Lieutenant Campbell will be played by Jeff Foxworthy. I wrote the role specifically for him. Have you seen the Jeff Foxworthy show? That son of a bitch can act and, simply put, he has one of the ten best mustaches in the history of facial hair. If the studio won’t let me cast Foxworthy in the role, it will be a major deal-breaker. This movie will not be made without Foxworthy. He is my muse.
  • The film will be action-packed with subtle social commentary on important topics like capitalism, environmentalism and necrophilia. In a scene that will ultimately provide the most memorable movie-poster image since Brian Bosworth stared down Lance Henriksen on the poster for Stone Cold, that kid who plays Lex Luthor on “Smallville” will have his genitals eaten when he tries to have sex with a hooker zombie played by Natalie Portman.
  • In the movie’s final scene, Chris and the two remaining survivors will find an old World War II-era biplane parked in the farmhouse’s two-car garage. Having served three tours of duty in the Canadian Air Force running low-flying reconnaissance missions over the infamous marshlands of Detroit, Chris will have to choose which of the survivors he will take with him on the plane. Never one to mince words, Chris shoots both of the dudes in the stomach and makes off with the coveted box of vintage porn. As he takes off from the end of the driveway, Chris looks at the two guys agonizing over their fresh gut shots and utters the film’s titular line: “Watch out, here come the zombies.”

Some Things You Ought to Have Mentioned before You Brought Me, Your Irish-Catholic Boyfriend, to Meet Your Parents at My First Seder Ever with Your Orthodox Family

  1. We won't be eating for hours. I know you said this before—but I thought you were kidding around. What kind of holiday is this? You said, "Jews love to eat!" I don't get it. I thought I was going to pass out.

  2. This might have gone better if you mentioned that I should cover my tats.

  3. The "Haggadah" your family uses is in Hebrew only. Why did you say for me to volunteer to read in order to impress your folks if you knew this? "Bah-rouk Hatah Adenoy El-O-Heynou"—You could have written out the phonetic translation for me.

  4. You said your dad had a good sense of humor. I thought he would laugh about the Ramses/condom thing, and the Nissan/car thing. I was just trying to ease the tension after the whole "tats" issue.

  5. I went out on Thursday nights, I never watched "Seinfeld". Once or twice—but I don't know every episode by heart. It's just a TV show; get over it. Rather than argue with me, you could explain what a "soup Nazi" is.

  6. Didn't know that you don't smoke in front of your family. But, seriously, after three hours of frog plagues and bad singing, I needed a cigarette!

  7. That your nieces are so uptight. I thought they liked music: that's why I invited them to see Metallica!
    (And P.S. "Creeping Death" is about Passover! Duh!)

  8. Maybe I'm not the first person to make a joke about "hiding the Afikomen", but you didn't have to kick me under the table like that.

  9. Your dad's friend was telling Jew-jokes all night. My Jewish-lawyer joke was funny—in fact, it wasn't even a "Jewish" joke: "It was so cold tonight I saw a lawyer with his hands in HIS OWN pockets!" That's hardly anti-Semitic!

  10. I never said that Jesus Christ was the Messiah; I only said he was the Messiah for the Catholics. I get it that you guys are still waiting.

  11. The moror is, like, horseradish. You know how I hate that stuff.

  12. The cake was awesome. How was I to know that your nieces hadn't been served?

  13. I love Mad Max; you know this. My point was that Mel Gibson only acted in Mad Max. I think your family overreacted.

  14. I'm sorry I laughed at your aunt's name. I know she's Israeli—but "Schlomete"? C'mon—how can I not laugh???

  15. The Four Questions thing. I thought this was wide open and I was trying to participate, like you suggested. I didn't mean to make your nieces cry.

  16. Your uncle's 7th Inning speech on "What it means to be Jewish" was boring on a level reserved for the "Morpheus" character in both Matrix sequels. Your Mom rolled her eyes, too.

  17. The whole kepah thing might have stayed on if we brought bobby pins.

  18. No pork and no shellfish? What kind of religion is this?

  19. David Lee Roth is Jewish. Your Mother's side of the family is "Roth." I had to ask!

  20. By the way—GUINNESS IS KOSHER. I checked it out. According to the Chicago Rabbinical Council's alcohol list on kashrut.com, Irish stouts are kosher. That makes Guinness kosher! IN YOUR FACE!!!

April 02, 2004

Time Is on My Side; No, It's on My Side

The Intricacies of Daylight Saving Time

Silly Season, a.k.a. Daylight Saving Time (DST), is upon us yet again.

Residents of the European Union switch to Summer Time at 1:00 a.m. on the last Sunday in March, and all time zones change at the same moment (under the Universal Time system). It's very efficient and well organized. Bravo, Europe!

But here in the continental U.S., time-changing is a little wonkier. For most of us, DST begins at 2:00 a.m.—local time—on the first Sunday of April. So each American time zone "springs forward" at a different hour. However, things don't get really strange until we start dealing with the exception states of Arizona and Indiana.

77 Indiana counties are in the Eastern time zone and never switch to DST; they're on Standard time year-round. But five counties near Chicago, Illinois, and five near Evansville, Indiana, are in the Central time zone and change to Central Daylight Time. Two other counties near Cincinnati, Ohio, and three near Louisville, Kentucky, are in the Eastern time zone; they switch to Eastern Daylight Time. Theoretically, it's possible to build a house in Indiana with one time for the east wing, and another for the west wing. Depending on where they live and/or work, Hoosiers refer to the local time as "fast" or "slow."

In the Southwest, our time situation gets even crazier. First, there's the overall Arizona Exception: like those 77 Hoosier counties, most Arizonans refuse to spring forward. Then there's the Navajo Rejection of the Arizona Exception: the northeast corner of Arizona is part of the Navajo reservation (which extends into three states) and in an effort to keep the same time across the entire Navajo Nation, they observe DST. But then there's the Hopi reservation, which sides with non-Navajo Arizonans. Yes, the Hopi Partitioned Land, completely enclosed by the Navajo Nation, has declined DST... resulting in the Hopi Repudiation of the Navajo Rejection of the Arizona Exception.

Finally, there's Tuba City, Arizona, which is split in half by the Navajo/Hopi border. The time in each store is determined by who owns the business—Hopi or Navajo—which means that in Tuba City, time is used as a weapon of tribal warfare.

Ah, the good ol' summertime, when the livin' is easy.