Monday, October 31, 2011

My Halloween Curse Will Make You Howl (and possibly kill you)

Seeing as how today is Halloween, and since that is one of the most hauntingly horrifying days to ever exist (take that half birthday of Columbus Day!) I've decided to tell you a little ghost story.

Are you afraid of the Zeebo?
But it's not just any story, for that's something “Are You Afraid of the Dark” could easily do. No, this ghost story is horrendously frightening, because it shows that you, my gentle reader, have fallen into the trap of an awful curse.

It's probably not too well known, I've managed to keep much of the bad press buried (go PR background!) but I built on a cursed Indian burial ground pet cemetery haunted house pharaoh’s tomb zombieville McDonald's. Atop the corpses of various other dotcoms, I thought this would be my home on the web. I didn't know it would cast a hideous curse upon my sevens of readers.

Look out, behind you! There's an invisible zombie feasting upon the aortas of your significant other(s)! Oh, why have you fallen victim to my curse? The only way to save them is by eating them entirely before the zombie has a chance to do it. Go, go now and save them from murder by performing a mercy killing. Since I kind of brought this upon you, don't worry, I'll provide the spork. Oh, and bring ketchup. You'll thank me later.

With that bit of unpleasantness behind us (minus a bit of upcoming gastrointestinal issues) I must reveal to you I'm actually a corpse. I died when I choked on a Cool Ranch Dorito at my third grade class' Halloween party. I've used every Halloween since to rise from the grave, put that Power Ranger costume back on and let my zombie buddies have their way with people's significant others. Oh, and a little by the way, when you ate your significant other, they were in process of zombification, which means you're in the process of turning to one as well.
Demon Kevin makes red eye reduction his bitch.

Not only do you join my unholy army of the dead, but you're adding to my unholy army of page views.
With each reader and subsequent death, I grow stronger. It's no surprise October has been the most viewed month ever on BreakMentalDown. All those lost souls are coming home to roost in my surprisingly warm bosom. Come souls come, I mean you no harm... except your death!

But wait, what's this, a pure and innocent baby child is approaching the site. It leaves a comment simply asking “Why?” (cutely spelled as “y?”) At this point, if I were the Grinch or the bad guy from Avatar, my heart would probably grow three times and I'd realize the true meaning of the blessed holiday. But I'm not, as I've said numerous times, I'm an evil monster from Hell. Its innocence means absolutely nothing to me as I feast upon its virgin soul.

He's just one pint sized step before I fully take over the world. One delicious pint, that is.

As Orson Welles once said, ladies and gentlemen, this is Kevin Nelson out of character to assure you that I'm not an evil corpse monster and this post has no further significance than as the holiday offering it was intended to be: BreakMentalDown's own blog version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying "Boo!" So goodbye everybody, and remember, please, for the next day or so the terrible lesson you learned tonight: that grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the pumpkin patch, and if your doorbell rings and nobody's there, that was evil corpse from hell, hellbent on destroying the entirety of all life as we know it—it's Halloween. 

... or is it? 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A diet high in microfiber will kill you

“Hey Kevin, do you want to come help me and all of my supermodel friends do a car wash to raise money for how super hot we are?”

This is a common question I receive, and it sounds great on paper, but I know exactly the path it's leading down. Regardless, I reply “Sure!”

“Great! If you could pick us up some supplies like soap... AND MICROFIBER MUHAHaHAHAHA! That'd be great.”

This picture alone proves microfiber
is a sham... wow.
Yup, I almost fell for the siren song again. They didn't actually want me to shoot lecherous leers at them, they were merely sleeper cell agents from the microfiber industry, intent on foisting their horrific product on the masses.

For those who don't know, microfiber is that bizarre material generally used when polishing a car or wiping off a camera lens. To touch it is like touching an octopus, because it will latch onto you and not let go until you start vomiting. I'm pretty sure it has extraterrestrial origins.

Seriously, there has to be evil porcupine wizards inside of it to give such an awful texture. At work, we make the new people deal with anything microfiber related. From putting it back in its spot to touching it to powerwashing the old people day, everything microfiber-related falls under their jurisdiction.

Now microfiber apologists might claim the material dries things really well. I would agree with that point, except you know what also dries things really well? Normal towels, abnormal towels, dogs, cats, vacuums, pontoons and giraffes all possess the ability to make something drier. Basically anything that is a thing will dry other things. You do not need to bring a nausea inducing awfulness into cleaning—an act that's already awful in and of itself.

The apologists might also claim the rate of microfiber absorption speeds things up because you don't need to rewipe the same spot. Well, just keep in mind, when you hold the thing out at arms length and touch it with the smallest surface area possible (I once got it down to a square nanometer), it's going to hinder any speed gains. And it ill engender hatred at everything.

Keep in mind, I'm not the type to just go off on a product without doing diligent research. It seems microfiber was raised in Sweden in the 1990s. Like the weed it is, it slithered across the pond and convinced Rubbermaid to start marketing itself to the masses in 2007.

It goes without saying we're in a much worse place now than those glorious pre-microfiber days. In the years since microfiber materials arrived, we've met nothing but problems. Global recession? Microfiber. Too dry of golden retrievers? Microfiber. Cars that proactively repel hobo urine? Again, it's microfiber at fault.

I would say we should just burn it all and feel good for doing the world a favor, but I realized something, that's what it wants us to do. You don't just create a product that's designed to make people hate it without an ulterior motive. It's like disco in that way.

Luckily, I have stumbled upon a solution. Wikipedia says microfiber can hold up to eight times its own weight. What we simply need to do is get nine times its body weight in some awful material. Something like ipecac, gin or shrimp. Something nobody would want to go near. The combination of the awfulness of the liquid and its sheer size will cause the vile microfiber to drown, and we as a human race can live happily ever after in our world that is clean without the hindrance of microfiber towels.

But that might be what the microfiber wants us to do...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Make Truly Horrorific Haunted Houses with Actual Murders

Hey, let's walk through this cornfield. There's nothing that could go wrong. Oh my god, it's a clown, RUN! Oh my, another clown, and a ghost! KEEP RUNNING! Decapitated body! Flan! Evil Scarecrow! Tim Curry from “It!” Tim Curry from “Charlie's Angels!” Chainsaw guy!!!

Sorry if that haunted house got a little too intense for you there. But as a survivor of upwards of 12 lifetime haunted house-goings, I am an expert in the industry and can offer you a couple ideas to make your haunted house a fright to remember.

Protect yourself by using a disclaimer like this. Customers
will think it's facetious. It is not.
First off, keep in mind October is really the only time you can have a house of horrors designed to cause people to defecate themselves. Although April at an H&R Block comes a very close second. Use this knowledge to send your house over the top. Use real blood, real zombies and real hanging corpses. I'd recommend viewing “American Horror Story” and investing in a gimp suit. Realness shows a compromised mental status, which will cause haunted house goers to question what the house is truly capable of doing.
Making tweens look like idiots and douches at the same
time should be your haunting goal.

Secondly, construct on actual haunted grounds. I'm talking the Manson household, Buffalo Bill's backyard or any theater that ever showed “Whip It”—some place where something truly terrible happened. However, the sheer hauntingness of said area makes it hard to use that land. You'll have to deal with far too many kids wanting to have sex with ghosts, and while that is frightening, it's just a little too real for what we're trying to achieve.

But you're in luck, you can make any area haunted by ensuring various tragic deaths occur within the house of horror. It's pretty simple to make someone die from fright or a strategically placed barbed wire to the face. Once you do that, you have a truly haunted area, and that's not even counting the backed up toilet “props.”

Another great thing to do is recruit actual chainsaw murderers to play the chainsaw murderers. Since every haunted house must have one of those, simply drive up and down I-5 picking up “hitchhikers” to play your murderers. Tell them to enjoy themselves, they probably won't even ask for compensation. Of course that is aside from the satisfaction of bathing themselves in tweenagers' blood.Also, ask them if they can do a delayed slice effect (a victim's head gets cut off and it takes several seconds for it to split away) because with a chainsaw, that would look really neat.

Hitchhikers can also provide their own chainsaws.
But washing the walls in blood and ghosts is not enough to make an amazing haunted house. I've been to my share of houses recently, so I know about the latest trends in horrifying experiences. One of the best advances in haunting technology is the squishy floor. Imagine walking along through a cornfield or mausleum or Chuck E. Cheese and all of the sudden the floor gives out. But it only drops a knee-shattering two inches before bouncing back. Bam, another victim of squishy floor. This is the trend of haunted houses 2011, if you don't have one, you're behind the times.

Mazes seem like a cheap trait, and that's because they are. But they work. The other day when I was at a haunted house, I was working my way through a maze segment. The criss-crossing nature of it caused my group to run into another group. This caused the 13-year-old I accidentally walked into to freak out and yell “There's a person there!” before running away. I'll admit, in my jeans and a t-shirt, I might have looked a tad bit frightening, but really it was the maze aspect that pushed me to the verge of causing cardiac arrest in someone who really should be nothing more than chainsaw bait.

By being sick and depraved in your haunted house, you will make a truly great haunting experience that everyone will tell their friends about—ermmm, that is the few who survive.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Rapturous Apocalypse Now Redux

Previously on “As the Rapture Turns,” we were told the world was going to end by a crazy coot named Harold Camping, threes of people believed him, mass hysteria didn't hit when everything happened as expected (nothing) and the world came to a bloody end as the apocalypse took the souls of every living Christian.

One of those didn't happen.

The Giant Floating Cat of Outer Space prevented
the last apocalypse, because it wanted to bat around
the planet.
But then the big twist occurred—the world was never supposed to end on that day, instead a secret invisible alien creature god (SIACG) used this time to secretly judge if he should end the life of every good Christian soul. Then on October 21st, we'd find out what he decided. M. Night Shyamalan responded by saying if the world didn't actually end, he'd definitely steal that plot for his next pile of crap.

While we don't know which way SIACG is going, the world will probably end tomorrow. Why else would he make a big show of showing up (in invisible form) to pass judgment (invisibly) if he didn't want to end most life in the non-invisible world?

So it seems SIACG will rapture the good souls on October 21st, and for real this time. I'm actually kind of looking forward to this event, because if it's as goofy as Harold Camping predicts, it will be quite memorable—that is, before roving bands of mutant zombie dogs feast upon the flesh and brains of the remaining humans.

One of the key aspects of this end of the universe prediction involves strict adherence to time zones. Camping predicted the world will end at six pm local time, everywhere. This precision guided rapture knows exactly what time it is everywhere and will adhere to them as it brings about the end. It doesn't matter that time zones constantly shift and nobody really knows what time it actually is. It doesn't matter that Indiana can never decide if it wants to follow daylight savings time. It doesn't matter that China has one official time zone but Tibet has an unofficial second one. SIACG is much bigger than mere people and their artificial time constructs, but he will use it to ensure their end.

Now that we know the time of death, how exactly will this occur? Earthquakes. Lots and lots of earthquakes. The six pm D-hour will see earthquakes hit in every time zone. I love this because it's like Camping has never even looked into how plate tectonics work. An earthquake isn't going to say “Gee golly, I've come to an arbitrary lines that's redrawn constantly. I guess I will stop quaking for the next hour before continuing.” It will definitely be interesting to see that earthquake shatter Omaha, NE, because there's actually no way whatsoever for an earthquake to occur there.
Even a toddler can see there's no way earthquakes could
occur in the majority of the world. Especially not at
six pm everywhere.

I imagine the areas bordering time zone lines will also see massive tourist dollars come in as everyone will want to straddle the line dividing -900 GMT from -800 GMT. One side will feature absolute chaos while the other will be relatively sane. Those who are going to ascend can straddle the border and have half of their soul go to the great beyond while the other half remains behind to fester and die before rising in an hour's time.

This really excites me, because it will be like the time when my roommate stole sneaked into a construction site and stole the blue prints for the 5th floor of the building. Upon completion, I'm certain the first through fourth floors were completely normal, and the sixth floor met building code. But when you entered the fifth floor, there were constant garbage fires, hobos, billy goats eating kumquats and rickshaws. These borderlands remained intact while the center was destroyed.

Knowing all of this in advance, I'm still taking a flight on October 21. I certainly hope my pilot is the scum of the earth, because that will ensure he doesn't rapture and can safely land the plane into the mess civilization will have become. I might even slip some cocaine into his mid-flight coffee, just to draw him farther from the point of good and keep us flying safely.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The trick-or-treat trick is choosing the right razor blade

Growing up, one of the best things about going Trick or Treating wasn't just the boatloads of candy, it was trying to decide which ones had extra presents in them. I'd tear through packs of Milky Ways and Smarties, Butterfingers and (ick) raisins, trying desperately to find the razor blades and cyanide capsules we'd all heard about.

I'd never poison these. That'd be like destroying a Picasso.
But I never found any.

It turns out nobody actually does that. Wikipedia confirms there have been no incidents of deliberately poisoned candy given out from strangers during Halloween. Well, Halloween 2011, we're about to change Wikipedia!

It helps that I actually live in an area where kids could foreseeably come Trick-or-Treatin' at my door. This makes the victim procurement pretty simple, and once I figure out how to “enhance” my Halloween food, I am definitely in the Halloween murder business!

I realize it's classic to defile apples with various devices of evil, razor blades and the like. But I always found this a stupid practice. I mean by virtue of being fruit, all apples are basically already poisoned anyway. Seriously, who the hell would eat an apple in a world where strangers are giving you boatloads of 100 Grands?

With that in mind, I decided to weaponize simple candy. I procured 32 razors, a bag of the best candy multi-pack ever (Crunch, 100 Grand AND Baby Ruth!), a second bag of candy to remain untainted and edible by me, some of those “Do not eat” packets from beef jerky, Blue Raspberry-flavored Meth, 12 of the “Do not tear off under penalty of law” tags from some extra firm standard sized pillows and a surprising amount of cyanide packets.

I usually use a Mach 3 razor to shave my face, so I figured that would be the perfect blade to stash away in a Payday. But have you ever tried putting a razor in candy? It's really tough work! A fun size candy bar is not nearly large enough to hold an entire razor and handle. I could go with a full size candy bar, but committing wanton acts of murder with something a corporation has declared “fun” just has such delicious (yum!) irony to it, I needed to use that size. Plus, non-fun size costs upwards of 73 cents per bar. I guess it's true when they say murder don't come cheap.

Here third grader third grader
third grader.
It looks like the cost-prohibitive razors have caused nature to pick my poison for me. When I hatched this whole candy-defiling idea, it got the attention of the FBI. They stormed my compound in a vaguely Ruby Ridge-esque fashion, but their guns and millions of dollars were no match for my crapload of razors. And the great thing about federal agents, their teeth are cyanide capsules. This is so if they're caught by the enemy, they can bite down on their tooth and not reveal state secrets. It makes it a scary endeavor to chew gum or encounter me though.

As a result of this bungled raid, I ended up with enough cyanide capsules to show off a full toothy smile. But I didn't put their teeth in my mouth, because, ew.

When Ronald Clark O'Bryan poisoned his kids with cyanide Pixy Stix, most of the group actually turned down the candy, because it was wet. I don't know if cyanide is naturally wet, since I've only seen it in tooth form, but this seems like it would definitely present a problem for my scheme. I suppose if I put one of those “Do not eat” silica packets from beef jerky, it might absorb the moisture and will not be abnormally wet. But then again, it's also telling them to not eat my poisoned candy. If that's not a catch-22, I don't know what is!

Maybe I could... no, that would work. Or possib... no. What if I dressed as a really neat thing, like a Power Ranger or Darkwing Duck. I could then tell them only cool kids mainline cyanide? That could work, but getting a supply of sterile needles for that would be too time consuming.

Oh rats, Idon't know what to do.

I'm going to have to apologize, it's just too hard to murder random trick-or-treaters. Sure, I have motive—they keep knocking on my door—I'm just far too lazy to actually create a good murderous candy. Screw it, I'm just going to give out copies of Will Ferrell DVDs and Will Ferrell shaped raisins. Killing their souls like this might even be better than doing in their bodies.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Turny Turn Signal's Brightest Day

Turny Turn Signal lived a harsh life. Every day of his existence, he had one goal and one goal only. To turn on. As his name implies, Turny Turn Signal is a turn signal. He's a turn signal on a 2006 Corolla S Model, to be precise. His owner doesn't signal. This makes Turny Turn Signal sad.

Even worse, his neighbors seem to operate all the time! Robby Reverse and Bric-a-breaklight seem always flash on and off.

“Hey Turny, it sure looks like we're coming to a turn lane, maybe you'll finally get your shot and your wish will come true!” said Bric before bursting into colorful laughter. “AHAHAAHA, like that will happen. Try not to get blinded by my light.”

Turny Turn Signal in his natural, unlit, mode
Turny Turn Signal really hated Bric.

When the car slowed down, as predicted, Bric let out his brilliant red light, while Turny remained a depressing unlighted orange. The car simply made the turn with no turn signal.

While the others weren't as cocky as Bric, they certainly got more use than Turny Turn Signal. Even Herman Headlamp, who should only pop on during the night time hours (assuming the operator is not using night vision goggles) actually even stays on during the day time.

“Day time running lights,” Herman said as he emitted lumen upon precious lumen to the well-lit daytime streets.

Turny Turn Signal even practiced his lighting routines when nobody was looking. Sure, there's no power flowing through the car at this point, and he actually has no way to turn on, but Turny Turn Signal kept on trucking. If the car actually were in operation, he'd be blinking so much, many people would think an octagenarian was behind the wheel.

But alas, this dream remained just that, a dream. Turny Turn Signal's owner decided he didn't need to follow State Law 1018. He would simply just never signal, as that wasted time he just did not have. Although the owner's friends pointed out that made absolutely no sense, he claimed they were just shills for the lucrative turn signal light replacement industry before blasting off and turning right on red. Of course, he did not signal that turn.

“That was the best stop ever! When owner slowed down, I just felt so good,” ribbed Bric. Turny Turn Signal really hated that collection of bulbs connected to wiring harnesses. “I bet cars over the next county line even knew we braked... because I'm so bright.”

But even brighter than Bric's red lights were the blue and red flashers of Paulie Police Car.

“Wheee! Whee Whee WHEEEEEEEEEEEE!” they screamed as they forced Turny Turn Signal's owner to pull over. Paulie's owner walked out and talked to Turny Turn Signal's owner for a while before heading off. After Paulie left, Turny Turn Signal's owner sweared loudly and tossed his “Failure to use turn signal” ticket out the window.

Turny Turn Signal feared the next turn. Like every other turn in his life, he knew changing lanes would get his hopes up before crashing them down under one of Bric's surprisingly witty retorts. Turny Turn Signal didn't even want to be a turn signal.

But his owner needed to turn, and not wanting to owe the government another $141, he flipped the handle and Turny Turn Signal turned on!

Turny Turn Signal lit up like a firework. Five years of concentrated lumens shot out the back of the car like a supernova of flashing orange light.
Turny Turn Signal as seen over a fjord in Oslo, Norway.
Local time, 3:27 am.

People throughout the world could view this output. In France, it illuminated baguettes and black berets. In Japan, it allowed Godzilla to feast upon poor drivers. The strobing effect gave a Mariachi band in Mexico the ability to perform the most bizarre Huapango norteƱo ever. All throughout the land, Turny Turn Signal's light shined proudly upon various outdated stereotypes.

Even aliens up in outer space shielded three of their eyes and proclaimed “Monkch Chlulock!” Which Turny Turn Signal interpreted as “the ability your vehicle has to emit lights allowing others to know which direction you go is intriguing and impressive. God bless you Turny Turn Signal and your amazing abilities.” But what it actually meant was even better. It simply meant “Too bright!”

When the turn completed, all the lights turned off in stunned silence. Bric-a-breaklight mustered the only possible response.

“Good job, kid. You do have a bright future.”

Monday, October 10, 2011

Coming up with Halloween costumes gives an awful fright

Ug from Salute Your Shorts. Arrested Development's Mr. Banana Grabber. Heart from Captain Planet. Flying Spaghetti Monster. Motherfucking snakes on a motherfucking plane. Trotter, the Upright Citizen's Brigade member with a poo stick. Preparation H Raymond. Evil Dead's Ash.

I have been touched!
If this sounds like the greatest mash ever, you're just about right. But to the best of my knowledge, they have never gotten together to party, let alone mash. What they have done is served as my Halloween costumes for the past seven years. And as a result, they've raised colossal expectations for my costume this year. I do not know if I can meet them, since I have no idea what I'm going to be.

Many people take the easy route. They purchase a reasonable approximation of a licensed character. But this costume doesn't actually make a person look like the character, but like someone who purchased a reasonable approximation of said character. They usually spend $30-$15789032 on said approximations.

Random aside, as an employee at Target, one guy came into the store on October 30th and asked where the costumes were. The thing is, he looked exactly like Jon Gosselin. I didn't want to tell him where the costumes were, I wanted to tell him that nature had put him an Ed Hardy shirt and an annoying kid (Aaden) away from a perfect costume. I only shied away from this, because there existed the outside chance that it actually was Jon Gosselin. And then I'd feel like and idiot. And for Jon Gosselin to make someone else feel like an idiot would be too much for me to handle.
Not captured in this picture is the
totally sweet tail fin I created.

I always keep my costs under that $30 mark by shopping at thrift stores, going to the ghettos of K-Mart and using real sticks to construct my poo-sticks. These cost cutting measures result in cheap and amazing outfits.

It would be so much easier if I were a girl. I could always be “Sexy (Fill in the blank).” And anything can go into the blank! Like Sexy Caterpillar, Sexy Boutros Boutros-Ghali or Sexy Birdo from Super Mario Brothers 2. But my maledom prevents this from occurring.

My goal for costume creation is to have roughly three percent of people understand it, but from those three percent, 110 percent will fervently love it. I'll never forget someone wanting to shake my hand because of the Snakes on a Plane outfit or someone seeing Preparation H Raymond from behind (big ears and a burlap sack) and demanding a tube.

Currently I'm considering several options for my Halloween costume. But each one presents its own issues. Odds are, I will not go with any of these, but merely thinking of them will guide me along in the process.

Say it right or pay the price!
Leonard Selby from “Memento”: The tattooed amnesiac with a heart for vengeance seems like a perfect costume. So great, in fact, I actually suggested my brother go as this one last year. When he didn't, it immediately moved to number one on my costume list. The initial thing holding me back is it would require dying my hair bleach blond, and then I'd look like a douche. Things became even worse when I actually watched the movie and realized Leonard has no facial or hand tattoos. If I want the Memento effect to come across, I'd have to be half naked. And October is too cold to be half naked.

Kevin McCallister from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Another early front runner. I always thought I could have played Kevin in the original movies, mainly because my name IS Kevin, and I wouldn't have had to learn how to respond when people called to me. All I would need is a red sweater, and the costume makes itself. But again, that blond hair issue comes into play—I'm not dying my hair.
Masturbating Bear: A great idea, but do you realize how much the combination of a bear costume and a band to play “The Sabre Dance” costs? Prohibitively expensive.

Look! A Seagull!
Title character from the hit show "Social Morays": This show is insanely popular, so public opinion seems to demand it. The problem with having a show made by using sock puppets is when you try making a costume from it, people just assume your an insane sock puppet talker and avoid you at parties.

Character from Rejected: Anyone who has ever seen Don Hertzfeldt's “Rejected” will remember it features the greatest scene of anal bleeding to ever occur on film. And that will pave the way for the greatest costume about anal bleeding as well.

Come to think of it, I literally cannot reject that last one. All I need is a white sweatshirt, a sharpy and a whole lot of blood, and the costume is made.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Soon, Robots will bring home the bacon, and not in a good way

We are headed to end times. Rivers will run red with blood and gravity will soon reverse itself. Load up your shotguns, pack up your emergency rations and horde all of the Pogs you can (currency of the future). What we will soon encounter is Y2K times a million. What we will soon encounter is the end of bacon.

Feel free to throw out your Y2K survival kits.
You will need a LBS2K11 one though.
Don't believe me? Go to the grocery store and head to the aisle with bacon. HA! See, right there is proof that bacon supplies are in free fall. In the past I could say “Head to the bacon aisle,” because the wonder product took up an entire 40 foot aisle. You could even choose between refrigerated or (oddly enough) shelf stable. Now it's an aisle with bacon, a complete change. It might look fully stocked, but it isn't. It will dwindle. I'm not far off from saying “the slot with bacon.”

The smartest scientists in all the land know it's inevitable. Food scientists and butchers will still be able to go inside the pig and get all the pork chops, loins, Nutella®, nachos and fake bacon, but no real bacon. It will simply vanish from the pigs and create the large bacon scare of 2011, or LBS2K11, as those people who love acronyms call it. LBS2K11 will bring about truly scary times.

As with Y2K (another one of their acronyms), there will be massive looting, but unlike those days, this will be motivated by something actually occurring. Underground speakeasies will pop up where proprietors offer poor substitutes like alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine and kelp. But nothing will truly fill this horrendous thirst for bacon.

Jacked up on their lack of pork-strip product, people will gain mystical and devastating kosher powers like flight and ability to make a green dot appear on someone's ear. With these powers and the drive of bloodlust, they will turn to cannibalism.

This whole situation probably seems pretty strange. People have been slaughtering and baconing pigs for ages. Why would they suddenly forget how to do it? Why would bacon suddenly disappear?

Being a tireless researcher, I decided to call up the Hormel corporation, which certainly seems like it would know a thing or two about the world supply of bacon. If something messed up in the bacon supply chain, odds are they'd know about it.

I contacted the Hormel corporation at their home in Austin, MN, and had the following conversation with a delightful employee named Francesca.

If he weren't the responsible for our imminent demise,
he'd be adorably cute!
“Hello, you've reached Hormel, future lord and ruler of all the land and keepers of the bacon robots that will decide your destiny. How may I direct your call?” I said.
“Ummm, this is Francesca with Hormel. You called me. Why are you directing my call?”
“So you're not denying the robot apocalypse?”
“We're a meat company. We have few very dealings with robots.”

Ha! Proof right there of the bacon-robot apocalypse, confirmed at the source. Ms. Francesca confirmed everything in a mere 26 words and a contraction. Really, it's sad, because bacon is delicious and robots are sweet. To combine them would have been an amazing combination, but when combined for evil, well that's just... that's just evil.

Anyone still reading this now probably realizes it's all made up. They realize it, because odds are, they're mainlining bacon into their bloodstream and realize that we therefore cannot be out of bacon. Please do take this as a cautionary tale, you know, one that advises against mainlining bacon. If not for you, do it so our kids can grow up in a world with the miracle product.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mellowcreme Pumpkins Need a Pumped Up Name

Finally we have arrived in October. That means a lot of things, things like my brother's birthday and celebration of Columbus Day (circa 1920, when people still cared about him), but the one thing everyone should look forward to comes at the end of the month—Halloween.

I love Halloween, it's a holiday that's pure and fun with no delusions of religion or lack of candy. As a result of this love, I'm dedicating every Monday in October to the great holiday of Halloween. Prepare yourself, you are about to enter Break Mental Scare.

As I've established, one of the great Halloween candies is candy corn. It's easily identifiable, it tastes great and probably cures cancer, but it's not the best Halloween candy. That title goes to its related, but different cousin, the Mellowcreme Pumpkin.

You probably know it as that big blob of flavor in the Autumn Mix. Although it's freaking huge, it commonly gets overlooked. And I think I know the reason for this—nobody knows what to call them. Sure, they have a name, but the name sucks.
They might look mellow now, but the way they
destroy your hunger is anything but!
I aim to change that. I will find a new, non-sucky name for this delightful Halloween delicacy.

First a brief examination of why it has this unfortunate name. It seems the Brach's company patented the name “Mellowcreme Pumpkin” and then decided it would make even more sense to name one of the ingredients mellowcreme. But I think calling something what it is works out really stupidly from a branding perspective. That'd be like calling a McDonald's hamburger “It's made from the same stuff it's packaged in.” Sure, that name has some kitsch value, but the fact that it ends in a preposition really messes its marketability up.

Now, let's compare the humble pumpkin to candy corn. Th latter name works out great, because candy corn actually contains the product it should resemble—corn. Candy corn is basically a whole lot of solidified high fructose corn syrup formed into vaguely cone shaped items. And that means they have corn in them. However, we can't expect to put actual pumpkin inside of the mellowcreme, because that would only detract from the flavor perfection. Note to self, make a corn flavored candy.

As an aside, within the Autumn Mix, Witch's Teeth should be avoided at all costs. It seems like the combination of chocolate and candy corn should be like The Travelin' Wilbury's—the perfect combination of Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, and (cough) Roy Orbison. Instead it comes out like Milli Vanilli—the worst possible combination of Vanilli on top of Milli. I'd imagine if the Witch's Teeth manufacturers used some non-Hershey's level of chocolate, it could be good. But they don't. So it isn't.

With that amazing crash course, it's now time to develop the new, way more awesomer name. As a connoisseur of all things mellowcreme, I am the perfect one to come up with these.

Smashing pumpkins – You might say this name is already taken by the band, but don't worry, they haven't made good use of it in years. It would work really well, because face it, the pumpkins are really smashing! However, I think we should save that name for some sort of mellowcreme-pumpkin-encased-Pop-Rocks. Note to self, create the ultimate food of mellowcreme encasing Pop Rocks.

Pumpkin bombs – this would be a great name, since the pumpkins are bombs of amazing flavor. However, that stupid Green Goblin character already has squatter's rights, and just imagine trying to order a “pumpkin bomb” while on an airline. Note to self, I need to fly more airlines that serve mellowcreme pumpkin cocktails.

Y6R3Y5B1 might seem like an odd name for a candy. It could seem too futuristic robotic for some, but it's the Yellow 6, Red 3, Yellow 5 and Blue 1 food colorings that give these orange little guys their luminous colors. Without them, there are no pumpkins. With them, there is delicious. However, a robotic name like this would probably result in the creation of cyborgs who exist solely to eat Y6R3Y5B1s, meaning less for me, and thus we dump the name.

Pump-it-up-kin, when you do really need it
Pump-it-up-kin until you can feel it
Tasty Candles if you close you eyes while eating the pumpkins, I imagine they taste like candles. Very tasty candles.

Pump-it-up-kins is a great name, because the pumpkins really pump up people. It even helps that a name like this sounds like some unholy combination of Elvis Costello fans and bumpkins, and that's actually the angle I'm trying to achieve. The plan is to get them to murder each other, leaving the name free for the taking.

So get pumped up, because you'll no longer have to explain what a mellowcreme pumpkin is. You can just say “Pump-it-up-kins will pump you up,” and nobody will know what the hell you're talking about.