Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's the Edge of the World As We Know It, The Edge of the World and We'll Show It

At least this Malcolm Gladwell
knows what's going on.
Christopher Columbus had it wrong. No, not about the enslavement of various indigenous people. Oh wait, he had that wrong too. But the bigger wrong was his whole claim of living in a perfectly spherical world that someone could sail all the way around. It's obvious to anyone who has ever looked at a map, this is wrong. The world is two dimensional. The world is flat.

Not only can you not sail around it, you can't fly, motor scooter, segway or tricycle around the whole thing. Were you to even attempt that, you'd end up victim of a sea monster death as you pedaled off the side of the world.

But why have so many subscribed to this myth of a round world? Two words for you—globe makers. They know if their horrible secret ever comes to the surface, they are out of the business. Suddenly their lucrative basketball-transforming business is usurped by their 2D enemies. And this is something the Global Globe Conspiracy Conglomerate will not stand for.

Every step of the way, the Global Globe Conspiracy Conglomerate has put down all theories of flat world.

When REM recorded the top 10 hit “End of the World,” they originally planned on using it as a platform to get the truth out there. Analysis of the original lyrics reveal that the megaband originally planned on revealing the truth about the edge of the world. Sure, the refrain was exactly the same, because it just talked about the “end of the world,” but Michael Stipe's intonation was totally different. Especially the part about Leo-nard Bern-stein. However, the conglomerate wouldn't allow this to occur. They made the inflections change and blocked society's first insight into the actual shape of the planet.

Normally this wouldn't be too large of an issue, because conglomerates lie to us all the time. But with 2012 knocking at our door, I suddenly realize how the world will end. It won't be Ragnarök, nor an evil space meteor, nor the rise in popularity of “Jersey Shore.” Nope, it will most certainly be falling off the edge of the world.

But don't worry, having the entirety of existence collapsing amongst itself and being devoured by something that should have technically collapsed with the rest of existence isn't as bad as it sounds. Paradoxical, yes. Bad, not really. There are ways we can survive through this.

We could always make the world a round place. I have quite the experience with balloons, and I know when they come to you, they're rather flat, or “two dimensional.” However, with a little bit of helium, these bad boys inflate to comparatively gargantuan proportions. If we just unleash oodles of helium into the atmosphere, suddenly the world will “balloon” up, and sea monsters will disapate.

Track this game down. Do not do
as they do on the cover.
However, there will be a ton of helium in the air, and everyone will talk like some stereotypical cartoon character. Obviously that will not do.

Anyone who has played the early 90s game “Lemmings” knows how this works. One “lemming” will wander off the edge and die, yet the others will not be dissuaded from following suit and plummeting to the death. In this metaphor, the “lemmings” are actually “countries.” That's right, entire bodies of land will wander off the edge of the world to be eaten by unholy sea monsters. That is, of course, unless some sort of Bulgaria or Vatican City steps up as a blocking lemming. Then everyone can live happily ever after.

So when that clock strikes 2012 in a couple days, you really don't need to worry. The Mayans might have predicted the world would soon end, but “Lemmings” had not yet been invented. They did not know humanity would figure out a way to circumvent impending doom.

Monday, December 26, 2011

How did I go so long getting off mascot-free?

“What better way to start the day than with a post on BreakMentalDown and some vodka?” And with that quote from Break Mental Douglas, my blog finally has a mascot.

I didn't always intend to have a mascot, but the spirit of the Christmas season actually inspired me to create him. Just think about it, why is this holiday always such a successful one? It's not the fact that oodles of presents are given away for no reason, or holiday candy is filled with delicious peppermint. Don't even try and claim “family togetherness.” The real reason Christmas has taken the collective consciousness of billions of people is because the big guy himself, Santa Claus, the unofficial official mascot of Christmas.

And in a similar fashion, Break Mental Douglas will bring the joyous overweightedness of Santa to all of my posts. Sure, he might speak in a surlier fashion, and some of his statements are borderline racist against the Macedonians, but they DO really deserve it. All in all, he will be my mouthpiece in a way my words could never hope to be.

With Break Mental Douglas, not only do I join Christmas with my mascot-having, I meet up with 7-Up, Domino's Noid and Scientology's Tom Cruise. Heck, even the veal industry has their mascot in Cagey, the happy-go-lucky calf tenderizer. It seems weird that I waited so long to come into the fast paced world of mascoting.
Looks like Cagey happy-go-luckily caught
another baby cow!

Now that you've already seen what he looks like, you're probably wanting to know his personality. It's not enough to just know that the Trix rabbit is malformed and probably was raised on a diet of mutagen, you need to know that he also has an insatiable hunger for crappily flavored cereal. Who cares about Crazy Frog, if you don't know he likes playing ring tones? Wait, scratch that... who cares about Crazy Frog?

Aside from loving to read BreakMentalDown and having an alphabetically shaped body, akin to Calista Flockhart, there's much to get to know and love about Break Mental Douglas. He really loves macrame—considers it the true form of window covering creation. And, speaking of covering windows, his body ironically enough is incapable of doing that, due to the non-opaque nature of his body.

Just imagine the skits and trouble he can get into when you combine those two factoids. Soon I'll launch various marketing initiatives showcasing Break Mental Douglas. I'll put him in the comical situations that can only be gotten out of when he quips “You do realize Alexander wasn't so great, right?” While that only works on his Macedonian targets, they're a vocal and vengeful group who will give him much (hilarious) sass!

Also, I initially planned on having him take up some jingoistic mantle and take down Kim Jong-Il, but recent developments on that front have already shown Break Mental Douglas (and his home blog... succeeded on that front. Evil dictators of the world, take note, you just might end up having an unrelated massive coronary that Douglas will definitely take credit for. You have been warned—I'm looking at you current president/dictator/king/overlord of Macedonia... if said country still exists.

Now that you've learned about Break Mental Douglas, I'm certain you love him. You love him so much that you'll want to buy into my complete line of merchandise, from water bottles to lunch boxes to nuclear reactors (complete with free “Tasty Goo”) to POGs. And that is completely understandable, because I want all of those things too. We just need to make Break Mental Douglas get big, and then success and relentless commercialization will be the reward we reap.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Festivus Miracle!

Even former Wisconsin Governor
Jim Doyle celebrates the holiest
of holidays
Twas the night of Festivus, and all through the Eastern borough,
Not a creature was stirring, not even those yuppies, usually quite thorough.
They say this holiday is for the rest of us,
You, me, and even little Gus.
Most holidays are so bland and stereotypical,
they can't hold a candle to the Festivus miracle.

What's this? Three unwise men brought a bounty of bagels. Bagels, no, Festivus, yes.
For reasons you most certainly can guess.
Despite their transgressions, we welcome them to the table
To regale in the renowned Festivus fable.
When a father set out through the Christmas crowd,
He braved them to make his son proud.
However, when a doll could not be had for a little Costanza,
A tragic end was brought to this stanza.

From that horrible experience, gave rise to Festivus,
A holiday designed for the rest of us.
And with poles of aluminum, feats of strength and the airing of grievance,
The holiday truly lives up to its contrivance.

The pole, that Festivus pole, is truly the holiday's hero.
Free of distracting tinsel, and with a high strength to weight ratio,
Makes us wonder, what can we do as we gather round this pole?
I know! We can prod and critique, slam and cajole.
The airing of grievances shall commence
Who'd like to start and give someone their comeuppance.
“Occupy Wall Street,” the grievances take to the air.
“Occupy Main Street,” comes grievances number two, making an unlikely pair.
“Feats of strength?” says griever number one.
“Feats of strength!” the other piles on.
Festivus isn't over till one is pinned to the ground,
But who knows who could win, they're both so round.
With cheats and lies, griever number one rises to the top.
His victory makes this ridiculous thing stop.

And that right there is the true Festivus miracle.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Last 7/11th of a minute shopppers finish Christmas shopping at 7/11

As time ticks closer and closer to Christmas Day, you're more and more likely to set out on a last minute shopping excursion. I'm not here to criticize, because I think this trend is a great one. What's even better about it is because all actual stores have sold out of their “good” product by now, you can skip them entirely. This leaves you with only one option—7/11, or as I like to call it, the last minute shopping mecca.
Ho Ho Ho!

Where else can you both get Slurpees and condoms and... more Slurpees? If you say anywhere aside from 7/11, you are definitely wrong. That's a false mecca. Sure, you might have been planning to hold out and snatch up a Fijit or LeapPad on Christmas Eve, but we all know that's not going to happen. You would have just as much success creating a time machine and traveling back to 1996 to purchase a Tickle Me Elmo.

With just a little bit of an imagination, any of the fine fine products sold within a 7/11 can make a phenomenal gift—one so good, I'm sure your offspring will regale you with statements of “It must have taken you at least two minutes to make this!” Which makes them think you did 100 percent higher than you actually did and is truly the mark of any successful last minute shopper.

Here are just a couple great ideas to make 12/25 into a 7/11 experience.

Sack of Slurpee. It's well known the only thing 7/11 turns out is the Slurpee. However, the inherent cold nature of this slushy bit of goodness doesn't translate well to sitting under the tree. That doesn't mean you should avoid this as a present, it means you should embrace it! Go to the store and fill up your Slurpee cup, then drop it the liquid in a smuggled in Ziploc bag. Repeat, twice. Over the next couple days it will morph into a new present. Into a Sack of Slurpee.

False accusations that you stole a can of Coke Zero at one am when you were actually just in there to get one of their weird Tornado Dog things. Although, I might have been the only one to ever get this. Especially when I quite clearly finished off the can as I walked in the door.

Mr. Doughnut Head Man. What better way to own a piece of movie memorabilia than to counterfeit it? When Garth so bravely stabbed “Mr. Doughnut Head Man” in the first Wayne's World, he created this piece of movie memorabilia rife for recreation. The store will not only provide the doughnuts, but also the straws to glue him together.
Use this scene as inspiration for your
copyright violation.

Moat. The Super Double Big Gulp has approximately 317oz. Most medieval moats had somewhere south of 200 oz. of fluid in them, so this makes for a perfect combination. Plus, your moat will taste like a Diet Coke/Mountain Dew/Sprite/Coke Zero/Small amount of Slurpee/Fanta Kamikaze. Evil orcs would be proud to drown to death in a concoction so deliciously sweet.

A human hand. They have them, they sell them. However, the only way to get them is to ask for them. And please, don't ask for them.

Lottery Tickets. Sure, technically a kid can't use lottery tickets, but if it's a winner, nothing says you have to let said kid keep ticket. It's a win-win experience, except with for the near certainty that you will end up a loser in this transaction.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Not twinkling Christmas lights--what a bright idea!

How to cause an epileptic seizure in three easy steps.
1. Get twinkling Christmas lights.
Hmmm, I guess that's all you really need.

I realize I wrote about Christmas decorations just a couple days ago, but my thesis in that one involved burning things to the ground to create a brilliant light display. But brilliant light displays generally do not cause epilepsy, and as I said at the start, that is our goal.
Even Chevy Chase knows full body
electrocution is preferable to twinkling.

When twinkling lights first get strung up, they probably have a pleasing constancy to them. They go on and off at regular intervals. They do not stay off for ages and then turn on in a blinding blast that causes several passing motorists to crash in a firey fire ball that probably actually pleases the writer of this blog. Not because of the inherent death, but because of the actual amazing light show. One that Christmas lights could never even hope to recreate.

However, my neighbor from up the street seems to really want to recreate this scene. He strung up his entire roof with lights from eve to eve, and while I'm totally cool with that, they twinkle in who knows what kind of rhythm. They'll go on then turn off for 2 seconds, on for two, off for two, on for 18, off for one, on for pi, off for the imaginary number I, on for light year, off for three. Repeat.

The entire lack of rhyme and reason is enough to drive someone insane, especially if they are watching TV and can only see the lights out of the corner of their eyes and they think it's some sort of mystical ghost floating over the neighbor's house, and they might think they should call in some sort of exorcist to prevent a subdivision wide ghoulish infestation. So about every ten seconds they need to take their eyes off the screen to look over and say “Oh, it's the stupid lights.”

In case you hadn't figured it out, I was actually the pronoun “they” in that previous paragraph. To the best of my knowledge an infestation hasn't occurred, but the bizarre way they display their yule-tide joy might be a serious sign of some freaky hauntings.

I'm not asking them to stick to some sort of boring schedule, like two on, one off, two on, one off. I realize that could get kind of dull and monotonous, which is not something people strive for in this holiday season (with the exception of Christmas music). 

You get a pass, Rockefeller Tree, because I've only
seen you in pictures, and those pictures don't twinkle.
All that I ask is that they sync it up with something, anything. At least if they synced it up with LMFAO, I would have known they were sexy and they know it, sexy and they know it, sexy and they know it, hey! But they didn't even do me that common courtesy. They could even pair it with episode 131 of the original run of the original Mickey Mouse Club, as long as they could prove things actually synchronized. Sure, I'd still question their logic, rationale and sanity, but I'd applaud their use of found footage to make their Christmas merrier.

Christmas was an inherently religious holiday, and while I've never read any sort of scripture, I'm sure in it they would have railed against epilepsy and death and mushrooms. As a result of that, we should also go against all these things by not supporting twinkling lights. If we want to light things, we can, but just not in a fashion that also includes unlighting and relighting in ridiculous intervals. Only then can we have a merry Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

An excellent way to gum up everything? Chewing pink bubblegum

America, I don't want to sound alarmist, but a great menace besieges us. It's responsible for more deaths than cancer and even less fun than having to watch Chrismas carolers. It will be our undoing. It is pink bubblegum.

I know I'm not alone when I proclaim pink bubblegum as one of the nastiest things ever invented. I'm including ricin and bubonic plague on that list of awful too—pink bubblegum is far worse. As they were inventing it, they made sure to include the rogue's gallery of disgusting. Awful taste? Check. Revolting color? Check. Hideous aroma that gives anyone within a 20 foot radius a mind numbing headache? Check.

I realize I might be the only one who falls into that latter category, but the mere existence of that group of one shows the sheer evil of pink gum. Why would they make something that causes anyone a massive headache. Oh wait, I amend that statement, weapons manufacturers make weapons that cause death and destruction, but those products are marketed for their death and destruction capabilities. They don't sell WMDs as a flavor experience that all kids everywhere should enjoy.

And that is why the people who make pink gum are evil. Pure evil, like Bond villain evil evil. Although I suppose it makes sense one brand of pink bubblegum is called “Bazooka Joe.”
Original name was "Anthrax Joe," probably because
of all the anthrax in him.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against all forms of gum. Some gums are actually quite tasty or have amazing ad campaigns (Yikes! Stripes! Fruit! Striped! Gum!), and I do readily consume those. Five Solstice gum is a flavor explosion where the taste just doesn't stop.

But the pink menace is one that very well could be the undoing of our country. This is a frankenfood forced upon the masses. Even Wikipedia doesn't know what the hell goes into the gum. Here's a verbatim quote from the entry “it is made from synthetic chemicals, such as ethyl methylphenylglycidate, isoamyl acetate and others, and fruit extracts, the true ingredients being kept a mystery to customers.”

You know with so many prefixes and suffixes, the makers of this are up to no good. Also, I'm pretty sure the last time I had isoamyl acetate, it was actually anthrax. That's right, you can purchase anthrax anywhere, up to and including your local armory and even the 7/11.

All that secrecy is not to protect a trade secret of some sort, because that would be like protecting the secret formula for how to make an episode of “Two and a Half Men.” Nobody cares to copy it, because it just isn't good.
Pink gum is a slippery slope towards Violet
turning violet.

With all these negatives attached to it, why do they still make pink bubblegum? Some could argue tradition, as the gum is a remnant left over from the 19th century, when they made candy that tasted like crap as a way of letting kids know they'd probably die of plague soon anyway, so they shouldn't have any fun while on the earthly realm. Others might say they actually like to chew it, but you know they're just trying to be an anti-logical-hipster-type.

Neither of these solutions seem too practical to me, as it seems like a lot of wasted secret ingriedients for far too little gain. But despite its sheer awfulness, the gum remains stuck on the bottom of our desk of life. People chew out of obligation to former gum-endeavors and to continue giving me massive headaches, especially when I'm trapped in an elevator for upwards of two minutes with a kid who keeps smack smack smacking his pink poison.

Please, don't chew pink gum.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Post Office Saves Saturday Deliveries with Child Labor Force

You might notice the letter carriers in your neighborhood have become a bit shorter recently. This isn't some show of solidarity related to the elimination of Saturday delivery and a “shortened” work week, no, it's because the Post Office has started hiring children. Children aged three to eight, primarily.

“This pretty much solves all of our problems,” says Postmaster General Martin Johnson. “No longer must we fear end of Saturday delivery. We will still deliver first class in one day and we no longer have to sacrifice virgins to the posting gods to make our ridiculous deadlines. Children, they're just, they're just great.”
Sure, it might violate laws, but only
laws of being uncute!

The pint-sized workers will eliminate postal problems because they do everything because “it's really fun,” as a toddler dressed head to toe in blue claimed. They demand no salary and do not understand the concept of a pension (although, neither do I). Sure, most children this age are incapable of reading or forming cohesive sentences that don't revolve around the concept of “Bakugan,” but the price can't be beat.

“These are the type of people who just don't care about snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night. These couriers swiftly complete their tasks for the cost of a mere juicebox,” says Johnson.

The young age has caused these children to not become embittered with the world. If they do keep up with their letter carrying tasks, the term “going postal” will disappear from popular vernacular. However, at this age they're also not able to drive, which presents some problems, but luckily their stubby little legs seemingly never grow tired, even with 60 plus pounds of mail.

So, how did children come to dominate the work force that once fell under the sole discretion of pissed off Vietnam Veterans?

“Once we hired Martha Greenwood for our pre-school outreach program, she just hit the ground running. She'd hang out at school playgrounds and offer free candy to any kid who 'wanted to deliver mail.' While some saw innuendo in this, others saw free candy and immediately signed up,” says Johnson.

The one problem the postal service must overcome is the stigma attached to children and their work habits from the industrial revolution. Back then, massive deaths in the labor force caused congress to outlaw child labor for factories in the early 1900s, that law did not carry over for government related entities. This means children can participate in our society as letter carriers, teachers, presidents and even as factory workers (as long as it's a government sanctioned entity).

“We consider it more of an indentured servitude than anything else,” says Postmaster General Johnson. “From this sweet arrangement, they get reduced prices on mail delivery. That's not as a perk, but they keep our costs down, resulting in their costs being lower. And three-year-olds have a lot of correspondence they need to keep up on—way more than even octogenarians.”

Adding to the financial flow of the post office, these kids will not retire for upwards of 70 years. That means they're paying into all forms of social security and pension plans right now. They definitely won't be able to use them in the year 2080, but that's something for their grandchildren to figure out.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Save Money this Holiday Season with DIY Ornaments

Anyone who braved going into a retail establishment this weekend bore witness to a dearth of Christmas lights and decorations that hasn't been seen since the Great Depression. This is probably because they all vanished during a decoration orgy that hasn't been seen since the time of Caligula.

With all the good decorations gone before you could even say “Didn't it just turn December?” you're probably worried that people will see your unadorned house and criticize you as godless heathens. Don't worry about that for two reasons. One, all aspects of religion have been taken out of the holiday, Christmas is godless in and of itself. And secondly, I've got the solutions that will keep you away from those low rent decorations still available in the store. Follow my guidance, and you won't have to stoop to the level of getting elves, skunks dressed like Santa, Coalclops the Bionic Lump of Anthracite or poinsettias.

CoalClops makes a much better piece of
awesome than Christmas decoration.
What's my solution to avoid this low rent approach to Christmas decorations? Go even more low rent by making your own decorations.

Don't have a tree? It's a little known fact, but trees are actually made out of paper. So if you happen to have various Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers coloring books sitting around, you've got yourself a tree. And this tree has the benefit of reminding you of one of the best TV theme songs ever created.

Here's a hint, a bent straw looks exactly like a candy cane, except without all of that weight.

Did you realize that much of your Christopher Columbus Day decorations can be repurposed for the Christmas season? Upwards of 82 percent of those decorations directly translate to Christmas and, with a little imagination, you can bump those numbers up to 86 percent. That neon sign of Chris subjugating an entire race of people? Easily becomes Santa telling elves he needs more toys. Hopefully you didn't take them down after the holiday passed, but why would you, it's not like there were any other holidays of note during that time.

I dislike wreaths. I view them as unnecessary twisting and bending or things that should be neither twisted nor bent. However, I'm probably in the minority on this opinion, and I do come to you with a great suggestion for how to obtain a cheap wreath. Thievery. Many people just hang their wreaths on the front porch all willy nilly. There's no locks, no laser-aided security system. At most, they will use a nail to secure it, and that's it. Just make sure you don't take it from your neighbor's house—they might notice. The one three doors down should be right for the taking. Oh, and don't worry about going against the holiday spirit, because when they do notice it's stolen, they'll just say “Oh well, it's just a wreath, they're vastly overrated in the first place.”
See, I stole this super sweet clip art
image of a wreath.
Need Christmas lights? I've got two words for you. Fire. And more Fire. Okay, technically that's four words, but the key parts are two words, “Fire,” and “more.” Fire burns a brilliant fire-color that looks remarkably similar to Christmas lights. With a controlled blaze, you can simultaneously safely contain and stare in awe as all your world possessions and offspring go up in flame.

By just following a little bit of this advice, you can ensure your Christmas is both merry and insanely cheap/borderline illegal. Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Extreme Cold? More like Extremely Nice!

As we round through December, we enter into what I gloriously call “The Cold Times.” This is a time when cacti freeze to marsupials eating Popsicles. A time when absolute zero comes across as a high. A time when the Sasquatch gets pissed when people try calling him the “Abominable Snowman,” due to the inherent negative connotations. This is a time when we enter winter.

Unlike many people, I don't actually mind winter. Sure, I now live in Seattle, a place where the summer lows equal the winter highs, resulting in an acceptable year-round climate, but this wasn't always the case. I grew up in Minnesota, an area that somehow manages to be in both the arctic and the antarctic circles. The winter lasts seven or eight months and several of my grade school teacher were actual snowmen (not of the abominable type).
Ever notice how penguins never look cold?
That's because it could always be worse, it could be hot.
It might sound like a horrendous living, and believe me, it was. But this sub-arctic background has given me the ability to not only tolerate extreme cold, but cherish it. While not everyone can have the joyful experience of losing three appendages due to weather-related instances or having to bundle up, it is a skillset I learned to deal with and thrive in.

What's nice about extreme cold (see, my Minnesotan blood lets me say a line like the previous clause) is there's always something you can do to make it more tolerable. A little bit nippy? Put on a hat! Still cold? More layers! Frozen to a flag pole? Don't lick germ filled things! Want some nachos? Eat some nachos! All of these solutions are readily available, readily accessible to anyone.

However, comparing this to extreme heat, and you have a far different setup. With heat, you do have a couple layers you can take off. You can always toss on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt before immediately taking them off while bitching about how hot it is getting arrested for indecent exposure.
I'm fairly certain there must be a scientifically provable statistic showing how the majority of sex offenders come from areas of high temperature. People, they're not deviants, they just rightfully dislike feeling their souls melt.

When subjected to cold for a long time, you're face might start crushing in upon itself. At that point you both know it's decently cold and you're justified in shouting out profanities. Don't worry, nobody can hear you, they're far too bundled up to actually hear you. When the summer heat melts a body, all you're really allowed to do is let the meltation occur and then die. That's you're only option.

And this is why winter is so grand. No matter the area, even if you're on the equator, it will be cooler than the summer. No souls will melt, no children will have their innocence ruined. It's win win for everyone involved.

So when you go out there and see a high that has a negative sign in front of it, take it in stride, it could be far worse, you could be in jail. Granted, jail is filled with lots of happiness and bodies to keep your core temperature raised up high, but trust me, that is not where you want to end up.

For places that actually have winter, enjoy it, it's bound to be a greatly cold one. Me, on the other hand, I'll be riding a bike to work in a t-shirt, because I live in an area that doesn't have weather.