Thursday, May 31, 2012

I'll Crack My Knuckles When People Realize the Awesomeness of Cracking Knuckles


Uh oh, someone either just broke Ol' Mr. McGillicutty's window... or they just cracked their knuckles.

Fortunately, that surly

Even more fortunately, cracking knuckles is actually a good thing that anyone, no matter how surly they are (here's looking at you, McGillicutty) should appreciate and love. It's a well known fact that cracking knuckles releases evil spirits from the humors of your body. They knew this back in the Middle Ages, and it's just a true to this day.

Don't believe me? Well, I crack my knuckles about 10 times a day, and I've never had a spell cast upon me by an evil wizard. A kind wizard, yes. An evil wizard, no.

If you want to get in the good graces of these wizards though, you're going to need to crack those knuckles properly. My strategy is to do the full crack. That's interlocking the fingers and pressing outwards. There's just something satisfying about those four clicks occurring sequentially. After doing that, I always clench my right hand. It doesn't add anything to the cracking experience, it's just away to psychosomatically tell myself what I just did didn't give me arthritis.

Another thing that tells me I didn't get arthritis is how cracking knuckles actually has no repercussions. There was some guy who cracked the knuckles on his left hand every single day for 60 years. He did not crack the right hand. In the end, neither hand developed arthritis. Sure, he exercised poor knuckle cracking form, because it really NEEDS to be done accordion style, but we must respect him for furthering the cause.

Even with this plethora of pluses behind it, when I was growing up, my brother took it upon himself to correct my knuckle cracking ways. Whenever I did it, he'd punch me. I suppose there were many times when I didn't do it that I still got punched, but this was the one situation where he always hit me.

When the 3 Ninjas "Knuckled Up,"
you know they were crackin'.
I'm going to use this opportunity to hit back by citing even MORE benefits for cracking knuckles. After reading this exhaustive list, you'll find the benefits far outweigh the negatives (unless you DO have a brother who hits you every time you do it. Then it's a push).

Is the organic version of bubble wrap. I remember watching an episode of Gladiators 2000, which was a version of American Gladiators aimed at kids and hosted by Ryan Seacrest (I'm not making this up). At one point, one of the gladiators said cracking knuckles pops a bubble of fluid and makes a popping noise. I'm going to assume this gladiator had some sort of PhD and just did gladiatoring for fun, so

Makes a real sweet noise. Outside of eating celery, there's no noise like this one. And since nobody actually consumes celery, there is no noise like this one.

Cracking knuckles grants you the ability to fly. Did you pay attention when I mentioned Gladiators 2000? You should have, because then you would have realized—popped bubbles equals expended air. Expended air equals flight. Flight equals birds. Birds equal KFC. KFC equals dinner. All thanks to knuckle cracking.

That's quite the exhaustive list of benefits. You'll note I didn't list any negatives, and that's because outside of the aforementioned brother punches, there aren't any. And now that I've finished writing my piece on cracking knuckles, there's only one thing left to do. And that's lean back, raise my hands up... and go finally get that Mr. McGillicutty's window.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Darting back to a time when we could play Lawn Darts

Memorial Day is expected to fulfill all sorts of tropes—barbequing, time-and-a-half pay, having your dad almost get arrested for illegally lighting off fireworks and lawn games.

But it's the latter tradition that really gives me pause. Can “lawn games” really be called “lawn games” in their current state? Take a look at the most recent statistics of deaths in America, and these “games” aren't even in the top 100. That's what we in the journalism industry call a “shocking statistic.” What caused this tumultuous fall? The banning of Lawn Darts back in 1988.

Lawn Dart Fatalities
It's no surprise that everyone in this vintage
Lawn Darts picture is now dead.
For those who don't know, Lawn Darts (or “Jarts” for our hipster crowd), was basically the greatest game ever created. The basic rules of the game were to take the lawn dart and try to throw it into a circle. Now that might sound kind of lame, but what I didn't mention is the dart is actually an aerodynamic stone/arrow with a stick attached to it. And when you try throwing it in the circle, your opponents are basically standing six inches away from the target.

That's right, Lawn Dart Fatalities!

For every person who ever played vintage Lawn Darts, three have ended up dead. This might seem like an impossible 300 percent kill ratio, but here's one thing to keep in mind... collateral damage. Sure, you can “accidentally” take out the competition, but not without also “actually” hitting a good amount of “innocent” bystanders.

Yet parents are suddenly (as of 1988) proclaiming they don't want their children to go through some sort of “Hunger Games”-esque flogging to see who actually deserves the edible (well done) burger, while the other dead ones have to suffer through the nigh inedible medium well pieces. But the success of “The Hunger Games” is proof this carnage is not only sought out, but enjoyed by the masses.

With actual lawn darts being illegal (I refuse to recognize those soft-tipped ones as “real”), and people refusing to play the game I invented entitled “Stabbation,” we must make bootleg lawn darts. As I mentioned, a lawn dart is basically a stick glued to a rock. So to bootleg them, all you need to do is glue a rock to a stick. I suppose for multiple Jarts, you'll need multiple sticks and rocks, but how many games of Lawn Darts have lasted past the first death?

Jarts, Lawn Darts
Anyone for a quick round?
Now that you have actual fake Lawn Darts, your goal should be to find people to play with you. But it's kind of gaudy to go up to friends and challenge them, because they probably will have their own Jarts and will want to go first. Don't let this happen! Instead, just “challenge” random people. Go to random streets and take the first move by launching your Lawn Dart. You don't even need to be on a lawn! They don't even need to be looking at you! The game is that adaptable. I once even had a great game with a storefront window. It tried launching glass lawn darts at me after my successful toss, but I think I still came out ahead.

Some might call this advocating beating random people with a stick attached to a rock, but I'd call those people poor sports. With this successful reintroduction of Lawn Darts, those people will be the least prepared to play and excellent targets... ermmmm, I mean competitors.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It would be totally gnarly if the kids said gnarly again

“Oh man, our acceptably low murder rates and high quality of life sure rock. They're totally gnarly.” A statement like that occurred all throughout malls in the mid-1990s.

However, the following statement occurred throughout the 2000s all the way through today.

“Oh man, our unacceptably high murder rates and low quality of life sure suck. They're totally gnarly.”

In just a matter of ten years, the entire sentence has flip flopped upon itself. What's bad is good, what's good is bad. We thought we'd reached the top, but we're on the bottom. Most unacceptable though is how the word “gnarly” has become a negative, when it's such a gnarly word that nobody should ever negate its gnarlsomeness.
Keep Gnarly
The circa 1940s British government already seems
on-board with this gnarly idea.
Now, this might just be my “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle”-addled brain at work here, but I think the downfall of modern society is directly related to how un-gnarly the world has become. Oh, just to be clear, in the previous statement, I'm using the classic definition of gnarly, not the new one, which would have made a double negative—totally ungnarly.

And it's because of this, I'm taking back gnarly. It's far too neat of a word to let negative Nancies co-opt. It would be totally radical if we push such a keen word back into everyday use. In such an ungnarly world like this one, there's bound to be pushback as people refuse to renege on their gnarly ways (using current definition). It will be hard making them renege, but ultimately we'll find it quite gnarly.

One of the things standing in the way of bringing such an awesome word is how un-adverbable it is. You can't really do something in a gnarly fashion, unless you really want to gnarlyily slap someone a high five. But once we solve that problem, the way is paved for it to be used to describe just about anything. He gnarlyily ate that pudding. He gnarlily turned into a troll. He gnarlyily made a word ending in ly into an adverb.
Gnarls Barkley, Cee Lo Green, Danger Mouse
If only there were a band with "gnarl" in the name
that didn't feature the host of a second-rate talent show.

We can also put up a page on Wikipedia attesting to the awesomeness of the word gnarly. As it stands, there currently isn't a page proclaiming this, and for someone writing a 500-word entry about the word “gnarly” where the other 450 words have to feature content, this makes things a bit tough. But if we have a gnarly page, this will quite literally help get the word out there.

Reanimating the corpse of Bob Marley and making him tour as “Bob Gnarly” will also help our cause.

Some squares might say that simply creating an adverb, editing a publicly editable page or dabbling in the black arts is no way to gain widespread acceptance for an archaic word. It is gnarly how much people hate using grammar and how people question reanimation. I can dig that, but it's what we need to do to get the nerd populace on board. Once we have the grammar nerds, we can pull in the normal nerds. And from there, it's just a couple steps before we're living in a gnarly world once again.

Good gnarly, not bad gnarly.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Funniest way to kill bikers? Randomly honk them off the road!

Bikes can exist with cars.
Cars can exist with bikes.

The above two sentences aren't ones that most people will dispute. But then again, there are those people.

My use of italics should cause anyone who has ever ridden a bike to know exactly what I'm talking about. For some reason there exists a subset of people who feel the need to honk, yell and swerve at bikers. And it's not like the bikers are doing anything wrong, they're just going with the flow, following traffic rules. Those people though, they don't care—bikes represent a cancer who must be honked out of existence.

I'll never understand the logic behind yelling at bikers. Now, this isn't some sort of “Jolly good, you're driving a very fuel efficient vehicle! Jolly jolly good,” because nobody is that British. Generally when drivers yell at me, I'm biking along a shoulder minding my own business, not breaking any laws. And of course, I'm wearing my bike helmet. This just infuriates them. They must live in some “Rebel without a Cause” fantasy land, and if they see a biker NOT breaking the law, it destroys their entire worldview.
And I only look like Pee Wee Herman on a bike half the time! 

One of the most common occurrences is when cars honk. They pull near me, honk and then lean out the window laughing. It's not a warning, it's not a “Watch out! You're doing something wrong!” It's merely a honk to honk. It's like some sort of double whammy, the honk and the laugh. On one hand, I can see why they do this, because it scares and distracts the person in the much smaller vehicle, and it could even make them fall off said smaller vehicle. However, on the other hand, it scares and distracts the person in the much smaller vehicle and could make even make them fall off said smaller vehicle.

That last paragraph wasn't the result of some cut and paste error, the reason people honk, yell and scream at bikers is the exact reason they shouldn't be doing it. It might seem funny to potentially kill someone, but the only time death is funny is when someone inadvertently slips on a banana peel whilst wielding a grenade. Which I rarely do on my bike.

Recently, I was biking through a parking lot. As I entered the lot, I noticed this ogre of a woman trying to back into a space about 200 feet ahead of me. In the seconds it took me to close that gap, she had backed in, pulled out, backed in, pulled out several times. Assuming she had just gotten her license at the ripe age of 37 and/or she was drunk, I knew to keep my distance from her. I stayed far away, basically riding atop the cars she was seemingly failing at running into. After passing her, I did a silent prayer thanking the great bike god for keeping me alive through that ordeal.

Her response? She leaned out her window and yells

“F&#$ing bike!”

F&#$ing bike indeed. But also someone who could park if I had chosen to drive that day. I believe I came out ahead in that interaction.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

They're called STOP signs for a reason

Happy Stop Sign
Thanks for STOPping by!

Why hello there, it's me, your friendly neighborhood STOP sign. You probably recognize me—big, red, title all in caps. Hello there. You probably met me during driver's ed or behind the wheel or your driver's test.

However, it seems like some of you don't know who I am. When and you see me, you think “By golly, what does this sign that says STOP want me to do? It couldn't possibly want me to stop in an orderly fashion.” Some might think of me as an ironic hipster and take it as a sign to speed through me. Don't do that. I am no hipster. I am very square, despite being octagonal.

I understand your daughter might have been abducted by a drug cartel, and they forced you to be their getaway driver, and they said they'd give her a really bad haircut/death if you didn't comply. I understand that's why you might not know how to use me.

But don't worry, I'm here to help!

When you see me, stop.

And when I link up with three of my bestest friends in the whole world, we form a 4-way stop sign. It's really great for us, because we get to gab and gossip and point out all the errors you silly drivers are making. Errors like not stopping... and not stopping. We really don't know much about the world outside of, well stopping. But we know it awfully well.

Here's how 4-way stops work. It's a modified “Finders Keepers” philosophy. First person who gets to the stop gets to go first. They found an opening, and they're definitely going to keep it. Finders keepers. If people arrive to the stop at the same time, the person to the right gets to go.

The one exception to this rule is those rare occasions when all four cars arrive at the stop at the same time. At that point, whoever says “Screw it” and goes gets to goes.

There will be inherent problems with this. But don't worry, Stoppy Stop Sign will see you through it. If the person in front of you arrives after the person to the right, they might say “I'm too important,” and ignore all manners and just go. Just let this happen, because they are too important. However, after they go, it doesn't mean it's your turn. I've seen this countless times. Important person goes, then person behind him assumes the other STOP-buddies have given up on going. This is not so.

Although when you do do that, it makes us STOP sign folks burst out laughing. Which is probably quite comical, seeing as how we're seven foot tall hunks of metal. Though comical, you don't wanna see that happen, because it just proves you're an idiot.

Oh, and the name is “STOP sign,” not “STOP FOR ALL ETERNITY UNTIL THE COOL WARM EMBRACE OF DEATH TAKES YOU.” Although, that name is not without merit.

Finally, the ones of me outlined in white, we're definitely optional. Feel free to ignore those ones. 

Have a safe and happy driving season, just remember, stop at a STOP sign, it makes us happy.

Stop Sign Crash
In his defense, he was very important. Poor STOP sign though.

Monday, May 14, 2012

FoilDora – The Fashion Statement that Prevents Reading of Mind Statements

Justin Timberlake launches line of paranoid hats

Now nobody can steal Timberlake's
ideas on HOW to bring sexy back.
NEW YORK, May 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Anyone who has ever tried to prevent hostile government agents from reading their minds knows it's hard to do. Not just because there are various ways of extracting information in a not-so-pleasant fashion, but also because tin foil hats themselves are a not-so-pleasant fashion. However, with the launch of Justin Timberlake's line of FoilDoras, people no longer have to be paranoid about their fashion, they can be paranoid about their paranoia.

“There are two main things I care about in this world,” says Timberlake. “Fashion and music. But I also care strongly about interplanetary visitors stealing my ideas for... fashion and music.”

FoilDoras not only are fashionably awesome, they prevent the reading of “mind music,” showcasing how this line rests solely within Mr. Timberlake's wheelhouse.

“One of the reasons we NEED to wear tin foil hats is because without them, the aliens can read our minds. Since they can read our minds, they know we know about tin foil hats and will don their own before we can read their minds. We can't let this happen,” said Timberlake, suddenly filled with rage.

Now anyone who fears government and/or alien control can simply don the remarkably cool FoilDora and immediately hit the clubs. The foil outer lining covers an interior of fulled wool. Even on days when there's no fear of mindreading (Tuesdays) people will still want to wear the FoilDora because it just feels so good.

“All people who are crazy wear tin foil hats, but not all tin foil hat wearers are crazy. There's a really fashion forward paranoia audience that we must hit,” says Timberlake of the Michael Kors-designed fedora.

In addition to the wooled interior, the hats feature a stylish pinch front teardrop-shaped crown, with a special pocket for storing state secrets. The aluminum foil is the high quality Reynold's brand. Please note, do not store your AM/FM radio in the hat, as you will not get reception.

Designer Michael Kors was initially sketchy on the hat concept but eventually came to love its design.

“One of the things we most feared with this line is that some people might think it somehow related to Dora the Explorer, just because it's called 'FoilDora.' People seem to think that this is somehow Swiper-related,” says Kors, referring to the diabolical Dora villain. “No, that's just what they want you to think. Don't give in to their power whims. Fight the system.” Kors finished with a triumphant fist raise.

The FoilDora hat will launch in Macy's in June 2012. The best part about it though, we already know you want one, because we can read your mind. You're not wearing a FoilDora. Wear a FoilDora. We know you want to.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

The ULTIMATE in chip flavors

There's an old comedy routine that goes:
“Hey, what's your favorite flavor of kettle chip?”
“Why's that?”
“Because the idiotically crispy nature of kettle chips slashes my tongue, lips, cheeks and
epiglottis. Making everything taste like blood. Solely responsible for much of the AIDS outbreak in the late 1980s.”
“Well, zing!”

Sure, it's not really much of a “joke” per se, but all good humor is based in truth, and the truth is kettle chips suck. They're too thick and stabby for their own good. Many flavors of kettle chips sound good, but they're placed on a layer of blood that nobody will ever consume.

Luckily, there's Ruffles ULTIMATEs, the new line of chips from the brand that does crunchy right. Sure, these aren't technically “kettle chips,” their edibility proves that. It's thick, crisp and crunchy, but this crunchiness comes from just thickening the cut of the chip, not introducing foreign objects like glass and anthracite into the recipe.
Ruffles Ultimates, Chips, Awesome
Ruffles ULTIMATE--Great chip flavor, no AIDS.
There are currently three varieties of Ruffles ULTIMATE, and you really can't go wrong with any of them. There's original, Sweet Smokin BBQ and Kickin' Jalapeno Ranch. I mentioned the Jalapeno Ranch one last, because it needs to stay fresh in your mind. The sheer concept of combining jalapeno and ranch together is already mindboggling awesome, and it excels in both of those flavors.

Set it on top of the improved texture of the ULTIMATE chip, and you're in for a flavor explosion. Seriously, go out, find this chip and love it. Purchase two bags though, because odds are the first one will be devoured before you can even sit back and realize how amazing the chip tastes. In the second bag, subtleties develop. Delicious delicious subtleties. At this point, you can crack into the third.

Really, Ruffles could not have come up with a better name for this than Ruffles ULTIMATE. Try them, they will not disappoint, they will not cut your inner lip and result in some sort of fungal infection that will eventually lead to an Alien-esque chest bursting scene. Ruffles ULTIMATE will not do that to you.

I'll conclude by pointing out that most potato chip reviews don't mention epidemics in the lead paragraph. Well, I think you've probably realized this isn't your “normal” potato chip review, the ULTIMATEness of the Ruffles elevate it above a standard review. Although you've probably never actually read a review of a chipped, fried potato before, so this might just be the new normal.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Avenging my Lack of Pennies

Intergalactic Space Kitty, unite!
Ma-Ti, unite!
Sprocket, my cat, unite!
BreakMentalDouglas, unite!
Bob, the splendid Craigslist Breadmaker I purchased that didn't result in me getting stabbed to death in a vicious Lifetime Movie inspired stabathon, unite!
Split infinitives, to aggressively unite!
Break Mental Douglas, unite!

Why are all these vague concepts uniting? Because there's a great looming world threat, and only with the assemblage of these famed avengers can it be overcome.

Watching “The Avengers” this weekend, and seeing how it made a record $207 million dollars at the domestic box office, I knew I needed to unite everyone in the BMD canon. Sure, I might not make untold millions of dollars, but my goal is to bring in untold millions of pennies.

And as a brief aside, when my pennies do arrive, I definitely plan on building a giant vault so I can swim around naked in them. I can even see naked penny swimmer adding to the list of characters I can use and exploit. Sure, you might claim I stole this idea from Scrooge McDuck, but I can justify it because HE stole the concept of Dewey from Huey, and this will serve him right.
Now the main question is what can this group of adequately motivated superawesomes do? Well, they have no overlap, they have no reason to exist together and there's no Jeremy Renner. That right there is the perfect combination. We don't even need to give them moivation for anything. Hell, the entire movie could be dramatic recitations of “Jersey Shore” scripts and would be an unparalleled success. We might even dip don to “Laguna Beach” and still be successful.

But I suppose I should bring them together for a reason, and I have the perfect idea. It won't so much be a person as a concept. If I ever achieve an adequate amount of sleep, none of these characters would exist. Not even Ma-Ti, who I don't even own the copyright to. Just imagine the drama that will come about when battling this illy defined thing. Bob the Breadmaker will turn out caffeine-laden loafs and Time Warner's lawyers will say “... seriously?”

That's not even considering the strife that will occur within the group. Because lord knows there'll be strife, a bucketload of it. More strife than you've ever seen. Just imagine Sprocket taking on Intergalactic Space Kitty. They'll automatically hate eachother, because Sprocket will assume the Space Kitty will want to eat his kibble, and this won't be far from the truth—Intergalactic Space Kitty will want to eat the entire galaxy, which includes Sprocket's kibble supply. Sprocket will kill it before it CAN eat his kibble.

Wait, what? We killed off a main character way to up the stakes BreakMentalDown avengers. The real Avengers merely killed off a supporting character. Real Avengers, consider yourself one upped. Oh, and spoiler alert.

Ahhh heck, I won't bother actually bringing them together. I imagine I'll probably just go see the movie again. I love the part when Hulk smashes.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

You'll be seeing red over your red frosting choice

“Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.

Please do enjoy this cake that everyone got for you.”

Sure, it's not my birthday for several more months, but I will accept this erroneously received frosting-receptacle error in my favor and dig right in. Oh wait, there's red frosting. Nevermind. I will refuse this erroneously received frosting receptacle error.

“My birthday is in September, and you've already ruined it.”

Red frosting just might be the bane of the frosting world. Whereas all other frosting is fun and delicious and should fall into its own food category on the food pyramid (or whatever the heck we're using now) red frosting just tastes awful.
Just one of the reasons to hate Valentine's Day.
Other... Ashton Kutcher.
Frosting, as described by Wikipedia, is sugar combined with delicious, plus even better and unicorn dust. Basically, it tastes like awesomeness personified. But somehow, red frosting sucks all of the good out of normal frosting.

I blame the red food coloring. Now, I'm not against it for any sort of ethical reason. I don't believe it makes things smaller that should be large (like amount of frosting I can consume and/or penial size) or will result in massive birth defects. I'm against it, because of the way it can seep in and infect anything with its awful taste.

I'm not the biggest fan of pink coloring either.

In the world of cake decorating, red is commonly used, because many things can be depicted as red—blood, Knuckles the Echidna, displays honoring red food coloring, AP Calculus test grader commemoration cakes. None of these displays could be made without the ubiquitous red frosting, and that's why I'll never enter fields that involve those things (especially the last one, it's not because I have no recollection whatsoever of how Calculus works... it's the food coloring).

If you put a cupcake with red frosting on it in front Florian Bellanger, the Simon Cowell of the “Cupcake Wars” world, he will very Germanically make you feel like an idiot for putting such poison in front of him—and he's actually French!

My cake eating style is probably just like any other normal person's methodology. When I eat cake, I eat the cake part out of obligation to the bakers and my devotion to social mores. But my cake eating is like an excavation process. I aim to get a corner piece and dig out the cake part, leaving a shell of awesome frosting. It's not so awesome though when it's red.

Just one of the reasons to hate apples--red frosting.
Other... Ashton Kutcher.

What solution do I propose? Convince people to use their imagination. Just lay down white frosting and tell people to imagine it appears red. Sure, not everyone has that indepth of an imagination, but everyone has that indepth of taste buds and would thoroughly appreciate not having to do a bottom AND top frosting excavation.

As I said at the start, my birthday is coming up in September. That gives nearly five months to wipe red frosting off the face of the earth, and I think that just might be the greatest birthday present anyone could get me. Oh, and if you want to lick it off the face of the Earth, feel free, but do realize I will think you're strange with your poison eating ways.