Man, your Volgi seems to be carrying all the freight today. So, here’s one from the Wildly Entertaining file. The Volgi understands the feeling—oh, yes, he does—but dude, seriously, grab the reins and some perspective.
Hey, for the six of us who were lucky enough to get into Wonderfalls in its all-too-brief life on Fox (and enjoyed its DVD afterlife, which has more episodes than ever aired on TV), this last item is neat. And you should watch Pushing Daisies. Very clever show.
“On vacation.” But we really know he’s scouting out a cheaper place to live.
I’ll reserve judgement on its suckitude, and certainly for GorT’s sake, I hope it’s good. But what the hell is up with that title? I blame David Fincher or whoever came up with the idea of spelling Seven with a numeral. That went even further downhill to the proposed De2cent which has happily been changed. And now Tr2n? Wilco Tango Foxtrot? It’s 1337, which is lame enough, but there’s no visual correspondence between a 2 and an o! Not even close! Grrr.
END OF LINE
..this one hopefully won’t. I think you can safely sign up ol’ GorT for seeing this one.
I can’t see my man Silent Cal. But pretty entertaining. As with most things from JibJab, who have a right Gormogonical temperament about politics.
Hmm. Can’t say I saw that one coming.
The lawnmower had it coming. And hey, my name is long, sure. And rhymes with an Umpty. But come on, know your Gormogon history! Who was the Œcumenical Volgi back in the day? That’s right, Confucius! And writing 孔夫子 is a whole lot more Œconomical than “Confucius” or “K’ung-fu-tzu*.” You can just call me ŒV, though, GorT. (GorT! Klaatu barada nikto! Which reminds me, how much is this gonna suck? I’m thinking “muchly.” I do like that inadvertent highlighting of Keanu’s wooden acting style, “Derrickson felt Reeves could portray a lack of humanity…”)
*Wade-Giles is the Official Chinese Transliteration System of the Gormogons.
We’re here to mock, so I’ll mock away: Apparently, 孔夫子, the Œcumenical Volgi (The Notorious ŒV) – could he have a longer name?, took matters into his own hands to make the blog more funny. See the news report here. Maybe he found a way to make his iPhone a sawed-off shotgun.
Though this is encroaching on GorTechie’s territory, I realize we haven’t talked about technology. Also, it’s been too damn serious around here. So, killing two birds with one stone, I hereby order, BLOG, BE MORE FUNNY!.
(God, I want that program to the right.)
Here is a great essay by the brilliant Andrew Ferguson on McCain and Obama’s egomaniacal exaltation of politics as “service” greater than leading one’s “self-interest,” which is to say one’s own life and doing good in service to one’s family, church, business, etc.
Condescension lies behind the call to a [Cause Greater Than One’s Self-Interest]. Why does a candidate feel compelled to exhort his nation to a higher cause, especially a cause that’s purposely left gauzy and undefined? He reveals a low opinion of his countrymen by doing so. He implies a population lost in self-absorption and narcissism, each member ignoring others in pursuit of selfish ends. It takes a lot of nerve to say that, even by insinuation—and since Obama and McCain want to make it personal, let’s do.
It gets better from there.
And, not to get too highbrow, but it never hurts to remember…
“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our necessities but of their advantages.” — Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, bk. I, ch. II.
“Every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the publick interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it…. He intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.” — Ibid., bk. IV, ch. II
So what do you get when you push through legislation like the Fannie/FreddieMac bailouts, the closed-door La Raza Immigration Bill, etc.; have corruptions like the sweetheart mortgage deals, cold hard cash hiding in freezers, etc., all after publicly claiming that you would be the “most honest, ethical and open congress ever” ?? You get a whopping 14 percent approval rating. Lower than the demonized George W. Bush and the lowest EVER in the 34 years Gallup has been asking this question.
Comicbook Guy: Worst…..Congress…..ever.
Of course, this isn’t new…heck, even Al “Super Green” Gore still is hypocritical, watch this video:
Lest you think Ghettoputer exaggerates when he cites the intimate ties between Jim Crow and gun control, I point you in the direction of this law-review article which does a nice job with the history and connection. Here’s the epigraph, emphasis mine:
“I know something of the history of this legislation. The original Act of 1893 was passed when there was a great influx of negro laborers in this State drawn here for the purpose of working in turpentine and lumber camps…. [T]he Act was passed for the purpose of disarming the negro laborers and to thereby reduce the unlawful homicides that were prevalent in turpentine and saw-mill camps and to give the white citizens in sparsely settled areas a better feeling of security. The statute was never intended to be applied to the white population…. [I]t is a safe guess to assume that more than 80% of the white men living in the rural sections of Florida have violated this statute…. [T]here has never been, within my knowledge, any effort to enforce the provisions of this statute as to white people, because it has been generally conceded to be in contravention of the Constitution and non-enforceable if contested.” —Watson v. Stone, 4 So. 2d 700, 703 (Fla. 1941) (Buford, J., concurring).
The often-forgotten role of the Deacons for Defense & Justice, who provided law-abiding armed protection to black communities and peaceful protests in the civil-rights movement of the ’60s also shows how the Second Amendment often serves a—if not the—guarantor of all other rights. As the authors of the above article point out in connection with New York City’s Sullivan Act of 1911 (still on the books, ensuring only the rich and wealthy can legally protect themselves), it hasn’t just been black Americans who’ve born the burden of disarmament because of majorities’ fears and bigotry.
…will also have to account for this oddball story he wrote in 1994, recounting a college dorm “exorcism” (not an actual Rite of Exorcism) for which he was present. Apparently it’s come up in campaigns before and hasn’t hurt him. Certainly his record’s so impressive that if competency in administration is a criterion, he could be a human-sacrificing Druid and you’d still have to vote for him, if executive ability was your top issue.
But let not forget the top reason why he will some day be president, perhaps serving Mom’s curry-laced jambalaya in the White House. Little Piyush Jindal came home from grade school and informed his mother that he’d henceforth be known as Bobby. Where did he get this name? Bobby “Mom Said Not to Play Ball in the House” Brady.
Hail to the Chief.
Our ever-amusing and multi-talented civil rights abuser, the D.C. City Government has determined that no matter what the U.S. Supreme Court says, no way, no how are any law abiding citizens with the District ever going to own semiautomatic pistols. Only revolvers. And they’ll tie you up in so much red tape, you’d wish you’d never even thought of exercising your civil rights.
In a bit of irony, the majority black government of the District is imposing laws preventing its majority black populace from owning guns for self defense. Much like the racist white Jim Crow South did in order to keep blacks down. Not pretty.
I say D.C. residents should beat their government at its own game. Go out and purchase this lovely revolver, which is capable of handling both .45 ACP and .410 shot shells in the same cylinder. While not very accurate at any large distance, this weapon is more than capable of putting big holes in an intruder who, with bad intent, comes into your abode uninvited. And its at least as powerful and “scary,” if not more so, than the big, bad semiautomatic handguns the District wants to prevent you from owning.
Bobby Jindal. I must admit, I’ve a bit of a man crush on Governor Jindal (R-LA). Ain’t too many of us who have accomplished as much, even in a much fuller lifetime. He may be the salvation of the conservative movement in 2012 or 2016. Even counting his odd flirtation with the snake oil salesmen who gave us “Intelligent” Design. Were he to be McCain’s V.P. candidate, his accomplishments alone would eclipse Sen. Obama’s wafer-thin resume.
And, besides, Ghettoputer’s Uncle George is a proud resident of the Pelican State.
Second on my list of potential conservative movement saviors? Adam Putnam of Florida, one of the last Florida cattlemen. More on Rep. Putnam (R-FL12) later.
For those not in the “know” of the Gormogonican references, there was an ad for the local (metropolitan Washington, D.C.) metrorail system where two kids beat the traffic jam using a “super car”. Aside from the need for more roads in the DC area (Hello? We’re the capital of the United States and we’re got one of the lowest road miles per capita for comparable metropolitan areas), we have this now.
Journey at the Center of the Earth
(Tends to load slowly, so I’d push play, then pause until it loads all the way, and then watch it.)
Why Ghettoputer misses the good times in the rural Plains.
Vile, of course. But puts one in mind of Gen. Sir Chas. Jas. Napier’s reported response to a delegation of Hindu worthies complaining about the British abolition of suttee.
“You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.
Georgia’s a death-penalty state, isn’t it, GorT?
By now, most folks have heard of Sen. Obama’s (D-IL) opposition to the Induced Birth Infant Liability Act while a member of the Illinois Senate. This Act provided that in the event an attempted abortion failed to kill the fetus/child, and the fetus/child was then born alive, hospitals and doctors would be legally obligated to save this now extant person. Even NARAL did not actively campaign against this Act. Yet Sen. Obama determined to out-NARAL NARAL.
Regardless of one’s position on abortion, this should be a relatively uncontroversial proposition: hospitals must act to save living human beings, including babies unintentionally born alive despite the best efforts of doctors and mothers to abort them. I am unaware of any pro-choice/pro-abortion advocate that takes the position that it is acceptable to kill a born human being under these circumstances. Except, apparently, Sen. Obama.
The good Senator’s position here would seem to be extremely news worthy; that is, a presidential candidate’s belief that “aborting” a child after birth is OK. Yet, it seems, neither Katie nor Charlie nor Brian have seen fit to question His Obamaness on this extreme pro-infanticide position during their Intercontinental Obama Love Fest.
Here’s a few questions for free for Katie and her Boys, just to help them get started:
- How long after birth do you support killing babies? One day? Two weeks? Right up until they can legally vote for you for President?
- Since you support infanticide, do you support killing off our non-productive elderly as well?
- If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
I’d honestly have greater respect for Obama if he admitted he got paid off to vote against this legislation. Voting against this legislation shows a coldness, a calculating nature, that makes me doubt the good Senator’s humanity.
P.S. Most Americans are far, far to the right of the good Senator’s position on this issue, at least as of May 2007. (Scroll down to the “CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. May 4-6, 2007” entry).
Perhaps this explains why “Republicans” are having a hard time winning elections these days. It gives one pause as to what young Andrew picked up about conservatism at home from his father. (And yes, I know Andrew hasn’t spoke to his father in some time, what with Dad dumping Mom and all.)
I truly feel for Giuliani the Lesser, what with meritocracy screwing him out of his richly deserved professional golfing career. I mean, he really wanted it, and The Man won’t let him have it. It’s not fair! It seems that now lawyers believe one is a victim and is due compensation if one can’t compete on the merits.
And, kudos to Master Giuliani’s attorney, Robert Ekstrand, Esq., for somehow turning “I got cut from the team. You owe me. Put me back on the team or pay me.” into 198 pages of complaint. Genius!
In answer to the initial question posed, due to his skill and work ethic, Tiger would have never been in this position in the first place.
N.B., I base this post solely on the linked ESPN story above. Young Andrew’s complaint is not currently available online, and my take could be proven wrong. But I doubt it.
Sex Fruit! Only in the Anglosphere does this sort of nonsense happen. No one in Bangladesh or Sudan pulls this sort of stunt, mostly because they’re too busy figuring out how they’re going to eat today.
Parents should follow the wise child-naming guidance of my mother, St. Mildred of the Greater D.C. Metroplex. At a baptism once, as the parents stated the name of their child for all to hear, St. Mildred turned to me and in a disapproving stage whisper said “That’s not a saint’s name.” So, to all parents out there, for goodness’ sake, pick a saint’s name for your offspring. Something meaningful. Like Dymphna, patron saint of the insane. Plus, Dymphna’s kind of hot for a saint.
And, yes, I leave aside (for the moment) discussion of the notion that it’s acceptable for a government to have any sort of involvement in the naming of children.
While on a business trip (writing from the Austin Airport now), I was obligated in the Hotel breakfast area, various restaurant “lobbies” and the airport to watch CNN. Every time I stopped averting my eyes, it was “Breaking News”. At first, I actually wanted to see what the deal was – maybe Hurricane Dolly was taking a random turn north to wreak havoc with my return flights, maybe some tragic event occurred somewhere in the world, maybe…No, sadly, it was breaking news that Sen. Obama (D-IL) was visiting with foreign dignitaries in the Middle East. I’m sure this is front and center on most newspapers too (unless it gets bumped by chapter 10 on a decade-old Cold Case tragic unsolved murder…cough…cough…WaPo, oh it looks like chapter 11 is up today and trust me, I am truly sorry for her family, but the first few chapters were above-the-fold, front page, above articles I would consider much more relevant and important).
They truly are breaking (the) news.
So Radovan Karadžić finally got chased down by the law. I forgo commentary on Karadžić and his crimes but would care to draw your attention to the alias he’s been living under: Dr. Dragan David Dabić, expert and lecturer in Human Quantum Energy. Also, he appears to have hired Jerry Garcia’s stylist. Just goes to you show you, hippies can’t be trusted. That harmless looking old dude who lives under the boardwalk in a hemp sweater and pants selling downers to teens could well be Nikolai Yezhov. Seriously, did you actually see them dump him in the Lubyanka incinerator?
His Fiskitude the Grand Exalted Psychopomp Jas. Lileks here goes after Garrison Keillor, who inspired the immortal “TV, BE MORE FUNNY!” Simpsons gag. In the course of Lileks’s column, he notes that the Minnesota State Treasure® Keillor names as one of the many classes of people he despises as “cheese merchants.”
The Œcumenical Volgi, having sources in that part of the world, has obtained the text of the following telegram sent from Wisconsin Gov. James A. Doyle (D) to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), dated Wednesday, July 23, 2008.
Dear Gov. Pawlenty,
Cheese Merchants?! CHEESE MERCHANTS?!?! THIS MEANS WAR! The Wisconsin National Guard will be in Moorhead by Friday! IT’S ON, GOPHER B*TCHES!
The Antient & Noble Order of the Gormogons began as a secret society in Scotland in the eighteenth century, dedicated to parodying the powerful, self-important Freemasons and thoroughly enjoying themselves. In their spirit, we Latter-Day Gormogons have founded this blog to tweak any institution or person in need of comeuppance. This chastisement may take the form of social, political, and cultural criticism, but, in keeping with Gormogonical first principles, we’ll won’t take ourselves too seriously and ask that you don’t either.
Who are the Gormogons? Ghettoputer, GorTechie and the Œcumenical Volgi have been friends since their halcyon youth in the Greater D.C. Metroplex under the benevolent despotism of Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry. At that time, they received the enlightened doctrine of Gormogon founder, the secret first Emperor of China Chin-K’wa Kai-Po (秦胯戤魄) by decoding the Voynich Manuscript using an occult algorithm derived from Paracelsus’s Archidoxis of Magic and the metrical scansion of Doug E. Fresh’s “La-Di-Da-Di.”*
Events have since scattered them across the country, except for GorTechie, who is too lazy to move. Ghettoputer resides in the Stygian dimness of Upstate New York, while the Notorious ŒV resides in exile in the Scandinavian-Occupied Territories, formerly known as the Upper Midwest.
Since you asked, turn-ons include current events, the Bill of Rights, technology (except for Ghettoputer, an Evangelical Luddite), long walks on the beach, Alexander Ovechkin, pop culture, history, the Washington Redskins (excepting Daniel Snyder until he publicly renounces Xenu and the pursuit of old, overpaid veterans), the military, personal responsibility, Ghettoputer’s ’71 Dodge Swinger, and Charlize Theron.
Turn-offs include Ghettoputer’s jenkemesque dip cup, unions organized against the public, the occupations of Tibet, Inner Mongolia, and tort lawyer, o’erweening government and its authors, stupid movie remakes, politicians in the main, X-TREEEEEEM sp0rtz, like-y’know mean people, the Dallas Cowboys, literalism, crappy writing, and Matthew McConaughey.
Pax vobiscum, shalom aleichem, salâm ‘alaykum, Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome, Fremde, étranger, stranger. Glücklich zu sehen, nous sommes enchantés. Happy to see you, bleibe, reste, stay!
*The original version, as the sample of “Ue o muite arukō” a/k/a “Sukiyaki” proved critical. Word.
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So what qualifies the Czar as an authority on job interviews? Plenty! We have interviewed for dozens of jobs, and have interviewed people for jobs probably nearly as much. And in that time, weve realized a few truths that will help anybody look smarter… at least, smarter than those without web access to this page. Lets start with that eye-opener…
Having a great-looking résumé is not as important as you might think… in most cases, it will look like crap once theyre done with it. Instead of using fancy stationery and explosive color, just put it on plain white paper with simple, clear fonts. Anything more will be illegible once its photocopied and faxed around. And surprisingly, this mistreatment happens a lot to résumés, partially because so many people need to review a résumé before the interviewing process begins, but mostly because people like to copy and fax them around because they want a good laugh at your expense.
Note that the word is spelled résumé, not resume. Resume is a verb meaning to continue. Résumé is a noun, that means I dont know a lot, but am using big words to impress you.
An address is very important on a résumé, unless its a prison address. Also, put a phone number with the address. For maximum effect, be sure its your phone number, and that the phone works. If youre somehow still employed somewhere, dont put down your current work number, especially (a) if its risky for you to get a call at work from a prospective employer, and (b) if its a 900 number.
Some people put down what their objective is, next. We could never figure this out, since everyones objective is the same: a job which can mostly pay the bills, and from which one can steal whatever office supplies one needs. Our advice is to skip the objective, since, for one thing, its potentially limiting, and for another, nobody cares but you what your long-term goals are.
The next section should be your experience. Start with your most current job, and then go backward until you were born. Avoid gaps in your work history, particularly if the gaps are long enough to be prison sentences (see the paragraph above on addresses; employers dont trust active felons). If you have a gap in your résumé because you are afraid to put down an extremely unpleasant job experience, thats okay. Just make something up that sounds good. Put the time spent at each job, but be careful: interviewers get suspicious when you seem to leave every job after three weeks.
When describing what you did at each job, be creative. Remember, this is an ad, not a tax form. Honesty is right out (remember how that one car ad you saw convinced you to purchase that model, because of the elegant comfort, great mileage, and sexy design, and yet failed to mention anything about the transmission dropping out onto the pavement every few hours? Your résumé should be like this.)
Use action words in your résumé, like managed, transformed, enabled, oriented, sieged, and decapitated. Avoid weak or negative words like, hated, vomited, unseamed from nave to chaps, gurgled, or fainted. For example:
Worked in mail sorting department. Licked stamps all day. Sometimes cleaned counters. Occasionally napped and struck up conversations with FedEx guy. Stole eleven staplers. Am willing to part with staplers if you hire me.
Managed and transformed large-scale messaging and routing substation. Worked in key management capacity with high efficiency in applications. Functioned as core member of red team on periodic continuous quality improvement (CQI) program in facility renovation. Provided human resource management in scheduling on-the-job (OTJ) flex-time. Acted in key liaison role with Fortune 500 company. Boosted inventory beyond recommendations of inventory control. Developed active plan to migrate resources as leveraging tool.
Now, mind you, this can backfire. As an experienced résumé reader, we know about this stuff. You might think you could never compete with this guy:
Managed entire Systems Coordination Analysis department. Functioned as employment liaison between all levels of management, provided interfacing mechanisms to strategic development teams, and was responsible for $300,000 in direct savings to company profit plan. Key member of employee post-pay profit distribution program. Directly oversaw non-corporate appropriation, and provided technological direction on companys 1,000-node wide-area-network (WAN).
In fact, you stand a great chance, because this is what hes really telling us:
I was a one-man department that had no real function, so I assigned it a name that you could never possibly identify. I was the guy in our office who pretty much walked around and talked everyones ear off all day, although I sometimes sat in on some meetings without knowing what was being discussed. I saved the company $300,000 dollars by not embezzling that much from the profit plan… not that I even had the chance. By the way, I participated in the companys benefits program. Also, I stole a lot of stuff from supplies for my own, non-business use, and I had a computer on my desk that was connected to the network.
So rather than being down on yourself, cheer up! The résumé doesnt mean anything you dont want it to!
When done with your experience, be sure to put down what your educational background is. This doesnt mean diddly: interviewers just want to see what school you went to, and see if it was a rival to theirs.
That leads us to…
Here are some basic tips for the interview:
- Show up on time. Do not be three days late.
- Dress appropriately. Avoid Mardi Gras costumes or fig leaves. Be conservative: dress exactly like the interviewer, even if it means dragging a suitcase around with a variety of clothing and accessories.
- Do not mimic the interviewers lisp.
- A sense of humor is good, but avoid puppets or gags like wax lips.
- Dont bring your lawyer.
- Avoid answering personal questions, such as How old are you, Are you pregnant, or Would you show me pictures of yourself in the shower.
- Avoid falling asleep.
A lot of people come up to the Czar and say Czar, what on earth is wrong with us? Actually, they say you, and not us, but we know allegory when we hear it.
Of course, we cant answer that question completely. At least not with a yes or no answer because those, frankly, would be non sequiturs. But its a good question that has a lot of answers.
There are some clear signs that society should be worried about itself. Somehow, we have decided to put common sense in the hands of a few.
As an example, weve noticed the warning labels on familiar products. In fact, its hard not to, because theyre appearing everywhere. There just cant be that many liability lawsuits occuring: we must just be getting more stupid. In addition to warning labels, were also seeing step-by-step directions appearing on the most commonplace items.
You know how people put those huge carboard visors against their cars windshield, in order to block out the suns rays and keep the car a little cooler? In 1993, the Czar came across one of those, and stamped on the back was the phrase WARNING: REMOVE SUN SHADE BEFORE DRIVING. What on earth?
Correspondant LG once spotted directions on a candle. Its true: at the bottom of the candle was a mini-manual, explaining how to bend the wick, how to light it from underneath, and above all, that it was important to keep debris out of the wax pool. If you even know what a wax pool is, were willing to bet you already know how to light a candle.
Notice how many jars have the instructions TWIST TO OPEN on the lids. How many screw-on jar lids open any other way? Or consider envelopes that tell you to place postage here. Good idea.
This is off our toothpaste tube: If you accidentally swallow more [toothpaste] than used for brushing, seek professional assistance or contact a poison control center immediately. Can you imagine that phone call? Poison control. You what? Slow down, sir… you swallowed what? Too much toothpaste? Imagine somehow finding out that, after ingesting drain cleaner, you called Poison Control and were put on hold because of that call.
The Czars microwave oven warns against overcooking foods. Thats very important to remember, in case you havent figured this out for yourseslf yet. Oddly, it doesnt also warn against undercooking foods.
Today, the Galaxy IV satellite failed, plunging nearly the entire worlds supply of pagers into an eerie silence. Of course, not that any of us noticed. This only inconvenienced the twelve of you who still have pagers in the world of the cell phone.
You know who you are. The Czar bets you still call them beepers, too. Well, guess what? Your swingin 60s mod comsat, with day-glo daisy silhouettes painted on the side and transistors the size of a mouse just took a crap. And you realized, to your horror, that no one has been trying to reach you since 1994.
No more being introduced to some awkward coyote-faced endless talker chick at a party, and after 20 minutes of listening to her trying to remember whether her long ago one-month boyfriend Antoine, the rock climber, preferred a Klemheist to a Prusik, you suddenly clutch your inert pager and exclaim that the entire X.25 to Europe is down and you have to go. Now. No, now youre going to have to be like the rest of us and simply splash-chuck the remains of your drink right into her canine face and walk away. What, like Antoine is going to hunt you down? He hasnt seen her since the Plasmatics concert, and now he runs some crampon clinic at the Fort Lauderdale REI, and you know for damn sure that, between tokes, he isnt wondering about the girl with the donkey voice, and whether she would have liked him better if he only had a pager.
What a tragedy that the Galaxy III or the Galaxy V birds never picked up the immense slack, so that you could continue to swing by Mitchs retirement party at the Doubletree, pass a note to the concierge to please call your pager number at the front desk, blow into the party, drink four beers real fast, and then duck out of throwing in $20 for your portion because your pager went off 15 minutes into it. Sorry, gotta run, you say, putting a dollar bill in the bar druids tip glass, The token ring just jumped down from 16 meg to 4 meg. No, now you might actually have to remember who the hell Mitch is, shake the poor bastards hand, and put in the full Jackson. For once. Yeah, pay for your fair share. See what its like.
And pity the shellshocked schmuck who kept his old pagers so that he could walk into Memories on Montrose and Cicero with three pagers on his belt, wearing nighttime black-lensed aviator shades and a Members Only jacket, hoping that the sleek nympho in the Spandex dress rolling her eyes and gathering her belongings into a cartoonishly tiny purse might catch a glimpse of you and think…what? Military operator? Black ops guy? Government hit man? Because those three pagers prove youre always on call and answerable to only three authorities in the world, thereby taking attention away from your stained Polo shirt and the gut that says the last beep you answered was the sound of the deep fryer at Wendys announcing to the world your second order of jumbo-sized fries were about to land on your tray.
Requeiscat in paunch, old Galaxy IV. Yeah, officially you were launched in 1993, not 1963, but your spectacular failure was the better way to go, as opposed to being decommed in humiliation by 2001 because the only guys still using you were Mitch for the pager he forgot to turn into HR on his exit interview, and the backup feed to NPRs Remembering Margaret Mead in Word Jazz. Well call you once in a while from our cell phone.
Well, congratulations. Rumor has it you’re interested in fighting the good fight, keeping the world safe from villainy, and cleaning scum from the earth. We need people like you. But if you’re going to be effective (or at least planning on being effective), then you have to know how to play the game. Remember, there’s more to being a superhero than just being a hero. You also have to be super.
It helps to have superpowers. Most superheros would have it no other way. As it happens, these are pretty easy to come by. If you’re an alien, like Superman, you probably have more than you need right away. If you got your powers in the 1960s, the odds are that you got them from radiation (the Hulk, Spiderman, the Fantastic Four, the ubiquitous X-Men, and their ilk). Mutants are a big source of supervillains, and we’re lucky to have them mostly on our side. Mind you, if you lack native abilities such as these, you’re hardly out of luck. All you need is some sort of special tool to make the magic happen, like the Green Lantern’s ring or Thor’s lucky hammer. We guess Iron Man’s goofy suit qualifies here.
Mind you, even that doesn’t matter if you’re well-funded. With money, you can become a superb superhero, even if you have no super abilities whatsoever. While Batman and the Green Hornet come to mind, it oddly didn’t work for Ross Perot.
You need a costume. Even the most meager superhero has a costume. Your costume should be so far funky that it won’t be mistaken for a west coast fashion statement. Capes are normally de rigueur, but quite frankly, we think they have limited effectiveness: if the Flash wore a cape, the windspeed he generates would make him sound like a raspberry blowing past you, and that would be pretty humiliating. Further, if Hawkman wore a cape, it would inevitably entangle his wings. The last thing anyone needs is somebody his size crashing into a crowded intersection from a thousand feet up. And many superheros have completely done away with capes (the Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and the Fantastic Four).
Your costume should say something about you or your powers. Batman looks like a bat. Iron Man wears armor. The Silver Surfer uses a surfboard, since JetSkis are unwieldy in space (unlike surfboards). But be careful here, because some superheros stretched this one pretty far, and end up having a superficial link to their costumes: Gambit looks like a risky gamble, Doctor Strange simply looks strange, and it’s a wonder that Wonder Woman still bothers with her swimsuit in this conservative age.
On the other hand, you can be one of the few superheros who have done away with the concept of costumes entirely. The Submariner sticks with a pair of trunks. The Hulk is also a notable example, and it wasn’t until we saw Bill Bixby stealing clothes from a laundry line that we even found out where he kept getting all those pants and shirts.
Well, now that you have superpowers and a costume, you need a place to work from. Basically you have three choices. You can choose…
- A real city. This is what Spiderman does. He opted to stick close to home in New York City, which is convenient given that his sick aunt lives there. We forgot where Daredevil hangs out, but we can always say Detroit. If the city’s rough, move out to the burbs. The X-Men did, living in a nice part of scenic upstate New York. Fortunately, there’s a lot of danger out there, so it works out for them, as well.
- A totally fictitious place. Batman is pretty smart to choose Gotham City, since it affords him all the worst elements of New York City without the hassle of paying a city income tax. And Gotham is lucky to have him, given that they haven’t hired one competent police officer since about 1940. Superman lives happily out in Metropolis, which one writer surmised might (because of the proximity of the farming community of Smallville) be either Chicago or Cleveland. Wonder Woman spent some time in Washington, DC, although it must have been difficult to land that invisible plane on the Mall. At least, not without plowing over a few homeless people.
- Some other place entirely. The Hulk wanders around, and could be anywhere at any time. The Fantastic Four spend an awful lot of time in space, or in alternate dimensions, which has got to get pretty expensive after a while. If you’re Thor, you get to spend time in Aasgard, which also has the benefit of having some of Wagner’s coolest music (even if the overall Nordic mythology is a little dizzy).
Sidekicks… Yea, or Nay?
Generally, this is up to you, although only a small percentage of the superhero population uses them. Superman and Spiderman have decided against it, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t use a helping hand time and again. Even Captain America used that little kid Bucky or whatever, before he realized that the Falcon (or whatever) was not only competent, but in many ways more hip. Generally, though, sidekicks are always needing a rescue, and quite frankly, the one or two clues they spot aren’t worth the trouble. Ironically, the only superhero who ever made good use of a sidekick was Batman, who by all accounts is a loner type. The Czar guesses everyone needs a friend.
You should have these. These can be of two types: cool tools, or headquarters. Spiderman has his special chemical webs which do just about anything a plot contrivance calls for, the X-Men have their Blackbird jet that not only flies in space, but also can go from one end of the earth to the other in a few seconds without melting. Also, a neat base of operations is definitely in order: the Fantastic Four own their own skyscraper (although they could net a fortune by subletting to some commercial and retail tenants), Wonder Woman’s golden lariat (some guys commit crimes solely so she’ll tie them up and make them tell the truth) and even Superman has his Fortress of Solitude, which is up at the North Pole, just down the street a piece from Santa’s Workshop, for which it is frequently mistaken.
But the absolute king of gadgetry is Batman. From his now famous utility belt, to his wide array of specialized vehicles (the Batmobile, the Batplane, the Batboat, the seldom-seen Batcycle, and the never-seen BatVespa), he stashes all of it in his monstrous, eighty-room BatCave. And Batman, like all the other superheros, has discovered the best part of all this: it’s all free! That specialized aircraft you want to use? Sure, it would cost several hundred million dollars, and require years of planning and design analysis from the best aerospace engineers… but only if you’re an ordinary schmoe! When you’re a superhero, none of this unbelievable engineering costs a penny. Ask the X-Men: they smash their stuff up all the time.
Well, now this is what you’re in business for. You have to get yourself some good archvillains to fight, or you’re really no better than the many vigilantes roaming the big city streets, illegally dispensing justice, making a mockery of the police and wearing red berets and white t-shirts. You need a supervillain!
Of course, some thought is warranted here. You can’t just go and get any old person to be an arch-enemy. For example:
- Good Names include Gor-Klops, Dr. Strangulo, the Astro-Men of Zeptar, Monstrolus, Vokaan the Annihilator, and the Fang.
- Bad names include Scruffy, Ned, Pushpin Boy, Prancer, the Floor Mop of Doom, Lord Nasally, and Downtown Badboy Brown.
Of course, what you get depends a lot on the decade in which you’re fighting. In the 1930s, you had to fight gangsters and other members of organized crime. Generally, superheros really did help the police.
In the 1940s, you fought Nazis for the most part, and did your best to help out the war effort. In fact, one of the major reasons the Nazis never developed the atomic bomb was because they spent too much time working on Kryptonite.
In the 1950s, most of your time was spent fighting communists. This was a great decade for Captain America, who spent an entire decade fighting the Red Skull, whom any other superhero would have pounded in three issues.
In the 1960s, you generally had to fight mutants, which was interesting because odds were you were a mutant yourself. Radiation produced some great villains, or some great monsters… or you could always fight robots, which were invariably powered by… that’s right… radiation.
In the 1970s, times changed a lot, and you probably wound up fighting racists, rednecks, or computers. The one thing these three had in common was a dislike for the common person. In many ways, this is still true.
In the 1980s, you spent all of your time fighting aliens. This was a banner year for SETI, as species of all kinds were dropping in and eating entire area codes. Who knows how many times the Golden Gate bridge was destroyed. Too bad the superheros didn’t use a Macintosh to defeat them, which Jeff Goldblum proved is far easier once you get it started without freezing.
In the 1990s, your time was spent battling environmental and toxic villains, although aliens are, by and large, pretty popular still. Ideally, the supervillain of the 1990s will be a mutant commie Nazi gangster from space intent on poisoning the oceans. And he’ll be a remake of a 1960s television series.
So for the new century, what sort of supervillains will we have? It’s too soon to tell, but if all supervillains are personifications of What We Most Fear as a society, there are three possibilities: (1) People Who Use Harsh Words; (2) Smokers; and (3) Cody Gifford.
Get A Life
Secret identities are essential. No superhero goes around telling people what his day job is. Even the Hulk has enough sense to run and hide from the media. Millionaire Bruce Wayne owns some companies, although it’s difficult to envision how he has time to run them. Tony Stark, when he’s not busy being Iron Man, manages to run his own Stark Enterprises in a similar manner. Peter Parker is an ordinary teenager who (like most teenagers) sticks to walls. A good identity is a must! It keeps the taxman off your back for unreported income, and it always helps to have a nosy neighbor almost discover your secret every five issues.
You don’t have to go to amazing lengths, either. No one has figured out Clark Kent, have they? Who would suspect that a skinny, awkward, nerdy guy with big glasses has immense and almost frightening power? Nobody! Except maybe Bill Gates.
Be A Role Model
Please! Superheros aren’t dumb. In fact, you always have to have a good line for the occasion! After you dispatch a bad guy, it’s a tradition to have a really bad pun ready. Hung a guy from a lamp post? “Why don’t you hang around until I get back?” Rope a guy up like a coccoon? “I’m afraid you’re tied up for a while!” Cook a guy up in a pan with corned beef, potatoes, and a little onion, black pepper, with an egg on top? “Let’s hash this out over breakfast!” It’s best to inspire your fans with good quips. However, a dumb comment never works. If you swap fists with your evil twin (which you don’t need to get, by the way: they turn up on their own), never say “Hey, you’re unbelieveably stupid looking!” On the other hand, don’t be an egghead or an obscurist. Don’t flip your opponent upside-down and remark “Hey, you’re as inverted as an E♭+6 is to a Cm(maj)7,” unless a jazz musician is your sidekick. Or your only reader.
Also, kids look up to you. Showing up with a half-smoked cigarette has been tabu since the mid-sixties. And it has never been acceptable to show up for work drunk. Nobody trusts an incontinent, drooling guy in a cape with slurred speech… even in the heart of DuPont Circle.
Now that you’ve got all this down, get out there and fight some crime. This page should have given you plenty to think about, and whether you’re The Dark Talon or Pink The Merry Tailor, you have to just bite the bullet (perhaps literally, if this is your super power) and smash some villains. But please! Don’t get an attitude just because you got some profressional pointers at this site. Batman and Spiderman have saved the world countless times, but even they stop to bag the odd purse-snatcher or burglar.
And you’re tougher than them, right?
The “Skynet” project had a little trouble today. Luckily, GorT was able to use his time/space traveling subroutines and transferred the project into the 8th dimension for safe keeping. We’ve shelved the multi-rotor flying automaton concept for a bit later. ‘Puter is still shaking his head, now with a “I told you so look” on his face.
The Gormogons’ “Skynet” project went online today. Looks to be good. The Mandarin has hooked it into a bunch of geosynchronous satellites and GorT augmented its processing with a Bayesian neural network processing core. ‘Puter keeps shaking his head saying something doesn’t feel right.
Grounds for an Empire
The Czar is not a coffee drinker. By absolutely no means: he doesnt even like the taste of the stuff, since it tastes like some mild acid-based solvent that somebody left the top off of for about three weeks, and is now so stale that you would expect an elderly neighbor to offer you in hardened candy form. But we really dont care for that analogy. Plus, the Czar is not sure why someone would offer you stale, solvent-based candy. Its best we move on.
Anyway, we really dont like it. But we are not repulsed by it either: in fact, the smell of fresh-brewed coffee is a Very Good Thing. If you try to imagine the smell of it right now, chances are pretty good you can indeed almost taste it. As far as the caffeine piece of it, we obtain other sources. Notably soda. The Czar can easily down a couple of cans in no time flat. Of course, we dont mean the sodas flat… merely the time. We digress yet again.
So this little Seattle-based company decided that coffee must be The Next Big Thing, and began appearing every place where they could find three square feet of space… Body Snatchers-like. And lo, the Starbucks empire became reality.
Boy, were they right. Within seconds of opening any Starbucks, hordes of khaki-wearing minions start loitering nervously in front, mobbing the tables, reading pulp novels and sipping weird bean blends out of these tall white canisters so large that, we swear, if they had a dome-shaped top, people would be throwing trash into them.
Its so bad that when a construction company starts doing the exterior of a future Starbucks… or any retail place shaped vaguely like one… the coffee army shows up and starts camping out. Its like some Grateful Dead caravan, with its own microeconomy and subculture. And there they are, with their sweater-vests, designer sunglasses, and cell phones all milling about wondering when they can get a Bahamanian Jerk Bean blend and a gargantuan muffin with sugar crystals on it the size of dice. Does it matter that its months before opening? Not really: even if it dawns on them that they arent likely to get served, they just walk seven more feet to the left and find another Starbucks.
Why Youre Wrong
You cant order anything in Starbucks without being wrong. Its true: whatever you order, they correct you. Its like the counterpeople simply like to counter people. Just remember, they are informed, the customer is always wrong.
Id like the double decaf mocha twist frapaspresso lattacino, please.
At once, she rolls her eyes, shifts her weight to her other foot in disgust and says, Do you mean the double mocha decaf twist frapaspresso lattacino? with her voice lilting mockingly on the last syllable.
Um… yes, you say, having lost total control over the exchange, although youre darn sure she told you the opposite yesterday.
A grande? she asks, much in the same way a parent talks to a child who just mailed all of the rent money through the slots on a sewer cover outside.
Yes, you meekly reply, having no idea what size that really is, although you suspect its bigger than you can physically ingest.
The Sale, Wherein the Czar Slits His Own Throat
Let us share with you a true story. The Czar is standing, literally, in the center of Lambert International Airport in Saint Louis, waiting to meet up with a someone arriving later. Like nearly every day in the Gateway City, its hot and muggy. Wed spring for a beer, thank you, but by FAA regulation, all alcohol in an airport must cost over ten bucks.
So the Czar looks for an alternative, and discover theres a Starbucks behind us. We realize that theyre not too likely to jack up their prices any more than they already do, and walk over. Plus, theres no line. This actually shocks us.
The Czar looks up at the overhead board to get an idea of what we might want. Toward the bottom, theres a section titled Iced Tea, and below that a goofy name like Tazo.
May I help you? she asks cheerfully, eagerly awaiting to see how she can trip us up.
Yeah, Id like an iced tea.
We dont have that.
We glance up at the board, half-expecting to see that menu choice dematerialize before our eyes. Okay… we say very slowly.
She grins, knowing her triumph. We do have Tazo. Its an infused brewed tea blend, with select spices, served chilled.
The Czar stares directly at her. That is an iced tea.
But its different, she says, gleefully pointing her finger at the Czar, as though he was some Renaissance Pope arguing with Galileo.
Okay, the Czar sighs in defeat, Ill have that, and pull out a couple of dollars.
What size? she asks, realizing her immense fortune at being able to potentially humiliate us twice in one transaction.
What sizes do you have? we ask, realizing perhaps we could minimize the ridicule she must surely be documenting to her manager as a step toward promotion.
Tall, Grande, and Veinte, she sighs, realizing that victory is not so easily won with this one. Blast, she thinks. She was just forced to hand us the answers.
Whats the smallest one you have? we ask.
Your small is a tall? we ask, incredulous.
Yes. The next largest is a grande. It occurs to the Czar their medium is grande, which of course means large.
Well, I guess a tall then.
There! We wanted a small iced tea, but was denied. Instead, the Czar was forced to buy a tall tazo… and in turn, she hands us a small iced tea. We pay for it, and return to the gate where were waiting.
The Czar is pleased to report, it was a darn good cup of iced tea.
At this point, though, the Czar is pretty much forced to speculate as to what goes on in the mornings at a Starbucks. Immediately before opening, the manager has the staff rearrange the signboard, just to confuse the regulars. I want that split shot skinny replaced with a skinny shot split, the manager hollers, as staff furiously scramble to scramble the signboard.
The bags are ripped open, and the marble fudge cinnamon biscotti and marshmallow pecan muffins and the host of other confections designed by computer spill out. Theyre neatly arranged to be as scary as possible, and the doors are opened.
Lo, and they begin filing in. There they all are: the guy who sits there, staring zombie-like over the top of his low-fat latte, wondering what on earth happened to his free time as he plans to spend the next three hours here. And there she is… that woman that just clenches her teeth and nods grimly as her friend complains incessantly about how morale is so low at work ever since they insisted on staff showing up regularly. There he is… the guy in his 30s trying to look much younger and much more wealthy, sitting in his J. Crew ensemble wondering why nobody has noticed him looking at his expensive watch every couple of minutes. Oh, and heres the woman that always insists on coming in wearing the clothes she slept in, dragging behind her some recalcitrant dalmatian whos wondering why they just couldnt sleep in some Saturday.
And they all sit there, sitting, reading or talking, and spending a lot of time staring. And they glance at their watches and pagers, their left leg bouncing incessantly up and down like a sewing machine.
We cant help but think, as we bit into a pastry thats as soft and tooth-crackingly moist as particle board, that if we just slammed our mighty foot onto the floor, these people would all snap.
Look at them! Theyre one loud noise away from screaming, tearing their hair out, and diving through any convenient plate glass. These are people who honestly, and perhaps pathologically, believe theyre relaxing right now. In reality, if they were any more tense, you could strum them.
So we shake our head, and turn to the register just in time to see the counter person sniff and ask someone, Do you mean the half-shot double steamed mocha?
There’s very little devoted to the topic of ruining your own success, so rather than join the millions of people trying to make you rich (and themselves), the Czar thought he’d show you business slouches how to really shoot yourself in the foot.
Why would you want a business to fail? We’re not sure, but it’s evident a lot of business owners do. Who are we to question? Either way, we’ve compiled a short list of sure-fire tips for nosing her right into the dirt, and make yourself a true ensign of industry.
Note: a helpful, easy-to-remember glossary of business terms will not be readily found at the end of this page.
- Put as much stress as possible on your call-center people. You’ve probably heard of these people, because in addition to working for you, they deal with your customers directly. Ideally, you know you have customers as well. Anyway, when the customer calls your company’s phone numberto order “goods and services” (as the economists call it), or “stuff” (as you most likely have mentally reduced it to)they talk to your call center representatives (“those phone people”). Because of this, you’ll want to make their jobs, their lives, indeed, their very essence completely miserable. You can do this by changing procedures on them frequently, giving them a 1980s-era ordering system that breaks down anytime someone uses a photocopier elsewhere in the building, rotating new managers on them every month, and as little useful training as possible. Then, order them to increase sales by 35%. These elements are ideal for creating a good customer interaction:
Customer: Hi. I’d like to order a…
Call Rep: Shut up.
- Destroy morale at all costs. One thing to look for is how employees decorate their cubicles (those roofless holding pens, which are as close to a useful workspace as an empty cardboard refrigerator box is a “time machine” to a five-year-old). You can learn a lot about employee morale levels from their cubes. Cat posters are ideal. If an employee has a poster of a basketful of kittens and a “Smile” caption, things are good. If you see an employee with a poster featuring a frightened cat hanging from a branch, with a caption of “Hang In There,” you have a morale problem. If you have an employee displaying a skinned, bloody cat carcass nailed to a wall with a caption of “I Hate This Place,” you’re indeed well on your way… especially if it’s not a poster. Low morale causes turnover, which raises training and recruiting expenses astronomically. Plus, the resultant labor deficit overloads the remaining employees to where they begin quitting. So low morale is a good weapon for destroying your business. The best way to accomplish low morale is to treat your employees like you think they’re imbeciles. Do this by offerring tenth-percent raises, denying training classes, and producing as many restrictive policies as possible… then, balance that with utterly insulting incentives, such as a “You’re the best” certificate printed from PowerPoint clip art on a crummy laser printer, or perhaps a pizza day every third August, and a work-from-home policy which you should promote and advertise like crazy until you cancel it two days before it was supposed to start. Bad morale, you see, produces all sorts of good business-killing results.
Customer: Hi. I’d like to check the status of my order.
Call Rep: Yeah? When I was seven, I wanted to be an astronaut.
- Eliminate, or at least flip, the corporate vision. Once, in ancient times, no one bothered with corporate visions. Life was pretty simple: you opened a business, competed on the strength of your products and services, and reaped huge profits. Then, the whole Quality scam kicked in, and all work stopped so companies could write mission statements. Of course, there’s really only one mission in business: To make enormous piles of cash for the investors. But today, you see all sorts of idiotic fluff-haiku sloganism from companies; ultimately, it’s evident which one was written by the CEO, because it’s blindingly obvious (“To be the leader in our industry”), and which one was done by a committee, since it’s group-think babble (“To develop an efforts-driven matrix ownership, manifesting in career-oriented reward sponsorship and quality focus engineering”), and which were done by the corporate visionary, because it’s some weird Zen koan (“Results. Efforts. Tomorrow. Where do you hear the thunder?”). Start promoting this stuff in your own company, especially at the departmental level, because a great way to stifle ingenuity is to confuse vision with distraction:
Customer: Hi. I’d like to place an order, please.
Call Rep: Uh… I guess we still do that. Let me check.
- Layer management. It’s tough to find work for all those people, right? After all, you just bought another whole company, and at least 60% of them have functions identical to people in your parent company. You can’t fire all of them, frankly, because that would be painfully smart. Well, if you really want to louse things up, start promoting them to middle management. That way, they’ll add rolls of red tape to previously brainless procedures, harmlessly eat up their own time in endless meetings, and work on their resumes, which totally solves the problem. You can even have a couple of them reorganize operations, so that new org charts are handed out with every paycheck. Adding management improves the company’s intellect in the same way adding water improves gasoline:
Customer: Hi. I’d like to place an order, please.
Call Rep: I’d love to, but my manager is shaking his head no.
- Eliminate the human element. Customers like your sales reps. They actually love your receptionist. And they even are impressed by the complaints department. Therefore, you want to eliminate that bond of trust at once. For this, there is no better tool than voice response systems. This is different from voice mail (which is actually useful) by making your customers thoroughly disassociated with their prospective purchase. Typically, the voice response bit involves a perky woman’s voice who talks to you like you’re the idiot. Usually, these give you totally ambiguous choices, so that a customer spends twenty minutes waiting on hold before your one remaining call center rep even gets a chance to answer.
Customer: Hi. I’d like….
Voice Response: Thank you for calling. For vendor purchasing, press 1. For operations buying, press 2. For business sales, press 3. For all other calls, stay on the line. <dial tone>
Could you effectively employ all of these ideas? Yes, and even a math-poor ox like yourself can see how quickly each adds up to your perfect recipe for failure. By using all these methods together, you do create the perfect plan for disaster:
Customer: Hi. I’d like…
Call Rep: Please hold while your call is transferred to our nearest competitor. Thank you, and have a Quality Day.
As we know, having the dead around your place can become a tad inconvenient. And in our ongoing effort to provide you the best there is to be had by people like you, we’ve put together a few useful tips the Gormogons have found regarding raising the dead.
Use these in any order, really, but don’t get too carried away. Remember that results may vary, and we can’t be held responsible for any… um… unforeseen difficulties… which might arise.
- First of all, try waking the dead. Call their names loudly, and see if they respond. Remember, it’s critical that you don’t confuse the dead with people who are merely sleeping. Ask your local coroners about how embarrassing this is. If they don’t wake up and demand an explanation, try banging pots and pans. Be careful: the Chinese used to frighten away solar eclipses with this same method, but you have to pick one methodology and stick with it.
- Wake your own dead. If you get extremely loud and irritating (Nine Inch Nails works well if this is your goal… ask our neighbors), someone nearby may scream at you that you’re waking the dead. If in fact you are waking their dead, apologize. While a noble goal, remember that this may not fit in well with their plans, and inconvenience is something the enlightened person strives to avoid.
- Avoid magic rituals. Many dark arts feature rituals and incantations which allegedly return the dead to life. This, of course, is likely a waste of time. There is no evidence whatsoever that such practices will work, and if you’re going to raise the dead, you should at least attempt to do so in the most scientific manner possible.
- Voodoo is best left to professionals. If you’re a fully-qualified houngan, raise the dead carefully. Remember that zombies technically don’t count, since we’re not talking about raising the undead. But if you’re going after bigger game, and you’re no expert, you’ll need more than a few chickens or snakes to do it right. Houngans are very particular about their techniques, and don’t take well to interlopers who think they can hack it. Don’t be like the Czars friend Brian, who thought he knew everything after reading an FAQ, and wound up irritating a local “specialist,” who enacted a small price on Brian. If you’re ever in Chicago, stop by the Lincoln Park Zoo and visit his cage. Brian will be happy to demonstrate what happened to him (and he never did succeed).
- Electricity was a popular approach at the end of the 1800s, but never panned out. Massive voltage might have brought Mary Shelley’s monster back, but quite frankly our own research succeeded only in stinking up the place worse. And the bill! It would have been cheaper to run an air conditioner in every window here for a full year. If anyone’s interested in an old Jacob’s ladder (worthless for raising the dead, by the way, but the Czar was naive), shoot us an e-mail.
- Contrary to popular rumor, repeated watching of C-SPAN has the opposite effect. If you have C-SPAN on, you run the risk of becoming dead yourself.
- Reincarnation is a powerful consideration. If you believe in reincarnation, you’re probably only going to louse things up, and really frustrate a few people. By the way, if you do believe in reincarnation, could you explain how the world’s population has consistently gone up in the last thousand years? Where are all these new people coming from? Can they be trusted? You should fear everyone.
- Take notes. If you’re successful, it helps to be able to reproduce the feat, especially if you expect to be believed. Witnesses don’t always help. If you startle the dead back to life, be sure you write down what you did (firecrackers, cold water, pictures of Shelley Winters, etc.), so that other people can benefit from your findings.
- One question most people ask the Czar is: “Is it ethical to raise the dead and charge money for it?” The answer is yes, provided you don’t charge the recently reanimated. They probably lack the funds to compensate you and since they didn’t expect your service, it’s rude of you to demand it. Remember the relatives might not appreciate you reviving “Uncle Slither,” and they might balk at paying. Then what will you do? Our advice is that if you plan on charging next of kin for this service, get their agreement to pay in writing. The Czar can’t stress this enough, as the recently-returned tend to freeload for months at your place unless you get someone to take responsibility for them.
- If you mistakenly raise the wrong person, apologize. Manners go a long way here. You don’t like being roused from sleep, so imagine how they feel.
Well, no doubt there’s something in these tips to offend pretty much everybody. We hope that if you’re planning on raising the dead, you do so responsibly. Remember to be professional: dress well, and speak clearly. Extend every courtesy to your clientele, and try to network with other necromancers. Not only will they cover for you while you’re on vacation, but in many cases, they’ll be the ones reviving you in a few decades. Have fun, and above all, remember to floss!
Its all the rage, kids, isnt it? Once a side-feature of tabloids, even mainstream, real-news-only publications (such as The New York Post) are discussing the subject of alien abduction. According to some polls, more than 100% of all Americans have been kidnapped in the last twenty minutes, and those who havent are in a constant state of denial.
Rumor is, airport traffic control personnel find blips of alien craft on radar screens all the time, but are subject to intense cover ups, so that we never hear about them. Personally, were that true, youd think thered be more flying saucers routed into each other than there apparently are, but hey… perhaps thats covered up too.
Anyway, if you havent been abducted by aliens, youre clearly not hip, and probably live in a trailer park and eat Spam out of the can. Then again, these are the type of people who most frequently call in abductions. So, in an effort to make you popular, here are the Czars tips on getting yourself abducted.
Be Attractive To Aliens
Never be a scientist. Sure, you can come close and be a successful horror writer like Streiber, but nobody trusts a chronic fiction writer. A bit of the cry wolf problem, eh? The late Carl Sagan, for example, was never abducted, although he would have been an obvious choice, just so he could explain their technology to them in terms they could understand. Further, Frank Drake was never abducted, either, but would very much like to be, if only to prove that formula of his one way or another. Other scientists have been notably unkidnapped, such as Dr. Joyce Brothers, although there is some theory that she is, in fact, an actual alien.
Dont be too popular, either. People trust celebrities, and consequently would not be good choices: celebrities blow whistles on such operations, and would be disastrous for any secret abduction program. However, there is a rumor that the B-52s were abducted in the early 1980s, but not for scientific experiments… hey, even an alien has to party.
Be human. Very few dogs, cats, dugongs, or dingos report abductions. Maybe they are abducted all the time, but arent intelligent enough to realize their subconsciouses have been tampered with. Could be: the Czar had a dog who had serious memory lapses; and one of our buddies has a cat who cant account for a lot of his behavior.
In addition to being human, there are some other qualities you should have to be attractive to aliens.
- Be rural. Aliens hate crowded cities, and can never find parking; if you live by yourself off in the outer suburbs or in rural America, youre ideal.
- Dont be too smart. Aliens hate well-read individuals, who might shrug off a genuine abduction as nothing more than a waking dream, a flashback from just one teeny hit of acid at a party ten years before, or a harmless and brief microseizure in the neocortex. Boy, what a waste of time that would be!
- Dont fall for the notion that an alien species would have evolved under a vastly different ecology from ours, and therefore could not possibly look like the very-human description of little guys with big heads and black eyes. Ignore the fact these totally alien creatures look more like us than chimpanzees do, with whom we share 96% of our DNA.
- Be open-minded! It helps if you are open-minded to different ideas; not just alien abduction, but bone up on astrology, pyramid power, fairies and elves, and crystal healing. Aliens have very little time for people who live and work in the real world.
Be Polite When They Show
Show some courtesy when they do show… remember, they wont come screaming out of the sky at unbeliveable speeds, and they wont take you up to their ship with powerful technology that would require a lot of massive energy sources which would interfere with reception for counties around you (or parishes, if youre in Louisiana). No, theyll appear out of thin air, without a sound, take you up with no apparent means, and whisk you off to their ship without a trace, and certainly without disturbing your neighbors. Be sure to show them the same courtesy.
Have cookies. Aliens like cookies, and its the sign of a good host to offer them some. For heavens sake, people leave cookies out for Santa, and we know there aint no Santy Claus. Yet, no one ever thinks to do the same for real house guests. And for heavens sake, offer them good cookies. These guys have traversed thousands of light years, and arent in the mood for those stale, generic vanilla wafers. Get the name brand stuff.
Dont offer them milk until we determine if theyre lactose intolerant. After all, if they can travel space with transeinsteinian technology, they certainly have weapons to match, and nothing encourages a person to use them openly more than intestinal cramps.
Its okay to be excited at meeting the aliens, but remember the little guys hate flash photography, and definitely dont jam a camcorder in their face. Try to be subdued, and find a creative way to remember this historic meeting. Most people capture the moment by burying it into their unconscious so far that only wealthy and glamorous hypnotists can drag it out them by a combination of suggestion and encouragement.
Avoid making fun of their last names. Or their first names. Or whatever the name of their homeworld might be. They dont seem to have much grasp of spoken languages, and they do the best they can with telepathy. And since they can use telepathy, and you cant, its definitely rude to snicker. Although, ya gotta admit, some of their names are downright silly.
Mi Casa, Su Casa
Now, remember that theyre nice enough to take you up into their ship, which they only reserve for the vast majority of Americans. It helps to remember that youre in somebodys home.
Dont be pushing any buttons, and dont be swinging on any levers. If you spill something, apologize and offer to clean it up. Smile politely when introduced to others, and dont shake any three-fingered hands (theyre not big on arm-around-the-shoulder stuff or back slaps, which makes them rather like New Englanders).
Compliment their art work, provided you dont make the big faux pas and accidentally compliment a piece of equipment. Think how uncomfortable youd feel if you welcomed a visitor into your home and he got all excited by your sink nozzle.
Play along with their strange rituals. Theyre nice enough to follow some of yours; you should follow some of theirs. Let them gather around you, let them shine lights at you, stick objects up your nostril, or slice bits of skin off you. Theyre just being friendly, even if it is a little different. Believe me, its certainly no stranger than Greenwich Village, and think about how much time youve spent there!
And respect their traditions. When they drop you back at your place, and they usually are nice enough to give you a ride back to your own bed, simply repeat the gesture by pushing one into a chair and shoving a grape into his nose. It will be warmly appreciated by them.
But be down to earth, too: let them borrow a couple of CDs (anything by the B-52s, especially Good Stuff, which has a lot of inside jokes they love), maybe a video tape (funny hint: they even like to watch blank tapes!), or some earrings or a shirt or two. Theyll bring it back in the same condition they took it, and theyre quick to let you borrow some of their stuff, like time dilators, light cones (the Czar knows one guy whos got a bunch!), or other trinkets, like those crazy toroid sporans they buy but never wear.
Yall Come Back Now, YHear?
You may be tempted to rush off to the press with your amazing tale, but remember how the popular media mucks everything up (remember Independence Day… no one wants to sit through another one of those). Just sit back and await their next visit, although you might want to tidy up a bit. They dont eat lint, for goodness sake.
Make yourself accessible for follow-up visits. Leave your doors and windows unlocked at all times, and dont stay up too late. Dont get a satellite dish: the aliens frequently confuse them with radar dishes, and will be reluctant to park right out front.
Here’s some fun things you can do at an airport which will not only amuse you, but will also have the added topspin of getting you very urgently arrested.
Anyway, these are pretty inexpensive, which is good, because you’ll likely need a small fortune for bail money.
Drink a bottle of tequila, and then lay down on the moving walkways and look at the ceiling go by. When you reach the end, simply roll over onto the other one. This will be seriously cool.
When security is distracted, place a bag on the conveyor belt and walk away before anyone realizes you did it. In the bag, you should place an alarm clock and some ordinary road flares. What a riot! You’ll do serious time, for sure.
Have a large assortment of Civil War characters paged to the courtesy phone. Ask for J.E.B. Stuart, Robert Lee, and so on. If the services representative is a history major, simply comment on his or her obvious and unexpected employment success.
Start petting your suitcase reassuringly, and talking to it like a nervous dog.
Step onto the baggage carousel and ride it as far as you can. Just before it heads back into the restricted area, step off and move onto the next one in line.
If you’re at a small municipal airline, go up to a ticket desk and request an unbelievably exotic ticket, like round-trip tickets to Kathmandu. This works even better if the airline is really tiny: good indicators would be names like “Des Moines Regional Airlines,” “DC Beltway Airlines,” or “5th Ave To 8th Ave Airlines.”
If a fellow traveler asks you how to get to the baggage claim area, give him very specific directions on how to get to the air traffic control tower.
Or, Lessons in Being a Ghastly Ghostie
Well, the Czar is already scared, and he knows what’s coming. You talk about scary! Well, frankly, there’s nothing spookier than a haunted house, and we oughta know… we’ve been haunting them for years. And sometimes we scare ourselves, we’re so good. But it is a lot of fun, much like anything scary is (such as roller coasters, skydiving, and getting mugged), so we thought we’d share with you our sure-fire ways of haunting a house properly. And if you like it, drop us a line and let us know some of your scary ideas.
First of all, choose a good house. We recommend one with a lot of people in it, since an empty house is, well, kind of slow. You sort of have to make it count, then, and you wind up using all your best material up front. Best to have a house with a lot of people, because then you can pace yourself.
Do you want to be really noticed, right away? Pick a house with a dog. Dogs know about ghosts, and this can be a great intro. Rather than jump right in with frightening the bejeezus out of people, try warming up first. Make the dog bark at empty walls, or better yet, slowly walk toward the dog. Nothing looks neater than seeing the family dog walk backwards, fur up, and growling at thin air. Talk about an intro!
A house with kids is all right, maybe. We generally avoid it, because if you’re feeling a little poltergeistish, the kids usually get blamed for some of your best work. And kids today are too clever: they start setting little traps for you. If you like kids, then by all means have fun. We recommend shaking their beds, making their window shades shoot up, and opening and closing their closet doors at night. But whatever you do, don’t do anything cutesy, like move their toys around, squirt water at them, or shove them from behind. Do this, and the kids start seeing you as their play pal, and then there’s no chance of getting work done.
Go after the wife whenever the husband’s not home. It’s hysterical, because he never believes her. Try creaking floorboards when she’s by herself, rearranging her kitchen knives, or for an absolutely primo scare, wait until she’s quieted down for the night and then flush the toilet. We generally avoid the stupid goblin tricks, like saying “Mommy!” in your best child’s voice and then rolling a bowling ball down the stairs.
General scariness can be handled by confusion. Go down to the circuit breaker and then start switching the circuits on and off like mad. Strive for the strobe light effect. But don’t overdo it: only do this for a few seconds, and then switch every circuit back on as if nothing happened. The husband will likely go down and look the first couple of times, but don’t do anything more that night! After the third or fourth time, guaranteed, he’ll call an electrician to come look at it. And then, when the electrician is by himself, scare the pants off him. It doesn’t matter what you do, really, from sticking screwdrivers in the wall next to his head, to manifesting yourself as a bloody skeleton… the goal here is to get him to run out of the house screaming.
Another good hell-raiser is to make the faucets drip blood. It’ll require a little setting up beforehand, but it’s worth it. Make sure the whole family sees it. If blood makes you queasy, go for black or green slime; and if you’re really in luck, they’ll call in a plumber for you.
Poltergeist phenomena is a great showcase. Start small, so they don’t get too terrified. At dinner, flip a plate. During TV time, keep changing the channels every couple of minutes. Nothing too much! Over time, you can start moving furniture around if your back holds out.
When they’re gone for the day, at work and school, don’t think that you can rest. There’s plenty to do in an empty house, too. Start by changing the thermostat a couple of degrees up or down (it annoys Dad), and get to work by loosening the light bulbs and tilting the pictures. If they have a dog, you’re in luck. You can spend the whole day chasing Pebbles around the house, knocking over furniture and giving the dog a complex.
Remember to be polite. Real ghosts don’t do that attempted murder nonsense you see in the movies. Don’t try to drop pianos on people or push them over railings. And be professional: don’t be looking through the shower curtains at the family member of choice. Nobody tolerates a naughty ghost.
And don’t get in good with the family. Nothing is sloppier than a ghost who winds up eating dinner with the family and baby-sitting the kids. If they wanted that, they could have invited an in-law over. Stay scary.
By now, you should have a ghastly host of ideas. And remember, when they put the house up for sale, it’s up to you whether you want to make the house look sweet and innocent for the next family, or… well… sometimes you can’t resist blasting the real estate agent during a walk-through.
Everybody’s so up on the weather these days, and if you’ve been in an elevator lately, you notice it’s on the mind of every stranger that has an urge to talk to you. With all this pressure, it’s no wonder that you’ve been watching the meteorologists every night, sweating and straining to produce a five-day forecast when everyone knows forecasting methods aren’t accurate beyond 12 hours. So who can you trust? You know you can’t trust the weather guys, because they’re in it for the money. Well, who does that leave? Hey, who wrote this post, anyway?
What’s the first thing I need to know about the weather?
Nothing! Weather is summarized by light and water. Some days have more light than others, and some days have more water than others. What else could there be? Of course, there are definitely many degrees between those two. And we can easily depict it on a four-way matrix, if we thought for a minute you’d even look at it. Odds are, you don’t even know what that is. But that’s okay, because it doesn’t matter.
Okay then, what’s this el niño thing that’s screwing up the weather all over North and South America?
Who knows. Apparently, somebody in Australia keeps goofing off with the weather (and we’re pretty confident it’s a guy named Tony who lives in Sydney), which causes a warm mass of air to move to our side of the Pacific Ocean. From there, all sorts of kookiness happens, like rains of snow, hail, ice, frogs, locusts, and bubbly things. The name was given to it by bug-eyed Chilean fisherman, because when a large, continent-sized chunk of humidity comes rolling at you, it’s natural to associate that with a small boy. In their opinion, anyway.
How is the relative humidity index calculated?
It’s calculated with some sort of scale. There’s all kinds of crazy things associated with wet bulbs, or something, and frankly it sounds a little too silly to be science. But there it is.
How do clouds form?
Clouds form in all sorts of ways. Generally, warm air rises up, up, and still further up. You see, warm air rises, and cold air sinks. So the warm air keeps going upward until the cold air up high chills it. Just like when you exhale on a cold day, you can see your breath (and it’s probably greenish in color, from what we’ve heard), so too does the warm air get foggy when it slams into the cold air. A lot of fog up high looks like a cloud. Actually, it is a cloud. And so, that’s how clouds form. Ask a tougher one.
What are the different kinds of clouds?
See, that’s a better question. There are a lot of clouds, and yes, we know what they are. There are cumulus clouds, which are puffy, fat guys like the ones who insist on wearing Speedos at the beach. There are stratus clouds, which are grey and flat and look like overcast skies. There are cirrus clouds, which are thin, wispy clouds, just like those guys who insist on combing their sideburns over the tops of their heads, thinking they’ve fooled everyone. Also, there are combinations, like the cirrocumulus, the stratocumulus, the cirrostratus on rye, the cumulocirrostratus triple decker, the pulled pork stratus, and the cirrodiplodocus with bacon, hash browns… we don’t know what the heck we’re talking about.
No kidding. So what other types of clouds are there?
All kinds. There’s the fluffy white clouds (normally three) that are equally spaced in the skies of kids’ drawings; the evil, invisible cloud that a roommate emits after drinking four beers just after eating a mixture of tamales and garlic dill pickles; there’s the strange, internal cloud that occupies most of your brain until 10:30am; there’s also the cloud that hovers around doorways of non-smoking office buildings.
Is there any truth to some of the many folk tales surrounding weather?
Well, without knowing which tales you’re referring to, it’s gonna be hard to say. However, there are some truths! It is true that cows lay down before it rains, and also that birds fly low before a storm. Both are related to low pressure systems moving into an area. It’s true that a red sky at night heralds fair weather the next day, since it indicates no fronts are moving in. It’s even true that a hurricane produces high winds and heavy rains. It’s totally true that if you wash your car, it will rain within the hour. What isn’t true? That you won’t need that umbrella tomorrow.
What else do I need to know about the weather?
There’s plenty to learn. You could start asking about snow, fogs, whether it’s true that rain makes people melt, or even why it never hails inside your oven. My advice is that weather is easy to understand: you just have to study it in incredible detail for a very long time. Meanwhile, may your days be sunny. Except, that produces drought… hmm, maybe it’s just best to let the weather do whatever it wants. For a change.
A brief list, which shows that even Heisenberg could be certain about some things, at least.
- The best intelligence test is to put a person behind the wheel of a car. Almost no one would pass.
- People who look at flowers generally enjoy them more than people who eat them.
- Stay away from folks who kill any person they meet. There may be something wrong with them.
- Be safe! Many people choke eating whole pieces of fruit.
- Marry a nurse and you’ll never want for bedpans again.
- No matter what the naturalists tell you, dung beetles lead pretty miserable lives.
- The things we find most humiliating are often the things we do really well.
- A lot of people probably owe you some money. Call them.
- People who nod slowly when you speak to them aren’t remotely listening to you.
- Never take financial advice from someone who isn’t wildly rich.
- Cows are slower than horses; and they smell worse but taste better.
- People who hate snakes usually have few problems with shoes.
- The slower the emergency services, the worst the outcome.
- Those who enjoy extreme sports make a lot of noise.
- The cod is not a happy fish.
- The only good way to end a war is to beat the other side senseless.
Going a Bit Fast?
Okay, so you were jammin the metal, and now you see the flashing lights. You want to get out of a citation, but theres no hope of that, right? Wrong! In fact, with these tips, you could drive 400 mph, and never get a speeding ticket.
Its good advice, but dont go crazy if you see the flashing lights. First of all:
- It might not be a police car. Dont pull over for tow trucks or other non-emergency vehicles. Non-emergency lights flash yellow or amber. Also, dont pull over ever for firetrucks, ambulances, or really anyone who cant shoot out your tires.
- It might not be for you. If you blow past a trooper with radar, at serious multiples of the speed limit, and he tears after you, its possible hes going after someone else, or theres an accident, or he forgot something important, at home.
If you see the flashing lights, dont look guilty.
- Dont immediately pull over and admit guilt until youre sure hes after you. Drive for about two or three hours. If hes still following you, hes probably on your tail.
- Dont jam on the brakes: not only does that make you look guilty, but it could cause an accident. Play it safespeed up.
- Dont start dumping bottles of liquor, firearms, vials of crack, and so forth out the window. It looks suspicious. If you need to have these items in your car at all, store them in the trunk.
- Dont scramble to put on your seat belt. You should have this on at all times, even in your home. Cops are happy to see safety-conscious drivers, so wear that seat belt. In fact, if you can manage it, set off your air bag.
Do this in a safe manner. Its dangerous to pull over to the left shoulder. Always pull over to the right, even if you have to cut off six lanes of traffic to do so. Also, pull over on your side of the road: dont cross over into oncoming traffic.
Dont get out of your car, either. Let the police officer come to you. Indeed, ignore him completely.
Already have your drivers license and insurance ready. Dont aggravate him by looking for it. In fact, have other handy things ready, such as your vehicle registration, library card, ten forms of ID, a social security card, some report cards, and a gas bill. But most important is your drivers license. If you dont have one, get one: ask your passengers for one, or always carry a spare. In many jurisdictions, photocopies are acceptable.
Turn the radio off. Loud music irritates the officer. If you dont have the radio on, have a good excuse as to where the loud music is coming from.
Turn the car off, too. Keeping the car running suggests youre a flight risk, as is gunning the car into reverse, smashing his engine into bits, and rocketing the car forward while firing handguns out the window.
Be polite. Smile, greet the officer, and be courteous: ask about his day, his weekend plans, and about his mothers new boyfriend. Offer to take him to a concert, or perhaps just a walk on the beach. If youre a woman, and he isnt, talk like Mae West. Just dont look like her.
Dont ever say youre in a hurry, or youre late, or that you despise the law in any of its crafty incarnations. Be surprised when he says you were speeding. Try gaping in amazement, soiling yourself, and jabbering in foreign tongues.
Promise to take it easy from hereon. In fact, offer to idle the car the entire way, even if it means starving to death.
Thank the officer. No doubt, hell let you go. Be grateful: dont throw up on him, dont point out his IQ is almost like a normal persons, and so forth. Ideally, write him a profuse thank you note, recommending him for promotion.
- Never touch the officers gun.
- Change your license plates often.
- Dont make fun of his name.
- Do offer an excuse like Im sorry, I sped up cuz I thought you were trying to get around me.
- Dont blow smoke in his face.
- Dont blow chow in his face.
- Dont sing at the top of your lungs every time he tries to talk.
- Dont be naked. That looks extremely weird to troopers.
- Be in a vehicle. Speeding on an expressway on foot is not only dangerous but potentially impossible.
By This Point…
By this point, youre off scot-free. Remember these tips, and you wont get a speeding ticket. Not ever. This methodology is highly reliable, but will not work for burglary charges, executive actions such as assassination, or for getting the microwave to brown meat. In these cases, the best advice is to pull over first..
Being a wine snob is very important to looking slick in public. Surprisingly, it’s easier than you think if you have a healthy imagination. You should know how to tell the two different “connoisseurs” apart:
- Oenophile. These are the experts on wine who study the process, principles, and making of wine. They buy very expensive bottles of rare wines, and can taste the difference between a ’63 Beaujolais and a ’64. Stay away from them.
- Wine snob. This could be you! Read on….
What You Need To Know
Not much. But you have to look good. Here’s what to do.
Open the wine properly. This means you should use an opener: avoid buying wines with bottle caps, and don’t bust the neck of the bottle on a counter and swig from the broken glass. Use one of those butterfly openers or, if you want to look really good, use one of those weird openers that looks like an over-sized AC power adapter prong.
Let the wine breathe. This means you let the bottle stand out in the open air, where the flies can walk all over it, asbestos particles can trickle into it from the ceiling, or passing sneeze droplets can drift right in. Breathing improves the taste of the wine.
Pour the wine into a wine glass. Let it splash against the sides of the glass helpfully. The Czar does recommend a wine glass: paper or styrofoam cups fail to cut it; for one thing, they don’t sound as cheerful when you throw the empty into a fireplace. Or is that what you do with champagne flutes? We don’t have a fireplace, so the Czar is not sure what he would do.
Hold the glass by the stem. Don’t drink out of it by holding the bowl of the glass: it puts fingerprints all over the wine, and then you have to wash it. If you keep fingerprints off the glass, you can rinse it out and put it right back in the cupboard.
Swish the wine around in the glass. This makes all the crud that fell into the breathing wine bottle as well as the gunk left in the unwashed glass sink to the bottom. Check it out: most people will never notice.
Sniff the wine. This helps you determine the quality of the wine, especially indicative through its aroma (or bouquet). More importantly, it tips you off as to whether there’s really even wine in the glass. With the guys in the Castle, you have to double-check this stuff, the merry pranksters.
Take a fast swallow. This essentially scalds the throat so badly that anything you drink after this tastes good.
Take a slow swallow. This helps you figure out whether you even want to finish the glass, or in fact even want to drink straight out of the bottle.
Don’t spit the wine. Many wine tasters spit the wine after swishing it in their mouths. Don’t do this… you’ll never get hammered that way.
Where To Be A Wine Snob
There are two places you can be a wine snob: either at home, or in public (such as a restaurant).
This is the best place to practice your skills at snobbery. If you make mistakes, waiters won’t snicker at you. Plus, you can discover what you really like. Some advice? Sure!
Get a wine rack. Don’t invest in one of those wall-sized racks, because you’ll go broke trying to fill it. If you can afford to fill it, e-mail us. we want to come over and help you empty it. Get just a small one that holds a dozen or so bottles.
Buy a few good bottles to fill it. Although these are for show, you do want to have good wine in case friends call you on it. We recommend you get some basic wines: 2 Merlots, 1 Beaujolais, a Chardonnay (but get a good one, not that watery muck they serve on airplanes), a weird wine (some strange thing that no one knows much about, you’ll never drink, but that you can make up any mythical story about in terms of quality), and one Zinfandel (this is the one your visiting friends will want).
Don’t drink your collection. Sure that sounds strange, but you must resist the temptation. We’ve made this mistake hundreds of times.
Don’t get expensive wines. You’ll always drink them on dumb occasions that seemed inexplicably worthwhile at the time. It’s cheaper to impress a date by claiming your $7.99 bottle is $125… as opposed to buying a $125 bottle that’s now sour.
Choose wines with neat names, like Barton & Guestier, Vendange, or something in a black bottle. Don’t get common wines like Blue Nun, Franzia, or wines from people who make other stuff, like Christian Brothers. Or Wham-O.
So this guy in the restaurant comes over and offers you a wine list. He’s probably just a waiter or in some classier places, the manager. But don’t call him that! He’s now called the sommelier (and pronounce it “sum-el-yay” or his feelings will get really hurt).
Look at the wine list knowingly; if you can pull it off, feign disdain over their actual lack of quality wines (remember, you’re faking it). Glance over, and decide how much you can afford. Once you know this, double that amount and decide what and which.
What To Order
Red with meat, and white with fish, right? Forget that… get whatever you like. If the sommelier raises and eyebrow, comment to your date or companions that “it has a quality that surprisingly makes a compliment to whatever it is we may order.”
For now, you’re picking flavor:
- Amontillado: A form of sherry that you drink while sealing friends into walls. Its even in a book somewhere.
- Beaujolais: An excellent red wine for sharing with friends. You laugh, sure, but it’s fun. Don’t drink it by yourself. Unless no one is looking.
- Burgundy: A very red wine that stains carpets easily if it spills. And if you’re a real drinker, this is a serious consideration.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: A red wine with the best name to pronounce in public, but a tad pedestrian. Definitely better to order on an airplane than the only other choice of weak Chardonnay, although it will make you cough up solid objects a little.
- Chardonnay: A crisp white wine best consumed very chilled. Okay, but a wee bit sour. Do not swig this wine… many of them burn.
- Merlot: An excellent drinking wine, but drink it lukewarm. Do not chill this wine, or people will mark you as a fraud immediately. Recent Merlots are all very good, although older ones are so dry they will suck the spit right out of your tongue.
- Pinot Noir: Another red wine; flavorfulyou can drink it or cook with it. Or like the Czar, you can drink it right out the frying pan as it cooks. (Hint: In this case, use a straw.)
- Port: This is a wine that tastes like grape juice mixed with grain alcohol. If you like going blind at college parties, it’s a wine for you. The Volgi drinks lots of it.
- Rosé: A blend of red and white that takes on the worst qualities of both.
- Sherry: Not really a wine wine, but something you can pour into stir fry.
- Tawny: A type of port or sherry. Quit bugging us about this stuff: this is supposed to be about wine.
- Zinfandels: Wines so good and tasty that snobs will never drink them in public. But at home, alone, you can pop it right out of the bottle like a cooler.
Which To Order:
- Argentinian: The sulfites in these can strip paint.
- Australian: Most chic! And you can get seriously plowed off one bottle.
- California: You might as well. It’s cheaper, tasty, and there’s never been a bad year or off batch. And it’s what you’d order anyway.
- Canadian: There are some?
- Chilean: Might be all right, but we can never work up enough nerve to try it.
- French: All pretty good, but there are hundreds with tricky names and you can’t be sure; you should fake it. Stare at the most expensive ones and look grim. Mutter strange comments like “Overrated,” or “Hasn’t been good in three years,” or “Too fragrant for this palate.” Then order a California wine.
- German: Scary! With scary names! German wines are exactly why beer is so popular in Germany.
- Irish: Get a nice, fortified, wild Irish rose.
- Italian: Like Spanish wines, best drunk out of a goatskin. In a restaurant, out of a glass? Thats a thought.
- Portuguese: More sherry again.
- New York: Get a nice ripple.
Drinking The Deal
All right, you’ve picked a wine. Don’t worry about which year it is: they never put that on the wine list for a good reason. If you want to stun a date, tell the sommelier “if you have it, bring a ’92, ’93, or a ’94” since that’s all they have anyway.
He’ll say “very good,” knowing that you know nothing about wines, but also knowing you’ve picked the only wine they have left.
When he returns about six hours later, tired and worn out from running to the liquor store, he’ll open the bottle and will hand you the cork. Pretend to sniff it, but actually look to see if the cork is crumbly and may have dropped pieces of itself into the bottle when the slob opened it.
Hand it back. He should pour a couple ounces into your glass. Do the whole sniff, swirl and swig thing mentioned above. If you don’t violently heave up on the spot, the wine probably isn’t “corked” (which means the wine reacted with the cork and turned into something similar to Windex… with Ammonia D). Nod and say “this will do.” That’s his clue to go out back and smoke a cigarette.
Be sure to tip him before he leaves! The Czar is never clear on how much to tip a sommelier, so we usually dont. On bad days, we kick a chair aside and tell him to sit down and grab a glass. He’ll be happy to smoke there, too.
So this is pretty much all there is to doing the deed. But there are some trendy things to say about wine.
Qualities Of Snobby Wines
- Body: How dark or light it appears when you hold it up to the light. Heavy bodied wines are really dark, while light bodied wines are very translucent. Just say “decent body” if you aren’t sure. If you’re with an attractive dinner companion, say “nice body,” and then add “the wine, I mean,” as you wink.
- Bouquet: How the wine smells. If it smells like flowers, you say “flowery.” If it smells fruity, you say “fruity.” If it smells like wine, you say “excellent.”
- Palate: This is defined as “hard” or “soft,” so you know we’re really talking about its kick. A wine that is hard on the palate essentially screws your eyes up.
- Residual Sugar: What the wine does to your mouth. “Dry” is a nice way of saying it’s so sour that you’ll get cottonmouth, like when the Stooges put alum into the punch. “Semi-dry” wines mean you’ll lick the roof of your mouth a lot. “Sweet” means you won’t really be able to stop drinking it, although you’ll hate it the whole time.
Okay, that’ll do. Now go drink yourselves sick, but look really good doing it.
The Czar had the opportunity today to fire the Sig Sauer P226, a slick-looking 9mm pistol today. The weapon has become the flag ship of the venerable Sig Sauer line, and it is easy to see why.
|The Sig Sauer P226. The one we fired was all black, though. Ridiculous amount of hardware is on the other side of the slide. Understandable that it looks better from this angle.|
The weapon is absurdly easy to fire, and quickly puts holes in paper from a good distance away. With a smooth trigger pull and its ability to re-zero back onto the target, the P226 was a joy to shoot.
We have heard that early P226s had issues with long trigger pull, but we experienced nothing of the kind here. Squeezing off two rapid was quite simple, and to our knowledge this test weapon had no work done to correct any such issue. But perhaps our imagination worked us up that the issue was going to be way worse than it was. Who knows? Fire it and tell us what you think.
Of course, there is one drawback to the weapon: this baby is expensive. Sure there are more expensive pistols out there, but those are generally highly customized and geared for competition shooting. The reality is that you can spend a lot less on a pistol and get one that performs as well. The Czar has joked that Sig weapons have three times as many parts inside, but that of course is partially true: if you are used to modern pistols, the array of levers, buttons, and catches on the P226all perfectly understandablemakes this weapon look like it might even have a working multitool pop some pliers out of some crevice.
This weapon has been around since the 1980s, and very little has changed about it since then (hence the gadgetry on its slide); one can understand why: you can load, fire, and reload this critter in short order. Reliable as heck, and easy to shoot. So while you can pay a lot less for a great gun, the Czar will never criticize anyone who drops a chunk of bucks on this joy-boy.
One of the reason practical jokes are so popular is the intense anticipation. You watch your victim move closer and closer to the trap, or if its a setup, you watch them get dragged deeper and deeper into the prank. The only problem with practical jokes is that when theyre over, theyre over. Everyone has a good laugh, and goes on their way.
Wouldnt it be great if you could keep the joke going? This page is devoted to a slightly more cerebral form of prank that keeps going. It keeps going because its victimless: and therefore is safe. In fact, most of these are perfectly legal. Theyre just extremely goofy. Read down, and try to picture the expressions on the faces of the poor bastards who stumble into your web of nuttiness.
- When you receive an offer to subscribe to a magazine, and they give you that business reply envelope, stuff it full of expired coupons, a newspaper article clipped completely at random, or those flyers you see at the supermarket entrance, and pop it in the mail. Hint: dont use anything with your name or address on it. Make the people who open the envelopes at that magazine wonder who on earth you think you are.
- When you go over to a home for a party, ask if you can use the bathroom as soon as you arrive. This works best if there are a lot of people over already, and the bathroom is in a common area. Anyway, go in there, close the door, and start moaning and sobbing. Then, drop a huge chunk of dry ice into the toilet and leave, without flushing. When people hear those noises, and see you walk out of there with a huge cloud of fog billowing out of the toilet, theyll wonder what on earth is the matter with your diet.
- Ask your kids, nieces, or nephews to draw some silly people. The younger the artists are, the better. Collect two or three of the silliest looking ones, and bring them to work. When no one is looking, place the artwork into the fax machines OUT tray, face down. When someone finds them, he or she will wonder who the heck was faxing those out… and to whom.
- Page two people to each others pager numbers. Watch as they call each other back and forth wondering what the hell is wrong with the other guy.
- In winter, bring a few snowballs in to work each day, and place them in the office refrigerators freezer. Dont do anything with them: just keep putting them in there to make people wonder what is going on.
- Slip into a public lavatory, and place a frozen fish into a toilet. For hours, people will wonder if it swam up in there and died, but no one will flush it back down.
- Get hold of a regular sheet of paper. Using a laser printer, or very neatly hand-lettering it with a marker, print official-looking letters that read Please Do Not Remove This Sign. Hang it up near any bulletin board, notice kiosk, or actually anywhere you can. See how long it stays up there.
- Find a suggestion box and every few weeks fill it with totally loony suggestions. Or not even suggestions. Write poetry on some of the sheets, or jot down your favorite song titles, or throw in scary comments likeMy houseplants are trying to kill me! That should make the people at the other end look forward to emptying the suggestion boxes each week.
- At work or in school, fill an empty, clean vodka bottle with pure drinking water. Sit back and just chug frequently from it all day.
Strange events warrant recounting.
As you know, the Czar can sometimes be found at the Leaping Peacock, enjoying a sporting event of choice on their 20-inch color television, as well as a beverage or dozen. Sometimes, the Czar travels to foreign ports of call, and must therefore use a different liquor procurement franchise.
Late yesterday, the Czar found himself in a hamlet outside Canton, Ohio. In the evening light, he spotted a fairly clean and tidy spot that sold beverages, in an area fairly populated enough to convey a sense of relative safety.
As the Czar approached the place, he found his way blocked by a nun (full habit and everything; the Czar is unable to distinguish nuns by order except for one or two distinctive attireshe has no idea to which order this nun belonged.) Do not go in there, she admonished us, For it is an evil place that sells alcohol.
Yes, the Czar replied, We know. And this is what we require.
But alcohol is the Devils libation. It produces nothing but evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds. The Czar paraphrases here, but that was the gist of her argument.
Well, how do you know? we bellowed. Have you ever had a drink?
She paused. Good heavens, no.
Then you know nothing, Sister Crone! Remove yourself from our way.
She sighed, and put a hand on her neck. You are right. I really have no idea what Im talking about, do I? I mean, maybe there is no harm in one drink, perhaps.
Indeed not, we agreed. In reality, she fretted a lot about this, but this is largely what she concluded. We are skipping a bit here.
She glanced up and down the street, but few people were even glancing in our direction. She leaned forward and said, Would you say its fair that if I had a drink, but hated it, then I would be right in warning people away from it? And if I had the drink and liked it, I would need to stay quiet?
The Czar agreed, and invited her in as his guest. Her eyes bugged wide. I could never risk being seen going in there! Would it be possible for you to bring me a drink?
The Czar shrugged. Sure. Suppose so. What would you like?
She bit her lower lip. Well, I have heard about a gin and tonic. Is that a good drink for a lady?
The Czar bowed. A gin and tonic is a fine and respectable drink. We shall bring one to you at once.
Again, the nun reeled. Heavens, no! If one of the other sisters should see me, she protested. Could you bring it to me in a styrofoam cup? That way, no one would know what it was.
The Czar did a half-shrug. Errr…sure. A gin and tonic in a styrofoam cup.
And so the Czar accepted her nervous thanks and went inside. He pounded his fist on the bar, causing items nearby to bounce sharply. Service! we screamed.
A bartender hurried over. Yes, your dreadful awfulness?
We require a whiskey sour and milk for ourself. And, perhaps an unusual request to be sure, the Czar also requires a gin and tonic over ice, served in a styrofoam cup with a lid.
The bartender shot a glance at the door. Is that goddamned nun out there again?
She was of course gone by the time the Czar hurried back out. And so it seemed worth recounting.
Well, as you know, Sleestak mostly communicates by hissing noises, and it was years before Puter even realized he had an accent. But over time, we learned to communicate a fair bit with him, and today, on this Mothers Day, Sleestak asked to write a post to his dear old mom. Here it is, in its entirety.
Dear Sleestak’s Mommy:
How are you doing? Are you alive? If not, Sleestak hopes you were not eaten. If you are alive, Sleestak hopes you are DEAD because you ran away from Sleestak when Sleestak was just a baby thing.
Maybe Sleestak should not hate his mommy, because maybe thing mommies all run away from their brood just after spawning. Sleestak does not remember, and only remembers you biting him a lot.
Who or what was Daddy?
Was Sleestak born in a pool of water? Sleestak thinks not, because Sleestak hates baths.
Puter takes care of Sleestak now, letting Sleestak eat all of the bugs in the Castle. Yes, all! Even the silverfish, which are often too fast for Sleestak to catch all the time. You should meet Puter; you would like him. Although, he would not like you and would probably try to kill you with a broom.
Sleestak has so many questions to ask you. Maybe you will read this, although probably not, because Puter says things like us are stupid and should not read things. He says it could hurt Sleestak’s brain to be smarter, maybe like when Sleestak tried to go for a ride in the microwave. That burned Sleestak’s head.
If you cannot read, Mommy, then I will not write you anymore. If you can read, please let Sleestak know where you are. Sleestak would like to meet you. And maybe bite you to death badly.
A while back, the Gormogons were askednever mind by whomto edit a collection of childrens nursery rhymes. As part of the consideration process, we were each asked to submit a sample. Nothing came of it, evidently, and the Czar had all but forgotten about it. Interestingly, we just stumbled across it the other day when moving a bookcase out of a room in order to construct a secret doorway in the Castle.
Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider, who sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
What fun. So the Czar went first:
Little Miss Muffet, who evidently lacks the scientific acumen, or whatever part of the brain it is that prevents normal people from sitting on stupid things, elected to eat a particularly loathesome concoction. Lunch? Breakfast? Who the hell knows.
Anyway, a spider comes stomping up to her and she totally freaks out about it. No, the Czar does not have any information on the genus or species in question, but unless it was a mactans widow, this is pointless. Grow a spine. Spider? Jeez, step on it, lady! The Czar has about a dozen in his beard, for crying out loud.
And Puters went like this:
You know what else cheeses me off? Look, I’m not saying that Generation X, or whatever that book nobody read is calling us, isn’t without its goddamn faults, but the next batch of kids seriously has scrambled eggs for brains. Take this Misty Muffet or whatever the hell her name is, who sees some spider while eating her lunch outside–yeah, right! No one warned her that if you eat outside you might see, I dunno, wildlife–and she goes batshit crazy. She runs off, crying to mom, dad, and the government of the US of A to do something! Whaaah! What a goddamn whiner. And we never find out what happened to her meal. Did she drop it? Throw it at the spider? I’ll bet I know–ten to one she sat there, finished her meal, and then decided to go nuts. That’s not how her lawyer will spin it, of course. Kids these days. It all started when they stopped teaching Latin in the public schools.
And GorT had a version:
Now there are reports circulating in government circles that a Ms. Muffet, address and age unknown, was attempting to eat a home-cooked meal when she was threatend by (you guessed it) a spider. This seems problematic on a number of levels, but let’s look at the math, shall we? The last known instance of curds and why being promoted in school meal programs was August 4, 1972. Since then, we have had a zero percent (0%) increase in curds-and-whey-related spider assault, and that’s according to the democrats’ own Bureau of Arthropods (data for 1988 has not yet been tabulated, and some regression is necessary on 1987’s data because California uses their own method of analyzing this stuff). Zero percent! The story is pure hokum of the worst kind, and the sort of thing that took out Gary Hart.
Volgi took a different turn:
Little Miss Muffet, or more accurately, Míš-áĺ-Múffôž, was born in 1366 outside the Port of Caphesia in modern day Turkey. Interestingly, she was about 18 at the time, and was substantially endowed according to the Persian mosaic engraver and hand colorist Maffek-e-Rashaz, widely known in circles at the time as portraying his subjects accurately to the point of insulting realism. Rashaz so infuriated a Kosovar potentate (Confucius need not tell you it was Lagrës Maquri) that he himself was forced to flee to Syria to avoid penile defenestration. But the story goes that áĺ-Múffôž (who was actually male) was dining one daywe can suspect that the likely meal consisted of honey-sweetened curdled whey cakes named ܘܙܛܝ,when she was stung by a scorpion. She fled, frightened, but made it perhaps only thirteen feet before the venom caused horrific pain and she collapsed, dead. History does not record the name of the scorpion, but Turkish scholar Bey Azmîk believes it was Nigel.
Dr. J took a crack at it:
Dr. J does not refute the Œcumenical Volgis account, but suspects that the neurotoxin, not venom, of the scorprion likely casues intense, localized pain, muscle twitching, dyskinesia, and sweating, before leading to dizziness and death. Most scorpion stings are fairly temporary, but the complex layering of histimines, seratoning, enzymes, and enzyme inhibitors gives a sting in a small child a notable LD50. For what its worth. Dr. J has been feeding the Lil Med Student and Lil Resident small doses for years in order to prevent any risk to them later. So far it works, although the Lil Resident does stick to the ceiling without any visible means of support.
Mandarin finishes off our effort with his usual flair for rhyme:
Little Miss Muffet! I am the Mandarin. You will obey me. You will eat curds and whey. In the event a spider comes, you will denounce it as a Marxist and step on it. Uncle John has a long mustache. Also, obey me.
Anyway, we did not get a call back from the publisher.
There never was much wrong with the venerable .45 ACP, or the 9mm. Both have been around for decades. But the .45 is a big ugly, slow round that limits how much you can put into a handgun, and the 9mm is perceived as weak by law enforcementsimply because some shooters think you need to fire a lot of them to compensate for lazy technique.
Anyway, with regret, we see that the FBI has elected to standardize on the 10mm round, a new cartridge that attempts to balance the worst of the .45 ACP and 9mm. In other words, we found a way to take the trendiness of the 9mm and put too much recoil behind it.
The Czar predicts that despite its better-than-.45 range and greater-than-9mm recoil, this round is a dud. No doubt all the .45 and 9mm manufacturers are retooling their existing stock to 10mm-mogrify them, which historically always results in a crappy weapon, as opposed to designing something from scratch.
Here is a simple suggestion. Why not start over? Take something that can be more easily retrofitted into existing weapons but offers more energy (say a shade over 10mm, like 10.16mm?). Heck, the case head could be the same, making it easier to convert weapons without crippling their utility. And by using a slightly larger caliber, you can reduce the length proportionately and get great performance for a fraction of the recoil. A good manufacturer, like Smith & Wesson, could probably get a round like this in actual weapons within four years. Glock could probably get a competitive version out in the same time or less.
Just a thought.
Once again, the only three television news networks are promoting a ridiculous trend that, for some reason, they would like to see go national, and therefore spend a ridiculous amount of time talking about it like it is a genuine phenomenon, and not something they want you to do. Specifically, this whole ValleySpeak thing.
Have you heard this? Evidently, it is a rapidly developing trend in the LA area, in which teenaged girlsnever guys, mind youspeak with a bizarre patois. In an effort to be helpful, the Czar has decided to provide a simple what-to-do guide if someone begins speaking to you this way at an airport.
If you hear the phrase, Like, get a life! it means that you are displeasing to the speaker, and you should immediately swing an axe into them before they attack you.
The expression Youre, like, grodie to the max, means that you are intensely unpleasant. Firearms are warranted in this case. Go the full Mogadishu on them: double-tap center of mass plus one in the forehead. It is the safest way.
Any statement along the lines of Shes totally bitchin is a traditional invitation for hand-to-hand combat. Be a headhunter here, and aim for the eyes, nose, or sides of the head. You need to end this fast.
Should the speaker greet you with a warm smile and say Like, youre way rad, you know? then you should treat this as a bluff. Use flash bangs to stun the crowd, and then cover your exit by walking backward and spraying live fire. Back shuffle quickly and do not cross your ankles as you exit.
Gag me with a spoon is never used by actual inhabitants of the San Fernando Valley. This person is an imposter, and should be shoved away. In the event the imposter encounters real Valley girls, this phrase will betray her, and she will be devoured right in public.
Look, Marty, you know what you did.
Now call her and apologize. And remember to be sincere about that; you ate one of her blue-ribbon badgers. Those things don’t grow on trees, you know. They frequently live under them, however.
The Gormogons were treated to an advance screening of the new movie, “Star Wars” set to open today, May 25, 1977. Everyone enjoyed it – it’s a solid storyline with classic heroes and villains that should appeal to generations to come. George Lucas struggled with the film for years. It is part of a two film contract between Lucas and Universal Studios along with his 1973 film, American Graffiti. We believe that this movie will make an indelible mark on the American film industry and will be a reference point in pop culture for decades.
Lucas draws heavily from various mythologies: the samurai (parts are loosely based on Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress), King Arthur, American westerns, and JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Add in a dose of Buck Rodgers and Flash Gordon and the recipe is complete. The environment created is rich and entertaining as are the archetypes he created (or borrowed).
We remain wary that Mr. Lucas will get carried away with the universe he’s created and take what is a solid platform for maybe a handful of movies and create a series that just goes downhill.
The Czar wandered about the Castle and asked how each of us would be celebrating the Bicenennial of our first Independence Day.
Ghettoputer was planning on throwing hand grenades into the fishing pond. There is evidently a bass of significant size he has been after and is pretty sure it has been lurking around the hole in the bottom of the pond where he chills his bourbon. Then, whether he catches it or not, he will drink the bourbon and sleep it off on the lawn. Later, one of the local kids will probably come by and place a small, paper American flag in his nostril.
GorT will be bringing back souveniers from our Centennial and Tricentennial. Specifically, tea cakes and razzers from the former, and dihydrodines and YamdiParts from the latter.
Mandarin is planning on providing a firework celebration in which he turns the Moon red, white, and blue, before turning it back to its usual faint gray. He will do this with a Quantum Exobit Laser, with an optical relay TVRS. Also, he will eat watermelon.
Dr. J will be tuning some light sabers to hum Stars and Stripes Forever. Light sabers will of course be colored red and blue. He would like to white light sabers, but desperately needs YamdiParts if he can get them from somewhere.
Czar will be eating and drinking himself into a horrific stupor. Tomorrow will be a Bicentennial-sized headache.
Volgi, for reasons known only to him and GorT, is packing up all his shit and closing his Tehran office.
The Czar is happy to predict that one day, perhaps in February of 2008, the notable Eric Reasons Blog will launch to great success, and so do we command that each resident of Muscovy who doth proclaim loyalty to our visage read it and learn from it. Verily shalt thou spread the word. We talk like this a lot in the 1970s.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй
It sure sounds nice. But does anyone else share the Czars concern that this new Environmental Protection Agency could easily grow out of hand? Whos to say it wont declare common substances, like carbon dioxide, a toxin? Then they can regulate just about anything they want, any way they want to do it.
Keep your eye on these guys. The last time the Czar was this concerned was back when they renamed the Department of War the Department of Defense. Just had a bad ring to it.
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Hello my name is Nabtunde Mkotomo and i just to finish reading your internet posting from yesterday. It is good to make meet of you.
I am a 78 year old widow living in Nigeria and my husband was the NIGERIA MINISTER OF DEFENCE and to that ends he died with dollars 76,00,000,00 in the bank nigerian. Because of NIGERIA LAW the banks says i cannot to withdraw these monies unless i have small cash collateral. I simply need someone of American to send me a cheque for dollars us fifteen hundred. Once you to send me this monies, i can acess the my moneys and in gratitude most egregious i will send you a cheque back, for the sum of one million us of the dollars for your help.
Please to CONTACT me and i am will sending you my address to which to send your cheque too. Thanks YOU and GOD BLESS you.
As some of you are already on the ARPANet, which we control, we thought we would put out a more fact-driven collection of essays for you to read. A journal, or log book, on a network bridge. A brog. if you will.
Anyway, thanks to GorT who found hacking into the ARPANet ridiculously easy (hint: dont name the very first password password), we are now taking over the low-level commands of these systems.
Meantime, how about that President Nixon, huh? Is he a RINO or what? What the heck is this Environmental Protection Agency thing hes talking about founding? Sounds like a bad bone to throw to the hippies. Before you know it, they will be banning the lead in bullets.
Well, there is only a 64K limit on post sizes, so we have to wrap this up. If you like the idea of these brogs, please write us as soon as we obtain an ARPANet mail address (an a-mail address, if you will). We would hate to go another 35 or more years before we print a second one!