Driving along today, I came upon a delivery truck. On the back of this truck was one of those "How Is My Driving?" bumper stickers. This one was different, though. Below this was written "Complaints or Compliments--Call 1-800-[insert number here]". Complaints or compliments, eh? I wonder how many people go through the trouble of calling the number to put in a compliment on the guy's driving. I was only behind the truck for a brief period. He didn't make any flagrant violations of common traffic laws in this time, but I wouldn't say he impressed me enough to put in a call to his boss.
If the phone ever rings with a compliment at this guy's delivery company, I imagine the call goes something like this:
Delivery Company Secretary: We Deliver 2 U, How can I help you?
Caller: Yeah, I just wanted to call and tell you that I'm behind one of your trucks. I just felt compelled to say, this guy can DRIVE. He's like the Neo of delivery drivers!
Secretary: I see. What's his truck number?
Caller: 85621. Whoa!
Caller: He just turned onto 16th Street. He used both his turn signal and a hand signal to alert traffic that he was turning! I haven't seen that done since the Golden Age of the Automobile.
Secretary: (Sigh) Is this Bob?
Caller: (voice going slightly deeper) What? Who's Bob? I'm just a patriotic American who appreciates the fine driving I've just seen on display here today. I wish I had one of those camera phones, I would have recorded it and sold it as a driver's instruction video.
Secretary: Are you going to be able to make it back to the shop by 5, Bob?
Caller: Yeah, I've just got to drop off this last---er, I mean, I don't know what you're talking about. Goodbye!
30 March 2009
29 March 2009
Arrgh, you know the one! There's this dysfunctional family, and their little daughter gets invited to come compete in the "Little Miss Sunshine" beauty pageant? I think that guy who used to host Talk Soup is in it? They take a Volkswagen van across the country to go to the pageant. And then at the end, the girl does this crazy routine at the "Little Miss Sunshine" show?
It's driving me crazy!
28 March 2009
I've become a social recluse.
I can't have friends over, I can't go to the park, and I have to sneak around my yard in the middle of the night, hoping I don't set off any of my neighbors' motion lights. I don't know how much longer this can go on. Something has to be done about my dog, Chewy.
You see, Chewy is a nudist. He refuses to wear clothes, no matter what the occasion. Walking around the house? Nude. Eating his dinner? Nude. Going outside to relieve himself? Nude! There is no end to Chewy's exhibitionist ways.
At first, I thought the problem was a matter of style. Dog clothes are sold in limited varieties, and I thought maybe Chewy was simply setting higher standards for himself. I would put him in a pair of polka dotted shorts, a tight red Polo shirt, and a beanie cap, and he would tear it off himself in a matter of seconds. I couldn't entirely blame him. He looked like a dork. The other dogs would have certainly teased him into submission. Fair enough. I consulted a seamstress and had her design some special outfits for Chewy. A sharp tuxedo. Some baggy jeans and a hoodie. A rather dashing pinstriped suit. Every time, Chewy would wrestle his way out of the clothes and prance away, free and naked.
I guess this is just the way it has to be.
27 March 2009
Dear 7-11 Manager,
You should really post a sign reading, "Do not drink directly from the nozzle" on your Slurpee machine if that is your store policy.
26 March 2009
Chatrooms, sad to say, are a thing of the past. Boredom, on occassion, causes me to forget this truism, and see for myself. After about ten minutes of listening to trailer trash chatters fight over who gets to say "My kid just trahd to jump over tha cowch" I realize I would be better off with a book.
It used to be different. Chatrooms used to be fun. However, they can be dangerous as well. Please read the following story, which is certified 100% true by the Blogging Association of America. If you are tempted to jet back in time and join a chatroom, please remember this tale and use it to your own benefit. My thanks comes in the form of your well being.
It was a warm night, and I had just finished drinking several quarts of Mt. Dew. What was there to do besides log into Yahoo Chat and see what was goin' on? Nothing. Nothing, indeed. Before long, I was pleased to see a new window open up. A private message. Exciting! Even more exciting, it wasn't a chat-bot, enticing me to head over to a website where I could watch cam girls play for pay. It was a real person, with an interesting screenname.
Hot_TV_In_Hollywood. Now this is something worth putting the Mt. Dew down for! My brain started conjuring images of a sexy, blonde, tanned, television star, possibly having just completed work on Baywatch: The Next Generation or some other failed pilot. She wouldn't be famous--even my imagination didn't stretch that far--but she could definitely be hot. And in television. Besides, she had a better nickname then the last girl who PM'd me: Contagious_TB_in_Tampa.
What? Yeah, that's how I roll.
Hmm. Now it should be noted that I had a strong policy in place at that time. That policy was not to click on people's profiles for at least five minutes. Why? Well, I have a weak heart. I once fainted dead away after being sent one of those "Stare at this picture and find the differences and then piss yourself when a screaming zombie suddenly appears" things that were all the rage a few years ago. I found I had much the same reaction when clicking on the photos of Yahoo Chatters. It may be shallow, but I sometimes found myself completely unable to continue a conversation after having seen the wild She-Beast in what I can only assume she thought to be her best picture. Without the five minute policy in place, I would never get to chat with anyone.
However, this time I made an exception, seeing as how she was a television star. And hot. I was disappointed, however, to find a cartoon face where a picture would go. She would not be an easy nut to crack.
Oh yeah, my other policy is to not give my phone number out to psychos on the Internet.
But here I was, going for the gusto. The profile was barely filled out, providing little solid information to go on. That was fine. I would use my smooth heartbreaking sixty-nine-ing interview skills to ferret out the necessary information.
And ferret it out, I did. My question, the final one I would ask, brought a short response of "LOL, no, silly" from my new chat friend. Hmm. Didn't seem that silly. Why would you have the initials "TV" in your screenname if you didn't have something to do with...
I clicked back to her profile, a sinking feeling in my stomach. I zeroed in on the only piece of information she had bothered to fill out. Under "Hobbies" she had written, "working on my pole". At first glance, this had unsettled me, but I figured she was talking about a stripper pole. All the better! Now, however, the truth hit home.
TV didn't stand for television. It stood for transvestite.
I courteously ended the conversation (and by "courteously ended the conversation", I mean I hit the X button on the chat window and added Hot_TV_In_Hollywood to my long list of blocked users). Let my mistakes be a warning to everyone!
Disclaimer: I have nothing against transvestites, transsexuals, transmissions, or trains.
25 March 2009
My neighbor Pete and his wife, Martha, used to ask me to come over and watch their daughter, Sally, who was 8. Now, I'm not much of a babysitter, but I found I could surf the Internet as easily at their house as mine. 8 year olds require very little attention. Occasionally I would challenge Sally to some Halo on Pete's 360, but she was woefully inadequate at the game, to the point where it really wasn't fun for anyone.
Pete had been telling me for some time that he wished he and his wife could get a little more time to themselves. I could understand that. Even the best of marriages (which theirs certainly wasn't) can fall to pieces under the constant pressures of work and children. I decided to help my good friends out a little and give them a weekend all to themselves.
To that end, I surreptitiously picked Sally up from her bus stop one Friday afternoon. "Hope you like Corn Pops," I said as she got in the car. "Because that's pretty much all I have at the house."
She didn't seem too delighted with this turn of events, but since when do 8 year old girls know anything? I figured after an hour or two of watching TV, she would sleep for most of the next two days.
When we got back to my house, I picked up the phone to call Pete and let him know the deal. Just as I was dialing the phone, however, I glanced over at Sally and saw her removing some "art" from her backpack. She had cut out pictures from a magazine and pasted them into a collage. Genius! I hung up the phone and went to my magazine rack. "I have a great idea," I said to Sally. "You have glue?"
"Excellent. Let's make a fun letter to your parents!"
I have to admit, the rest of the weekend was somewhat of a blur. At some point I got bored with making the letter and shortened it to save time. I remember dropping the letter into Pete's mailbox. Shortly after, I remember taking a nap, during which I missed approximately 44 calls, according to the display on my phone. Then the FBI showed up on my doorstep. Then the white room. My well-intentioned letter was thrown back in my face. Under the harsh white lights of the interrogation room, it didn't seem as cute as it had hours earlier.
All charges were eventually dropped, but Pete and Martha got divorced later that year. I was never asked to babysit again.
24 March 2009
I have een you in the yard, lithering through the bu he and hi ing at me when I get too clo e. It' time for you to leave, plea e.
CC: Dell Computer , INC.
A certain letter on my keyboard no longer work . Plea e end replacement.
23 March 2009
I was sitting on the back porch with my Grandpa, rocking back and forth in wicker chairs he had lovingly crafted with his bare hands. I was thirteen years old. The sun was setting gently in the west, casting an orange glow across Lake Kenisawa. A bird chirped in the distance and I looked at my Grandpa, and he looked at me. We shared a silent moment of appreciation and then turned back to enjoy the scenery.
"Lovely evening," Grandpa said.
"The loveliest," I agreed.
I sipped on my iced tea, which had been brewed and left to sit on the windowsill, soaking up the sun's rays on that hot July afternoon. I hoped that Grandpa would tell me a story about his days as a traveling salesman in the 40s, or maybe a tale regarding the time he and Ken McCullum tried to start that vegetable stand. I'd heard that latter one about twenty times, but it never got old.
Instead, Grandma appeared at the screen door and asked if either of us was getting hungry. I glanced over at Grandpa and, predictably, his face darkened at her interruption.
"If I was hungry, woman, I'd get something to eat, now wouldn't I?" he said, his eyes remaining steadfastly fixed on the backyard.
"You got a big mouth when the boy's here, don't you, you big man," she remarked. "That's fine. How about you, Shawn, are you hungry?"
"No, ma'am," I said. "I'm fine."
"Bullshit," Grandpa said. "He's hungry, I'm hungry, now quit wasting time and just go get us something to eat."
I sipped my tea and tried to blend into my chair.
Grandma walked back into the kitchen and there I heard her getting some plates from the cabinet. A small rabbit hopped across the backyard, stopping every so often to look around before hopping on his way. Presently, Grandma came back with two plates and handed one to each of us. On my plate was a tube of Crest toothpaste. On Grandpa's plate was a handful of pennies. I bit my lip nervously and muttered, "Thanks."
"What the hell is this, woman? Pennies?" Grandpa yelled. He tossed the plate on the wooden floor of the porch, where it did not shatter, but, improbably, turned sideways and slipped through the slats to the earth below. The pennies went everywhere.
"You eat your pennies and you LIKE IT!" Grandma screamed.
Grandpa slapped his hands down on the arms of his rocker, fetched a deep sigh, and then said simply, "Well, that's it then." He stood, grabbed the shovel that was leaning against the house, and proceeded to bludgeon his wife of forty years to death right there on the porch. I ate my toothpaste silently, a lone tear streaming down my cheek.
The point of the story is this: when someone asks for something to eat, or if you yourself are hungry, don't put pennies or toothpaste on a plate and call it a meal. Use food. Food is great for cooking, and it's great for eating. It has lots of nutrients, and plenty of calories for energy. When it comes to satisfying your hunger, nothing does the job quite like food.
21 March 2009
I know, I know, you want to relax on your Saturday. You don't want to have to think or do any work or take that ball gag out of your mouth. Well, suck it up. This will only take a moment. The brainteaser is as follows:
A farmer has three ducks and two sheep. He has to cross from one side of a river to the other, and he must bring his animals with him. Unfortunately for him, the boat will only hold 200 pounds at a time. Each duck weighs six pounds and each sheep weighs thirty-five pounds. The farmer weighs 190 pounds. The boat weighs 120 pounds. The river, if placed in a large container and taken to a truck stop, would weigh 1.3 million pounds. There is a scorpion under a nearby rock. He weighs 4 ounces. With one sting, he could kill either all three ducks, a single sheep, or 1/2 of the farmer.
With the information given above, answer the following question:
Where the hell are my keys?
A. In the ignition of my car
B. In a 70s swinger party bowl.
C. The last damn place I'll think to look.
D. Other (Please Specify)
20 March 2009
I recently watched a story about how zoos around the country are being forced to sell off animals and possibly even close due to the economic downturn. It seems people are not as willing to part with their cash to see monkeys, zebras, wild dogs, and dinosaurs (I think that's what they have at the zoo?) in these uncertain times. Because The Shark Tank cares (and because I still have to meet that 15% quota), here are some ways America's zoos can raise their revenues and stay afloat.
19 March 2009
Dear Ax Guy,
You know it's open, right?
Here's a slideshow of photos I took of the shuttle lifting off as viewed from my house on March 15th.
What? No jokes to see here. Move along.
18 March 2009
Following some rather unexpected reactions to my stolen movie idea, Horsedance, I decided maybe I was wrong. Maybe there were enough differences between my little movie about a dancing horse and The Sixth Sense to make it worthwhile. Maybe what the world needs right now is a movie about a dancing horse. Having burned the original script years ago, I had to start fresh, but I think it's coming along nicely. Here's a sneak peek for my loyal blog readers. I don't want to toot my own horn, BUT. . .it's pretty amazing. Let me know what you think of this intro sequence:
EXT. DAY--CANHILL HORSE FARM
The world is fresh with promise. The rising sun casts a springtime glow on the small Pennsylvania farm. The camera pans to watch chickens pecking in the dirt. Pigs rolling around in the mud and doing piggish things. And finally, horses. One horse stands out from the others. This is HORSEY. He seems to shine. [insert CGI "shine" effect here]
We watch as two men approach the horse pen. They are wearing overalls and carrying buckets of oats. These two men are FRED CANHILL and JESSE DAVIS.
This is a great farm, Fred. I'm sure glad you invited me to come work here.
Don't mention it, Jesse. When your mom passed away, it was the least I could do. [some ominous music plays on the soundtrack. We'll find out later that Fred actually killed Jesse's mom.]
We see Jesse and his mom running through an open field together, playing Connect Four, running through the ocean, playing Battleship.
EXT. DAY-CANHILL HORSE FARM (PRESENT)
These horses sure do like their oats, Fred. I wonder where oats come from?
Well, Jesse, [research where oats come from so Fred has something to say here]
I'll be damned. I guess I thought they just grew up out of the ground. [change this if it turns out oats actually do just grow up from the ground]
The two men reach the horse pen. Fred starts to open up the gate, but stops, watching HORSEY with a suspicious eye.
You think the story of oats is fascinating, Jesse? Wait until you see this!
Fred snaps his fingers and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" starts playing out of nowhere. The camera zooms in on HORSEY, who starts bobbing his head to the irresistible beat. After a moment, the other horses back away. HORSEY pulls out a top hat and stands up on his hind legs [CGI effect if this can't be done.]. He thrusts his right front hoof out in front of him and we see that he's wearing a silver sparkly glove. HORSEY starts dancing up a storm.
Jesse looks at the dancing horse and then back to Fred, his jaw wide open.
That's what I call HORSEDANCE!
OPENING CREDITS ROLL OVER HORSEY'S DANCING
17 March 2009
When I was in elementary school, there was this kid named Patrick in my class. He was kind of a misfit, never seeming to talk to anyone or grasp the fundamentals of Red Rover, Red Rover. On St. Patrick's Day, we used to gather around him and dance in a circle chanting, "You're St. Patrick, You're St. Patrick" with the unbridled cruelty that only boys of a certain age seem able to muster. We found the taunting so satisfying that we started doing it on other days of the year as well, like on Thursdays. We didn't stop until one day he got so enraged that he tore off running through a grassy field, only to accidentally fall into a bottomless well.
I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when his undead spirit came back twenty years later and killed all of our children, but I still kinda was, because. . .well, who really expects that to happen?
16 March 2009
[Even the Shark Tank has to pay the bills somehow, so for today's entry I'm turning the wheel over to Greg Duberson. Duberson is the "undisputed king of St. Patrick's Day and also every holiday" and is here to tell you about some of the wonderful products he's selling this year. Take it away, Greg!]
Let's do it!!
I thought it would be so much fun to mostly sell green stuff on St. Patrick's Day, since so much of the holiday is about wearing green stuff and drinking things that aren't usually green but then they are green on this DAY. Like green beer, like I once drank at a bar in Port St. Lucie. But the weird thing was is that it wasn't even St. Patrick's Day in fact I think it was closer to Christmas. And I remember that it gave me the poops for almost a week. But anyway, this is a dead frog I found and you can see that he's not really green, but when I think of frogs I think of green frogs like Kermit. For sale only $3.25.
These are brand new from the store and now you can wear em for only a part of the cost!! Naw, I'm just kidding, they're mine. I don't really remember why I bought them except I remember I used to watch those commercials with the green M&M and I would start to feeling in that way that made me want to rub up against my trailer. I guess that's why I bought this underwear even though I kinda think it's for a girl. I only wore them a few times though so they're like NEW! $10.50.
JAR OF PICKLES!!
Do you like pickles because to me they're about the worst thing I've ever tasted in my LIFE! One time this guy gave me a pickle and he said "try that" and so I did. Well it's kind of embarrassing but the second I bit down on the pickle, I started to throw up. But then I didn't want to be rude or nothing so I held my throw up inside my mouth and I ate the pickle and swallowed the throw up back down in my stomach. $5.99.
Well, I don't actually have this one in stock right now but if you are interested, I can help you get it down. I've got some tools leftover from when I was in the plumming business and I don't think it should be too hard to get it down. One thing is that it might be against the law to take the sign down so if your a cop or something probably you have to tell me before we make the sale. Because if you don't then that's entrapment and I won't go to jail.
Well, that's all I've got to show you. I don't want to give away all the stuff I have because then there wouldn't be any surprises for you to actually show up and SEE! Anyway, I've moved to the back of Catfish Country in Lakeland, FL right off of South Bartow Highway. If you come around the back then you'll see my van and I'll have a sign out front that says St. Patrick's Day SALE! and there'll be a little drawing of a leprechaun. THANKS!
15 March 2009
Just like the time I did the bad stuff in the kitchen! OOOHHH, he was real mad and he puts me into the chester-drawers for a WEEK!
But I am a GOOD CAT, and my master knows it too! That's why he says he's a takin me to the CAT HOTEL for VACASHUN tomorrow!
He even said he was gonna give them an extra $20 to move me to the front of the line for the FUN GAS! I can't WAIT!
14 March 2009
I was crushed this week to see that they're turning Arrested Development into a movie. Not that I didn't love the series. I didn't get a chance to watch it when it was on television, but I recently discovered it through the magic of DVD. Great show. I'd love to see it become a great movie. The only problem? For the fifth time (at least!), Hollywood stole one of my million dollar ideas. I don't know how you do it, Hollywood. Do you have spies in my hometown, listening in on my conversations? Do you sneak into my bedroom at night and rifle through my notes? However it was done, they got the (brilliant) idea from me to bring Arrested Development to the silver screen. I don't even know why I was surprised. Here are four other ideas the Hollywood Ninja Clan has thieved from me:
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
This one was my own fault, I have to admit. Too many times, I posted on theforce.net and various other message boards around the Internet my idea to do a third Star Wars prequel. It was only a matter of time before the bastards at LucasFilm saw it and stole it right from under me. It still hurts, though. I guess my main issue was how flagrant the thievery was. Showing how Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side? My idea. Having Padme die at the end of the film? My idea (although I had an alternate idea where she would live, also). Having Chancellor Palpatine declare himself Emperor of the Galaxy? My GODDAMN idea! All of this I thought of merely weeks after Episode II, giving me full copyrighted domain over the intellectual properties (no matter what that on-the-take judge had to say on the matter).
The Sixth Sense
In 1997, a full two years before M. Night Shyamalan broke out of obscurity with his sleeper hit, I began a script called Horsedance. At first glance, the script of Horsedance shares few similarities with The Sixth Sense. His movie was about a man who tries to counsel a boy who sees ghosts. My movie was about a horse who could dance.
But the scripts did share one thing in common: a twist ending that (would have, in my case) knocked audiences out of their seats. In Shyamalan's movie (spoiler alert if you're that guy who hasn't seen it yet), it's revealed that Bruce Willis is actually dead. In mine, it's revealed that the horse is really the reincarnated spirit of Sammy Davis Jr. After watching The Sixth Sense in 1998, I came home and burned my script, tears in my eyes. It didn't even seem worth it anymore.
Big Momma's House
The script was called Fat Black Woman Screams A Lot, and it was going to be my ticket to fame and fortune. Then came Big Momma's House and stole all my glory. Thanks, Martin Lawrence. I guess the thing that hurts the most about this one is that Hollywood wasn't satisfied with simply turning out one ripoff. No, they continue to make money off my idea in the form of Big Momma's House 2, the Madea series, and the Eddie Murphy vehicle, Norbit (all right, granted, I don't know that they made any money off that one).
Plainly, Gus Van Sant owes me money. It occurred to me in 1993 to remake Psycho, just after watching the Alfred Hitchcock original for the first time. As I sat pondering the fate of Norman Bates, I had an epiphany. None of my friends had seen Psycho. They probably would never watch it, due to its old, black and white nature. That's when it hit me. I would remake the film, except in color. That's it. I admit, it never occurred to me to add a subliminal image of a buffalo to the film. That's all Van Sant.
13 March 2009
Continuing with our community enlightenment program (as mandated), I'd like to take the time to recognize someone who has gone out of his way to change the way we look at the environment. Now, I should explain something before I move on, just so we don't get our signals crossed. I have to admit: I don't understand exactly how "going green" helps the environment. I know it's something Al Gore wants us to do, and I know that pandas and polar bears and Jake Gyllenhaal might all die if we don't do something about it. And I guess that's the important thing. It's the right thing to do, even if I don't understand why.
With that spirit in mind, I'd like to present the First Annual Shark Tank Green Tooth Award for Excellence in Going Green. If going green is the way to a healthier planet, then this guy has taken the reins like nobody else. Not only has he selflessly given his time and energy to studying molecular biology, but he has done so with considerable harm to his personal being. He is a true visionary, and, as such, has been vilified by the very people who employed him: the United States Government.
Without further ado, I'd like to congratulate Dr. Bruce Banner for going green like no one else I can think of. Again, I have to admit I don't know how it helps the environment, but you can't deny the dedication. Congratulations, Dr. Banner. This Green Tooth is for you!
12 March 2009
Due to some outstanding legal issues which we won't go into right at the moment, I have been instructed that no less than 15% of The Shark Tank's total content must be used for "purposes benefiting the good of the greater community". While I argued vehemently that such posts as this and this proved that we were well above that figure already, the judge disagreed. As part of this new direction, the judge asked us--quite suddenly, I might add--to set up a telephone interview with David H. Riley, a wildlife expert who has worked with Animal Planet, The San Diego Zoo, and is a contributing writer for The Weekly Reader. I have also been instructed not to downplay the importance and/or relevance of this interview. Therefore I shall say no more. Here is the interview, in its unedited form:
Shark Tank: Thank you for speaking to us, Mr. Riley.
David Riley: It's a pleasure.
ST: So. Did ... you. Hmm.
DR: I'm sorry?
ST: Innnnn. . . *audible popping sound*. Where, uh, did you go to school?
DR: I have an undergraduate degree in ecology from Duke University and I received my Masters in Wildlife Biology from Cornell.
ST: Ah! Cornell!
Roughly forty-five seconds of silence...
DR: Did we lose the connection?
ST: No, I was just thinking about Cornell.
ST: Good school.
DR: It is, yes.
ST: What about the duck-billed platypus? What kind of crazy shit is that?
DR: It's a remarkable animal, isn't it?
ST: It's like a half-duck, half. . .I don't even know what. Beaver, I guess. But what's weird, is it's actually a marsupial. Like a kangaroo.
DR: A mammal, I believe.
ST: So. In your experience. Who. . .do you think. . .would win if an. . .elephant fought a hippopotamus?
DR: It's rather unlikely that they would meet in the wild. My area of concentration focuses mainly on wildlife conservation efforts here in North America.
ST: I see. And to what. . .would you say. . .are the. . .hmm. Well, tell us about those efforts.
DR: I would be happy to. Right now, there are over 600 endangered species just in North America--
ST: How many can you name?
DR: I'm sorry?
ST: Of the 600. Try and see how many you can name.
DR: Well, with a list that size. . .perhaps it would be better if I just gave some examples.
ST: Let's do this. I'll name an animal, and you tell me if it's endangered or not.
Roughly twenty seconds of silence. . .
ST: Yeah? Ummm. . .shit, I can't think of an animal. Uh. Okay. Dog.
DR: We typically focus on wild animals when speaking of endangered species. And "dog" is a rather broad term. But no, "dog" is not on the list.
ST: How about the duck-billed platypus? Is that specific enough for you?
DR: The platypus lives in Australia. But no, I believe it's numbers are healthy.
ST: That's good. Now correct me if I'm wrong, Mr. Riley, but don't elephants and hippos both live in Africa?
DR: Yes, that is correct. But elephants do not typically travel in the same circles, if you understand what I'm saying. Now as for the Conservation Fund--
ST: All right, but level with me, Mr. Riley. Surely, they have met in the past. At least once, a hippo has fought an elephant. It will happen again. Who will win?
DR: I suppose just on sheer size alone, the elephant.
ST: Ah, but what about that big horn that sticks out on the head of the hippo? I bet he could stab the elephant with that. It could be over before the elephant has time to use his size to his advantage.
DR: Well. That would be a rhinoceros.
ST: Son of a bitch, you're right. HA! This whole time I've been saying hippopotamus but thinking rhinoceros. Jesus.
DR: That's all right. But back to--
ST: Rhino vs Hippo, call it!
Ten seconds of silence, followed by a click and a dial tone.
We did what we could on short notice.
11 March 2009
[Note to readers: Steven Barnhill is a friend of The Shark Tank and an aspiring children's author and illustrator. Having had little success getting published by traditional means, we agreed to give him some space today to show off his talents. Here's one of his newest tales.]
The Wolf And The Girl
by Steven Barnhill
Katie was a girl who rode the bus to school in the morning and went home by way of walking.
On the way home, she met a ferocious wolf who told her: "I like the smell of your sandwiches!"
Katie was shocked because she wasn't holding any sandwiches and she'd had oysters for lunch. Plus it was a wolf! And the wolf was talking to her! Have you ever met a talking wolf? In real life, I mean.
The wolf then dropped to his knees (because this wolf had knees) and said to Katie: "Give me one your sandwiches pleeeeeeeeeeeaaaase!"
But Katie wasn't about to give him a sandwich! She only had one left and she was saving it! For tomorrow's lunch. "I won't give you my sandwich, wolf! I've only got one left and I'm saving it! For tomorrow's lunch."
The bear was so sad to hear this that he ate Katie up right there on the spot! It was so gross because you could hear the bones crunching and the blood was all over the street and some of Katie's hair got stuck in the wolf's teeth!
The wolf sat back and was satisfied with himself. It turned out he wanted to eat Katie all along and didn't even care about the sandwich! Because wolves don't eat sandwiches, they eat little girls. And there are a lot more of them around than you think.
10 March 2009
Dear Onion Ring,
Why are you here? Are you a stowaway? A promotional tactic? A bonus? Please respond.
Thanks to Digg.
09 March 2009
When did the world get so hostile? Just today, I'm driving, minding my own business, avoiding parking lots and ignoring the radio, when this old dude standing on the sidewalk starts screaming at me. While it was difficult to make out exactly what he was saying over the roar of my engine (it gets fairly loud at 60 and above) and the earplugs, I'm fairly certain the words "SLOW DOWN" were amongst them.
Who is this guy to tell me to slow down? He wasn't a cop or a hallway monitor so far as I could tell. What concern is it of his? If he's worried about me driving carefully in his precious little section of the city, maybe he should think twice about distracting me with his yelling, unpleasant voice. Also, it must be noted that this man was wearing a bright orange vest, not unlike the kind of vest hunters wear when they head out into the woods to make their kills. I didn't take the time to notice whether or not he was armed, but for the safety of the public, I certainly hope not.
Another thing. People who want to yell and make a scene should consider their surroundings. I don't know if this guy knew it or not, but there was a school right behind the area where he was standing. Not only that, but judging from the bright yellow buses I had to dodge and the polo-shirted kids running about, I think they were being let out for the day. Set an example, wild old man. Set an example.
08 March 2009
There are some great benefits to leaving the cash world behind. No more pockets bulging with worthless coins, no more trying to shove that wrinkled $1 bill into your wallet, and it makes it easier to turn down that guy whose "car broke down just over that hill" when he approaches with breath that smells like a curious mixture of gasoline and NyQuil.
But there are drawbacks as well. No, I'm not talking about those Bible thumpers who think this is one of the signs of the apocalypse (along with the election of Barack Obama, the virgin Mary's appearance in everything from the side of a building to a piece of toast, and the success of MTV's The Hills). I'm talking those annoying debit machines you have to interact with every time you make a purchase. Specifically, the fact that these machines feel the need to interrogate you for fifteen minutes, rather than just get the PIN number and get on with it. I can handle one or two queries. After that, how about you mind your own business, debit machine!
Yes, thank you for asking. I will punch the little green "Yes" button, you can send the information back to the bank, and we can all move on our merry little ways.
That will be fine, thank you. By the way, debit machine, there is a perfectly capable (?) cashier standing right here. I'm sure I would have mentioned any split purchasing to her, rather than just hoping you would bring it up. But anyway, good to go. Let's do it.
God, no. There some grubby little kids outside with their hands out for some stupid school function. No, debit machine. No cash. And that's enough with the questions. Let's move on.
Not especially. I know that Pearl Harbor isn't the best movie of all time, but it's for a friend. Gimme a break.
Ha! I mean, whatever, debit machine, right? Pshhhh...last $15. Maybe I have more than one account? Did you ever think of that? Huh? I could. Don't look at me like that.
Uhhh. Where's a Bible thumper when you need one?
07 March 2009
In this edition of The Shark Tank, we're taking you BACK...to the FUTURE! Well, actually, we're going back to the past. We're going back, courtesy of the Internet Wayback Machine (aka, the HTML Delorean), to look at five of the most popular websites that have, shall we say, come a long way, baby. Without further ado, let's pump this thing up to 88 mph and head out on the information superhighway of yesterday. The only question is...do we have enough road to make it?
"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need any roads."
There's literally no point in giving Google any kind of introduction at all. If you don't know what it is, we would tell you to Google it, but then you would be even more confused than ever. Suffice to say, we're not sure how you found The Shark Tank on your first day surfing the Internet, but we're glad to have you. Now, take a look at the search engine Goliath in its fledgling days: 1998 (on the Stanford server, no less!)
Though it has long since lost the search engine war to the mighty Google, Yahoo remains one of the most popular sites on the Web. With one ill-advised feature after another, Yahoo manages to stay afloat with commercial appeal, name brand recognition, and that hilarious, gossipy OMG weekly feature (did you SEE what Kate Hudson was wearing??). Here's how they looked way back in 1996:
"I remember when this was all farmland as far the eye could see. Old man Peabody owned all of this. He had this crazy idea about breeding pine trees."
Long the king of social networking, MySpace has recently fallen to number two, thanks to the simple (and we do mean simple) pleasures of Facebook. Still, MySpace remains an enormously successful Internet juggernaut, thanks to increased customization, a huge music-based following, and people who have invested too much time in their layouts to just leave it all behind. The funny thing about MySpace isn't so much what they used to look like under current management, but how many other companies had the domain, but failed to take advantage of it. Here are three snapshots from Myspace.com's history, with the last one being the current MySpace's earliest known configuration:
Well, why not. Tagging and status updating might be out of control, but there's no denying the power of Facebook when it comes to uniting people on the Internet. If only these people had been able to realize that potential:
Then there was the earliest inception of the current Facebook, from 2006, when the site was geared mainly to college students (although, now there are TWO Facebooks!):
"Look. There's a rhythmic ceremonial ritual coming up."
As hard as it is to believe that YouTube has only been around since 2005, it's even harder to believe that it was almost a dating site:
"Please excuse the crudity of this model. I didn't have time to build it to scale."