Thursday, July 28, 2011

Survival Horror.

Because of my own personal obsession with the Zombie genre (see: Zombie Hall), and the fact that I have recently found a tick on me TWICE, and had a brush with poison ivy (like they say "Leaves of three, Kevin you SUCK"), I have come to the conclusion that in an apocalyptic survival scenario, I’m as good as dead.  You may be thinking the same thing yourself.  I’m no boy/girl scout, and probably, neither are you.  Well, I’m here to help.  Whether it’s Zombies, World War a Million, The Rapture, Alien Invasion or The Jersey Shore that come to get us, the following preparatory steps will help you out when civilization reaches its breaking point.  I won’t get into the obvious ones like 'FIGHTING', 'HUNTING', 'BEING IN SHAPE', 'AGRICULTURE', 'MAKING SHELTER', 'MAKING FIRE', or 'WHAT BERRIES CAN'T I EAT' because those are clearly the least important.

01) Eat Garbage.
It’s good for the immune system, and eventually, it’s all that will be left, so better get used to it.  To be fair, the average American already eats garbage, so this is no stretch.  Anyways, practice with actual garbage, not just Happy Meals.

02) Jogging Pants.
When the end of the world rolls around, you’ll want the comfort of elastic waistbands and cottony delightfulness, so better to start creating a stockpile.  Plus you don’t need underwear with jogging pants.  Matching hooded sweatshirts are a nice touch as well.  If you have enough for some friends you could be a gang, the Comfort Gang.  Whether or not you go with the elastic at the bottom of the legs is entirely up to you.

03) Poop Outside.
I don’t see there being toilets, so start practicing.  Although be careful when choosing a wiping leaf ( as they say "Leaves of three...", “Please tell me that’s not how you recently had a brush with poison Ivy, Kevin.”,  “No, it’s not.”).

04) MacGyver.
Watch episode after episode, because I’m sure most of his inventions are fundamentally sound and would work in real life.  If you can make a solar powered laser beam from a pistachio, a soiled prophylactic and your own eyeball, trust me, you’ll do fine in THUNDERDOME WORLD.

05) Learn Guitar.
You could totally be the next Bob Dylanesque folk hero in the Post-Apocalyptic uprising (assuming that you are uprising against some type of force, like Pod People, or Snooki).  Hmm… maybe learn the Ukelele or Harmonica though as they're more portable.  Or invent your own instrument with the skills you’ve learned watching MacGyver.

06) Hide and Seek.
Although, it’s mostly the hiding part that you will need after the end of the world, unless you’ve taken to cannibalism, at which point, maybe you’re a seeker.  Oh, also play with other adults, because kids are AWFUL at hide and seek.

07) Home Brew.
You know, because the MOONSHINE guy is always loved in the Post-Apocalyptic community.

08) Monologue.
Start being comfortable talking to yourself, because you might be the only one around for long stretches of time.  And be ok with it.  Don’t create yourself a lover named Wilson from a ball used in the sport Volleyball.  A volleyball, if you will. 

09) Nick Name.
Figure out what you want to be called after the apocalypse, because people named Kevin don’t last long.  People named SOLITAIRE or DESTRO or TRIXIE or DYNAMITE or NITRO or MALONE can survive a long time.  Do not use names like TARGET or GONER.

10) Catchphrase.
Have a catchphrase, like “thrill me”, or “I’d buy that for a dollar”, because if someone is shooting a documentary about the aftermath, you’ll totally get more screen time.  It might be good if you have a theme song too.  It’s even better if you wrote it (see: Step 5 - Learn Guitar).

11) Hoarding.
Have enough to be ready, but not enough to end up on 'A&E' with that psychiatrist with the huge forehead (Dr. Fivehead, as she is called in our household).  Or just rob an Extreme Couponer.  Have you seen those stockpiles?  That’s a lot of green beans.

12) Be Nice.
You know, to people, in general, because karma is a bitch.  Especially in a flesh eating scenario.

I know a lot of these steps seem drastic, but you really never know when the big change is a comin’, so you’re better off having these things ready.  What’s that saying? “The best preparation is awesome preparation”.  No wait, it’s “the best prepared people are prepared for the worst”.  Is that a saying?  If it is, it’s kind of a bummer.  Fuck that.

I’m probably missing some vital preparatory steps, but this is a good start.

That’s it.  MacGyver Season three… GO!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Judgement Day (a.k.a. Panel of Judges 2).

Often times they say that you should not judge a book by its cover.  I think more realistically it should be that you should not always judge a book by its cover, but that sometimes it is ok, especially when it has a buff pirate on it and you can see his nipples.  You know what that book is going to be about.  Who holds a sword like that?  Come on.  Anyways, this can also sometimes be true of people (see: Panel of Judges).  But the ridiculous clich├ęs like “You can tell a lot about a person by their shoes” as I previously discussed, or something equally absurd like “You can tell a lot about a person by the company that they keep”, you will find, are not accurate barometers of personality and character.  Like I discussed when I dissected the shoe argument, there are probably cases where the latter argument could still ring true.  

When someone hangs around a bunch of snobs, it can sometimes be safe to say they probably are themselves rather snobby.  However, just because someone lives within a society of mountain gorillas, it does not mean that they, in fact, are a mountain gorilla.  Maybe they don’t even like mountain gorillas, maybe they spend most of their time talking about the king and queen gorillas behind their backs to the plantains.  You don’t know.

Anyways, if 'shoes' and/or 'company kept' are off the table, but you still would like to effectively try and judge a book by its cover, then here are a few accurate ways to gauge someone’s personality, just by observing some random thing about them.

You can tell a lot about a person by…
the number of cats that they have.

I’m still working on the algorithm a little, as well as the graphs and flow chats and whatnot, but essentially depending on the number of cats, this is what you are saying to the world:

1 Cat: “I love my cat, cats are awesome.”
2 Cats: “I love ALL cats, I’m a cat person.”
3 Cats: “I love my cats, probably a little more than I like people.”
4 Cats: “Sparky and Mittens are my babies and they will never leave me, not like my lousy kids.”
5 Cats: “Last week I knit myself seventeen Christmas sweaters, all with cats on them. My cats.”
6 Cats: “The local kids say my house is haunted.  It is.”
7 Cats: “I speak cat… MEOoooooW Rehhhrr!”
8 Cats: “The urine that you smell is mostly feline, but also mine, mostly.”
9+ Cats: “SHMARGLE GLUB! Darrrrrr, Gabaraga WEE dee fwaaa? Hahahaaaaaaaa…

It also says a lot about a person if they claim that they are striving to become the crazy cat lady / man / hermit / wildebeest.  Mostly it says 'stay away' or 'keep away from children'.

Increase in cats, increase in crazy, which, if you have a cat, makes total sense.  

You can tell a lot about a person by…
the size of their pit stains.

You can tell if they are nervous, have recently exerted themselves, or whether or not they are wearing antiperspirant.  Depending on how far down and widespread the stain is, you can tell how long they have been feeling anxious, warm or physically strained.

There’s a scene in ‘Superman 3’ (or maybe it was number four, there’s no way for me to remember, really) where Superman is lifting an enormous ice block or person or something and has atrociously large pit stains all down the sides of his best blue tights.  I’m not sure that Superman actually would sweat, and especially not when he is somewhere in Antarctica like he was in this particular scene.  What this tells us is that this ‘actor’ is not actually Superman.  Now the fourth wall is broken and I’m back to reality.  Thanks a lot, Hollywood.  Next you’ll tell me that the mall Santa Claus is not the real Santa.  Well, then how did he know I wanted a pony? How did he know?

More importantly than all of that, if someone is wearing a light gray shirt on a hot humid day, so that it clearly accentuates and highlights the tremendous pit stains, you can tell that they do not have much in the way of foresight.

But seriously, how was I supposed to know the office would be this warm today?

You can tell a lot about a person by…
whether or not they plug their nose when they jump into a pool.

People that do this may as well be wearing one of those bathing cap bonnets like in those old synchronized swimming videos (with the rubbery flowers and the metal snap button strap across the chin).  No matter a person’s age, when you see them doing this, they immediately look about four years old.  For the record, at four, I already did not plug my nose.  I already knew that I did not want to look like a weenie (see: Weenie Roast). Get your shit together!  One thing you can tell about these people is that they clearly are not comfortable in the water, and they’ll be the first to go when the whole world floods.  

Hopefully when it does happen, it will be less like ‘Waterworld’, and more like ‘The Little Mermaid’, what with the musical numbers and magically delicious crabs.  Seriously, Sebastien would make a sweet crab roll.  Hot buttered soul.

Either way, the nose-pluggers are fish food.

Well, that, along with my previously stated guidelines (see: Panel of Judges), ought to get you started along a path of judging books by their covers, only when it is completely acceptable to do so.  Or not.  You be the judge.

That’s it.  I’m going home sick, these are gargantuan pit stains.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Keepin' It Real.

It’s no secret that the majority of young (and probably old too) people in America think that the surest way to success and happiness is by being famous, by being on a reality show or some kind of rock star, or actress, or whatever.  It’s everywhere.  Even a lot of people writing on the cyber spaces think that they’ll be plucked for their writing gift and sent on a whirlwind book tour with movie deals and celebrity encounters.  When did becoming famous become the end all solution to life?  

People are force fed extreme drivel twenty four hours a day with shows like the ‘Hill People from Jersey’, or the ‘Real McWives from Buttfuck County’.  These same people then idolize the insanely undereducated ‘funny’ and ‘quirky’ people that they see on television, mostly because they all seem to live a life where all they do is inject themselves with chemicals, spray themselves orange, drink martinis and own dogs.  I'm pretty sure children are accessories.  There are at least one million reality shows at this point, so who can blame kids growing up thinking that that is what life should be?  Do nothing, bitch about stuff and then talk about it live on ‘Bravo’ with that guy who looks stoned all of the time.

I wouldn’t mind peoples’ obsession with reality shows so much if the shows focused a little more on actual reality.  And don’t think that if shows were centered on ‘regular’ people that it wouldn’t be as entertaining, because that’s total crap.  Think about it, think about how many people you know that are one billion times more charismatic and hilarious than ANYONE on these reality shows.

Now if I could just get the attention of stupid people that own networks, we could work on getting all the ‘Following Around Rich and Wannabe Famous Assholes with Cameras’ shows cancelled and replace them with real flesh and blood people (I’m convinced that some of the ‘Housewives’ characters are refurbished animatronic robots from a closed down Chuck E. Cheese restaurant somewhere).  The thing is that, in order for it to stay authentic, the real people featured would have to not get paid for being on the show.  In fact, we would have to prevent them from making any kind of profit from being on the show.  Otherwise, we are right back to square one, following rich assholes around with cameras.  Also, the ‘I Wanna Be Famous’ instinct would kick in the minute that they know that the cameras are focused on them, so we would have to tape the shows secretly, without them knowing that they are even on television (this would only work for one season, so only one season is allowed), like they did with those special hidden cameras that they used to tape ‘Planet Earth’.  Also, the old dude from Jurassic Park could narrate.  

“Welcome… to Jurassic Park.”

Anyways, I’m pretty sure the animals didn’t see a dime from that program, and they stayed all animally and humble.

The people on the shows would all need to fit the following criteria:

a) Not famous
b) Not rich
c) Not crazy

Because we have reality shows about either rich people, or famous people, or crazy people, or people who are all three.  Shows with not rich, not famous, but completely crazy (often diagnosed as such) people seem to be all the rage nowadays, with shows like ‘Confessions of Intervention Hoarders’ or ‘Extreme Pouponing’ or those shows about people that bake gigantic wiener cakes.  And I don’t want to see ‘regular’ people put in intense competitive situations either, like ‘Top Loser Survivor All Stars’, or something completely removed from everyday life.  No, we need to capture ‘regular’ people in ‘regular’ places, doing ‘regular’ things, secretly, of course.

So who would we ninja-film to best encapsulate the possibly entertaining human condition, as narrated by crusty ol’ Jurassic Park guy?  Glad you asked.  Here is my list of top ten reality shows that need to happen.  The names of the people are purely fictional.  Should any of these shows actually come to be in the coming months, expect to hear from my lawyer.  Or at the very least expect to hear me shitting my pants from a distance.

1) Mascots.
Cameras follow around the people playing the different costumed characters at a small town amusement park.  At the heart of it all is Glen Speen, who has played Captain Space Squirrel for over 75 years.  
Tagline: If you can’t stand the heat, take off the space suit.

2) Test Drive.
Cameras film notoriously unsuccessful used car salesman Jeremy Fapperwheel from a distance, leading up to his eventual termination at the end of the season.
Tagline: He’ll take you for a spin.

3) The Circle.
A stationary camera records the events at an actual Wisconsin community sewing circle where Lynn Ogdenflur is being shunned for all of her juicy gossiping.
Tagline: She’s hanging on by a thread.

4) Hip Hop Hooray.
Career guidance counselor Sean Yonder teaches Hip Hop dancing to pregnant teens on the weekend.  This is his story, filmed in black and white from a van.
Tagline: Womb! There it is!

5) Meat Heads.
Helmet cams are placed on those annoying people that are always at the gym but never seem to be working out, except for randomly lifting a few crazy heavy weights here and there and grunting (they are told that the helmets are special workout hats).  They’re insanely built but no one knows why or how.  We’re about to find out.
Tagline: Hanging out with dumbbells.

6) Tax Season.
Hidden cameras are placed all over the IRS during tax season, because you know there are some wacky hijinks going down in there.  Amidst a sea of strangely obese people, Paul Doublestraps takes charge and gets shit done.  Hard.
Tagline: For once, they’re giving something back.

7) Do You Believe in Magic?
Filmed entirely on camera phones at children’s birthday parties, this show documents the legendary careers of a local group of birthday party magicians, led by Alfred Humpy (a.k.a. Lightning Hands), in this uplifting tale about following your dreams.
Tagline: You’ll be glad they didn’t get a clown.

8) Master Baiters.
Like the deadliest catch, except it follows a group of retired seniors that go fishing every week at a quiet lake in like, New Hampshire or something.   What happens on the lake stays on the lake.
Tagline: You’ll be hooked.

9) The Lounge.
Webcams capture the conversations in a teacher’s lounge at an elementary school.  Warning: This show contains vulgar language and makes fun of children, a lot.  Honestly, Principal McGraw, do you kiss your mother with that mouth?
Tagline: You’re going to want to stay after class…

10) Fresh Prince.
From selling door to door to hosting exotic Tupperware parties, Jean Papineau is passionate about keeping your food fresh, and talking to himself.  He regularly breaks into song and cries when doors are slammed in his face.  Filmed in HD.
Tagline: He lives in his car.

Well, alright so maybe those still sound insane (man, you should see the complete list).  

How about this? How about Hollywood starts fucking writing actual scripts and stories again, and uses actual actors and comedians?

Dare to dream.

That’s it.  There’s a show on about real estate tycoons opening a titty bar in Area 51, gotta go.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Don't Call It a Comeback.

Sometimes something needs to stay gone.

At times, some people like to fool themselves into thinking that certain things have comeback into fashion.  These were the idiots sporting mullets a few years back, and will likely come up with some sort of retired porn-star Burt Reynolds mustache to ride 'stylishly' into the future (probably while drinking PBR).  However, much like the mullet, or any form of rat-tail, these people were and are wrong.  That doesn’t mean that all comebacks are in the wrong.  I was all for the return of bell-bottoms.

Some comebacks involve words and slang, not all of which deserve a comeback (see: Bad Language for examples of slang that should go away NOW and stay gone).  Sometimes it can even be a person that makes a comeback, like Bill Murray or the Ninja Turtles.  And sometimes, people attempting a comeback should cease and desist, like that bizarre mixture of the New Kids and the Backstreet Boys, where I’m pretty sure they added in a few extra people from a random Sears catalogue photo shoot.  

So how can we tell the difference between a good comeback and a bad comeback, you ask, quite annoyingly?  Usually you can’t until it’s too late.  Something can seem like a good idea for a comeback on paper, like Indiana Jones, but end up being bad idea jeans, like Indiana Jones and the Crystal Wiener Schnitzel or whatever.  To be completely frank, it takes an innate sense of awesome to know what is the shit, and what is just shit, when it comes to comebacks.

Now, we all have fantasy island comebacks, in the back of our minds, you know, something that you desperately wish would come back into the now and be the norm again, like hearing good music on the radio, or there being television shows that aren’t centered on insane people with plastic boobies and/or questionable morals.  Hell, I’ve even argued about trying to make certain expressions make a comeback (see: Express Yourself).  But when a truly random nostalgia wave hits, and something like Pog starts coming back into popularity, you need to be able to declare whether or not you should jump on the bandwagon, or boycott it completely.  Incidentally if people start buying Pogs or Beany Babies again, take my advice, and do not jump on that particular bandwagon.  The same goes for those hideously frightening Troll dolls.

Anyways, in order to help you hone your skills, I will list a few examples that, should they try to make a comeback, you absolutely should not get on board with, and you can use that as a sort of blueprint for any kind of fashion / culture / food / expression / bullshit thing that may come up between now and forever as an attempted comeback.  Well hopefully not forever.  I assume in the afterlife, there isn’t really any use for this talent, and that there will no longer be any kind of cyclical trendy caca poopoo.  I’m kind of hoping that we’re all bald, wearing the same one piece robe or unitard, and speaking in rhyme.  All the time.  And I’ll finally stop hearing people say “Like us on Facebook”.

So, if you were to see any of the following examples actually attempting a comeback, you must do everything in your power to prevent it from happening.  Do not get on board.  Also, let me know about it, because it would mean that I am at least part psychic, and that would be pretty rad.  I would totally join the Psychic Friends Network (which also should not be allowed to make a comeback).

Hitchhiking across the land.
Because no story that starts with “He was holding a sign that said Headin' West” has ever had a happy ending.

Macauley Culkin and the like.
Trust me on this one, Neil Patrick Harris is the exception to the rule.  Child stars need to stay gone.  Yeah, I’m talking to you too, kid from Sixth Sense and those weird looking kids from Home Improvement.

Pot Pourri.
Honestly, you don’t much hear about Pot Pourri anymore, which is good, because it translates to rotten pot, and needs to stay gone.

Commercials about preventing static cling.
I don’t know if static cling still exists or not (or ever did) as a terrible day to day issue in the world, but the commercials need to stay gone.  I am so happy to not see commercials where a woman gets to work and has a sock stuck to her ass.  That would never happen.  I’m all for suspending my disbelief, but that’s just crazy.  I'm sure static cling would be awful, if it were real.  On the subject of advertising, I also didn’t care much for those ‘Head and Shoulders’ commercials either where there’s a dude who’s all: 
“… but you don’t have dandruff-” 
EXACTLY!”
I would, however, like to see that same ad campaign applied to ‘Preparation H’.  Because the situation where one person has, not only the knowledge, but the nerve to say to the other:
“… but you don’t have hemhorroids-“
EXACTLY!” 
is just very absurd to me, and funny.  Shit, I’d buy it.

Incredibly pointy shoes.
I’m sure there are people out there still wearing them, but hopefully, their pointy tips are helping them trip and fall on a busy staircase somewhere, far far away from here.  Imagine getting kicked in the nuts by one of those things?  Jesus.

Saying something is ‘Money’.
I liked ‘Swingers’, but enough is enough.   Dear dudes out there, no, you are not actually Mikey and T, the sooner you recognize, the better we will all be.  It feels like it finally has mostly sunken in, and that you don’t hear this much anymore, and that’s good.  Do me a favor and keep it that way.

McDonald’s Pizza.
Can you believe that it even held on as long as it did the first time around?  I kind of wish Ronald and his entire dizzying array of emergency-diarrhea inducing food would pack it in for good, but I realize that isn’t happening ever.  The least that we can do is make sure they never try pizza again.

Chicken Soup books.
No explanation necessary. 

I could go one for a while, especially if I started listing people that shouldn’t make a comeback, but I think with these examples you get an idea of what to steer clear of.  I could even go on listing people and things that need to go away right now, and then subsequently never make a comeback, but again, then we would be here forever.

So, if you get anything from reading this, it should be that not all comebacks are created equal, and that you need to be careful out there.  Now, take what you have learned and apply it in all of life.  Remember, only YOU can prevent shitty things from making comebacks.  Or forest fires.

That’s it.  I need to go acid wash my jeans.