A Frivolous Posting About Kleenex

August 19, 2008

It’s a time of great jubilation ’round the office. Snot has its best friend back—Kleenex. Yep, for about four months our office underwent draconian cost-cutting measures and hygienic tissues were the first to go (the toilet paper, such as it is, was spared). Apparently money was found in the budget to bring back this great American invention. I know, as an environmentalist type, I should be appalled by the very existence of Kleenex: cut down trees and make snot rags out of them that, once used, go right back into the waste stream. I will say that, having been without them for so long, my usage of them has decreased, sort of the same way that car drivers adapted and cut back on gas usage when the cost rocketed above $4 a gallon.
I know what some of you are thinking: an employer has no obligation to provide nose wipes to its staff. But once something is expected, its taking away does seem a slight – a lowering of the quality of life; yet another cutback in a series of morale-lowering indignities. The funny thing was that people simply shifted their nose blowing from the Kleenex to paper towels in the public kitchen and toilet paper in the restroom, so I don’t know if any real cost savings was realized by the absence of Kleenex. Anyway, welcome back old friend of my disposable society. -EG


Succulent ’70s Salaciousness: A Tribute to “The Gong Show”

August 13, 2008


Let us now pay homage to one of the funniest, most raucous, transgressive and subversive shows in TV history, “The Gong Show,” hosted by its shambling, shuffling, shaggy dog producer, the enigmatic Chuck Barris. There were, and are, people who don’t “get” this show—thinking it the pre-Jerry Springer version of the end of civilization—but never since has the tube been so wonderfully chaotic and, yes, off-the-cuff witty and surreal. The reactions of the panel to the infamy being perpetrated on stage were priceless, as was Barris’ stoner demeanor and saliva-soaked, ungrammatical ad libs – often punctuated by his awkward hand claps that the audience would humorously mimic. Barris often modeled an arsenal of bad hats, perched precariously over his forehead and covering his eyes, for maximum goofy visual effect. Although some people claim this is an early version of American Idol because part of the fun is watching the bad acts get razzed, that comparison misses the point. A bad act on the Gong Show was just as likely to win the prize as a good one. In fact, some talented people were gonged off the stage while some truly awful acts evaded the boot. The score an act received on The Gong Show was virtually meaningless. Top prize was $516.32 (yes, that’s right), and the winners were pretty much guaranteed continued obscurity, so nobody was taking this seriously. A guest panelist with an absurdist, wicked sense of humor might score a dreadful act a 10, while the celebrity sitting in the next chair might score it a 0 or a 2. Some real talents did appear on the show, Steve Martin, for instance. It was one big unrehearsed spontaneous party, quite unlike the slick and super-controlled production of American Idol. The infamous moment we feature here, highlighting an “act” from 1978, now simply known as “The Popsicle Twins,” allegedly led to the show’s cancellation (though in fact, the show lasted until 1980; what happened was that the western time zones didn’t see this part of the show after outraged callers on the east coast caused NBC to panic and pull the bit). Two young girls, looking way too young (they were too young, 15 and 17), fellate upon some sweet icy goodness as audience and panel members shout, “Yeah, do it! Do it!” and “all right! all right! allright!”- all contributing nicely to the delinquency of minors. Barris allegedly threw this act into the mix as a way to trick the censors, figuring if he put something this blatantly sexual onstage that the censors would cut it out and ignore some of the other presumably less offensive performances. It didn’t work—this baby went out gloriously over the national airwaves, and the rest, including The Gong Show, is history. Incredibly still, this act was not gonged, Jaye P. Morgan and Jamie Farr having absented themselves from the vicinity. One is perplexed, though, at the gall of Phyllis Diller, who at the time was hawking big girthy cucumbers on TV commercials for the now-defunct Paramount Pickle Co., of Louisville, Ky., finding no hypocrisy in scoring these phallic Lolitas with a zed. Morgan, once a ’50s torch singer who earned a somewhat lascivious reputation as the show’s humorous muse (she was the original “Girl Gone Wild,” fond of baring her breasts to the audience during commercial breaks or writing obscene notes on cards that the censors would blot out with a white bar), caps it all off with an honest observation: “Do you know that that’s the way I started?” Anyway, like her, this is something you ladies might learn from. Enjoy.

The Popsicle Twins @ YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUkzIx382mM

(NOTE: I originally posted the direct, embedded Youtube link to this video, but knowing how hamhanded WordPress is about censorship and how skittish it is about Youtube material, I’ve decided to post a link to Youtube instead where you can watch the video. This state of affairs sucks, but WordPress really seems to have no sense of humor, etc.)

Wikipedia’s entry the Gong Show does a pretty good job of separating the myth from the reality.

AS a bonus enjoy this interlude from series regular Gene Gene the Dancing Machine, whose visits occasioned unrestrained festiveness for all. Tell me what other TV show has allowed this kind of sheer joyousness to erupt?

P.S.: I understand that this show has been revived a couple of times, most recently by Comedy Central and hosted by Dave Attell. From what I’ve read, it sounds as bad as all attempts to bring back comedy intensive games shows, eg., Whoopie Goldberg’s arid revisitation of The Hollywood Squares. No thanks.


The Valid Response You Entered is Not Valid; or, WTF is with the Louisville Free Public Library Automated Phone?

August 9, 2008

The Louisville Free Public Library has a cool service that informs you by automated phone call or email when a requested book has arrived at a branch for pickup. But when you try to end the call, you get the following weirdness:

Library robot: “Press 9 to end this call.”

Me: (Presses 9 on phone).

Library robot: “That is not a valid response.”

Huh?

-EG


A Three-Hour Tour through the Wormhole; or How General American Geographic Ignorance Doesn’t Hurt When Making Hit TV

July 31, 2008

Skipper: Riddle me this, little buddy: Just how many uncharted desert isles with active volcanoes do you think there are just three hours off the coast of the United States?

Gilligan: Uh, ummm, uh … none?

Skipper: Wow, that’s right little buddy. You’re one smart motherfucker.

Gilligan: Well, OK, so where the fuck are we then !!!! ???


I Ate Spunk o’ the Otis … But Don’t Misunderstand

July 30, 2008

OK, so I know this is juvenile, but hey, I’m reading Howard Stern’s Private Parts right now so I’m in that mood. Normally I’m a fairly clean-living fellow so eating a processed industrial transfatty type thing like an Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate muffin would not happen. But a co-worker down the hall sells this junk for 50 cents, which is half the price of the friggin’ vending machine, and as I had an unrequited sugar/choco craving it had to be done. The quick and dirty food review: Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate muffins are not bad as plastic-wrapped industrial muffins go. They’re dry, but the list of ingredients is not as heinous as a lot of snack-cake type foods, the chocolate chips lend an extra richness, the portion size is ample and the taste is not overly chemical-like. This seems like damning with faint praise, but I ended up buying another one the next day. When I do things like this, I alter my diet the rest of the day and cut out further sugar or carb portions to help balance things out.

Heh, heh, heh, heh. Hey Beavis, he said ‘spunk,’ eh heh heh heh.

-EG


Jehovahs’ Witnesses Kingdom Hall’s a Comin’; or, Hallelujah! There Goes the Neighborhood

July 27, 2008

God has blessed us with a transfusion of new blood, as it were, in the neighborhood in the Hurstbourne Lane/Old LaGrange Road/Whipps Mill Road area of Eastern Jefferson County. That’s right, new blood in the form of new neighbors—Jehovah’s Witnesses—to be exact, who’ll gather to celebrate the Kingdom of God in their under-construction Kingdom Hall in said location. It’ll really be a privilege to have folks in the neighborhood to look up to, since we (and they) all know, they are the one and only hand-picked chosen Heaven-bound ones of the Lord. Shit, it’ll be like beholding superbeings or something.

Luckily, I’ve found out about this in time so that I can prepare for the onslaught of neighborliness sure to come in the form of Watchtower-wielding, glassy-eyed folk honing in with radar intensity on my doorbell. In a way I pity them, not because of their delusional fairy-tale beliefs, but because they really, really have no idea who they will be dealing with when they come to my door.

I’m fixing up a sign for them right now: All solicitors and religious peddlers agree to the following if they chose to ring my doorbell:

1.) You have one minute, and one minute only, to make your pitch. At 60 seconds the door will be shut.

2.) All doorbell ringers agree to be photographed and consent to your image being used on my blog on which I reserve the right to make any wise-ass judgmental comment I choose.

That seems fair enough.

Is my disdain for Jehovah’s Witnesses any greater than for any other crackpot religionist, whether they be with Scientologists or Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) or Branch Davidians or Heaven’s Gaters or Baptists or Papist Catholics? No, not really.

I remain, ever thus, your equal-opportunity religion basher.

For fun, here’s a website in which a disenchanted former member of the Witnesses (no doubt a “disfellowed” outcast, as they call their excommunicados) shares his list of 101 Strange Beliefs and Practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Too bad the fellow still doesn’t seem to have been cured of Christianity as well. It’s funny when one cultist throws barbs at another.)

Below we see a delightful illustration culled from Jehovah’s Witnesses informational materials of the sheer joy implicit in observing Armageddon, knowing that you’re going to a better place and everybody else ain’t. The destruction of Earth and humanity has never been so much fun!

-EG
(Now, seriously, I ask you, do you really want to be stuck in Heaven with these fuckers?)


Tired of Earth Women? How’s About Some Alien Sex?

July 21, 2008

Stupid, funny spam of the week below… I like the grammar here, that the alien women have “BOTH mouth, vagina and anus.” Ha.

-EG (ready and willing with his massive Klingon member).

——-

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