Saturday, August 30, 2008

Point/Counterpoint: The Dictator's New Clothes

When in the course of human events friends disagree, sometimes it becomes necessary to take the dispute public to prove once and for all who is right. Friends, readers, members of the jury - please consider the arguments carefully and cast your vote. What is Kim Jong-Il wearing?

To assist you in your decision, you will be provided with the conversation that started the debate and then a brief closing statement from both Falwless and myself. When you have reached a conclusion (shirt), please vote in the sidebar poll.

me: Someone has a crush on Kim Jong Il? Hmmm?

Falwless: haha

me: It's the glasses, isn't it?

Falwless: Yes. And the fancy taupe jacket and high heel shoes.

me: I don't know if I've ever seen him wear a jacket. Maybe he does only for you.

Falwless: He always wears a jacket! Always taupe! lemme find a pic

me: he wears like those military shirts with the shoulder things.

Falwless: Isn't it, like, a jacket, though? I know it's military style but I thought it was a jacket, not a shirt. I dunno lemme go google image search. because this is very important to me

me: Clearly.

me: At 2am on a Friday, it's the most important thing in your life.

Falwless: It is!

me: That's like a jac-shirt.

Falwless: Clearly a jacket, not a shirt, dude. No way, you can't slink outta that. It has a zipper. That shit's a jacket.

me: Okay, but would you wear a normal shirt under it or just a t shirt? I say just a t shirt. And that makes it a shirt, not a jacket.

Falwless: haha

me: This is so a post.

Falwless: Someone's gotta fucking pubLISH THIS AS A POST MY GOD

me: point/counterpoint


me: We should do that for real.

Falwless: haha

me: Post the picture and offer arguments.

Falwless: Let's do it.

me: And ask for votes.

Falwless: that's actually a great idea

me: I know!

Falwless: it should go on your blog

me: I was going to say yours. That way someone will read it.

Closing Statement From Falwless:
In closing, Kim Jong Il clearly wears a jacket. It has elastic around the waistband, for chrissakes, and a zipper running down the entire length of the front. Even though he keeps it zipped and regardless of what is kosher to "wear underneath," this terribly tight taupe tapestry is, in the end, nothing less than an ugly jacket.

Closing Statement From Words Words Words:
Ladies and gentlemen, do not be swayed by buzzwords like "elastic", "zipper" and "length". As Fal herself points out, the garment is tight. So tight that one could not (and would not) wear a collared or buttoned shirt under it. Only a t-shirt is appropriate. A jacket is an OUTERGARMENT. If one cannot fit a regular garment under it, it cannot be an outergarment. A careful examination of the evidence supports only one conclusion - Kim Jong-Il is wearing a shirt. God bless you all, and God bless America.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Koreatown Surprise

After the Crapi Apartments, I didn't think I'd ever find a sign quite as funny again. I'm pleased and proud to have been proven wrong by the Korea Underwear Discount Center. As soon as I drove by I thought, "I've got an easy blog entry!" The burning question though, is one of syntax. Is the underwear Korean, or is the discount center Korean? If Koreans have come up with their own kind of underwear, I think we need to hear about it. It's probably much more efficient than ours.

"Honey, this camisole is beautiful! Where did you get it?"
"Oh, don't worry, you don't know the place."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Get All My Best Ideas In The Hot Tub

What did I want after a 13-hour day at work? The same as anyone would. A meal, some relaxation, and a gallon of whiskey. What did I get? A TWO HOUR drive home. Normally it takes me about a half hour to get home, but tonight was special. That's one of the worst things about L.A. - horrible traffic jams for no apparent reason. I didn't see an accident, there weren't any lanes closed; it was just one of those things. The ride took one hour and 55 minutes, and according to Google Maps, I live 13 miles from work. For you liberal arts majors, that means I averaged 7 miles per hour on the way home. I could have ridden a bike home faster. If I were given cocaine, I could have walked home faster.

I got home too late to watch a movie before going to bed and starting all over again. I got home so late I didn't care about having any dinner. I got home so late I missed a phone call that could have saved the day. The only thing I had left was the hot tub. The blessed, blessed hot tub. Nothing is better at the end of a crappy day than looking up at the stars while soaking and having water jets beat on you. Those jets feel good everywhere (and I mean everywhere), but nowhere better than on the bottom of a foot that's been riding a clutch for two hours.

Even though my body was on autopilot in the tub, my brain never stops. And the quiet allowed my brain to devise many ways to get back at all the people in the traffic jam with me. Because when you're in a situation like that, you begin to hate the people in front of you, behind you, and on either side of you. They're in the same boat as you are, but you become convinced that everything is their fault. A guy in front of me pulled into the left lane at the last minute to make a turn and left his ass end in part of my lane, and I screamed things at him that implied he enjoyed relations with other people's mothers. So fresh from the hot tub, here are some things I felt like doing to all these people conspiring to keep me from getting home:

1. Making an appointment for him at a sperm bank and providing only a calendar entitled "The Ladies Of The 1984 East German Olympic Team" (not pictured: Katarina Witt.)

2. At the next red light, stealing his CDs and replacing them all with Prattle And Hum: The Best Of Bono's Between-Song Patter About Starving Africans.

3. Cutting in front of him and slowing to 3 miles per hour, keeping him from accelerating to his top speed of 7.

4. Installing Speed Racer-style saws in my car and cutting his tires to ribbons.

5. Banana in the tailpipe.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Olympic Running Diary

I've always wanted to do a running diary of a big event with lots of comic potential. In the absence of a big event with lots of comic potential, I've decided to do it for the Olympic closing ceremonies. I IMed it to myself to get the time code on there, and if IMing myself for a couple of hours doesn't explain my social life, then I don't know what does. Halfway through I tried to cyber myself, but I wouldn't give it up. If you're feeling charitable, please continue reading!

(8:20:27 PM): The closing ceremonies start with a countdown in the sky from 10 to 1...written in fireworks. Fireworks are badass. CHINESE fireworks are beyond badass. They're like the Steven Seagal of fireworks.

(8:21:24 PM): The Prime Minister of the UK, Gordon Brown, is here to represent London, the site of the 2012 Summer Olympics. His wife looks like Pam from The Office. No British guy is allowed to score like that, even a Prime Minister.

(8:23:18 PM): People in various traditional Chinese costumes are present for the raising of the flags, making it patently obvious why people move on from traditional costumes to modern garb. It looks like there must be a lot of naked little kids on the "It's A Small World" ride tonight.

(8:28:40 PM): Some guy is flying into the stadium attached to a giant hot air balloon shaped like a wheel of cheese and pounding away at it with drumsticks.

(8:28:55 PM): I think it's actually a drum (hence the drumsticks), but it REALLY looks like a wheel of cheese. I like cheese. I've often said that nothing is so good that it can't be made better by adding cheese.

(8:29:30 PM): Dammit, the Phillies are down to their last out. I'm switching between baseball and the Olympics. I'm not a professional blogger, so you don't get a professional effort.

(8:30:41 PM): Now there are what looks like Zulu warriors with glowstick necklaces on the floor of the stadium. It looks like a cross between The Gods Must Be Crazy and Tron. In other words, it's AWESOME.

(8:30:55 PM): Phillies tie it! 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth!

(8:31:53 PM): Zulu warriors are not Chinese. Not even a little bit. But that's what these guys look like, and that allowed me to use the Gods Must Be Crazy reference.

(8:32:50 PM): LIGHTCYCLES! I was right about Tron!

(8:34:19 PM): I know how ridiculous this sounds. but there are lots of people wearing orange and seemingly doing an impression of a giant sea anemone. They're being circled by the lightcycles. And on the outside are the neon Zulus. This is like a Cirque du Soleil version of The Little Mermaid.

(8:35:37 PM): The scope of the show is staggering, just like the opening ceremonies. It makes you wonder how many people the Chinese had to enslave to accomplish such a task.

(8:36:58 PM): We have been joined by what can only be described as a bunch of dudes wearing shoes that have pogo sticks attached. Each foot having an individual pogo stick sounds like a recipe for disaster. Someone is going to tear a can just see it coming.

(8:37:05 PM): In other news, I know what I want for Christmas.

(8:43:18 PM): Finally the performance art is over and it's time for the athletes to enter. I love how at the closing ceremonies, it's just a jailbreak instead of the way they march in solemnly at the opening ceremonies. It always looks like they're giving away free beer to the first 100 athletes to enter the stadium.

(8:44:22 PM): Aw, the athletes from different countries are all laughing and talking and taking pictures together. It almost makes me want to have a second reference to "It's A Small World". Almost.

(8:45:07 PM): Sample athlete conversation: "Yeah, so, uh...I'll totally call you. Where were you from again? Oh, Namibia. Is that near Amsterdam? Cause I totally want to go there sometime, maybe we can hook up."

(8:46:57 PM): Shawn Johnson is so cute, like a chipmunk. I want to put her in a backpack and carry her around with me. I mean that in a totally innocent way, not like this guy would.

(8:47:40 PM): The Phillies let the Dodgers load the bases with no outs in the top of the 10th and then got out of it. They're intent on giving me angina.

(8:51:10 PM): Speaking of athletes socializing, it has been reported that the Chinese provided 100,000 condoms in the athletes' village. There are 10,0000 athletes at the Games. They take that one baby per family shit seriously.

(8:52:10 PM): Assuming my math is right and it takes two people and one condom to have sex, the Chinese were expecting each athlete to do it 20 times. Now THAT'S an Olympian feat.

(8:52:31 PM): The Mexican delegation is wearing sombreros. Don't they know how racist that is?

(8:54:00 PM): I'm pretty sure a guy from Spain just flashed gang signs. Following on the heels of that slanteye picture the Spanish basketball team took, it's starting to look like Spain is one classy place.

(8:54:53 PM): Americans are a pretty good looking bunch of people. I'm just sayin.

(8:56:12 PM): I can't wait til they announce the Olympic King and Queen and they do the spotlight dance.

(9:01:45 PM): It's traditional to award the medals for the marathon as part of the closing ceremonies. The winner was from Kenya, which is suprising to no one, including the guy himself. We're the damn United States of America. Why don't we just hire away whoever makes all these Kenyans run fast and do it ourselves? These are the questions that keep me up at night.

(9:04:25 PM): The Kenyan national anthem is just a tiny bit cheerier than the Russian one. If I heard this music in a movie, it would accompany someone being taken away tearfully in a train against their will.

(9:05:31 PM): Aw, a tribute to the hundreds of thousands of Chinese "volunteers" that made the Games possible. Now that it's all gone off well, they get their kittens back safe and sound.

(9:06:53 PM): Wow, 45 minutes in and I actually wrote something funny. Alert the media. But not the Chinese media, or no one will ever find out.

(9:10:07 PM): Bottom of the 11th, Phillies get a double from the leadoff man. I smell win. (See what I do for you people? An exciting extra inning baseball game and I'm STILL blogging the Olympics for you. *I* want a medal.)

(9:13:19 PM): That's the only way I'm going to get a medal, by the way. I have specific skills, but I could never master a whole sport. I can throw a ball. I can stop a puck. I can knock somebody over and fall on top of them, but that's not really an Olympic event. Unless you count Greco-Roman Fucking.

(9:14:18 PM): They're playing the Greek national anthem because the Greeks invented the Olympics. These people have been milking this for way too long. So you all decided to run around a track with your junk swinging in the wind. Big deal. This is the 21st century, won't you join it?

(9:16:34 PM): Blah blah blah. The head of the Chinese organizing committee and the head of the IOC are making boring speeches. This always reminds me of that part of the Oscars where the Price-Waterhouse guys get to be on TV with their Deal Or No Deal briefcase and wave at their mothers.

(9:22:19 PM): Phillies win! Phillies win! Three run homer with two outs in the bottom of the 11th! Okay, it's full-time Olympics now.

(9:26:21 PM): They're raising the flag of the UK as a delegation from London sings the national anthem. They're Come on, now. I know it's not cool to wear your national colors, but this is the Olympics, United Kingdom! Come decked out in red, white and blue or don't come at all, you Queen-having, curry-eating, pip-pip saying gits!

(9:32:57 PM): China is ceremonially handing over the Olympic flag to the United Kingdom. Be careful, Limeys. The last time China gave you something cool, they made you give it back 155 years later. So hide it somewhere no one will look. Maybe Camilla Parker-Bowles' underwear drawer.

(9:33:39 PM): If I ever have a daughter, I'm absolutely naming her "Nastia". When you're raised with that name, you're bound to just destroy everyone at whatever you choose to do, from being an Olympic gymnast to being a moose and squirrel's archenemy.

(9:37:53 PM): Okay, London's "presentation" is the dumbest thing I've ever seen. Modern dance performed by a bunch of people with umbrellas on a corner as a double decker bus pulls up. REALLY? You have a chance to announce your awesome Olympic intentions to the world and you choose people writhing around waiting for a bus.

(9:38:04 PM): Uh oh, the bus is a Transformer!

(9:38:49 PM): Somehow the bus turned into the London skyline and that shrieky Simon Cowell "discovery" Leona Lewis is about to assault our senses.

(9:41:00 PM): Suddenly Jimmy Page emerges, playing "Whole Lotta Love", which rocks! Until Leona Lewis starts doing her Robert Plant impression. Oh, London. We know you get obsessed with terrible pop stars, but do you have to make them bring down rock icons with them?

(9:42:20 PM): Jimmy Page has totally white hair, which I don't ever remember him having. Surely it happened when he learned what he was going to be doing this evening.

(9:42:30 PM): Oh, and now they're dragging David Beckham out, too. It's apparent that the theme of the London presentation is "Things We Love That Nobody Else Gives A Shit About". Well done, lads.

(9:53:35 PM): There is nothing blogworthy left in this will suffice to say that lots of Chinese people writhed around and made giant shapes with their bodies. I promise that next time I try a running diary, I'll make sure the event is funny. Remember this: Inspirational is not a good recipe for comedy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Winner Takes It All

Today at work we had one of those fun discussions that I always miss when I'm not working. It was discovered that one of the girls in the office had not heard of Sweden's biggest export after meatballs and hockey players, ABBA. She was urged to view some clips on YouTube, and quickly declared that ABBA sucks.

Thus began a culture war in the bullpen. Arguments and personal insults were fired around the room in a messy effort to decide the merits of Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid. My own view - that ABBA has excellent pop instincts and can write a devastating hook while ruining all of that with cheesy performance and production - was clearly too nuanced for this group. I was forced to go to the fabled "Argument Ender". An Argument Ender is a point so strong that even the most ardent opponent would never dare challenge it. I laid it down, and it worked. The argument simply stopped in its tracks. I was forced to sell my dad down the river to do it, but I won.

The Argument Ender: "My dad doesn't like music. I don't mean he doesn't like a lot of different music, or that he doesn't listen to music as often as other people; I mean he just doesn't like music. To my knowledge, the man owns two records. One is "Perry Como's Christmas Album". The second? "ABBA Gold". ABBA, my friends, sucks."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm Sure You'll Be Very Hapi Here

I have a lazy photo post today because I wasn't smart enough to start a blog with co-writers. That's definitely in the works for when UBP 2.0 goes live. Still, it's somewhat redeemed by the fact that I found this place on the way to work and took the picture myself. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gettin' Ziggy With It

A while back, some very funny person whose name escapes me attempted to prove (successfully) that New Yorker cartoons were inane by demonstrating that they're just as funny if they are all given the exact same caption. It was a great bit of intellectual humor. I thought that I would try to prove this same theory with the most inane comic I can think of...Ziggy. Witness the depantsing of Tom Wilson's blight on the comics page, Ziggy.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Actual Conversations With Real People, Vol. 1

Today UBP will be unveiling a new feature called "Actual Conversations With Real People" in which we detail...well, actual conversations with real people. It's sure to be a smash hit that launches us into the stratosphere of international fame. Jump on the bandwagon now so you can look cool later.

Today's real person is a Home Depot worker who speaks fluent English. If you lived in Southern California, you'd know why that is important to the story.

Me: I'm looking for a tool that will help me pull up my carpet so I can run a cable TV wire under it.

HD Guy: I'm sorry, I don't think we have anything like that. What do you want to do again?

Me: I want to pull up my carpet along the wall so I can run a cable wire under it, you know, to hide it.

HD Guy: You want to buy a carpet?

Me: No. I want to pull up my carpet and run a cable wire under it.

HD Guy: (With quizzical expression) You want to buy a wire?

- FIN -

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The G-Chat Diaries

Falwless: hey, period goes inside quotes

me: I have heard that before. But it looks so fucking stupid that I refuse to do it.

Falwless: I KNOW

Falwless: I hate it too

Falwless: But I must.

Falwless: Because it is proper.

me: I deem it wrong though.

Falwless: lol

me: Are you watching these goddamn cheating Chinese?

Falwless: no.

Falwless: (btw you don't have to convince me, I agree it's dumb)

Falwless: (but it's proper)

me: I'm just arrogant enough to think that whoever made that rule made a mistake though. I'm going to keep doing it my way.

me: I want them to cut these little effing gymnasts in half and count the rings



Falwless: Dude why is your best writing in IMs?!??!?!?!?!?!?

me: I don't know.

Falwless: You should just say fuck it all and start posting transcripts

me: Maybe because I'm better at short things.

me: And you don't get shorter than a line in an IM

Falwless: I think you're right. You're awesome at one liners.

me: Maybe I'll post this transcript.

Falwless: oh dear, have I said anything off-color? Change my name to Mitsy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cold As Ice

When you want to be funny for a living, sometimes God makes you angry by creating people that manage to be funny without any effort at all. Even worse, they're not even aware that they're funny. This is an entry about one of those people. I copied this verbatim from the back of a bag of ice at work today:

"Since 1935 the Southern California Ice Company has passed down the art of ice making from generation to generation. Now, in the same tradition we bring you premium quality packaged ice. Toss them into your favorite drink and taste the difference. At Southern California Ice we appreciate your support and hope you enjoy the perfect beverage accent."

Okay, breathe. Now, first of all, the good people at Southern California Ice appear to be laboring under the illusion that freezing water is an art. It's not. I learned about it in science class, and I daresay that makes it science. When water reaches 32 degrees it turns into ice, regardless of how much or how little love, care or effort you put into it. In fact, water freezes the same every time, making impossible the personal expression needed to call something "art". Now, I concede that ice sculpture is an art. But these exacting craftsmen are simply making ice cubes. Ice cubes that, if my Diet Coke is any indication, stick together far too stubbornly. A cube is not a sculpture, even if you're some kind of avant garde John Cage mindfucker.

Second, these people simply MUST be the inspiration for that famous ice-based Polish joke, because they feel the need to pass the recipe for ice down from generation to generation lest it be swept away by the sands of time. Clip and save, clowns: Take some water. Put it somewhere cold. Wait.

Finally, Southern California Ice promises us "premium quality packaged ice" and invites us to "taste the difference". Is this artisan food trend so out of hand that ice can now be a premium handcrafted artisan food item? Are we about to be assaulted with "ice tastings" at snooty gourmet stores? Will rich a-holes present their guests with several different varieties of ice? "Oh, Eleanor, you simply MUST try the desalinated Arctic sea ice in your vodka tonic. It's a pairing straight from heaven!"

See what you started, small family owned ice company? You couldn't be happy just making ice and making money. You had to put on airs and pretend to be artists. And now, pretty soon I am not going to be able to afford to drink my Diet Coke cold. Congratulations, assclowns.

Monday, August 11, 2008


I often think about what country I might move to if I ever become a fugitive from justice here in the good old USA. Many countries have unique charms that put them in the running. Canada has natural beauty and not too much culture shock. Italy has food and wine. Ireland has a bunch of people that look like me and drink like me. Japan would turn me into a legitimate and menacing presence in the low post.

I was mulling this question the other night during the parade of athletes at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Presented with the finest physical specimens from all over the world, I quickly added another criterium to the list: Hot chicks! With this new category, many nations quickly ascended the list of Countries I Would Run Away To. In keeping with the Olympic spirit, I wish to award medals to these deserving nations.

GOLD: Serbia
I was as surprised as you are.

SILVER: The Netherlands
Make up your own joke here. It's too easy.

BRONZE: Australia
They lost points when swimmer Libby Trickett turned out to not be hot at all, despite having a seriously hot name.

Other Nations Deserving Of Praise (in alphabetical order)

Nations Deserving Of Scorn (in alphabetical order)
Great Britain

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I'll Buy That For a Dollar!

Yesterday I stopped into the 99 Cents Only store. This L.A. chain claims to have invented the concept of the dollar store. I just kinda wanted to see what kinds of things they sell, and if there were really deals to be had. I suspected that the store was filled with things I wouldn't pay fifty cents for, let alone 99. I was half right. There were actually some really good deals and more name brand items than I expected, especially in weird sizes or packaging that you don't see in regular stores. Of course, there were also items that I would never buy in a dollar store and don't recommend that anyone else buy either. Thus, I've compiled this handy list as a service to my readers.

Shopping Smart At The Dollar Store

Do buy...

  • Paper goods
  • Garish Jesus-themed candles
  • Cleaning products
  • Name brand foods
  • Cacti
  • Toiletries
  • Venus Flytraps (I shit you not)

Do NOT buy...

  • Easter candy in August
  • Expired batteries
  • Lingerie
  • Melmac dishes (as a matter of taste, you should not purchase these at any store)
  • Food items with packaging that has been bleached by the sun
  • Wine
  • Produce
  • Condoms

Finally - I know it's tempting, but do NOT buy lingerie, wine and condoms at the dollar store and call it the "$3 Date Kit". Trust me.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Down At The Starbucks Hotel

So I'm sitting in Starbucks with my laptop like the L.A. douchebag I am, surrounded by my douchey colleagues. At the table next to me is Hip Hop with his $300 headphones, bopping along as he looks at Craigslist. In front of him is Oversized Luggage Girl, who has apparently brought all her belongings to Starbucks with her in two giant handbags that could each carry a toddler. She's sipping on something sugary and red while playing with Excel. Across the room is I'm A Grad Student!, who has her books spread all over a table designed for four people. And right next to me is The Napper.

I don't recall seeing The Napper1 come in, because I'm engrossed in my racy online chat. But all of a sudden, there he is in the overstuffed leather(ette) chair next to me. A reclining fiftyish man with a proud dome of a belly, split right down the middle where his t-shirt tucks into his gray Sansabelt slacks. It's interesting that he's making himself at home by putting his feet up on the table and that he doesn't appear to have purchased a beverage. But not nearly as interesting as the fact that he is stone cold asleep.

I look around and nobody else seems to be aware of The Napper. Starbucks employees, Hip Hop, Oversized Luggage Girl, I'm A Grad Student! one is paying attention. As I look at him closer (he's asleep, he won't know), I notice he does have a bottle of water, but he must have brought it in with him because it's not the brand sold in the Starbucks. I don't think he's homeless, because his clothes are clean and he appears to have had a very recent haircut. He isn't waiting for anyone, because as I'm writing this he awakens, walks into the bathroom, and then leaves.

The only reasonable conclusion is that here we have a man who apparently walked into Starbucks simply to take a nap. I can't help but wonder what kind of circumstances informed his conclusion that this was a thing to do. Did he and the wife have a fight? Is she having a Tupperware party? Did he go out for a pack of cigarettes and decide never to return home? I want answers, people! I want opinions. Whoever comes up with the best explanation for the exploits of The Napper wins a prize. I haven't determined a prize yet, but I assure you it will be good. It might even be an official Untitled Blogger Project Certificate Of Excellence, suitable for framing. The contest starts.......(wait for it)......NOW!

1. Is it me or does The Napper sound like the world's dumbest superhero?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What Happens To A Dream Deferred?

I was talking with a friend last night about the old story that Hitler only turned to politics when he was denied admittance to art school. We wondered how the world might be different if only some art professor had been a little more enthusiastic about young Adolf's portfolio. After a little research, I discovered that many of the world's dictators and genocidal maniacs had a dream cruelly dashed before taking out their revenge on the world. A sampling:

Josef Stalin: Was a promising flautist before being demoted to second chair in the school orchestra and concluding that meritocracy sucked.

Pol Pot: Won championships at hundreds of quilting bees before his girlfriend left him over his obsession; soon decided that the arts were indulgent and vain.

Idi Amin: Enjoyed floral arrangement until he was drafted and subsequently ridiculed by his Army buddies; vowed revenge on everyone.

Benito Mussolini: Was an exceptionally emotive dancer until his career derailed when a late train caused him to miss an audition for the Bolshoi Ballet. A distraught Mussolini pledged to improve the efficiency of public services at any cost.

Kim Jong-Il: Harbored dreams of a career in the NBA; despite his outstanding defensive play, his diminutive stature limited his potential and he soon developed a Napoleon complex.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Behind Enemy Lines

On Friday I undertook an adventurous mission fraught with danger. This was an endeavor that promised wonderful rewards, but also tremendous risk. I was not sure that I would come back alive, but I knew that if I survived I would emerge a tougher, better man.

I attended Dallas Cowboys training camp wearing my Donovan McNabb Eagles jersey.

Now, for those of you not well versed in NFL football, The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles have a very intense rivalry. Not a friendly "rah-rah" rivalry. An "I forbid you to marry that Cowboys fan" rivalry. A rivalry whose flames were fanned further when Terrell Owens joined the Cowboys in 2006. Owens, a former Eagle, famously spent the 2005 season throwing a hissy about his contract and slandering Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, throwing the locker room into disarray and getting himself suspended for insubordination. At the end of the season he was cut from the team and the Eagles immediately sued to reclaim a large portion of his salary. When the Cowboys signed Owens in 2006, it was widely thought to be as much a stab at their rival as a move to improve the team by adding an (admittedly) great player.

THAT kind of rivalry.

When I informed my father of my plans, he called me an "idiot" and asked if I had any final requests regarding the manner of my burial. I told him that I thought it would be interesting and that I'm sure everyone would take it in good fun. Once again, parents are always right. It started with the parking guy, who judiciously took my $10 before asking "Are you sure you want to go in there?"

As soon as I passed through the gate onto the grounds, I was surrounded by approximately 2000 people sporting blue Cowboys gear, at least half of whom wore Owens' #81. The way they eyed me, I felt like Tweety Bird when Sylvester looks at him and pictures a roasted turkey. When I got to the spectator area next to the practice fields, I unobtrusively took up residence against a tree. I actually managed to avoid detection for a while, and even struck up a conversation with a Cowboys fan from Philadelphia, which should be rarer than a four-leaf clover, but isn't. Cowboys fans, like dust mites, are everywhere and impossible to get rid of. Finally, one yahoo spotted me and screamed, "TAKE IT OFF! TAKE OFF THAT JERSEY, McNABB! MAKE HIM TAKE IT OFF!" At that point everyone took their attention off the field and looked at me. I briefly allowed myself the thought that I would have the dumbest obituary in human history. Screamy guy then started an "Eagles Suck" chant that was immediately joined lustily by every single one of the other 2000 people there. I don't know if you've ever had 2000 people scream at you at the same time, but in a weird way it makes you feel powerful. I blew kisses to the crowd and then made the "orchestra conductor" motion with my hands as their chant of death continued. Soon enough they wore themselves out and kind of collapsed all together in chuckles. One merchandise-clad fan turned around and complimented me on how I handled myself. I said, "Lady, there was only one way to handle myself. When it's 2000 against one, the only way out is to make them laugh."

My new best friends and I watch practice. The Usurper (AKA Terrell
Owens) is the one in the girly dancing tights.

That was the "highlight" of the day, but I heard plenty of amusing and threatening comments. A sampling:

  • "Man, that guy's got a death wish."
  • "You appear to be lost."
  • "Decided to come see what a real team looks like, eh?"
  • "What kind of balls is that, to wear an Eagles jersey to Cowboys training camp? If I didn't know there were cops here, I'd clock him in the face right now."
  • "Somebody get a rope so we can string up this Eagles fan from a tree!"
  • First guy: "Take that jersey off!" Second guy: "Nooo! Do you want to see that body shirtless?"
  • Yelled to Owens as he passed by: "TO! TO! We got a guy in a McNabb jersey here!"

All in all, a charming lot. One of the security guards, who got a kick out of the whole thing, told me that a Raiders fan had attended practice earlier in the week and needed to be escorted out by the police for his own safety after shooting his mouth off. "Well, he's a Raiders fan," I said. "The police escorted him out because they recognized him."

To add insult to injury, I had forgotten to bring sunscreen. It was approximately 137 degrees, and the sun bleached my hair even blonder while crisping my face, neck and scalp to a healthy fire engine red. I look like a damn tomato wearing a straw hat.

It's all the Cowboys' fault. I just know it.

I Started A Joke

...which started the whole world crying...

Well, that was the Bee Gees (or Faith No More, depending on your vintage). Untitled Blogger Project is here to make you laugh, not cry. Stories, lists, reviews, essays, rants and all kinds of assorted wiseassery will be on offer here at UBP.

We decided to go without a title, but there was no shortage of ideas for one, ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. Even though this is the first entry, we'd still like it to have some real content. This isn't like the first day of class when the professor hands out the syllabus and sets you free to do funnels. So without further ado, the list of rejected blog titles for Untitled Blogger Project!

1. Dancing With Myself
2. Baby Fishmouth
3. Your Ad Here
4. A Blog Named Sue
5. Read This Blog Or I'll Shoot This Dog
6. It's Blog! It's Blog! (It's Better Than Bad, It's Good!)