Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Here's mine, and yes, I'm so going to hell. To get your own URL, use the Send to a Friend option.
One more for my literary homies: Poetry in motion.
Thanks to Pinko for the hot tip.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Monday morning I stepped out of a dark strip club into the police flashlight of the Las Vegas sun. Just a few hours earlier, I was the king of the world. I had rocked the blackjack table and walked away with quite a bit of the money I’d lost over the weekend. I was drinking at a pleasant, manageable pace. I planned to get back at a relatively decent hour so I could get a good night's sleep before my flight home. It would be a nice rebound for a weekend where fun had been much more plentiful than luck.
Then the booze started to flow more steadily, the dice started to roll at the craps table, and the almost inevitable trip to the strip club led to even more expensive drinks and tips. At 7:00 a.m., as I stumbled into a cab, my winnings nearly gone, I set the bar for victory at "not throwing up before I got to the hotel." (Victory was achieved, but it was close.) I asked the question everyone asks in Vegas:
"What was I thinking?"
The answer is I wasn't thinking, I was in Vegas.
Most cities are built on some economic principle. Access to waterways. A marketplace for nearby resources to be sold. A strategic location on a trade route.
Vegas is built on bad decision making. The entire city thrives on the power of people to make really stupid choices at a level they wouldn't make elsewhere. Drinking too much. Eating too much. Watching Wayne Newton too much. And, of course, gambling too much. The same way California bans foreign plants and produce from entry, Vegas bans common sense. It starts the minute you see the slot machines at the airport gate and continues until you’re tipping your cabbie in leftover fifty-cent chips from the Golden Nugget.
Friday I made my second pilgrimage to the Capital of Stupidity. I went with my brothers: Tickle, 28, a Vegas vet and the Earl of Excess; and Snake Anthony, 21, making his first trip. Tickle and I had bought Snake Anthony his plane ticket as a birthday present, essentially giving him a present that would cost Snake Anthony a few hundred dollars, dozens of hours of sleep, and at least a week off his life from buffet malnutrition alone.
Joining us were Tickle's friends, his noble Knights of the Round Craps Table: Sugar Ray, a cross between double-down Trent and the lead singer from Sugar Ray; Veetz, an engaged junior high teacher who could have given lessons in how to say the most inappropriate things at any given moment; And Z, who spent most of the weekend yelling at Sugar Ray and Veetz for cock blocking his attempts to find Mrs. Right Now.
We started out jovial and energetic, charging into the casino on Friday night, ready for at least a couple of us to light up the felt and walk away winners. We ended with losses, hangovers, indigestion, exhaustion, missed flights, missed opportunities, and one missing iPod.
So as a public service announcement, here are 10 bad decisions I observed in Vegas this past weekend.
10. Drinking drinks bigger than your head
In the wee hours of Monday morning, while I was winning at blackjack and still entertaining thoughts of keeping that money, Tickle and Snake Anthony were drinking margaritas. Not just any margaritas, but giant frozen margaritas served in a clear plastic cup shaped like a football. The drinks weighed about five pounds.
I tasted Tickle's white drink, a "banana" margarita. It tasted like someone had put a banana and a margarita in those teleporters from The Fly and merged them together, a zombie banana drink that would eat your brain.
Snake's was worse. In theory it was strawberry. In reality it was pure high school, where mixology mirrored teenage sex: awkward and amateur, with an emphasis on reaching the payoff as quickly as possible.
"Why are you drinking this?" I asked Snake Anthony.
He took another sip and grimaced. "I don’t know," he said. His lack of an answer didn’t prevent him from finishing it.
9. Ten pounds of meat
Eating in Vegas is like drinking in Vegas. You put as much as you humanly can in your stomach, take a breath, and add another 50-60% over capacity. You do this because the buffets mimic the casinos in terms of endless tantalization, and because you feel like you’re sticking it to the house if you eat 3000 calories in one sitting.
But just like the casino, the odds are in the house's favor. Even if you down three plates of crab legs, they still make money, and you wind up paying for it later (and regretting every bite). At my trip to the delicious Aladdin buffet, I ate pork, chicken, beef, ribs, kung pao, quesadillas, kabobs, mashed potatoes, asparagus, broccoli, apple pie, and crème brulee. Long story short, the house came out ahead and at one point I asked God to shoot a bolt of lightning up my ass if it would make the pain go away.
8. Wearing a T-shirt that not only says “MILF Hunter” but also illustrates the hunt
Making my way to a Sunday brunch of eggs, corned beef hash, sausage, and pancakes, I saw Sugar Ray wearing a camoflage T-shirt that said, "MILF Hunter" on the front.
The front of the shirt was Beverly Hills compared to the hillbilly backside: a cartoon silhouette of a man and woman having sex doggy style, with the man’s face smiling, a hunter's cap adorning his head. The man was labled, "Me," the woman, "Your Mom."
"That's the worst fucking shirt I've ever seen," I said.
"I can't believe you're going to wear that in public," one of the other guys said, to a murmur of agreement.
"Where else would I wear it?" Sugar Ray asked. Unfortunately, he stumped us with that one, and Sugar Ray proceeded to step out onto the Las Vegas strip in the worst T-shirt ever made.
(Ladies, there's a silver lining to this story below.)
7. Bringing kids
The Vegas brochures that try and pitch Sin City as family friendly should have a picture of the back of Sugar Ray's shirt, with a caption that says, "Come to Vegas and walk behind this T-shirt on the Strip—it's the perfect opportunity to explain to your eight-year old what a MILF is!"
The shirt was tame compared to the porno cards that endless streams of street-side vendors pass out. Ostensibly "nightclub" passes, many show women in poses usually reserved for the Internet. The sidewalks are littered with them, in perfect position for children to pick them up.
There should just be an ordinance: no one under 18 allowed. Build a gambling-free Circus Circus complex at the edge of town, give your kids $100 in quarters to play video games and buy hot dogs, and check your children like firearms, to be collected on your way back home.
(The only worse children-related idea I’ve ever seen was a national Lutheran Youth Organization meeting held in New Orleans. More than 35,000 Protestant teens confronting the seven deadly sins in the French Quarter. Let’s just say the Christians did better against the lions.)
6. Splitting Jacks
Speaking of ordinances, everyone who comes to Vegas should have to take a gambling literacy test. If you don’t pass, you can’t play anything other than slots.
At one point during my 857 hands of blackjack, someone actually split Jacks. For those of you that don’t know, this is three spots behind denying evolution on the logic scale. The dealer should have immediately pressed a button, summoning two pit bosses to fit the man with rubber mittens that would have prevented him from placing any more chips on the table.
These are the bozos that also hit on a 17 and take the Ace I need to make 21. I want to hurt them. Or at least give them a nasty paper cut with one of those nightclub cards.
The stupidest way to lose money in a city designed around losing money stupidly. Watch a ball spin around and hope you win. Wee! I’d rather drop $100 in a toilet and bet the house I could grab it before they flush it down.
The best part of roulette is watching people attempt to apply strategery to the art of randomness. And by people, I mean me. I tried to outthink the wheel of chance this weekend, believing that the last 12 numbers on one wheel were coming up more frequently and that I could win some money. A hundred dollars bought me 45 minutes of that illusion.
The silver lining to the MILF Hunter T-shirt: Lady Luck, deeply offended by Sugar Ray's T-shirt, punished him with the white hot ass-kicking fury of 1000 chorus lines at the roulette table. He was lucky to walk out of there with the offensive shirt on his back.
4. Acting like you know what you're doing when you bet on sports
There is a simple rule when it comes to betting on sports: you don't know shit. All the stat crunching in the world isn’t going to make the games any less predictable. Yet a steady diet of ESPN and fantasy sports convinces idiots like me that we know more than the people who make a living taking our money at the sports book.
On Saturday I placed a four-way parlay on the weekend's college basketball games, meaning I wagered the outcome of all four games on one bet, a $40 wager that would pay out $400. I should have remembered my last trip to Vegas, in March 2004. Tickle's friend Smoke, who works at a sports book, told me, "Anything over a three-team parlay is a sucker bet. We call them lottery tickets." Well call me Kojak, because I had a Tootsie Pop firmly planted in my mouth when I made not only the four-team bet, but two other bets on Memphis and Texas. I was sure at least one and probably two of these three wagers would be winners, especially my carefully crafted four-teamer.
Before the second game, the awful UCLA-Memphis game, was over, I was done.
I then proceeded to ignore an earlier instinct to bet George Mason to win—a 3 to 1 payoff—because Tickle talked me out of it, and I was stinging from my ignoble defeat on Saturday. George Mason of course won. They should give me tickets to their Final Four game, because had I bet on them, they would have lost by at least 40.
3. Strip clubs
I am an average guy in the exotic dancer department. I have been to strip clubs only a few times in my life.
Every single time, it sounds better on paper than it turns out to be in person. For me, strip clubs are the least erotic erotic activity around. I actually go only to have a few laughs with the boys. But in Vegas, why not have those laughs around a poker table, where I least have
2. Not sleeping
If alcohol is the Vegas Scylla, exhaustion is its Charybdis. Nearly every bad Vegas decision is sandwiched between the two. Sober and awake, I'm not only winning at blackjack, I'm actually taking money off the table to put in my pocket. Drunk and sleepy, I'm buying drinks for everyone, throwing chips all over the craps table, and thinking the strip club is a good idea. I don't realize what a drunk and sleepy fool I am until I am later awake and sober. It is the circle of life in Las Vegas.
1. Planning to go back
I'm not there yet, but I will be. I can already feel the weight of the football margarita in my hand.
Sorry for the lack of hilarity this last week. I was on a
The jerking will resume shortly.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
About three years ago, I started seeing this girl. Everyone told me she was bad news, but I found her incredibly attractive and wanted to focus all my attention on her. We hit it off right away and had a whirlwind romance for a few weeks, at which point I asked her to marry me.
Since then, though, things have gone very sour. For starters, she’s very fiery and has an explosive temper, blowing up unpredictably. She takes money from me but doesn’t work herself. Her family doesn’t like me, and mine is growing less fond of her with every outburst. Sometimes she does something sweet, but lately our fighting is just getting more intense.
Here’s the dilemma: she says she’s pregnant with my baby. I suspect she may be lying, and even if she is pregnant, I don’t know if she really wants to have the baby. To be honest, I’m having second thoughts, too. What do I do?
Stuck in the Middle East With You
There’s an old adage, you reap what you sow (or, alternatively, if you plant it, you eat it). And from the sounds of it, you’ve done more reaping than Cyrus McCormick. I wish I could tell you to cut the umbilical cord and run, but when you said, “I do,” you agreed to stay for the whole joyful slog.
My advice to you: ask around for some secondhand baby clothes that might fit and pray you stay together at least through the bris.
I had sex with the daughter of a very high-ranking Republican. Normally I wouldn’t have an issue, but I’m a lifelong Dem. Did I betray my principles for a bit of bush?
Guilty Over Grand Ol’ Pumping
I don’t think you betrayed your principles. But the level of dirtiness and shame you feel depends on how things went down that night:
- If it was a gentle, loving, and mutually enjoyable experience, you can see it as a plea for more bipartisan cooperation
- If she gave you a golden ticket to her chocolate factory, consider it a well-deserved form of political protest.
- If she busted through your back door, it’s an apt comment on the current state of political affairs.
Whatever you do, make sure you get tested. I don’t have to tell you about those Republican girls.
I need you to settle a dispute. I say that global warming is the most dire problem facing the world and that our use of fossil fuels is accelerating the process unnaturally. My colleague says global warming is a potential problem and that he’s not giving up his Hummer. Who’s right?
Sweatin’ Like a Glacier
Don’t sweat it, your friend is a chimp. Why? Because when humans find a mountain of evidence, they scale it to see where to go next. When chimps find a mountain of evidence, they fling poop at it and then beat off. Debate solved.
CONFIDENTIAL TO KENNY BOY: Heck of a job.
Dear Brando is written by Dr. I Ellsworth Brando, QED. His latest book is Honey, I Sold the Kids: What to Do When the Man You Love Loves to Sell Your Children Into White Slavery.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
9) Plenty of employment opportunities in Iraqi security forces
8) Violence is way too uncivil to be labeled a civil war
7) Inefficient enemy is only wounding tens of thousands
6) Iraqi women being relieved of burden of first-class citizenship
5) Predictable repeats of state-sponsored terror have been replaced with fresh episodes of violent anarchy
4) Lack of employment plus lack of production means the economic situation in Iraq has remained stable
3) Halliburton stock is up--way up!
2) Entire country still completely clear of WMD
1) This whole episode has brought us a little closer to our good friends, Iran
Thursday, March 16, 2006
But the most heavily lubricated slippery slope is polygamy. What, they cry, will prevent men and women from taking more than one spouse?
This waling and gnashing of teeth recently caused a starry (green) light to shine above HBO, which married The Sopranos, Desperate Housewives, and Wife Swap into Big Love. Big Love’s caused some controversy with Mormons, who want to assure the world that despite having a religion that approves polygamy, their religion doesn’t approve polygamy.
The other night, however, God sent me a message. That message was channeled through my thumb. I had just finished my nightly Daily Show/Colbert Report freedom hating, when my thumb triggered the guide and scrolled to A&E. The network famous for providing little art or entertainment was re-running an old Bill Kurtis documentary: Inside Polygamy. Or, as I would have called it, The Jesus In Mrs. Jones(es).
The show talked about how there may be as many as 50,000 polygamous couples in the United States (circa 1999, when this was filmed), many but not all of them Mormons. Despite all these men and women practicing something illegal, the state of Utah more or less looks the other way. While one of the Utah state senators, a clean-cut Mormon, was shocked—shocked, I say!—at the idea of polygamy, he also laughed off the idea of prosecution. “Where are we going to put these people if we arrest them? Are we going to release the Mafia and drug dealers to make room for them? We don’t have money to build that much jail space.”
I imagine if 50,000 African-American crack addicts resettled in Utah, they’d find the funds to build new jails pretty darn quick. But I digress. (This illustrates why I have trouble having visions from God: I’m easily distracted by the voices of the devil or my cats).
As the show marched on and interviewed the multiple spouses of multiple families, they all shared three characteristics:
1. The women all looked like they wanted to bludgeon their rival wives with Precious Moments figurines. I heard the word “jealousy” more times than in the song, “Hey Jealousy.”
2. All of the men looked like extras from Jesus of Nazareth after too many baskets of deep-fried loaves and fishes.
3. The marriages all originated when the men received some sort of orders from God. They were “called” to do this, even though the idea of having their own harem did not appeal to them (said, admirably, with a straight face in every case).
(3a. And to demonstrate the vast, icy grip of political correctness on even the most religious retreads, the families practicing polygamy didn’t call it polygamy. They called it “plural marriage,” kind of like when someone who’s into being pissed on calls it “watersports.” You’re not fooling anybody except yourself.)
TLB, my lovely (and only) wife, was also watching the program with me. “What if I came home,” she said, “and told you that God ordered me to take another husband?”
“God wouldn’t do that,” I said.
“Because that’s not how it goes down in the Bible,” I replied. “It’s always the man taking on multiple wives.”
“But it shouldn’t be that way,” TLB said. “It makes more sense for the woman to have more than one man.”
“Only from a sexual sense,” I said, before realizing that was the PAC my wife was lobbying for.
Before I had to once again explain that as long as we didn’t have a pool, we weren’t getting a pool boy, God slapped me in the back of the head and told me to pay attention. For on the screen, one of the super polygamists, a guy with eight wives (suck it, Larry King!), blathered on about how this lifestyle was normal because it was condoned in the Bible, “and God doesn’t change.”
Why wouldn’t God change? Does an omnipotent being not have the power to change His/Her mind? In fact, that logic invalidates the Mormon religion, which relies on God writing a sequel to the original bestseller.
"Brando, you dunce!" boomed a voice from the heavens. "I am changing my mind. Quit making your stupid jokes and look up here."
And lo, I looked toward heaven, and above me I saw cherubim and seraphim driving Miatas and Outbacks. And I saw two giant swords, swatting at each other, until the blades wrapped together and they were one. And then they were replaced by two donuts bumping together, until their sweet, cakey walls became one. And it was good.
"Spread the Word," God said. "Do a good job, and I’ll forgive you for the thoughts you had during Mass last week."
So there you have it. It’s time to stick an erratum in the backdoor of Leviticus. The Lord hath spoken, and we are compelled to listen. After all, he speaks to the Preznit about invading Iraq, he speaks to Pat Robertson about killing uppity South American presidents, and he tells guys who look like Meat Loaf after some bad meat loaf to marry in bulk. How can my vision be any less legitimate?
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
The Bush administration touted the Dubai ports deal as a way to improve America’s relations with the Arab world. What else does the administration have planned to strengthen relations with Arab nations?
15) Invite emirs to hunt with the Vice President
14) Sponsor special Friar’s Club Roast of the Prophet Mohammed
13) Ask Bravo to create new fashion show, Project Burkha
12) Have Condi wear fake beard and penis when negotiating
11) Find that special Saudi prince for Jenna and Barbara
10) Offer to replace Hispanic migrant labor with Arab migrant labor
9) Promise to withdraw immediately if Iraq falls into civil war
8) Require Iraqi schools to teach intelligent design
7) Allow only sketch artists instead of photographers during brutal interrogations
6) Arrange to have "Allah Akbar" shaved into Thomas Friedman’s mustache
5) Start new Middle Eastern "tent-to-tent" Jehovah’s Witness program
4) Promote more American-Arab brotherhood by rolling back women’s rights
3) Invite Shi'a judge to join panel on American Idol
2) Let Dubai take over Delta Airlines
1) Present ample evidence that America’s knee-jerk racism isn’t directed only at Arabs
Thursday, March 09, 2006
by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
Hola, future interrogators!
I am excited—so very excited—that you are interested in learning more about interrogation. Because the key to winning the War on Terror is information, and most of the time, the only way to get reliable information is to beat it out of someone.
However, as a society, we also follow certain rules and regulations. . . especially when the media are watching us! So to help make sure your next Q&A doesn’t venture into too much S&M, we present this handy guide. Read it, live it, and if necessary, rip the pages out and force feed them to an uncooperative prisoner.
Calibrating your compassion
It is imperative when conducting forceful interrogations to know where to draw the line. The following quick comparisons will help you understand what is considered acceptable behavior, and what is just barbaric.
Hooking a Sears Die Hard battery to a detainee’s scrotum—acceptable
Unhooking life support from a human vegetable—barbaric
Turning prisoners over to countries that practice torture—acceptable
Turning stem cells over to scientific researchers—barbaric
Ignoring the Geneva Conventions—acceptable
Ignoring the Ten Commandments—barbaric
Discarding the Fourth Amendment during a time of war—acceptable
Obeying the system of checks and balances in a time of war—barbaric
Smothering a detainee in a sleeping bag—acceptable
Sharing a sleeping bag with a naked cowboy—barbaric
Beating prisoners with plastic cables—acceptable
Exposing children to plastic boobies on cable—barbaric
Forming naked detainee pyramids—acceptable
Publishing photos of naked detainee pyramids—barbaric
Lie detection checklist
You’ve been at it for hours with an interrogation and your subject still says he’s not Al Queda. Can you believe him? Before you accept his gurgling pleas as truth, follow this checklist.
[ ] Attach electrified nipple clamps?
[ ] Let dogs gnaw on detainee’s appendages?
[ ] Rub fake menstrual blood on detainee?
[ ] Sodomize detainee with a glow stick?
[ ] Allow detainee to sit in a mound of his own feces?
[ ] Waterboard?
[ ] Cause sleep deprivation/suicidal tendencies by putting "Sister Christian" on repeat?
If you’ve done all these steps and still haven’t gotten a confession, congratulations, you’ve determined that your detainee is innocent. Pat him on the back and tell him he's free to walk away (or crawl back to freedom if his knees are broken).
Making your extraordinary renditions extraordinarily legal
One of the keys to good interrogation is knowing when to ask for help. That’s what extraordinary rendition is: asking a helpful partner in the War on Terror to see if they can extract information from a prisoner.
Due to the meddling of freedom-hating liberals, however, it is against the law to hand prisoners over to countries that practice “torture.” Here’s how you can make sure your rendition partner isn’t going to “torture” the subject.
1) Ask the representatives from the country if they torture prisoners
2) Check representatives for crossed fingers
3) Ask them again if they torture prisoners, and this time make them swear on the religious book of their choice
4) If yes, hand prisoner over
What to do if you are accused of torture
- Do not admit fault
- Do not discuss the incident with journalists, activists, tribunals, or anyone except your superior officer, the Attorney General, or the Secretary of Defense
- Ask accuser to define torture
- Acknowledge that said definition is only one of many definitions of torture
- Remind accuser that enemies regularly practice torture
- Ask accuser if he or she would like to see the world ruled by a pro-torture Islamic caliphate
- Deny that you are changing the subject
- Offer to show accuser just how humane waterboarding is
- Find the lowest-ranking person involved and blame everything on him or her
That's all the training you need to be a qualified interrogator. So grab your digital camera and billy club and get ready to embark on an exciting career in information extraction. And remember, your job isn't just to get people to talk, it's also to keep people from talking about what you're doing.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
9) The 20th Century
8) Every position except missionary
7) Erections outside of marriage
6) Pregnant cops
5) All movies made after Barbarella
4) All TV channels except Fox News and HGTV
3) Fancy book learnin' for girls
2) The federal judiciary
1) Feminine protection
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Even if you'd like to tell me to go to hell, check out the many funny and insightful blogs that were nominated and vote for them.
For anyone coming here from Wampum and are wondering what the gay-orgy-country-dancing-sounding blog is all about (hint: not always about gay orgy country dancing), here are a few of my favorite politically themed posts:
- Even I could tell Iraq would be a quagmire, and I lick my own ass (up for Most Humorous Post)
- Spot the Persecution
- Republicans Express Longing for Clinton's Penis
- What Kind of Conservative Blogger Are You?
- Primates Reject Theory of Evolving Into Evolution-Denying Humans
- Classroom Bias for Dummies
- George W. Bush's To-Do List
As Bartles & James used to say, thank you for your support. More funny to come this week.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Anna Nicole Smith acknowledges how many different medications are currently running through her body.
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court today ruled to remove all traces of Anna Nicole Smith from the public record.
The "actress" and model had appeared before the court seeking money from her late husband's $1.6 billion estate. Ms. Smith married the man, Howard Marshall II, when she was a 26-year old model and he the 90-year old star of the show Tales from the Crypt.
The Supreme Court immediately dismissed Ms. Smith's claim. Speaking for the Court, Chief Justice John Roberts chastised Ms. Smith "for distracting us from our important work of regulating the wombs of women."
But in a surprise turn of events, the Court went one step further. After listening to Ms. Smith's testimony, it ordered every record of her to be destroyed, including photos, TV shows, gossip columns, and online galleries.
"It is necessary, for the mental, emotional, and cultural health of this country, to pretend that you never existed," opined Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who noted that Smith's celebrity posed a direct threat to the Fourth Amendment statute against cruel and unusual punishment.
The court ruled 7-1 in favor of the striking. Justice Clarence Thomas was the lone dissenter, as he took umbrage with the destruction of Ms. Smith's photographs.
The material to be confiscated include her birth certificate, Social Security card, drivers license, credit cards, Guess? photos, Playboy pictorials, straight-to-video videos, and Trim Spa ads.
For her reality show, The Anna Nicole Show, the Court requested a special destruction procedure that involves loading all copies and master tapes onto a rocket and shooting it toward the sun. "It is the only way we can be sure it is gone forever," remarked Justice Stephen Breyer. NASA plans to begin rocket construction immediately.
The Court ordered Ms. Smith to be exiled to a secure trailer outside of Guantanamo Bay. She will be allowed access to the military pharmacy, Häagen Dazs ice cream, and anonymous male callers, but she is forbidden from marrying, reproducing, or being filmed or recorded.
Upon hearing the ruling, Ms. Smith burst into tears, let loose a string of drawly illiterate bleating, and fled the scene. Police later apprehended her at a local 7-11 convenience store, where she was holding several Hostess Fruit Pies hostage.
All may not be lost for the former "star," however. According to anonymous sources closely monitoring Ms. Smith, members of the military have already approached her for interrogation work at Camp X-Ray. "You could say she has a couple of strategic assets we could use, heh heh heh," said one government official who was not Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.