October 28, 2009

The Spiffy Clothing Effect.

Mathematics be damned. Must equations always involve numbers and numerics and numerals and numbness? Sometimes. But not today. Strap yourselves in for this brain buster because it's one heck of a doozie, folks. One heck of a doozie, indeed.

This ratio might save your life. This ratio will save your life. Sitting down? Glass of water at the ready? The amount of money a celebrity spends on their clothing is directly proportionate to the aura of dickhead they will give off in public. Boom, pow. Yeah, no fooling around here. Just calling a spade a spade and an asshole a douchebag. The fancier the clothes, the more likely that the famous person wearing them will act out in a way akin to a toddler in a toy store whose parents have only enough money for one of the toys they want. Except the celebrities don't want a toy. They want to make you cry.

If years of reading Us Weekly has taught me anything it's that wealthy people like to look wealthy. And if listening to Puff Daddy has taught me anything it's that "mo' money" equals "mo' problems." And also that it's "all about the Benjamins." And similarly, he can both "make this money" and "take this money." Really, what I've learned is that Sean P Puff Diddy Daddy Combs likes to rap about money. And he's an asshole. The equation doesn't lie.

Here: a helpful tutorial for the basic levels of fanciness as related to the actions that will follow from that particular level of fancy pantsiness.
  • A celebrity wearing a t-shirt and ratty jeans helps an elderly woman change a flat tire.
  • A celebrity wearing a hipster hoodie calls that same elderly woman a tow-truck, but then blatantly mocks the woman behind her back. 
  • A celebrity wearing a Prada anything stabs the elderly woman and steals her purse. And then burns the valuables and pours an expensive white wine on the ashes. 
  • A celebrity wearing floppy shoes and full body armor spins in an empty parking lot for hours until falling down due to pure dizziness/exciteabilty. (As not every clothing choice is directly related to the dickhead principle.)
The various degrees of spiffy attire aren't always easy to detect. There are sub-categories of each degree and can often be confusing to the untrained eye. Paisley tie vs. power tie? Aviators vs. Aztecs? Cool sweater vest vs. lame, though incredibly similar sweater vest? Plenty of factors at play here. For this reason, play it safe. Don't get too close to someone you recognize from television if that person looks like they might have spent a lot of money on that backpack they're toting around. Especially if the backpack is empty. This would clearly be a non-fuctional aesthetic choice which shows that they have no regard for the cost of things. They might kick your dog. (And if you're not walking a dog/don't own a dog, it's entirely possible that they'll take you to a nearby pet store, buy you a dog, and then kick it. Remember, they are ruthless.)

Other signs to watch out for: reality stars wearing fuzzy scarves. Game show hosts with impeccable jewelry. 3-piece suits in heavily-wooded areas. Any men wearing fancy bracelets. Suits are okay if they look something like this:

Those are okay. He's probably just going to a wedding. Or is being inducted into some kind of classy hall of fame along with other purple vest-wearing famous people. Either way, you're in the clear. But if the suit looks like this:

See, that's not even a suit. That's a blazer that somehow costs more than an actual suit. And it's just one half of the suit. Do not approach this celebrity. He's probably on one of the CW shows. He'll be a dickhead.

(Imporant Sidenote: if you see Bruce Willis wearing Gucci shoes, you're probably already dead.)

The Oscar pre-show isn't going to show you this stuff. I'm telling you all this because I care about you. The next time I read about a Gap shopper being slapped in the face by a sharply-dressed Seth Rogen...it just...it makes the day a little harder...

Just...be careful out there. For me.

October 25, 2009

I Heard You Hear It.

When I was at the stoplight and I looked over at you, enclosed in your car doors and glass windows and heated seats, did you not think I could hear what was going on inside? You had a boogie in your nose, by the way. I saw you pick it. You're kind of gross.

But after you finished flicking that little green glob to the floor I saw you bob your head to that really girly song on the radio. Yeah, the one with the high falsetto towards the end that sounds like the screeching of tires against a urethra. That guy from that old boy band sings it. Jason? Jared? Paul? I don't remember his name. But I'm sure you do.

The dance moves you managed from the driver's seat are actually commendable. How you pulled off the running man from a seated position I may never know, but one thing that I do know is this: no one cabbage patches to a funky pop song and gets away with it. Not on my watch.

You obviously would have been embarrassed had you looked over to the car sitting next to you while you exhaled that super-girly crescendo. Because you would have seen me flagrantly mocking you. Although, to be fair, if someone else had pulled up to the right of me at that stop light and seen me mocking you they would have had no idea that I was actually mocking you and presumed that I was simply embarassing myself in the same way that you were and possibly caused them to start mocking me, which would have then caused a weird sort of chain-mocking situation at the intersection of Johnson and Park. You wouldn't have seen it on the news or anything, but it would have been a pretty rare occurence nonetheless.

You try to fool the world with those really hip band stickers haphazardly placed all over your windshield. Logos of fish and eyeballs and fire spelling out the name of that Finnish heavy metal band that you "like" so much. Right. Your fuzzy beard and fashionably-ragged threads can't cover the fact that you shimmied around to a girly pop song in your car. You sir, are a fake. And a coward.

Roll those windows down, my good man. Don't be afraid to showcase your ability to mime the heights of your changing notes with your hands. Don't hide behind a fedora and a stack of Paste magazines. Let your inner pop-nerd out to play for a while. I won't judge you. At least, not the way that I am now.

I guess what I'm trying to say, Guy In '98 Subaru Hatchback, is be yourself. Do the hussle. Sing those high notes. Make kissy faces at the rearview mirror. But let the world see it.

October 20, 2009

Comic Actors Form Coalition to Perpetually Disappoint Audiences.

Announced last Saturday on set of the new Eddie Murphy film Fat Black Swim Team, a smattering of Hollywood's A-list has-beens and former funny people will be coming together to once and for all put an end to any sort of joy being experienced at the movies. The announcement came from Murphy himself who, while wearing a prosthetic fatsuit and oversized speedo, was preparing for a scene in which he played all 16 members of the titular swim team training for the fictional Huge Ass Olympics.

"People are always smilin' when they come out of my movies," said Murphy. "Big, goofy grins, ya know? Like they just saw somethin' really funny or endearing. But I haven't done shit that's funny or endearing since Beverly Hills Cop 3."

Affixing a thick, curly wig beneath a swim cap, Murphy continued, "I'm sick of people thinkin' I'm hilarious for no damn good reason. They need to learn what funny is and what it ain't. And what funny ain't is Nutty Professor III: Klumps of Dookie." He explained, "That's why I haven't made a decent movie that wasn't Shrek in over 15 years. I'm controlling the laughs now."

Joining Murphy in the joy-sucking are former collaborators Steve Martin, Martin Lawrence and Mike Meyers, as well as Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Rob Schneider and Tyler Perry. It is projected that Tyler Perry will overthrow Murphy and take control of the group in a matter of months. (Jim Carrey and Bill Murray are both unsure of whether or not to join. Every six months they change their minds one way or another.)

Steve Martin, the first to enlist in Murphy's brigade against the American viewing public, stated that he and Murphy had considered starting the protest many years ago when they worked together on Bowfinger, which was supposed to be an outright gut-punch to the giggling masses, but ended up being more of an ear-flick. According to Martin's publicist, "that mistake won't be repeated."

Together these non-comedic actors will make fans of humor, wit, hilarity, smiles, laughter, amusement, jokes, and even tomfoolery wish they never stepped foot inside their local movie theater to temporarily escape the sorrows of their own lives.
Said Murphy, "We're sort of like The Expendables of the comedy genre in that we're a supergroup of movie veterans." He added, "And we will take 12 dollars out of your pocket and slowly kill your soul with broad sight gags and off-putting one-liners every time you make the poor decision to see one of our movies. As God as my witness, we will not stop until there is no more funny left in this world."

Look for the group's first official project, Latex Bodysuit Face Scrunching Terrible Accent Promise Not Disappointment to hit theaters alongside the much-anticipated I Paid 12 Bucks For a Punch in the Nuts?

October 14, 2009

7 Dead in Local Pub, Cast of Cheers Covered in Vomit.

16 years later...

Onlookers will forever remember the event as if culled from a syndicated version of their cold sweat-inducing nightmares. Their gag reflexes will spark upon each and every reflection. 1 in 23 Americans will claim to have witnessed it, but only a handful make this claim truthfully.

Insides on their outsides. Outsides covered in their insides...

Ted Danson, beloved television actor and probable recurring lead in the next 3 Men and a [...] sequel, was the first to succumb to what would gently be referred to by the press as "alcohol poisoning" in a Pittsford, New York pub. His body was found on the very bar stool he had been sipping a vodka tonic on just minutes earlier, clutching a copy of Becker: Season 6 to his chest. It was his 768th vodak tonic since the final episode of Cheers aired on May 20th, 1993.

According to the bartender--the only witness to come forward since the incident--Danson "just kept staring at the DVD case he was holding, shaking his head back and forth and saying 'come on, get it together.'" The bartender fetched another patron a drink and returned to Danson to see him face down on the bar, which was now drenched in vomit. Underneath all the puke and bile he had no pulse.

It was everywhere...

In another corner of the pub, two fellow Cheers alum were reminiscing. The barkeep says George Wendt (Norm) had just finished trading opinions on the pros and cons of doing voice-over work with John Ratzenberger (Cliff), when his face became scrunched and discolored. Wendt set down his empty glass, leaned back in his chair and performed his final, fatal pratfall. The bartender claims that "Cliff gave a double-take deserving of more canned laughter than the world could offer." He even spit out his drink, his 8,233rd Pabst Blue Ribbon since beginning work on Toy Story 2.

Ratzenberger's reaction was not an acting maneuver, though. Realizing his former buddy and co-star wasn't breathing, he jumped off his stool and began an attempted resuscitation. But while pumping at Wendt's heart, his own gave out on him. Clutching his chest in agony, he vomited twice--once on himself and once on Wendt, an act of camaraderie some might suggest--and slid to the floor in a heap.

Some kind of miraculous tragedy...

Coroners later found Kirstie Alley in a ladies' room stall, pig fat sandwich in one hand, a bottle of Jameson (her 87th since Fat Actress was cancelled) in the other, and remnants of her stomach lining covering her blouse. The official cause of death was never released, but various rumors suggest it had something to do with a piece of pig gristle found clinging to one side of her throat. Regardless of what may or may not have killed Kirstie Alley, it is deemed certain that the sight of Kirstie Alley is what caused her Cheers' precedent Shelley Long to keel over and hit her head on the bathroom sink, causing hemorrhaging in her brain. (Long was making a pitstop/bathroom break while on her way to her engagement as director of Pittsford Elementary's rendition of Wicked.)

A truly supernatural stench overtook the place...

Bebe Neuwirth (Lilith) was discovered in the bar's phone booth, hunched over a vodka-cranberry and a pornographic photo of Rod Stewart, which was, of course, covered in vomit. Rhea Perlman (Carla) was found dead somewhere in the pub, too, though no one can quite remember exactly where--possibly due to the conspicuous absense of vomit on or around her.

It's like the Civil War all over again...

Woody Harrelson and Kelsey Grammer, the only cast members not present during the time of the incident (Nicholas Colasanto, who played Coach Ernie Pantusso, had already died in 1985), are being detained by Rochester police for questioning. Grammer has gone on record, issuing the follow statement:
"The shenanigans that took place have been injected with so much hyperbole that it's become utter folderol. It would be scrofulous of me to make any suggestions of what happened that night, as my propinquity to the events was distant. I will chrysostomatically rationalize thoughts of the occurence to myself, but to offer other animadversion would be pure conjecture.
Grammer added, "Onomatopoeia!"

No decision has been made as to whether there will be a group funeral or not. In all likelihood though, it will be televised in some facet on some kind of network at some point in the semi-near future.

October 11, 2009

Entertainment in Heaven Really "Kicking It Up a Notch."

The 2009 season has been an eventful one. Dozens of new residents have been drafted--some completely out of left field--and the year isn't even over yet. So what can we expect in the final months of '09? "A lot more where that came from," according to the ruler of the heavens, The Almighty.

The guy upstairs has made no bones (or at least, very few bones) of the fact that the entertainment level had been stagnant up in the clouds for too long. It needed a strong celebrity injection and it needed it fast. The comedians' jokes were tired, the musicians' songs had been sung a billion times over, and the cast of "actors" couldn't perform to save their immortal souls. A change needed to happen, if for no other reason than to boost the morale of the rest of the eternally restless spirits. So tough decisions were made and the end result was a mind-blowing set of picks being sent heavenward.

This year's rookie squad reads like an MVP roster: Michael Jackson, Patrick Swayze, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcet, Issac Hayes, Les Paul, John Hughes, David Caradine, et cetera. According to consummate "boob tube" watcher, Pope John Paul II, it was "especially pleasing to see Dom DeLouise could finally join us. I loved him in that hidden camera program. He is just a hoot."

Saint Peter, the angel in charge of Primary Entertainment Programming (PEP), has expressed his satisfaction in the quality of recently-deceased by gushing that "it finally feels like a family up here." He added, "I've been working on signing Swayze since I saw his breath-taking performance in Ghost. We're big fans of his work." According to most in the clouds, Patrick Swayze was one of the last big pieces to a successful 2009 draft.

But while this year seems to be the year that Heaven reaped all the entertainment benefits, a change in the air could be noticed as early as January of 2008 when God made what has been referred to since as "the big call home." Actor Heath Ledger was brought on board just after completing his star-making turn as The Joker in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight. The drafting of Ledger was jaw-dropping to those upstairs who witnessed it first hand. Said one angel: "I haven't gotten chills like that since the first time I met Elvis at the annual Pearly Gates Meet n' Greet."

The big question remains: what other tricks does God have up his sleeve? Though no official answer has been given, a representative on His behalf told us that "He is very excited about the recent acquisition of Japanese rock musician Kiyoshiro Imawano. God has become tired of hearing Johnny Cash sing In My Life every five seconds and is excited for some new death up here."

All lips were sealed when the question arose of who was next in line. But we did overhear something about the cast of Cheers...

October 5, 2009

Dow Da Bah Bwamp.

In Rural Somewhere, a boy enters his room and closes the door. His age is irrelevant, as is the year of this story. For simplicity's sake, the boy is timeless and infinite. The time, however, is 1:22 AM. He plugs his PRS guitar into his pocket-sized amp with his left hand while his right hand searches his nightstand for a lime-green pick. The white noise escaping the petite tubes is amplified at 10.

Holding the pick between thumb and forefinger, he plays a riff. It is the only riff he has played in the last 4 years and it is the only riff he will play until he dies. It is 4 notes. "Dow da bah bwamp" is the sound as described by the boy's neighbors, who have heard the noise reverberate from the boy's bedroom in the basement for the last 1,460 days at 1:22 AM. They have never once complained. In fact, some set their alarms for 1:20 AM, opening their windows or stepping out to have a sit on their porch while the riff is played. It is, for lack of greater definition, a tradition. Every day, at 1:22 AM, he has played the riff at full volume. No one can say why, exactly. The boy has never spoken of his affinity for the riff. In fact, outside of his room, it seems the riff does not exist to him.

Passersby in automobiles have been known to pull off to the side of the road when they hear it.

Some say the riff is so monumentally original and pure that nothing like it has ever been plucked before. For those who have heard it--and the millions of future passersby who have yet to--the experience is life-altering. Letters neatly stacked beside the boy's amplifier tell him that his 4 notes are the closest they've come to looking God in the eyes. A hand-written letter from Oakdale, Michigan hastily lays claim that the author disowned all of their tangible possessions in a quest for the inner purity they experienced during the 14-second riff. In St. Joseph's church at Sunday mass the pastor proclaims to his flock that "dow da bah bwamp" (or the "lime-green riff") is possibly the sound a deaf man hears when he has reached enlightenment. After the service, an elder member of the congregation whispers to the priest that she "has heard the infinite reaches of space being defined in 4/4 time." Another, when eating breakfast with his family, will liken the sound to "riding a horse made of fire while wearing flame-retardant marshmallow knickers."

Because of its unique characteristics, detractors have taken to stamping their feet and shaking their fists in outrage that they did not play the sound first. They will then tell anyone within ear's reach to listen to Jimi Hendrix's Manic Depression in reverse, in slow-motion to hear where the lime-green riff really originated. No mind will be paid to such outrageous accusations.

The riff is almost a religion to the surrounding counties. Countless times they have requested to have the boy play the 4 notes at a birthday party or even a festival. But what the fanatics may never understand is that the boy will never play it unless he is in his room at 1:22 AM. It's the only place that it feels "right." So while the boy's phone beeps 33 messages by lunchtime most days, he will leave them unanswered and unheard, because he knows that all but one of them will be requests for him to play "dow da bah bwamp."

The boy ignores adulation-soaked stares in the hallways at school. He does not accept donations from neighboring residents for the culture he has brought to their community. When congress finally gets around to passing a bill mandating that all television sets and electronic devices issuing any type of noise be turned off within a 4-mile radius from 1:18 to 1:28 AM, the boy will not gloat. Nor will he pay attention to the politicians arguing from behind desks on CNN about how much of a tax break should be given to a family containing America's foremost "national treasure." (It will eventually be decided that the family pays no taxes and that the rest of the state will be taxed additionally to pay for a bigger amplifier for the boy, which he will not accept.)

The boy will sit by himself most of the time. He will only open his mouth to speak around his immediate family. He will choose a life of solidarity (but not the type of solidarity that comes from being a monk, in which he would show his solidarity with a bunch of other people). The boy will die alone at the age of 74.

But today, tomorrow, and for the days that follow, the boy goes to sleep every night knowing that there is such a thing as a perfect moment. And he will experience that moment every night, in his room, at 1:22 AM. Until the day he dies.