Archive for the ‘Ditties’ Category

Rejected State Tourism Brochures

Every state endeavors to generate tourism dollars through ambitious marketing programs. But sometimes these promotions miss the mark. Witness these botched attempts at stimulating tourism through well-intentioned, but ultimately misguided brochures:

  1. Colorado: Thanks to Recently Enacted Marijuana Laws Denver is Now the 2-Mile High City

    If you’re a generic tourist going nowhere in particular, you might like this nondescript and vacuous travel guide. Meanwhile But if you want to go some place check out these travel brochures some states probably wish they never created in the first place.

  2. New Mexico: The Land of Entrapment
  3. New Mexico: Come for the Radiation. Stay for the ‘Shrooms
  4. Maryland: We’re Trying. Really. Please Don’t Judge Us by Baltimore
  5. Wyoming: Live Rectangular or Die
  6. Florida: America’s Dangling Body Part
  7. Michigan: Good Mitten, Bad Mitten
  8. California: The Land of Fruits & Nuts
  9. California: Ignoring Sexual Harassment from 1850 until 2017
  10. Delaware: We’re Anti-paranoid. We think everyone is trying to ignore us.
  11. Arkansas: Our “kansas” isn’t pronounced like Kansas’s “Kansas”
  12. New Jersey: America’s Lymph System Since 1940
  13. Alaska: Our Most Northern, Western and Eastern State – Google It
  14. Indiana: Who’s yer state?
  15. Washington: Home to Boing, Tinysoft and Barstucks
  16. Mississippi: “When yer standin’ on yer head, we’re number 1 in everything!”
  17. Mississippi: Still leading the nation in outhouses per capita
  18. Mississippi: More Potable Water than Ethiopia and Way More Paved Roads than Bangladesh
  19. Mississippi: Separate and Equal Drinking Fountains for Each and Every Minority
  20. Connecticut: “Even we don’t know why there’s a second ‘c’ in our name and we live here”
  21. Illinois: Land of Lincoln, Air of Jersey, Water of Flint
  22. Alabama: Thank God We’ve Got College Football
  23. Louisiana: “Have you visited us lately? We’re barely part of the United States.”
  24. Texas: Too Big to fail. We’re just underachieving instead.
  25. Texas: At Least We’ve Got Austin
  26. Oklahoma: Unchanged since 1907
  27. Oklahoma: Unchanged since the Big Bang
  28. Oklahoma: Come and Watch Time Stand Still
  29. Oklahoma: We have a city named Enid – need we say more?
  30. Missouri: The Blow Me State
  31. Wisconsin: We’ve Lost Our Minds, Come Find Yours
  32. Wisconsin: “I don’t care how inefficient they are; can we please go back to the one kind of regular screw in light bulb?”…and other pleas against modernity in the lighting industry.
  33. Kansas: What Wisconsin Said
  34. Nebraska: Flatter than Gwyneth Paltrow
  35. Montana: Too Big to…Just Plain too Big
  36. Idaho: No. You da hoe.
  37. Oregon: We have 2 time zones. 3 If You Count the Backwardness in Some of Our Rural Areas.
  38. Utah: Home of 14 Brides for 7 Brothers
  39. Arizona: Phoenix is Sometimes 120°. Warm Globally, Fry Locally
  40. Arizona: We Were the 48th and Last State in 1912. The Stars on Our Nation’s Flag Were a Perfect Geometric Arrangement of 8 X 6 until Till 1959. Thanks for Nothing Alaska & Hawaii.
  41. Nevada: Home of Legalized Prostitution…and that’s just the politicians.
  42. Ohio: First in Industry 1800-1973. First in Unemployment 1974-Present.
  43. Ohio: Only State to Get 3 Syllables Out of 4 Letters…Oh wait, Damn You Iowa
  44. Ohio: We Still Don’t Know What’s Good for Us
  45. Rhode Island: Neither a Road nor an Island…Discuss [Title courtesy of Mike Myers]
  46. Massachusetts: Come Visit One of Our 16,321 Colleges
  47. Maine: The Only State in the Union Consisting of One Syllable. Take That Massachusetts
  48. New Hampshire: First Presidential Primary in the Nation. We’re only doing it for the attention.
  49. New York: Significant Shrinkage, but Still the Empire State
  50. Virginia: The Biggest and Most Important State…if it was 1790
  51. Pennsylvania: Founded by William Penn. In a Sylvan (meaning “trees”) area. Penn + sylvan =? You do the math.
  52. Pennsylvania: Birthplace of Quaker Oats
  53. West Virginia: Welcome to the Mississippi of the North
  54. South Carolina: “Naw. Really? You mean we lost the Civil War?”
  55. The Dakotas: 2 states worthy of only one brochure. If not for Mt. Rushmore there’d be no brochure.
  56. The Dakotas: Welcome Frackers
  57. North Carolina: Now Featuring 3 Bathroom Choices. One for each Groin.
  58. Georgia: “So you’re telling me that slavery was actually abolished. Are you sure?”
  59. Iowa: Corn Strong
  60. Vermont: Mess with Us and It’s No More Maple Syrup for You
  61. Minnesota: “Eh, we’re like a Canadian province, don’t ya know.”
  62. Wisconsin: Somebody Had to be Wisconsin and We’re It
  63. Tennessee: Country Strong…and Western Too
  64. Kentucky: Almost Sounds Like a Swear Word
  65. Hawaii: Only State with 3 consecutive vowels…except for Louisiana, which is barely a part of the United States anyway

Hipsters Continue to Expand the Meaning of “Cool”

The siren call of microbrewed grains knows no bounds. Thank you for your service little yeast creatures.

We, the privileged gentry, have become a sophisticated lot. We no longer drink a cup of Joe. We imbibe a half-caff soy latte purchased with Apple Pay at a drive-thru window while listening to Enya in our self-driving Teslas. We don’t smoke anymore. We vape or grow hipper still in hookah lounges. And we certainly don’t swill beer from inelegant pop top cans. Instead we quaff artisanal craft beers in boutique microbreweries while pretending to enjoy Manchester United’s 1 – nil football match played on the pitch at Portsmouth.

And that’s our jumping off point. No, not English soccer, but the American craft beer craze. Amidst a flood of competing suds, many are good, some are great and a few are outstanding – not for their herbaceous bouquets or notes of barley malt, but for the eccentric names they’ve appended to their particular brew. Bursting with foamy delight, these quirky and sometimes pretentious names enhance the ordinary experience of drinking fermented cereal grains from an outsized tankard. In a charmingly retro way we’re captivated by these arresting monikers. A kind of appellation chic has taken hold (this is not to be confused with the grunge clothing fad of the 90’s known as Appalachian Chic). It seems we’re intoxicated by both our foamy beers and their frothy names.

So between reading Cigar Aficionado Magazine and visiting my esophageal oncologist, I’ve compiled a list of these jaunty and kitschy names and present them below:

  1. Sierra Fail Ale
  2. Downward God: Dyslexics Delight
  3. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Urine
  4. Twist and Stout
  5. A Larger Lager
  6. McConaughey’s Alright, Alright, Alright
  7. Finally Got My GED
  8. Not Quite Blotto
  9. Olde English Cockblocker
  10. Yeast of All Evils
  11. And I’m Drinking This Warm Yellow Fluid Because…?
  12. McBeer
  13. Yup, Passed My High School Equivalency Exam (a sister brew to Finally Got My GED)
  14. Wasted Away Again in My Mother’s Basement

It has been said by critics more attuned to the zeitgeist than I, that you can never be too thin, too rich or too hip. They’re wrong of course, but that’s what they say.

 

Amazon’s Worst-Selling Books

  1. Thank You for Your Service: A Shout Out to Crash Test Dummies
  2. “I Didn’t Sign Up for This”: Complaints by People Who Signed-up for Things They No Longer Like
  3. The Politicization of Baloney: The Right Claims It, But Isn’t it Really a Left-Wing Meat?
  4. Are Toadstools and Frogchairs the Same Thing?
  5. Coping with Coping Saws
  6. Not in My Backyard: A Short History of Above Ground Pools
  7. Too Many Colons::::: A Tubular History of Diacritical Marks
  8. “Absolutely no one in my entourage may ever take drugs.” “Hello, Offshore Pharmacy, send me 1000 vials of Fentanyl.” The Hypocrisy of Prince in a Book Title that Doesn’t Even Fit on the Book Cover
  9. Dan Quayle: Not Looking So Bad These Days
  10. George W Bush: Oh How We Miss Thee
  11. Joseph Stalin: No, He Still Sucks
  12. Old School: A Misplaced Appreciation of When Things Were Even Stupider
  13. Having Said That: Things that People Have Already Said
  14. “No, not quite. The cheese itself isn’t grilled. The bread surrounding the cheese is.”: The Genesis of the Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  15. Harvey Weinstein’s Prison Experience: “OK. Enough. I get it! Can I please leave?”
  16. How Grover Cleveland Got His Groove Back and Other Stories of Presidential Redemption
  17. Subway Franchisees: They’re Not All From India
  18. “No, not Cool-aid, but Kool-Aid.” How an Intentional Misspelling Made Kraft a Fortune
  19. Google to Partner with Titleist to Research Self-driving Golf Balls (Really a headline and not a book. So sue me.)
  20. “Can I pay someone to do yoga for me?” and Other Questions from the Wealthy

Newly Hacked: 1st Draft of Harvey Weinstein’s Resignation Letter

Harvey Weinstein is so ugly that when he was born they slapped his mother.

This is the 1st draft of embattled producer Harvey Weinstein’s resignation letter. “Embattled” meaning he’s guilty of whatever it is he’s battling. Mr. Weinstein’s letter was obtained before his female defense lawyer had an opportunity to sanitize it for public consumption. Loutish schmucks like Weinstein always hire a female lawyer to perfume their transgressions with a sense of “this will never happen again and see, even a girl supports me.” And many of these lady lawyers are happy to turn the tables on these serial schemers by becoming the fig leaf for their ill deeds at $1700 an hour plus expenses. It’s poetic justice really; whereby the guy who took coercive advantage of women is now being similarly taken advantage of by a woman. Through the Freedom of Information Act I obtained Mr. Weinstein’s 1st draft (alright I got it from Igor my Russian IT hacker) and disclose it here in the hopes readers will marvel at its’ self-centered obliviousness.

 

Dearest Friends, Colleagues and that tattletale Gwyneth Paltrow,

On this somber occasion when I’ve been caught with my pants down and my robe open, it pains me to announce my resignation from Weinstein Productions (a division Casting Couch Industries). You can imagine my disappointment in having to step down from such a carefully crafted female trap that took me decades to perfect. It wasn’t easy forging a foolproof method where an inflated, hairy ogre like myself was able to take advantage of some of Hollywood’s most vulnerable beauties – before they had any leverage in the business. People should know that for every woman who rebuffed my “offers of love” another 3 quietly submitted to them. So in my mind I’m batting like .750. Those are Hall of Fame numbers – not bad for a graceless toad from Queens who women wouldn’t bother with if, instead of being a powerful Hollywood mogul, I was a pinsetter at an Amish bowling alley. But for now it’s all over and it’s back to escort services and massage parlors for me while I pretend to get the help I don’t want.   Read the rest of this entry »

Way Too Much Information about Celebrity White Noise Marketing

Soothing White Noise” It’s what’s for dinner bedtime.

Celebrities trade on their famousness. It’s a commodity of recognition easily monetized courtesy of the endorsement market and the underlying calculus often plays out like this: “Me like that person. If me imitate, me become like them. Then happy.”

 

Now, let’s cut to the idea of where Ambien’s magic ends, and white noise sleep-inducing sounds begin. At the intersection of sleep aids and insomnia is where celebrities’ agents (who get 10% of their client spoils) see an opportunity to interpose their client’s good name between the desperate need for sleep and white background noises designed to promote glorious slumber. So an unlikely marketing scheme is hatched: White Background Noises created by celebrities for their adoring civilian fans. It’s a match made in Tinsel Town heaven. It’s a kind of fan fiction for the fatuous.

 

However well-intentioned this scam was, clinical sleep studies with zealous fans proved that not all celebrity white noises were found to be soporific. Far from the sleep-inducing mantras hoped for, some of these narcotizing sound bites, bit back and inadvertently activated the arousal response in sleepy males test subjects – especially when they heard a loop of sultry-voiced Angelina Jolie cooing “What are you wearing.” After this unintentional “ear porn” the sleep-deprived males perked right up and snoozing somehow didn’t seem so important. This and other streams of counterproductive white background noises were excluded from the app, but they can be heard on bootleg versions of the app found on YouTube.

 

So even though it’s 4 in the morning (in Darwin, Australia, not here in Reno where I am), I’m pleased to present:   

 

 

Top 10 Rejected White Noise Sleep Sounds created by celebrities for sleepless fans:

 

  1. A loop of Tom Petty admitting to the people of Syria, “Well, maybe you do have to live like a refugee”

 

  1. An endless loop of Steve Perry just singing the “Don’t Stop” part

 

  1. Misty morning rain…bouncing off Tatum Channing’s abs or was it Channing Tatum’s pecs. Or maybe it was Carol Channing’s cheeks or Tatum O’Neal’s teeth. The point is it involved rain, a celebrity body part and it was rejected.

 

  1. The continuous sound of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s boots knocking 

 

  1. The repeated tooting of an “aah-oo-ga” horn…as blown by Monica Lewinsky

 

  1. Morgan Freeman intoning, “My, my, my.” (Apparently the dissonance of a black man making white noise caused subjects to grow bewildered instead of sleepy.)

 

  1. Yoko Ono imitating an air raid siren

 

  1. The soothing and secretive “hiss” of Tom Brady deflating a football

 

  1. The sound of Tina Turner privately dancing

 

  1. Marcel Marceau miming the words to “The Sound of Silence”

Read the rest of this entry »

Apple Announces New White Noise Sleep App for Weirdos

Background White noises designed to promote deep & restful sleep in the Loosely Wrapped

  1. Endless loop of Oktoberfest Burping
  2. A soothing recording of a woman continuously saying, “The Sandman will see you now.”
  3. Repeated sound of a cat scrambling to get out of a bathtub with 2” of water in it
  4. For the Zen sleeper: The sound of one hand clapping
  5. Doppler-shifted instructions of a flight attendant screaming, “In the unlikely event of a water landing…”
  6. A cacophony of very moist chewing
  7. A succession of watermelons dropped from 7 stories
  8. A succession of 7 stories dropped from a library
  9. Cute kid mispronouncing the word library as “libary” – puts you right out (if you’re weird)
  10. Ugly guy mispronouncing February as “Febuary”; and no I don’t know how you’d know he was ugly if it’s just an audio recording. I don’t even know whether or not he’s transgendered. This is just a stupid list I made up before bed, so give me a break before you get all judgey.
  11. A guy saying over and over, “Y’know the app sucks, but the list is kinda funny.”

Good night everyone. Sleep tight, but not too tight.

“Houston, We’ve Got a Problem.” And it’s Hurricane Harvey

From the “Too Soon” Dept.

Nothing but Big Prayers, Big Sponges and a little humor for our inundated Texas brethren

 

          <<<< FNI: Fake News International presents >>>>
10 Abominations for which Texas is incurring the torrential wrath of God in the form of Hurricane Harvey

1. 9 lb. belt buckles

2. Having a city named Texarkana. Not to mention: Texlahoma, New Texico and Louisiexcess.

3. Ignoring little Harvey’s symptoms when he was just a manageable Tropical Depression and allowing him to develop into a full-blown Category 5 Psychotic Event. “The only place he’s calm is in his one good eye,” says Harvey’s mother Katrina.

4. Rampant heterosexuality: Whether it’s in the Garden of Eden or performed bareback on a mechanical bull, sin is sin and will not be tolerated.

5. Not letting us forget the Alamo. Alright we get it! We remember the Alamo although we don’t know why anymore.

6. Having a panhandle. What self-respecting state allows its citizens to live in a panhandle? Where are we – in the housewares department of a Wal*Mart, or in the bad ass state of Texas?

7. Making diners try to eat a 72 oz. steak in an hour (technically not Texas’s fault, but they never should have offered in the first place).

8. Selling 10-gallon hats that only holds 8 gallons of my 10-gallon piranha tank (learned that the hard way).

9. Letting Austin have all the fun

10. A bad job of keeping undesirables from crossing the border. Should’ve started by not allowing Lee “Harvey” Oswald back into Texas when the Soviet Union kicked him out in 1962.

 

HST (Having Said That), Hurricane Harvey’s landfall could’ve been a mistake. Maybe this rain of Biblical proportion was meant for Flint, Michigan. Their water system could use a good flushing.

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The Burning Man Franchise: A Hot Property or a Study in Clichés

An open letter to the Burning People that run Burning Man,

Some see a magical place of infinite possibilities. I see a vast untapped demographic.

As I formulate this letter on further merchandising Burning Man, my concerns are twofold: 1. Can I properly convey my business plan to expand the Burning Man franchise? And 2. Can I do so without it being a study in clichés? The answer is a resounding Yes (on the business plan) and a definite No (on the cliché avoidance plan).

Burning Man is a very popular anarchical event of infinite self-expression. Its counterculture ethos speaks to the spiritual vagabond in all of us and despite its subversively-tinged sensibility, it has become an ever present fixture in the Mystical-Astrological Complex. And I believe we should tap into that vast reservoir of new-age good-will to decant a new demographic. Not only do we want to grow our natural constituency, i.e., those who dance like no one’s watching. But we also want to target market those who dance like there’s a stick up their ass? Read the rest of this entry »

“Memory Foam” Mattress Memorizes More than Contours

Memory Foam always makes a great first impression, but sometimes it absorbs a little more than you bargained for.  

I always knew my memory foam mattress would have a memory; what I didn’t realize is that it would have a consciousness too.

It was time for a new mattress. The old one had taken on the characteristics of its owner and had also begun to sag in the middle. It was spent from being flipped and rotated 9 ways from Sunday – the mattress and not the owner. The battered cushion had accumulated a decade’s worth of stains making it look like a bad tattoo that was slowly dissolving. So, the wife unit and I (wife unit being an old British colonial measurement of a female helpmate) visited The Illusion of a Bargain mattress store conveniently located at www.HappyMattress.com. Happy Mattress was a Chinese conglomerate affiliated with Sparkle Cleaners and Tasty Restaurant. BTW, be prepared for images unrelated to mattresses if you Google “happy” and “mattress.”

 

Because we didn’t care much for soft mattresses, we opted for a firm California King instead of a forgiving Martin Luther King. And because our bed was delivered during National Mattress Awareness Month (another Hallmark holiday I guess), they threw in some contour sheets and shams. I was beginning to believe the entire transaction was a sham until I laid down on the mattress. Holy Back-to-the-Womb Batman: it was like mother nature was caressing me in her arms.  Read the rest of this entry »

On Censuring Irving Berlin for Overstating the Exceptionality of “Show Business”

The prodigious one fondling his first love – the piano.

If I have any superpowers at all it’s in being a sober arbiter of esoterica. And it is in keeping with my need for precision in these peripheral netherworlds that I take exception to the gross hyperbole contained in Irving Berlin’s scantily-researched claim that ♫There’s No Business Like Show Business ♫. For Moses’s sake Mr. Berlin – we all know full well there are many businesses like show business. How dare this little refugee from Russia emigrate to our shores and tell us what our business is – such chutzpah. However innocuous the observation There’s No Business Like Show Business may seem, I’d like to see Mr. Immigrant Composer make that same claim in Mother Russia – he’d get a one-way ticket on the trans-Siberian express to a reeducation camp where his once-jaunty song would be repurposed into “There’s no Gulag like our Gulag.”   

I believe I can fairly sum up my bewilderment at Berlin’s lyrical impudence by paraphrasing Fredo Corleone when he warned his brother Michael about disrespecting Moe Green: “Irving, you don’t just walk into America’s Jazz Age and start yelling, ‘There’s no business like show business’ without attribution, sources or citations. It’s just not done.” Read the rest of this entry »