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Names and Other Temporary Things


wrong tattoo

A mother’s effort to honor her young children went terribly wrong when the tattoo she got of her son’s name was spelled incorrectly — so she took what some might call an unusual approach. Fortunately her friends and family convinced her not to have her armed amputated, but to rename her son after the tattoo.

“Kevin,” the two-year-old son of Johanna Sandstrom, of Sweden, was renamed “Kelvin” after a tattoo artist inked the wrong name on her arm.

Sandstrom’s tattoo read: Nova & Kelvin which was clearly a mistake.

“I had never heard the name ‘Kelvin’ before,” she said. “There isn’t anyone who names their kid Kelvin; lots of people name their kids Fahrenheit or Celsius, but never Kelvin. So when I thought more about it, I realized that no one else has this name. It became unique. Now we think it is better than Kevin.”

It also seemed a lucky stroke for Sandstrom’s daughter, whose name was changed from Ass-faced Hag to Nova, following the erroneous tattoo.

When asked to explain the mistake, the Swedish tattoo artist simply said, “in my previous job I wrote the assembly instructions for Ikea products; I was bound to screw this up incomprehensibly.”

Sandstrom told the newspaper she’ll make sure to check “10,000 times” before she gets the name of her third child, Freja, tattooed.

“Or maybe I’ll just get a skull with a snake slithering through it’s eye socket,” she added, “it’s 50/50 right now.”

skull tattoo

This was supposed to read, Freja.

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Cukes, Smug Neighbors, and Other Signs of Summer

 

vegetable garden

Your smug neighbor’s robustly growing garden–you needed a place to pee at night.

Your smug neighbor has planted his annual garden. In the coming months, he will regale you with baskets of fresh vegetables and tales of his horticultural prowess. He will explain to you that his garden has produced so overwhelmingly, that his own family couldn’t possibly consume all the bounty themselves. He will bring jars of homemade pickles and relish. “Everyone in the world loves homemade pickles and relish, especially the way my wife makes them,” he will tell you.

Stupid neighbor.

You decide to plant own garden in the corner of your yard. You want fresh tomatoes, zucchini, squash, maybe a few cukes. You have no idea what cukes are, but it’s fun to say so want them. You can imagine the results that will cover your dinner table. You can imagine the praise you are certain to receive from guests, satiated by the efforts of your labor and toiling. You have high hopes.

Unfortunately you run face first into one tiny problem: you are complete shit at growing things. (Except for ear hair–you grow ear hair like a wookie.)

You purchase a progression books as your efforts continuously fail:

  • The Beginner’s Guide To Growing A Garden.
  • The Idiot’s Guide To Growing A Garden
  • The Beginner-Idiot’s Guide To Growing a Garden.
  • Grow A Garden Even If You’re A Chimp, (And Not One of Those Clever Chimps That Can Do Sign Language, but One of Those Dopey Chimps That Eats It’s Own Poop).
  • The Guide To Growing A Garden if You’re Presence Destroys Life.
  • The Giant Catalog Of Plastic Plants.

Those books are now deposited in a bin labeled: things to be shred, burned, and buried in a deep hole.

Note: you purchased a few plastic plants, they inexplicably turn brown and fell apart. You choose to ignore the metaphysical ramifications that you are able to kill plastic.

Undaunted, you redouble your efforts.

After being told Native Americans placed a dead fish with the kernel when they planted corn, you consider raiding the family fish tank, but you don’t want to go through that drama again. Seriously, who gets that attached to fish?

Modifying slightly, you put a fish stick in the ground with every seed you plant. It doesn’t seem to help. You write a nasty letter to Mrs. Paul’s frozen seafood company, making wild accusations about artificial ingredients.

Mrs. Paul, who lives down the street from you accidentally receives the letter. Icy stares ensue.

Stupid Post Office.

Your snarky neighbor comments on how sickly your cukes look, but how your weeds are growing robustly.

You try come up with a clever retort, but you’re not clever.

“You’re a cuke,” you finally yell…five minutes after he’s left.

At last you have some success, only to discover that fresh vegetables are enjoyed by several of nature’s pests: bugs, worms, mice, gophers, and Gerald the neighbor kid.

You also discover that Gerald likes to pee on things. You purchase a taser, but you won’t use it on Gerald–the local authorities have confiscated it.

Stupid local authorities.

Finally, you discover the answer to all your problems; it’s called the farmers market.

Your dinner table now abounds with natures bounty, the fruits of hard labor and toiling, just not yours.

These are cukes. I've always had trouble with homonyms.

These are cukes? It looks like the Jolly Green Giant took a dump.

Tales From an American Legion

 

american_legion_logo1

It’s a tradition. This is the fourth year I’m posting this on Memorial Day weekend for two specific reasons:

  1. I like it.
  2. Unapologetic laziness.

Years ago I worked at an American Legion post. I met a lot of people during my time there. Some of them were ordinary people, some were interesting, some were bizarre and some were bizarrely interesting.

One of the more interesting people was Jack.

Jack constantly spoke in non sequiturs. At first I thought that he was simply hard of hearing, but I began to realize there was a thread of continuity in the things he was saying. His conversations would go off in seemingly weird and irrelevant tangents, but they generally made it back to their original points.

I’ve often wished that I had written some of them down, unfortunately I’m a moron.

Here are a few of my favorites that haven’t been lost to my faulty memory:

Jack: I remember when I paid only ten dollars a week for rent.

Other patron: We don’t live in the fifties anymore Jack.

Jack: What! (slamming his fist against the bar in indignation) I haven’t ridden a bicycle in years.

Other patron: What?

Jack: I’d rather pay for my truck insurance than ride a bicycle.

Other patron: Again, what?

Jack: I can barely afford to pay my for rent and my truck insurance.

Or this one:

Me: Do you want another beer Jack?

Jack: (giving me a dismissive wave): I don’t know anyone named Dan.

Me: Firstly, I asked you if wanted another beer. Secondly, what about Dan sitting there right next to you?

Jack: (looking at Dan suspiciously) His last name isn’t White.

Me: So?

Jack: Then why would someone named Dan White want to buy me a beer?

Me: Obviously he wouldn’t. I can’t believe I’ve behaved so foolishly.

But this was my favorite:

Me: How are you doing today Jack?

Jack: You’re nuts!

Me: I hesitate to ask, but apart from the obvious, why do say that?

Jack: My wife was never an Eskimo.

Yeah. I still have no idea.

Eskimo

Probably not Jack’s wife.

But of all the interesting people I met, John was the most interesting.

John had a lot of stories to tell and a keen willingness to tell them, under one condition: you had to keep a cold rum and coke in front of him. He needed the proper “lubrication” to keep the vocal chords going.

John was man in his late eighties but still very spry. He had a weird sense of humor, which was probably a good thing because his wife seemed to have none at all. She was constantly reprimanding John for his jokes.

But that didn’t stop John.

John was a rifle bearer for the Honor Guard. One day after performing their duties, the members of the Honor Guard were returning to the post to have a few drinks together, as was their custom.

John walked calmly up to bar in full dress uniform, carrying his rifle, and wearing his eye-patch (John had to occasionally wear an eye-patch because of condition he had. He claimed he wore so he didn’t see double after he’s had a few too many) and stood there with a slight impish grin on his face.

He looked like pirate.

He then quickly pulled the rifle to his shoulder and discharged it toward the back of the bar.

The crack of the rifle echoed through the hall. If you’ve never heard a rifle discharged in a building, it’s loud. Beer flew into air, drinks were spilled, people scattered, some hit the floor. Even though I knew it was only a blank, it was still jarring to have a weapon discharged in your general direction.

A cloud of smoke hung in air the along with the pungent smell of spent gun powder. For a moment after the echo of the rifle had disappeared there was total silence. Then there chaos. Some people were laughing; some people were not. Some people were cursing, especially John’s wife, who unleashed a stream of foul language that to this day, I am certain has never been matched.

Once I made sure I still a whole person, I laughed, maybe as hard as I ever had in my life.

He later told me he thought it would be funny.

“When isn’t heart failure funny,” I told him.

John was reprimanded by the post, but that didn’t bother him. In fact, I’m not sure I ever saw anything bother him.

John was there that day on June 6th 1944. It’s estimated that 2,500 allied soldiers lost their lives on D-Day… but John didn’t. He had to hang around long enough to nearly scare me to death.

So this Memorial Day weekend, I’m dedicating this blog post to Jack, John and every other veteran who is no longer with us.

“Say Shoo to Me One More Time”

Being held for public indecency.

Traffic at the intersection of routes 28 and 85 in Rayburn Township, Pennsylvania, was shut down by a pair of cows having amorous relations. According Trooper John Corna, troopers “kept trying to shoo them off the highway, but that just got the bull mad and it started to escalate.”

Of course it made him mad, wouldn’t it make you mad if you were trying to have an intimate moment with your lady friend, and a man started shooing you?

Well, it really ticks off bulls.

In a previous post about bull-riders, I detailed a few things that bulls hate. I may have left that list a tad incomplete. So in the interest of completion, (pun intended) more things that make bulls angry:

  • Bull-riders.
  • Rodeo clowns.
  • Circus clowns.
  • Circus Peanuts. (the candy, not the legume) Bulls hate anything loaded with saturated fat and preservatives.
  • Circus peanuts the legume. Bulls hate anything that is too salty.
  • Peanuts the comic strip. They find Charlie Brown to be too wishy-washy.
  • Ronald McDonald. Not only does he remind them of rodeo clowns, but he also sells millions of hamburgers.
  • Any grown man that wears too much make-up and brightly colored striped socks.
  • Boy George.
  • Boy-bands.
  • Boy-bands that wear clown make-up.
  • Boy-bands that wear clown make-up, and interrupt them mid-coitus.
  • People who use the term coitus.
  • Obnoxious motorists who honk their horns at them while they’re trying to have an intimate moment with their lady friend.
  • Motorists who can’t seem to figure out how a 4-way stop works, even with their “superior” human brains…and who interrupt them while they’re trying to have an intimate moment with their lady friend.
  • State troopers who keep yelling “shoo” at them while they’re trying to have an intimate moment with their lady friend.
  • Any person who yells “shoo” at them while they’re trying to have an intimate moment with their lady friend.
  • The word shoo.
  • Shoes.
  • Homophones.
  • Homo sapiens.
  • Homo sapiens with branding irons.
  • Branding irons.
  • Bulls hate pretty much everything about branding irons.
  • Matadors.
  • All men in goofy outfits.
  • The musical Cats.
  • Musicals.
  • When people burst into song for no apparent reason.
  • When people burst into song for no apparent reason, while they’re trying to have an intimate moment with their lady friend.
  • And finally: idiots who try to milk them.

If I have left anything off the list, I apologize.

It’s really irritating when you want to finish something, but can’t; just ask the bull.

bull

“Say shoo to me one more time.”

Burning Down the House

House on fire

So I recently stumbled across a news story that detailed how a man in Holland Township, Michigan, accidentally set fire to his apartment.  The fire spread and destroyed eight other apartments in his building and damaged two dozen other units.

When he set fire to his apartment, he was doing something that some might describe as ill-advised. Others would say it was foolish. But to most of us, it was an act of downright stupidity.

What was it that he was doing when he set fire to his apartment?

The following is a list of possible things the man in Michigan was doing when he started the fire.

Which one do you think is the real story?

  1. After hearing for years that you shouldn’t microwave metal–he wanted to find out why.
  2. After having trouble getting a fire started in the fireplace, he thought that a generous amount of gasoline would aide the proceedings.
  3. His friends refused to believe that he could spit Bacardi 151 and light it on fire. He simultaneously proved his friends wrong, and relieved them of their eyebrows.

    alcohol fire

    “Stand closer–what could possibly go wrong?”

  4. In an experiment to find out exactly how fire-retardant his new camping gear was, he doused it with kerosene lit it on fire. It wasn’t nearly as fire-retardant as he had hoped.
  5. Feeling a little peckish and having developed a sudden craving for squirrel, he attempted to burn the fur off a squirrel with a propane torch, in preparation to cook it. He inadvertently sets fire to the deck of his apartment.
  6. He attempted to make a homemade explosive device. If Michael Westen’s character on the television show Burn Notice can do it, how hard can it be? He was successful…in some regards.burning down the house
  7. Baked Alaska is fun in the restaurant when done by a professional chef. Not as much fun when done at home by an oaf.
  8. While trying to contain the Baked Alaska debacle, he discovered to his dismay, the words inflammable and flammable stupidly mean exactly the same thing.idiotprufs
  9. A “scientific” experiment, designed to find out if he could melt glass on his stove fails. He does however melt a great many things that day.
  10. Despite the explicit warning from the guys on Mythbusters, he tried it at home anyway.idiotprufs
  11. Hoping to enhance the effectiveness of bug spray on a wasp’s nest, he decided to light the spray on fire. It worked: the nest was destroyed, along with half his apartment building.

    “I can’t believe that didn’t work.”

  12. He’s just a huge Talking Heads fan.burning down the house

So what do you think?

If you don’t feel like guessing, here’s the story: nbcnews.com.

 

The True and Accurate Historical Story of Limburger Cheese

limburger cheese

The delightful aroma of feet.

There is one salient fact about Limburger cheese: it is just awful. The only time I would need Limburger cheese, would be if I needed something that smelled like death and the smell from my giant pile of opossum crap just wasn’t enough.

The bacterium used to ferment Limburger cheese is the same bacterium that is responsible for body odor, and in particular, foot odor.

Limburger cheese was first created in the Duchy of Limburg in the 19th century by a man who had just come home from a hard day of cheese making. He had unbuckled and removed his boots, and was attempting to enjoy a meal with his wife, when he and his wife got into an argument that changed the history of cheese making forever.

Wife: What is that horrendous smell?

Cheesemaker: Ooh, we’re having stoofvlees, I love stoofvlees.

Wife: It’s the most putrid smell I have ever encountered.

Cheesemaker: I don’t smell anything. Pass the ale.

Wife: I think it’s your feet.

Cheesemaker: Seriously. Pass the ale.

Wife: It’s rancorous.

Cheesemaker: It’s not that bad.

Wife: It is that bad. There are people retching on the other side of the Demer River.

Cheesemaker: Do you know what this conversation isn’t doing? It isn’t remedying the fact that I have no ale.

Wife: Your feet smell worse than that giant pile of opossum crap you have behind the house.

Cheesemaker: I’ll get my own ale.

Wife: Why do you even have a giant pile of opossum crap?

Cheesemaker: I’ll tell you why, (he pauses to take a slug of ale) because someday you’ll be in desperate need of copious amounts of opossum crap, and you’ll be glad it’s there.

Wife: I’ve thought the same thing about you, but it still hasn’t happened. Besides it’s the worst smell in the world.

Cheesemaker: Nonsense. It’s not the worst smell in the world. In fact, I’ll bet that I could make a cheese that smells worse.

Wife: I doubt it.

Cheesemaker: You’ll see; it will become my mission.

Wife: Shut up and drink your ale.

And drink his ale he did.

And succeed he did–beyond his wildest ale fueled dreams.

Of course his wife left him and his giant pile of opossum crap.

The Duchy of Limburg is now divided by modern-day Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. None of the three countries wanted it: it reeked of Limburger cheese and developed a huge opossum problem.

Addendum: there are historians who will tell you certain items in this story aren’t factual–historians suck.

opossum

The aroma of their crap is delightful.

Home is Where the Heart is…and a Bit of Predator

Westfield ny

Home is where the heart is…in fact, that’s where I keep most of my shit.  –Pliny the Elder (slightly paraphrased)

This post is about my hometown, and five reasons why it is awesome. (This post is not about modesty.)

Reason #1: the best chicken wings on the planet

Western New York is really good at two things: lake effect snow and chicken wings. Lake effect snow sucks, but chicken wings are great. And the best chicken wings on the planet can be found in Westfield, NY at Larry’s Cantina.

How do I know the chicken wings at Larry’s Cantina are the best on the planet? Because I am a chicken wing expert. (Did I mention this post is not about modesty?)

Note: I can’t vouch for the chicken wings on other planets; I’m sure the chicken wings on that planet Predator is from are badass.

Predator

“Our chicken wings are badass.”

Reason #2: Mad Dog 20/20

mad dog

That’s right, Mad Dog 20/20 is produced in my hometown by Mogen David. Mad Dog 20/20 is classified as a flavored fortified wine. Flavored fortified wines are sometimes referred to as “bum wines” by cynics. Cynics can bite me. (This post is not about tact.)

The Urban Dictionary claims it’s the drink high school kids sneak off to the rock quarry to drink. That’s ridiculous…it was a gorge.

Mad Dog 20/20 has numerous virtues:

  • It’s practically a cure for not having liver disease.
  • It relieves you of that pesky problem of having too many brain cells.
  • It would survive a nuclear holocaust.
  • It comes in several delicious artificial flavors and colors that glow in the dark.
  • If you’ve ever wondered what the sweetest thing in the world is: there’s your answer.
  • Predator loves it.
Predator

“Mad Dog 20/20 is badass.”

Reason #3: Grace Bedell

Bedell

Grace Bedell statue in Westfield, NY.

On October 15, 1860, a few weeks before Lincoln was elected President of the United States, Grace Bedell sent him a letter from Westfield, New York, urging him to grow a beard to improve his appearance. Lincoln responded in a letter on October 19, 1860, making no promises. However, within a month, he grew a full beard.

His inaugural trip from Illinios to Washington D.C. took him through Westfield, NY where he stopped to meet Grace.

Grace later recounted the events:

“He climbed down and sat down with me on the edge of the station platform,” she recalled. “‘Gracie,’ he said, ‘look at my whiskers. I have been growing them for you.’ Then he kissed me. I never saw him again.”

I know what you’re thinking: that’s a sweet story, but it would have been more impressive if she had written something like:

Dear Mr. Lincoln, if you should become president, this slavery thing really has to go.

P.S.  Avoid the theater.

Hey, it’s our thing–leave it alone!

Predator

“Grace Bedell is badass.”

Reason #4: my aunts and uncles

If modern cinema and television have taught us anything through mega-hits such as Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Walking Dead, it’s that witches, vampires, werewolves, and various incarnations of the undead, are quite popular in current culture.

The town of Westfield, NY is polluted with my aunts and uncles.

Note: you get what I’m implying.

Reason #5: simply put: it’s my hometown and that makes it awesome (this post is not about modesty or tact)

This blog is read by thousands of intelligent and influential people (a few of which aren’t imaginary).

And since this is my blog: I make the rules. And according to those rules, that makes my hometown awesome.

Note: I’ve heard this blog is wildly successful on Predator’s planet.

Predator

“idiotprufs is badass.”

Addendum

Westfield, NY is also awesome because there are absolutely no mimes there.

There was one once, but we took care of that.

Westfield, NY

Westfield, NY: notice the dearth of mimes.

The Great Broccoli Fiasco

broccoliApart from a few facts that may be the products of my faulty memory, this story is completely true.

It came from the kitchen, and it was horrendous. It stung your nostrils, and it turned your stomach.

Note: my roommate’s name in this story was Al, but for the sake of brevity and ease, I will be referring to him simply as: Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-Man.

Me: what is that horrendous smell?

Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-Man: it’s probably me.

Me: it is a sickening and repulsive stench, but it’s a different kind of sickening and repulsive stench.

Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-Man: I think it’s coming from the refrigerator.

Me: but there’s nothing in the refrigerator apart from a bottle of ketchup, some old pizza, and mysterious yellow stain that seems to move about on its own.

Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-Man: the stain scares me; it’s shaped like a spider.

Me: (opening the refrigerator door, only to be staggered by the smell) it is coming from the refrigerator and it is foul.

Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-Man: it must be the anchovies on that left over pizza; they taste like the ass-end of a rhinoceros.

Me: well, I’ll have to defer to your expertise in ass-tasting related matters.

Note: anchovies are lumps of decaying fish, infused with all of the salt in the world–they’re delicious.

Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-Man: I know how to get rid of it.

He grabbed the pizza box from the fridge and hurled it onto the roof below the kitchen window of our apartment.

Me: brilliant.

Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-Man: of course it’s brilliant; I’m the one who did it.

Me: your brilliance is only matched by your humility.

Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-Man: it’s my humility that makes me great.

(Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-Man is sometimes a walking oxymoron…usually he’s just a plain moron.)

So the problem was solved…or was it?

Not only did the odor not dissipate, it grew in strength.

The next day:

Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-Man: why hasn’t the smell gone away?

Me: it wasn’t the anchovies.

Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-Man: anchovies taste like the ass-end of a rhinoceros.

Me: we have to do something; air fresheners won’t cover it up.

Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-man: air fresheners won’t cover up the ass-end of rhinoceros?

Me: probably not, but I was referring specifically to the smell in the kitchen.

Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-man: well we’ve checked everywhere.

Me: is there anything in the vegetable crisper?

Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-man: the what?

Me: the drawer where you keep the vegetables.

Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-man: the what now?

Me: I’ll show you.

I slid open the vegetable crisper to reveal a bowl of expired broccoli and possibly the most rancid smell that has ever stimulated my olfactory senses.

Me: how can vegetables possibly smell that bad?

Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-man: I didn’t even know that drawer was there.

Me: we have to get rid of them.

Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-man: I have an idea.

So Pathetic Pea-Brained Weed-of-a-man grabbed the bowl of tainted broccoli and flushed it down the toilet.

The problem was solved…or was it.

It seems pouring a bowl full of broccoli down a toilet is the equivalent of pouring a bucket full of concrete down a toilet; it was a mess. There was literally a waterfall of human waste pouring down the kitchen wall of the downstairs neighbor.

She was unhappy…loudly.

A few days later we had a typical western New York snowstorm which dropped about four feet of snow on us.

The landlord came to shovel the snow from the roof outside our kitchen window. He struggled with something that was solidified to the roof. It turned out to a pizza with anchovies.

He was unhappy…loudly.

Note: if you were unaware: anchovies smell like the ass-end of a rhinoceros.

rhino butt

School District Adds Even More Bats

Millcreek bat

Millcreek, Pennsylvania–The Millcreek School District made national news last week when it armed its 500 teachers with 16 inch novelty baseball bats as a defense against school shooters.

“It was largely meant to be symbolic,” Millcreek School District Superintendent William Hall said, “of course you’re going to die in a hail of bullets if you try to stop an armed gunman with a toy bat…but symbolism is important in any life or death situation.”

But now the Millcreek School District has upped the ante: they have replaced the 16 inch black novelty bats with giant black Transylvanian vampire bats.

big black bat

“I don’t know if it will keep potential gunmen out the school,” one teacher said, “but I’m not going back in there.”

“It’s the perfect solution,” Superintendent Hall said, “People are afraid of bats and people are afraid of vampires–I’m just stunned no one has thought of it before…I’m thinking about putting a bat on every school bus.”

Several students have been bitten and have described the simple act of attending school as terrifying.

“Welcome to Erie County,” Superintendent Hall said in response.

When asked if he would be arming his own office with a vampire bat the Superintendent replied, “are you crazy–those things are #!@$ing freaky.”

Addendum: in a note of clarification, Superintendent Hall informed us when he said people were afraid of vampires, he wasn’t referring to those sissy Twilight vampires that wax their chests and use too much hair product; he was referring to a proper Bela Lugosi vampire.

dracula

“You sissy Twilight vampires are really hurting our image.”

Out Of Leftfield #8: The Zombie Apocalypse Begins (Short Story) – by Oliver Giggins —

THE DEAD CONTINUE TO COME BACK TO LIFE: IT’S WEEK TWO OF A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. ORIGINAL HEADLINES ARE GETTING TRICKY, OKAY? by Ed Manwalking The dead have been coming back to life for just over a week and, already, civilisation is beginning to crumble. Nerds of all types have ground entire cities to a […]

via Out Of Leftfield #8: The Zombie Apocalypse Begins (Short Story) – by Oliver Giggins —

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