Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It's a Bird. It's a Plane. It's Boobs.

Recently something fairly remarkable has been happening in  the State of Texas.

No, it's not Rick Perry doing something rational.  Let's not get crazy.

It's Boobs.

(Insert Cheap Rick perry joke here, if you feel so inclined.)

It seems that the phrase 'Open Carry' has been taken onto an entirely different plane by a group of counter-protesters.  But maybe I should start at the beginning...

There are a lot of men out there with very small penises.

To these men, life has no meaning unless they are able to carry assault rifles around in Walmart and Chipotle.

No, I don't entirely understand the through-line on the logic of that either, but there you go.

So, for the last longer-than-any-rational-society-should-put-up-with, these small penised men have been staging 'open carry' demonstrations, wherein they gather in medium sized groups with their compensatory firearms dangling limply at their sides and wander around trying to scare the crap out of everyone they encounter on the theory that this is exactly what Thomas Jefferson wanted*.

*Ironically, T.J. suffered from no such compensatory need, as anyone who has collected the Commemorative Wangs of The Founding Fathers coin set can attest.

Well, some enterprising woman did a little research and discovered that it is apparently not against the law in Dallas, TX for a woman to walk around topless.  And so, as a counter-protest to the Tiny Wang Assault Rifle Parade (TWARP), they have begun showing up at the 'open carry rallies' and following the gun nuts around topless.  Normally this would be the sort of thing those men are into, but sadly these are actual human women and not airbrushed Maxim photographs, and so the whole thing is just completely freaking them out instead.

Best.  Counter-Protest.  Ever.

As I have long held - If you can't achieve 'avenge', go for 'confuse'.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Well, That Certainly Changes My Views on Sweatpants

Every once in a while, withe varying degrees of success, the rest of the world makes a concerted effort to get Americans to care about Soccer*.

*Or 'Football', if you're the rest of the planet

Traditionally American's respond to those efforts with a mighty shrug and a, 'yea, that's fine but I'm good drinking cold thin beer and not using the metric system' and that's that for the discussion.

This year Brazil tried the hitherto untested approach of celebrating the World Cup by crushing and displacing hundreds of thousands of poor people and allowing the organizers to roll naked in cash while they built four additional stadiums above what the competition actually needed on the principle that there is nothing American's like more than arbitrarily abusing poor people while failing to oversee large projects in any way.

And this was a moderate success for a week or two, but then the competition became sort of all about Germany and we still have some mixed feelings about that and so we all just sort of stopped talking about it.

In a desperate attempt to keep the ball rolling (no pun intended) the BBC world service threw in a few public interest pieces on their NPR news broadcast, one of which was about how Manchester United's poor record was taking its toll on their sponsorship deals.*

*One can only assume that they were working on the theory that if you could somehow tie it all back to Corporations throwing money around then the US might care.

This was all well and good, until the news service, speaking in proper received pronunciation, referred to a contract the team had with the sportswear company 'Adidas'.  What was unfortunate was that he pronounced it 'Added Ass.'  As in, 'After eating fourteen buckets of chicken and thirteen live babies, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia realized that he had accumulated twenty pounds of added ass.'

Which is, one would think, the exact opposite of the effect that sportswear might have.

See, this is why we don't care about Soccer.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Vizsla Flashback - And What Was The Kid Supposed to Be Learning Exactly?

Today I was out and about, finishing up my Christmas shopping and in a burst of trying to be slightly less bitter toward the holiday I found myself listening to a station playing Christmas carols.

This was all well and good (if only marginally successful) until they played a song that related the following story - (I do not know the name of the song nor the Artist.  To be honest I don't particularly care on either front)

So this guy (the singer) is standing in line waiting to pay for Christmas presents when the kid in front of him tries to buy a pair of shoes.  Cue heartbreaking story about how they're 'just Momma's size' and he wants her to look pretty when she goes to 'meet Jesus tonight.'

Yes, apparently Momma has some sort of long term fatal illness and is not expected to last the night.

Which apparently prompted Daddy to drop the kid off unsupervised at the mall, which seems like questionable parenting to me, but what the Hell.  He probably just has other things on his mind, what with the spouse dying on Christmas Eve thing going on.  I would, however, like to have seen the conversation where he tells the attending physician that he's popping out from dying wife's bedside to drop junior off at the foodcourt.

I also enjoy the implication that as soon as Momma snuffs the candle (as they say) that the following exchange will occur-


Yoo hoo!  Jesus!  I finally made it!


Hey there Betty Lou!  
It's great to see y... holy shit those are some GREAT shoes!


I know, right??  I mean, I can't normally pull off a court heel


Oh NO, girlfriend*!  You are rocking that court heel!

*Yes, in my mind Jesus is played by a drag queen.  Go back and re-read Mark and tell me that doesn't make it more fun.

So anyway, the song goes on to tell how the kid tries to pay for the shoes with an assload of pennies, and of course he doesn't have enough.  And so he turns to the guy behind him in line (Our protagonist, for those following along) and asks, 'What am I gonna do?  Momma needs these shoes?'*

*No, what Momma needs is probably more along the lines of a new kidney, but again, what the Hell-  he's just a kid.  Kids get strange ideas stuck in their head.  Besides which, I think that there's a fair argument to be made that the whole story is crap, and that the kid is just working the whole situation and knows damn well that the sucker behind him is going to pay for the shoes if he spins him a sad enough story.  Which makes you wonder what he was actually planning to do with the shoes....

So of course our 1st person narrator chokes up, buys the shoes for the kid, and then makes the following reflection-

'I'm sure God sent the kid to me to remind me what Christmas is really about.'


He assumes that God killed this kid's mom just to give him a warm holiday fuzzy.

See, now this is my problem with organized religion 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I Shall Look Upon My Enemy...

They are legion.  Shadowy figures lurking on the periphery of the world we humans inhabit.  The Wendigo.  The Loch Ness Monster.  The Moth Men.

Many have devoted their lives to seeking these elusive legends; grasping at every blurred photograph, each indistinct footprint, every last plea of 'I swear to God we didn't cook and eat grandpa, honest.' Most go their entire lives seeking such proof in vain.

I have seen my Wendigo. My Loch Ness Monster. My Moth Man.

I have seen.... the Driver of the Grey Sedan.

The full back story (if you are unfamiliar) can be found here, here, and a bit here.  Oh, and a followup here, because apparently I went on about it a fair bit.

This morning, as I pulled into my parking spot, the car across from me turned its car alarm on with the traditional honk and flash of lights.  I looked up and there it was.  My old Nemesis.  The Grey Sedan.

But more, standing next to The Grey Sedan...  was him.

The Shadowy figure with whom I had waged a silent, brutal, and largely passive aggressive war for so long.

The Driver of The Grey Sedan.

He was an older gentleman.  A bit heavyset. A mop of grey hair and a look of surprise and recognition on his face.

And I looked at him.

And he looked at me.

And we both... knew.

He did not hold the elevator for me. 

PS - It's a bit regrettable that it didn't turn out to be someone enormously attractive, because as was pointed out to me that would have made this the greatest 'how we met' story of all time.  Someone should write that screenplay.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Vizsla Flashback - Some Uninformed Thoughts About Snakes and Religion

So I was thinking about snakehandling.

Not about actually doing it, of course.  Because, you know - snakes.

But for some reason <cough> Nyquil <cough> this afternoon I found myself thinking about what exactly, in the mind of the snakehandler, is the point of snakehandling as a religion.  What the point is in the mind of the snake is somewhat clearer, and usually runs along the lines of:


'Man, what a nice day under the heat lamp.  
Hey!  Hey, what the Hell do you think you're do.... 
OK buddy... put me down.  No.  Seriously.  Put me down.  
I am totally going to bite you if you don't put me down 
right now.  Right.  FREAKIN.  NOW!  
 Holy crap, is that my tail all the way down there?'

Little known fact - all snakes think in screenplay format.

So I've boiled down some theories as to what exactly the Snakehandler thinks the point of the exercise is-

A:  It makes them look a lot more badass than Episcopalians, and that in itself makes it worth doing.
B:  It's symbolically reclaiming the metaphorical source of original sin and shaking it until it pees itself.
C:  It's both a sign of faith and a confirmation that you still have the blessings of the Lord.  Like one of those focus group trust exercises, but with fangs.
D:  There tends to be a lot of genetic deterioration due to inbreeding in the areas where snakehandling is most widely practiced.
E:  All of the above.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Archie's Sh*t Just Got Real, Yo

So quite innocently today I stumbled across the following article-

Apparently Archie is going to die taking a bullet meant for his pal, Gay Senator Kevin who is pushing for gun control in Riverdale


What in God's name has been happening in Riverdale since I last checked in, because obviously I've missed some stuff.  Last I heard they were all stressed out about what to wear to the sock hop.

What, has Moose been killed by the mafia?  Has Jughead's work for Planned Parenthood put him firmly in the Tea Party's crosshairs?

This all brings the whole 'Who's hotter, Betty or Veronica' question into perspective, now doesn't it.

Monday, July 14, 2014

True Television Confessions

I'm just going to go ahead and admit it.

I'm out of the loop when it comes to the TV shows that everybody else is apparently watching.

This has always been more or less true I suppose.  I didn't get into Buffy (easy, Shriner...) until halfway through Season 7. I completely missed Friends*. I've seen maybe 5 episodes of Seinfeld**. I've only seen the first Season of Arrested Development and that was years later on DVD. And despite the Espenson connection, I still haven't gotten around to watching Battlestar Galactica.

*OK, that one was sort of deliberate.  I saw one episode in the first season and decided they were trying to imply that their Friends were cooler than my friends*** and got an enormous chip on my shoulder about it.

**This was definitely deliberate.  There isn't a single character on that show that I wouldn't cheerfully beat to death with a shovel, and I end up spending enough time with people who irritate me as it is without having to seek additional ones out.

***To be fair, they probably were.

So,with that acknowledged, here's my sum total of knowledge about what the cool kids are watching
Keep in mind - Much of it is probably completely wrong

Orange is the New Black

-OITNB apparently refers to this show.  A lot of the Internet is bewildering if you don't know this.
-Apparently Kate Mulgrew is in it
-Apparently it has more than its share of lesbian sex
-I'm desperately hoping there is no overlap between the previous two points.

House of Cards

-Kevin Spacey is The President.
-And Evil.
-Possibly the actual Devil, I'm unclear on this point.
-It's a remake of a British show, which makes the title make more sense
-Kevin Spacey sure does play a lot of bad guys, doesn't he.
-Except for The Ref.  He was a nice enough guy in that.
-What was I talking about again?  Oh... Right.  House of Cards.

Game of Thrones

-Sean Bean dies in everything.  As previously noted.
-Dragons are apparently the nuclear option if you're vying for power and territory
-We should all be a little more cautious while putting together our wedding guest lists
-There is still very little reason to think that George R. R. Martin won't die before finishing the series

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Vizsla Flashback - Let's Compare Our Things!

No, not like that.

I was thinking earlier - there's quite a bit of confusion when discussing 'Things' simply because no one has taken the time to really sit down and set the record straight - honestly assessing the pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses of each 'Thing' in its own right and then comparing and contrasting.

And so, once again - you're welcome, Universe.  Here is-

The Comprehensive Vizsla's Guide to Things
1st Edition

Thing, The - 

Founding member of the Fantastic Four - as published by Marvel Comics Group, The Thing is a large humanoid who appears to be made entirely out of orange rock who wears nothing but blue shorts.  (which raises all sorts of other questions regarding his orange rocks, but we'll leave that one alone for the moment.)

The Thing is a man named Ben Grimm (except for those occasions when he wasn't.  For example, Ms. Marvel became a female thing (easy, Shriner...) for awhile.  I honestly don't know what ever happened with that storyline.)  Ben was an astronaut on the most improbably crewed mission into space ever which was bombarded with the specific kind of cosmic radiation that makes ironic alterations to your genetic code based on your deep seated personality characteristics.  As happens.

Contrary to his frightening appearance, The Thing is frequently kind-hearted, although gruff, and makes a valuable and considerate teammate.  Most of the time.

Desirability as a social companion - 8/10
Desirability as a mate - Depends entirely on the shorts issue
Scary factor - 4/10

Thing, The -

Not to be confused with the comic book character, The Thing (or The Thing From Another World, to use his (her?) full name) is a shapeshifting alien with a curious penchant for corpse mutilation in the interest of biological study.  Functionally non-verbal as a mushy, blobby, oozy thing, it tends to only speak in the style and manner of whatever person it's pretending to be at the time.  Which I suppose is either a plus or a minus depending on how attractive or interesting you find the person it's pretending to be at that moment.

Not a huge fan of red hot coat hangers

Desirability as a social companion - 1/10
Desirability as a mate - depends on how quick you can be and how OK you are with other people being in the room to prevent it from... you know.. mutilating you.  Unless that's what you're into.  It's not about judging.
Scary Factor - 9/10

Thing, (no article)

Helpful guest (or possibly employee) of the Addams Family, Thing is a disembodied hand that lives in a small wooden box and scuttles around the house preforming small domestic tasks like delivering letters and occasional dusting.

Not a great deal of use in heavy lifting tasks, Thing always wanders about the place completely naked.  as most hands tend to do, actually.

Desirability as a social companion - 10/10 (unless he creeps you out)
Desirability as a mate - .... No, Too easy.
Oh Come on - No, I'm not going to do it.
Stop being such a baby and just say it. - No, I am absolutely not going to go for the handjob joke here.  just let it go and move on.
Fine.  Whatever - 
Scary Factor - For the Hand - 3/10. For your obsessive insistence on going for the low hanging fruit, joke-wise - 9/10
Hee-Hee - 
...- What??
You said 'Low Hanging Fruit' :) - 
 - Oh for the love of GOD, seriously?  Let's just move on.

Thing 1

This smallish blue haired imp is full of mischief, and has been known to cause considerable damage to the housekeeping of suburban homes when Mom is away.  Prone to causing frosting stains, Thing 1 is essentially benevolent, or at the very least harmless.  Probably good for a fun afternoon.  Most commonly sighted in the company of Thing 2

Wears a fetching red onesie.

Desirability as a social companion - 5/10.  Probably OK in small doses.
Desirability as a mate - I'm strangely uncomfortable considering it.  Besides which, he's probably monogamous with Thing 2.
Scary Factor - either 2/10 or 10/10 - depending on your level of obsessive compulsiveness regarding household upkeep.

Thing 2

See above

So there you have it.  The Vizsla describes every thing.

Honestly, I give and I give people.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Willum - 2000-2014

I'm very sorry to have to report that Willum passed away peacefully tonight at the vet's office.

He was 14.

The column will continue, but probably not for a few days.

Rest in Peace, to one of the most loving dogs the world has ever seen, and considering how much better dogs are than people that's saying something.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Lemon Jolly Rancher - A Cautionary Tale

Once upon a time, many years ago, the greatest candy the world has ever seen was readily available.

I refer of course to Lemon Flavor Jolly Ranchers

Jolly Ranchers still exist of course, and if you're interested in that sort of thing you can find their web page here.  

Essentially a small brick shaped hard candy, Jolly Ranchers come in a bag of five different fruit flavors*. Currently those flavors are Cherry, Sour Apple, Grape, Watermelon**, and Blue Raspberry.

*Well, the real version of Jolly Ranchers.  These days there are no end of bastards and hybrid offshoots - you're gummy ranchers and your tropical fruit assortments and your commemorative wangs of the founding fathers with extra sour powder packs.  We're not discussing those here, because we are classy.

**At least that's what the label calls it.  The actual taste would be more accurately described as 'rancid ass', but to be fair I think all watermelon tastes like that.

That is the current assortment of flavors. 

But once, in those glorious halcyon days of yore, there was no crappy 'blue raspberry' to be found. 

No.  Once, there was instead... Lemon. 

And it was the best lemon candy ever in the history of the universe*

*A case could be made for Lemonheads, but they still exist and are readily accessible, so they lose through nostalgia factor.

And so it was, back in this glorious age when Lemon Jolly Ranchers walked the Earth, that a decree was sent out from the good people at HersheyCo that they were making a change.  Too many other lemon candies existed, they opined, and thus they were removing the Lemon flavor from the Jolly Rancher bag.  They replaced it instead with Blue Raspberry.

And a great despair fell over the people.

And in this hour of despair, did I run to the convenience store and buy one last bag of Jolly Ranchers that still had the precious lemon contingent. 

One last bag.

But such was my despair at the end of The Day Of The Lemon Jolly Rancher that I couldn't bear to open the bag, since I knew that it was the last one.  So I put it instead in the drawer of the living room coffee table where I could periodically take it out, look at it, and be reassured that this one last supply of the precious Lemon Jolly Ranchers was still out there.

And so it went for many, many months.  Until finally one day I cracked and opened the bag.  I had to have one of my precious final supply, I just had to.

It was at this point that I discovered a couple of essential truths.

The first is that hard candy does not, in actual fact, store well over long periods. 

All of the bag of Jolly Ranchers, lemon included, had morphed into some kind of horrifying half-jelly toxin that appeared to actively be trying to concur first the coffee table drawer, and later the planet.

The Second - If you wait to long to enjoy your lemon Jolly Ranchers, you lose your Lemon Jolly Ranchers.

What I'm really trying to say is that you should totally open that expensive bottle of wine now.

You're welcome.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Vizsla Flashback - What I Know About Independance Day

It was an incredibly crappy and lazily scripted movie released in 1996, directed by Roland Emmerich - A man who appears to love nothing more than frantically pleasuring himself while watching computer generated simulations of national monuments being destroyed in a variety of ways.

"Oh... Oh God.. Yeah... There... Shoot the laser right theeeeeeeeeeere...."

In other terms - Independence Day is another name for the 4th of July, the day on which America commemorates to adoption of the Declaration of Independence* by shooting off a large number of fireworks. 

*Although it's a reasonable guess that not one American in a thousand could actually tell you that that's specifically what's being commemorated.  Nor could they probably spell 'commemorated'.

As we all know, fireworks date back to the Han dynasty in China (more or less 200 BC) and were traditionally used to ensure good fortune by frightening away ghosts and spirits.

Which is why we fire them off on the 4th of July - to ensure that zombie Thomas Jefferson doesn't descend on you and eat your children in the night.

That's what we have Antonin Scalia for.

You're welcome, America.  Please carry on frightening away ghosts and refusing to learn the metric system.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Doctor Who Saturday - Deep Breath

So we're finally getting close enough to the new season of Doctor Who that they're beginning to slowly let out details about it.

In addition to a pair of moodily lit teaser trailers, They have finally released the title of the first episode of the Season.

It's apparently titled 'Deep Breath'

What with the dearth of any other solid information regarding the episode in question, here's some possibilities as to what the title might indicate about the story.

1:  It's all about The Doctor preparing to jump into a swimming pool.  Possibly from a scary high dive. 

2:  A bit of time has passed and Clara is now pregnant.  (Who is the Father?  Will this baby also turn out to be River Song?)  The Doctor is her Lamaze partner and they're prepping for the day.

3:  The Doctor has taken up huffing.  (Hence episode two's working title 'No Officer, I Have No Idea Whose Can Of Gold Spraypaint That Is')

4:  Clara is having a panic attack.  It's The Doctor to the rescue with a brown paper sack.

5:  The Doctor is about to undergo an annual Spirometry test. (Google it.  They're not pleasant)

I hope this information is helpful as we move toward the new season

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


I promise that I'm not going to make a habit of this.

Tonight I'm going to the funeral of a good friend that I should not have to go to. And that makes me angry.  He was going to teach a class for me next Tuesday on ropes and knots. That's not going to happen now, and that makes me angry too because I f*cking loved his knots class.  I've been home throwing up all afternoon because I don't know if I ever mentioned to him how much I look up to him and now I'm not going to be able to.  And now I'm angry because I honestly don't know if I should have used the past tense in that previous sentence.

If you're thinking of doing this.  Call.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Call 24/7



That's all.