Sunday, November 23, 2014

Vizsla Flashback - The Tale of Jeff - The Man Who Named Salads.

Orginally titled 'And Johnny Appleseed can suck it.'

Gather round you all and hear the tale

The Tale of a Man who made the world better

The Tale of a Man who righted wrongs and healed nations

The Tale of Jeff
The Man Who Named Salads.

It may seem hard to believe, my children, but once - many years ago, all salads were just called 'salad'

In these confusing times, even the simplest of lunches was naught but a festival of confusion an dark surprises, for upon ordering 'salad' all excepted with sad certainty that you could be served any number of different options

-It might have lettuce, tomato and cheese

-It might have corn ships and tomato

-It might be a jiggling egg based affair

-Or some chicken, mayo, and potato

'WOE!' cried the people, for their suffering was great.  'How shall we live with this uncertainty?  How can one small word encompass such diversity??  And in what universe is Jello with pineapple chunks suspended on it a 'salad'?  I'm sorry, simply putting it on top of a lettuce leaf in no way makes that a salad, I don't care how much whipped cream you dollop upon it!'

And then the people fell silent into despair, for there was no salvation apparent to them, and they resigned themselves to an eternity of ill-defined diet food.

And it was thus, as the people's despair lay thick like an itchy blanket upon the land, that a child was born.

And his mother did name him 'Jeff'.  For she knew that one day he would be the one foretold who would sort this whole 'salad thing' out.

And as Jeff grew unto a man he did find himself in his local cafeteria, and on seeing a simple concoction of lettuce, tomato, onion and crouton he did say, 'Gosh - That looks like a salad that belongs in this house.  And so I shall name it 'House Salad.  And it shall come with a balsamic vinaigrette.  And all Men Shall know it thus.'  

And there was great rejoicing, for the people now knew that he was truly the savior come, and that all light pre-meal preparations were well and truly on the road to clarity.

'But how,' said one poor and suffering chef, 'How shall we know this salad?' and in bitter tears he laid upon the feet of Jeff a true mastery of lettuce, boiled egg, leftover kitchen meats, and optional blue cheese or ranch dressing.  And Jeff spoke to the Chef, and said to him, 'This salad stands, chef, as a testament to your ability to find a way to dispose of leftover scrap meat.  And so shall it be always know for you - the Chef Salad'

And the chef cried tears of great joy as the people rejoiced.

And further salads were brought to Jeff.  'Chicken' and 'Egg' were dismissed from his sight, as they aren't actually salads, really more of sandwich spreads, and Jeff had no time for them other than to observe that it's always a mistake to put celery in them, I don't care what anybody says.  It's just wrong.  In exactly the same way that it's just wrong to put peppers in cornbread.

And thus was 'Waldorf', 'Cobb', and 'Taco' established.  'Ceaser' being thrown out by Jeff who was in a puckish mood that day, having just caught 'I, Claudius' on Masterpiece Theater.  'Pasta', and 'Ambrosia' then followed.  'Fruit' was brought before Jeff and was greeted with nothing but a long, withering gaze until it finally felt awkward and backed slowly out of the room.

But then, like all beacons of Hope, Jeff finally met his downfall.  At the hands of 'Three Bean' did Jeff fall.  

But some say - and I believe them - that if you listen and believe, on a dark and silent night you can still hear Jeff crying to the emptiness of the void, safe in the knowledge that his task was complete, knowing that he had well and truly cleared up the worlds salad confusion.  And on those night, if you listen and believe, you can hear his voice on the wind, shouting-

'Why the Hell would anyone put Jell-O on a lettuce leaf???? WHY??????'

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Vizsla Flashback - So, If you're an identical/clone race, does that make dating harder or easier?

I was thinking about Sleestaks earlier today (The real ones from the Sid and Marty Krofft TV series 1974-76.  I refuse to acknowledge any others).  Addendum Note - The Show in Question was 'Land of the Lost'

"We have great personalities..."
-The Sleestaks

And it occurred to me to wonder... if everyone in your race looks exactly the same, what does that do to your social life?  Does every encounter end up with creepy masturbatory undertones?  Does the fact that every single possible sexual partner looks exactly like your Mom AND Dad not cause a lot of late nights shuddering and doing shots of Sleestak Tequila?

I can hear many of you now pointing out that the Sleestaks were essentially bestial (despite their occasionally phenomenal toolmaking abilities...  seriously, do you remember the one where they'd made a periscope?) and so - much like Komodo Dragons or people who support Michelle Bachman,  they probably don't spend much, if any, time thinking and just do what they want when the urge takes them.

All fine and good... until you remember Enik the Altrusian.  He's either a descendant or an ancestor of the Sleestaks (sources are vague on this point) because the Sleestaks are in what I might describe as a sociopathatic warp elipse.  That is, I might describe it that way if I wanted to come across as a pretentious douche.  In that I don't, I'll just say that every thousand years or so the Sleestaks went from technologically advanced to animal and back again, over and over again.  

And yet (apart from turning gold and wearing tunics - which at least shows that they at some point develop a strain of puritan modesty about their lizard-bits) they still look exactly the same as one another.

And so we're back to the original question.  What does your lonely young Sleestak look for, exactly, while cruising the Sleestak personals?  'Young gold female - big eyes - loves camping, tunics,  and long walks by the lava pit - Seeks same'?

For that matter, say you were married (assuming Sleestaks do such a thing) and you're accused of being unfaithful.  How on Earth would you even know?  Do they set up special code words to make sure they don't accidentally bang the cleaning lady?  

And more - What possible point would there even BE to cheating on your spouse if every single person you could possibly cheat on her with was exactly the same as she was?

No wonder their society keeps collapsing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

No Hobo

For those who may not be aware (and why should you, unless you're stalking me - and if you are I'm kind of OK with it) one of my side jobs involves mentoring High School age students.

Regularly being around groups of what we might refer to as 'the young people' occasionally makes a couple things apparent to the casual observer.

1. Apparently they're not fond of being referred to as 'The Young People'

2. I'm old.

This second point was brought home to me yet again the other night when I referred to something as 'Totes awesome' and was greeted by pitying stares.  Eventually one of them said, 'Yeah... you need to stop...'

This sort of thing is, of course, more or less to be expected and not particularly surprising, but a more oblique example came up this week when one of my students was (for reasons that aren't important here) listing the names of things along the street.  (Tree.  Tree.  Hydrant.  Tree.  Mailbox.  Tree)

Getting into the spirit of the list I chimed in with, 'Hobo'.

Again, the blank stares.

After an awkward moment I said, 'You know... like a drifter.  Miscreant?  Ne'er do well?'

Then, to the relief of all, I dropped the subject and they went back to talking about whatever the young people are talking about these days.

The question I'm left with is - Do we not say 'Hobo' anymore?  Is the term so completely out of fashion that they've never heard it?  Is this a knock-on effect of our information age where it's now (in the US in any case) nearly impossible to completely drop off the grid and ride the rails from town to town helping people and occasionally turning into the incredible hulk?

Remember the Hobo, people.  His lovable DT-ridden visage shall not again this way pass.

Totes Sad.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Meat Meet Vegan, Vegan Meet Meat

Let's be upfront about something here.

I am totally down with Vegans

No anti-Vegan sentiment here.  The title of this column should in no way be taken as anti-Vegan sentiment.*

* That said, I will note that 'Vegan' is one of three things that you'll never have to ask someone if they are.  The other two are of course 'Born Again Christian' and 'Attending Crossfit'.

No, I want to address a broader issue here.  Namely, a shocking lack of awareness that I've noticed lately regarding knowing who ones target audience is.

It all began a few weeks ago during a breakfast run to Arby's.*

*I have a weakness for the Sausage, Egg and Cheese wrap.  Sue me.

On display in large friendly colors on the counter was a large display for their new ad campaign - 'Meet the Meats'.  Which contained those three chilling words followed by colorful pictures of the meats in question - All clearly labelled just so you were absolutely certain which animal you were devouring.

Vegan included for scale reference

Now, as a sensible person my first reaction to this ad campaign was obviously - For the love of crap!  I don't want to meet the meats!  I'm about to consume the meats, I don't want to be on a first name basis with them.

Fortunately, as noted in the above picture, I had a trusty vegan with me to bring the entire situation into perspective.  You see, from her perspective, the whole campaign made absolute sense.  Meet the Meat.  Once you personalize someone their flesh gets much less delicious.

That... came out SO much creepier than I intended...  But the point still stands.

So what we have there is Arby's putting a lot of time and effort into a campaign that could only possibly appeal to the exact group that has absolutely no interest in consuming their product.

Think before you print these things, people.  That's all I'm saying.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Rebuttal From (Allegedly 'Runaround') Sue

In the interest of providing a public forum for all sides of the issue, we here at The 42nd Vizsla present, in their entirety, the long suppressed rebuttal letter from Susan McAnthrop of Mt. Vine, Indiana.  You may know her better by the undesired nickname 'Runaround Sue'

Dear Dion,

First of all, it's Susan.  Not Sue.  Susan.  Which you well know, you Jackass.  I can only assume that your insistence on using the diminutive is merely due to your childish need to attempt to disempower me while simultaneously covering up for the fact that you're too stupid to come up with any significant number of rhymes for the word 'Susan'.  Hell, you could barely manage to find some for 'Sue'

Look Dion.  We went out ONCE.  For COFFEE.  To be honest, I only agreed to go because you asked me so damn many times that I figured it would be easier to just go once and be done with your pathetic ass. 

But no, you instead turned the whole thing into a lurid and libelous attack on my character in a jaunty 4/4 beat.  

I actually tried to take the high ground on this Dion, I really did.  But there's only so many cover band renditions of a personal attack on ones character that one can listen to before one is compelled to set the record straight.  I mean, honestly Dion, you enormous Butthole- Do you know how many cover bands perform your hatchet job of a song?  ALL OF THEM.

So, Let's take it verse by verse, shall we.

Here's my story, sad but true
It's about a girl that I once knew
She took my love then ran around
With every single guy in town
Ah, I should have known it from the very start
This girl will leave me with a broken heart
Now listen people what I'm telling you
A-keep away from-a Runaround Sue.

Sad but true my ASS.  Again - COFFEE.  ONCE.  That is in no way taking your love.  Hell, I didn't even want to take your coffee.  Let alone the four thousand follow up phone calls begging me to go to dinner afterwards.  For the love of CRAP, Dion - Take a F*cking hint.

And - 'Every Single Guy in town'?  SERIOUSLY?  I went to a malt shop ONCE with Bobby Johanson, so don't give me that 'every guy in town' bullshit.  I mean, Jesus Christ, I know full well that you pressured Julie Ann McKenzie into giving you a Pity Handjob behind Ed's last homecoming, but did I feel compelled to write a peppy rock-anthem about it?  No.  No I freaking well did not.  It's called class, asshole.

I miss her lips and the smile on her face
The touch of her hair and this girl's warm embrace
So if you don't wanna cry like I do
A-keep away from-a Runaround Sue

OK, let's make this perfectly clear for everybody.  YOU NEVER GOT NEAR ANY OF THAT, DION.  NOT EVEN CLOSE.

Hell, I don't think I even smiled in that coffee shop, you were such miserable, shitbag company. 

Here's the moral and the story from the guy who knows
I fell in love and my love still grows
Ask any fool that she ever knew, they'll say
Keep away from-a Runaround Sue

Seriously, Dion?  F*CKING SERIOUSLY??  You basically write a pop hit calling me a whore and end it by saying how you still totes love me more and more???

Get help Dion.

Get Freaking HELP.

In the meantime, feel free to keep an eye out on the pop charts for me new dance club hit - 'Dion has chronic problems maintaining an erection'.

Susan Out.

We thank you for your attention and hope that this has furthered the cause of providing a more even handed picture of events.