Friday, November 30, 2007

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of November 26, 2007

Well, we've done it. Collectively, as a society, we've reached the final day in November, 2007. Which, of course, means that there are really only 11 shopping months left until the election, and, at this rate, 13 until we see the campaign trail light up again. And what better way to celebrate the upcoming month of December than with some awards? So let's get rolling!

That's What I Call Hard-Hitting Coverage Award
Bill O'Reilly. The man. The media sensation. The mold that Stephen Colbert broke out of. The only person responsible enough to interview Alf. Just look at the schedule for yourselves, and you can see that O'Reilly will have the puppet from the 80's as a guest tonight, as his own little kiss-off to November. It'll be nice to see two puppets squaring off, and we can bet that Alf will actually admit to his love of kittens for breakfast.

The Four (Irregular) Heartbeats Award
Speaking of eating kittens, we of course have to mention that VP "Darth" Cheney was treated with an electrical shock this past week to fix an irregular heartbeat. The doctors were quoted after the procedure as loudly proclaiming, "It's alive! Our creation is alive!" No word yet on mobs of villagers armed with pitchforks and torches.

Talk About Reality TV Award
In an unlikely case of strange coincidences, a Mafia boss in Sicily was arrested while watching a television show about the arrest of a Mafia boss. The newly arrested boss is now hoping to find "Prison Break" broadcasts on televisions near his jail cell. Meanwhile, Paris Hilton has decided to stop watching, "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?", largely because she just couldn't understand the first question. Us? We're waiting for the first celebrity episodes of "American Gladiators"...

At Least They Aren't Overreacting Award
What would you do if a teacher took a poll of their students to name a teddy bear, and then settled on the name of your favorite religious figure? If you're like Muslims in Sudan, then you'll get said teacher arrested, deported, threatened with a caning, and you'll still parade through the streets calling for her death. It's a really good thing that she didn't name the teddy bear "Cthulhu", thereby forcing Lovecraftians to drink absinthe and develop dementia.

But I Wanted to Watch "The Office" Award
When two people are trying to watch the same television, fights can happen. Generally, these fights are usually solely verbal, and the exchange is over before the first commercial break. Every once in a while, people will retreat to separate areas of the house, in order to choose their own programming. Even more rare are times where someone gets stabbed for changing the channel. The morale of the story? Don't mess with old ladies watching "The Price is Right".

Naughty List All the Way Award
Yesterday we talked about celebrities that landed on children's perceptions of Santa's "Naughty List". A new addition to this list would have to be US Surgeon General Steven Galson, who says that Santa is too fat to be a good role model. After all, a healthy physique should be a key trait that children look up to, and they definitely shouldn't focus on things like generosity. Mrs. Claus has already switched to a low-carb diet, and the reindeer are looking into gym memberships.

Some Guys Have All the Luck Award
And, sadly, this guy isn't one of them. Years after being immortalized as the victim of police brutality, Rodney King has made headlines again, this time as a shooting victim. Police did note that King seemed intoxicated when they arrived to check in on him following the 911 phone call. This, of course, makes good sense to us, because, if you've just been shot, there's a good chance you may want a drink. Especially if you're just trying to "get along".

Can You Hurry Up With That Money? I've Got to Get Home Award
You don't often expect to hear of a robber who still follows their parents rules. And yet, that's exactly what happened with an 18-year-old from Indiana, who robbed a dozen businesses for a total of around $10,000, but never missed church, and was always home before curfew. After all, as the teen stated, "Her rules, her house," apparently missing the concept that, while his mother may be upset that he crept into the house at 1:45am, she's probably going to have a few more issues with him serving jail time due to his extracurricular activities. No word yet as to how long of apron strings he plans on getting her for Christmas.

And that wraps up our awards for another week, and, well, another month. We'll be back in December, provided that we can dig ourselves out of the upcoming snowstorm.
Oh, and we're getting geared up for our end-of-year posting already. Once again, we'll be looking to abandon our standard daily postings with lists. Have an idea for a list you'd like to see? Drop us a line, and let us know. We've got some ideas brewing, but we're curious to see what you're thinking. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

From the mouths of babes

People always say that kids really do say the darnedest things, even if Bill Cosby stole all of the thunder behind such a thought a few years back. And sometimes, when asked questions, children truly will give insights that adults should probably listen to. After all, most children haven't had the time to develop anywhere near as cynical and jaded of a world view (especially with regards to their fellow humans) as most adults, and can thus view events with a much more objective eye.

Which is exactly why we should listen to children when they start talking about compiling "Naughty or Nice" lists for Santa, and place celebrities accordingly. Especially when the two "naughtiest" on the list are Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

That's right. One person who's famous for basically having been born into the right family and then sleeping her way even higher up the ladder, and another who started out as a miniature Disney princess, before having her own questionable sexual encounters and then proving that she has no business being a mother (or a driver, for that matter). In fact, when both names beat out perennial bad guys like Darth Vader and The Grinch (how can you be worse than someone who actually stole Christmas?), you just have to admire the clear vision that these kids brought to the survey.

The saddest part about all of this? There's a really good chance that both Spears and the Parisite will decide to latch onto this concept of "naughtiness", and use it to thrust themselves even further into a spotlight that should be no longer theirs. We can just picture Britney wearing a "sexy Santa outfit" (look for these next year at Halloween). And we can imagine that Paris would probably find time to make a video featuring her and some candy canes.

And don't even get us started on what the two would do to poor Rudolph...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On the fast track

There are plenty of things that a person could do to help ensure a certain lack of consideration from others. Kicking puppies randomly while walking down the street is amongst them, as is proclaiming loudly to have finally gotten yourself into rehab, only to later be photographed (or videotaped) partaking in the random drugs you were going to rehab for. Of course, the second one really only applies once you've achieved fame, but you get what we're saying.

Another sure fire way to be treated even more poorly by others would be to solidify your path towards eternal damnation (provided, of course, that your religion adheres to those tenets). And that's just what some thieves in Germany did when they decided to attend mass merely to steal a 300-year-old Bible. Oh, and they made off with the contents of a collection box, too.

Of course, now a large burden does fall onto these particular scofflaws. After all, it's not like you can easily move a highly recognizable ancient book, as even the pastor for the church pointed out. It's fairly unlikely that a book collector wouldn't be aware of a theft as major as this, thereby making them a good mark to take in the purloined papers. As for the thieves themselves, it is possible that they could repent, receive forgiveness, and cleanse the dark marks from their eternal souls. It's also entirely possible that, being the type of people to steal from a religious center, they will embark on other thefts, possibly even going so far as to push little old ladies down while they cross the street. In fact, we're fairly certain that they have impure thoughts about other people's spouses, as well.

If only there was some kind of book that they could read to enlighten them as to how wrong their actions were. Perhaps something with a bit of a cliff-hanger ending...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Always check the couch

We've all forgotten to bring items that we need with us. How many of us have gone on a trip, only to realize that we didn't bring enough changes of clothes, even though we know we set out plenty? Or how about heading out to a bar, and realizing that you forgot your ID? And we've all, at one point or another, forgotten to leave the house with necessary keys, either for work, the car, or our storage facilities downtown.

But how many of us can ever say that because we forgot something, someone else ended up under arrest? Our guess is not many, but that number recently went up by one.

For this, we really have to thank a German police officer, who was demonstrating how easy it would be to arrest someone to a class full of six- and seven-year-olds. In fact, it's so easy that, once the officer had handcuffed the teacher (to cheers from the students, mind you), he realized that he'd forgotten the keys to his cuffs, and was forced to call back-up to arrive with a spare set. The real prize for this story? The teacher didn't notice that something was amiss until the second officer arrived. We guess that the radio call for help didn't set off any alarms.

Given our own sometimes spotty memories, we actually feel for the poor officer. Not only did he forget his keys, but then he had to endure the heckling of young children as their teacher was released. They must have thought that a field trip was imminent (or at least a day of movie-watching with a lackadaisical substitute).

Of course, we also try to keep our easily forgettable things in easily searched (and frequently viewed) places. After all, who amongst us has never lost something in a couch cushion, ranging from keys to loose change (and possibly Jimmy Hoffa, but no evidence can be found for that). That's why we tend to check those places vigorously. Saves us the trouble of having to put together some sort of hanging spot for these items, and it keeps others from having to bail us out in our times of need.

Oh, and for those playing at home, we can't be certain, but we're guessing that the teacher was under "arrest" for longer than Lindsey Lohan was in jail. Just a hunch.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Can you hear my alarm now?

Ah, the cellular telephone. Ever since its inception, it has provided an ever-increasing amount of assistance to people looking to keep in touch while being largely on-the-go. New features have been added, ranging from simple things such as caller ID and call waiting to mp3 playback and full Internet browsing potential. But another new feature, currently only being packaged for Verizon phones, is sure to provoke interest.

After all, how can you not be curious about a phone that blares an alarm when 911 is dialed?

Yes, you read that correctly. And while there are plenty of times where an alarm during a 911 call can actually prove beneficial, there are other times, such as the example highlighted behind the link, where the one thing you want is silence. Especially when in the middle of an emergency call.

But don't worry. After all, the only reason Verizon is even claiming to be doing this is due to a ruling by the FCC. Ok, more specifically due to a ruling that Verizon misinterpreted, but still. They're hearts are in the right place, right? And it's that kind of giving nature that's surely behind Verizon's decision to charge 911 operators more for their services. Naturally, when one is looking at the safety and assistance provided by emergency operators, any company would (and should) focus on its bottom line above all else.

So our hats go off to Verizon, and their new ways of thinking about 911 phone service. Why, if they can only maintain their current way of thinking, then emergency calls may soon only come from those members of society wealthy enough to afford it, and self-important enough to not mind an extra alarm drawing attention to themselves. You know, celebutards.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The cat (nap) burglar

Happy Friday, everyone. Normally, on Fridays we feature our awards, but this week, partially in light of Thanksgiving yesterday, and partially in light of the new theme for the site (which we're still probably going to tweak a bit, but it's moving in a good direction, in our humble opinions), we're just going to hit on a little story that caught out eye. And by caught our eye, we of course do mean that we thought we could poke a little fun.

Anyways, we definitely get when people need to rest. And we understand that there are certain professions that are a little more taxing on the mind and body, thereby requiring more sleep than other jobs. But while it's bad to fall asleep at work when you're doing data entry, imagine how much worse it can possibly be when you're breaking and entering.

That's right, folks. After stealing a couple of pieces of jewelry, our Bosnian thief decided that the couch looked pretty darned comfortable, stretched himself out, and grabbed a quick nap. So it isn't as though he was narcoleptic, although that would've been a better excuse. Maybe he'd just had too much turkey and stuffing, and he needed to just take a breather. Either way, the man was discovered by the homeowner, still resting peacefully.

In an odd turn of events, the burglar had already sat down in a love seat and a recliner, before declaring the couch to be "just right". He also reported a strange craving for porridge.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Looking on the Sunny Side (Up)

Most traffic accidents have almost no humor to them. After all, it's not often that a truck full of industrial glue cracks open, spilling its contents out into what will surely be an almost cartoonish puddle. We don't hear stories about a cargo of Superballs spilling, causing the rubber projectiles to bounce merrily across the highway. And we don't often learn about an accident where someone crashed into a painting that looked like a continuation of the road. When we do, it's sadly unfunny.

No, traffic accidents generally are times of sadness, where a little levity could really help the situation. Unfortunately for all of us, this much-sought-after levity is burying its own head in sorrow over the incidents that have occurred.

And that's exactly why a truck loaded with literally tons of eggs overturning and spilling its cargo is something we need to cling to. Especially given that nobody was hurt in the process (well, except for the eggs, but, as they say, you can't make an omelet...). We're fairly certain that the highway patrol scrambled (Hah!) to get to the accident as quickly as they could.

Alright. We apologize for that last sentence. We just couldn't help ourselves. After all, with the current strike in Hollywood, we're fairly certain that humor akin to what we just wrote above will become the dominant force on the airwaves. After all, reality television hosts aren't known for their quick wit, biting delivery, or jokes fresher than the Reagan Administration. So we succumbed. We're sorry.

We're just going to think about the cartoon potential for a mess of egg spilling across a road. We can just picture the hilarious antics of people as they try and make their way across to the other side, legs slipping and sliding this way and that. In fact, we're even pretty sure that, once the sun struck the eggs, a scene similar to one from the old Ringo Starr movie "Caveman" was witnessed.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, to everyone out there celebrating it. We'll catch you on the flip side.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More popular than Crazy Frog

It's catchy, brief, and is becoming one of the most frequently downloaded ringtones in recent history. No, we're not talking about the new Britney Spears single, or even Paul McCartney's newest release.

We're talking about the king of Spain telling Hugo Chavez to "shut up".

Not since GDub dropped some uncouth language to Tony Blair has there been the comments of a head of state spread with such speed. Admittedly, King Juan Carlos gave his royal order to Chavez after Chavez had declared the former Spanish Prime Minister a "fascist", but that alone cannot even begin to explain why this simple phrase has become so popular on Razrs around the globe.

But the marketing machine seeking to profit off of the moment isn't stopping at just a ringtone. Mugs and t-shirts are also available, and, before long, we expect to see jeweled mouse pads for those "hard-to-shop-for" Chavez-haters.

Why, in the face of all of this crass commercialism (which Chavez would hate, mind you), it's hard to imagine why King Juan Carlos doesn't go around dropping more tidbits like this groundbreaking one. Eventually, he could even compile a "Greatest Hits" album, naturally featuring "Shut Up" in a prime location. Add to it a bonus DVD of GDub's greatest inappropriate fondles, and you've got a sure-fire money-maker.

Heck, a politician hasn't been able to stir up this much economic interest since FDR called Hitler a "pansy", and then threatened to get out of his wheelchair to teach the diminutive Fuhrer "a thing or two".

Monday, November 19, 2007

So good it's criminal

We've all experienced hunger pangs. Many of us have gone through times in our lives where the hunger is so strong, it's almost physically crippling. In times like those, we're so sure of our own imminent starvation that we're willing to take desperate measures, just to survive. And thus, White Castle is able to stay in business.

Meanwhile, Ruben Manzano of Santa Barbara, CA has his own way of handling those extreme hunger situations. Recently, when he found himself craving a meal after a long night of drinking, he decided that he'd just cook for himself. From the kitchen of a nearby Carl's Jr.

Police arrived at the scene, and found Manzano's shoes, shirt and the food that he'd been trying to prepare. He was found a short time later by a K-9 unit, undoubtedly given extra assistance by the aroma of Carl's Jr. wafting from Manzano himself. Nothing appeared to have been stolen, save the food, but Manzano was arrested for burglary simply for breaking in.

Of course, we sit back and look at this story and we just wonder about a few things. The first question we have, naturally, is why Manzano left behind his shoes and shirt. Perhaps he took the "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service" thing a little too seriously, and decided that, since he'd already broken in to the restaurant, why not engage in a little more disorderly conduct. Of course, we then suspect his conscience caught up to him, and instead of getting dressed, he merely left the food behind.

Our second question, and one that may be a little more pressing, is just how will Carl's Jr. capitalize on this? After all, this is the hamburger franchise that decided to exploit Paris Hilton's natural, um, talents in an attempt to boost burger sales, notably forgetting that the filming was the first time Hilton had ever allowed a burger to touch her lips (we'll leave the joke about meat to our audience). Given that, we really think that they should try to work an ad campaign out of this incident. Perhaps a slogan like, "Carl's Jr. Breaking the laws of taste," would work. Or, perhaps they can simply use the title for this post.

After all, it's gotta be better than their "Flat Buns" campaign.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of November 12, 2007

Welcome to another Friday, the last one before we accept that it's the Christmas shopping season. We've had a short week here, due to vacations and family, but we're ready with another rollicking adventure through the news. Of course, we're also ready for a good cold turkey sandwich, but we've gotta wait until next week for the best kind of those. So let's get these awards rolling!

Is It Hot in Here, Or Is It Just the Fire? Award
It's getting tougher to be a fireman in China, and to enjoy your job while you're at it. Why is that? Well, China just imposed a new series of restrictions, including a ban on accepting "sexual services" as bribes. This new decision certainly makes it seem less likely that firefighters and their clientele will be part of a happy ending.

You're Just Delusional Award
Some people can deny their nerdosity or geekitude with good reason. For example, people would be hard pressed to call Barry Bonds a nerd (although that might have something to do with the whole steroid thing). Meanwhile, others, such as French mathlete Alexis Lemaire can proclaim their lack of nerdiness from every mountain, and it will surely fall on deaf ears. It probably didn't help Lemaire's case when he stated that he couldn't possibly be a nerd, given that he once went on a date with a girl who refused to dress as either a Ferengi or as Princess Leia.

Abraca-Sued Award
Some people will go to the ends of the earth to try and solve their infertility problems. A man from Cyprus went to a local woman for a cure involving an egg, a spoon, a nail, pubic hair, and underpants. He is now suing her for sorcery, which is illegal in Cyprus. Oh, where is the Masked Magician now, to show us all the secrets behind this trick?

Wanted Dead or Alive Award
Mexican drug traffickers raided a police station to recover the body of a fallen comrade recently, presumably so that they wouldn't have to identify themselves when they identified the body. The man had died in a helicopter accident, along with a second, unrecovered body. No word on whether the traffickers plan on a traditional burial, cremation, or the standard "stuff him full of cocaine and claim ignorance at customs" route.

Today, Class, We'll Discuss Anatomy Award
A substitute teacher in Bibb County, GA, had an interesting way of keeping her classes attention. During the fourth grade class, the substitute began to strip, and was undressed from the waist down. After another teacher was informed by some students, the substitute was found to be unresponsive, leading to the belief that she may have been on some sort of medication. According to students in the class, it was the most awesomest day of math class ever. The district has suggested that she not try to substitute again, but she's already made plans to fill in down at the local strip club.

Those ARE Friendly Skies Award
Remember the flyer who was asked to change clothing on a Southwest Airlines flight, because her outfit was too revealing? If only they could have seen the future, where she decided that she would pose naked for Playboy. Oh, wait. We're pretty sure that everyone who heard about that story (and the trauma that Kyla Ebbert went through for the shame of being asked to change her clothes) could have figured out exactly where this was heading. We're just surprised that she went with something relatively classy. We were expecting Hustler all the way.

Just a Jerk Pt. One Award
We really don't have anything funny to say about this next story. All we have to say is, "Stop stealing from Toys for Tots. Jerk."

Just a Jerk Pt. Two Award
And from one jerk to another. We mentioned Barry Bonds before. Did we mention that he recently got indicted? Not for actually doing the drugs, but for lying about the whole situation in court. Oddly enough, when pressed for more information, Bonds could only respond by saying, "If I did it, it really depends on what your definition of steroid use is."

And that wraps up our awards for this week. We'll be back next week, as we inch closer to that wonderful prize of turkey, stuffing, and far too much pumpkin pie than is healthy. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Shouting "Fire!" at a crowded border crossing

For many years, there has been a cooperative agreement between the United States and our neighbors to the north, Canada. This agreement has involved any number of things, such as sharing sports leagues, mocking each other over the relative value of currency, assisting with emergencies, and an active comedian import/export trade. And things have worked smoothly, for the most part (admittedly, a hitch in things came a few years back in September, but we offered to purchase more syrup and watch more hockey, and everything was okay again), up until a recent incident.

While rushing to assist the United States with a fire in upstate New York, a Canadian firefighting team was stopped. At the border. To check their paperwork.

So let's take a moment to make sure that we understand exactly what's happening. While we can't do anything to keep people from crossing our borders to the south (short of erecting some chain-link fencing, and encouraging people with guns to go for long walks), we actively stop emergency response teams from Canada? Are we concerned that they're going to come here, help fight our fires, and then talk at great lengths about the glories of curling? Are we afraid that after helping our own firefighters, they're then going to brag about fatback? Maybe we're concerned that they're going to reclaim Mike Myers and Jim Carrey (actually, at this point, Canada can have them back whenever they want. We'll even toss in Dane Cook).

We can understand the desire for heightened security, especially in this permanently orange-threat world. But said security shouldn't be near its highest efficiency when dealing with emergency personnel.

After all, if they can't stop Toronto fans or the import of Molson Ice, what can they do?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Take your daughter to strike day

What is the one group that can connect celebrities and children, putting them on a relative par with each other? If you said the Hollywood writers, then you're absolutely correct!

Before you start thinking that we here at the Coffee-Soaked Mind have completely lost it, we just want to point out that the writers declared today as a "Bring-Your-Kids" day, and they're currently planning a "Bring-a-Star" day tomorrow. Of course, people will still argue that this won't actually help solve the strike, but it is a completely logical ploy, when taken from the perspective of deciding which writer has the cutest and/or most precocious children. It will also be a good time to see which writers have clout with the actors that they're busy scribbling lines for. Obviously, if you're able to pull someone with decent amounts of fame, then you know you're an a-list writer. If all you can get is Horatio Sanz or Star Jones, well, then it might be time to look into a career writing jingles for Pringles (and yes, folks, that kind of rhyme just comes naturally to us).

Of course, this whole thing could really end up backfiring. For example, bringing children to the picket line could help engender sympathy for the poor writers, and might even encourage the studios to end the strike more quickly, but it could also lead to studios deciding that they've found a new wealth of "talent" for the next generation of shows like "Two and a Half Men", and they could merely be negotiating to create the next Fred Savage. And the notion of bringing stars to the picket lines will only serve to draw paparazzi, and underscore the fact that the writers are toiling for a group of people who would fawn over their own reflections, if only it would just snap a picture.

Naturally, we both support and fear this planning by the writers. However, given their long history of cliches and hackeneyed storylines, it should come as no major shock that they're using tactics such as cute children and guest star cameos during the month of sweeps.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of November 5, 2007

Welcome back to another Friday, and another round of our much-beloved (at least by us) awards for the week. Things have been interesting here, as always, as we watch the number of Halloween and ghost related stories dwindle, while Christmas (and the obligatory War on Christmas) stories increase. Meanwhile, we're just setting our sights a couple of weeks ahead, when turkey takes up the majority of our minds. But, to help tide us over, let's get some awards going, shall we?

Everybody's a Comedian Award
First there was The Daily Show (okay, first there was Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live, but we're trying to be like goldfish right now). Then there was The Colbert Report. Now, Huffington Post is getting into the comedy game. The look and feel is kind of like The Onion, if only that venerable comedy paper relied on people who just think they're witty to do the writing. Still, we can't really bash them too much. Odds are that they'll give us material.

If You Don't Vote, What's the Record? Award
Recently, Michael Mukasey was confirmed by the Senate, despite fears about his strong connections to the White House. Oddly absent from the voting, even though they disputed the selection? Some of the Democratic front-runners. What were we saying yesterday about Americans making bad political decisions?

So THAT's What You Mean by "Checks and Balances" Award
In the meantime, Congress also took the opportunity this week to actually hold the President accountable for something that they believed in, but he didn't like, handing him his first veto override on a water resources bill. Rumors of the Constitution's death have obviously been overstated, although it still looks pale and weak. Kind of like the dollar.

Zoom Zoom Zoom Award
We've all had experiences where we forget our keys, or our wallets. Some of us have even gone to a gas station, and then accidentally forgotten to pay. But how many people have ever forgotten their car behind, after paying for that full tank? The man responsible claims to have forgotten other things as well, such as his anniversary, his wife's name, and the entire career of Jay Mohr.

Grin and Bare It Award
During an appeal hearing for a flashing conviction, a German man decided to take drastic action. That action? He stripped off his clothes in the courtroom. When asked later, he admitted that he could only muster a small defense, and even that wouldn't last if Bea Arthur was brought in for questioning.

Family Values Award
Some jobs understand when something important comes up in your personal life, such as a birth or a funeral. The Minnesota Vikings (proud owners of, um, not much, really) are not so kind, as they proceeded to fine one of their wide receivers for attending his own grandmother's funeral. If only he could have planned it better, and scheduled for the funeral for the post season. He wouldn't have missed any games that way.

Tastes Like Money Award
With all of the lead-contaminated products out there, it was probably only a matter of time before we learned about another one. The victim this time? Poker chips, which, contrary to popular belief, should not be ingested, no matter how much dip you put on them. Some of the highest lead content was found in chips used at Las Vegas casinos. Hey, if people in casinos want to put the chips in their mouths, don't warn them about anything dangerous. After all, do you have any idea how hard it is to get retirement sweat off of your teeth?

I'm a Joker, I'm a Toker Award
A shocking study has found that pop music contains references to substance abuse. Even more shocking, country music comes in second place, with rap leading the pack by far at a rate of almost three out of every four songs holding a reference. Oh, if only we could go back to a simpler time, with the music of The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and the Doobie Brothers.

And that wraps up our awards for this week. We may be hit or miss next week, as we take a trip to visit some of our nation's hot spots, but we'll definitely see you next Friday.

Aw heck, who are we kidding? We'll definitely be around by Thursday. Stay safe out there!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

This should probably be more shocking

We've all seen a large variety of different polls going around, especially as of late. There have been polls asking people about their favorite political candidate, favorite web sites (not that we'd stoop to shameless plugging here), even polls to gauge just how much people prefer chocolate to peanut butter. But a recently released poll has given us results that we're not horribly surprised by.

A recent Pew Survey found that fewer than 60% of Americans actually trust the political wisdom of their fellow countrymen. In other words, we simply don't believe that we're politically savvy enough to make the right decisions when the time comes.

That should be frightening, and yet it seems fairly run-of-the-mill to us. After all, we've witnessed with our own eyes just how prone people in this country are to making snap (and poor) judgements regarding politicians. After all, we lived through the stewardship of Governor Jesse Ventura.

Of course, one of the reasons that this poll doesn't really surprise us is the polarized nature of political discourse at present. With the Red/Blue divide amongst states, and within, it's completely natural to expect that people espousing one particular political belief will be unable to trust the opposing group to make wise decisions. Then there's always the people who are confident that their own political party is full of insanity and poor choices, but we're not here to point fingers at Joe Lieberman.

Maybe one of the causes behind this poor decision making, and the lack of faith in the average American making well-informed decisions is the nature of the information being provided to us. After all, if we can't get the politicians to actually admit to any of their stances on an issue, how are we supposed to be savvy enough to make the right choices? And, if we're forced to rely on talking heads like Bill O'Reilly, Keith Olbermann, or Wolf Blitzer, how can we possibly wade through the slanted diatribes to come to any sort of justifiable conclusion?

This is why we propose that, after the Writer's Guild of America strike is over, we actively work to convince television pundits (and perhaps political speechwriters) to go on a strike of their own. It would at least help cut back on the garbage being strewn around.

Who knows? It might actually lead to more answers, and a better informed electorate. And how on earth could that be a bad thing?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

No good here

No, no, we're not using that subject line as a reference for the debates in the House of Representatives regarding VP "Vader" Cheney. Instead, we're talking about some very high earners, and the feelings that they have towards the American dollar. This is being prompted by the realization that, apparently, our money is no good with a number of them, the latest being Gisele Bundchen.

While it's true that Bundchen isn't alone in her refusal to be paid in American dollars, she is the only one that we're aware of who makes their living by parading around wearing a bra and panties most of the time. Sure, she's attractive. After all, she's a supermodel. But for the actual work that she does, her declaration that she would rather be paid in currency that isn't currently floundering seems a bit, well, ugly. After all, if you had to walk around in your underwear, and got paid millions to do so, would you really be concerned whether you were losing a few cents per dollar (which admittedly adds up when you hit the millions range)? At least the others mentioned in our linked article actually had to do something more than be blessed with good genetics to earn their fortunes.

Of course, this list of the already exceedingly wealthy is quick to point out that the dollar will continue to flounder because of the number of Americans living well beyond their means. Never mind the number of people worldwide being paid in American dollars at levels far beyond their needs. Not saying that it would necessarily fix everything, but if every celebrity found their earnings cut by 10%, it might actually help rescue our currency.

But, well, we certainly can't be too hasty. After all, we all do need to live more within our means. We can't continue to rack up our debts. And, shucks, if that means that we can't continue to see American companies dish out millions to celebrities while paying upwards of hundreds to their standard employees, then so be it.

Or maybe we'll just move to Canada. After all, their buck currently has more bang.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Didn't really think that one through, huh?

There are certain instances where you really shouldn't call the police, even if it seems like a good idea at the time. Naturally, the number (and seeming frequency) of those instances rises the more celebrity you gain, or the longer your personal rap sheet, but some things just should raise enough alarm bells on their own that you probably don't want the cops involved. If only Jose Guadalupe Flores had kept that in mind before he reported a theft. And while it's true that the items stolen definitely had a large value, it would have probably been best just to let bygones be bygones.

Because, after all, when you're been robbed of 150 pounds of marijuana and neglect to clean up the additional 15 pounds you've got scattered around your living room, the last thing you probably should do is report the crime.

To make matters worse, it turns out that Flores is also an illegal immigrant, meaning that, until his arraignment hearing, he'll be held in prison. It could be worse, naturally, as Flores could be finding himself quickly deported, but, given that he had already procured an illegal residence in Texas and somehow amassed hundreds of pounds of marijuana, it's a safe bet that he might try the same kind of thing again.

But that's not all. Not only did Flores admit that the drugs were his in the first place, but he then followed up that admission by mentioning that he was wrapping the pot for shipment, thereby taking an intent to distribute onto his already steep possession charge. We're fairly certain that, if Flores had talked longer, he may have started to mention how much he was able to charge per shipment, quantities of Mt. Dew consumed, and where to find the best snacks to help when the munchies set in.

We also don't know what may have happened to bags of Cheetos in the vicinity, although we rest assured that sales of Phish and Grateful Dead CDs have recently skyrocketed.

Monday, November 05, 2007

A series of unfortunate events

Sometimes, luck comes (or goes) in runs. For example, you could be walking along and find a shiny new penny. That could be followed by purchasing a lottery ticket which, when rubbed with the shiny new penny, produces a winning combination. Said winnings could go towards a nice dinner and some drinks, at which you are gifted with the key to the city. Unable to contain your excitement, you head out to celebrate, and proceed to be treated to a fantastic night on the town by the celebrity of your choice.

Or, alternately, you could crash your car, run away from the scene of the accident, and, while hiding out in a nearby house, get shot by the homeowner.

That's what happened to a man in Southbury, CT. After getting involved in a one-vehicle crash, he decided he would rather try and get away from the accident than stay put. As part of his escape, he broke into a house, waking up the homeowner. One thing led to another, and, before too long, the suspect was being taken away by EMTs to treat the gunshot wound he had suffered.

This particular string of bad luck almost makes us wonder what else had happened to the guy that day. Had he forgotten to feed his dog, and ended up getting into a bit of a tussle over his breakfast bacon? Was he unable to watch "Cavemen", because he'd accidentally recorded "Nightline" in its place? At the grocery store, was he unable to find a bag of Marshmallow Mateys? Did Dennis Kucinich ask him to be his running mate, only to later be cast aside because he wasn't "alien enough"?

So many possibilities. So many things that could have happened. Of course, it's also possible that this individual exhibits decision-making skills matched only by Britney Spears and Pete Doherty. We ultimately won't know until his identity is released. Naturally, we do have a guess as to who it might have been.

Isn't that right, OJ?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of October 29, 2007

November crept up on us, and with it comes elections. Calm down, calm down. We're not talking about the elections that certain people have been campaigning around for months now. No, we're mentioning local races, to help decide the fates of our cities and townships. Of course, we've also seen Christmas (also known as the Holiday at War) continue it's aggressive push through the fall, almost completely shoving Halloween aside, having made Thanksgiving into something of a Christmas Jr. We suggest that Labor Day start barricading the door now, just to be safe. But, even with the approaching events, we've still had opportunities to examine the comings and goings of the news world, so let's get these awards underway.

We Hardly Knew Ye Award
This award is given to Stephen Colbert. You may remember not long ago, when we (along with more reputable Internet writers) mentioned Colbert's bid for public office. Well, apparently that bid is over before it's started, at least as far as the Democrats of South Carolina are concerned. When asked for reason, they cite the need for a candidate to be recognizable to national media (check) and to be actively campaigning within the state itself (um...). Oddly enough, they have absolutely no issues with Mike Gravel (interesting side note: Gravel also has no issues. Period.) Oh, and Mr. Colbert? The Word for tonight is "Write-in".

Just Keep Them Panicked Award
It's been well-established that portions of the GDub Administration are intrinsically evil (we're looking at you, VPVader... put the kittens back). What we didn't know, but could have guessed, was that they wanted to keep us jumpy. At least, "Gin" Rummy did, as he encouraged his staffers to "keep elevating the threat". Rummy also wanted to find ways to link Iraq and Iran, but rejected GDub's suggestion of "I-R-A", deciding it was best to keep the Irish out of things. Other things Rummy pushed for? "Bumper sticker statements" and naked pictures of Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty.

My Sausage Is So Old Award
That exact phrase could be cried out from portions of Germany, as a historian recently unearthed the world's oldest bratwurst recipe. The recipe, which dates back to the 15th Century, calls for "only the purest, unspoiled meat" to be used in the production. The fine in the 15th century? 24 pfennigs, which is roughly equivalent to a day's wages, or the current value of the US dollar.

It's Not Sex If You Swallow Award
Parents tend to think that their children aren't inclined in the slightest to engage in any sort of sexual activity, obviously forgetting what they were like at that age. It certainly doesn't help that, if asked, 70% of children aged 12 to 16 believe that oral sex doesn't remove virginity. 16 percent of the same age group think the same think about anal sex. No numbers are available on how many of that 70% spent time with a Catholic priest.

Armageddonocity Award
What would you do if you found your yard overrun with lawn gnomes from around the town? Police in Springfield, Oregon, have been wondering that themselves since a prank redistributed the gnomes around the station. Capt. Richard Harrison has even said, "Every time I leave my office they're sitting in my chair, working on my computer." He followed this up with commentary about how, if his deputies knew how to work a computer, then the gnomes might not have been able to take over quite so easily. Interestingly enough, the gnomes have all been searching travel websites for good deals. Their favorite? Orbitz.

Whoa, Man, Look at That Kettle Award
People have suspected that Amy Winehouse is continuing to battle drug problems. People have also suspected that Pete Doherty has given up on the battle, and is only in rehab because he now become addicted to the drugs used to help him kick drugs. And yet, Doherty has recently come out to defend Winehouse after a poor performance for MTV. He refers to her as "perfectly healthy" and "sensible". The two are planning a future collaboration. It'll happen in a parking lot, off of the interstate, and also involve a couple of guys with more bling than Winehouse has teeth.

All Reality TV, All the Time Award
Finally, we may finally be broken free of our addictions to television. By we, of course, we do mean the people who watch programming that's actually scripted. The writer's union has agreed to a strike, which could start as early as Monday, and would affect shows aired on a daily basis first, with weekly shows coming down the line. Somehow, the timing seems a little eerie. Colbert announces a bid for the presidency, writers go on strike, thereby forcing Colbert's program into a hiatus, allowing him to pursue the presidency more strongly. Hmmm... as a side note, nobody will notice any difference watching "Two and a Half Men", because monkeys haven't figured out how to go on strike yet.

And on that somewhat down note, we leave you for another week. We'll see you again on Monday, as we prepare ourselves for the last few weeks of the year. Before we leave, we're going to give a quick shameless plug over to our friends at Brain Play, because we love when comedy and intelligence smash together into a cool t-shirt. Don't forget to turn your clocks back, and stay safe out there.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Spider... he is our hero

Spiders do a lot of things. They create intricate webs. They help the local habitat. They help cull the populations of things like horseflies and mosquitoes. They elicit screams of terror from the arachnophobic. And they can provide decent enemies when blown up to giant size and inserted into some sort of fantasy epic.

One thing that they cannot do, apparently, is provide a suitable defense for kidnapping or rape. And yet, Australian Philip Spiers tried to claim that the reasons he'd captured and sexually abused a woman were because of the venom of a funnel spider. The crime, for which Spiers admitted guilt, took place in 1997, and now, ten years later, toxicologists have proven that there is no medical evidence to support the claim.

Naturally, given our own penchant for watching horror and sci-fi movies, we could have very easily told Spiers the same thing, and we wouldn't have needed a fancy laboratory to do so. After all, while it's theoretically possible that a spider could lead to mental instability, we all know that such an event is the result of hundreds of spider eggs hatching in the brain. And yes, people could get angry due to spiders, but that's really only an issue when a giant arachnid refuses to allow itself to catch fire and burn the way that John Goodman intended.

Besides, we can all easily agree that, while spiders can sometimes lead to negative feelings and/or emotions, sometimes the bite of a spider brings great power. And, well, with great power comes the strange desire to wear skin-tight pajamas wherever you go.