Friday, May 30, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of May 26, 2008

Welcome back to another Friday. Today's awards are going up a little early, because we've got moving to do, but we wanted to make sure to give you your early weekend treat before we headed on our way. With that, let's get rolling.

Burning Down the House Award
We all remember fire safety demonstrations from when we were younger. They taught us valuable lessons, like how to properly use a fire extinguisher, and which wood makes a really big fire. Well, in Great Britain, the demonstrations are being put to an end. Because they're unsafe, and might teach children to battle fires themselves. Other demonstrations under the knife are ones on first aid (they might teach children how to make a proper splint), and model UNs (they might teach children how to withhold oil and other resources from kids they don't like).

Sincerely Yours Award
There are times and places to leave notes. One of those times is not when you're attempting to rob a house, and get frustrated by the safe. And yet, that's exactly what some robbers in Iowa did, after failing to break into the safe. This is why we don't have a safe of our own. We just can't handle the negativity. Well, that, and we're bloggers, so it's not like we have a lot of nice things.

What Would Spinal Tap Think? Award
Scientists may have finally figured out what Stonehenge was used for. According to recent research with radiocarbon dating, it appears that the monument was a burial ground for the wealthy dead. This also explains the engraving that translates to read "Angus. Father of two, loving husband, lousy hunter."

Shocking. Just Shocking Award
In recent history, Scott McClellan, former press secretary to the GDub Administration, has released a memoir detailing what he saw during his time at the White House. Unsurprisingly, the GOP is attacking him as a glory-seeker, and claiming that the entire book is full of lies, forcing McClellan to take to the morning news circuit to defend himself. We count vouch for the whole thing, but we do think it's credible that on page 178, McClellan mentions GDub deferring to VPCheney, and on page 23, he gives a believable description of the kitten-machine that fuels the Vice President.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Threats Award
Show a picture of a nuclear-war destroyed Washington, D.C., and the SITE Intelligence Agency will take notice. Especially when said picture is being posted around Islamic websites. Except the picture was not created by extremists, as SITE originally claimed, but by game developers from Bethesda Softworks. This also explains why SITE is still looking for fire flowers, and why they train their agents to hide in cardboard boxes.

We're Supposed to Read That Thing? Award
Good news, everyone! Israel held an online vote, and they've picked their national bird, the Hoopoe. Bad news, everyone! It's one of the birds that the Book of Leviticus specifically refers to as being abhorrent. What's next? Is the national meat going to be bacon? Because, if so, we can totally get behind that concept.

One Bedroom, with Spacious Closet Award
What's worse than finding a burglar pilfering your food while you're away at work? How about finding out that said burglar is actually a homeless person who's been living in your closet for a year? You'd think the panhandler in the bathroom might have been a bit of a tip-off.

Well, that wraps up our awards for another week. We'll see you next week, refreshed and ready to tackle another round of primaries. Will these be the ones that finally sound the Clinton death knell, or is she still planning on surviving longer than Indiana Jones? We'll just have to wait to find out. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

It didn't work

There are a number of interesting legal defenses that people present to try to stay out of prison. For example, there's the always popular insanity defense, the slightly less popular Twinkie defense, and the relatively obscure Chewbacca defense. However, we may have found the defense that really takes the cake.

As it turns out, a New York mafia boss wants the judge for his trial removed from the case. The reasoning behind his request? The judge may be biased, due to the gangster allegedly planning to have him killed.

Well, we can completely sympathize with the mobster. After all, we're fairly certain that there are relatively few ways to get someone opposed to helping you anywhere near as quickly as trying to get them assassinated. And it just seems fair that he might think that the judge won't necessarily view this case as objectively as he probably should.

Of course, then we have to recall that this is a worry for the gangster, which seems, to us, to be something of an admission of guilt. So maybe the judge has every right to hold less than a completely fair trial. After all, it was his life that was being plotted against.

The people that the mob boss should really be upset with? Whoever it was that didn't carry out the plot. After all, if they'd done their job, then this wouldn't even be an issue.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Good help is hard to find

Have you ever had one of those really bad days at work? The kind of day where you spend your time training in a new employee, only to have said employee turn out to be a thief intent on robbing your store? Even worse, did you take extra care to teach them how to operate the cash register?


Then you obviously don't work at a 7-11 in Mesa, AZ, where this happened. The suspect decided to fool the clerk, get trained as an employee, and then return later to purchase some frosty beer. However, when questions were raised by their photo ID, the suspect grabbed the clerk, locked her in the bathroom, and then, while waiting for an opportune moment, proceeded to help customers. It wasn't until the actual clerk returned to the front with a gun of her own that the robber fled the scene.

We know what you're thinking. Well, we know what you're thinking if your mind is anything like ours. And that thought is, simply, are there magic cash registers out there that you need to be trained how to operate? Isn't it usually simply a matter of hitting some sort of an enter button (generally located in a fairly logical place) to get the drawer to slide out? Or was this really an elaborate plot towards getting some experience behind the counter at a gas station?

And, naturally, is this person still eligible for an "Employee of the Month" recognition?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Funny... and not funny

Well, after taking yesterday to memorialize some things, and to enjoy the time-honored tradition of gluttony and far too much processed meat, we actually have to stories to look at today. Sure, there were more out there, but these two just seemed to jump.

First up, we have a story where it just might be appropriate to laugh. In fact, if we were actual news reporters, and we were asked to recite this story on the air, we probably wouldn't be able to help ourselves. After all, it isn't every day that you hear about someone hiring a nude maid. It's even less often that she robs the place.

See, when you're trying to keep the house clean while the spouse is away, it makes some level of sense to hire a cleaning service. If you're a straight male, well, why not hire a maid? Heck, for most guys, having a woman show up in a French maid costume alone is enough for them to forget that the TV has a thin layer of dust, and that the carpet could use a really good vacuuming. When the victim of our story searched online and found a listing for a nude maid, well, we're pretty sure that he forgot that his fridge had been unplugged for a week, too. All up until the point where he learned that she'd not only cleaned up, but that she'd taken extra payment. And before you start thinking that this was some sort of karmic response to him hiring a nude woman while his wife was away, you need to realize that the maid stole the wife's jewelry. The most interesting point is that the man could only give a brief description of the maid. We are fairly certain that he wasn't even positive that she had a face.

As for our other story, well, as we pointed out with the story above, there are times where laughing is perfectly acceptable. Make a slip while speaking, and refer to Obama as Osama? Depending on which news organization that you work for, maybe a little chuckle at your own faux pas is appropriate. Suggesting that both should be assassinated? Apparently that's hilarious. At least, it is if you work for FOXNews. Or, at least, we are lead to believe that, after one of their pundits made the slip, mentioned assassination, and then proceeded to laugh out loud at the notion of either person being killed. But, you know, FOX is "fair and balanced", and when they report, we decide.

Listen, FOX, we were already willing to write you off as an experiment in bringing partisan politics to the newsroom. Now that we can see that at least some of your talking heads actively advocate the assassination of Americans who don't share your beliefs, we can write you off as something else. At least you'll keep the trains running on time.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of May 19, 2008

Here we are again. It's Friday, the sun is out, and we're ready to run with our awards. Our brains have already checked out for the weekend, so we're just going to dive in.

Whippersnappers Award
People have been fearful that, as the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party, Barack Obama may pull the age card with regards to John McCain. No worries, folks, as McCain (who, as you may have heard, is older than Velcro and Alaska) did it himself. He has referred to Obama as "young man", and cited a lack of experience based largely on age. McCain was later heard asking people to speak louder, and then berating them to get off of his lawn.

I Don't Like You Anymore Award
But that's not all McCain's done recently. In light of recent comments, the GOP front runner (and, with the exception of the zombie campaign of Ron Paul, the only runner), McCain has decided to reject the endorsements of a couple of religious leaders, due to inflammatory comments such as saying that "Hitler was a hunter" to help guide the Jewish people back to Israel. Within the same day, one of the preachers, John Hagee, decided to pull his endorsement back. Look, McDaddy, if you can't court the insane and violently right-wing Christian ideologues and extremists, then who can?

Next Step: Drive-by Lessons Award
In an attempt to spur on car sales, and possibly to capitalize on comments made by the Democratic candidates on the campaign trail, a Missouri auto dealership is offering a free handgun to anyone who purchases a new car. Well, it's either a gun (referred to as "a nice little handgun that fits in your pocket"), or a voucher for $250 in gas. Oddly enough, people are opting for the gun, figuring that, if times get really bad, they'll be able to get more than one full tank out of the deal.

We Find the Plaintiff Not Marriage Material Award
Last fall, after a fight, a bride cancelled her planned wedding. Many people would either look back in relief, or possibly even laugh at the situation. Not the groom's mother, who has decided to sue the bride over the failed nuptials. Ostensibly, the suit is an attempt to reclaim a deposit on a location. Needless to say, the bride's choice, while potentially expensive, is looking better and better. No word on whether the groom holds out hopes of being able to find anyone else now that this story has come to light.

Read Carefully Award
What would you do if you received an exam form that had a number of the answers on the back? Well, if you're like the vast majority of 12,000 students sitting for a music exam last week, you wouldn't even notice your good fortune. Although questions are being raised as to why a child who was only a drummer was suddenly able to understand key concepts such as pitch, melody, and how to get a girlfriend with a comfortable couch.

Where's the Kite, Charlie Brown? Award
A Pennsylvania man was recently rescued by police after he was found dangling upside down from a tree. His claim? The tree attacked him. Needless to say, the police believe him to have been highly intoxicated, which is kind of like saying that ice hockey requires a cold surface, and that glue can be sticky.

Sticking It To the Stockpile Award
Were you one of those Americans hoping that the current price of gasoline would cause the Energy Secretary to release oil from our strategic reserve? If so, do you still believe in unicorns prancing down the street? After all, both are as likely to happen anytime soon, as the Energy Secretary has refused to release any of the reserves, declaring that we need to save them in "case of emergency". For those playing at home, the definition of emergency is, "When the leaders of the government need to escape from the average citizen, and there's only enough gas to supply our jets and cars."

And on that ever chipper note, we'll be signing off. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, try not to get burned too badly at the pump, and we'll see you back here on Tuesday. Until then, stay safe out there.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

That'll show 'em

First off, today, we have to give a nod to science. After all, it's been a little while since we've been able to point out one of the new discoveries and/or advancements made by the scientific community, and, after today, we know what they were so busy with. Yes, thanks to science, we now have a strong working definition for a term previously left vague. Thank goodness we now can know exactly what "premature ejaculation" is. Ironically, the definition couldn't be agreed upon until a group of researchers had studied results from studies conducted over the last 65 years. It should be noted that the different portions of the definition did all occur in the first few sentences.

Yes, sometimes we disturb ourselves, too. So we're just going to move on from there to New Zealand, where a woman grew tired of the catcalls and whistles that she heard as she went about her daily business. So, one day while approaching an ATM, she did what any person would do in that situation.

She stripped to get them to stop whistling.

So, in order to get them to stop whistling over her attractiveness, she decided to "show 'em what (she's) got". Well, that would put an obvious end to those type of playground shenanigans. We're fairly certain that the men have been properly chastised, obviously having only whistled as an annoyance, and not with any hope of actually getting a response from a woman. In fact, now that they've seen this woman in all of her glory (we can only assume... the article isn't overly specific), they'll surely stop, attend dance lessons, and learn the difference between a martini and a cosmopolitan.

Either that, or their cro-magnon beliefs have simply been reinforced, and now they'll just continue whistling, hoping that another woman will strip down.

Actually, if that second tactic works, we might want these guys to visit the museum in Manchester, UK, that's decided to cover mummies to not offend sensitive patrons. Because, obviously, if current generations were meant to see mummies covered in anything, then their wrappings wouldn't have been made out of a biodegradable material.

And they wouldn't star in movies with Brendan Frasier.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Buying grass

An interesting thematic connection has found its way to us. Yesterday, we talked about someone trying to buy munchies with grass. Today, we find that the city of Roseville, CA, is offering to buy grass from residents. Of course, in one story "grass" was used as a slang term, where in the other, the word stands as the proper noun, but we find a connection either way.

See, in Roseville, like in many other communities across the United States, there is a bit of a drought going on. And the city council, like many other city councils, has tried to ask people to stop watering their lawns as frequently. Unfortunately, in America, people are so obsessed with the notion of keeping their grass exceptionally green, even going so far as to water their lawn the night after a rainstorm, that the pleas to conserve water have been met with the sound of a sprinkler system.

That is, until the city struck upon the notion of buying square footage off of residents. Well, not really buying the land itself, but instead they're looking to offer residents cash for every square foot of sod they turn into some other landscaping (and less water-intensive) aesthetic. We can practically smell the investment in artificial turf and rocks. We also practically guarantee that a few residents will end up building in ponds, complete with running waterfalls and fountains, perhaps not understanding the concept of water conservation.

One other thing we're willing to put money on? What are the odds that, a few months to a year from the start of this initiative, the fee for water usage will have to rise, because the city wasn't collecting enough from the bills? We're thinking it's running slightly better than 50/50 for those odds.

Who knows? Maybe next year, the city will have to sell the grass back.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dude, can you break a baggie?

You know that the state of the economy is no laughing matter when people are finding interesting ways to pay for goods and services. While we haven't reached levels of indentured servitude quite yet, we are seeing people more willing to haggle, and trading service for service has finally moved out of cooperative living areas and street corners into more suburban communities. And never forget that more and more people are being forced to *gasp* shop at only one grocery store per trip, as opposed to running all over town to find just the right brand of milk.

But all of that has nothing on a man from New Zealand, who stopped at a gas station, grabbed some snacks, and realized he'd left his wallet and money at home. Ever the quick thinker, he decided to offer the only other green that he had on him.

Needless to say, the police officer in line behind him was not amused at the prospect of a customer using marijuana to pay for M&Ms.

That's right, folks. We've finally reached that level of despair, where we can expect to see even our own homegrown drug users trying to determine just how many Pringles you can get for crack, or whether or not McDonald's will accept opium through the drive-thru window. We may even see panhandlers admit that they're asking for money for liquor, if only so that they can turn that bottle of Christian Brothers into a Big Bell Value Meal.

Aw, who are we kidding. The cops were probably upset because they hadn't kept any of drugs that they confiscated with them, and were forced to dig out a couple of banknotes in exchange for their Slurpee.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Making it sporting

Ever since men have been walking upright, women have probably been upset about their lack of aim when it comes to urination. Over time, new vessels were created to help store and dispose of the liquid byproduct, but through all of that, men were once again culprits of poor aim, bad decision-making, or the desire just to see from how far away they actually could arc a stream. And that's not even taking into account writing their name in the snow without their hands. Meanwhile, women have been cleaning up after them, and discussing the male inability to actually hit a target while in the bathroom.

That all may be about to change, thanks to a couple of Belgian beer drinkers, who are developing "Place to Pee", a video game where urinating helps survive an alien invasion, or steers a skier through a tricky course. The basic concept is that the player aims at sensors, and, for every successful "strike", something good happens in the game that they're playing. Of course, these games are potentially competitive, being made for two people, and that's one thing that few men really crave when trying to empty their bladders.

So this could all be a good thing in the long run. If the invention takes off, not only could it finally give men a reason to care about where their stream is going, but it could then lead to bragging rights amongst the guys who could claim higher scores. Plus, the inventors are even working on a way to get women into the game, giving them the same thrill that men get when they splash a stream onto the toilet seat.

Also a plus? The skiing game would be appropriate for all ages, which will give little Tommy something to do while he's at the bar with Dad.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of May 12, 2008

Here we sit, watching another Friday close out the week, and to be honest, we're a little confused. We're not sure if this is because we've got beautiful weather for the first time in a long time, or because we narrowly avoided getting hit by a baseball earlier in the week, or what, but, for some reason, it just doesn't feel like the week has been quite long enough. Don't get us wrong, we'll definitely take the shorter-feeling week, it's just thrown off our rhythm. Anyway, maybe if we start our awards, we'll be less confused.

Next Time, Call Acme Award
A recent power outage in Albania can be blamed on two culprits. No, not the state of the economy or the weather. This time, the outage can be blamed on a cat and a mouse, who were chasing each other through a power station. No reports yet whether or not this was merely a start to filming the inevitable "Tom and Jerry" live action movie.

The Safe Word is "911" Award
We've heard of some pretty kinky practices during sex play. From using a feather to dripping wax, and all the way to the shocking notion of using "foreplay", they seem to run the gamut. Therefore, it doesn't really surprise us that there are people who find being cut to be erotic. We also weren't surprised when someone got stabbed by an overly enthusiastic partner. The only real shock was that neither of the participants were named Spears or Winehouse.

Not Il Papa Award
As many of you may have heard, California's Supreme Court recently decided that banning gay marriage was unconstitutional. Just in case we had forgotten, though, thanks to the Pope, we have been reminded that the Catholic Church is still adamantly opposed, calling it "immoral". Several Catholic priests later agreed to the opposition, pointing out that, in many states, it's still illegal to marry someone under the age of 14.

In Need of a New Shirt Award
Ah, stupid criminals. We love 'em, the same way that viewers of "America's Funniest Home Videos" love a ball (or a kick, or bat, or chair, or car, or missile) in the crotch. Therefore, we have to love when someone robs their own place of employment. But that's not what sets this story apartment. Oh no, it's the fact that he did it while still wearing his work uniform. Maybe the culprit thought that they'd taken enough sick days to be unrecognizable.

Home Court Disadvantage Award
All sports seem to tout the need for playing at your home location. For a couple of guys in Farmington, Maine, the home court worked against them. The two were playing basketball inside their apartment when they proceeded to hit a sprinkler, raining water down on two businesses on the first floor. However, by proving their ability to hit anything, the men have been offered contracts to play with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Memphis Grizzlies next season.

The Cream of the Crop Award
How do you get cows to produce more milk? Many people seem to think it involves a complicated procedure of getting them to eat enough materials to produce the dairy product. For a farmer in Iowa, the best plan is to give the cows water beds and flat-screen televisions. The cows are apparently big fans of Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Phil, which explains why our cheese recently told us how we could be better parents, and why the milk gave away a new car to everyone that opened the refrigerator.

Within Spitting Distance Award
Two Swiss men recently engaged in a spitting competition, trying to see which one could spit further from a balcony. Seems fairly innocent, and a little childish, but no harm, no foul, right? Well, when one of the men decided to get a running start (yes, onto the balcony) to gain some extra distance, the contest ended in tragedy, as he ended up losing his balance and falling to his death. Seriously, people, this is why you don't run on (or at) balconies. If only they'd been playing basketball indoors, this never would have happened.

Cheap Drinks Award
It looks like the state of the economy is finally starting to really hit home for people. You may be wondering what finally was the tipping point. From our perspective it's the notion that, while people are still drinking as much beer as normal, many are switching from higher-priced brews to "economy beers" such as Miller Lite and Pabst Blue Ribbon. And yet, it still costs just as much to be able to wash the horrible taste of their "beer" out of your mouth.

Well, that wraps up our awards for another week. We'll be back next week, possibly with more talk of appeasement, or possibly just with more bickering back and forth along the same sides of the partisan aisle. Actually, knowing what's been happening as of late, we fully expect both. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

This job stinks

There are a few things that one must do if they plan on ever working around other people. Being sure not to harass them is a fairly obvious step, one that should carry as much weight (if not more) as things like good personal hygiene and actually getting some work done. An item conspicuously missing from many lists of appropriate workplace behavior is not passing gas at your coworkers.

If only the fellow employees of a Deal, Kent women had known about that. It could have saved their company around $10,000.

That's right. Amongst a laundry list of other offenses (which all added up to a fairly nice sexual harassment settlement), breaking wind towards the woman has taken a higher level of offense. This may have something to do with the overall penchant of her fellow employees to eat cabbage and beans. It also may have had something to do with the fact that one of the main olfactory offenders was the woman's manager. As she puts it, he regularly "lifted his right cheek" in her direction before, um, relaxing a bit.

Sure, there was also commentary made about women in general, overall leering, inappropriate commentary, and poor reactions to her inability to get her computer to work, but really, when it comes down to it, even if the rest of those things hadn't happened, the poor woman still got farted at on a regular basis. And, unless you work in a barn, or possibly at a Taco Bell, that's just one hazard that should never come with the job.

In the meantime, her former employers have taken to shooting spit balls at each other, and have prepared a "You're Glue" defense in case of an appeal.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Panic! At the Playground

With the things that have been going on in our schools, we can understand when an administrator gets a little too "closure happy", and exercises his powers because of an incident. Whether that incident is a bomb threat, potential arson, or a really bad decision made by a substitute chemistry teacher, we can see where cause might be followed, especially if the action taken by the school is a simple reroute of the student's departure routes. After all, we need to be ever vigilant.

And yet that vigilance can get a little out of hand. Honestly, we don't really think that a school in Massachusetts really needed to go into lock down mode over a recent incident After all, it was just a raccoon bite.

Yes, you read that correctly. After a school crossing guard was bitten by one of the "masked" rodents, the school entered into lock down, and the students had to remain inside at the end of the day until the animal could be "disposed of". Although, we admit, there probably were a fair share of students who would have liked to potentially track down the raccoon, for any number of different reasons, so maybe the lock down was an appropriate response. After all, a mass evacuation might simply have spooked the animal, possibly even causing it to flee the vicinity.

And yes, we're aware that the animal needed to be at least captured, in order to test for rabies, but we're going to take the odds on this one and say that, if you get bit by a wild animal, go ahead and act as though you might have the disease, and get yourself taken care of appropriately. Because every time that we have to lock a school up to catch a rodent, the scavengers have already won.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

First Church of Roswell

Good news, everybody! Thanks to the Vatican's chief astronomer, we can keep believing that something is watching us from the heavens. And we don't even have to wonder if that means we don't believe in God anymore.

Well thank goodness for that. Now that we can rest assured that aliens would also be "God's creatures", we can rest much more easily. After literally minutes of contemplation into whether or not our belief in extraterrestrials invalidated our belief in an omnipotent, omnipresent being who created everything we've ever known, and did it all in a week, we've been given the answers that fit not only our iconography, but our desire to make hats out of tinfoil. Thank goodness the Vatican stepped up and clarified this one for us.

Of course, the thing that shocks us the most is the notion of the Vatican having an astronomer in the first place, but these things shouldn't really surprise us. After all, we've seen a professional wrestler take over as governor, and we've seen evidence proving that Gary Coleman can get married, so the notion of someone within the church staring at the stars really shouldn't be that bizarre.

The only problem that we see is that we're now left with a question. If we were made in God's image, as the Bible proclaims, then what image were aliens made in? God's cousin Tony's? His pet dog's? A slightly longer, more technologically advanced version of Himself? Now that we know we can believe in both denizens of the skies, we can only hope that the answers to these questions are coming soon.

Monday, May 12, 2008

One step at a time

We can't possibly expect that people will learn at the drop of a hat. Sure, some things seem like they would be instinctive, but, speaking from our own experiences, just because it looks like something that should be known easily doesn't mean it always is. For further proof, look once again at the election in 2004. Like we said, sometimes, it takes a little more before people start to learn.

Take, for example, police in Nagoya, Japan. They may have instinctively know to not allow a man doused in kerosene to smoke, but did that stop them from letting him light up? The answer is a resounding, "No", followed by a woofing noise and some intense flames. The real kicker?

The police station was a non-smoking location.

Wait, no, that just isn't right. The kicker to the story is that the police didn't either force the man to change his fuel-soaked clothes, or that they gave him fire and tobacco. Sure, we can understand that sometimes, you just have to have a cigarette, but at least make sure you aren't wearing anything excessively flammable at the time. As far as the police go, well, they certainly should have been able to look at the possibility that someone who had soaked themselves in gas might not be the most mentally stable of people, and therefore, giving them the fire with which to burn themselves (either internally OR externally) might not be the wisest idea. Especially when the man turned into a walking pillar of fire, and had to be taken to the hospital.

Meanwhile, here in America, we're busy trying to figure out how exactly to get sexual predators out of ice cream trucks. Because it's only taken us this long to realize that the primary customers for said trucks are children, many of which run after the jingling bells without a thought to if parents are around.

But it's not like we're soaking the BombPops in fuel, so there's a plus, right?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of May 5, 2008

What a week this has been. From Cinco de Mayo to, um... the week that follows Cinco de Mayo. Right... anyways, there's been plenty going on, and with the weather tuning up, we've even been able to step outside and soak up some sun. But that hasn't stopped us from looking through the news for our awards, so let's get those underway, shall we?

Stoned Out Of Your Skull Award
We're willing to bet that, for as long as marijuana has been around, there have been jokes about what people will use to make bongs. Common substances seem to be fruits, while less common substances include bricks and the occasional asparagus. But there's an extra level of creepy involved when you need to raid a grave to get your materials, like some boys in Texas did. What, was the local head shop fresh out of "tobacco pipes"?

Laugh Along With FOXNews Award
The Project for Excellence in Journalism has released a new report linking "The O'Reilly Factor" with "The Daily Show", stating the neither is a good source for news, but that both serve to reinforce the news that has been ingested through other means. The PEJ also stated that "The Daily Show" makes "some very serious political commentary". Well, that sets the two shows apart right there, although it does explain our desire to laugh uproariously at O'Reilly's program.

Seasonal Donkey Award
When it comes to being outspoken about food, Gordon Ramsay takes the cake. Well, he takes the cake, swears at it, belittles its basic make-up, calls it a donkey, swears at it some more, and then gives it a backhanded compliment, but you know what we mean. Well, now Ramsay is taking aim at restaurants in Great Britain, calling for fines against chefs who serve fruits and vegetables out of season. He also referred to the British as a nation of "lazy eaters". Having tried British cuisine, we can assure you that there is nothing lazy about trying to eat that food.

Hard-Hitting Coverage Award
When looking for plush reporting, without too much shag, look no further than Anchorage. Why? Because they have a detailed expose into the naming of carpet stores. Because nothing trumps the Minnesota Mullet competitions quite like discussing carpet store names. And they've got the deals to prove it.

Timing, People, Timing Award
What's the worst thing that could possibly happen when you construct a tornado shelter for a community? If you guessed that the shelter would be locked during a tornado warning, you know about what happened in Alma, Arkansas. The keys are kept by local police officers, but, in case of an emergency, they may not be able to reach the shelter in time. Citizens of the town are now clamoring for emergency plans to be drawn up for the emergency shelter. Emergency.

Black Magic Women Award
When it comes to staging an inventive anti-war rally, the women of Code Pink definitely know how to do it with style. They started with the traditional signs, and then unfurled a pink banner. Oh yeah, and they employed witchcraft. Which certainly explains why eye of newt wasn't available at our local grocer's freezer for awhile.

Can I See Some ID? Award
There are plenty of cases of identity theft going around this country, but we may have just found one of the weirdest. A man has recently been jailed for spending $3.2 million on cars and other assorted purchases using a photocopy of an ID, and a matching SSN. Yes, a photocopy. We just wonder how he got his ID scanned when buying cigarettes and beer, and we'd hate to think about what would happen if there was a paper jam.

And that wraps up our awards for yet another week. We'll see you back here on Monday, when (we hope) we'll know the answer to one of the toughest questions currently facing the American citizen. That question being, of course, "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if it was standing on the roof of a church?" Stay safe out there.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Mmmm... donuts

How often have you been in a store or a restaurant while a child has been crying and/or begging for something nearby? How often have you felt the urge to go ahead and give the child what they are craving, especially if said item is small? How often have you lost your job because of it?

That's what happened to a Tim Hortons employee from London, Ontario. Seeing a distressed toddler who wanted nothing more than a Timbit (which are kind of like doughnut holes), the woman decided to help out, and gave the sugary treat to the youngster. Unfortunately, when the cameras caught her giving away product, the woman was fired. This is especially disheartening because the treat itself retails for 16-cents.

Yes, you read that correctly. For "theft" of less than a quarter, and for probably providing a little peace of mind to the people around the distraught child, the woman was fired. Thankfully, there is a happy ending to the story, as the chain has realized their mistake, and are working on the details to rehire the woman, plus pay for the time since she was cut loose.

While we commend the corporation for coming forward (admittedly, not without media pressure, but come forward they did) to try and fix the error caused by the "overzealous decision" of a manager, we still have to question overall what kind of culture leads to such a manager being that concerned over the loss of a 16-cent ball of dough. It's not like the woman was stealing a tank's worth of gas, or the latest video game system to try and quiet this child down. They were simply handing over a doughy, fried ball. Having worked in the food industry, we have to admit to having done similar things ourselves. While we've never given away anything too ridiculous, either in size or price, we also never offered something as inexpensive as a single doughnut ball.

Maybe the manager was afraid that the child had some super-sensitive taste buds, and by having a mere taste, they would be able to identify all the ingredients that make Tim Hortons so popular in Canada. Perhaps they were simply trying to protect industry secrets. Or maybe they just overreacted to an employee doing something nice for a customer.

After all, it was just a doughnut hole. Or Timbit, if you prefer.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

And your little dog, too

We've all experienced heartbreak in our lives. For some, said heartbreak came in the form of being rejected by a potential lover. For others, that same heartbreak may have happened when the really good pizza place down the street ran out of pepperoni during a lunch rush. Sure, the second one seems trivial, but try telling that to a person who's now crying because they had their heart set on pepperoni pizza.

Tangent aside, one thing that most people can agree on as a definite cause for heartbreak is the loss of a pet. These events happen, and, when it's a tragic accident that precipitates the loss, it makes it that much harder to take.

So imagine what it must feel like to get sued over the damages your dog caused to a car that struck it. Not only is your dog hit by a car and gone from your world, but then to be expected to pay for the dents? Just seems a little heartless.

Digging a little deeper, we find that the dog in question was a miniature pinscher, and that the driver is suing for over $1,000 worth of damage to his car, which, given it's make, model, and year, may not have been worth a whole lot more than that before the accident. We could sort of understand if the dog had been a large dog, along the lines of a mastiff or something. You know, the type of dog that could (probably) barrel through plaster if the situation called for it, and could definitely put a few good dings into the body of a Honda Civic.

Of course, with little dogs, there's the Napoleonic complex, so that may have added to the damages. It's possible, though unlikely, that, in its final gasps, the pooch found a way to hurl its tiny body at the car multiple times, causing dents, all while shredding the wiring underneath. Oh, and it also siphoned off some gas.

The ironic thing is that the driver, a dog owner themselves, seems to be filing the suit so that the dog owners take more responsibility. Pot? This is the kettle, and you're full of water.

It could have been worse, though. After all, the driver could have followed this by forgetting to signal a turn.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Poking Portland

Mysticism may have finally reached one of its most bizarre points when people find ways to apply it to something on a much grander scale. While we can understand the notion of using aromatherapy in high traffic areas, and we can see a benefit to encouraging the I Ching in the work place, we do think that there comes a point where a line must be drawn.

Sadly, that line really should have been drawn before someone decided that the city of Portland needed some good acupuncture.

That's right, folks. There's someone going around, jamming 23-foot-long needles into the ground in order to try and help rebalance the "chi" of the city. And sure, there are plenty of people to shake their heads at this latest act, chalking it up to more of the quirky nature of the city, but come on, people. It's the mission of Austin, TX to be kept weird. For Portland, they just seem to be grasping at straws while they continue to get overshadowed by Seattle.

What's next? Are we going to start rearranging city streets and the architecture of buildings because it disrupts the feng shui of the state?

And in a quick update, remember pants-suing judge? Well, he's now suing to get his job back, plus damages. Seems that he thinks he was merely being a whistle-blower pointing out the corruption of the system. We're of the opinion that he was just a little bit off-kilter to begin with, and, as soon as he discovered that he may have had the wrong pants, he was pushed over the edge.

Actually, it sounds like someone could have used a good session of acupuncture.

Monday, May 05, 2008


There are plenty of things that a person can do to lose their job. Obvious options include theft, belligerence, a tendency to show up wearing only a thong and a smile (although, for some companies, that kind of uniform shows a willingness to move up in the world). Of course, for teachers, it seems, as of late, as though there's really only one thing that they can do to get ousted. We know that this isn't true, but it seems like every time we turn around, there's another teacher having inappropriate office hours with an underage pupil. They can claim that they're simply tutoring the students, but there just aren't that many sex ed classes.

So when we found a story today of a teacher losing their job, we wrote it off as another case of very bad touch. And then we read it. And now we know that you can get fired, at least in Florida, for wizardry.

That's right. After performing a magic trick for students, a substitute teacher was released from employment. Apparently making a toothpick disappear was just outside of the realm of reality for the school, and they took the only action that they could think to take. Thankfully, the teacher hadn't been in the middle of the "Sawed Woman" trick, because we're fairly certain that's one trick you can't just stop halfway.

Oh, and there are also accusations of the substitute not following the given lesson plans, but how can we be certain? Maybe he just made them disappear, or turned them into doves. After all, when wizardry is afoot, we can never be too careful.

Honestly, the school should have been tipped off when the teacher's credentials were delivered by an owl.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of April 28, 2008

Another Friday, and another month has flipped its calendar pages over, allowing the next pre-determined allotment of days to take the forefront. Meanwhile, we've been trying to figure out just why every month can't have some sort of rodent-centric holiday, and that thought has just been gnawing away at our brains. We think that May would sit comfortably with Flying Squirrel Day, but that might just be us. Anyways, on to today's awards.

Stop! Messing with the Signs Award
The poor town of Oak Lawn, Illinois. In an attempt to get people to pay more attention to their various stop signs, they placed smaller, similarly shaped signs underneath with clever sayings (clever from the perspective of city officials). The town recently removed the smaller signs because, if left unchecked, they could have lost their federal transportation funding. Oddly enough, multiple screenings of "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot" can lead to the same result.

Blue Takeover Of Death Award
So, anyone following the tech news knows that something big has been going on this week. That's right, we're talking about the potential buy-out of Yahoo! by Microsoft. Rumors abound that Microsoft is contemplating moving into hostile territory, which obviously means that they are planning on forcing Yahoo! employees to use Vista as their only operating system.

A Lesson About Sharing Award
For years, school children have been taught that sharing is a good thing. Except when it lands you in prison. Apparently, a man who decided to share his Little Debbie snack cake with a fellow inmate violated probation and is being sent to jail, because the man he was sharing with had been denied access to the vending machines. We wonder if he's going to run into the same problem trying to share a Nutty Bar while behind bars.

All (Except for the Guy in the Chevy) Rise Award
America is getting fatter. For proof, simply refer to the fact that a judge recently held court in a parking lot, because the defendant was too obese to walk into the courthouse. The defendant sat in his pickup truck while the judge pronounced his sentence. No word yet on whether Ford, Chevy, or Toyota are planning on using this idea in a commercial. Hummer has already passed, saying that there's no way one of their drivers would have even shown up at court.

Worst Prison Escapee Ever Award
What do you do when you escape from a New Mexico prison in 1982? Well, if you're smart, you don't get arrested again in Texas the same year, unlike some people. That's kind of like quitting McDonald's so that you can work at Burger King. Except we bet that the prison has better benefits.

Mein Plastic Bag Award
It's finally happened. Someone has finally crossed over the final threshold in the ongoing fight to rid the world of plastic bags. A Baltimore city councilman has drawn the connection between using plastic bags while shopping to the Nazi movement. Later connections were drawn between Mussolini and bottled water, and Stalin and the idea of the coupon.

You've Gotta Be Nutz Award
This is a quick follow-up to something from last week. Remember when we mentioned that Florida might be about to ban fake testicles from trucks? Looks like that won't be happening after all. Which is a relief, because the last thing we wanted to see was a bunch of eunuch trucks loitering around, waiting for some sort of automobile harem that they could work at.

A Touching Report Award
You know that the economic situation is serious when the Washington Post profiles how people are saving money at the grocery store. Especially when they highlight someone who can no longer go to multiple stores in one trip and has cut back on the amount of organic food that they purchase. Even more shockingly, the woman may have to cut coupons to save an extra buck or two here and there. We're just surprised that the headline for this article wasn't along the lines of, "Economy Forces Suburbanites Back to Reality".

And that wraps up our awards for yet another week. We'll be back next week, with a dash of whatever it is that keeps us running. In the meantime, take some time out of your busy work schedule to enjoy No Pants Day, but beware of the flying squirrels. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Blind drunk

With all the uproar and rage between MADD and Grand Theft Auto IV, we felt it was important to take a step out and talk about some of the serious issues going on.

Wait, who are we kidding? We're going to dive into this one headlong, probably for a few sentences, and then move on to a related tangent. That's just what we do.

Anyways, MADD, stop regurgitating what you've heard about the games. Yes, there is drinking (and the potential for driving) with the story. However, the game is not kind to anyone trying to accomplish said task. Heck, find a way to support the in-game results, and you might actually see fewer drunk drivers on the road. It's not like people actually think that they can locate a floating spinny skull that will give them a rifle and permission (emphasis on "mission") to go off on a kill rampage without repercussions.

Besides, it might be a little more important to worry about the real drunk drivers out there. Like the one's that go out and get blind, stinking drunk.

Wait, what's that?

Oh, sorry. Our bad. Turns out he was blind AND he was stinking drunk.

Yup. The driver, who only admitted blindness after he couldn't find the breathalyzer test, calls himself a good driver, but has been pulled over for drunk driving. Twice. Thankfully, at least on this second time, the owner of the car was also in the vehicle, giving directions and helpful cues to the intoxicated, vision-impaired driver. And you bet that he's facing a fine, too.

So let's make sure that we understand this. In America, people are worried about drunk driving in a video game (never mind the other things that might raise alarm within the game). In Estonia, a blind guy can get arrested more than once for drunk driving.

Yep. Seems like priorities are fairly well-balanced.