Troy Patterson wrote an article today for Slate.com entitled “What kind of moron watches Ultimate Fighting?” and coined a brand new grammatical element – the “ultimate tense.”
Cut back to Shamrock: “Tito Ortiz is going to find out who Ken Shamrock is, was, and is now.” The “is now” in that sentence wasn’t really a redundancy. Shamrock was employing a new tense—the ultimate tense—to describe how he was about to be bringing it, how it was about to have been brung.
The X-Treme Court has used the Ultimate Tense in its wickedest most hard-core opinions, such as Mountain Dew vs. Taco Bell vs. Tony Hawk vs. Spiderman (1997).
As most of you already know, I recently switched jobs, which has brought me into the environs of Trenton, a charming town whose gold-domed city hall, looming, brutalist ’60s era concrete housing projects, giant statue of George Washington and numerous abandoned factories give the skyline a Moscow-on-theDelaware look.
Yes, Trenton is so cool, it has “environs” instead of suburbs.
The statue of George Washington is especially cool because of the posing. A bronze George stands atop a 150-foot pillar, his right arm outsretched and hand bent foppishly downward as if to say “girlfriend, please!” to our great country.
Last week, I had an appointment in City Hall and found myself driving around downtown Trenton in the shadow of these lovely buildings, looking for a quick bite to eat; maybe a Hessian takeout restaurant or a Borscht stand.
Howver, the first fast-food place I came across was a Pantry 1. The architectural cues gave the small conveneince store away as a former Wawa. I have seen small Wawas become Pantry 1s before, and it is a sad event that indicates the decline of our civilization. Pantry One :: Wawa as Bartertown :: Sydney.
I used to work at Wawa, and while it was no Zagat-rated restaurant, Wawas are definitely the best convenience store out there. Thanks to underpaid 16-year-old peons like I used to be, the places are generally clean, and you can get a decent sandwich there and whatever salty and/or caffeinated side dishes to go along with it. The coffee isn’t bad either.
Sadly, part of Wawa’s grand strategy seems to be switching from small convenience stores to Sam’s Club-sized Megawawas Of The Future. The upside is they are building new, larger Wawas with cheap gas, but the downside is that the old small ones all seem to become Pantry 1s.
Judging by my experience last week, here is what Pantry 1 does when they take over a Wawa:
– Spread black gunk all over the place. I don’t know how so much soot can get into a modern building without the aid of coal-burning furnaces, but somehow the engineers at Pantry 1 have devised a way to spread industral revolution-like quantities of what appears to be coal dust all over their establishments.
-Spray the place with “southsubway” scent air fresheners.
-Remove all the name-brand snacks, replace them with inventory from the dollar store.
-Hire unkempt mutants who resemble illustrations from a Warhammer 40k rulebook.
Still, for some reason, I decided I needed an Italian hoagie and just couldn’t wait to find a non-hellhole eatery. Approaching the deli, I noticed that the hobgoblin making the sandwiches was wearing a “stop snitchin'” t-shirt. In addition to that catchphrase, it said “gangsta rules in effect” and had a one-point perspective picture of a handgun pointing at you.
Also, Pantry 1’s don’t accept credit cards. I had to pay for my hoagie by extracting cash from a coal dust-covered ATM in the back of the store that probably sent my credit card number directly to the Greek mafia.
In conclusion, everything that is bad about America can be found within a Pantry 1. See you in hell, Pantry 1!
I’m sure you all know by now that NASA has decided to build a moon base.
Next on the agenda is the formation of a committee to come up with excuses to build a moon base.
This whole exercise reminds me of when I was 7 and I built a moon base out of legos. It had laser catapults. Yes, LASER CATAPULTS. Having watched cartoons, I believed that lasers were long, glowing objects that were fired from guns in the manner of a conventional bullet. Therefore, I equipped the moon base with catapults with which to launch said lasers against such aliens and bad guys as may attack the moon base, as aliens are wont to do.
The NASA plans may as well have laser catapults, because there is no way this thing is ever ever going to be built. At least my lego base was completed on time and on budget.
Katja sent in the first entry in the North Korean cartoon contest. This fantastic drawing depicts the "Speed Campaign Youth Shock Brigade" mentioned in several KCNA articles.
Take a moment and appreciate the details. First, the eye is drawn to the very realistic portrait of Kim Jong Il carried by the leader of the brigade. Note the towering pompadour and oversized glasses that are the Dear Leader's trademarks. Moving on to the shock brigade members, you can see why they are called the speed shock brigade. These guys are dressed for a running down capitalists. They have hot pants/athletic shorts, sweatbands and even running shoes with little communist stars on them! Amazing. And without those jumper cables, bristling with voltage, they would be just the speed campaign youth brigade. They have so much sheer energy they actually leave a trail of lightning bolts. They are keeping their motivation from flagging by shouting patriotic slogans in the inimitable style of KCNA news releases. And in case their spirits should begin to flag,a commissar following behind wields a fearsome "well-shaped cucumber." All in all, I think this is exactly what the real Speed Campaign Youth Shock Brigade looks like. Katja takes an early lead!
This guy was near my office, and he looked just like the Grim Reaper!
So I took a picture of him. Then, he looked at me. Instead of the skeletal face of death, there was this kind of squirrelly dude with a mustache who looked like he was wearing a black hoodie to hide his face from the cops.
I know I’ve been kind of fixated on comics lately, but this strip from the Perry Bible Fellowship had me chuckling for days whenever I thought about it. Heh heh heh. Guess it’s still working.
I kind of want to get a Unicorn Power T-shirt. I e-mailed the guy who does the comic, Nicholas Gurewich, and he said plans are in the works for just such a shirt as well as Pro-Skub and Anti-Skub shirts based on this comic. I’m totally Pro-Skub, by the way.
Wearing a pink “Unicorn Power!” t-shirt, I think I would get several types of reaction. I would make a cool USA Today pie chart, but I’m too lazy:
1% – “Wow, you read Perry Bible Fellowship,lol, I like that comic therefore I like you too!”
2 % – “You sure are brave to wear a shirt like that, sir. You are inspiring me to acts of Gay Pride!”
5 % – If I wore this shirt into a den of hipsters, they would immediately set down their laptops. Earbuds would come out in reverence and all would gaze through plastic-rimmed glasses in awe. “You are the one foretold of in prophecy,” the lead hipster would say. “For you are wearing the most ironic t-shirt ever of all time. Sit in this throne as we worship you as our new god.”
7 % – Would give me a weird look and pretend to ignore me.
84% – “Nice shirt, gay-wad!” (punch in the stomach)
1% (six-year-old girls) – “Yay, Unicorns!”
It would be kind of inconvenient since I’d have to explain to 84 % of people I met that it’s not gay if you’re being ironic, hopefully before they punched me. Or I could just wear it in Rehoboth and not care if people thought I was a flaming pinko.
I like the Perry Bible Fellowship because I think it is one of the only good comics out there right now. The comics page of newspapers was a dumping ground of cliches before, and after Calvin and Hobbes. PBF, on the other hand, is pure genius. First of all, there’s the artwork. Vague, puffy, happy looking people and awesome detail on the unicorns. The whole effect evokes the weird world of kids’ books and cartoons of the ’80s. The writing is always absurdist, like in this one, where he ascribes serious power to t-shirts. And I love the way he reveals just a bit of information in each panel with the last one tieing it all together. It’s very cinematic.
Update: I got a Unicorn Power shirt!!!!
I’m getting in on the cartoon contest action. Here’s the challenge: Take any phrase from the North Korean Central News Agency and illustrate it. Send it to me at email@example.com, and I will then post it here if it is not the goatse picture. This will be good even if you are a totally sucky artist. Use any medium whatsoever, including and especially MS Paint. Here are some ideas:
“Speed Campaign Youth Shock Brigade”
“Cannibals in Human Skin” (Their pet name for U.S. troops)
The video game “Splinter Shell 3” (They obviously mean “splinter cell 3” This would be a good one to photoshop)
“Lurking behind this despicable conspiracy and collusion of traitors, human scums and remnants of history is a dark tentacle of the United States”
The winner gets a well-shaped cucumber, a floral basket and the gregorian calender will be reset based on your birthday. Send in your entries by March 30.
You know what really burns my embassy? Offensive cartoons.
Garfield, for example, has never been funny. And Hizzoner’s Closet makes me want to burn down the entire town of Smyrna.
You can tell alot about people by their reaction to the “offensive” cartoons of Mohammed. Fundamentalist Muslims and governments burned down Danish embassies, boycotted Danish goods, killed a bunch of people, torched lots of flags, contributing to global warming, and re-named Danishes to “The Roses of the Prophet Mohammed”. You can see the original cartoons here, since mainstream newspapers have been too cowardly to reproduce them.
Then, came the contests. After a few leaders spoke out on behalf of free speech, an Iranian newspaper launched a holocaust cartoon contest. I’m pretty sure you can view some of the submissions here, though these might be regular Iranan holocaust-denying cartoons that have nothing to do with the contest.
They have several points in doing this. 1: Every problem can be solved by attacking the Jews. 2: Europeans are hypocrites, because they have laws against denying the holocaust, and no laws preventing people from making fun of their religion and hurting their feeewings. :(…
The holocaust cartoon contest has provoked several reactions. The best one is here. A couple of Jewish cartoonists have totally undermined the Iranians by starting their OWN anti-semitic cartoon contest.
“We’ll show the world we can do the best, sharpest, most offensive Jew hating cartoons ever published!” said Sandy [one of the contest founders] “No Iranian will beat us on our home turf!”
Some bloggers, envious of all the attention Denmark got, started a mohammad cartoon contest. I won’t be entering that one. They know where my blog is and might burn it down like they do everything else.
It’s a good thing there are still some good cartoonists out there who haven’t gone into hiding. If you want to see some really excellent, hilarious cartoons, check out the Perry Bible Fellowship and Toothpaste For Dinner.