March 23, 2007

The Sketch Show I'm Watching While My Throat is Afire

I got my tonsils out yesterday, after several months of sharing roughly 28% of my mouthspace with a horrible, pink wad of flesh jelly. My left one looked like a second uvula, protruding grotesquely as if attempting to reach the tonsil on the other side. That tonsil was fine, which has basically convinced me that the left side of my body is a dick. If you haven't seen a tonsillectomy video recently, it turns out they BURN them out with the doctor's equivalent of a soldering iron. Now when you look in my throat, you see the battlefield from the end of 300. I've also been warned that I may vomit blood or start coughing up a lot of "white stuff," and that I shouldn't be alarmed by that.

But I digress. Here are some good clips from the BBC Sketch Show "That Mitchell and Webb Look," which I just discovered on youtube and find particularly hilarious. Hope you like 'em!

That's Numberwang!

Can People Levitate?

Massive Yachts

The Surprising Adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar

The Hole in the Ring

That's Wordwang!

Coverage of People Buying Houses and Then Living in Them

Bad Waiter

The Chiropractor

Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit

Das Ist Numberwang!

March 21, 2007

Sleep Deprivation: The Sport of Kings

Final Exams, as I gather from my roommate’s sudden and welcome absence in the living room, are upon us. Naturally, as the world’s first billionaire comedy blogger, I take little notice of tests. In fact, I only keep a roommate as a sort of life insurance; should kidnappers ever single me out as prey, the roommate, whom I have slowly fashioned into a perfect likeness of myself in his sleep, should serve quite nicely in my stead.

My roommate. Myself. I defy you to differentiate between the two.

As far as Final Exams go, most of my professors have become accustomed to my tradition of showing up to the final period in a bathrobe with a glazed ham under one arm and blitzed on Mike’s Hard Lemonade, if I show up at all. On one occasion, I simply sent my manservant with a note on a silver platter reading “Pass” and garnished with thousand-dollar bills.

Nevertheless, I remember my own days of destitution, long months ago, before my blog was named Single Greatest Thing by Time Magazine and my fortunes were made (September, 2006; look for the issue with me on the cover being fellated by Anne Coulter). I, too, know what it means to stay up all night attempting to cram so many facts into my head that hopefully some of them will ooze out onto the paper come exam time. Naturally, I have a few tips and tricks for those spending this week locked in the library, sequestered in a study room, or devouring the brains of scientists in hopes of absorbing their knowledge (Hint #1: the best knowledge is in the cerebral cortex).

Tools For The Crammer

The following toolkit represents the most essential articles for anyone planning on burning the midnight oil. Also, I should have added ‘midnight oil*’ and ‘matches,’ but am too lazy to add more HTML tags and lengthen the list. Please print the list and write these in yourself.

  • All relevant and extant texts, scrolls, study guides, and Sumerian tablets
  • One standard Sumerian-Japanese Dictionary
  • One Japanese translator and Japanese translator carrying caddy (air holes please!)
  • Gum
  • A little rubber finger cover to help you turn pages (without one, you risk the raw, chapped fingertips and soggy page-corners of the Repetitive Turning Disorder victim)
  • One bat, wiffle
  • A study space free from any unnecessary distractions, such as strobing or colored lights, pony kegs, and/or a stable of bootylicious mamas all wantin’ ta get up on this.
  • High lighters of no less than sixteen colors.
  • Interestingly enough, no paper or pens.
  • Something to spit the gum into after you’ve chewed it (If your backpack is getting full, your Translator’s hair works nicely)

*As of this writing, Midnight Oil can still only be obtained in the Sepulchre of Sarastro, and is said to be guarded by the raging spirit of the ancient God himself.

Staying Awake

The primary challenge for a student preparing for finals is managing to stay awake long enough to counteract the hours spent sleeping in lecture. As we all know, the mere act of being up for 72 hours prior to a test will appease the council of Professors, and grant you the ability to identify at least two of four multiple choice bubbles as definitely incorrect.

Energy Drinks

I won’t feign any sort of brand loyalty here. Energy drinks--aside from delicious, delicious Red Bull® (“Red Bull Gives You Wings!”)—are all basically offering the same service. For example, take the following transcript of a radio spot for new energy drink Hyper, in which a plucky new beverage (voiced by TV’s Brad Garrett) addresses a na├»ve consumer (Sir Ian Mckellan).

ENERGY DRINK: You there, with the cognizance.
CONSUMER: Who, me?
ENERGY DRINK: Yes you! How would you like to trade those normally firing synapses for a bunch of super juice that will make you badass, well-liked, and able to lift impressively large objects while deep-voiced men narrate your actions?
CONSUMER: I’m not sure. Are there any side effects?
ENERGY DRINK: That depends. You queer?
ENERGY DRINK: Then drink me!
ENERGY DRINK: Oh yes, drink it all down. God, it feels so good. It’s like a whole new world I never knew. Oh, I should probably tell you, I contain Taurine.
CONSUMER: What’s Taurine, animate can of beverage?
ENERGY DRINK: Grated bull testicle.
CONSUMER: Virile, energetic silence.
ANNOUNCER: Hyper: It punches you in the face with extreme!
The radio playing the advertisement then explodes.

If it is not by now abundantly clear, I wholly endorse the use of energy drinks for staying awake all night. In fact, for those who need a little extra pick-me-up, try my very own “Energy Drink,” the Phen-Phenomenal: one part Surge Cola hoarded since the late Nineties, one part AMP, and a liberal handful of Phen-Phen capsules muddled at the bottom of a highball glass and served on the rocks (of crack, preferably).

Natural Alternatives

Staying up late is difficult, and doing so unaided by miracle chemicals is even harder. However, there are certain stimulants that can help crammers log more hours.

Pain is one of the body’s natural alerting devices, so study with a friend and take turns jabbing each other in the ribs with metal rulers or kicking one another continuously under the table for hours on end.

If you’re a pussy or a quadriplegic, then fear can work just as well as pain; try your hand (or robotic manipulating arm) at a solo game of Russian Roulette and then see if you feel like falling asleep. Fire once every time you feel sleepy, and if you get through five, reward yourself with a spin of the barrel.

Safety Precautions

Keep the following hazards in mind when burning the candle at both ends. Also, please add ‘double-ended candle’ to the toolkit list.

  • Campus libraries during finals week are just big repositories for inconsiderate dicks. Use your wiffle bat to show a few college boys who’s boss.
  • There is a natural limit to the number of pneumonic devices the human mind can retain. Go over your limit, and irreversible brain damage is not only likely, but a sweet release from the screeching of nonsensical acronyms playing forever in the ruins of your tortured mind.
  • Nothing helps you tackle those sleep-deprivation shakes like some fourth-can-of-Red Bull shakes.
  • The glory of the dawn is impossible to enjoy when your eyes are bleeding from staring at a computer screen. Take regular eye wash breaks.
  • Laptop thieves are rampant. Take your laptop with you everywhere, especially into the bathroom. In fact, to be safe, you’re probably best off just moving your whole study effort into the handicapped stall. Use the diaper change station as a desk, and if anyone tries to get you to leave, show them the business end of your wiffle bat.
  • Don’t study any of the philosophies. They are dangerous lies.
  • Always wear disposable gloves when showing someone the business end of your wiffle bat.

Things You Will Believe as Time Progresses

HOUR 16: A bed is worth between three and six vaginas.

HOUR 22: Old Kids in the Hall sketches on YouTube are hilarious.

HOUR 24: Old Will Ferrell sketches on YouTube are hilarious.

HOUR 27: Old Bill Engvall stand up videos on YouTube are hilarious.

HOUR 39: Faces of Death videos you stumbled upon while looking for free porn are disturbingly hilarious.

HOUR 51: Sleep deprivation may not actually help you pass finals, but it will make you hallucinate that you did, and that’s just as good.

HOUR 60: Hallucinations of giant spiders that call your name as they clatter their immense jaws are not just as good.

HOUR 65: X3: The Last Stand had some weaknesses, yes, but in all it was just as engaging as the first two movies. Three and a half stars.

HOUR 68: No one has ever been as miserable as you, ever, not even torture victims.

HOUR 84: Fish ran burgers to purple truck mats upside February twelve rainbows.

HOUR 109: The final exam itself may have actually been several days ago, but that doesn’t matter anymore. Not for an elite agent of A.W.A.K.E. like you (you’d try and remember that acronym, but you fear you’re nearing your pneumonic device limit). Only when the Crystal Orbs of Rule have been returned to the Chaos Queen can you truly rest.

March 13, 2007

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I've been huddled in a bunker all weekend with my MQ crew, cooking up this year's special issue: an office newsletter for MacroQorp, Inq. ("We don't sell chemicals; we sell solutions"). As is rapidly becoming MQ tradition, we went ahead and uploaded the last issue (134) while producing this one (135). If you're a UCSD student, look for the new ish on Wednesday. If you're anyone else, chances are you haven't read 134, so enjoy!

Or, if you're stalking me and just want to read my articles, they are as follows:

Freshman’s Mustache Not Proceeding as Hoped

Area Man Names Genitalia After Golden Girls

National News Outlet Biased, Probably Jew-Run

Local Youth Maimed After Twenty-Hour Day Fighting for Child Labor Laws

March 7, 2007

Notes to Chris Watts, Visual Effects Supervisor of 300

Chris, Just had the first Producers’ screening, and the movie’s looking great. Wanted to shoot you some quick notes on visual effects changes. Take care of this stuff, and I think we’re good to go.

  • Some of the slow motion shots just aren’t slow enough. You know the shot where one of the soldiers leaps at the enemy soldier in front of a yellow sun? Is there any way that can be between 7 and 9 minutes?

  • The Oracle sequence looks great, and the floating silk effects came out really nicely, so I think if you just up that cup size like we were talking about, we should be good.

  • At a screening for the producers, someone noticed that during the climactic battle scene, there are actually only 299 warriors in frame. Please construct a 300th cg warrior and place him into every scene of the movie. Also, please cgi some sequences giving the character’s background, and possibly some sort of poignant death scene. Failing that, please cgi a sequence early in the movie where the 300th warrior dies of an unrelated cause (falls on own spear? Smothered by giant bosoms while making love to Oracle? Just thinking out loud here).

  • More voiceover.

  • In the interest of staying true to the comic, please remove roughly 80% of the dialogue currently in place and edit the movie down to 20 minutes.

  • I’m just throwing this out there, but there isn’t any sort of acting modulation bar is there? Because we noticed a scene where the Spartan King isn’t screaming his lines, and it feels kind of flat.

  • Frank noticed that one of the intimate dialogue sequences looks pretty natural (watch it again, you’ll see the one). Try putting some color filters or blurs on it, or maybe add a cg element (Persian soldier mounted on an elephant seems good. Don’t disrupt the scene though, just have him there).

  • Frank has asked there be more blood.

  • Do they really have to wear those red capes all the time? Someone at the screening mentioned the word “faggy,” and I kind of have to agree. What if you added some spikes on them? Or better yet, capes of fire?

  • Please make the 300th cg soldier look like Michael Madsen. We’ve already gotten clearance from legal.

  • It seems kind of unrealistic that only 300 soldiers could fare so well in battle given the odds. Maybe give a few Spartans machine guns, just to make it believable.

  • More overwrought pseudo-opera and quasi-techno.

  • After a lot of consideration, the Director has changed his mind about the constant star wipes. Just change them all to regular cuts.

  • I just noticed in that lesbian make-out scene, one of the chick’s faces is all messed up. That’s really gross. Can we do something about that? Also, same deal as the Spartan Queen about the cup sizes, but keep these girls' a little smaller, to show that the Queen is a more powerful female figure.

Our historical consultant also pointed out a few inconsistancies:

  • Please translate the movie’s audio track into ancient Greek and/or Persian where appropriate.

  • Second, try and imply some sort of justification for the trolls in the Persian army. Spontaneous gigantism? Black magic? Tard strength? We don’t really have anything here, so go crazy.

  • Lastly, please make all the Spartan characters engage in pederasty at some point (background action is fine).

March 2, 2007

The Five Stages of Winter Illness

Just as the first buds of Spring are making themselves available for nipping, I have to go and contract a good old-fashioned Winter Flu. This is a robust and a respectable flu, the kind your grandfather would have contracted, the kind of flu that runs unopposed for City Council reelection in the rural South. It lurks in my chest cavity, sending rivers of thick mucus out in every direction like a series of slow-moving freight trains, except that every car is stuffed with phlegm and headache juice.

I am literally the embodiment of my worst childhood fear: lying in bed, struggling to keep the ropes of snot falling out of my face from sullying anything while my friends call for me to come play stickball with them in the sunny field outside my window. Naturally, “stickball” has a whole new meaning than it did when I was a kid, but I’m still pissed off to all hell. In fact, the wash of emotions I’m undergoing are downright fascinating, and in case there are any others out there who managed to sidestep disease all Winter only to be struck down in their hubris, I thought you should know: this is what you’re in for.


Recognize the Symptoms:
You keep up your morning jog, despite the horrible choking noises you make every time you try to inhale.

You assure yourself that your weak and feverish stupor is merely the workings of an overeager immune system, or the playful bitch slap of an oncoming allergy.

You drag your bleary ass out of bed and insist to everyone who tells you “you look like shit” that you, in fact, always look like shit.

You raise your eyebrows and say “funny, I feel fine” right before hacking up chunks of black stuff all over your no-longer friend.

How to Move on:
Look in a goddamned mirror. You are yellow, man. YELLOW. Sure, accidentally seeing a nude picture of Danielle Radcliffe could make anyone vomit, but that was days ago and you’re still tossing your cookies like Socrates at a Hemlock convention. It’s time to admit you’ve got a problem.


Recognize the Symptoms:
You admit that you’re sick, but refuse to admit that God didn’t personally cause the Holocaust.

You wake up in a gutter with your mouth tasting like grape Dimetapp and a whimpering child’s hair still clutched in your fist.

You shoot snot rockets everywhere, reasoning that if you have to deal with this shit, so should everyone else.

You watch Judge Judy in bed and totally side with Rudy because, honestly, fuck that bitch Miranda and her damn cell phone bills.

How to Move on:
Give in to the beast within. Let the blinding heat of your wrath wash through your system like a Tabasco suppository. Remember: in most states being sick in Spring is a legally acceptable defense for assault.


Recognize the Symptoms:
You find yourself ringing a bell, hoping that your significant other isn’t too busy brewing your tea to set up the N64.

You curl up into a big ball under the covers and see how many things you can name that you love about yourself. After fifty-eight, you fall asleep.

You masturbate whenever you get the least bit bored/titillated by TV commercials. This eventually constitutes every commercial break.

You taste the chocolate ice cream again, deciding at last that you like it best, followed by the strawberry, then the vanilla, then the soup you made by mixing them all together and letting them melt.

How to move on:
Read pamphlets about children starving in third-world countries. Failing that, watch porn until you find yourself feeling sorry for the actresses.


Recognize the Symptoms:
The mucus lodged in your head has begun speaking to you, and it doesn’t seem to care for the government very much.

Your eyes are watering so badly you can barely draw a good bead through the scope of your sniper rifle.

When the exploding snake head that appeared in your room invites you out for drinks and a quick swatch to the clam sideways, you totally understand what he’s talking about.

The doctors inform you that your “Winter Bug” was in fact an inoperable brain tumor, and that your delirium is a sign of imminent death.

How to Move on:
Reach for something, anything that will help you make sense of the macabre twist your life has taken. I recommend Linda Pastan’s excellent book The Five Stages of Grief.


Recognize the Symptoms:
You are unable to read this, let alone anything, as you have slipped into a death-coma.

You think you see a dead relative up ahead, but when you get closer it just turns out to be a weird tree and some old tires that made a cool silhouette.

God tells you that He forgives you for what you said about Him causing the Holocaust.

You don’t feel sick anymore.

How to Move on:
Return to Earth and devote your angelic life to voyeurism. Spy on people you were suspicious of in life and discover that yes, they were all plotting against you. Watch people having sex, vainly reaching down towards your ghostly, unfondle-able junk. Curse the metaphysical quandary that leaves you more in touch with human urges in death than you ever were in life.

Hope that helps!
2009 Those Aren't Muskets!