Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A Scathing Blogger Criticism

I've just written a great article criticizing Blogger. Just wait for the article to load. As soon as Blogger loads the article, you'll see why Blogger isn't very good. Any moment now, an article that takes the proverbial wind out of Blogger's sails will load and reveal my scathing criticism. Wait until you see it. It's really quite awesome, if I do say so myself.


Any moment now.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Interns: A History (part two)

Previously on Interns: A History...
"Plato... Egyptians... Romans...."

We now continue with Interns: A History...


PART II: The Awkward Years

The Middle Ages hit the intern community hard. It was a confusing time. Feudalism was common practice and lands changed hands often. Servants of one master could quickly become the servants of another. Interns were without stability. The entire intern community lacked motivation. Because, why try to move ahead in the feudal career world of one lord when that lord's head could very well be on top of a pike by the end of week.

The Middle Ages are also scattered as far as information about the intern goes. I scoured my many databases* and logged many hours viewing said data.** The thoroughness of my presentation will no doubt attest to this.***

The same can be said for the many other important parts of history. The Crusades, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment; it’s safe to assume that interns played a major role in all of these events. All I found – again, during my tireless research effort – were web pages entitled “All Nude Girls Of The Crusades,” and “Hot Girl-On-Girl Action During The Renaissance,” and “Learn About The Enlightenment While You Enlarge Your Penis.” ****

However, intern activity picked up again in The New World. Columbus used interns when he discovered America.*****

Hmm... those natives don’t look
very friendly. [clap clap] Intern!
Take a rowboat ashore and greet
those natives.

They look like they have spears.
That can’t be a good sign.

Those are just “welcome spears.”

Uh, I don’t think—

Hey! Who’s Columbus?
Huh? Who’s Columbus?

You’re Columbus.

Damn straight. Now, put
on your “meet & greet” face.

Like this?

No, that’s a “I-want-to-massacre-


come” face.
Work on that.

But the event that is considered by most to have jumpstarted the intern community is the American Revolution. It is there that we saw a true specialization of the position. No longer were interns sacrificed merely for the entertainment of others, or thrown to the front lines as human shields, or, as in one unfortunate case during the Renaissance, ground up into a fine paste and used to make the color “intern.” Interns who wanted to aid the revolution had to hold specific job skills.

It just so happens that I’ve acquired a copy of the very ad used to recruit the future American revolutionaries.


Interns To Join Rebellion, Help Throw

Off Chains Of Tyranny, Perform Menial Office Tasks

Light filing

Nation founding

Copying (by hand -- remember, 1700’s -- we have no Xerox machine)

Quill sharpening

Red Coat sticking


MUST have experience founding nations.

MUST be able to fire (then reload) musket in under a minute.

MUST be okay with the possibility of meeting the maker.

MUST be easy-going, cheerful people person who can change to ravenous, gun-toting revolutionary on very short notice.

MUST be able to cover for bosses when Native Americans come by to complain. Acceptable responses include...

1. “Genocide? You’re gonna wanna talk to human resources about that.”

2. “Those blankets were infected when we got them.”

3. “I’m sorry, the forefathers are at a brunch/luncheon.”

MUST be able to simultaneously laugh at and disregard the irony of liberating yourself from a tyrannical power, founding a nation based on freedom, and owning slaves.


Are you British?

Do you think Great Britain is really all that great?

Do you own any red coats?

Are you violently allergic to tea?

Are you a Native American who is upset with the colonizing force for killing your people and giving you infected blankets?

If you answered
YES to the last question, there’s no need to go on. We have all we need, and we thank you for your interest. If you said NO, please continue.


What’s up with those Native Americans, huh? I mean, with their buffaloes and their teepees and their animal names? What’s that about? We know. Totally weird, right?


* Pornography websites.
** Pornography.
*** "this" meaning pornography.
**** False advertising... their information on The Enlightenment is mediocre at best.
***** Little known fact: America was once known as the “West Indies.”

Next time on Interns: A History...
PART III: The 20th Century and Beyond!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Interns: A History (part one)

It seems that lately I've talked about New York itself more than interning. That's because interning just isn't the glamorous life that virtually no one thinks it is. Comedy Central is a great place to work, but it's a lot like any other workplace. New York, on the other hand, is a zoo and much more interesting to write about.

Therefore, I'm dedicating the next few posts to interns. Today, I'm going to begin to give a history of the position known as intern. This is part one. The next will likely be part two, but it might not be. It may be part three; you don't know. I'm sly like that.

PART I: The Early Years

The word intern comes from the Latin internus, meaning "to fetch" or "hey, you, do this." It was said that in ancient Greece, Socrates was often over-heard saying of Plato, "Fetch me fresh olives and a fine bathrobe!"

Of course, Plato, being the proactive intern that he was, eager to please, would return post-haste with all the items requested. Socrates would usually then complain that the olives weren't fresh enough or that the robe was "starchy as hell" and would "chafe [his] ass." Obviously, I'm paraphrasing. It is well known that Socrates, as wise as he was, had the mouth of a sailor and would never use expletives as tame as "hell" or "ass." But I'm getting off-track.

In ancient Egypt, the dedication of the modern intern was truly born. Usually outliving their masters, interns were buried alive in the tombs right alongside the sarcophagus. But, as torturous as that sounds, most interns at the time considered it to be a small price to pay for the chance to land a sweet job in the afterlife.

This era also gave birth to intern networking. Given that each Egyptian upper-class citizen was likely to have many interns working under them, the interns were all buried alive within the tomb together. With so much time on their hands, it was only natural for these young Egyptian go-getters to make connections with their fellow interns before reaching the afterlife. Because you never know when a reference from Ptahhotep will come in handy. Sure, he's the obnoxious, dorky intern and he's always carrying around the jug filled with his embalmed cat which makes the tomb smell like ass, but it's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and you've got make friends wherever (within the twenty square foot tomb) you can.

Then came the Romans. Often associated with power and dominance, the Romans were a warrior culture. They were first to force interns to engage in battle with one another as a way of proving who was the more qualified for the job they may or may not get sometime in the near to very distant future. The intern least dead by the end was declared the victor. Or eaten by lions if he was too dead. It is this era where the intern's tenacity was born.

Interning is a cutthroat world; let's be honest. In modern times, however, the word "cutthroat" is merely a metaphor for tenaciously besting your opponent in the career world. Whereas, back in the Roman era, it was still a metaphor, but a much more violent and gruesome metaphor. I believe it was also the name of a blade used to kill interns.


I don't want to kill him.
Can't we just say he lost and
leave it at that?

No! This is a cutthroat
world, intern. Now, take
that metaphor and cut his throat!

Did you know that even the Aztecs had interns? Well, they did. They also ate the hearts of sacrificed interns. It's believed that by eating the heart of an intern you absorb all of that intern's job skills. Mmm, skill-tastic.

Next time on Interns: A History...
PART II: The Awkward Years

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Pressing National Matters

This is a brief tangent from my usual posts. There's been a lot of debate recently concerning the rights of Americans and their ability to take their family members off life support, assuming the patient's condition has no chance of improvement. Whether it's a feeding tube or a respirator, these issues need careful discussion, or, as is custom in America, a non-scientific poll in which we will then use to declare a moral victor. So, the question you've all been knocking around in your heads for the last couple of weeks...

Should President Bush's feeding tube be removed?

I leave the floor to you. And, please, let's keep the seriousness to a minimum.*


Sunday, March 20, 2005

St. Patrick: Patron Saint Of Slurring

Sorry for the delay in posts. I've been spending the week planning for my sister's visit to New York. She said, "I'll come as long as it's an expensive, crowded, and dirty town. But not drunken. I have no tolerance for drunkenness."

Enter March 17th, the date of her arrival and a date known across America as "Dude, we're totally getting shit-faced!" day. When I picked her up at the airport and saw the waves of green t-shirts exit the plane, I realized there were a lot of people coming to New York to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. So, this post is in honor of St. Patrick's Day Weekend.

I'm Irish. So, it's okay for me to make fun of the Irish and drunken behavior. Not that the two are in any way related. And, by that, I mean that there is a direct correlation.

Wait. Before you get all in a huff about my inappropriate generalization of the Irish, remember, besides being oblivious to the feelings of others, I'm also Irish. So, again, that makes it alright.

This is a drinking game created just for this post. Every time you become angry at the way I generalize the Irish, St. Patrick, or St. Patty's Day as purely alcohol-related, take a drink of alcohol. If you're Irish though, take two, because one would only be like water to you. Only less alcohol than water. In fact, take three or four, because we all know you're going to sneak in one or two during the game anyway, am I right? Let's make it fair for the non-Irish.

Now, I went to Catholic school growing up, so I've learned an awful lot about St. Patrick and other people important to Christian history. It would be rather selfish of me not to pass this knowledge along, so let me share with you a tidbit or two about the man...

Did you know St. Patrick was one of the original apostles? It's true.* Unfortunately, he was kicked out of Club Jesus (as it was called in those days) because of his "problem." As most know, Jesus is legendary for turning water into wine. But St. Patrick was legendary in his own right, drinking three gallons of it in under a half-hour. The wine was blessed of course, and it's said that he had a constant blood/blessed alcohol level of 0.2, which, as anyone familiar with the power of Christ knows, is pretty blessed up.

The apostles convened and decided that it would be for the best if St. Patrick, or Drinky McDrink-Drink as they called him behind his back, left Club Jesus for good. However, no one really had the guts to confront St. Patrick about his "problem" -- he was a rather mean drunk. Even Jesus didn't want to get on his bad side. "What? Are you trippin'?" said Jesus. "Shit. Son of God don't play that."

Everyone was scared of Drinky McDrink-Drink. Except for one. Simon Peter. None of the other apostles liked Simon much; they were all in general agreement that he was a dick. But, in situations like this, they used him for just that reason. So, Simon road to St. Patrick's house and, after finding him in a drunken stupor, forced him onto the camel and brought him to Jesus' house, where an intervention was planned.

This is a transcript of that intervention, taken from the Bible (the King James version, obviously)...

Listen, Pat. You're a cool guy
and all, but you're just not...
Club Jesus material.

What? You wanna fight
me, Jesus? I don't care who
your dad is.

Sit down and shut your mouth!

Thanks, Simon, but I think I can
handle it from here.

You just say the word, Christ,
and his ass is grass.

I appreciate that.

I'm just saying, shouldn't we
be mopping the floor with his
face right now?

Anyone have any pieces of
silver I can borrow?

Sorry, Judas. Simon, we don't treat
people like that. You know that.

I know, I know. But, man, I just
wanna kick ass so bad! Don't you?

Sometimes. But this is about Pat.

See, he's passed out. And I didn't
even get to kick ass!

Jesus, that rash came back.
I was wondering if you could...
you know...

Fine, whatever, it's healed.

No one has any pieces
of silver?

Check Drinky McDrink-Drink
on the floor over there. I don't
think he's made it to the bars yet.

Matthew! Just for that you
get your rash back.

Oh, Jesus! But it itches so
much! Ahh!

Can I kick his ass?


I know the transcript doesn't really feature much of St. Patrick, but, to be fair, most of his appearances in the Bible consisted of others referring to him in the third person and muttering things like, "The neighbors aren't going to be happy when they find that," or "You think we should flip him over onto his stomach?" or "That table is not going to hold his weight for much more dancing," or "Oh! That's not pretty!" The transcript does show one thing, though. Simon; what a dick, right?

St. Patrick, although splitting with Club Jesus, went on to become a very famous face for Christianity, but also for his short-lived, off-shoot denomination, which he himself started with his buddies, called... well, let's just say that everyone regretted the name the next morning, but they'd already had the sign chiseled out while at the tavern the night before. See?

What's amazing is that, even though they were completely intoxicated, they managed to properly separate the parenthetical statement using dashes. And they connected the two complete thoughts using a semicolon! Incredible. He truly did deserve sainthood.

Anway, service for this denomination started out pleasant and peaceful and conscious. Everyone was happy to see everyone else, children were playing in the aisles, and all were conscious. By the end, though, only half the congregation was present, only half of those present were conscious, and it's quite possible that some on the unconscious half were dead. This denomination lasted for only one service. Well, really half a service. No one remembers what happened after that.

And that's really all I learned. I hope you had as much fun reading it as I did making you less intelligent by presenting it.

I went with my sister to St. Patrick's Cathedral on St. Patrick's Day and it was full of people, all paying tribute to the man once known as Drinky McDrink-Drink. Being Irish, we couldn't have been more proud. We stayed for nearly five whole minutes, then paid our last respects to the stein which held his ashes and moved on out. We came across a lot of inebriated individuals walking home that day. But what do you expect? It was a very special drinking day for New York. It was Thursday.

It was also St. Patrick's Day, but that's really more of a coincidence.

*He did live 400 years after Jesus, but for that to be important, first, I'd have to care.

Technical difficulties...

UPDATE: Thanks for the info, guys. Everything should be working in a couple minutes.

I'm having some image hosting problems (feel free to post any good image-hosting sites you'd recommend in the comments), but the wonderful pictures, as well a new post, should hopefully be here later today. Sorry.*

*I got nothin' for this asterisk. Once again, sorry.

Monday, March 14, 2005

What The Scientologists In The Subway Are Really Up To

In the comments on one of my previous entries, a blogger named meems (credit where credit is due) had mentioned the Scientologists who occupy a specific corridor in Grand Central station and was curious to know what they were up to. Now, for those unaware, Scientology is a religion started by a man named L. Ron Hubbard. Actually, I should say founded, rather than started. Founded implies a legitimacy, like the religion exists outside of time. As if, while walking with your friend Budd, you trip over something in a field.* "Hot damn, Budd. Well, I'll be. It's one of them religions."

I'm not familiar with all the specifics of Scientology, but I'm sure I could pretend pretty well. There may or may not be a god named Scientor. I'll get back to you on that.

The Scientologists who inhabit the corridor in Grand Central, on the way to the shuttle to Times Square, give out free stress tests and copies of books written by L. Ron Hubbard. You should be very suspicious of anyone who uses an abbreviated first name. Sure, it could be Larry Ron Hubbard. And, in that case, I'd almost understand the need for abbreviation. But, it could also be Lucifer Ron Hubbard. So, the next time you're getting a stress test, remember that they might be simply trying to relax you for the torturously painful trip to Hell. Or, they may just steal your wallet as you doze off. Either way, it's a bit of a downer for you.

But what are these Scientologists up to? What is their ultimate goal? What does Scientor look like? Does he have horns? Mandibles? Is it a he at all? We always just assume that when a name is as aggressive-sounding as Scientor (or Skeletor for that matter), it's automatically a male. I’d like to think Scientor is female. With mandibles. Possibly horns. And a suit. Why can't gods where suits?

The Goal of the Grand Central Scientologists

World domination?
Think smaller.
Hemisphere domination?
Smaller yet.
Country domination?
Come on.
State, city, township?
Grand Central subway station corridor domination?

Think about it. Thousands of people have to walk through that particular corridor everyday. That's thousands of people who are very, very slowly becoming servants of Scientology. Sure, the effects aren't seen immediately. Walking through a corridor wouldn't appear to enslave a common New Yorker, but over the course of say -- oh, I don't know -- 1,000 years, a person could become essentially brainwashed.

And that's the brilliance behind the Scientologists in the corridor leading to the shuttle to Times Square. They're patient. We Christians operate a bit differently...

Hey, is that your god?

Why yes it is.

No, it's not.

It's not?



See? We're crafty like that. But Scientologists...

Excuse me, friend. Would you
like a free stress test and to possibly
learn more about Scientology?

Oh, no, thank you, I'm fine.

Okay, no problem. Have a good day!

Um, thanks. You, too! ... Oh, geez.
I feel like such an ass now. This guy was
just trying to be nice, and I'm all, "No, I
don't want to." Maybe I am too stressed
out. Maybe there is something to this
Scientology business.

1,000 years later? ENSLAVED. Here's a graphic to help drive the point home.

So, the next time you're confronted by Scientology, don't be critical, just be vigilant. And be especially careful on the web, because you never know when a site or a blog will throw Scientology at you.


Until then, I've discovered this amazing new way of looking at the universe, but more importantly, a new way of looking at myself. Take a look, or don't. There's no pressure at all. Or maybe there is, if that's how you want it. It's up to you... friend. Welcome to the new you.

*There's a Mormonism joke here, but I'll pass. I kid the Mormons.

Friday, March 11, 2005

McDonald's Delivers In Manhattan, But Not Very McWell

McDonald's delivers? Yes, it's true. In Manhattan, McDonald's delivers. And for free. I myself did not believe it at first. I must point out that I am not a Mc-fan of McDonald's. In fact, after Mc-seeing the documentary "Super Size Me," I didn't go to a McDonald's for quite some time, mostly because I realized just how unhealthy it was. And I didn't want to get in line for an Mc-angioplasty. Some people really love the Mc-angioplasty. I myself am not a fan.

One night, however, after getting home late, I met up with two friends who both wanted McDonald's. I was hungry and decided that since I'd never experienced McDonald's delivered before, one meal there wouldn't Mc-kill me. Well, wait, I take that back.

Fear not, though, for I am getting McDonald's delivered! So, my chances of dying in a McDonald's-related bomb blast are decreased. But, let's be honest, not by much, if you know what I mean.*

We called McDonald's and placed our orders. One of my friends asked if I would get a Happy Meal, just so she could get one of the famous McDonald's toys. I'll be frank. I don't like McDonald's toys. They're not as good as they used to be. Who's with me on that?**

NOTE: I hear McDonald's is trying a new menu item based on the Happy Meal. They're called "Prozac Meals," and instead of rewarding happiness, which is what I assume the Happy Meal does, it induces happiness. They might have gone with "Clinical Depression Meal," but I could see how that name wouldn't quite carry the ZING! that "Prozac Meal" does. See that? ... ZING!

NOTE of the NOTE: I apologize to anyone who may suffer from clinical depression. Obviously, I'm just trying to be funny. Perhaps, I'm failing misera... I am failing miserably. So, you can find solace in that. Plus, I'm only grateful for you who keep the junk food industry going strong.

NOTE of the NOTE of the NOTE: I apologize to anyone employed by the junk food industry. Listen, clearly, I'm not very good at this. I didn't mean to associate your delicious products with clinical depression. If anything, you temporarily cure clinical depression. So, you can find solace in that. Not much, but enough to keep you sleeping at night.

Eventually, I relented and ordered a Happy meal, just so my friend could have the toy. Three hours later, the delivery man arrived and called us down.*** Obviously, we were a little Mc-angry that he arrived so late. And to show it, we would leave him no Mc-tip.

We went downstairs to get the food and to confront the tardy delivery man. I was already upset with my friends for having to wait so long just for McDonald's. I grabbed the food and removed the McDonald's toy, placing it in my Mc-shirt pocket. My friend, who had her heart set on the McDonald's toy, complained loudly, but I stood firm.

When the delivery man realized that we had left him no tip, he became enraged and an altercation ensued. Naturally, he pulled out a gun.

Everyone in New York carries a gun, and they all want to rob people all the time. For those of you who have never been to New York, once you arrive in the city and exit your airplane, you'll find yourself at the Harlem airport, where you're immediately shot, killed, and stabbed. In that order. People here, for some reason, love stabbing bodies which are already riddled with bullets.

But now you're thinking, "Wait, you went to New York, and you're apparently still alive. What gives?"


So, the delivery man has a gun. He doesn't think twice about it and shoots me right in the chest. I fall back and land hard on the tile flooring. The screaming of bystanders sends the delivery man out the door in a panic. My friends rush to my side, hoping that I'm not dead. And I 'm not.

It was the McDonald's toy. The McDonald's toy, which I despised so much, saved my life. The bullet struck the toy and ricocheted off into a wall. It also passed through a dog on the way to that wall. So, I guess the McDonald's toy actually killed a dog, too. Though, everyone secretly hated that dog. The dog really had it coming.

Well, we went back upstairs and ate our food in silence, mulling over what would have happened if it wasn't for that McDonald's toy. Then, my friend said, "You would have gotten Mc-shot."

"Yep," I said.


The mulling ended there. So concluded my first experience with delivered McDonald's. And I suppose I owe a great debt of gratitude to those little McDonald's toys. They saved my life, and got rid of a pesky dog, which everyone secretly hated. I guess they're okay after all.

* I have no idea what I'm implying by this.
** You are all with me on that.
*** Actually, it was more like 45 minutes, but I'm building drama here.
**** Andy, this asterisk thing is getting fucking ridiculous.
***** Seriously.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Google Ad Experiment Update

Well, it seems like Google doesn't want to play along. I let it sit for quite a while, and the strangest ad that I saw appear was, "Want To Be A Cop? Protect people with a criminal justice degree." But, let's be honest, that's pretty damn weird. How does that work? Is the degree made of Kevlar? Because I'm fairly certain a bullet could penetrate such a degree. Anyway...

What did we learn from all this? We learned that there is in fact a band named "Vermicious Knid," and they apparently live in Canada (thanks for the info, Dave). We learned that "Angry Fetus" is not a good band name. However, after some deliberation, I think "Happy Fetus" would be an excellent name for a band -- maybe country rock or indie metal. And, finally, we learned that, given the results of this experiment, Google is simply not funny. Seriously, not one S&M ad? Come on, Google, I thought you had a sense of humor. I thought you were cool.

Shortly after writing this and updating my blog, Google sent me this...

Sorry, Google, but it's just not going to happen. You had your chance. You could have been cool, but it's too late now. Too little, too late. The experiment is over. Maybe next time, though.

Note: For anyone still interested in claiming their own domain name, www.poopiepoop.com is apparently still up for grabs.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Fun With Google Ads!

This post is slightly off-topic from my normal entries, but, if you'll humor me for this brief installment, I'd like to experiment a bit.

The Google ads to your right -- or left if you view your monitor turned around and looking through a mirror -- are supposed to directly reflect the content of the blog. Friday, the post mentioned garbage bags, and then garbage bag-related ads appeared shortly thereafter. On Wednesday, I mentioned Chintatown, and then my screen turned into a purse.

Anyway, you get the idea. So, this post is all about generating the most ridiculously bizarre Google advertisments we can. Excited? I know. I am, too.

Let's begin...

Robot Fellatio*
Pirate Soul Train*
Monkey Butter*
Flux Capacitor*
Chocolate Breast Explosion*
Cannibal Cookies*
Martha Stewart*
Leather & Chains*
Buggy Whip*
Menstrual Kamikaze*
Tofu Orbit*
Goat Jesus*
Assassin Module*
Vermicious Knid*
Kitty Death Squad*
Puppet Penis*
Talcum Poop*
Puppy Death March*
Steel Booger*
Santa Sandwich*
Gazpacho Ninja*
Angry Fetus**

And now, we wait.

*Also excellent potential band names.

**But, obviously, not Angry Fetus. Come on, Angry Fetus? Get fucking serious. Clearly, you've never been in a band before. At least not one with an awesome name.

Friday, March 04, 2005

If You See Something, Say Something

Here in New York, it's difficult not to notice the city's level of caution concerning terrorism and things of that sort. Things like masochism, mannerism, catechism, and other words that end in "ism." I'm just kidding. It has nothing to do with words that end in "ism." Well, except one word. Terrorism. And possibly flatulism. Well, no, I made that up, too.

Now, every comedic outlet everywhere has done some (supposedly) clever ribbing regarding the Homeland Security terror alert level color system. So, I'm not going to go there. I'm not going to, for instance, get a copy of the color chart and do some creative editing, use wacky characters for "Severe," meaning that what I have to say is too aggressive to be spelled out with letters, like this...

It's an easy laugh, and I just won't sink to that level.

Anyway, there's a campaign in New York called, "If You See Something, Say Something." Basically, if you see something suspicious, tell an authority figure. But the word "suspicious" has an entirely different meaning for those of us not from around here. So, let me clarify for the non-New Yorkers.

Now, I don't want to make light of an important safety matter. It's important that we're all safe. But not too long ago, there was a suspicious bag found on the block where I live. The whole area was taped off and we weren't able to get into the building for some time. Again, I want to be safe, but when they told us that someone had spotted a suspicious bag, I must say I didn't feel much safer standing behind that yellow tape. Let me explain further, but in dialogue form...


What seems to be the trouble here?

Somebody apparently saw a
suspicious bag on the street.

Well, where is it?

It's right over there.

That one there?

No, no, the one over there.
See, it's right next to that New York city
street filled with nothing but garbage bags
and old junk which would never resemble
or be confused with suspicious bags.

And... scene. See the dilemma?

So, given that, I went to the nearest police officer and asked him if it was strange that there were so many suspicious bags lying on the street, all of them filled with some sort of refuse, and all of them labeled "Hefty." Instead of laughing, he went to his superior, and I can only guess at what was said in that conversation. So I will...


Chief, isn't it strange that there
are so many suspicious bags lying
on the street, all of them filled with
garbage, all of them labeled "Hefty"?

My god... it's been under our noses this
whole time! So that's what Bin Laden has
been up to! It's all so pungently clear now!

What do you mean?

Don't you see?! They're bringing all their
garbage over from Al Qaeda-land and
very gradually stinking us to death!
They're using our olfactory nerves against us!

Chief, do you think they use "Hefty"
bags in Al Qaeda-land?

Kid, these terrorists are a cunning
bunch. They could be using "Glad"
bags for all we know. But they
aren't. No, these terrorists are
definitely "Hefty" bag people.

See, looking for suspicious bags or packages in a city like New York seems difficult, because there is so much random debris lying all over the place. If somebody wanted to, they could easily shove dangerous materials into a pile of garbage on a busy street and no one would know the difference.*

Don't misunderstand me. I don't want to seem as if I dislike New York. I like New York. It's fun. More so if you've got a lot of money to spend. And also no olfactory nerves.

But, anyway, we were all eventually let back into the building and peace was once again restored to the galaxy. The end.

*For those of you who are members of Al Qaeda, this is a lie.
*For those of you who are not members of Al Qaeda, this is not a lie.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Chinatown 2: The Revisiting

I thought I'd seen everything, ladies and gentlemen. When the Berlin Wall fell November 9th, 1989, once again uniting East and West Germany, I cried. When John Glenn lifted off for a second time at age 77 to become the oldest person to ever travel in space, I cheered. And when Tootie used a Hearse to take her driver's test in episode #147 of The Facts Of Life, I nearly crapped my pants. But after this weekend, it became clear that I in fact hadn't seen everything.

On Saturday, I traveled with a friend to the downtown district known as Chinatown. She was looking for "a purse," which in Chinese means "3 or 4 purses." We browsed many store fronts, "fronts" being the important word for the day. More on that later.

It is bizarre to see little, old ladies trying to push merchandise on an unsuspecting public. You see them and think they're going to give you a sugar cookie or something, but instead they say, "I got what you need. You need something? I got what you need."

After one lady strolled up to me and told me she had what I needed, I said, "You have an original, still-in-the-packaging, mint condition Star Wars Millennium Falcon action playset??" She looked around shifty-eyed. And then, wouldn't you know it, out of her pantaloons came an original, mint condition Star Wars Millennium Falcon action playset, still in the packaging. Amazing, I thought.

"I'll give you $5 for that," I said.

She said, "What? Look, mint condition. You look, still in packaging. Hard to find. I sell for $15."

Here's where my haggling skills come into play. Watch and learn, ladies and gentlemen...

"Deal!" I said, grabbing her hand almost violently and then shaking it.

Haggling Skill #256
When you want to end your haggling session and accept the given offer, yell "Deal!," grabbing the person's hand almost violently and then shaking it.

So, I had what I came for. Now, we needed to find a purse for my friend. But where? Where in Chinatown would we possibly find a purse, specifically one that's inexpensive, poorly made, and sold by big, burly males who seem to know an awful lot about purses for being so big and burly?

At last, success! Hidden away behind all the purse stands was a purse stand. This purse stand looked much like a garage. I think it was the garage door which made it look that way. The walls reminded me of a Payless shoe store. And also a garage. Hung all over were purses, purses, purses of all colors, shapes, and sizes. The big, burly gentleman managing the place was eager to please and was a master "purseman," I might add. His knowledge of purses seemed to explode out of him.

"Here you go. This one shiny. Glitters a bunch. Make you look real pretty for going out to dinner," he said. "Here, you look. It opens, it closes, it glitters. It real shiny."

"You sure do know your purses, sir," I said. "I mean, come on," I said to my friend. "What other choice is there? This one opens AND closes! And LOOK, it's all glittery and shiny and shit."

But, alas, despite the expert sales pitch, my friend wasn't convinced. She quickly glanced at the three walls of the purse stand which weren't a garage door. She asked the purseman if he had anything else, besides what was on display.

Here's where the purseman became very quiet. He looked us up and down suspiciously. Then, he went to the back wall of the garage -- I mean, purse stand. Oh fine, it was a garage, okay? It was a garage dressed up to looked like purse stand. Are you happy?

Anyway, he went to back wall of the purse stand and, after looking out onto the walkway entrance for a second or two, knocked on the wall three times.* To my surprise, a small section of the wall, maybe 5 ft. high by 3 ft. wide, clicked and then opened up.** There seemed to be whole other section of purses available, probably the ones which were acquired through legitimate channels, and not ones which were in any way illegal. ***

The purseman gestured for my friend and I to go inside. My friend went in to look at the recently uncovered purses, which again I can only assume were obtained through the most honest and reputable channels. I mean, let's be frank here, people. Some purses are just too non-illegal to be kept in the front. Am I right?

The purseman closed the door behind her, then he asked me if I wanted to go inside, too.

"No thanks," I said. "Just make sure she comes out again and doesn't become part of some illegal, underground, sweatshop slavery ring, alright?"

Haggling Skill #128
If the person you're shopping with is suddenly removed from your field of vision, be sure to tell a nearby clerk that you don't want them to become part of some illegal, underground, sweatshop slavery ring.

Well, I'm happy to report that my friend did come out of the tiny door, and was completely unharmed. She did smell like a cock fight, but that's neither here nor there. Unfortunately, she didn't find a purse.

So, broken and beaten, we wandered the streets of Chinatown aimlessly, hoping to find another stand that sold purses. Five feet later, we'd found one. And, astonishingly enough, we'd passed ten on the way.

Well, my friend eventually found a purse, and a fun time was had by all.

Chinatown Fun Fact!
Not many know this about Chinatown, but its people, its hundreds of restaurants and shops, and its booming fruit and fish markets are actually 87% purse.****

* I'm not good enough to make this part up.
Or this.
Or this.
**** This, I am.