Friday, September 29, 2006

Can YOU Spot The Fake?

"Lady Liberty Costume simply shimmers with Patriotism! All eyes will be on the "trick or treater" who lifts this lamp beneath her spired crown! Hand-held torch is topped with golden "flames", crown is an exact replica of the one worn by "Our Lady of the Harbor." Well-made to last for years, and perfect for all patriotic events: parades, plays, Fourth of July, Veteran's Day, picnics and more. Torch 25" high. Adjustable crown 10" high. Silver and gold lame.”

You know, it’s a close call, but here are my subtle observations:
  1. The stupid bitch has no tablet.
  2. The stupid bitch is holding the torch in the wrong fucking hand.
  3. The real Statue is oxidized copper, not silver lame.
  4. The real Statue does not wear a cheap black spandex outfit.
  5. The crown is NOT an exact replica. It is a piece of shit. Nor is the cheap paper-towel roll based torch, with its corn chips for flames.
  6. This is a piece of shit “costume.” The Korean designers have probably never seen the real Statue of Liberty and based this design on what they learned from intelligence reports.

What Will They Think of Next?

Gift Card Maze turns a gift into an incredible challenge! Once you insert a gift card into the box, your recipient will have to figure out the maze in order to get it out. What a clever way to give any credit-card-style gift card! Reusable. 4-1/2" x 3-1/2". Also available is the Money Maze, which is perfect for giving currency or checks.”

You May Also Like:

The Holiday Hammer gets into those pesky packages with ease! This festively decorated hammer will delight family and friends! Simply place item to be opened on hard-non-breakable surface, then strike repeatedly until open. Reusable. Great for piñatas, too!


I Can See Clearly Now--that I just got scammed

"The best and easiest way to keep your lenses sparkling clear and your frames looking as good as new! The 40-second cleaning cycle starts with the push of a button and stops automatically; the lid pops up and shakes off any excess liquid. Use the included microfiber cloth to polish the lenses and help the silicon solution fill in those microscopic scratches. Includes a 6-month supply (8 oz.) of Cleaning & Conditioning Concentrate. $49.95"

How to save $49.95.
Bring glasses to sink.
Spray with Windex. Let soak in.
Hold glasses under running warm water.

Wipe dry with bottom edge of cotton undershirt.

And why would non-porous glasses need “conditioning concentrate?”

Her Man Is Built Like a Sofa Cushion

Quiz: Who’s the most pathetic?

a) the inventor of the Boyfriend pillow
b) the girl who is modeling the Boyfriend pillow
c) women who buy the Boyfriend pillow
d) three-way tie

“Boyfriend pillow always provides a shoulder to lean on! It's nice to have a comforting arm around you as you watch TV or read a book. Boyfriend pillow wears a polyester fleece shirt, which is great to snuggle up to. What could be cozier on a chilly night? 26" L x 14" W.” $19.98

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Die, Universal Calculator!

Psst. Hey, you! Universal calculator! I need to let you in on a little secret.

Everyone at the office hates you. Seriously. They hate you in Research, they hate you in Marketing and if I offered you up to the Operations department, I’d get laughed at.

Between your crappy build quality, ugly pastel colored buttons and lack of a model number, you’re just lame. You are like a cheap, dorky toy that no one wants to play with. I’m surprised you don’t have a Fisher Price logo on you, or maybe a little cartoon professor next to the display.

So, it's time to die, Universal calculator. This Friday, we’ll be having a little “staged” accident. Don’t worry, you won’t feel a thing. Just sit right here by the entrance to the freight elevator. I’m expecting a large delivery of paper to come rolling through in a short bit.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It's the Great WTF Charlie Brown!

Halloween is coming. What will you be wearing?

Visibly Stupid

This one just speaks for itself.
"Luxuriously soft chenille throw features invisible silver nanoparticles that inhibit the growth of odor-causing microbes. Measures a generous 65" x 45". Quilted chenille on both sides is offered two ways: Select all tan or chocolate brown with black on the reverse side. Dry clean only. $80.00"

Measure of Success

People measure success in different ways. Some think it means having a corner office. Some people are happy to have a title. If you're marginally famous, success means becoming an answer on Jeopardy! Unfortunatley, K-fed will have to settle for being the yes or no question on a banner ad for crappy Olive Garden.

And I'd vote no--way no. They can keep their dinner.

Fun with Photoshop

Just a little tribute to the folks at my local Starbucks who have yet to discover the power of caffeine.


“Replica 1950's-style soda pop "vending" machine keeps up to 10 cans of soda, beer, juice — anything — ice cold and right at hand for push-button dispensing. Five see-through portholes let you see what's cold and ready to roll into the bottom tray. Sealed refrigeration technology cools beverages 30°F below the outside temperature. Plugs into standard outlet with included AC adapter or into a dashboard socket with the included DC adapter."

In summary: Spend $150.00 on some gimmicky piece of shit that can’t even hold two six packs.

Stupidity Level: 3 out of 4 stars.

Q: When Is A Pen Not A Pen?

A: When it costs $170.00, then it becomes an "Executive Writing Instrument."
"For those who see the bigger picture."
Really? Well, I don’t have one, so I guess that must make me (and everyone I know) a bunch of narrow minded idiots, stumbling through life with no purpose or vision whatsoever. Does the President have one? I mean, he has a bigger picture, doesn’t he? And what about the Mayor? And God. Does God have a fucking Swiss Army pen set? I mean didn’t God create the UNIVERSE? That’s a pretty big fucking picture if you ask me.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


With apologies to the person who sent this to me on MySpace.
What the FUCK is going on here?? What language is this? I can't read it at all. And what the fuck is going on in the picture? That doesn't look like much loving is going on. Is it:

a) a math quiz (judging by the clock and the word "sum"?)
b) an unsatisfying bondage session drawing to a close, judging by the lit cigarette, chains and miserable facial expressions? This don maike none senses, yo.

How Not To Paint The House

Have the kids paint the house! Let them choose the colors from a box of crayons. Make sure that the colors not only clash with each other, but with the rest of the houses on the block. Ensure that the house is visible from space.

When It's Full, You Can Beat the Grandkids With It

(This is why the elderly in the US are so dirt poor. They spend their money on shit like this.)

“Coin Catchers let you "sock away" pocket change that you "find" when doing the laundry. Whimsical ceramic money catcher has a 17" sock to hold your loot. Hang from a magnetic hook, or off a laundry shelf, you'll always have a place for that spare change. Remember, finder's keepers! Handmade in the USA. $14.98"

So it’s also perfect for when the grandkids come over, take all the change and run! Sorry Grandma, they’re faster than you!

I don't know, but if you’re finding that much spare change when doing the laundry, then you shouldn’t be wearing clothes with pockets.

No Insurance, No Problem!

When I crashed my beloved BMW 3 series sedan into the back of an SUV, I was devastated. I couldn't possibly afford to report the accident, having no car insurance, so I sped off.

When I got home, I cried. For hours. Until I turned on the TV and saw a commercial that caught my attention.

How could this be? A product I could use myself to fix my very own car? At first I was skeptical, but I decided to order it. When it arrived, I gave it a try. It took a bit of elbow grease, but after just 20 minutes, I was done!
As you can see, my car is showroom ready all over again! Boy am I relieved! Thanks Pops-A-Dent!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

When Compact Car Design Just Gives Up.

You get the ugly Toyota Yaris. It's actually worse in person. The saddest part is that this replaced the Echo, itself an ugly, flimsy looking car. I'm all for saving gas, but it's not worth it if it means being spotted behind the wheel of something so embarrassing.

See Also: When SUV Goes Awry...

Pet Cemetery 4: Scooter's Revenge

“Personalize this item by providing your information below. If you do not want your item personalized, simply leave the spaces blank and click Add to Cart.”

I loved my pet so much that I bought this tacky plastic headstone, but I thought it would be excessive to put his name on it. So it will just say, In Memory of Rest In Peace.

Archie Bunker Would Have Been Proud

Let the Uncle Sam Blackface bring a bit of racial tension to your neighborhood!

Only $14.98. (Cost of rebuilding flame torched home extra.)

The Tipping Point

Fucking tip cups. This trend is getting way out of hand. When I was a kid, the only tips I got were “stop being so annoying” and “leave me alone.” In the summer of 1996, I carried an 80lb safe for an elderly couple and didn’t even get a dime after placing it in the trunk of their Lincoln Town Car. It’s probably still there.

I can understand tipping someone who carries a heavy item for you, goes out of their way to help you, delivers food to your door, or serves your table with speed and efficiency. Physical work that requires special footwear. This is all just fine with me.

When I worked in real estate, I jokingly put a tip cup on my desk, because most of use weren’t making any money at the time. My boss caught the joke—and threw a quarter in there. (That was more money than I made all week)

These days, you can’t buy a cup of coffee or get lunch without seeing one of these tip cups right in your face. They sit there by the register, subtly trying to intimidate. They are everywhere. Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, every deli, or newsstand. Fuck you, tip cup. You don’t scare me.

Why should I tip for taking my food to go? You know what this is? Begging. Why don’t you take it underground, into the subway? Plenty of trapped people in subway cars who would LOVE to give you their pocket change for no good reason.

If I got a little extra cream cheese on my bagel, a wink from a cute cashier, or a spontaneous lap dance, then that would be a different story. Unfortunately, I always get the slow, snotty, stupid kid whose ADD requires that I repeat my order three times—because they don’t speak English.

I once had a cashier give me my change by holding it over the cup, as if it might “accidentally” fall in if I didn’t snatch it fast enough. Crafty.

The worst attempt to earn a tip I ever saw was at Cold Stone Creamery in Astoria. I went with my good friend Helen. The only thing more frightening than all the over-flowing ice cream creations was the singing staff. They sang every time someone gave them a tip. They sang every time someone ordered something. I didn’t tip. I wanted to shut them up. I went in for ice cream; not loud singing that prevented conversation and scared small children (although the latter is a plus).

But, what of the actual tip cup? When most people think of tip cups, they probably imagine a 12 ounce paper coffee cup, tattered and creased, with TIPS written on the side in ball-point pen. How innocent. Boy, how things have changed.

At Dunkin Donuts in Astoria, they have a large, albeit cracked, Plexiglas box, which replaced their oversized mug. At Starbucks, they are allowed, and given, a standard-issue locking Plexiglas box with a small opening. And none of them are shy about emptying the box in front of customers, so that it appears they haven’t received any yet.

However, there is one Korean deli that hides their small tip mug behind a display of ginger candy. At least their discreet about it, but their probably just trying to avoid having someone run off with it.

All of that is nothing compared to what the boys at Subway in Chelsea have come up with—The Mother of All Tip Cups. This was gallon sized, made from an empty plastic condiment jar, a crude hole cut out in the lid. I was awestruck. I’d have taken a picture with my camera phone, but business was slow today and there was no one to hide behind while setting up the shot (incentive to go back with a few friends). You’ll have to settle for the crude rendering below.

I guess it’s only a matter of time before they’re the size of trash cans, but I still won’t tip for no reason.

What’s next, separate “tips” cash registers? Tips at the doctor’s office? Tips for the bus driver?

I know what’s next. The Tip Hole. A hole cut in the top of the counter connected to a tube that ends in the safe down in basement. It can be as small as the original, will always appear empty, and no one can run off with it. I wonder if I can patent this.

But Does It Fly At The Unemployment Office?

" Look how time flies! Friends, family, co-workers - they'll all be laughing when they see this crazy novelty clock whizzing through the air with its wings flapping and its hands spinning furiously around the dial! Suspend from any ceiling with included hardware, give it a gentle push and watch time fly! Not a working timepiece - this one is just for laughs. 5" H with 13" wingspan. Uses 2 AA batteries (not included)."

Lose your job for only $5.50!


What’s the matter Justin? Angry because you had to wear that suit to your photo shoot? Pissed that the tailor got your hem two inches too short? Or frustrated that you still have the body of an Asian boy? Or maybe it's the bad shoes--they must be too tight or something. In any event, you shouldn't be taking it out on that disco ball. And that album title just sucks ass.

Don't Lose Your Receipt

Check out this incredibly sleek desk lamp from the Sharper Image!

"Energy-efficient desk lamp features 66 LEDs that provide a bright strip of illumination! Adjustable joints let you direct the light where you need it, providing up to a 40-inch reach!
Comes with a desk clamp that allows for even more workspace.
Base measures 9" diameter."

So, $129.95 for a lamp that can't possibly be giving off too much light and will be impossible to find replacement bulbs for.

Plastic Flowers Sold Separately

For once, I'm speechless.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Adventures of Cellulite

I didn't want to say anything, but if you go out in front of a live audience looking like this, you’re just asking for trouble.

Tis The Season To Be Lazy!

“The Instant Christmas Tree makes holiday decorating a breeze! 5 ft. tall tree comes with 100 pre-strung lights - all you have to do is attach base to central pole, raise tree and plug in. Now you're ready for Santa to bring the gifts! When the holidays are over, tree folds down to store. You can also add your own ornaments for a personal touch. Has 5 ft. long cord and 1 extra bulb.”

You mean I can add my own ornaments? Wow. And 100 lights on a 5 foot tree isn’t going to look like I’m collecting welfare, right?

Warning: use of the Instant Christmas Tree may cause Santa to skip your house altogether, you lazy fucker.

Definitive Proof that The End Is Near

What trailer park, seedy motel, or dive bar would be complete without the Harley Davidson lamp from the The Sharper Image? This horror story is loaded with features! It goes "Vroom" when you switch it on and has a real working headlight that doubles as a nightlight!

What, no built-in bottle opener?

After seeing this, I’m starting to wonder about the name “Sharper Image.” I mean, sharper than what, exactly? A war-torn third world country after a nuclear holocaust? A pair of acid wash jeans? Mariah Carey? The standards have definitely fallen.

Maybe I never really noticed these kinds of things, but it seems like The Sharper Image will pretty much sell anything these days.
$69.95. Layaway plan available; sorry, no food stamps accepted.

Fantasy Advertising: Subway Edition

If only the world wasn't so politically correct, we'd have this. (I think this is a little bit more direct than the MTA's "official" wimpy ad.)
Graphic design by Chris.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Grinds On My Nerves

Hey you, battery-powered pepper grinder seeker! This overpriced, over engineered piece of crap is loaded with features! It’s made of 18/10 stainless steel, for no reason other than to inflate the price, and the “bottom light illuminates food so you don't over-season.” Why the fuck do you need a light? Is your kitchen that dark? Probably not. Are you going to take it out with you to a fancy restaurant? “Oh, no thanks, I got this!” click. Whirrrrrrrrr. Are you really so lazy that a manual pepper grinder is too much effort? Maybe you’ve heard of a “shaker”? It costs a tiny fraction of what this thing will set you back. Uses 6 AAA batteries. That’s a lot of wasted batteries. Save them for the remote.

Heading for a Landfill Near You!

Let’s see, we’ll take an egg poacher, and add some extra dents. Then we’ll spray paint it black and call it cast iron, even though it only weighs about 3 lbs. Hmm, we never did figure out how people will flip them, but that’s okay, we’ll just throw in some chopsticks and call them “flipping sticks.” People like things with names. They’ll understand since we’re giving them the worthless recipe book for free. And we’ll call it the Pancake Puff, even though it has nothing to do with pancakes. (Shoulda called it the donut hole maker, but we wanted people to think it’s healthy because they can use the flimsy plastic Flavor Injector to add things like jelly, cream or even eggs to them! Even though it’s a piece of shit, people will never throw it out because we’ll reinforce the notion that it’s cast-iron and will last a lifetime! We’ll get some kids to act shocked in the commercial when they’re presented with a gigantic teetering pyramid made completely out of puffs. Only $19.95!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

America's Next Top Ozone Destroyer

Everytime I see this ad in the subway, I want to throw up. Not only because of the ridiculousness of the poses in this picture, but because Tyra insisted on being right in the center, sprawled so dramatically that she had to use one hand to hold down the end of her skirt to prevent us from seeing her nether regions. Thanks. Really.

Also, look how the two models in the back left hand side seem to be holding on to each other for support, too malnurished to go on much longer.

But there's something else that makes me want to vomit. Tyra's hair. What the fuck's going on there? She looks like she was attacked with a can of Aqua Net. Beastly.

Oh, and you can't see it here, but the tagline for the subway poster reads, "Modelicious."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dumpster Diving: New Jersey Edition

After months of debate, the state of New Jersey has decided to replace their “New Jersey, Come See For Yourself” slogan with a new one. Below is the actual prototype state postcard, pulled from a dumpster behind the Governor’s Mansion. No word on when it will become official.
Text and graphics by Chris, photo unknown.

Truth in Advertising: Subway Edition

It's scary because it's true. (Apologies for the crappy photo)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Mama Mia, Yo!

Nothing says "Italian" like pizza, especially when you mash it up with lasagna and get R&B singer/rapper Queen Latifa to do the voice over for the commercial. For that extra bit of realism, have a sepia portrait of an old, long-dead Italian couple pop to life to exclaim, “Mama mia!”

And by the way, Sicilian Lasagna Pizza “eats like a meal” because, up until now, it’s never been particularly filling. I’m a little disappointed that they couldn’t stuff the crust with lasagna noodles. Slackers.

You knew this part was coming: 980 mgs, 310 calories, 30 mgs cholesterol--per slice. Eats like a heart attack.

Another interesting tidbit from the Pizza Hut website is this: under Appetizers, the tagline reads, "So good you'll want to eat them first." Now, I'm not saying that I'm too good for fast food, but that's just ignant.

See Also:
ring of flaming coffee extract
do you want death with that?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

When SUV Design Goes Awry...

You get this lovely bit of bluntness:
The 2007 Lincoln Navigator Kraft Cheese Grater Edition.

When Technology Sucks

Super high-tech, self check out machine, shown. (Not shown, confused customers, long lines, overflowing shopping carts, sloppy self-bagging, eerie fembot voice yelling at you, voided transactions, frayed nerves.) Available at Waldbaums and Home Depot.

Friday, September 15, 2006

I'm Only Happy When it Rains

I love the rain, not because it makes everything run slower: buses, taxis, pedestrians, even subways. No I love the rain because washes away the dog piss and it keeps the tourists off the streets! Happy Friday!

Astoria Federal Savings and Retirement Village

I’m at the bank, standing at the little glass counter, filling out my paperwork when, out of the corner of my eye, I see her. A little old lady dressed completely in black from head to toe. As she hobbles closer, cane in hand, I panic. I need to hurry. If this little pigeon gets ahead of me on line, my wait will be that much longer. In fact, there are so many elderly customers at this bank that I secretly refer to it as Astoria Federal Savings and Retirement Village.

I grab my things and bolt to the entrance of the black nylon maze that is designed to keep things nice and orderly: youth before fossils. Ha, ha, little old lady, I think, declaring victory. I do a little victory dance in my head.

There are about eleven people on line ahead of me. And just three windows open. There are two strict, Deposits Only windows open that I am unable to use because I’ve making a withdrawal. No problem, I’ll be out of here fast enough, I reason.

I see little old lady, still walking. She is not in the nylon maze. Instead, she is outside it, making her way to the very front of the line where she stops and waits, putting her hand on the plastic “Please Wait Here” sign for balance.

Is she fucking kidding me? I don’t think so, honey. I don’t care how old you are. You are not cutting the line. She needs to be cursed out, and then shot straight away to the back of the line. I would love to say something to her, but I’m too far back in the line. I’d have to yell. And I’m sure that in doing so, I’d be singled out as a cruel, heartless asshole and told that one day I’ll be in her shoes.

I look around for security, because when I was a kid, they would have been up there in a heartbeat, dragging her to the back of the line, if not pointing sternly. But there is no security guard here today, so it’s up to the person at the front of the line to say something. That person is a Mexican woman with a shopping cart. I can tell she is not going to let Little Old Lady go ahead of her. When the bell rings, Mexican woman runs for it, leaving her in the dust.
Little Old Lady is not fazed in the least by this. Rather than be crushed, or embarrassed, she is emboldened. She hobbles up to the closest window and leans on the counter for support. There is already a man being serviced at this window, so she stands there and waits. The man looks down at her, then at us, as if to say, “Whose mother is this?”

When the man finishes, he walks away. Little Old Lady takes his place, opening her little black purse and taking out her passbook.

No one uses passbooks anymore. Everyone has long since converted to electronic statements, their passbooks voided by having the word CANCELLED punched right through them.
“What the fuck is she doing here?” asks the guy behind me. “All her money is at home under the mattress.”

Little Old Lady is moving in slow motion. That window is now closed. This is exactly why I rushed to get ahead of her on line. Had I known that she would cut the line, I’d have kicked the cane out from under her.

The man now at the front of the line is probably a few years younger than Little Old Lady, but was civilized enough to wait on line. Tall Old Man is up next. He takes his spot at the next and only remaining window. The teller at the third window has disappeared. This happens at Astoria Federal: sixteen windows and never more than three open at a time, no matter what time of year it is.

“Gimmie everyting,” says Tall Old Man in his thick accent, probably Greek or Italian.
Right away, the teller encounters a problem. It seems that the amount of money in Tall Old Man’s account is much less than what Tall Old Man would like. It was probably taken out by one of his ruthless kids. Tall Old Man decides to yell at the new, albeit, sloppily dressed Latino Teller, who wears a thin black tie loosely around his neck and hasn’t shaved in three days. Not a good look for him.

Latino Teller seems to be unsure of what to do with Tall Old Man, rubbing his chin and shrugging his shoulders, at a loss for words. He smirks a little too, looking at us on line. He’s probably disappointed that work is nothing like the hip-hop club he went to last night. Hey, dickhead, go get your manager.

Meanwhile, over at Little Old Lady’s window, there is also a problem. Little Old Lady doesn’t understand what is being explained to her by the window.

So now, the twenty people on line are fucked and the only two available windows are closed. We are hostages. They might as well lock the front door and turn off the lights.

“Oh, my God. Do you believe this shit?” I say to the guy behind me. “But the New Accounts area is always fully staffed.” Now I’ve just morphed into my mother, who would always make it a point to be vocal about this sort of thing. Open your mouth, she’d say. And now I’ve grown from being an embarrassed child to an irate adult.

“Only two windows for twenty fucking people?” asks the guy behind me.
This is my punishment for not opening up an account at one of the other five banks in my neighborhood.

It’s been close to thirty minutes since I’ve come in. Finally, window three comes back. The small Indian man dressed in tight fitting clothes marches up to his window like a soldier and turns on the light. It’s my turn—and I’m going to let him have it.

“What the hell is going on here today? You have two tellers open who are both having problems at the same time and now you have thirty people on line waiting. I’ve been here for a half hour now!” I see that my voice has carried back to the line where people are taking in my little rant, probably thinking that I’m either a hero or an under-medicated psychotic.

“I’m sorry Sir, but people are on break or at lunch,” he says defiantly.
“Well, you need to manage it better,” I say, not caring as I slip my forms under the glass window. “You can’t have everyone out at one time.”

The rest of the transaction is silent on both sides of the window. I take my money and leave, feeling sorry for those I’ve left behind.

I can’t wait to get old, so I can just cut the whole line next time.

Worst Yet

I’m at the supermarket with my parents, who still call it Waldbaums even though it’s been years since it closed and re-opened as Best Yet.
My mission is to wait on line for cold cuts while they start the shopping. There are at least eight people on line armed with never-ending lists. Long loaves of Italian bread and toppings overflow their shopping carts. Just when I think that the person at the front of the line is done, they add on something else, as if the thoughts are just popping up one at a time.
. “And three quarters of a pound of prosciutto.”
Wait, is that it? Is she done? Please be done. Go on, scram!
“…and a pound of salami.”
I hate you, sea hag.

There are two slow-moving, worn-out older women working the deli counter today. I search in vain for the third and fourth, just out of sight tying their apron strings and getting ready to come to our rescue. But it quickly becomes apparent that a few people have called out sick today.
“I cang belief they do dis to us,” whines the one with the heavy Spanish accent, ready to file a multi-million-dollar discrimination lawsuit against the owners of Best Yet as well as the city of New York, because it’s New York’s fault for allowing sick days in the first place. Senora Trollita is venting to a man who is standing just out of sight behind the deli counter with them, hiding behind a rack of pita bread to avoid being seen. He is not helping and I assume that’s because he simply doesn’t work for the deli department at all. The woman behind me sees him and storms over to ask “why the hell” it’s taking so long. When her little tirade fails to prod him into action, she returns to the line, standing there with her arms folded, bitching to her future ex-husband.
I see the flaw in this system and try to figure out a way to fix it. Why not have someone take everyone’s orders in advance and free them up to do their shopping? They could pick up their mountains of cold cuts on the way to the cashier. Why not? Because it makes too much sense. The “take a number” system they had when the store opened has long been abandoned, the little red plastic dispenser now sits silent, covered in a thin layer of dust.

A little boy comes by and crashes his cart into a display of tin foil. I assume it was an accident until he backs up and crashes into the BBQ chicken counter.
“Kid, what the fuck is wrong with you?” I ask, looking down at him. I say this loud enough for him to hear me and stop, embarrassed.
“Brian! What are you doing, Brian?” yells his mother. I freeze, hoping that she didn’t just hear me curse at their son, who I thought deserved a nice slap as well.

Next to the understaffed Crazy Troll deli is the bakery, where a man is getting ready to assemble a cake. I decide that if I’m going to be a while, I might as well learn something. He seems to be inconvenienced by something called “work” and he stops frequently, allowing himself to be interrupted by the two young girls in the bakery section with him. They have a lot of questions today. Stop interrupting him, bitches! The chocolate cake layers have been pre-cut, so I’ll never know how they do this. He spreads them across the tiny and cluttered counter that is overflowing with supplies. Already, I know I don’t ever want to buy a cake from here. The first layer is plopped down onto the familiar cardboard circle. He then scoops out what looks like joint compound from a large bin and dumps it into an industrial-sized pastry bag. He squeezes out a circle of this white cream onto the layer, leaving the center empty.

Interesting. What is going to go in the center?

Chef Boyardee goes to the back room and comes out with a large, gallon-sized tin can, the top already peeled back. He has plastic gloves on, but I’m still put off by the fact that he uses his hand to scoop out enough of the cherry mixture for the center of the cake, plopping it into the center and shaking it off of his hand. Now I’m sure that this is the same shortcut that countless bakers use when no one is looking, but this is out in the open and picky customers like me can see. And we’d like to recommend that he use a spoon.

He repeats the cream and manhandled cherry combo for the next layer, then slaps on a top layer, which lists to the side. He does not correct this. Now comes the icing. As he spins the cake around on the turntable, he pipes the frosting onto the sides in a thick layer. He’s very fast, but still, he’s a bit sloppy around the edges and wastes a lot of paper towels to correct his mistakes. He uses a spackling knife to smooth the sides down. Now it’s time to decorate. By now I’ve figured out that this is a black forest cake—formerly my favorite. I’ve always wondered how they got the little chocolate shavings on the sides. What trick could they have come up with? Simple. Spin the cake while throwing the shavings at it. So what if half of them fall on the floor?
Finally, it is almost my turn to order cold cuts, when I realize that forgotten what to get. I rack my brain, trying to remember the two items my mother requested while picking up a container of olives. The little container turns on me, leaking oil all over my hand. I have no where to wipe it, so I stand there and look at my oily palm.

Mom and Pop have finished the shopping completely. I find them on the other side of the store and, although the look on my face is all I need to relay to them, I still complain.
“Son of a BITCH! What a pain in the ass for some turkey and cheese!”

When we get to the cashier, I see that “Jessica” is not alone at her register. There is a small girl standing next to her, helping to bag groceries. The tiny creature can’t be more than seven or eight years old and I’m certain that the labor laws are being violated right this minute. My theory that she belongs to one of the customers is ruled out as she starts bagging for the next one.
“Ma! Look at that!” I whisper, now outraged.
“There’s a little girl behind the counter with the cashier,” I whisper, as if she were a one-eyed drunken homeless man, sniffing at our deli meat.
“Oh, so what! She’s helping her mother.”
She’s right. I totally forgot that it was “Take Your Illegitimate Daughter to Work Day.” It’s one thing to take your 7-year old daughter to work, quite another to put her to work.

I can understand that maybe that the nanny might have the day off, or that her step father is back in jail, but does she have to be right here, out in the open? Shouldn’t she be locked in a cage in the manager’s office? Or at least tied to a parking meter outside?
By now, it is too late to take our groceries off the conveyor belt and move to the guy next to Jessica who seems to be content working solo today. I just about shove my mother into the potato chip rack, desperate to bag as many items as possible before the little spawn smashes our pound of turkey breast and American cheese under a gallon of bleach. It took me all day to get those, after all.

Die, Stupid Auto Toilet!

I can understand that we need to be a little mindful of our water usage these days, but you, Mr. Auto-flush toilet, are a travesty.

I'm sorry your once proud shiny chrome handle has been replaced with a flimsy fake chrome push button and battery-operated electronic eye. I'm sure that you feel less than mighty because of that, but its really not my fault. I'm sorry you feel the need to express your frustration by flushing three times more than necessary. Auto-flush toilet, you are wasting water, my friend.

When I enter the stall, I know you see me. You watch as I line your seat with toilet paper to quell my germ phobia. But as I turn to sit, you flush! There is nothing there yet! Why do you do this?

I sit down and do my duty. When I rise to do my paperwork, you flush! I am not done, please wait! Now I must flush again because my makeshift toilet seat liner is still there. I let it fall into your bowl and flush manually, depressing the flimsy plastic button with the genius graphic of a finger pressing a button. I assume I am done here, but when I back up to open the inward-swinging stall door, you flush! Why? Did I leave something behind? There is nothing there! You insult me! Die, stupid auto flush toilet!

And as for you, stupid auto-flush urinal, you must die as well. You too sport the same flimsy push button and electronic eye, but seem to express your frustration not by flushing numerous times, but by releasing such a tiny amount of water when flushed manually, that it amounts to a bad leak. Now we have light yellow diluted pee. I flush again, and now we have pastel yellow pee. I flush once more and the pee is finally gone. Maybe you're not wasting water, but youre wasting my time. You see, I must wait until you reset yourself before I press to flush again. Click, leak, wait... Click, leak, wait.

Where do you think youre going, stupid auto faucet? You have no idea how it feels to try to wash your hands under lukewarm water after youve gone to the bathroom. There is no way to make you hot or cold so I must deal with--wait! I'm still rinsing! There's still soap on my hands! Now I must wave the soapy mess in front of your eye to get just a little bit more water out of you. The stream is easily 1/10th of what a normal faucet would give me, so why must you be so cheap? Die, auto faucet. Die.

Have Your Credit Card Ready!

You know, I really love America, but sometimes I come across something that makes me want to run away to Canada, and it has nothing to do with politics or the current administration, or religion or the latest Britney Spears album. It's shit like this.

Presenting, the hand-held, battery- powered letter opener!

Any wonder why we're the fattest country on the planet? What's next, battery powered pens? Battery powered spoons? Self-cleaning, battery powered underwear that you never have to change? Maybe battery powered page turners for books!
What the fuck?

The Slow Lazy Kid Lumbered Over to the Microwave

As if Kraft Lazy Mac wasn’t bad enough, now we have Fast Franks from Oscar Mayer, another salvo fired in the war against boiled water.
Let’s analyze their actual press release, taken from their website.

“It’s mouthwatering to imagine -- a tasty, hot, and juicy Oscar Mayer hot dog wrapped inside a soft and warm bakery-fresh bun. And now imagine only having to wait thirty-five seconds for that first delicious bite."

35 seconds? Can you say Hot Dog Eating Contest? That’s disgusting. Here comes another generation of fat, lazy kids waddling back and forth from the couch to the microwave. Unless, of course, your name is Cartman. “Moooommm, where’s my hot dog? Maaaaaaammmm. Gimmie my hot dog you stupid bitch!”

And, because they come only three to a package, families will need to “stock up” just to keep their addicted families happy. Since it takes only 35 seconds to cook one and just as long to eat one, most people will easily go through an entire package in a sitting (like how I’ve blasted through a box of frozen White Castle cheeseburgers, but that’s another story).
Here’s more: “Preparation is easy, and there’s no cook top mess or boiling water!"

Because nothing is messier or more complicated than boiling water. You’d have to be really, really sloppy, stupid (or be having a seizure) to mess that up.

“The hot dog is simply unwrapped, placed in the bun on a specially designed microwaveable tray and heated for a quick 35 seconds, making a delicious all-in-one hot after-school snack for kids, a fun dinner item or part of a quick and yummy lunch for the whole family. Whether it’s in the kitchen or on the go, Oscar Mayer Fast Franks are a summertime favorite that can now be enjoyed any day or time of the year.”

Because until now, hot dogs were never available in the winter, spring or fall.

“By leveraging proprietary dough technology, Oscar Mayer Fast Franks have made hot dogs easier to enjoy than ever before.”

What the FUCK is “proprietary dough technology”? Isn’t this starting to sound a little too sci-fi now? Can you imagine the vats of chemicals, additives, and preservatives that were pumped into these buns to make them microwave safe and not turn into petrified wood?
At first I thought, “All this marketing, technological, and manufacturing madness to save people the horrible chore of hot dog assembly.” But according to the press release, you still have to do that.

So what’s the point? It’s to save people the horrible chore of--buying separate hot dog buns.

(I was wondering what was eventually going to destroy our country.)

Hey here’s a novel idea: Why doesn’t Oscar Mayer just hook up with Wonder and make fucking hot dog buns? Because then they can’t use phrases like, “proprietary dough technology.”

And I thought that battery-powered letter opener was bad.

Ring of Flaming Coffee Extract

I broke my diet today by going to Burger King for lunch. Since it had been a while, I was able to look at the place with a new, albeit, more critical, eye.

After I place my order with the miserable ghetto cashier who never makes eye contact, I am given my receipt and ordered to “step aside.” I give her the evil eye. Fuck you too, you fucking bitch.

Surely you’ve heard Burger King’s flame-broiled this, flame-broiled that catch phrase marketing shit in every single overproduced Burger King commercial. They make it sound as if even their eggs are flame broiled. But as I watch the peon’s run about the kitchen, I wonder where, then, are the actual flames? I mean, even with all the stainless steel equipment blocking my view, I would expect to hear at least the sizzle of a grill, or the sudden fiery glow reflecting off the wall. But nothing. At first, I thought, suspicious, false advertising, but then, would you want to give a bunch of underpaid, bitter, possibly criminal-minded assembly line workers access to an open flame?

I didn’t think so.

My food comes out and is thrown in a bag. Wait! I’m staying! Where’s my plastic tray? Ever notice how most fast food places can’t keep up with the tray cleaning anymore? If they run out, they just give you a bag, so you stand there for a beat, wondering, Didn’t I tell her it was to stay? I must have made a mistake.

I find a seat. Next to me, a gigantic nutrition chart looms on the wall. Even thought it could take hours to read it all, I zoom in on the BK Joe. What I read is so bizarre that I have to read it again and again and again.

Let’s play a little BK trivia. Of the following, which is NOT an ingredient in BK Joe?
a) water
b) coffee beans
c) Prestige Coffee Extract

What’s with that confused look on your face? Stop it, or you’ll stay that way. Oh, you’ve never heard of Prestige Coffee Extract? And you don’t believe that BK doesn’t use actual coffee beans? Then ask yourself this: when is the last time you heard a coffee grinder at Burger King or watched someone tear open a bag of ground coffee? (for this, and more disgusting reality, go to

Alright, enough shock and awe. I dive into my greasy burger and fries. I shift into turbo stuff mode, eating more fries than my mouth can handle at any one time. What’s this written on the back of the french fry box? Ringers? What the fuck are Ringers? I guess I have to read it now. As I skim over it, I assume they had lazily put my fries in an onion ring box, until something makes me re-read it. Ringers, it goes on to explain, are single onion rings that have accidentally found their way into a batch of fries. It’s written up as if to suggest that you’d be very lucky to encounter such a find.

Fucking amazing. Some marketing genius has found a way to put a positive spin on what is actually a poor quality control issue. And because Burger King is a franchise, there have been enough of these little fuck-ups to make this issue go all the way to the very top of the company—the marketing department. What’s more amazing is that there are legions of loyal BK customers that are naïve enough to fall for this bullshit.
“Mom, mom! Guess what I found? An onion ring—and we ain’t paid for it!”
“Hush, up, boy! Can’t you see I’m on the phone? We gon have company tonight. It’s your Uncle Leroy.”
“Who dat?”

So, where do we go from here? What other kinds of quality control issues can be spun into slick marketing gimmicks?

DiCofa – a delicious blend of Diet Coke and coffee extract.
BK Pondae – Strawberry ice cream concentrate topped with slices of pickle and onions
Croissanmaid – day old croissants give this freshly poured cup of orange concentrate its special texture.
Fapple Pie – our classic dessert, now with fish (parts)!

And how could we forget the children! For them, a nice cup of MOTTS Chicken-flavored apple sauce. And Hammies – slices of real hamburger made just for kids’ little hands. Comes with a side of chocolate dipping sauce.

I have the feeling I’m not going to be back for quite some time…

Do You Want Death With That?

Hey, kids! Did any of you see that commercial for KFC’s Mashed Potato bowl? I did--and I almost threw up.

I hear you. “What the fuck’s the big deal, Chris? They’ve been selling mashed potato bowls forever.”

Oh, but this is no ordinary Mashed Potato Bowl. Here, verbatim, from their website, I present to you what is surely the most disgusting, unimaginative, desperate-for-a-buck fast food item ever conceived:
Brace yourself.
“We start with a generous serving of our creamy mashed potatoes, layered with sweet corn and loaded with bite-sized pieces of crispy chicken. Then we drizzle it all with our signature home-style gravy and top it off with a shredded three-cheese blend. It's all your favorite flavors coming together.”

They come together alright. And when they leave, they’ll be in the form of explosive diarrhea.

Because most fast-food fans are stupid and/or unimaginative, the accompanying commercial is a predictable and overproduced visual assault: food falling in slow motion. You can see the corn falling onto the mashed potatoes, the bite sized pieces of greasy chicken plopping down into the mass. The gravy pouring all over the mess, then the sprinkling of three fake cheeses.
Delicious, no? I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t I think of that? This must be the brainchild of some bratty 7 year old.
Mother to stepson: “Goddamnit, Johnny, stop playing with your fucking food! I’m gonna beat the mother fucking shit out of you right here in the—wait. What’s that? You put…the chicken…in the bowl...with the potatoes.”
The 19-year old store manager comes over. “What seems to be the problem? Hey, did he put the chicken in his mashed potatoes?”

This concoction should come with a free cholesterol check or resuscitating equipment. At the very minimum, there should be a little skull and crossbones on the package. Instead of asking if you want fries with that (because you know they will), they can ask, “Would you like to be buried or cremated?”

Can’t you just hear the executives laughing at this as they give it the green light?
Prick #1 “Market research indicates that many of our consumers have a hard time deciding between sides. So we’ve decided to give them what they want: everything. Presenting, the Potato Bowl.” (doubles over with laughter)
Prick #2 “Fucking brilliant! Let’s go get wasted!”

In going to the KFC website to research this blog, I came across something else. The Rice Bowl. This one must be aimed at the Asian market, or “fools who think anything with rice is automatically healthy.”
“This bowl is freshly prepared with layers of your KFC favorites, including a generous serving of seasoned rice, sweet kernel corn and bite-sized pieces of all-white meat crispy chicken. Then it's all topped with our home-style gravy and a three-cheese blend.”

Same shit, different way to kill you. I especially like how you get a generous serving of rice, but bite-sized pieces of chicken. And home-style gravy? What the fuck does that really mean coming from KFC?

Now I know what you’re thinking. How bad could it really be? I hope you’re sitting down. I downloaded the Nutrition Chart. Conveniently listed under Salads & More (of course) was the information I needed to freak you all out.

KFC Famous Bowls – Mashed Potato with Gravy – 720 calories, 65mg cholesterol, 81 motherfucking grams of carbohydrates for your ass. What really freaked me out was the whopping 2390mgs of sodium! That is your entire daily intake.

So you have to decide: is this my only meal, or my last meal?

Did you VOTE today?

Tuesday, Sept 12, 7:00 p.m. – It’s time to go to the gym. Towel? Check. Water bottle? Check. Bally’s card? Check. Super-caffeinated energy drink? Check.

In the elevator, I’m like a caged animal, the caffeine drink working its magical powers, making me crazy. I charge out when the door opens like a bull out of the gate. I fling the front door open and bound down the steps.

At the corner, I see a short woman who looks to have a clipboard in her arms. Automatic trouble. But the way she’s standing and the way she’s dressed (long, farty floral print skirt, ugly denim jacket) causes me to assume that she’s anything but someone waiting for a friend or maybe has a date. One that will not last long.

As I get close, she turns to me, attempting eye contact. “Did you vote today?” she asks, in that slightly bitchy, lecturing tone a mother uses when asking her kid if he finished his homework.

My first instinct is to yell, “No!” and then keep walking, but I decide to ignore her, as if I didn’t hear her over the traffic noise. Besides, why the hell do I have to answer her? Unfortunately, I did briefly glance at her, so she knew I heard her.

Despite the fact that I’m not registered to vote in Manhattan, I don’t give half a shit about politics! And I’m so fucking tired of people assaulting me on the street with food flyers, petitions and donation requests. Worst of all (a special level of hell is reserved for them) are annoying and phony Good-Morning-Stranger-Let-Me-Shake-Your-Hand-For-A-Photo-Op politicians who somehow manage to block the entire width of the sidewalk early in the morning. I have to cross the street to avoid them.

As I walked away, she mumbled something under her breath. I keep walking, fighting the urge to run back and scream, two inches from her flat face, “WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU SAY TO ME, YOU FUCKING BITCH? WHAT? WHAT?!”

Instead, I laugh at my own insanity, imagining her quaking, then peeing down her leg before running off, dropping her clipboard on the sidewalk.

By the way, my energy drink is called Monster.

Screw You, MySpace, I'm goin' to Blogger

Well, I've decided that MySpace, however "addictive" they say it is, totally sucks for those looking to blog. Half the time you can't get on, and the layouts? Horrible. How am I supposed to rant and complain if I can't get on? And I felt stupid everytime I got that error message: "Sorry, an unexpected error has occurred." Really? Well, I expected it--because it happens all the time!
So this is my new home. (summer home in Newport, shown)

I feel better already. And plus, I can post pictures, which means I will be able to show people exactly what I'm ranting about.

Plus, I'll be in the company of some very talented and witty bloggers who've inspired me to do this in the first place.