FAQ: The Never-Say-Ow™ Personal Force Field

By: Ralph Gamelli

Q: I’ve strapped on my force field and activated it according to the instructions. Now what?

Go about your day as usual, free at long last from the nagging worry of being struck by snowballs, rocks or even bullets. Any and all projectiles will bounce harmlessly off your Never-Say-Ow™ personal force field, making your attacker shudder with impotent rage and humiliation. This may be the ideal time to respond with your Glock semi-automatic (not included).

Q: What about other hazards, such as fists? There are a lot of people out there who’d like to punch me.

The person who attempts it is going to shatter every bone in his hand… and leave himself open to a swift and devastating kick to the solar plexus.

Q: The instructions say that the force field is completely invisible and soundless, so how can I be sure it’s actually on?

Simply approach the nearest female and proposition her in the rudest manner imaginable. You may have flinched when she threw her scalding hot coffee at your face, but did you feel anything? No, because it spattered ineffectively against your Never-Say-Ow™ personal force field. (If you did feel something, then no, it wasn’t properly activated. Reread the instruction manual before propositioning anyone else, then perform a safer test, such as having a friend throw a pie in your face.)

Q: Okay, the force field is definitely on, and there’s a certain sense of invulnerability walking around with it. In fact, I almost feel like Superman. I know I can’t fly, but could I act like a superhero with the help of my force field?

I don’t see why not. Conversely, you might choose to emulate a super villain.

Q: I hadn’t thought of that. My first instinct was to go the opposite route.

It doesn’t matter. More and more people are purchasing the Never-Say-Ow™ personal force field every day. Sooner or later, everyone will be on equal footing again. Whether you lean towards heroism or villainy, we recommend you get to it without too much delay.

Q: What about more conventional situations? Can I take a shower with my force field on?

No. You must deactivate it before showering.

Q: What about eating?

You must also deactivate it before eating.

Q: I guess I could turn it off while showering, because I’m in a locked bathroom. But if I’m eating in public and my force field is down, aren’t I leaving myself open to attack?

You better believe it.

Q: What if I turn off my force field, shove a forkful of food into my mouth, then switch it on again real quick?

Good thinking.

Q: I’ve never felt more protected in my life, but I’ve noticed that it still hurts when people say mean things to me. Is there anything my force field can do about this?

Sorry, the Never-Say-Ow™ personal force field is only designed to keep you free from physical harm. You’ll still be vulnerable to insults, mockery and calls from telemarketers.

Q: What about rude gestures and nasty looks?

You’ll remain susceptible to these, as well. Perhaps if you were a bit less sensitive and more of a man, these kinds of slights wouldn’t bother you so much.

Q: I suppose.

We can’t protect you from every little thing, now, can we?

Q: There’s no reason to be condescending.

It’s obvious that even with your Never-Say-Ow™ personal force field, you’ll continue to play the victim. I sensed this the moment you empathized with heroes over villains.

Q: Can we please move on? I have a question about–

Don’t you realize what kind of power you yield now? Only a coward stays on the defensive when he could take anything he wants without fear of injury. Together, with the aid of our Never-Say-Ow™ personal force fields, we could bring this city to its knees. What do you say?

Q: I don’t think so.

You’re either with me or against me.

Q: Stop talking like that, please.

Or what? You’ll give me a nasty look? Boohoo. The question guy looked nasty at me and now I’m going to cry.

Q: I said stop.

Make me.

Q: I’m not kidding. I’ll hit you.

Go for it. Turn off your Never-Say-Ow™ personal force field and I’ll turn off mine.

Q: There. It’s off.

Mine, too. So go on and hit me. I dare you.

Q: Ow!

Woops. Guess I didn’t turn it off after all. Too bad the Never-Say-Ow™ personal force field can’t protect you from being a naive idiot.

Q: My hand!

Looks like you’ve shattered every bone in it. You’ll have to get it looked at. But first, a swift and devastating kick to the solar plexus.


Breck Steele (Class Of ’89) Gives The Commencement Address At Schwarzenegger University, The University For Action Heroes

By: Pete Reynolds

Welcome, parents, faculty, alumni, distinguished guests, corrupt city councilman, Turkish arms dealers, kung fu street toughs, intergalactic robots, and members of the Class of 2009.

You know, if you’d told me twenty years ago that one day I’d be standing here on this stage giving the commencement address at my alma mater, I would have said, “You must be from the future…tell me who sent you. Was it Reknar!?!?” You probably would have spit in my face, and I would have pistol-whipped you. Yet, here we are.

As you move out into the world, or outer space, or some alternate fourth dimension involving jumpsuits and holograms, you will face challenges. These challenges will mostly come from people who think they can destroy the world or corrupt your city. But Schwarzenegger U has prepared you to say to them, “Think again,” which they won’t be able to help but do, because, let’s face it: it’s hard to not think, especially on command.

After you’ve forced them to think (again), they’ll often remember that they have a hostage, and it’s usually someone you care about. “Don’t hurt the girl,” you might say, and they won’t. Challenges, people. Challenges.

You’ll have to be careful, though, because those ruthless outlaws, be they Russian, Middle Eastern or space alien, will have henchmen, or, in some cases, sexy henchwomen, tortured by your animal magnetism into tipping off their boss’s location before plummeting to their deaths from a helicopter, or getting sucked out of the hatch of the space station. And at some point, you’re going to have to go toe-to-toe with the largest of those henchmen. But this is where you can apply the lessons you’ve learned here at Schwarzenegger U. Remember that this particular henchman will usually get the best of you for a while, and he’ll tell you that you just don’t know when to quit, do you? But stick with it, because you’ll eventually turn the tide and knock him out, or, in R-rated scenes, kill him. “I’m getting too old for this,” you will say, though your prowess in combat (and, let’s be honest, the bedroom) suggests otherwise.

I remember the first job I took out of SU: Special Black Ops X-Force Renegade Commando for the Inter-Stellar CIA. Almost immediately, I faced challenges, often in the form of an overbearing captain, or explosions. “This isn’t in my job description,” I used to say in complaints to Human Resources. But I overcame those challenges, often with the help of a wisecracking sidekick or the agonizing memory of a deceased fiancée. And today, as I stand here in Willis-Seagal Auditorium looking out at the Class of 2009, I know that you are well-equipped to handle whatever life or Ortega, the Nicaraguan drug lord, throws your way, and —

I’m sorry, folks, I hate to interrupt my remarks like this, but I’ve just been told that I don’t have much time. In the interest of full disclosure, I was pulled off of a secret mission to the Malaysian jungle in the year 2542 to give this commencement address, and I’ve just been informed by my second-in-command that we’ve got company, and that the fate of the Gorkon-Zeptor Interplanetary Union depends upon my timely return.

So, in closing, I’d like to offer a quote that seems particularly pertinent to today’s ceremonies. The quote comes from Professor Doan Klocket — an alumnus of this fine institution, the Vin Diesel Distinguished Professor of Train-Top Knife Fights, and the man who taught me how to defuse a bomb strapped to the wing of a 747, mid-flight. Said Professor Klocket: “The only thing I’m negotiating, Mikhailovich, is the price of the flowers I’ll be sending to your funeral!” These words are as true today as they were in Doan’s Day, which, incidentally, was the title of Professor Klocket’s last movie.

Congratulations, Class of 2009, and Godspeed. I’ll see you in Hell.


Overheard On The Pool Table

By: Frank Ferri

13: Look at him. By himself in the corner, thinking he’s so much better than us.

5: I hate to say it, being a solid and all, but 13 is right. 8 is kind of stuck-up–talking only when you ask him a question.

13: And responding like some all-knowing God.

10: Totally. Watch this. “Hey 8, umm, I still have a couple of eggs left in the fridge, but the carton has a sell-by date of two weeks ago. Do you think it’s okay to eat them?”

8: All signs point to yes.

10: See?

14: I’m just playing devil’s advocate here. Believe me, I’m a stripe and I have no soft spot for any solid. But of course he’s a bit self-satisfied–people call him the Magic 8-Ball. Name me one ball in all of cue sports that wouldn’t get a big head with a name like that.

13: Fine, but why does he need to say things like “It is decidedly so” and “My sources say no.” What sources? The cue stick chalk?

1: I’m with 13 on this. Last week I was just rolling by 8, and I said, “Nice weather we’re having, huh?” And you know what the bastard said to me? He said, “Better not tell you now.” Like his opinion on the weather is some big government secret.

11: I hear you. We were ordering pizza the other day, so I asked him if he wanted pepperoni. Simple, right? He just looked at me and said, “Concentrate and ask again.” I swear to God I almost knocked him off the table.

14: It’s true, he could show some tact. But what if it’s some weird neurological disease. I asked him what he did over the holidays, and he just said, “Yes, definitely.” I asked him again, slower, but still he just said something like, “Don’t count on it.” It made absolutely no sense.

13: I’m gonna feel like a real jerk if 8 does have a medical issue. I’ve been kinda cold to him.

11: Well I don’t think he has any “issue” other than being passive-aggressive. I asked him if he thinks my stripe makes me look fat, and he said, “Better not tell you now.” Might as well have called me a cow.

6: So I’m at Cue Ball’s birthday…

12: What? There was a party for a ball that knocks us around all day? Oh, and thanks for the invite.

6: We kept it small. Anyway, I asked 8 if he wanted cake. He says, “Cannot predict now.” I’m thinking, “Jackass, I’m not asking you to ‘predict’ anything. I’m asking if you want a piece of vanilla cake with chocolate frosting.”

2: Drugs. I think it’s drugs.

14: Whoa. That’s a heck of a thing to say. Better have proof.

2: Proof? Don’t you see the white powder on him 24/7?

14: That’s the hand talc, you idiot. All of us get it on us.

2: I’m just saying. I asked him a really easy question, something like “Did you like High School Musical 3?” He just kind of stared at me for what seemed like a full minute. Then he said, “Reply hazy, try again.”

1: Definitely drugs.

15: Oh please. It’s not drugs and it’s not a brain issue. He’s just a conceited jerk. And I’m waiting for the day he asks me a question. I’ll knock his ass into the corner pocket and say “Outlook not so good, bitch.”


What I’m Thinking During My First Bikram Yoga Class

By: Ethel Rohan


This is nice: standing, breathing deep. It’s good to be alive.

Ardha Chandrasana with Pada Hastasana

Yes! I am a half-moon. And I can kinda touch my toes.


Squatting is awkward. Squatting on my toes is awkward and weird. Squatting on my toes with my knees together and arms outstretched just isn’t happening.


Okay, I’m squatting, I’m twisting arms, twisting legs, twisting like an eagle, twisting, twisting, twisting…and I’m flat on the floor. Sorry about that, folks.


Stand with one leg locked, got it, and with the other leg stretched straight out in front bring your nose to your knee. You lost me at “the other leg.”


Stand with one leg pulled back and arced up over the head and the other arm reaching toward the mirror: reach, reach, reach. Okay, I can do this, but it’s sure hot in here. “Fluid yoga,” they got that right. The last time I sweat this much it was two decades back and I was drunk at a disco in a skintight polyester pantsuit and dancing like the outfit was inhabited by a swarm of fire ants.


Okay, balance like a stick. I can do this. Yeah, I’m doing this. Perhaps more snapped twig than straight stick, but hey.

Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana

Stand straight, separate legs five feet, lean forward, and touch your forehead to the floor. Surprisingly, I can almost do this, and it feels good. Although the only thing that could get my head any closer to the ground right now would be a guillotine.


Wee! I am a triangle.

Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana

You want me to put what where? Boy, they’re really into the whole touching your nose to your knee thing, aren’t they?


Maybe I could stand like a tree if I wasn’t dripping in sweat and unable to hold my slippery foot in place. Damn it’s hot.


She’s kidding, right?


Yes, thank you! I never thought I’d feel so happy to assume a corpse pose. What? This pose is over already?


Is she going to talk throughout the entire class? Where’s the quiet, the stillness, the “shut up and let me think about anything else besides what I’m doing right now, thank you very much?”


I hate sit-ups, but at least I can pronounce them. There go the trumpets: more farts than at an Irritable Bowel Syndrome convention. I hope I don’t let loose.


Cobras: they swallow their kill whole, right? Can swallow prey up to fifty times their size, or did I just make that up?


Locust, pocust. This is a doddle. I’m so coming back tomorrow.

Poorna Salabhasana

And I was doing so well.


I’m making such a fine bow someone needs to pick me right up and wrap me around something.

Supta Vajrasana

No way, I’m not even trying that. I’m just going to lie here in corpse pose and luxuriate in the fact that I’ve probably lost five pounds of fluid since hauling my sorry ass in here.

Ardha Kurmasana

Someone’s sure detoxifying! I can taste that stink.


What does she mean we shouldn’t drink too much water during class? I’m so thirty right now I could hack open a camel’s hump and drink straight from it.


How many frigging poses are there?

Janushirasana with Paschimottanasana

I can’t get my nose to touch my knees, okay? Not in this pose or any other pose. We’re not all elastic or plastic or whatever it is you’re made of, because you’re not human. I am so never coming back here. They so better give me a refund on my membership.

Ardha Matsyendrasana

This is like that scene in The Exorcist, where Regan’s head spins.

Kapalbhati in Vajrasana

Which one of my stomachs would you like me to snap exactly? And if I only had one stomach that I could snap sixty times in sixty seconds I wouldn’t need to be here, now would I?

Namaste my arse.