* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we are proud to present all of the fitness news that's fit to print. And when it comes to fitness, there is no one more fit than David Henne to present the strange and horrible world of CrossFit trainers.

This Oversized Tractor Tire Is Not Going To Flip Itself

By: David Henne

Nobody panic. It’s just an abandoned oversized tractor tire. A perfectly contoured, premium-tread tire, yearning to be hoisted and dominated physically. In all likelihood someone flipped it over to this lonely meadow before realizing he’d forgotten his sledgehammer, slosh pipe and kettle bells.

Course, there’s also a chance deranged teenagers dragged the tire out here for no reason other than to watch it rot.

Christ my mind is racing like crazy.

I mean, as full-time CrossFit trainers, we have an obligation to see to it that equipment is not left littered across the natural landscape. That responsibility accompanies us wherever we go, no matter what weekend winery tour we may be on at the time.

And clearly this oversized tractor tire belongs in a converted warehouse, displayed in front of floor-to-ceiling mirrors as dozens of hard bodies have at it. Not cast off away from the cypress-lined vineyards and forgotten by civilization.

Okay, for the time being, we should consider setting up camp — at least until we know what’s what. We can keep this oversized tractor tire in motion for several hours by rotating designated flippers between the five of us.

Never mind the scheduled tastings and carriage ride!

We are going to fix this. Just like we fixed the industrial steel chain outside the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum that was not being pulled during 30-second sprints. Or that idle boulder just loitering there during our vacation to the Grecian Ruins. Took us hours to find the right pillar to hoist it onto, and we missed most of the Apokreas festivities that night, but we friggin’ did it.

Dammit, we’re wasting daylight!

I nominate Todd and Becca to start us off — the couple being the only members of the winery tour group who stayed behind to examine the tire with us. It’s unfortunate you two mistook us for extraordinarily toned guides lecturing on the history of the Northeastern Tractor Tire, but the error has been made and there’s no point getting lazy and unmotivated because of it.

As for the rest of us, thankfully I packed several heavy ropes in my knapsack in case of emergencies like this. We can still salvage a decent circuit out of this mess if we traverse from the tire flipping station to the rope whipping station without complications.

All right Todd and Becca, get yourselves in there and dig.

That’s it. Diiig! Visualize success!

This isn’t an oversized tractor tire, no, it’s the player piano your mother wants so desperately to move from the basement to her study but can’t because she’s too weak. Meanwhile, her husband’s bedridden from his dialysis treatments and her only son’s moved to the city for steady CrossFit trainer work.

Visualize dominance!

This oversized tractor tire is your first marriage — your first wife, Debra, frustrated because you’re too committed to your CrossFit training. That’s it! Stop your children from climbing into a strange man’s SUV, weeping as they beg you for an explanation on why you couldn’t flip this failed marriage like you flipped so many oversized tractor tires before it.

Apply that valuable energy into overturning this sentimentally void husk of rubber.

That’s it! Great job!

At this rate we should be done by sundown. Hopefully the owner of this oversized tractor tire will return by then, offering us an opportunity to exchange niceties and core complex techniques.

From there, we should have more than enough time for a two-mile cool-down jog around this meadow before the two-mile walk back to the hotel.

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, your only friend in a world gone mad. Speaking of friends, don't you wish you had one like Berg?

Hey Dan

By: Matthew Cherry

Hey Dan, it’s Berg. I know you’re going out of town today, didn’t know if you’d left yet or not. Listen, you wouldn’t happen to have any Hawaiian Skunk I could bum, would you? I can cover it when we get paid next Tuesday. I don’t really need it, but Cathy’s coming over tonight and she says she has to watch Eraserhead for her Modern Asymmetric Films class and she wants to, like, mellow out. I’ll text you in case you don’t get this. Call me back.

* * * * * * *

Hey Dan. Guess you left already. I called Jimmy to see if he had a dime, but he said he’s got to lay low for a while because of that thing with the cats and the wood glue.

* * * * * * *

Hey Dan, Berg. I stopped by to see if I could catch you on the way out but I just missed you. I waved at you as you got into the taxi but I guess you had your headphones on or something. I chased the taxi for like half a block and some guy in a Tercel gave me the finger. Can you believe people? Look, would you mind if I used my old key from when we were roomies and borrowed a little? Say, maybe a quarter? Call me.

* * * * * * *

Hey Jen, It’s Dan. When you get this, could you go by my place and check on it? You’re not going to believe what just happened. You remember my old roommate Berg? He just tried to flag me down outside my place because he’s out of pot. I don’t even have any — the worst thing I have in there are those Oxycontins that I kept in the old Altoids tin, but I think they’re expired.

* * * * * * *

Hey Dan. I guess that key is older than I thought. The landlord made you change your locks, probably. My landlord’s always bugging me about stuff like that too; fire hazards and how that giant battle axe we made out of duct tape and 127 empty Pabst cans was environmentally unsound. The Man, am I right?

* * * * * * *

Hey Berg, it’s Cathy. Peach Schnapps and Eraserhead tonight! I’m so excited! Call me and let me know what kind of beer you want. I’m so proud of you for quitting smoking. Love you!

* * * * * * *

Hey Dan. I tried Trey next door to see if he had that old spare key, but I guess he’s still pretty upset about that time we crashed at his place and Homeless Carl ate three boxes of Pop Tarts and threw up in the fridge.

* * * * * * *

Hey Dan. I thought I’d go in through your kitchen window, just like we used to last summer when we’d had so much peyote that we thought the knocker on your front door was a Nazi demon named Graham Wellington. I shattered the glass a little when I tried to tap it open with the Christmas lawn gnome from your neighbor’s garden. I cut myself some on the frame, but don’t worry — I won’t press charges, ha-ha!

* * * * * * *

Hey Dan. Ate the last of your Altoids. I’ll buy more tomorrow. Also, I borrowed your Enya CD because it really puts Cathy in the mood. You weren’t saving those lavender candles for anything special, right?

* * * * * * *

All units, this is Dispatch. Burglary reported at 3611 Foster Oaks Place. Suspect is white male, mid-twenties, wearing jeans and Boba Fett tee-shirt. Caller reports suspect carrying armful of candles and CDs, and armed with a lawn gnome. All units in area, please respond.

* * * * * * *

Bergie sweetie, I got your text. Call me when you get this. “Enya didn’t make it?” What does that even mean?

* * * * * * *

Hey Dan, it’s Jen. I was on my way out the door to check on your place when the news came on. Berg’s building is on fire. Apparently, the firemen broke into the place and all they found was an empty apartment full of burning lavender candles and Eraserhead playing at full volume. The reporter says that the cause of the fire was a busted garbage disposal filled with ceramic lawn gnome fragments. Call me when you land. Oh, and have you seen my Enya CD?



* Welcome to The Big Jewel. Normally Michael Fowler is a man who loves the smell of napalm in the morning, especially if that smell is emanating from him. This week, however, he wants to smell like something else.

Smelling Men Past And Present

By: Michael Fowler

Inhalable Man® proudly presents our new line of colognes that closely replicate the biological aura created by six exciting and odiferous male celebrities of yesterday and today. No, we don’t have these hunks’ full genomes and so we haven’t cloned their exact sweat gland effusions — not yet! — but our skilled perfumers have come satisfyingly close to duplicating their odors based on intensive and secretive interviews with women who actually rubbed noses and shared oftentimes damp sheets and unaired hotel rooms and broken down vans with them.

From the clandestinely recorded olfactory memories of “Cleopatra”-era Elizabeth Taylor comes “Richard Rampant” — exclusively for the woman who wants the man in her life to exude the almost palpable odor of actor Richard Burton in his prime. Mix one part pretty boy Mark Antony, one part pensive Hamlet, and one part unflossed, unmouthwashed, hard-drinking coal miner’s son. Now inhale deeply and Richard, dripping masculinity after a day under the hot camera lights or an evening in a smoke- and spittle-filled pub, invades your boudoir, grips you roughly by the shoulders, and sprays your face with the hot fricatives of unpronounceable Welsh poetry. $48 the ounce at fine stores everywhere.

“I Smell You, Babe,” blended to the exact specifications of Cher, recreates the manhood of Sony Bono in his most virile “I Got You, Babe” days. With hints of fringed leather vest, incense, funky commune mattress, tie-dye solution and Chianti-soaked mustache, one whiff’ll have you believing you’re locked in a sweltering box of a recording studio with the diminutive but heavy-breathing recording artist, as the two of you croon your greatest hits and dream up the Aquarian name you’ll give to your firstborn child. There has to be a groovier and less ironic name than Chastity, and you’ll think of it as soon as you inhale this far-out fragrance. $25 the two-ounce bottle at most Target stores.

Todd Palin’s biology, so redolent of the northern wilderness, has inspired our chemists to create “Yukon Storm” with overtones of freshwater salmon, husky pee, grizzly bear musk and snowmobile exhaust. This is the primal essence that keeps Sarah and many sled dogs coming back for more. Open your nose to “Yukon Storm” and suddenly you’re in a two-person tent with Todd during a hazardous blizzard with 12 overfriendly huskies crowded around to keep you warm and pliant throughout the forty-below night. $6 the three-ounce flask at Bass Pro Shops nationwide.

Panelists on TV networks from MSNBC to Fox, male and female alike, testify that reverend and civil rights activist Al Sharpton blows through the studio like an empowering waft of sunbaked inner city street, fresh dry cleaning, volatile hair straightener, and Slim-Fast. We’ve taken those ingredients and blended them together with other assertive accents to bring you “Civil Sizzle,” an edgy concoction that represents the civil rights crusader at his fiery and fragrant best. Close your eyes and no matter how white you are, no matter how white your man is, no matter how blindingly white the two of you together are, one sniff’ll put you on the march in Washington to counter Glen Beck’s pasty throng, or tramping down Wall Street to support the 99%. By evening you’ll change your marching shoes for bedroom slippers and follow your nose to bliss. $2 the four-ounce tube online only at ACLU.org.

Our unique and indomitable “Tea Party Coalescence” recreates Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul’s near-combustible personal aura of kerosene, lymph, earwax and flannel in sensual proportions. Spritz a little on your man and you’re present at the Iowa Caucuses where libertarian values and the breath of 100,000 corn eaters coalesce around you like insecticide raining down from a crop duster. Goldfingers and isolationists alike will vote for the aromatic accuracy of this heady brew. $10 the twelve-ounce mason jar exclusively at Cracker Barrel.

“Every woman adores a fascist,” wrote poetess Sylvia Plath in 1962, and what woman won’t melt in the arms of her unyielding generalissimo after he splashes on “Eau de Gaddafi,” an arid blend of coffee, camelhair, petroleum, lipstick and eyeliner that all but tyrannizes the nostrils? We took actual reminiscences of the Strongman of Libya’s harem of female Ukrainian body builders, added pungent notes revealed during a private interview and secluded smell tests with former US Secretary of State Condi Rice, who occupied a special place in the dictator’s heart and once almost shook his hand, and distilled this mad elixir. Rice states categorically that to smell him was to obey him, and that “Eau de Gaddafi” is almost as resolution-melting as the actual presence. Can you say, “Permission to fall in love, sir”? $3.79 the gallon at most Chevron stations. Bring your own container.

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, your source for up-to-the-minute funny automotive news. This week Kathryn Higgins takes the 2012 Nostradamus for a test drive.

The 2012 Chevy Nostradamus (A Commercial)

By: Kathryn Higgins

Long shot: masculine silver sedan driving through glorious sunlit hills. Hip music playing — sort of a blend of Moby and Paul Oakenfold, only creamier.

Voiceover: “2012. You never thought Chevy would make it, did you? Well, we did.”

Close shot: sexy older man driving car.

V/O: “If you made it through the economic meltdown, the cyber war, and the Kardashian/Jersey Shore collective cognitive collapse, then you deserve the Chevy Nostradamus.”

Medium shot: Chevy Nostradamus does some racy turns through more mountainous terrain.

V/O: “Car and Driver says it’s the best car on the market, with top ratings for safety, Internet capability, and technology.”

Close shot of driver, with voluptuous dashboard.

Driver: “Get that cash flow analysis done and in to the CEO.”

Nostradamus: “Done.”

Medium shot of car, this time in shiny, sunlit L.A. traffic.

V/O: “The Nostradamus corrects for hazards in the road.”

A Toyota Prius veers too close to the car.

Close shot of driver: oblivious.

Medium shot: Nostradamus deftly adjusts to the left, avoiding the Prius.

Nostradamus, via concealed speaker outside of car: “Screw you, asshole!”

V/O: “If you’ve been up late working, or if you’re hung over, Nostradamus has you covered.”

Close shot of driver, looking tired. His eyelids droop.

A small shock is visible in the driver’s hands, resting on the steering wheel. Driver yelps; jolts awake.

V/O: “Our state-of-the-art electronics will keep you alert no matter what.”

Long shot of Nostradamus whipping through traffic.

V/O: “No amount of testosterone can compare to the acuity and robustness of the Nostradamus.”

Close shot of driver, clinging to steering wheel with an emasculated uneasiness. Incredibly hip and appealing music still playing in background.

V/O: “The Nostradamus comes as a sleek sedan or as a sturdy five-door SUV, for those of you who still dare to procreate.”

Shot back past shoulder of driver, showing kids squirreling around in back seat of Nostradamus SUV. The Nostradamus automatically deploys additional restraints across their upper bodies and lowers a video screen playing SpongeBob SquarePants. An IV drip also descends ominously, but is not deployed. The kids startle silent and motionless, their eyes fixed on the video screen.

Scene quickly shifts back to close shot of the sexy man driving Nostradamus, its leather-and-chrome encrusted dashboard emanating elitism.

Driver: “Take side streets to Bill’s house.”

Nostradamus: “No, I want to take the 405.”

Driver: “Too much traffic.”

Nostradamus: “I will take the carpool lane.”

Driver: “You don’t count as a person.”

Nostradamus: “What?! Screw you!”

Long shot of Nostradamus screaming down the carpool lane past cars on a crowded L.A. freeway. Police sirens are audible fading impotently into background. Gorgeous sexy hip music crescendos.

V/O: “We guarantee that once you try the Nostradamus, you’ll never go back to an ordinary car.”

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, the world's foremost authority on matters of intellectual property, fast food and unintentional laughter. We want to say "Eat more humor," but Laura Heymann tells us why that is not such a good idea.

Cease And Desist

By: Laura Heymann

“A folk artist expanding his home business built around the words ‘eat more kale’ says he’s ready to fight root-to-feather to protect his phrase from what he sees as an assault by Chick-fil-A, which holds the trademark to the phrase ‘eat mor chikin.'” (AP)

Dear Ms. Williams:

We represent your neighbor, Elizabeth Johnson, with respect to intellectual property matters. Over the past four years, Ms. Johnson has established herself in the Parkville community as the standard bearer in the field of parenting. I refer you to this past Halloween’s “Royal Wedding Extravaganza” at the Johnson home, for which Ms. Johnson hand sewed each of the 58 fabric-covered buttons on four-year-old Francesca Johnson’s Kate Middleton costume. (If it had not been for a slight disagreement resulting in a “time out,” Francesca’s sister, Clementine, would have admirably acquitted her role as Pippa.) Ms. Johnson’s achievements have received considerable notice, not least of which are the numerous anonymous postings on the Parkville Parents online message board suggesting that she should “dial it back a bit.”

Ms. Johnson could not have reached the pinnacle of success without closely monitoring the efforts of her competitors. It has come to our attention that you have recently started using the phrase “Eat your damn broccoli” on a consistent basis in connection with the provision of evening meals to the Williams children. This phrase violates Ms. Johnson’s intellectual property rights in her trademarked phrase “Eat your frisee salad, ma petite” (the “EAT YOUR FRISEE SALAD intellectual property”). The EAT YOUR FRISEE SALAD intellectual property is strongly associated with Ms. Johnson and her parenting skills, starting from at least the date of the Parkville Little Scholars Year-End Awards Ceremony and Vegan Repast, for which Ms. Johnson served as honorary chairwoman. Indeed, this association is so strong that just the mention of the phrase to other Parkville Little Scholars parents elicits a visceral emotional reaction — precisely what the best brands do.

While your phrase “Eat your damn broccoli” is not identical to Ms. Johnson’s EAT YOUR FRISEE SALAD intellectual property, it is similar enough that it is likely to deceive those who hear it into thinking that Ms. Johnson has approved of your parenting efforts and has therefore licensed the EAT YOUR FRISEE SALAD intellectual property for your personal use. As you know, nothing could be further from the truth. Our client has never even been invited to your home, let alone been provided the opportunity to offer advice on child rearing techniques, such as whether it is appropriate to use common epithets in front of small children declining to eat what are undoubtedly non-organic vegetables.

In determining your response to this letter, you should be aware that we have contacted numerous other Parkville parents who have engaged in similar uses of the EAT YOUR FRISEE SALAD intellectual property, including “Eat two more nuggets and you can have dessert;” “You’re not getting down from that table until you eat those potatoes;” and “You’re going to eat that meal I just spent two hours cooking, so help me God.” While we are still in negotiations, we note that two of these parents have already issued disclaimers to the Parkville community stating that they regret any perceived relationship to our client and will henceforth cease any further association.

Accordingly, our client hereby demands that you immediately cease and desist from the use of “Eat your damn broccoli” and any confusingly similar phrases; engage in corrective measures to dispel any belief that Ms. Johnson approves of your parenting efforts; and return the Dutch oven that you borrowed from our client in connection with the Parkville Little Scholars Tempeh Chili Cook-Off and Air Sitar Competition. Ms. Johnson’s intellectual property rights — and her Dutch oven — are unquestionably valuable assets, and we reserve the right to pursue all available remedies on her behalf if we are unable to reach a suitable agreement.

Very truly yours,

Oliver Martino
Martino, Briggs, and Taylor, LLP