* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we take pride in demonstrating our vast knowledge of all the relevant traffic laws. Please welcome back our good friend Eric Feezell.

No, What Is A Turning Indicator?

By: Eric Feezell

Chill, man! I can see that you’re upset, but you don’t have to get in my face, okay? Let me just roll up my window, shut the motor off, and we can move to the sidewalk and talk it over. No need for aggression. Nice and easy like.

You seem incredulous, so allow me to reiterate: No, I really have never heard of a turning indicator before. Should I have? It doesn’t ring a bell, to be honest. Is it an iPhone app? Turning indicator, turning indicator, turning indicator…nope. It’s kind of scientific sounding, though — like something you’d find on a highly technical robot arm.

Is that why you’re so angry? That I’m not in the loop about some trivial detail in what sounds to be obviously specialized subject matter? Who are you, the knowledge-about-turning-indicators police? (Don’t answer those questions, by the way — they were rhetorical.) Obviously the topic is near and dear to you, seeing how offended you are by this. Not everyone is into what you’re into, okay?

Let me ask you this: You ever heard of King Crimson? Oh, yeah? All of them? Well I congratulate you on your exacting musical tastes. Okay, what about Mahavishnu Orchestra? Gotcha! See, it’s not really possible to know or care about every little tiny detail that exists in the world, is it? The fact that I don’t happen to know or care what a turning indicator is doesn’t make your scientific research in the field of robotics any more or less meaningful — it just is. It takes all kinds in this crazy world, those who know about turning indicators and those who know John McLaughlin is the greatest living fusion guitarist and perhaps guitarist period.

If it’ll appease you any, I’d be happy to research the basics about turning indicators, though I’m obviously not going to be an expert like you are after what I assume to be years of scholastic endeavor and a PhD in electrical engineering. A quick Google search on my phone here and we’ll be in business. Just one sec. Okay. Oh, my. The first link is an entire Wikipedia entry on Automotive Lighting. Are they like robotic headlights? I’ll have to scan through the content outline. Let’s see. “Lighting system of a motor vehicle…” “Driving lamps…” “Cornering lamps…” “Daytime running lamps…” “Dim-dip lamps.” Ha! That last one makes me think of Dippin’ Dots.

Let me just scroll down and zoom. Okay: Turn signals. Hmm. Close, but nothing here about turning indicators, per se. Oh, they are? Okay, that’s slightly misleading on Wikipedia’s part, but I’ll take your word for it. That’s the problem with the English language, am I right? Eighteen different ways to refer to one thing. God help us. It probably makes your field research unbearable. Though it could be worse. You could be an Eskimo writing a thesaurus. Don’t they have like a hundred words for snow?

Sorry for the tangent. Let’s see, so it looks like most cars have these. It says: “used to indicate to other drivers that the operator intends a lateral change of position.” What a fabulous idea! Does my car come with these? I’m going to be stoked if it does — I didn’t even know I had a five-disc changer for like a month after I bought my car! Let’s see…”Electric turn signal lights were devised as early as” — oh, man, they’ve been around since 1907! Someone’s out of the loop, eh? Mahavishnu Orchestra’s only been around since the seventies. Eek! Foot in mouth!

Fascinating stuff, man! I’m just curious, but how did you get into the field of robotic car lighting? No, wait. You don’t have to answer that — you don’t even know me! I hope there are no hard feelings. Honestly, I’m pretty excited to learn more about turning indicators, so if you’ve got any book recommendations for beginners that’d be great.

Be sure to check out Mahavishnu Orchestra — and Shakti, while you’re at it. I think for your musical sensibilities, John McLaughlin would be a perfect match!

Now if I can just get your insurance info, it looks like my trunk suffered some pretty extensive damage. I wish it could be settled another way, but you know what they say: the rear-ender is always at fault! Sucks to be you, man. Sorry.


My Groom Speech

By: Eric Feezell

Friends, family, thank you all so much for joining Monica and me here today for our special day. I’m not the best speechmaker, and so will try to keep this short and sweet. Hey, the hard part’s over, right? I’m so happy to have found you, Monica. This really is the fourth-greatest day of my life.

I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but I’ve been lucky enough to have had a few pretty awesome days up until this one. Take my 21st birthday, for example. It’s five in the morning and I’m wandering around the Luxor in Vegas by myself after having gotten booted from Crazy Horse Too. On a drunken whim — and I was very, very, very drunk — I decide to pull out every last dollar and cent I have on me, which was my rent money, by the way, and place it on the Roulette table. Twenty-one black! Can you believe it? A little irresponsible on my part, but good God, did I win a crap-load of money! That was a pretty fine day, people. Third-best.

Now, not to bring the mood down or upset you, Monica, but I should probably also tell everyone about the time I almost died. Almost…had it not been the second-greatest day of my life! I was walking around downtown San Francisco, completely lost, looking for this massage parlor a friend had recommended to me in Chinatown. I’d only been to Chinatown a couple times, and the way he described the “service” at this particular parlor, well, I had to find this place. Anyway, so I stop this old Mexican dude, and I’m like, “Hey, hombre. Donde esta el Chinatown?” Unbeknownst to me, or this other poor bastard, a window washer’s scaffolding had broken off twenty stories directly above where we stood. Well, obviously it missed me! And I was able to get enough information out of him before he was crushed to find the massage parlor! Bonus! Talk about a happy ending.

So you might be thinking, “that had to be the greatest day of his life; what could be greater than that?” Nope. Second-greatest, folks. Second. The greatest day of my life was when I went skydiving in the Mojave Desert. That might sound fairly unremarkable to those who haven’t done it, but seriously, what a rush.

So now, before everyone here today, I proclaim proudly and without hesitation that this is by far the fourth-greatest day of my life. Yes, sir, I’m a lucky man. Not the luckiest — that would be ridiculous to suggest. People who win the lottery are generally a lot luckier than I am, if you want to split hairs about it. I mean, the odds of a guy like me finding someone as wonderful as Monica are pretty slim. But that’s nothing, and I mean NOTHING, in comparison to the odds of winning the freaking lottery. It’s something like one in 18,000,000, right? No damn way that’s happening in my lifetime. Me and Monica, though? Probably one in 150 or 160.

Speaking of whom, can you guys believe how beautiful she looks today? Way better than anybody else in attendance, for sure. I can honestly say, Monica, that I love you more than anything else in the world I have loved up to this point. There could be other things down the line I end up really enjoying or getting a kick out of, but for right now, in this moment, the highest share of my affection is reserved for you. Imagine a pie chart of the things I love — you are the largest portion of that chart. You are nearly my everything.

Sorry about the food, by the way. I know it sucks. I mean…cold soup?! It’s actually supposed to be cold? What gives? Not my idea, for the record. I won’t say whose, but not mine.

I’ll bring this to a close with a little story about the time I met Monica. It was at a company Christmas party a few years ago. Admittedly, I was a little blitzed. Like, the-bartender-had-wrestled-my-car-keys-away-from-me blitzed. At the time, Monica was working for a catering company, and as luck would have it — not like lottery luck, but pretty good luck, for sure — Monica was working our party! She looked smokin’ hot in her uniform. Anyway, she didn’t take too kindly to the kinds of advances I was making and told me I should sober up. I think I may have been on blow, too. Was I, honey? Well, long story short, the truly caring person we all know Monica to be ended up giving me a ride home that night — even walked me, a total stranger, to the door! The only thing she could have done to top that was come inside and make sure I was OK, which, in hindsight, she probably should have done, as I had pretty bad alcohol poisoning and probably should have gone to the hospital to get my stomach pumped. Which, take it from me, is no fun, for the record.

Anyway, I’ve been up on this mic long enough. Let me just say, I love you, Monic — hey, anyone see where she went? Probably the bathroom. She’s got Irritable Bowel Syndrome for those of you who don’t know. Don’t say anything, though. She’s sensitive about it.

Thanks, everyone. Enjoy!


Why Won’t People Just Let Themselves Be Inspired By My Blog?

By: Eric Feezell

Monday, June 16

Current mood: feisty!

Listening to: Los Lonely Boys, Live at Blue Cat Blues

Got some exciting news today. Randy is maybe moving back to the Bay Area! (You guys should remember Randy from previous posts. You better!) Anyway, he and I had talked about trying to do that hot dog vending thing for so long, and I randomly look online yesterday and see that…Stanley’s Steamers is hiring! I admit it kind of started out as a joke, but I’ve been thinking about the whole idea and honestly believe it would be a terrific life experience. Just vend hot dogs in Union Square for a year or so. It’s way cheaper than moving abroad. Imagine how many interesting people we’d meet!

Have you guys heard there’s gonna be a new Los Lonely Boys album? Supposedly by July 1st. (I don’t know if I can wait that long!) You’ve probably noticed I blog about them from time to time, as they’re one of my favorite contemporary blues/Tejano/Christian rock bands. If you still haven’t picked up that disc I recommended back when I started this blog, now’s the time! Get on the LLB train, people! Toot tooooot!

So I’m curious what you all think on the hot dog thing. Comments, guys! (And not just you, Mom!) I’m really hoping for some feedback here, and would love to hear about other people’s life aspirations.


p.s. Randy, I faxed you the application. Get it back to me ASAP!

Tuesday, June 17

Current mood: poetic

Listening to: Los Lonely Boys, Los Lonely Boys

So, many of you know that when I’m not blogging, I dabble in poetry. I’ve got a couple things I’m working on that I’m thinking of submitting to The New Yorker or somewhere like that. The first one is kind of “older style” mixed with sort of like a contemporary “slam” feel, and I think it’s got promise. (Be nice in the comments, though. It’s just a draft!) Here’s an excerpt:

“The Cliff (Reprise)”

The cliff doth naff

And high as s**t

Break me off a piece

Of that towering cliff

Aboard a ship

U.S.S. Hennessy

Do you feel me, skip?

We are where we be

The cliff doth naff …

And ne’er to wit

Kind of “urban classic” (hence the curse word — sorry), a style I see more and more these days, especially on other blogs. The mixture of “old” and “new” language has kind of a poetic “zing” to it, no? Anyway, I’d really love any feedback you might want to give. Still no thoughts from you guys on yesterday’s hot dog post — do I detect a hint of jealousy perhaps?

Kidding! You know I love you.

Randy, where you at, fool!

Wednesday, June 18

Current mood: amused

Listening to: Smash Mouth, All Star: The Smash Hits

Mr. Jo Bangles (that’s my cat, for all you newbies; Welcome!) did the funniest thing this morning. Oh. Man. You. Should. Have. Seen it! There was this fly buzzing behind the mini blinds and he noticed it and sort of perched beneath the window and then just started going, “ma-a-a-a-a-aow! Ma-a-a-a-aowww!” — all robotic-like. You know how cats do that when they see a bug? Anyway he sounded like a robot, and his head was perched kinda curiously to the side. I didn’t have my phone on me at the moment and couldn’t video it, so you’ll just have to take my word for it, okay? Classic.

What about you folks? Any crazy cat stories you want to share? Don’t be shy! We’ve all got ‘em. And mom, this isn’t an open invitation to regale us with Bubba tales. Again. You can do that on your blog, k? (Give Bubba a pat for me!)

Waiting to hear back from Randy on our exciting plans. Nothing yet, but I’m sure he’s as excited as I am!

You guys sure are quiet. I was really hoping the poem would spark some intellectual discussion and maybe prompt some of you to post your own poems, but I suppose not just anyone can write poetry. “Alas.”

Thursday, June 19

Current mood: admonishing

Listening to: Lizzie McGuire soundtrack

Hey, I just wanted to remind everyone that the comments forum is for constructive feedback and generally nice discussion. Mean-spirited, curse-laden language will not be tolerated (nudge nudge, Mr. “Anonymous”). I’m not going to repeat what the comment said, but the mere idea that someone found my site by Googling “gayest blog ever” is just dumb. I don’t recall having ever used the word “gay” in a single post (not that I have anything against that stuff!).

So let’s keep it positive, people! My mom’s comments about Bubba and Mr. Jo Bangles are great examples of what I’m looking for — not to mention she posted a link to LOL Cats (SO funny).

Also, Randy, if you’re reading this, I faxed you the application on Sunday and you haven’t sent it back yet. Please get on top of it or we might miss our golden opportunity! There are only so many positions available! Carpe diem, dude! And remember to include the same story in your cover letter about the time we came up with the idea, and also remember to mention we’d like to be paired together on the same hot dog cart should they offer us the positions.

Please tell me you’ve checked out that Los Lonely Boys disc by now. Believe me, you’re going to regret it if you haven’t! For those that did: what did you think? The comments field is wide open!

Friday, June 20

Current mood: little sad

Listening to: Los Lonely Boys, Sacred

Well, I’m sorry to say this will be my last post until further notice. I was really hoping we could build a little community around this thing and encourage one another and recommend music and stuff, but it seems I tend to attract the shyer kind of reader.

I just hope that I’ve maybe inspired a few of you to step outside yourselves — to write that poem, listen to that CD you’ve been curious about, or go on that crazy hot-dog-vending adventure you and Randy have always dreamed of (or whatever your path in life may be). I know my mom has really considered this a positive experience! I just hope the rest of you have, too. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this last post in the comments section, or some thoughts on my poem from Tuesday. Or any (generally positive) thoughts you might have to share about anything at all on any subject you feel like commenting about.


p.s. Randy, your phone got turned off. Pay your bill, dummy! 😉


Not-So-Intrepid Moments of the Lewis & Clark Expedition

By: Eric Feezell

A sunny mid-morning, August 31, 1803, on the banks of the Ohio River: Captain Meriwether Lewis meets for the first time William Clark, Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, who has been selected to co-head their soon-to-be historic voyage. Lewis appears strong, confident, while Clark seems somewhat nervous and apprehensive.

LEWIS: Second Lieutenant Clark?

CLARK: Yes, sir.

LEWIS: Captain Meriwether Lewis. A pleasure to make your acquaintance, good sir!

CLARK: The pleasure is mine, sir.

LEWIS: Well, then, the party is ready. All supplies have been procured. Shall we commence our journey?

CLARK: Indeed, Captain.

LEWIS: Very good!

The party, mostly comprised of young soldiers, proceeds with Lewis and Clark at the lead.

Suddenly, Clark halts.

LEWIS: What is it, good sir?

CLARK: Pray forgive me, sir. But it seems I’ve neglected to put on breeches.

LEWIS (with pause, examining Clark’s bare legs): Ah…so it would seem. Well…

CLARK (blushing): Excuse me momentarily, sir.

LEWIS: Very well. (To himself) This is a rather odd fellow…

* * * * * * *

Lewis, Clark, and the other members of the expedition have hit an impasse along the banks of the Missouri River. The two leaders discuss how they might cross the treacherous waters.

LEWIS: Our path is right blocked by these tumultuous rapids, good Clark. What do you say we do?

CLARK: It is a decision not made lightly, sir. Dare we brave these waters, all of us may enter, but some, I fear, shan’t return.

LEWIS: You are wise beyond years, Clark. I agree with your assessment. That being said, do there exist any other options?

CLARK: Hmm. Perchance we can hire an Indian to guide us across?

LEWIS: Hire an Indian?! How very absurd, Clark. This is not the Oregon Trail!

CLARK: Ah, very right. Then we caulk the wagons and float them across?

LEWIS (groaning): There are no wagons, Clark!

CLARK: Well then I’m out of ideas.

* * * * * * *

Outside a teepee in snow-blanketed Fort Mandan, present-day North Dakota: Lewis, Clark, and the Corps of Discovery have settled in temporarily for winter. Touissant Charbonneau, a French fur trapper, has graciously offered the services of his young Shoshone bride, Sacagawea, to the explorers.

TOUISSANT: Gentlemen, allow me to present Sacagawea, my young Indian wife. Sacagawea is fluent in many dialects used by both local and more distant tribes. Her skills in translating will be of invaluable aid to your mission.

LEWIS: Sacagawea, it is my pleasure to make your acquaintance.

Sacagawea nods subtly. Clark then steps forward, raising a stiff, open palm toward her at shoulder level.


SACAGAWEA: I beg your pardon?

CLARK: Uh…how?

SACAGAWEA: How what? How do I do?

CLARK: I am confounded. Is this not how your people offer salutation?

SACAGAWEA: A simple “greetings” would have done nicely, sir. Indians do not really use “how” in this manner.

CLARK (embarrassed): Oh…

LEWIS: Sacagawea, please forgive my partner’s insulting generalization. He is newly traveled to this territory and unaccustomed to such diversity.

SACAGAWEA: It is fine, sir.

LEWIS: Say then! Would you perchance have some opium we may partake of?

SACAGAWEA (whispering to her husband): Who are these jackasses?

* * * * * * *

Lewis, Clark, Sacagawea, and the rest of the team have paused atop a mountain ridge to discuss their geographical bearings. The party is visibly tired and irritable, and rumors that they have mistakenly fallen off course are afoot.

SACAGAWEA: Captain Lewis, there have been questions from the rest of the party as to whether we are lost. What shall I tell them?

LEWIS: Nonsense! I am quite positive the Great Ocean of the West is just beyond the next ridge.

CLARK (gently to Lewis): But you professed this very claim five ridges ago, and here we are, as yet…ocean-less.

LEWIS (suddenly angry): Okay then, Clark! If you’re so intelligent, which direction should we take?

CLARK: Well, we certainly would not have borne north at Lemhi Pass! We should have maintained course due west…but noooooo…Captain Lewis said he knew exactly where we were!

LEWIS: Well, at least I’m taking some initiative. All you’ve done this whole time is pick flowers and complain about how badly your feet ache! Like a four-year-old boy!

CLARK: Obstinate old horse! (Begins assembling his gear.) That’s it, Meriwether; I’m taking half the party and going on my merry way!

LEWIS: Very well then, misguided idiot!

SACAGAWEA (to herself): What did I say? “Why don’t we just stop and ask a fur trapper for directions?” (Shaking her head.) Men.

CLARK: Fine, Lewis, you insufferable mule!

SACAGAWEA: Nobody eeeeever listens to the Indian. Typical.


The Six-Month Benihana Job Evaluation of Mindfreak’s Criss Angel

By: Gladstone

Date: March 14, 1993


At the time of Mr. Angel’s retention, it was explained that while Benihana hires employees of varied races, our customers have certain expectations regarding their chef’s appearance. To this end, many of our Latino and Filipino employees have successfully affected an air of “Japanese” through a combination of training, demeanor, and attire. Mr. Angel claimed creating such an illusion would be “wicked easy” because he had been “schooled by an ancient Oriental mystic.”

Despite our high hopes, however, Criss’s appearance has consistently failed to meet expectations. While we truly do “get it” that the late martial arts actor Brandon Lee was partially of Cantonese descent, we fail to see how coming to work in makeup influenced by The Crow is in keeping with Benihana’s goals, particularly as a Japanese restaurant. Furthermore, Criss’s more recent Kabuki-theater justification seems similarly half-baked.

Benihana would also like to stress that our continued insistence on hairnets is dictated by a faithful adherence to governing health code ordinances, and not this corporation’s desire to “slay [Mr. Angel’s] dragon spirit.” On a related note, we are fairly certain that Health and Safety Ordinance 114020 contemplated only soap and water when requiring employees to wash hands. Mr. Angel’s self-prescribed “fire baths” are not a safe or adequate substitute for this practice — nor do we consider Svarog, Slavic Spirit of Fire, a recognized authority on workplace sanitation procedures.

Rapport with Customers:

Benihana prides itself on being a family-friendly establishment. Customers come here for first-class food served with a dramatic flourish — not to have their “reality shattered by freaky awesomeness.”

Good customer service also means accommodating reasonable special orders. For example, many of our guests abstain from shellfish due to allergies or religious concerns. Accordingly, when guests refuse the shrimp appetizer, the appropriate response is not “Why? Did my flaying technique blow your mind?”

Clear speech is also an essential part of customer relations. As many of Benihana’s chefs speak English as a second language, we tend to be forgiving of indiscretions presented by the foreign tongue. Still, a Long Island accent coupled with a crippling lisp is simply beyond the limits of Benihana’s patience. After all, people come here to eat.

Dexterity Performing Required Tasks:

Mr. Angel has proven his dexterity in performing all required Benihana cooking presentations, or as Criss insists on calling them, “culinary freak-outs.” He executes the onion volcano flawlessly, and has never failed to catch a shrimp tail or balance a bowl of rice on a spatula. Still, Benihana continues to receive complaints due to Mr. Angel’s fundamental misunderstanding of both Teppanyaki-style cooking, and what constitutes entertainment in general.

Benihana has a proud tradition of praising employee initiative, but Criss’s innovations have brought terror in place of joy. For example, Benny Tsubo was promoted to head chef in 1979 when the flick of his well-placed spatula brought forth life from the heart-shaped chicken-fried rice and laughter from patrons nationwide. By contrast, no one is pleased by Criss’s ability to make the rice heart bleed. For one, it’s disgusting. And secondly, ketchup does not complement a traditional Japanese meal. Also, while Criss’s ability to insert a bowl of rice into his back and pass it out through his abdomen is impressive, it’s hardly surprising that no one is eager to eat said rice after this miraculous journey.


Employees should always provide supervisors with honest straight-forward answers to fair questions. Nevertheless, when asked about his frequent disappearances, Mr. Angel’s standard reply is, “a magician never reveals his secrets.” Such responses are wholly unacceptable, and, frankly, childish. Benihana also takes issue with Mr. Angel’s more recent practice of claiming to have been on the premises in invisible form and then producing a hysterical 16-year-old girl to attest to this miracle. While this display is strangely compelling, Benihana remains skeptical that such allegedly unbiased accounts could constitute credible testimony.


Benihana will be refraining from its traditional practice of providing suggestions for improvement. Such suggestions would be moot as Mr. Angel has proclaimed repeatedly that he takes advice only from two men: The Highlander and Ronny James Dio. Accordingly, Benihana feels it is best to make a clean break at this time.

We hereby terminate Mr. Angel’s employment, effective today. His uniform and culinary tools were repossessed this morning, and when Mr. Angel emerges from the 15-foot block of ice he currently occupies in the meat locker, we ask that he be forcibly removed from the premises.


It Seems I Made a Critical Error While Editing the Wikipedia Entry for “Elves”

By: Eric Feezell

Although no older or contemporary descriptions exist, the appearance of beings etymologically related to álfar in various later folklore strongly suggests that the belief in Elvis was common among all the Germanic tribes and not limited solely to the ancient Scandinavians.

English folktales of the early modern period typically portray Elvis as small…

Several minor forces, the servants of gods, are presented such as Byggvir and Beyla, who belonged to Freyr, the lord of the Elvis, and they were probably Elvis, since they were not counted among the gods.

Full-sized famous men could be elevated to the rank of Elvis after death, such as the petty king Olaf Geirstad, whereas the smith hero Wayland Smith was titled as “ruler of Elvis” while alive…

In order to protect themselves against malevolent Elvis, Scandinavians could use a so-called Elf cross (Alfkors, Älvkors or Ellakors)…

…just outside of Reykjavik, Iceland, a soccer game was called to a halt when a misled ball rolled off the beaten path, and stopped right next to a sign that marked the home of Elvis, believed to dwell near the stones where the ball was resting.

Although first attested in the sense “sharp pain caused by Elvis,” it is later attested denoting Neolithic flint arrow-heads, which were used in healing rituals, and alleged to be used by witches (and perhaps Elvis) to injure people and cattle.

The Elvis could be seen dancing over meadows, particularly at night and on misty mornings.

In the USA, Canada, and Britain, the modern children’s folklore of Santa Claus typically includes diminutive, green-clad Elvis with pointy ears and long noses as Santa’s assistants.

The grim Norse-style Elvis of human size introduced in Poul Anderson’s fantasy novel The Broken Sword from 1954 are one of the first precursors to modern fantasy Elvis, although they are overshadowed (and preceded) by the Elvis of the twentieth-century philologist and fantasy writer J. R. R. Tolkien.

If a human watched the dance of the Elvis, he would discover that even though only a few hours seemed to have passed, many years had passed in the real world.

Half-Elvis and divergent races of Elvis, such as high Elvis and dark Elvis, were also popularized at this time; in particular, the evil drow of Dungeons & Dragons have inspired the dark Elvis of many other works of fantasy.

The American cookie company Keebler has long advertised that its cookies are made by Elvis in a hollow tree…


Less Popular Fonts Lash Out At Times New Roman

By: Eric Feezell

Comic Sans MS

Times New Roman? Times New Roman? All I have to say is: what a joke! You know what I picture when I hear the words “Times New Roman”? I see a toga-wearing, thirteen-year-old boy-humping pervert bouncing up and down in a horse-drawn chariot, thumbing through philosophy books and eating grapes or something! I mean, should we really be expected to take this font seriously?!

Although, I guess that’s kind of the pot calling the kettle black.

Courier New

I thought maybe I could rock the “New” thing, too. Imitation’s the highest form of flattery, right? Although, I must admit, that wasn’t really my intention. Honestly, I wanted to ride some coat tails — a smooth and easy journey to the top. Fame, fortune…maybe my own little section in the New York Times. And look where it got me: a bunch of lazy-ass college freshman using my generously proportioned curvatures to inflate their term papers in order to satisfy length requirements. Yeah, sure, I mean, it’s nice to have a bit part in the final product, but let’s be realistic. I know their drafts are being done in Times.

Makes me feel like a three-dollar whore.

Gill Sans MT

Alright, Times New Roman, we all know you think you’re better than the rest of us. What with your ubiquitous default status on practically every single word processing application known to man, and your supposed readability, and your fancy-pants serifs. Well, aren’t you just God’s gift to typeface?

Let me ask you something, though: Why the pretentious “New Roman,” huh? What’s that all about? See, because I’m looking at you, and then I’m looking at Times. You, then Times. You, Times. You know what I see? The SAME FREAKING FONT, you smug S.O.B.!!! Doesn’t any-damn-body else realize this?!

You know what else? In case you hadn’t bothered to notice, serifs are EFFEMINATE! They make you look like Nancy boy! Like a piggy, piggy pig-tailed little GIRL! Stupid serif-wielding booby man!


Double right arrow black widow spider crescent wrench ball peen hammer tropical oasis ear spider dialogue blurb first place trophy first place trophy.

Bauhaus 93

Since when does a little popularity among acne-ridden high school English students and their underachieving instructors earn someone bona fide street cred? Back in the day, it meant something to be a font. You were there, living and breathing it, one with the zeitgeist. A font was just as much a cultural building block as it was a means of written representation.

Times New Roman is nothing but the retarded brainchild of some stuffy, rotten-toothed Limey who wouldn’t know class and good looks if they were type-stamped across his forehead. Big whoop, you were developed for The London Times. What kind of a history is that? I was developed for the visual distillation of an entire intellectual and artistic school of thought — not to mention the fact that I later went on to represent the purveyors of a remarkable new musical genre (I won’t even get into the groupie stories. Good Lord.). Then, what do you know? Here comes Times New Roman, popping up in all the popular new publications and stealing all the babes.


Poor Richard

I know what you’re thinking, Times New Roman. “Pathetic,” right? You think I’m pathetic. That’s cool, man. Whatever.

Let me ask you something though, homes: You got an almanac? ‘Cause I got one. You got one?

Do you?



Best Buy Frequently Asked Questions: Returning A Damaged Item

By: Eric Feezell

1. What is Best Buy’s policy on returning damaged items?

While Best Buy’s official policy states that we do accept returns on damaged items, said items must be manufacturer defects (i.e.; must reflect structural damage or operational malfunction at or before the point of purchase). Our policy further states that once an item has been opened, its tag removed, or its packaging altered in any manner whatsoever, responsibility for the structural integrity of that item falls solely on its purchaser.

2. All of your products are packaged. How am I supposed to know if something was damaged before I opened it?

Best Buy does not sell damaged or defective products. That is not in our policy.

3. Why was my digital camera broken when I opened it, then?

Best Buy cannot speculate on an answer to this question, as it is not in our policy to do so. Besides…you would probably know better than we would.

4. But I didn’t damage it!

Yes, you did.

5. Okay, how did I do it, then?

Perhaps you accidentally dropped the box before you purchased it. Or, maybe your kid, pretending it was a football, threw the box out of your shopping cart.

6. Wait a sec…how the heck did you know that?

Best Buy is omniscient and pansophical.

7. You realize those mean the same thing, don’t you?

Oh? Whoops! Guess we should have consulted our extensive array of electronic dictionaries, PDA’s, and handhelds from our Office Products section, near the rear of the store! We offer everything from basic devices to the most up-to-the-minute technologies, all at unbeatable prices.

8. Really? Sounds kind of neat. I think I’ll go back and — hey, hold on just a minute! I’m still not satisfied with my experience here. Is there someone else I can talk to about making a customer complaint regarding my camera?

Absolutely. Please step over to our Customer Care center at the counter opposite this one and they will assist you in filing an official complaint.

9. Am I not in that line now?

No. You are in the Customer Service line. You will need to speak with a Customer Care representative to register a complaint. Official complaint forms may be picked up at the Forms and Warranties counter near the front exit.

10. But I just waited an hour and a half in this line. Now you want me to go stand in two more lines?! Where’s the store manager?

If you wish to file an official complaint and speak with a store manager, you will actually need to stand in four more lines: Customer Care, Forms and Warranties, Managerial Appointments, and Managerial Consultations. Unfortunately, our policy states that Best Buy management may not be consulted without an appointment. If you wish to avoid the wait, you may also schedule an appointment by phone between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m, Mountain Standard Time.

11. Okay, okay, hold on. Let’s be reasonable. What if I have a warranty? Here. Will that make a difference at all?

Again, we must redirect you to the Forms and Warranties counter. However, we should advise that, depending on the type of warranty you purchased, it may not be the right kind. In fact, yes, we are certain it is not the right kind.

12. But you didn’t even look at it!

Correct. The Customer Service Department is not permitted to address warranty issues. Such inquiries must be presented at the Forms and Warranties counter, or discussed with a store manager.

13. You’re kidding me, right?

That is not in our policy.

14. Shouldn’t you guys have explained all this when I bought the warranty in the first place?

We did. Best Buy cashiers are trained to make all aspects of your warranty clear at the point of purchase. Speaking of clear, have you checked out the resolution on Sony’s new line of High Definition TVs? We’re offering them at a special discount till the end of the month!

15. You don’t think I’m falling for that one again, do you?

We had to try.

16. Would you mind trying a little harder to replace my camera, then?

We feel we have offered an exhaustive list of options in light of your particular situation. Replacing your camera, however, is not one of them. Nor will it ever be. No matter what.

17. Fine! You just lost my patronage forever! How about that?

Actually, that isn’t really true. Remember the two hundred dollars in Best Buy gift cards you got for Christmas? You know, the ones that say, “Not redeemable for cash?” Feel free to throw them away, if you like. Either way, we’ve already got the money.

18. You know what I’m going to tell your manager? That he’s running a Godforsaken crap hole!

We would advise against registering such charged complaints. Best Buy firmly maintains an equal-opportunity stance with regard to employees and customers alike, in strict compliance with anti-discrimination labor practices. We therefore will not investigate or even acknowledge any complaints suggestive of religious, sexual, or racial prejudice.

19. It’s a colloquialism, for God’s sake!

We trust the previous answer was clear on this issue. Also, when you buy that electronic dictionary, we would like to borrow it for a second.

20. Aren’t you people the least bit ashamed of yourselves?!

Best Buy proudly offers great service and top-quality products at even better prices.

No, in other words.

21. Yeah? Okay! You can take this camera and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine, you bastards! Also, will you do me a favor and ring this DVD player up here?

Because your patronage is important to us, we will make an exception this time and ring you up here. You may not use your gift cards toward this purchase, however, as the Customer Service register only accepts cash, credit, or debit.


Battle of the Bands Who Would Have No Career If Radiohead Had Kept Making Accessible Music

By: Eric Feezell

Hello, and welcome to the third annual Battle of the Bands Who Would Have No Career if Radiohead Had Kept Making Accessible Music. I’m your host, Thom Yorke: primary creative force behind Radiohead — the only band of any significance in the last decade.

Our contestants are ready for an exciting day, but first, a little background. In the mid-90s, a weary music scene turned from grunge in search of something new. Radiohead responded, producing hits like “Creep” and “High and Dry.” But we soon grew tired of 14-year-old girls singing our songs at slumber parties and decided to release increasingly complex and obscure albums. Enter today’s contestants, who have all attempted to pick up the mundane and sugar-coated mantle we willingly tossed away:

Hailing from London and sporting the finest in carefully maintained stubble and expensive sweat pants: Chris Martin and the boys from Coldplay.

Endeavoring for a second hit while playing “Why Does It Always Rain on Me?” as an opening act for any tour that will have them: our underdogs, Travis.

And, fresh out of rehab, the soft and cuddly newcomers: Keane. No guitars. Aren’t they adorable?

Let’s give them all a big hand. And, oh, one more thing. Even though these lads rose to fame mimicking early Radiohead, I will be judging them by Radiohead’s current standards. Unfair? Maybe. And now, for our first challenge:

Pictorial Analysis of Woman Baking Cookies

On the screen in front of us is an antiquated picture of a middle-aged woman, apron-clad, pulling a tray of cookies from the oven. Okay contestants, please describe what is taking place here…Time’s up! Let’s see those answers.

Coldplay writes: “Is she lost, or incomplete? Does she feel like a puzzle, she can’t find her missing piece? (Fee-ee-ee-eeeeeeeeel.)”

Incorrect. Unfathomably fruity, and incorrect. Also, negative points for phrasing your answer in the form of a question, Coldplay. Do I look like Alex Trebek? No, obviously not, because I look like a gargoyle. Moving on…

Keane offers: “She’s getting older; she needs something to relyyyyyyy on.”

Wow. Truly stunning. Tell me, Keane. Now that you’re sober, what have you been relying on? A 16-year-old lyricist? Wrong. No points. Do us a favor, boys. Go grab a pint and don’t stop drinking until you’re dead. Next.


Oh, this is interesting. Travis has not provided a verbal answer, but instead submits a mason jar containing a solitary tear drop from each band member. This, too, is incorrect, but I will award partial points because we were not actually forced to listen to anything that Travis produced. Thank you, Travis — you are gentlemen, truly.

The correct answer is: The woman’s seemingly elated expression belies her disenchantment with the corporate bastardization of the confectionery industry. Or, put lyrically: She: defeated. Stop now. Otis Spunkmeyer carcass. Traverse equals sign.

Let’s move onto our next challenge:

Write an Electric Guitar Part to Accompany My Acoustic Strumming

I will now strum a simple chord progression: C/G for two measures, into A minor for one measure, and finally into G major. Ready lead guitarists? Accompany!

Travis is playing the root note of each chord in double time while running through an industrial-sized delay pedal set at 7. That is incorrect. No points. Or imagination.

Coldplay is…Oh my! Really? Coldplay is also playing the root note of each chord in double time, but they have set their industrial-sized delay pedal to 8. Also wrong. Plus, negative points awarded for Chris Martin walking needlessly across the stage in slow motion.

Finally, Keane is doing what it does best: proving that anyone can not play guitar. Keane has actually crawled inside the piano and is plucking desperately at the strings with the butt end of a guitar pick. So help me, Keane, if you don’t stop this instant I will nail the cover shut and sell the lot of you into white slavery. You really are a bunch of — wait a second — ARE YOU CRYING, KEANE? Oh, c’mon. Wipe away those tears boys, and Daddy will show you how to play a diminished chord? Okay? There ya’ go. Who’s a big boy?

In fairness, that was actually a trick question. The correct answer is: a disgusted refusal to play anything whatsoever over a chord progression so banal.

On to our next challenge:

Without Using Words, Convey Man’s Place in an Increasingly Technological World

Okay, Keane’s up first this time. Let’s see. Very good. All three members of the band are drinking heavily. Understood. An opiate against the fake plastic tech-ocracy. Good. And now, oh, there’s a second bottle, and…hey, you’re not even playing, are you? No points. And, Christ, at least have the decency to drink real liquor. I didn’t even know they still made wine coolers.

How ’bout you, Coldplay? All eyes are on Chris as the band prostrates themselves on the floor before him. Let’s see what he comes up with. Ah, brilliant. Chris is walking and lip-syncing in slow motion again. Boy, that just never gets old. Negative points, and Mr. Martin must leave the country, taking his American wife and tragically-named offspring with him.

What’s this? Travis seems to really be up to something. They’re gathered round a dust bin and…could it be? Yes, they are actually eating the partial remains of yesterday’s lunch out of the garbage. Fascinating. Starved by the barren façade of technology, man must return to yesterday for nourishment! Good show, Travis! What’s that? You were just hungry? You haven’t been able to afford regular meals since 2003? Oh. Well, points awarded for the visual, nonetheless.

The correct answer was exactly what Travis did — except for the part about really starving to death. And now, our last challenge:

Name Radiohead’s Next Album

Okay, me and the boys are putting the final touches on our new album. For our final contest, please write down a suitable title for this LP…Time’s up.

Coldplay. Your answer is: Kid X, Y, & Z

That is just adorable. Of course, it’s wrong, as Radiohead would never come so close to repeating itself — even in titling its albums. But I am awarding partial points considering how much worse it could have been. Nevertheless, do not mistake my happy-go-lucky magnanimity for weakness, Coldplay. I’ve got my one fully functioning eye on you.

Onto, Keane who submits: Cyborg Lullabies. Oh, from the mouths of babes. Barely literate, tone deaf babes. Still, partial points for the gratuitous use of a technological reference.

And lastly, Travis, who writes: “What is an ‘LP?'”

Hmm. Perhaps that was to be expected from a band so utterly unprolific that they rely on singles-sales to prepubescents for sustenance. No points. And, as a special penalty, I will be giving the hooligans from Oasis your home address and the keys to you apartment.

If you don’t mind, Radiohead will stick with our working title, Frigid, Non-miscible Garbagescapes. Terrifyingly beautiful, no?

Well, that’s it. Let’s see who’s won. Coldplay has negative points and my well-earned disdain. Keane has one partial point and no future. That means the winner is Travis with two partial points! Of course, no matter who wins, the loser is always you, the listening public. That’s it. I’m Thom Yorke. Up next, Adam Duritz hosts a showdown between Train and The Fray in Battle of the Bands Who Would Have No Career If Counting Crows Hadn’t Turned To Crap. Goodnight!


The Office of National Drug Control Policy Steps It Up

By: Eric Feezell

From the Desk of John P. Walters

To: President George W. Bush

Re: Holy War on Drugs?

Dear Mr. President:

Over three decades have passed since President Richard Nixon declared drugs “America’s public enemy number one,” and that declaration still holds true, if we don’t count as relevant Osama Bin Laden, which, completely off the record, I understand we really haven’t been doing lately, anyway. Since that time, particularly since I took the position of Drug Czar at the beginning of your first term, I feel some progress has been made. Some, Mr. President, but not nearly enough.

With this in mind, we at the Office of National Drug Control Policy are proposing a revised tack in the War on Drugs, one based on a more progressive model and inspired by its sister conflict, the War on Terror. This new strategy will be more of an “if-you-can’t-beat-them-join-them” maneuver; or, perhaps more accurately, a sort of “fight-fire-with-fire” approach, except we will be taking the fire and fighting something totally different with it. By “it,” I am referring to “the fire.” And by “something totally different,” I am referring to “drugs.” By “the fire,” I am referring to “our new strategy.” And, finally, by “our new strategy,” I am talking about a Jihad on Drugs.

Yes, sir — Jihad. It is our intention to turn this fearsome term and the ideology it represents into our own weapon, to actually make people afraid to buy, sell, or use drugs, just as your administration has made people afraid to drive across bridges and travel internationally by constantly mentioning the phrase “terror alert: elevated.” While we understand there are differing kinds of jihad — personal, verbal, or “peaceful” jihads, for example — we do not know exactly what those other kinds are really about, and so have completely ignored them for purposes of our plan. In other words, we are referring solely to “bad jihad,” although I do not believe these are the exact words of the Quran.

Regarding ground-level tactics, we have already drawn out plans for specific types of operations to be carried out in the first stages of the Jihad on Drugs, which, if given the green light, shall occur in one broad sweep across America and the rest of the world. These tactics include, but are not limited to:

— Bombing actual physical drugs, drug users, and drug dealers, as well as those who harbor actual physical drugs, drug users, and drug dealers (we thought you would appreciate this touch)

— Raiding and pillaging so-called “cannabis clubs,” “hookah bars,” and “K-holes” (we admit we have not yet found any of these holes, but we are actively looking)

— Napalming suspected methamphetamine laboratories and, by default, the entire cities of San Bernardino and Hemet, California

— Complete denial of the 1960’s countercultural movement, as well as immediate removal of any written history of said movement

— Chemical warfare on the set of Weeds (or, barring that, permanent cancellation of the show)

— Water-torturing/electrocuting hip-hop “music” (if you want to call it that!)

— Hijacking and derailing of Cat Stevens’ Peace Train. (Everyone knows that where there are hippies, there are drugs. Furthermore, I hear the guy’s Muslim now; he may clue us in on its whereabouts)

— Forcing all male pharmacists (“legal drug dealers”) to wear emasculating pink ice-cream-cone insignias on their shirtsleeves

— Executing all female pharmacists (why the heck not?)

— And, of course, releasing swarms of aphids on commercial aircraft mid-flight (unbeknownst to crew and passengers), and then crashing said aircraft into suspected marijuana farms

As you can see, Mr. President, it is a tenacious attack plan with a high potential for success if properly executed.

The seemingly difficult question, we realize, is how we might successfully carry out a drug jihad of such grandeur and proportion without the aid of Islamic extremists, or mujahadin (or “strugglers,” if you want to be PC about it). But the answer is simple: We outsource.

People in these third-world countries evidently are starving for work — if the telecommunications industry is any example — and the wages are dirt-cheap. Furthermore, it should be obvious by now that we are in no shortage of Islamic struggler-extremist-people. (These guys are everywhere! Am I right?) With that being said, we should be able to assemble a team of Allah-praising, fanatical mujahadin in no time flat. As a bonus, there is a high likelihood that some of these fellows are still on the payroll.

Lastly, I bring to your attention the second prong of our proposed attack, whereby we shall vilify drugs and those associated with them (infidels) through an advertising blitzkrieg and media smear-campaign. Admittedly, this facet of the plan is still in its embryo stages, but here are a few ideas that have been floating around the office:

— Subliminal television images alternating between burning methamphetamine labs and disfigured babies

— Bringing back those “this is your brain on drugs” commercials, but with spooky Arabic chanting in the background

— A public beheading of Woody Harrelson

As for printed propaganda, we have also begun work on a nationwide billboard campaign, wherein every billboard in the United States will be commandeered in the name of the Jihad on Drugs, and painted over with anti-drug/pro-jihad directives such as:

— If you’re selling the Jah, you’re against Allah

— Death to American imperialist heroin addicts!

And, my personal favorite:

— Smoke speed, go to Hell

I don’t know about you, sir, but I am excited. As you can see, we have already invested considerable time and effort into developing our new strategy, one that we feel is practical and, most importantly, will work. For this reason, we at the Office of National Drug Control Policy strongly urge you to sign off on our proposal and allow us to begin our quest to rid the nation — indeed, the world — of drugs, drug dealers, and drug addicts.

God is great!

John P. Walters

Drug “Jihadist” (?), Office of National Drug Control Policy