Quick Takes.


The other night I was watching the weather and the reporter said we would be experiencing “seasonably cold” weather. It has been unseasonably warm and “unseasonably” is a term I hear people use, but “seasonably”…well, you know how you sometimes hear a person described as “ruthless” but you never hear about anyone having “a lot of ruth”?

The only person I’ve ever heard say “seasonably” is me, and I only used it as a joke in this short video I made years ago. I’m pleased it’s made its way into the lexicon. I’m not going to start aggressively demanding credit for it, though. I have too much ruth for that.

A Fool And His Money.

This year I’m asking Santa for a job writing copy for the Hammacher Schlemmer catalogue. Too many entries begin with “This is the…” Come on, writers, you can be more creative than that. Then again items like the submarine sports car, a bargain at $2,000,000, sell themselves. You don’t need a lot of description beyond that to know you want it.

Other items do require a little more creative finesse. Take, for example, the Urban Poultry Palace. From Hammacher Schlemmer I’d expect something a little more creative than a few stacked boxes, but I guess for $399.95 you get what you pay for. What it needs is more of a personal touch: “As I looked at my homemade chicken coop I realized my feathered family needed more…”

And speaking of needing more, “My den had everything I could want, but there was something missing–an empty space I realized could only be filled by the Handcrafted Hippopotamine Sofa (just $95,000!)”

I'm not ashamed to admit I really love this. Source: Hammacher Schlemmer

Can I get that in midnight blue?
Source: Hammacher Schlemmer

“My children were fascinated by dinosaurs, so what better way to spend $100,000 than a life-size Tyrannosaurus Skeleton?”

Some things are a harder sell. For instance there’s the Prestidigitator’s Wallet, but the only trick it performs is making $39.95 disappear or the Kangaroo Money Clip that will hold tightly to whatever money you have left over after spending $49.95 on a piece of folded leather. And for $35,500 I would expect the 24th Century Time Machine to be, you know, an actual time machine and not a clock that looks like a ripoff of Deep Space Nine.

Cardassian design, Ferengi price.

Cardassian design, Ferengi price.

It especially pales in comparison to this year’s hottest item: a life size model of the solar system. May cause localized gravitational distortion.

Price available on request.


Halloween Watching

THROWINGEGGSThe World’s Ten Worst Horror Films—as compiled by the critics at the film review site Throwing Eggs.

Arbor Day

Unrated. Brief violence and a mild sequence involving a diaper.

A babysitter is terrified by an axe-wielding stranger in a hockey mask arriving at the back door of a house where she’s taking care of small children. Over the course of seventy somewhat harrowing minutes she finds the stranger at every window and every door as she waits for the police to respond.

The figure finally enters the basement and is revealed to be the homeowner, a local professional hockey player taking part in a promotional tree-cutting competition. He left the house without his keys.

A Tisket, A Tasket

Rated PG. Alcohol use, language, evil twin.

A man carries his hideously deformed twin brother in a basket through the seedy streets of New York. Together they write a bestselling series of romance novels.

Sleepaway Camp

Rated R. Disturbingly realistic adult awkwardness.

Two teenage camp counselors lose their virginity to each other. Ten years later the counselors return to the camp for its grand reopening. They reminisce about the tragic drowning of one of the young campers rather than talk about how uncomfortable and awkward their first sexual encounter was.

Caller ID

Unrated. Mildly disturbing popcorn consumption, binge watching of prime time TV dramas.

In this example of the found-footage genre a woman decides to test her new video camera by filming herself home alone. Over the course of the evening she receives a series of mysterious phone calls. Growing increasingly concerned, especially as the phone calls grow more frequent. She finally checks the caller ID and discovers she’s been butt-dialing herself the entire time.

DVD Bonus features include low audio of the three hours of “Scandal” she binge watches and twenty minutes of handheld video of a fourth-grade Thanksgiving pageant.


Unrated. Heightened expectations, failure to make use of premise.

Five young people are driving through a remote part of Nebraska when their van runs out of gas near what they believe is an abandoned slaughterhouse. They decide to investigate and meet a mysterious one-eyed man who lives there. He siphons gas from an old generator and warns them “Don’t take any wooden nickels” before they resume their drive.


Rated PG-13. Contains sequences of interest only to pre-teens.

Three people are abducted by a mask-wearing figure who only appears to them on a television screen and speaks in a computer synthesized voice. He keeps them prisoner until they can successfully do that trick where you stick needles in your fingers without actually breaking the skin.


Unrated. Ratings board didn’t want to bother.

A couple spending a weekend in a cabin in the woods are abducted by strange alien creatures. The creatures keep the couple in cages, strap them to tables, and perform a series of experiments with strange devices before returning the couple to the cabin with profuse apologies and the explanation that the aliens could have sworn this was Neptune.

Pizza Face

Rated PG. Contains graphic scenes of acne medication failing to work.

A teenage boy with a horrible case of acne is dubbed “Pizza Face” and ostracized by his classmates. Forced to spend all his time alone he stays in the back of an old gas station doing odd jobs and quietly plotting. Years later he extracts his revenge on the children of his former classmates by opening the first ever fast food place to offer free drink refills.

Board Game

Unrated. Ratings board unwilling to finish watching.

Four teenage boys–Allen, Jeff, Michael, and Fred—use a Ouija board to summon the spirit of their friend David who was tragically killed a year earlier in a joyriding accident. Wracked with guilt and horrified when the ghostly form of David materializes before them everyone is made incredibly uncomfortable when Fred asks if ghosts can go in the girls’ locker room.

Previously: This movie has everything!

What It Was Was Fantasy Football.

fieldDefending Team:

Safety-Jim Hudson

Safety-Rick Volk

Cornerback-Gerry Philbin

Cornerback-Billy Ray Smith Sr.

Outside Linebacker-Don Shinnick

Outside Linebacker-Johnny Sample

Middle Linebacker-Al Atkinson

End-Verlow Biggs

End-Ordell Braase

Tackle-Dick Butkus

Tackle-Alex Karras

Wide Receiver-Jimmy Orr

Wide Receiver-Bill Mathis

Tackle-Paul Rochester

Tackle-Fred Miller

Guard-Bob Talamini

Guard-Dan Sullivan

Center-John Schmitt/Bill Curry

Tight End-John Mackey

Quarterback-Joe Namath

Fullback-Don Maynard

Running Back-Jerry Hill

Receiving Team:


Safety-King Meshugah

Cornerback-Garet Jax

Cornerback-Dejah Thoris

Outside Linebacker- Thorin Oakenshield

Outside Linebacker-Yog Sothoth

Middle Linebacker-Sandman

End-Ningauble Of The Seven Eyes

End-Conan The Barbarian

Tackle-Sir Gawain


Wide Receiver-Namor Of Atlantis

Wide Receiver-Balon Greyjoy


Tackle-Xena, Warrior Princess

Guard-Anita Blake

Guard-The Red Queen


Tight End-Lord Voldemort

Quarterback-Atticus O’Sullivan


Halfback-Rudy Ruettiger

If you recognized the reference to Andy Griffith give yourself five bonus points and a big orange.

Amber Waves Of Grain Are Surprisingly Expensive.

Crispy M&M’s are $2 while peanut butter M&M’s are $1.35. Why is there a $0.65 difference between the two? The peanut and plain M&M’s on a shelf below are also $1.35, so there’s something about crispy M&M’s that singles them out. What’s different about them? Anyone who’s ever held a handful of M&M’s on a hot day knows they do melt in your hand. Maybe the crispy M&M’s don’t. I’m thinking of applying for a $3.35 million research grant to study this question.


This May Be The Laziest Thing I’ve Ever Done.

Several years ago I saw this headboard and thought it was a terrible idea.

headboardWhy is it a terrible idea? Because when you’re in bed there are just certain things you don’t want to hear:

“That’s very well lit for the bottom of a crater of an abandoned volcano at the bottom of the sea.”

“We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese.”

“Santa’s going to whimper like a whipped pup.”

“Make my muscle car prune colored.”

“Next on ESPN, full contact nightgown wrestling!”

“This is where my tongue lives.”

“I need to know what not to do on a date!”

“So can I split your top and butter your buns?”

“This man is wearing a push-up bra. Now he’s pleasing.”

This time, don’t make so much noise when you ‘read.’”

“I don’t make threats, Mr. Fingal, only promises. And a great pork roll!”

“He tried to kill me with a forklift!”

“You have fingers. I like that in a man.”

“Do you know that I have little bunnies painted on my knees?”

“Look, look, look at my crotch. Look, look look at my crotch. Loooook at my crotch. Yay!”

“Oh, and “go Packers” too, but mostly burn the witch.”

“Some carrots are frozen. Some carrots are humiliated publicly.”

“Watch out for snakes!”

“I’ve got a mantis in my pantis.”

“Just puttin’ the salmon balls away.”

“He takes on a series of strange body habits…wears toast in his pants…”

“No springs? I don’t care. There’s still butter and meatloaf.”

“Jiminy, thinks Johnny, if only I could get a ride in one of those.”

“The ear is the human organ the public speaker is most likely to try to impress as he makes a speech…after the human nipple.”

“Oh, the previous tenant didn’t flush.”

“Kids’ brains always taste better when they’ve been thinking about donuts.”

“Trumpy, no!”

And, of course:

“Well, there it is. Spankings all around then.”

If you need me I’ll be in bed.