Jokes I Remember From Junior High (3 of 4)

Traffic has dropped by half since I began the Jr. High series. Coincidence?

In other news, four people searching for "the infamous el guapo" have found me recently.

Now, to it:

Q: What do olive loaf and Sarah Jesica Parker have in common?
A: One's a Square Peg, while the other's a Square Pig.

You will be shocked to learn that this is one I penned myself.
Even in 7th grade, this was not seen as quality material.

As I reflect upon this piece, I wonder if it could have been reworked for greater effect:

Q: Did you hear about the new show with Porky, Babe*, and Wilbur as dorky kids trying to make it into the high school in-crowd?

A: It's called "Square Pigs".

Yeah, that's a lot better.
"WABAC machine, set for 1982. We've got to find my 7th grade self and get him this joke. It could change his entire future..."

*Of course, Babe didn't exist in 1982. Hmm.. Miss Piggy seems obvious, but I don't like the use of "pig" in the set-up, since it's the punchline. "Kermit's girlfriend", maybe. Any-hoo.


Jokes I Remember From Junior High (2 of 7)

For this one, I took a one-line joke and turned it into a fairly epic tale. Please remember this is 7th grade. The language is '80s-tinged, and the puns are awful. My humor is much more sophisticated now.

* * * * * * *

The Potato family was a happy one. Mother and Father Potato lived with their three daughters. The children grew, and before they knew it, the eldest was off to see the world. One evening, the family was sitting about watching TV (M*A*S*H, natch) when the phone rang. It was their daughter.
"Mom! Dad! I'm getting married!"
"Ore-Ida!" said her father, who'd been hoping she'd marry soon. "Who is he?"
"Oh, dad, you'll love him. He's a doctor."
Well, dad was indeed excited to have such prestige brought to his family. There was a huge wedding and celebration.
A year passed, and the middle child left home for Art School (Julienne) . Soon, a call came. The family stopped watching their movie (The Eyes of Laura Mars) to listen in.
"Mom! I'm getting married! He's a District Attorney! And, he's a real spud muffin!"
"Totally tuberlar!" exclaimed mom.
There was a large wedding and a wonderful party.
Finally, the third daughter left to follow her dream. Her parents could only hope it wouldn't be half-baked. They worried that their small fry might not make a wise decision.
Then, the call came, right in the middle of CHiPs.
"Mom! Dad! I'm marrying Dan Rather!"
Oh, they were not happy.
Mom was boiling. Dad turned red potato. There was no large wedding. They were ashamed.
Because their first two daughters had married so well, and the third had married a commentater.

* * * * * * *

I haven't told this joke in years. It could use updating. The first that comes to mind is that the 3rd girl could marry "Tim Russet". Other ideas?

Jokes I Remember From Junior High (1 of 7)

A priest, a rabbi, and a preacher walk into a bar.

"Ow," they say.


Oh, And This One...

OK, just one more unbelievable-but-apparently-real T-shirt:



There's a pizza place in my town that has an arcade. All of the games, as far as I can tell, come straight from Japan. Most of the text is symbols (Kanji?), but some is in English. Like the marksmanship game where you shoot a mug and it explodes:


Or the street luge game that promises:


These are good for a chuckle, similar to the crazy popularity of ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US.

That would be the end of it... but today I was searching for the latest Elmo toy (hey, give me a break), clicked I'm Feeling Lucky, and this came up, courtesy Engrish.com:

"Engrish", I find, has quite a following. It is the term used to describe poor Japanese to English translations. I remember looking at a puzzle game in line at the gas station, with the directions telling the owner to FIRST ONLY DECOMPOSE THE CUBE, and saying to myself: huh.

Well, the folks at Engrish.com and a boatload of other sites have collected many of these crazy things for you. Some are beyond belief. "They must be Photoshopped!" you cry. "Crap my hands?!" The webmaster says no, they're all legit. Like:

My first thought was that the term "Engrish" was just too inappropriate, and that I couldn't ever bring myself to use it. I still may not out loud... but it sure is all over the place, and seems to be the accepted term. That doesn't make it OK, I realize. I am still amazed at how something so niche can have such a following on the internet.

Which makes me again wonder: If there's so much Engrish stuff in cyberspace, why can't we get more ARK II information out there?


You Can't Have Egg, Bacon, Spam and Sausage Without the Spam!

Mash-up words are fun. Like Spice + Ham = Spiced Ham = Spam.

Or, heaven forbid, Betsimpsier.

I'm sure there's a word for words like that... anyone know it?

Anyhow, this is my post about spam. And how I've got to make it stop, so I'm making comment-posters type a crazy, curvy nonsense word that looks like it's written on the melting walls in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

I've put this off, because it's a small hassle to people trying to dash off a quick reply. You just want to post a thought, and the computer says: "Type "Cthulhu" into this box to make sure you're not a spammer." Or "Clhuuh", I'm not sure. I usually get them wrong on the first attempt. So they give me "Brylwor"* to try again. Actually, can I get another shot at "Cthulhu"? I think I can get it this time. Now, it's "umlaut". Now "Ageageray"*. Now "Thirttlye"* I give up. The world will never know my rakish wit. I have been marginalized by the Spambot Guardian. Post I Shall No More.

So, I apologize for instituting such measures. But I get these posts, and I don't even know where in my blog they're posting in order to delete them. My email says I have a new post (yay!) and it's someone who thinks my blog is awesome (sweet!) and they'll be back for sure (woo-hoo!) and, by the by, they have a great blog about erectile dysfunction (...). What it doesn't say is which post out of a year's worth it's gone to. Sigh.

So, there it is. Sorry. Good luck.

*These names are taken from here. Try generating "consonant-heavy" names. Fun!**

**"Fun" being relative, of course.


Stinkin' Up The Place

In Eldest (young adult Star Wars/Lord of the Rings knockoff written by a dude who's, like, twelve), a character presents the possibilty of using barges to facilitate an escape, and someone says:

Barges? We don't need no stinking barges!

Man. The Sierra Madre (or, more likely, Blazing Saddles) reference is completely out of place in this elf/dwarf/dragon/magic fantasy epic. If the book were built upon quirky pop-culture references (Xanth, anyone?), OK. But it's not. This is not a funny tale.

"We don't need no stinkin'" this and that has been a popular phraseology for years, and this is not the first time I've thought about it. It's just the first time I've had a blog in which to think it through.

Google gives 174,000 hits for the phrase "We don't need no stinkin'". 142,000 for "We don't need no stinking". It gives only 14,800 hits for "We don't need no steenkin'", but that still seems impressive for a phonetically-spelled word. There are even over a thousand hits for "We don't need no steeenkin'".
People like this phrase.

Here's a look at Google's first ten hits for places that say they don't need no stinkin' something:

1. We don't need no stinkin' login!
2. Singelton? We don't need no stinkin' Singleton!
3. 401K? We don't need no stinkin' 401K!
4. Books? We don't nee no stinkin' books!
5. Training? We don't need no stinkin' training!"
6. Keyframes? We don't need no stinkin' keyframes!
7. Rules? I don't need no stinkin' rules!
8. We don't need no stinkin' stats!
9. We don't need no stinkin' love songs!
10. We don't need no stinkin' cookies!

The Stinking Badges Home Page is a pretty nifty catalog of references, a look at how this quote has permeated our culture. It also has as its first entry the actual quote, from the book and movie, which has been misquoted ever since.

While some use the structure "We don't need no stinkin' X" (X being whatever it is we need no stinkin' of), most retain the structure "X? We don't need no stinkin' X!", using X as a question before commenting on our need for X.

People who have time to make up names for this sort of thing call them "snowclones". The term refers to any adaptable cliché, where a word is replaced with a different word appropriate to the conversation at hand. For example:

To see, or not to see?

The name comes from the oft-repeated (and apparently erroneous) statement:
The Eskimos have __ words for for snow... (usually followed by something like "surely you can come up with __ words for ____.")

So. Why do we dig the "don't need no stinkin'" phrasing so much? Is it because it gives us an excuse to use poor grammar? Or the excuse to use an over-the-top accent typical of Mexican Bandits? We get to say "steenkin'", which is fun... shades of "friggin'", but with a touch of danger attached. But doesn't it get old? Probably not for deadline-pressed admen and headline writers.

I think there's a place to add this to a database of snowclones. I'll have to do that. Unless it's already there. In which case, I'm again late to the stinkin' party.


Of Carpools and Malapropisms

In the carpool yesterday, a young science teacher told the story of setiing up an experiment using a small, scissor/tweezer-esque implement. A couple of students asked:
"Is that your Rose Clip?"
She wasn't catching their reference, but the way they snickered she was pretty sure it was drug-related. They found it even funnier that she didn't know what they were talking about.
In the 'pool, we explained to her they were probably talking about a Roach Clip.

What have we learned today?
1. Two young men laughed at their teacher for not knowing what a "rose clip" is.
2. The closest thing Google gets to their meaning for the term is "Download Charlie Rose Clip"
3. Sadly, the irony of the situation will forever be lost to these two fellows.


Bork Bork Bork

And now, time for another episode of Stating the Obvious...

It's tough to write the way people talk.

I mean, yeah, of course it is. Some are better at it than others. I happen to enjoy Tom Wolfe (deal with it), and his contrived spellings that imitate dialect are fun for me. But I don't really feel I know what the person sounds like. Only a caricature of the person.

I'm thinking of this, because a post heading at ilani ilani is Ancient Egyptian Pronunciation. Which, of course, made me think of the Calgon ad that ends with the lady saying:
Ancient Chinese secret, huh?

But that doesn't get the way she says it, does it? It's more:
Ancient Chinese secret, hanh?

Or perhaps:
Ancient Chinese secret, huuuh?

This lines up more with what's in my head. But if you don't know the ad, the last word comes off as something Patrick Star might utter.
So. If we can't guarantee the reading will be what we wish, do we skip it altogether? There's a nice piece here where the author uses Gone With the Wind to make a pretty convincing argument against dailectic spelling.

But, who cares, really? What I really wanted to show you is what I suppose some will see as a vaguely offensive site, as it purports to translate any text into Jive (a la Airplane!). I'll let you take that one on your own... I instead translated a part of yesterday's post into Swedish Chef.

A Hut Met

Vhy du I hefe-a sooch a prublem veet met beellbuerds?
I theenk met is bed, und needs tu be-a stupped. Bork bork bork! Boot ere-a cunffooseeng merketeeng cempeeegns zee vey tu gu?

Zee letest tegleene-a:

Theenk met is pretty? Yeeh, pretty stoopeed. Bork bork bork!

OoK. It vuoold be-a a clefer vurdpley iff I thuooght peuple-a reelly theenk met is "pretty". Hefe-a uny ooff yuoo ell ifer essuceeeted met veet beooty? I theenk ooff heellbillies, durty bethtoobs, und gereges. Um gesh dee bork, bork! Ooff cuoorse-a, I'm nut zee terget oodeeence-a. Boot du yuoo theenk keeds see-a met es pretty? I dun't see-a it. Um de hur de hur de hur.
Et ell.

Meybe-a I'm vey ooffff. I'd leeke-a sumeune-a tu tell me-a thees mekes sense-a. Becoose-a I'm soore-a a lutta duoogh vent intu it. Um de hur de hur de hur.

Und meybe-a zee cleferness ooff zee messege-a isn't vhet's impurtunt. Um de hur de hur de hur... meybe-a it's ebuoot increesed evereness: "met is pretty stoopeed". OoK. Boot troot.cum muneges tu be-a but insunely ooreeginel, clefer, und subereeng et zee seme-a teeme-a. It cun be-a dune-a.

Zeere-a is a TF ed tu gu veet it. Um de hur de hur de hur. Zee fueeceufer verns thet "yuoo cun becume-a eddeected effter joost yuoor secund use-a." Hooh. Su zee furst is a geemme-a, epperently. Bork bork bork!

Sounds rather Jar-Jar, but fun nonetheless. And an example of dialectic spelling where you really need to have a reference to read it. I can't see this working if I didn't know the Swedish Chef.


A Hot Meth

Why do I have such a problem with meth billboards?
I think meth is bad, and needs to be stopped. But are confusing marketing campaigns the way to go?

The latest tagline:

Think meth is pretty? Yeah, pretty stupid.

OK. It would be a clever wordplay if I thought people really think meth is "pretty". Have any of you all ever associated meth with beauty? I think of hillbillies, dirty bathtubs, and garages. Of course, I'm not the target audience. But do you think kids see meth as pretty? I don't see it.
At all.

Maybe I'm way off. I'd like someone to tell me this makes sense. Because I'm sure a lotta dough went into it.

And maybe the cleverness of the message isn't what's important... maybe it's about increased awareness: "meth is pretty stupid". OK. But truth.com manages to be both insanely original, clever, and sobering at the same time. It can be done.

There is a TV ad to go with it. The voiceover warns that "you can become addicted after just your second use." Huh. So the first is a gimme, apparently.

This may be just a Michigan campaign. And it looks pretty slick. But it doesn't work for me. I tried finding any kind of a link to show you the ad, but I think it's too new. There is one campaign I found that I love, though.
Partnership for a Drug-Free America put out Faces of Meth (the name itself a clever play on "Faces of Death"), which shows mugshots of people before and after using meth. Whoa. Check out the woman who after four years turned into Bride of Frankenstein.

So, what do you think? Does it matter how dopey the presentation is as long as the message is out there? Or should it actually make sense?

BTW, I think a website devoted to meth info should be called "Methopotamia".


Just Thinking

If there's a condition where a baby's up all night crying from the pain associated with living in a pastoral setting, it should be called bucolic.


Potty Sign Definitely Not The Shiznit

"Brain Freeze"* just made it into the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Yes! I thought maybe this was the year for "shiznit", but it seems that's still in the wings.
It's been at least ten years since the first time someone used "shiznit" in a sentence in my presence, and it still gets play. Alas, I guess I need to resubmit my suggestion.


This sign hangs over a urinal I frequent:


If I were to wait that long, I'd still be there, I'm afraid.

*When a friend was a church camp counselor, they would have contests to see which camper could drink a slushy the fastest. Mean, dude. Just mean.


Oh, What A Relief It Is

A catalog came to the house with this cool clock for sale:

The pins shift in and out as the minutes change, giving a cool bas relief* readout. It's like those pin art things where you stick your face in and the pins make a 3D mold of you. At least, I always stick my face in. Other people probably stick in other things. (keep your thoughts to yourself here, BP)

Any-hoo, the bottom of the description had this to say:

Takes 2D batteries

I laughed. Then, five short days later, I ran to the computer to share with you all.
I anxiously await the newest flood of spam postings in response.

*not sure if this technically is bas relief, but I didn't want to use 3D twice in two sentences.