If you’re not familiar with the name Mike Calahan, you’re probably living on a free-floating sheet of ice somewhere in the Arctic Circle. And if that’s the case, call your local cable company, get the Wi-Fi hooked up, and tune in next Tuesday for an opportunity to dive helmet-head first into the genetically-enhanced grey matter of the author behind the blog, B.L.O.G.
It’s a bit redundant, I know. But that’s exactly what makes him a literary genius.
I originally booked Mike for a luxurious, all-inclusive stay here at the Chowderhead Headquarters for last weekend, but unfortunately, he was already committed to some hairspray convention out in Tucson. We’re now set to square off this weekend for a one-on-one showdown.
Designer brand mouse. Collared shirts and ties. The sleekest pair of black frame glasses west of the Mississippi…
I might be in over my head.
See you Tuesday.
- Honor thy comb and thy hair gel, Chowderheads \m/
**If you have questions that you’d like me to ask Mike, drop a line in the comments and I’ll be sure to work ‘em in.
- Because I Haven’t Got the Legs for Dancing (tipsylit.com)
- Paranormal Housekeeping (thechowderhead.com)
- If you had 5 minutes to talk to a Dung Beetle, what would you say? (longawkwardpause.wordpress.com)
Maybe it’s the Yankee in me, but I absolutely hate waiting in lines. See, I have this uncanny, superhuman, x-men-like ability to subconsciously locate and endure the absolute worst possible line in the history of checkout lines wherever I go. Someone please contact Guinness. It’s world record wait. Every. Single. Time.
Tip: if you ever happen across me standing in line someplace, even if you really wanna talk to me or get my autograph or something like that, don’t do it. I’ll mail you an autographed picture of my bare buttocks – whatever you want – just do yourself a favor: go stand in the next checkout line over. Even if its twenty senior citizens deep. Trust me.
Here’s a brief list of typical scenarios that I face on a regular basis:
Baseball Team: sextuple (seven) scoop hot fudge brownie boat with sprinkles, half-fat caramel chocolate-mocha frappe drizzle, every single nut known to the Dominican Republic, freeze-dried watermelon rind puree, cat liver, fucking onions, and whatever else you got, lady. After three bites, the kid doesn’t like it or throws it up all over the floor, or on my sweet tennis shoes, and it goes in the garbage. What a surprise… Continue reading
Alright, so dig this, I’m going on a solo flight in a couple of days and I’m wiggin’ out.
I’m not all that big on flying, so I’ve been spending a lot time in the fetal position, whimpering like a sissy. I thought this might be sort of therapeutic for me, ya know? Write it out, Chowderhead, just write it out…
See, I’m not one of those people that’s afraid of crashing and dying. Honestly, I can think of much worse ways of expiring, like, for instance, being eaten by Hannibal Lecter. That would suck much more than a really brief, but really fun, roller coaster ride into the ocean.
Maybe I shouldn’t tempt fate…
What I am afraid of is all of the ridiculous scenarios that I create in my mind before I even set foot on the plane. Consequently, (I like that word) for the past week and a half I’ve been chain-smoking and building a collection of virtual self-help books, which now rivals the Library of Congress. At the moment, I’m working on a chapter in one of my anxiety miracle cure books called, “how to stop worrying about spraying projectile vomit all over the guy in the seat next to you.”
That would be one of those ridiculous scenarios. Not that it wouldn’t be possible I guess, but I haven’t tossed my cookies since I was an infant. That is of course if you don’t count that one time when I went to that Lebanese restaurant after a night of heavy drinking a few years back. But that was only like a violent vurp – not really full on hurl.
In any case, I realize now that not only do I have this longstanding phobia of just about everything, but a particularly bad phobia of all things vomit. God I hate that word. They actually have a name for it too: emetephobia. Gnarly!
Emetephobia, is what self-help guru’s refer to as an “Irrational fear.” I would have to agree, it is irrational, because chances are likely that I’m not really going to give two shits about the guy sitting next to me for a number of reasons:
1.). He might be an armrest-stealer.
2.) He might be a talker, which means kiss my Yatzy Addict Tournament goodbye.
3.) He could be a projectile vomiter, which would do absolutely nothing to help me rid myself of emetephobia.
I hope he’s just an armrest-stealer…
I’m rambling now. Shut up, man. Does this give me a free pass for slacking on reading everyone’s stuff? I’m acting like such an attention whore right now, I know. Please tell me to stick a sock in it and man up.
Oh, and I still don’t have a clue what I’m gonna name this blog, not that it’s all that important, but you know, The Artist Formerly Known as My Right to Bitch is gonna be a really hard one to plug to random strangers on the plane: “Hey, you should read my blog, it’s called…wait, do you have about five minutes to spare?”
Louisiana or bust…
- Vomiting Robot Pukes for Science (news.discovery.com)
- Larry the vomiting robot goes ‘viral’ while helping researchers study norovirus (thestar.com)
I’m not proud to admit it, but I’m still floundering away at The University of Microsoft Paint.
If you’re not familiar with it, MS Paint is a watered-down photo editing program that comes standard with every PC. The only thing it’s useful for is drawing a perfect circle, square, or trapezoid, then filling it with a primary color. Basically, it’s one step above an Etch-o-Sketch.
Since I’m in a giving mood today, I thought I’d give all you graphic artist snobs an opportunity to point and laugh at some of my crudely-edited pictures from the past. Up until now, none of them have seen the light of day. The tour you’re about to take should give you an idea of what I’m working with here.
In short, my graphic design skills are about four feet shy of a slam dunk.
I’m a wizard at blacking out teeth. Lucky for me, Suze Orman is already missing one. The caption saved this one. The sketchy-looking thought bubble did not. Grade D+
The caption saved this one too. Grade: D
What began as a Chariots of Fire-inspired tribute to Michael Phelps, ended in a craptastic horn sympony of wet farts being lit on fire. I blew this on so many levels. First off, I butchered the name. Phleps? C’mon man. Secondly, the Olympic Rings look like they just got off some Woodstock hippie bus after eating a handful of brown LSD. Needless to say, this one didn’t bring home the gold — or any medal for that matter — just a raging case of genital herpes. Grade: F
Where was I going with this one…This was actually an old piece from my graphic design portfolio. People who interviewed me described it as being preposterous, laughable, and harmful to pregnant women. One guy even called a couple weeks after the interview to tell me he’d gone sterile after looking at it. Liar. Needless to say, my computer drawing career never panned out. Now that I look at it again, I can see where they’re coming from. You did’t have to be a dick about it. Sheesh. Grade: F
Wait for it…
…and boom goes the dynamite. This one gets high marks for originality of content. Unfortunately, I’m not sure The Enquirer is gonna fork over any loot for this Photoshop hack-job. A Kindergartner could do a better job of cutting and pasting. Look at Bush — he looks terrified. I’ll bet this won’t be the first time G-Dub’s had a low mark stamped next to his name. Grade: D+
The shading is spot on in this one, but I kinda goofed on Sara Jessica Parker’s hair. Oh, and I totally forgot that she doesn’t eat carbs anymore. Sorry chicky, this ain’t gonna help straighten out the long face —-> Grade: D-
…Exhibit G: *G-Money*
Here’s an exception. Not much wrong with this one. Except for the fried egg in Becca’s hair. It was supposed to be a daisy. Whatever. If you print this out, don’t try using it at Walmart. They just busted someone recently who was trying to score change for a million dollar bill. True story. It’s obvious that Walmart invests heavily in counterfeit and fraud prevention. But who would wanna get rid of something with that pretty face on it? Grade: A+
Gary Busey is so grouchy around the paparazzi. I think he has a sugar problem. Or a coke habit. Probably both. By the way, fake blood is hard to do on MS Paint. It looks like cartoon barbecue sauce. Someone give this man a rabies shot. Stat. Grade: D -
More pickin’ on Bush. Wait. That came out wrong. Nevermind. If you’ve never seen the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off then you’re probably scratching your wig right now. Congratulations! You’re the only person on the planet that hasn’t seen it. The bong in the photo looks sort of believable, I guess. And it’s patriotic too! Who am I kidding. It all sucks. Grade: D+
I can’t imagine his monthly dry cleaning bill. Actually, who cares about that. I’m sending a Christmas card to the owner of the shop. What a saint for handling all those poopy pants. Grade: C
I even screwed up my tribute to David Dixon. Wait, is that his name or his nemesis? Either way, you make it look easy, my friend. Grade: F
End of Tour.
I hope nobody went sterile.
If you guys didn’t think this totally sucked, let me know. I have a lot more Fotoshop Fails in the dumpster out back. I could do a weekly bit called something corny like, “Fotoshop Fridays?” Meh. I’ll work on a title…
Oh, and check out the Post of the Week by Alien Red Queen. Nicely written, Ms Lady.
-Happy Blogging \m/
Author’s Note: I’d like to apologize for any mistreatment and/or agony caused by the profuse usage of capital letters during Sergeant Gunnery’s boot camp tirade. Sadly, the Sarge couldn’t make it today because he is now a semi-permanent fixture on my garage ceiling — courtesy of eight rolls of duct tape. Hoo-ah.
If there were a scientific method for measuring and ranking all the things that suck in this world, car shopping would probably fall somewhere between getting shot in the groin with a potato-launcher, and dealing with a bout of moderate to severe Seafood Poisoning.
Unfortunately, owning a car is a necessity for people like me, and every few years I find myself in the same pinch at the local motor mall.
Looking for a car isn’t the hard part. In essence, it’s actually not all that different from putting a fridge on layaway. The part that makes it less desirable than a spud to the hangers is when any of the following semi-fictional bullshit-artists enter the equation:
- Jerry Flannigan aka “The Dice Man”
- Ron Wystromski aka “Big Cheddar”
- Dick McGiven aka “The Shark”
- Ed O’Mallory aka “Fast Eddie”
From that point on it’s nothing but a high-pressure hassle.
Walking through a car dealership is like hiking through the desert with a piece of rotting meat tied to your back. From the moment I pull into a lot, there’s always some greasy sales buzzard wanting to shake my hand before I can put my foot on the blacktop. After introductions, I’m getting forcefully shoved past the econo-car section of the lot, and tossed into a pile of Corvettes, Cadillacs and Monster Trucks.
Meanwhile, there sits a tiny, imaginary man in my head, behind a xylophone, frantically playing an ambiguous tune. It’s a circus melody that perfectly captures the stress and confusion of the moment.
Many people feel the same way about the whole experience as I do. However, they go about preparing for it the wrong way. Most folks look to generic buying guides like Consumer Reports or the Suze Orman Show for tips and strategies on how to buy a car. This advice is shoddy, at best. Neither of these pop-resources highlight that being approached by a haggling salesman is an Act of War.
If you wanna avoid the runaround and get the most bang for your buck, car shopping requires a tactical, military-like approach. Hopefully you’ve already completed Tuesday’s Basic Training. You’re gonna need it.
Let me break it down by operation.
Operation 1: Reconnaissance
Begin by surveying the dealership for a few days with a pair of binoculars from across the street. Behind a bush. Determine which day is staffed with the fewest amount of Sales Pests. Identify a breach area. Keep a log sheet of your observations. Take pictures if you can, and carry an infrared lens.
Operation 2: Infiltrate the Enemy Establishment
After the surveillance operation, enter the lot at the identified breach area, and park as far away from the sales office as possible. Stealth is key. Use the vehicles in the lot to shield yourself. Stay low to the ground. Remember to camouflage: sweat pants and a dirty T-shirt with a Budweiser logo on it. You’ll be hard to spot if you look poor.
Operation 3: Create a Tactical Diversion
You will eventually be targeted. Remain calm. The key at this stage is to create a Tactical Diversion that will delay and/or weaken the offensive strategy of the oncoming insurgent. Note: the following tactics are battle-tested, but may lead to a brief jail stint if executed poorly.
Choose from the following list of Diversions based on your scenario:
- Parking Lot Tag – When the Sales Pest has captured you for introductions, immediately initiate a game of parking lot tag by firmly tapping him on the chest and yelling out:”Tag, you’re it!” If he doesn’t give chase, insult his mother.
- Cops and Robbers (or Cowboys and Indians) – This tactic is also childish. But who gives a fuck. Integrate a lot of somersaults and barrel rolls on the pavement into your evasive routine.
- Panic Button Hand Grenade – Request a set of keys for a vehicle. Once you receive the keypad, hit the panic alarm button and launch it grenade-style deep within the enemy compound.
- No Speaky English – If you’re not confident in executing any of the above tactics, use language as a sales barrier.
Operation 4: Identify Target Vehicle
While your Sales Pest is trying to catch his breath, and/or bent over a car, puking his lungs out, survey the enemy compound and identify the target vehicle for a test drive. Make sure it’s a Ford. And make sure it’s not Gold or Burgundy.
Operation 5: Highway Storm
After you’ve targeted a vehicle to test drive, request the keys. Bring your Salesperson. If he politely declines, try softening him up by applying reverse sales tactics: place your hand on his shoulder and ask about his beer league softball career.
After he’s in the vehicle and buckled up, put the pedal to the metal. Really open up the engine during your test drive. Do things to the target vehicle that you wouldn’t do with your current vehicle; brake torquing, neutral slamming, red-lining – get a feel for the beast.
If the salesman shits the seat, Abort Mission.
Operation 6: Negotiate Hostage Situation
At this stage, a hostage situation could mean one of two things:
1.). You’ve landed yourself in the sales office and are negotiating the price of a car.
2.). You’ve landed yourself in jail and are negotiating the terms of your release with a lawyer through a piece of bulletproof glass.
We’ll concentrate on the first one.
This is your opportunity to put the hammer down. At this point, the enemy should be showing signs of Post Traumatic Stress. Use these symptoms to your advantage. Make a lot of sudden, jerky movements, and drop things on the floor, like a stapler, to create loud noises. If that doesn’t work, try a computer monitor. This will keep the enemy in a vulnerable, defensive state of mind.
If executed properly, he’ll do whatever it takes to get you the fuck out of his office. When he’s cowering, immediately submit a low-ball offer on the Target Vehicle. Hold eye contact. After he prints a contract at the newly negotiated (low-ball) price, illegibly sign on the dotted line. Do not shake hands, and do not turn your back to him while exiting the cell. Before fully carrying out your exit plan, bark. Like a dog. Do it with passion and fury.
While he’s under the desk, make your break at full sprint.
Eat my Pants, Suze Orman.
What’s the battle plan when you go car shopping? Please share your funny stories!
-Happy Blogging, Private First Class \m/
- Car salesman brothers guilty of fraud (modbee.com)
- Bucks Blog: What I Learned the Hard Way About Leasing a Car (bucks.blogs.nytimes.com)
I can’t think of a better way to kick off the MRTB 2K13 Campaign then by drop-kicking a few more Hypothetical Head-Spinners into the dumpster — along with a lit match.
If you weren’t here for the last Q and A shit-show, make sure you check out Hypothetically Speaking (Part I) for the rules of engagement. Otherwise, sit back and relax while myself and a MagnificientTM friend of mine launch another list of stupid questions into space orbit where they belong.
Cut the lights. Fire up the Amps.
Head explosion beginning in 3…2…1
…Would you be willing to have your left middle finger surgically removed if it somehow guaranteed you immunity from all diseases?
I’d rather get coughed in the mouth by someone with the Ebola Virus than have my left middle finger removed. It’s the second most important extremity on my body. If I were left handed it would be number one.
If man evolved from apes why do we still have apes?
Easy question. Because the Zoo would suck without the monkey exhibit. Watching a rabid Chimp spaz out and fast-pitch a stinky, banana flavored hand full of monkey dung at some dude eating a sandwich? That’s what I call money well spent.
Well worth the price of admission.
Why do we wash bath towels? Aren’t we clean when we use them?
I don’t know about you but I’m not that eager to wipe my face with the same towel that I dry my dinner exit with. After the first use you’re playing with fire.
Standardized Post-Shower Drying Procedure:
Zone 1: Head Zone 2: Shoulders Zone 3: Knees & Toes Zone 4: “Area 51″ Zone 5: Hamper
Does pressing the call button on an elevator multiple times really make the lift come quicker?
If you’re pushing the call button from the lobby and trying to reach your bathroom on the 85th floor after drinking 14 beers, no. If you’re pushing the call button from the lobby and trying to reach your bathroom on the 85th floor after eating a plate of undercooked wet burritos, definitely no. In any other circumstances, yes.
If the temperature is zero outside today and it’s going to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold will it be?
In order to answer this one we’ll need to use a little weather math:
If 32º F is freezing… and 32º F minus 32º is… 0º F… carry the 1…
Take the |absolute value| and multiply (x) by the derivative2 of the fractal binary equation. Multiply that value by the Square Root of (y)…
…According to my calculations the answer is Cold as Fuck.
Anything below zero is cold enough to make snow come out of your nose when you sneeze. That’s all you need to know. Welcome to January in Michigan. Our State Welcome Center Sign should read: “What the Hell are you Doing Here?
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
The first egg was invented in a lab by a Hungarian scientist in 1968. The first attempt was a miserable failure, and resulted in the accidental creation of a plastic-shelled egg filled with jelly beans. After several tries, the first chicken was hatched in an incubator a couple months later. The lab technicians named the hen Erzsébet. The first Easter holiday was celebrated the following year. Sadly, Erzsébet died before the party, but her offspring Piroska, and György were present.
They were dropped into a deep fryer later that afternoon.
Is there a time limitation on fortune cookie predictions?
Yes. It expires when you break the cookie open. Most people don’t know this, but in order for the fortune to be fulfilled, you have to suck on the cookie until it dissolves – including the little piece of paper. It’s a messy and horribly uncomfortable procedure. Give it a try.
If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?
Le Clown: No. It’s considered another fuck-up by Big Pharma. Fuck you, Big Pharma.
Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but checks when you say the paint is wet?
Because it takes roughly thirty seconds to wash paint from your hands, and about 3000 years to count to four billion. How desperate are you to validate this claim?
If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
Le Clown: Fuck you, Yoda.
How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work in the mornings?
This one’s actually a tough question. There are countless transportation options for getting to work in the morning. Let’s try putting it into a multiple choice format:
A.) Cross Country Skies B.) A Pair of Stilts C.) A Pogo Stick D.) Flying Saucer E.) Shovels a path and walks there on his hands
The multiple choice format did not help.
If Felix Baumgartner farts while breaking the sound barrier and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Why is it that on a phone or calculator the number five has a little dot on it?
The purpose of the dot is to remind the user that any finger is a viable option for calculating or dialing with. You can even use your thumb to push the buttons if you’d like.
There’s probably a former Press Operator reading that’s not finding this very funny.
Sorry dude. You still rock. \m
Where do people in Hell tell other people to go?
I’ve never been to Hell personally, but if I had to guess, the angry residents there are probably telling jerk-offs to go to the DMV to get their driver’s licenses renewed. If said Hell resident really wanted to insult the jerk-off in question, he’d probably tell them to go on a Saturday afternoon. That place sucks.
Alright. Time to clean this place up. I gotta head next door to my neighbor’s house and try to explain to him how his car started on fire. This should be interesting. Wish me luck.
One last question for you:
What if the hokey pokey really is what it’s all about?
- Happy Blogging \m/
Click HERE for Part One
- Hypothetically Speaking… (righttobitch.com)
- What Do Missiles, Paul Reiser, and Elevator Farting Have in Common? (righttobitch.com)
- 2nd Addendum: Fuck you, Autosave (fearnoweebles.wordpress.com)
Below you’ll find a buying guide for that lazy bastard in your life. We all know one. Some of us are one; that guy or gal that shows up to the gift unwrapping party with a handful of scratch off tickets, or a gift card from the local drug store. Or a fucking cat they don’t want anymore.
Feel free to get offended if you own one or more of the following items. I don’t care. It’s been a stressful holiday season per usual, and I’m sick and tired of all of you people once again.
Let the last-minute shopping fiasco begin.
Why bother vacuuming your 40 square foot apartment the old fashioned way? Pick up a Roomba Vaccum, and free up an extra ten minutes a day for your lazy friend to do more important things like watch the Food Network, and grind Cheese Curls into the sofa.
You may want to consider an extra battery pack and a custom GPS upgrade in order to navigate around all of the shit that’s probably laying on your lazy friend or relative’s floor.
Make sure you explain to the gift recipient that it doesn’t do a very good job of sucking up dirty underwear or pet scat. Those items should be removed first before sending this double-A battery powered, dust-busting Magellan on it’s filthy floor adventure.
Key Benefit: No more walking behind a vacuum cleaner.
“Make a tee pee, over the mountain”…er, no wait. “Grab your partner, dosey doe.. here’s my bow…” Ah fuck it.
Velcro shoes don’t require memorizing some stupid shoe-tying poem before the user can start enjoying the benefits of these strap and go sneakers. Not only are they a highly fashionable gift idea, they also have orthopedic benefits, too. Colors available: Matte Black, and Breast Milk White.
Key Benefit: No more shoe tying.
The Extender Claw is an awesome gift idea for any lazy bastard. The long, trigger-powered arm makes it possible to reach virtually anything in a room without having to get up from a seated position.
Make a bowl of cereal, empty the litter box, and even take out the trash. The best part? You don’t even have to leave the couch
Key Benefit: No more needless standing up.
Here’s a great stocking-stuffer idea. Gerbils make great pets for lazy bastards because they’re low maintenance.
You won’t have to do anything stressful like walking or playing fetch. Just put it in an empty fish tank, cover it with wood chips, and watch it sleep.
When the day finally comes that you have to part with Fluffy the Gerbil (in two weeks), just flush it down the toilet. No muss, no fuss. It’s a win-win gift item.
Key Benefit: Hassle-free pet.
Ouch. This one’s gonna set you back a few bucks.
A High Efficiency Washing Machine is the ideal appliance for the lazy bastard in your life. Who cares about all of the eco-friendliness crap. These beasts can wash three weeks of dirty laundry in one shot.
Don’t feel pressured to explain to your friend or relative all of the bells and whistles. It won’t take long for them to figure out the only two settings they’ll ever need: Cold and Heavy Duty.
Capacity aside, these things take so fucking long to do a load of wash, he/she would probably be limited to one load a day, anyways. Of course, that’s probably still one load too many…
Key Benefit: Less laundry-doing.
The clapper is another great stocking-stuffer idea. If you’re running dangerously close to midnight, just buy a whole bunch and throw them in a box. Put a nice bow on it if you’re feeling guilty about it.
Clap on, and watch the Pee Wee Herman breakfast-making machine twist off a pair of scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast. A few minor adjustments to the unit, and it might even spit your breakfast out in the shape of a smiley face.
Key Benefit: Less time spent flipping light switches.
I hope you’re carrying a few credit cards today.
The Segway Scooter is a great item for those that hate walking to places, like for instance, the bathroom on the other side of the sofa. The Segway will take you there in a jiffy, and all you have to do is stand up. Calories are precious. Don’t waste them.
Even though it’s a big ticket item, the good news is that if you decide to buy one, you’ll never have to get your lazy bastard friend or relative another Christmas present again.
I might splurge this year.
Key Benefit: A great Calorie-Conserver.
Ok, time to come clean.
I wrote this while standing in the checkout line at Best Buy earlier this morning. I did it on a tablet that I had to pick up for myself. One down, twelve more people to go…
If you’re still blazing the holiday shopping trails today, this article would probably be more useful to all of the people that normally buy for you. Godspeed, in your antler-decorated Durango sleigh.
Merry Christmas to everyone — even the lazy bastards.
-Happy Blogging \M/
I should probably start taking an occasional sedative. At the very least, sample some anxiety medications. Because for the love of Bruce Springsteen, if I get asked one more stupid fucking hypothetical question, my brain is gonna explode all over the person asking. I don’t want that to happen…
There’s something about unanswerable questions that make me uneasy. I don’t like the abstract. I like definitive answers. Like for example, if you were to ask me, “Would you like a cookie?” My answer would be: “Yes, yes I would like a cookie.” Question asked. Answer known. Case closed.
However, if you were to ask me, “What was the best thing before sliced bread?” My mind would flip to *spin cycle*, and cause my head to violently twist off my body. I don’t know the answer to that question. Nobody does.
Hypothetical questions are usually barfed out of people that spend most of their free time sitting in a coffee shop talking about *String Theory* and *Subatomic Particles*. The other half of the time they’re watching Jeopardy.
I think it’s time to start closing out a few of these trivial debates. Or at the very least, volley it back over the philosophical net in the form of another stupid question. I’ll let you ponder it, Einstein. My skull is starting to feel like a ripe tick. Time to blow off some steam…
Head explosion beginning in 3…2…1…
If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
It seems that “make a sound” would be a drastic understatement. If a tree comes down in the woods, it’s usually because of a 300 million volt charge of electricity. The thunder-crack and explosion of branches and squirrels caused by the bolt of lightning would be deafening. The answer is an enthusiastic “yes”. If a tree fell in the woods and the closest person to it was on Mars, it would make a sound. A *big sound*. Ok? Settled.
If you were to choke a Smurf, what color would it turn?
I’d like to volley that question back, and instead, ask a burning question of mine: if a Smurf fucked an Oompa Loompa, what color would the offspring be? Trick question. Smurfs are four inches tall. And made out of construction paper.
Which is the correct way to extract toothpaste, from the top or the bottom of the tube?
Do I care? Cut the tube in half already and put the power to decide in the hands of the two lunatics debating it. After you’re both done brushing your teeth, wash your hands. Then check the lock. Then wash your hands. Then check the lock. Then wash your hands. Then check the lock…
What hair color do they put on the driver’s license of a bald man?
I’d hate to have that job. It’s no wonder the DMV is nothing but a bunch of sour-faces. “I’m sorry sir, but we can’t put “bald” on your license, so we’re going to have to examine your pubic hair in the back room.”
Because that’s one of the only things a chicken does. They peck, cluck, and walk. Why exactly are we so hung up on the idea of a chicken crossing a road? Did I miss a vital piece of information here? Ask me something like, “Why did the chicken do the Macarena”, and I’ll tell you that it’s “worthy of further investigation.”
If milk goes bad if not refrigerated, does it go bad if the cow isnt refrigerated?
Yes. I can’t stress enough the importance of the following: Make absolutely sure that your grocer is stocking milk in his dairy freezer that was extracted from a refrigerated cow. Also, make sure that you store your opened Mayonnaise at room temperature.
Why is it that when you’re driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on the radio?
Because it’s hard to look for something when you’re head-banging and playing the steering wheel drums.
On Gilligan’s Island, why did Ginger have so many different outfits when they were only going on a 3 hour tour?
She bought a ticket for the *Love Boat*. She boarded the wrong ship. Ditz.
How come Superman could stop bullets with his chest, but always ducked when someone threw a gun at him?
(Part 1) First off, who throws a gun? It’s not a Boomerang?
(Part 2) Clark Kent wasn’t a neurologist – he worked for the Daily Herald. I’m pretty sure he was making sub-par wages like the rest of us clowns. Probably had a crappy insurance plan to boot. A nose-job procedure would be absolutely out of the question.
How come you press harder on a remote control when you know the battery is dead?
I thought this was common knowledge. A remote control works like a ketchup bottle. When the battery is low, more pressure is required to extract and utilize the remaining juice.
Side note: God forbid you have get up and walk your lazy ass five feet from the couch. “I guess I’ll just have to settle for another RonCo Informercial…”
If ghosts can walk through walls and glide down stairs, why don’t they fall through the floor?
Because all ghosts are issued a pair of hover boots.
Why does the Easter bunny carry eggs? Rabbits don’t lay eggs.
What do you want it to carry around, placentas? I’d rather dye eggs than placentas…
Why are there flotation devices under plane seats instead of parachutes?
Most people don’t even know how to work the tray table, and you expect them to figure out a fucking parachute? Under duress, no less. “Seeing that we’re in the middle of a 30,000 foot vertical nose-dive, I think I’ll don my parachute now.” It’s highly unlikely that they’d ever get used. Plus, having parachutes would tack on an extra 30 minutes for the pre-flight prompt:
Flight Attendant (demonstration): “Please note that in case of an emergency, you’ll find a very complicated parachute device located under your seat. To put it on, start by inserting left arm into “loop A”, then ask the person seated next to you to help you insert your right arm into “loop B”. Pull thigh harness straps over legs, and connect the four loops with a square knot. Strap yourself to the back of an experienced sky-diver if there is one available on the plane. The parachute has been packed in accordance with federal regulations; however, please feel free to re-pack yours in the isles after the seat belt light has been turned off, and before the arrival of the lunch cart.”
That doesn’t even take into consideration the added cost. You want a parachute? Ok. No more free peanuts. Or water. Or bathroom.
Let’s just keep that cheap floating thingy…
-Rock on, Chowderheads \m/
Click Here for Part II
- ‘Smurfs 2′ Unveils Simple-But-Cute International Teaser Trailer (aceshowbiz.com)
- Who Are You People And Where’s My Horse? (righttobitch.com)
- Why the Chicken Crossed the Road (adifferentstory.net)
- Theologians Answer: Why did the chicken cross the road? (atwistedcrownofthorns.com)
If you’re not tripping over an autograph line of rabid followers of your blog right now, I think I know the reason(s) why. I know what you’re thinking, “sounds kind of uppity coming from someone with less than 200 followers”. Don’t worry, I’ll get around to reading this myself too, eventually.
Despite being a relative newcomer to the whole scene, to my credit, I’m a fast learner and a close observer of people and their habits. And hot chicks. Throughout my travels, I’ve noticed a lot of stuff that us bloggers do which I believe is counterintuitive to acquiring and maintaining a fan base — providing that this happens to be one of your goals. That is what you want, isn’t it? The debate goes on…
Allow me to break down my Eureka moment for you.
The way I see it is that everything you’ll ever come across on a blogging site – regardless of what platform you use — falls somewhere along a continuum that is anchored by two different stylistic approaches.
At one end of the spectrum is what I call the Art Blog, which is more or less an exhibit; and the second type is what I call a Conversational Blog, which is used for exactly that — starting conversations. It’s difficult to distinguish the two from each other at first glance; however, a quick skim of any blog will reveal the author‘s motivation for creating his or her content.
Once you become familiar with this concept (that I invented just now), you’ll not only realize where your blog falls along the continuum, you’ll also understand what areas you may be lacking in. Hopefully you’ll be able to increase your following by making the necessary adjustments. Keep in mind that most blogs fall somewhere between these two styles. Let’s delve deeper.
Dorothy, step forward into the world of Technicolor…
The Art Blog
The majority of posts found on an Art Blog are exactly that — works of Art. Compositions are shared for the sole purpose of being observed and appreciated. Art Blogs are the poets, stream of consciousness writers, story-tellers, comic-strip artists, etc. Successful Art Blogs usually have a lot of likes, though they normally lack any significant interaction beyond that. Sometimes, if it’s a particularly great piece, many will drop an appreciative comment, but the conversation abruptly tails off at “Great job!” Really, what else can be said? Again, whatever was posted was meant to be looked at, not hashed up and down.
Art Blogs are like museums. When visiting one, the guest usually strolls about casually, looks around, stops, stares, maybe sits for a minute, contemplates, wanders off, and eventually leaves with a sense of appreciation for whatever was on display. It’s rare to happen upon a conversation during a visit. It’s not the type of setting that really promotes “mingling” with random strangers. That’s not to say that it doesn’t happen. Art lovers talk art, but the displays are usually designed to stir the emotions of the observer on a personal level. Plus, most pieces are open for wide interpretation – like a mangled ball of steel, for instance.
Writers of Art Blogs are probably aware of what they are already. They’ve constructed this type of setting for exactly the reasons listed. Most authors are either content with creating pieces to be appreciated, or use their blog strictly as a medium for online-journaling. There’s nothing wrong with that. Many will grow large followings based on their commitment to producing high-quality, artful content.
The Conversational Blog
On the flip side is the Conversational Blog. Content found on this type of page is constructed with the intention of promoting interaction with and among readers. The author usually bases his or her posts on topics that are meant to be viewed by a larger audience by comparison. Topics can often times be controversial in nature, and/or are emotionally-charged. A crafty author of one always leaves the piece open-ended by the end. If executed well, the article will continue to be expanded in the comment section by other readers – engaged readers. Write that down. I just wrote it down too. Wait a second, this is confusing now…
Conversational Blogs also incorporate other bloggers into their posts and/or pages. They’re not only excellent networkers, but also good cultivators of friendly “blog neighborhoods” (bloggerhoods? Hmm, I like that…) within the bigger sphere. Inviting guest bloggers and contributors, dual-posting, and reblogging are all tools that they use to help solidify and grow their audiences. By incorporating these tools and techniques into their pages, they’re not only promoting themselves, they’re also practicing good “PR” . By doing so, they increase the likelihood of future interaction with their fan base.
This type of approach doesn’t require a particular format or genre. Conversational blogs incorporate a wide variety of content. News, politics, random humor, medicine – whatever — the possibilities are endless. However, the goal is always the same — to pose or imply questions that elicit responses with the intention of opening a dialogue.
Cultivating a Fan Base
This may come as a surprise to some, but there are a lot of folks out there that want to engage with you. The challenge is to attract them and build a relationship from there.
When someone takes the time to read through one of your posts, don’t just thank them for the visit, seize the opportunity and speak. There are some interesting characters out there (like me) that are frothing to spar, share a story, or provide a laugh. Why pass on an opportunity that you’ve tried so hard to cultivate? By going into social-phoebe mode, you’re only setting yourself back and creating more work.
A post a day is difficult to do – especially when nobody’s reading.
When you’re hopping around and looking for a conversation, you’ll find that some will oblige, and others will decline. It’s worth a shot either way. After all, growing a following is based not only on consistently producing interesting content, it’s also about being likable. Charming is the word I prefer.
People are smart enough to pick up on sincerity, despite the fact that many operate through a persona. They also know whether you appreciate them or not, and it’s up to you to convey that.
More Free Tips
- Shtick ‘em Up – Most bloggers have a shtick. If you’re one of them, ask yourself if it’s a concept that will limit your writing, long-term. Personally, I consider this question daily. I may be limiting myself in the long-run. Don’t place limitations on your blog. It’s hard enough as it is. Variety is the spice of life, or something like that…
- Good Writing vs. Good Blogging – Being an excellent writer is one thing. Being an excellent blogger is something different all together. Consider this article. Where do you fall within the spectrum? Have your efforts been fruitful? Again, ask yourself if what you write about is something that an audience would want to engage in.
- Brevity is Key – There’s nothing that deters me as a reader more than an extremely lengthy post. I think I speak for most when I say this, but I don’t want to read a three thousand word submission. Ever. I hate books, and three thousand words is getting close to a book. Succinct and effective is the key. Get to the point, make it a good one.
- Quality, Not Quantity – If you’re in a hurry to post something daily, you might want to consider not only how it affects the quality of your content, but also how your audience is reacting to the frequency of your posts. With so many blogs out there, and with each of us following our fair share of them, it’s likely that most followers aren’t reading your stuff on a daily basis — unless it’s top-shelf, every day. It takes a lot of time to be a “follower”. Being mindful of that, it’s safe to assume that most people are selective about what they read. Also remember, it takes time to produce something high-quality, even if it’s only a thousand words. Be selective. Otherwise, you might not only burn yourself out, you’ll also burn your audience out too.
Hopefully you’ll find this article useful. If you’re like myself, you’re always looking for ways to improve your stuff. Interacting with an audience can be just as fulfilling as the writing part. So, considering all this begs the question:
Are you the Curator of an Art Blog or the Mediator of a Conversational Blog?
Let’s get this party started…
- The Art of Writing Blog Comments (zemanta.com)
- Zen and the Art of Blogging (clownonfire.wordpress.com)
- Art of Writing Persuasive Blog Entries for Greater ROI (mokshis.com)