Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chris eats Limburger cheese.

Hi everybody! As we established with the BK Stuffed Steakhouse burger, I will occasionally be sampling some weird and exotic foodstuffs for your sadistic pleasure. Some foods, like the Steakhouse burger, will be a pleasant surprise. Some foods, like today’s entry, will not be. Allow me to introduce you to…

Limburger Cheese!
Don't be fooled!
If you’re not familiar with Limburger, it’s a Belgian cheese, famous for its astoundingly pungent odor. While shopping at Whole Foods over the weekend I came across some Limburger and I just couldn’t help myself. It seemed like a perfect fit for this blog. Limburger has a reputation as a disgusting food and I was in the market for disgusting food! But it can’t be that bad. Right?

Before we take our first sniff, let’s learn a little bit about this diabolical dairy product. The cheese originated in Limburg (go figure) which is now divided between Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands. There are only two locations in America that still produce this smelly delicacy. Most likely, Americans just aren’t wild about cheese that smells like butt. The most popular way to consume Limburger is to spread it over Rye bread and garnish heavily with onions. Are you gagging right now? I know I am! Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say about this stuff:

“In its first month, the cheese is more firm and crumbly, similar to the texture of feta cheese. After about six weeks, the cheese becomes softer along the edges but is still firm on the inside and can be described as salty and chalky. After two months of its life, it is mostly creamy and much smoother. Once it reaches three months, the cheese produces its notorious smell because the bacterium used to ferment Limburger cheese and many other smear-ripened cheeses is Brevibacterium linens, the same one found on human skin that is partially responsible for body odor.”

That started out promising, didn’t it? I like feta cheese! Then things took a left turn around “notorious smell” and I was filled with existential dread by the time we got to “body odor.” One of the primary ingredients in this cheese causes HUMAN BODY ODOR. I didn’t notice the date stamped on my cheese (you’ll understand why shortly) but I would wager that it was aged for 80 years in a Detroit toilet. “You’re exaggerating, Chris! It can’t be that bad.”

The Experience:

What would YOU do for a Klondike Bar?
Holy shit, it’s so bad. Let’s start with the appearance. My particular block of Country Castle Limburger came wrapped in metal foil. It looked like a think Klondike Bar. I love Klondike Bars! Alas, when I peeled back the foil it became abundantly clear that I was not about to eat a Klondike Bar. Merciful God, it smelled bad. I actually ran away. I ran to the other side of the kitchen. I ran like the cheese intended to physically harm me. When I sheepishly returned, I noticed that the cheese didn't even look edible. There were disturbing orange and red discolorations all over the rind. After a little research I learned that the orange gunk was a result of the curing process or something. That’s no excuse! LOOK AT THIS!!!

I have made a terrible mistake.
How can I describe the smell that immediately permeated my entire house after opening the foil? I don’t think there are words in the English language that could do it justice. Do you know that feeling of intense sorrow after the death of a beloved family pet? It’s like that…but a smell. The aroma is a mixture of rotting meat, foot odor, armpit, and poop. I’m not trying to gross you out. It actually smells like that. It’s absolutely revolting. And it is incredibly strong. I brought it to my girlfriend in the living room for a second opinion. She was on the phone but gave the cheese a cursory sniff. Long story short, the couples therapy is going really well and I can cover up most of my bruises with makeup!

Like this...but a smell.

I couldn’t turn back. I had made an unspoken promise to my readers to eat some of that terrible cheese. I couldn’t disappoint my fanbase! Finally, I knew what Justin Bieber must feel every single day. Solidarity, Biebs. We shall overcome! I picked up a knife and cut two slices from the quivering block. I placed one fat slice atop a cracker, imagined Jesus carrying me on a beach, and put the whole thing in my mouth. I chewed and waited to see what would happen.

Well, nothing happened. Not right away, at least. For the first ten seconds I was immensely relieved. It just tasted like cheese on a cracker! But that is the cruel trick of Limburger, friends. As soon as I was lulled into a false sense of security the Limburger hit me like Mike Tyson would hit a prize fighter (or, you know…a woman). It tasted like a burnt diaper. Reader, it was the worst thing I’ve ever eaten and I’ve been to a Long John Silver’s. I resisted the urge to spit it out and swallowed immediately (that’s what she sai...nevermind). Before the offending dairy was halfway down my gullet, I was sealing the remaining cheese in a zip-lock bag and throwing it into the trash outside. I have a strong suspicion that the local trash collectors may swear a vendetta against me.

Final Verdict:

I strongly recommend that you go purchase some Limburger cheese for yourself. I can’t do it justice. It is genuinely the worst food in the world. Bring it to a party, put down a tarp, and see how many of your friends have a weak gag reflex! Hide it under the desk of a co-worker! The possibilities are endless! Alright, Internuts…I’m going to cleanse my palette for a few days. I’ll see you back here on Friday!  Hazzah!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chris learns about George Washington.

Hello again, gang.  In an effort to create some more grist for my industrial blog-mill I’ll be starting a brand new recurring feature today.  Do you ever wonder about the Presidents of the United States?  I mean, really wonder  Armed only with my trusty friend Wikipedia and a 3rd grade education, I will be tackling each of our nation’s Presidents.  Physically tackling them.  To the ground.  For their lunch money.  Today’s President is…

George Washington!

Mary Washington.  A cougar?
What do we know about George Washington?  For starters, we know that he was born in the French Antilles and was made entirely of wood.  But any schoolboy knows that!  Let’s dig deeper into the life of our first President!  George Herbert Walker Washington was born February 22, 1732 in Saint Barthelemy, a small island on the Caribbean Sea.  George’s father, Augustine “The President Maker” Washington was a respected gentleman and the first man in history to play the steel drums.  Augustine’s wife, Mary, was a devoted mother to George and a handsome, handsome woman.  George also had five siblings who didn’t become President so let’s not waste our time on those pieces of crap!

We’ve all heard about young Washington’s fateful encounter with a cherry tree. The story goes that, as a boy, George chopped down his father’s prized tree. When questioned about it, George supposedly said, “I can’t tell a lie, Pa” and confessed his misdeed. What history neglects to tell us is that George’s father proceeded to punch him straight in the mouth, knocking out George’s beautiful, beautiful teeth.  George was then thrown aboard a frigate bound for the colonies to think about what he had done.

The next two decades of George Washington’s life have been swallowed by the gaping maw of history.  Some say that George led a merry band of thieves, stealing from the rich and (inexplicably) giving back to the rich.  Some say that George secluded himself in the mountains of Virginia, practicing Presidential stuff and lifting X-Wing fighters with his mind.  What we do know is that during those lost years George fashioned a set of dentures for himself out of hickory, moose antler, and Indian tears.

Mount Vernon.
Washington emerged from his exile in 1755 when he single-handedly started, fought in, and won the French and Indian War.  At the time, George was a peaceful farmer living in a hollowed-out volcano that would later be called Mount Vernon.  The British and French colonists had simultaneously laid claim to land in what would become Ohio.  Even though no one asked his opinion, Washington famously said, “Let’s start a French and Indian War, bitches!”  The opposing parties looked at each other, shrugged, and the war commenced.  

Wikipedia tells me that the French and Indian War, also known as the Seven Years War, lasted from 1754 to 1758.  The Seven Years War lasted four years.  Why would a war that raged for four years be called the Seven Years War?  Inflation, that’s why!  Anyway, during the war years George was a well-regarded soldier, fighting valiantly on behalf of the British colonies.  After what may-or-may-not have been four years of fighting, Washington remarked, “Enough of this, everybody chillax.”  The muskets fell silent and peace was declared.

During peacetime George met and fell in love with Martha Custis, a widowed slave owner with two children of her own.  Say what you will about George Washington, he knew how to pick ‘em!  George and Martha married and moved to the impenetrable volcano fortress at Mount Vernon.  Washington occupied his time with farming, fox hunting, card playing, and slave owning. 

In the 1770’s, Washington became bored with his life as a fox-hunting-volcano-dwelling-bon vivant and decided to start another war.  Washington rode his faithful horse, Nelson, to Boston where he boarded a British ship and began hurling barrels of tea into the harbor.  This momentous event would come to be known as the “Boston Tea Massacre.”  Witnesses overheard an incensed Washington screaming, “Suck it, England!” and “I’m starting a war again!”  But it was not that easy!  Washington would have to convince the other colonies to take up arms before he could force England to “suck it.”

In 1775, George attended the Second Continental Congress to convince his fellow patriots that a war with England was necessary.  Washington used subtle put-downs and prop comedy to persuade the other colonists.  “Look at Ben Franklin over here,” George cried.  “You don’t need bifocals to see that we must become our own sovereign nation!”  A rim shot followed.  Washington proceeded to “roast” King George III in effigy for 9 hours to the delight of some.

The Friar's Club Roast of George III.
 While the Continental Congress was still chuckling over Washington’s ribald joking, the Revolutionary War began at Lexington and Concord.  Not one to be overshadowed by the outbreak of war, George Washington pounded his desk and implored the others to declare independence from England.  Washington began a slow clap.  He chanted, “We’re not gonna pay a lot for this muffler.  We’re not gonna pay a lot for this muffler.”  Soon all of Independence Hall had joined in.  “WE’RE NOT GONNA PAY A LOT FOR THIS MUFFLER!  WE’RE NOT GONNA PAY A LOT FOR THIS MUFFLER!!!”  Thus, the Declaration of Independence was signed.  Our nation was born!

Now George just needed to win the war.  Washington quickly realized that the Continental Army could never defeat the British in open warfare.  He quickly adopted the Fabian strategy - using small, focused attacks followed by quick retreats - to disorient and demoralize the Redcoats.  After a grueling winter in Valley Forge, Washington fatefully joined forces with Mel Gibson and his ragtag militia.  This decision would prove to be the turning point of the war.  Gibson produced an enormous stockpile of musket balls (each ball created from a melted lead figurine and imbued with Gibson’s seething hatred of women and Jewish people) which completely overwhelmed the occupying British forces.  England was vanquished and American independence had been won.

An American hero.
Although Washington had been the Commander-in-Chief during the war, Gibson was the popular hero after the defeat of England.  Most Americans wanted Gibson to be our fledgling country’s first President.  Washington begrudgingly moved back to Mount Vernon to live out his life in obscurity.  However, Washington’s retirement was to be short lived.  At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Gibson delivered an address so staggeringly chauvinistic and anti-Semitic that it appalled people from the 18th century (and people from the 18th century usually LOVED chauvinism and anti-Semitism).   

America’s love affair with Mel Gibson had ended and Washington returned from Virginia to accept the Presidency.  During his two terms, George made a lasting impact on the institution.  He argued for the humble title “Mr. President” instead of the more formal “Your Excellency” or “The Majestic Lord Washington: Democratic King of America.”  Washington instituted Free Masonry as America’s favorite creepy secret society.  When Benjamin Franklin suggested a turkey for the national bird, Washington famously responded, “That’s a stupid idea, you fat idiot.  Go fly a kite during a lightning storm.”  Franklin took his advice and that’s how the Franklin Stove was born!  Washington also experienced a change of heart regarding slavery.  In 1786 he wrote, "There is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery."  George vowed to wait 77 years before appearing to Abraham Lincoln as a ghost and sharing this epiphany. 

Washington's face has been in many strippers' butts.

Washington retired in 1797 and returned to Mount Vernon.  He lived the rest of his days in peace and relative seclusion (just like Johnny Carson).  In 1799, Washington took ill after tending to his horses in the snow.  He died at the age of 67.  Washington was eulogized by “Light-Horse” Harry Lee who lovingly said, “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”  George Washington’s legacy has been an enduring one.  Do you doubt me?  Look in your pocket, jerk!  George’s face adorns the quarter and the dollar bill.  He is also the namesake of Washington D.C. and Washington State…a fact which has been confusing 4th graders for centuries. 

I hope you’ve found this article informative, dear reader.  I encourage students to use this information on all of your tests, regardless of the subject.  Please take each “fact” with a grain of salt but rest assured that there was some truth mixed in as well.  Like the part about the X-Wing fighters.  Cross my heart.  I’ll see you again soon, Internuts.  Until next time!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Chris is gonna need a bigger boat.

Another work week has come and gone, Internuts.  I hope you made the most of it.  I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.  Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens.  Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance.  And when you get the choice to sit in out or dance…I hope you dance. 

Or you can sit it out.  Either choice is fine, really.  It’s another lazy Friday here at the Internuts Writing Compound in the foothills of Wyoming.  So relax, friends, and enjoy this slight piece of entertainment that I’ve haphazardly thrown together for you. 

In today’s installment of Google Translate Theater, we are visiting the iconic drinking scene from Jaws.  We meet out heroes - Quint the grizzled fisherman, Brody the local sheriff and Hooper the Mr. Holland - while they are out at sea.  Our trio is taking a break from shark hunting to drink brandy and compare scars.  So dim the lights, smell that salt air, and let Google Translate take you to a world of imagination!  Have a great weekend, Internuts!  I’ll see you again on Monday!

A fisherman, a sheriff, and a music teacher.

Do not worry, secretary.  It may not be permanent.  Want to see a permanent problem?  Bababoom!  Hey, cooperation?  Want to feel the constant trouble?  Just put your hand on my hat.  You just feel a little money?  St. Patty’s Day.  Boston.

A knock at the door.  A knock at the door!  This is a Moray Eel.  Bit right through my waistcoat. 

Well, circle, listen now.  I do not know about it, but I was in San Francisco when an arm wrestling contest is over.  Here, you see?  Now I can not expand, you know why?  Getting to the semifinals, to celebrate the death of my third wife, large type Chinese, he pulled on me!  Ha!

Look at this.  This is a bull shark.  I shave when I was in the sample.

I have some problems for you.  This is the Thresher.  You know what, chief?  Head and tail of the Thresher.  Screwp!


This is a shark.

Something to drink?  Drink in the foot?

Drink in the foot!

Okay, so drinks in the foot!  Ha ha!

I got ice cream…right here.  Hold on.  Yes, you see that?

You are in a sweater.

Here is Mary Ellen Moffit.  She broke my heart.  (Laughter)

Which one is that?


Here are your arms…

Ah, well.  This is a tattoo but it was demolished.

Don’t tell me.  Don’t tell me.  “Mother.”  Ha, ha, ha!  Now, tell me!

Mr. Hooper, I am the USS Indianapolis.

You are the Indianapolis?

What happened?

The Japanese submarine was at our side, gave two good strokes.  We returned from Tinian Delady to achieve bomb aboard the island.  Hiroshima bomb.  11 hundred people in the water.  The boat runs 12 minutes.  I do not see the first shark for 30 minutes.  Jungle cat.  You know when you are trying to see sharks, water, or chief?  Please…please refer to the tail.  Well, we do not know.

Our mission bomb, the secret was too well kept.  Ha, ha.  Do you have time for one more surprise?  Very easy, the first secretary general.  The sharks travel.  We created a group so close.  You know…you as the Battle of Waterloo, like other workers in the fight so you can see the calendar.  The idea is to scream and hold it beat, then start to run away and sometimes sharks, and sharks.  Sometimes he would go.  Sometimes it is the shark.  He can be seen directly.  Right eye.  Looks like a doll’s eye, black eyes.  It does not seem alive.  Until he bites him, black eyes, a while ago became white.  Then there is a terrible shock to a lot of noise, the Red Sea must hear.  They came to be used for small parts.  Well, the first traffic light, I have many sharks, maybe thousands.  Many people do not know an average of six hours.  There are missing persons.

I am a manager on Thursday.  I see Johnson, a friend from Cleveland.  Friend of the bosom.  As I woke him to achieve, I thought he was sleeping.  He cut the water, got to the playground…now he seems less than half the size.  Sun noon to five, Hooper, Lockheed saw us.  He whispered, he saw.  Anyway, a young pilot, younger than Mr. Hooper…he had us relegated.  After three hours, came to the big airplane.  We will begin.  How would you know my fear?  I was waiting for their turn.  I am not able to wear a jacket now.  So…many people attended the water, 316 remained.  The rest were people of sharks, to participate in the water.  1945.  In all cases, it was the bomb.


(Singing) Spanish women only say goodbye to you, goodbye.  For I am leaving the Spanish now…

(Singing)  Please tell me my home course.  I’m tired and I could go to sleep.  (All join in singing)  I recently drank a bit and I am drunk now.  My head is in the land or when you move the foam of water, I will go there.  You can always hear this song performed: what is the direction of my home?

[End Scene]

Monday, March 21, 2011

Chris watches Jersey Shore.

Hey there, friends!  In my ongoing quest to seek out terrible, mind-numbing television (as promised) I will be recapping an episode of Jersey Shore.  Is it the most recent episode of Jersey Shore?  I have no idea…but it was On Demand!  I've seen Jersey Shore a few times but I am no expert.  I know that “T-shirt time” is a catch phrase.  I know that the word “guido” is thrown around with reckless abandon.  I know that there is a “Snooki.”  Let’s see if this episode can fill in the missing pieces…

A glimpse into our bright future.


Name: Pauly D
Nickname: “Pauly D”
Quote: High-pitched squealing.
My Impression: Pauly D reminds me of Alan "Yeah Yeah" McClennan from The Sandlot.  LOOK IT UP!

Name: Nicole
Nickname: “Snooki”
Quote: “I’m going to the Jersey Shore, bitch.”
My Impression: Snooki seems like a lovely young woman with a good head on her shoulders.  Mark my words, she is going places!

Name: Mike
Nickname: “The Situation”
Quote: “Alright, we’ve got a situation.”
My Impression: “The Situation” is a 28 year old man who calls himself “The Situation.”

Name: Sammi
Nickname: “Sweetheart”
Quote: “I’m the sweetest bitch you’ll ever meet.”
My Impression: Sammi, you can't be a sweet bitch.  Those concepts are contradictory by their very nature.  Unless, you're intentionally referencing the song “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks, in which case, KUDOS!  You should look into Meredith Brooks’ back catalog.  It is delightful.

Name: Ronnie
Nickname: Ronnie
Quote: Low-pitched grunting.
My Impression: If Arnold Schwarzenegger had sex with a pillowcase full of oranges, the resultant baby would be Ronnie.

Name: Jenni
Nickname: “JWOWW”
Quote: “After I have sex with a guy I will rip their heads off.” [sic]
My Impression: Speaking as a red-blooded man, I think JWOWW is the most attractive girl on the show.  Speaking as an intelligent man, I think she probably has the clap.  Everywhere.

Name: Vinny
Nickname: “Vinny”
Quote: “Go Vinny! Go Vinny!”
My Impression:  Who cares about this guy?

Name: Deena
Nickname: “Deena”
Quote: “You like the boobs?”
My Impression:  I get the feeling that Deena is the girl at the bar with vomit in her hair who angrily asks everyone if she can bum a cigarette.  I bet she also screams "this is my song" whenever any song is played.

T-Shirt Time!!!:

Alright!  Now that we’ve met everyone, let’s climb aboard this runaway train like it‘s a missile the size of the Chrysler Building!  We first meet Italian-American disappointments, Vinny and Pauly, en route to see some family on Staten Island.  Pauly is legitimately surprised to discover that Staten Island is an island.  Meanwhile, back at the house, most of the roommates are leaving to get mani-pedis.  I know how that goes…sometimes you just need a mani-pedi! 

A grown man.
While the roommates are away, Mike (let’s call him Sitch…we’re all friends here) is up to his usual monkeyshines.  Sitch lets a couple dogs into the house to eat pizza, peanut butter and marshmallow fluff.  Nature takes its course and the dogs proceed to pee and poop on everything.  The Sitch understands that he lives in the house, right?  He’s letting dogs shit in his own house.  Oh, I almost forgot…the dogs’ names are Juice Box and Lean Cuisine.  Awesome.

The other roommates return home and immediately notice the Eau du Dogpiss.  One question looms large.  WHO LET THE DOGS OUT?  WHO?  WHO?  WHO?  WHO?  Deena sniffs the dogs (for reasons that are her own) and smells Sitch’s cologne.  How much cologne is required to leave forensic evidence on a dog?  Too much cologne is the answer!  Sitch denies the accusation and the incident is never spoken of again.  Good storytelling, Jersey Shore!

“Cabs are here!”  Vinny and Pauly return from the, self-described, “guido circus” on Staten Island.  I would like to take this opportunity to say that I feel very uncomfortable writing the word “guido.”  With the gang back together it’s time to go to the club! 

The crew arrives at a club that might actually be purgatory.  Sammi and Ronnie apparently have an on-again, off-again relationship and they drunkenly discuss their deep feelings for one another.  If two aliens (both with severe learning disabilities) arrived from a far away galaxy to act out scenes from When Harry Met Sally it would be far more sincere than Sammi and Ronnie’s relationship talk.  Meanwhile, our girl Snooki is getting friendly with a young gentleman at the bar.  Snooki is heard to say, “Whoever I have babies with, he’s gotta be Italian because the last name needs to have a vowel in it and I want my kid’s last name to have a vowel in it and be tan. Obviously.”  Snooki has a much stronger grasp on ethnocentrism than she does on "vowels."  Like I said…charming.

The gang stumbles home from the club.  The editors at MTV want desperately for me to think significant things are happening.  I am suspect.  There is more sound and fury, signifying nothing.  I’m going to skip over about 20 minutes of barren wasteland.  Finally I hear, “Cabs are here!”  Thank God!  WHAT A HORRIBLE SHOW THIS IS!  Our vacuous stereotypes are heading to a new club.  The new club is also terrible.  Sitch meets a friend named Arvin.  Sitch describes him as “a jacked up, guido MacGyver.”  I’m throwing a flag.  This guy looks like Lou Ferrigno.  Apparently, while Sammi and Ronnie were briefly broken up, Sammi started texting Lou Ferrigno.  I hope she doesn’t make him angry.  She won’t like him when he’s angry.  Thus quoth The Situation: “Pure evidence of treachery, I’ve just seen.”  Sitch immediately drops a dime on Sammi and tells all the other roommates.  It’s almost like he realizes that the more drama he can stir up, the more money he’ll receive…

Pauly prepares to pickle The Beast.
SIDEBAR!  Do you know that the cast members of Jersey Shore are paid $30,000 per episode?  PER EPISODE?!?  There are 13 episodes this season.  That means that “Yeah Yeah” from The Sandlot made $390,000 this year for drinking in excess and making poor decisions.  I make 1/10 of that and I go to work everyday at 7 A.M. to drink in excess and make poor decisions!  I’m getting angry again, let’s wrap this up…

Ronnie confronts Sammi like a steroid-laced gorilla.  The word “shady” is bandied about.  Eventually, the whole house is screaming at one another.  I am bored and disgusted in equal measure.  The episode ends with Ronnie SCREAMING at Sammi about her (alleged) dalliance with Lou Ferrigno.  Roll credits.

Final Thoughts:

What’s the opposite of a cliffhanger?  A cliff-letter-goer-of?  A downhill tumbler?  I DON’T GIVE A CARTWHEELING CRAP HOW ANY OF THIS TURNS OUT!!!  I began this recap thinking that it would be a fun little excursion into trash TV.  I emerged; baffled by the fact that it will take me 10 years to equal 3 months worth of drunken sloth from Deena.  Deena with the vomit in her hair…

Alright, walk it off.  It’s going to be OK.  Thanks for hanging in there, brave citizens!  I’ll have more for you to read as the week goes along.  Until next time!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Chris becomes disillusioned with politics.

Hello, friends.  I watched an episode of Jersey Shore last night.  Twice.  In a row.  Sober.  I wanted to do a little write-up for you nice people to get you up to speed on The Situation, Snooki and the tens of thousands of STDs that they’ve contracted.  So I watched the show twice and I got two paragraphs into the review before I was legitimately angry at my situation (pun intended!).  I decided to shelve the Jersey Shore recap for another day and direct my white hot fury at something more deserving.  Which brings me to…


Let’s get one thing straight.  I am not very smart.  I listen to NPR, I read the paper, I watch The Daily Show and that is about the limit of my political knowledge.  I know a lot more about The Empire Strikes Back than about Congress.  Although, I do really like to use words like “filibuster” and “gerrymandering.”  I have no intention of yelling my (mostly uninformed) political views from the soapbox of this here blog.  And I don’t like to get into partisan debates…they all end in yelling.  But, every now and then, the people in power will make a decision so egregiously stupid that it needs to be discussed.

The last few weeks have brought three such decisions.  Recently, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the Health Care bill, cut all Federal funding to National Public Radio, and they are trying to cut teachers’ salaries nationwide.  This is bad, right?  It’s not just me? 

An expensive baby strikes a free baby in the face.
Let’s talk about Health Care, folks.  As many of you know, I am a world famous doctor.  As such, I feel that I can weigh in on this matter with some authority.  Let’s take a look at an example.  In the United States, the average cost to have a baby in a hospital is between $10,000 and $25,000.  Are you chuckling at those comically high prices?  THOSE ARE THE ACTUAL PRICES!  GOOGLE THAT SHIT!  Do you know how much it costs to have a baby in Canada?  ZERO MONEY!  You can deliver a hockey loving baby in Canada for absolutely no cost to you.  The Health Care bill passed last March is not perfect.  It’s not even all that great but it’s a step in the right direction.  It ensures that 95% of all Americans have insurance.  The bill decreases the cost of preventative care which decreases ER visits which saves everybody a lot of money.  Does the health care bill still need a lot of work?  Yes.  Does that mean we should scrap the first logical step forward in decades?  No.

Yesterday, the House also voted to cut off funding for NPR.  Watchdog group “Accuracy in Media” stated: “If NPR wishes to continue their thinly-veiled disparagement of millions of Americans, they can do so without taxpayers having to pay for the insult."  In this writer’s opinion, watchdog group “Accuracy In Media” is full of a bunch of whiny babies.  Feel free to visit if you want to read the delusional ramblings of some serious nut bars.  Does NPR lean a little to the left?  Probably, but it’s impossible to report news without a little bit of bias.  It’s human nature.  I’M BEING BIASED RIGHT NOW!  Walter Cronkite was vehemently Pro Moustache and he didn’t care who knew it.  Does A Prairie Home Companion really represent a threat to our nation?  While I was reading up about NPR I found out that Joan Croc, widow of Ray (the guy that founded McDonald’s), recently donated $200 million to NPR.  I am so pleased with this that I will buy a Filet-O-Fish sandwich and a small fry, post-haste!

Luckily the repeal of the health care bill and the funding cut to NPR were only approved by the House and will almost certainly be voted down by the Senate.  The issues with education, however, are a little more dire.

In recent weeks, the spotlight has been on the proposed cuts to teachers’ salaries in Wisconsin.  This is only the most divisive example of a nationwide trend.  Those in favor of these cuts think that public school teachers are overpaid.  I would like to direct these people to go teach somewhere.  Anywhere.  Have you ever met a 7th grader?  He or she was probably an asshole.  Now imagine 30 of those little jerks in one room.  And you have to teach them math!

Look at this greedy monster.
Here’s a statistic: 46 percent of new teachers quit after less than 5 years.  Does it sound like the salary matches the workload?  Many teachers still have to work a part time job during the summer to make ends meet.  Even more teachers have to pay for classroom supplies out of their own pockets due to budget restrictions.  And did I mention all those 7th graders?  The focus should be on finding the best teachers and paying them more.  In the immortal words of Helen Lovejoy, “Won’t somebody please think of the children?”  Future generations will already need to work until they die and they’ll likely be enslaved by merciless robot overlords.  Now we want them to be dumb, too. 

Thanks for letting me vent, my stalwart reader.  I promise that I won’t be bringing up politics too often around here and I apologize for the digression.  As soon as I’m mentally able I will provide you with all the latest goings-on at the Jersey Shore.  Until then, Internuts, have a lovely weekend.  Excelsior!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chris learns about St. Patrick's Day.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, Internuts!  Whether you’re a full-blooded Irishman or just a high functioning alcoholic, we’re all Irish today!  I can trace my own roots back to the Emerald Isle where my forebear, Seamus McHurdle, invented whiskey before he promptly sank into a bog.  But, did you know that St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just about throwing up in an alley on a weeknight?  It’s true!  Let’s take a few minutes to explore the rich traditions and surprising history of St. Patrick’s Day.  To keep things interesting, take a drink every time you read the word “Patrick”.  Let’s begin!

Saint Patrick (Drink):

Saint Patrick (Artist's Rendering)
To better understand St. Patrick’s (drink) Day, we should spend some time getting to know the man himself.  Assisting me in my research will be Wikipedia, my fuzzy memories from Catholic school, and bald-faced lies.  There are two different views about St. Patrick’s (drink) life: the historic Patrick (drink) and the religious Patrick (drink).  First, let’s discuss the historic Patrick (drink).  He was born around 385 AD, lived for a period of time, and died (possibly on March 17th).  That’s about it.

The religious Patrick (drink) is way more interesting.  A lot of legends popped up after Patrick’s (drink) death.  The most popular is that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland.  Are there any snakes in Ireland today?  No?  Boom…miracle!  Historians will argue that there haven’t been snakes in Ireland since the Ice Age.  Historians are assholes.  Another common belief is that Patrick (drink) taught the Irish people about the Trinity by using a 3 leaf clover.  Although finding a 4 leaf clover is now considered quite lucky it used to cause terror and violent questioning of the tenants of Catholicism.  Eventually word spread that clovers are just plants and should not inform a person’s religious views.  And that, reader, was the end of religious violence in Ireland.


A river of slime.
We all know that the color green is associated with St. Patrick’s (drink) Day but did you know that Patrick’s (drink) favorite color was blue?  IT’S TRUE!  Just imagine blue vomit on the sidewalk or a blue river in Chicago…nonsense!  Also, how do we know St. Patrick’s (drink) favorite color but we don’t know ANYTHING ELSE ABOUT HIM?  You’re better than that, historians!  A common tradition is for revelers to pinch anyone who isn’t wearing green on St. Patrick’s (drink) Day.  Below I have transcribed a typical exchange:

Person 1
You aren’t wearing green.  I’m going to pinch you.

Person 2

Riveting!  Did you know that the shortest Saint Patrick’s (drink) Day parade in the world takes place in Dripsey, Cork, Ireland?  The parade route is 100 yards long and travels between the only two pubs in the tiny village.  Is this sad or adorable?  BOTH! 

Speaking of parades…LET’S SPEAK ABOUT PARADES!!!  St. Patrick’s (drink) Day celebrations have been popping up in the United States since the first recorded parade in 1737.  Ireland didn’t have a St. Patrick’s (drink) Day parade until 1931 (USA! USA! USA!).  The largest parade in America is in New York City.  Each year, 150,000 people march in the parade while 2 million spectators look on.  The third largest parade in America is held in Scranton, PA (The Electric City!) with 150,000 attendees.

Kevin Youkilis, 1B

Several other traditions are carried out on Saint Patrick’s (drink) Day.  Many bodies of water, most notably the Chicago River, are dyed green for the day.  The Boston Red Sox, while still in Spring Training, field a team made up entirely of leprechauns.  McDonald’s offers the Shamrock Shake.  Which brings us to…

The Shamrock Shake:

Noted humanitarian, Grimace.
The Shamrock Shake is, without question, the most contentious milkshake in human history.  Does it taste like mint?  Does it taste like vanilla?  Does it make you impervious to physical pain?  After some exhaustive research, I have discovered that the official ingredients include mint and lime flavorings.  You heard me…LIME!  So when you’re mixing yourself a gin and tonic tonight, make sure to garnish it with a heaping dollop of Shamrock Shake.  You’ll thank me in the morning.

The Shamrock Shake is also responsible for the mental and physical well-being of a lot of sick kids and their families.  Impossible?  Let’s get serious for a moment, folks.  In 1974, the first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia thanks to proceeds from the sale of…wait for it…the Shamrock Shake!  Have I warmed the cockles of your heart?  You bet I have. 

In Summation:

Patrick (drink)!  You thought I forgot, didn’t you?  If you were playing along at home, you just took 18 drinks (not including the introduction).  Please don’t drive a car.  Please don't operate any heavy machinery.  Please don't call your ex and slur an apology about forgetting your anniversary in 2003.  And that goes for all you Internuts!  Drink responsibly and have a great St. Patrick’s Day!  Erin go Bragh!