I Should Have Gone To Burger King


Oh, no. No. She noticed me, didn’t she? She saw.

But it’s so nice to eat in a restaurant now and then. It’s warmer than a fast food place, the furniture is cozier, there’s something more generous in it being trusted you will pay when you’re done than putting your money up front. It’s so much less likely there’ll be the guy rambling about Iraq and the Federal Reserve to the baffled university student who can’t find a graceful way out of this and doesn’t want to just bolt for the door.

But she saw me.

I just tapped my glass. It wasn’t on purpose, I was just fiddling around because the hand wasn’t needed for the book and it has to do something and it’s either fiddle with the cutlery or touch the glass. But the glass was almost empty, just soda-stained ice and the straw left, and now … yes, she’s come. What if she thinks I’m beckoning her over to demand a refill?

She dips her head and smiles and I just know she’s thinking I think she’s there to jump to my whims. Diet Coke isn’t much of a whim, but it’s the contextually appropriate one. I don’t want to be one of those customers. I want to just fade into the background and someday, eventually, pay my check. I can’t save the situation. “Thank you,” I say, before she opens her mouth. One.

“Would you like a refill?”

“Thank you,” I say, fumbling the first word so it comes out in three syllables. Two. She grins and takes the glass and I’m panic-stricken that she doesn’t remember it’s diet I was drinking. “Er, that’s Diet Coke,” I say as she recedes, marking myself as someone who beckons the waiter over and barks out refinements of my demands. Why oh why did restaurants stop putting slices of lemon in diet soda? It saves so much agony in making sure the waiters remember who the freaks are who care about the difference. “Thank you,” I pitch after that, whether she hears it or not. Three.

I shouldn’t have said anything. She surely remembers. There’s just me at the table, there’s no complicated ordering going on. I wouldn’t dream of it. I didn’t change soda mid-meal, unless now she thinks I did because I specified and now what must she think of me? At this point she’s got to have figured my only saving grace being that I didn’t demand things be sent back to the kitchen, and is working up such a sarcastic blog post about me that’ll go up on the Internet somewhere I won’t even see. Good heavens. Why don’t I flee? No, that would be worse, clearly worse.

I see her again. She’s got the soda. Maybe it’s diet. Maybe not. “Thank you,” I say, as she gets near the table, and she nods. Four. Does she mean the nod? Is she just putting up with me? Does she suspect how this is all a horrible mistake? Is she aware how much less tense I’d be if she just hadn’t noticed me? How much I wouldn’t have felt under-served? How I could’ve paid and been on my way to have something embarrassing happen at the video store instead? I can’t explain any of it, that’d just take up her time and it’s not like she can un-pour the soda.

“Thank you,” I say again, as she walks off to patrons who she hasn’t got every reason to hate. Five. I said “thank you” five times for a soda I had no reason to care about getting until it was too fraught with emotion to not get. I have to do something with it. I take a sip, and then a longer one. If she looked back at my table then she knows the soda was used for its intended purpose. The crisis is passed. I can wait a decent time and then hope she brings the check.

“Oh, you are thirsty,” she says, taking me by surprise. “Would you like another?” Something has stolen ten minutes and two-thirds of the soda, and my hands are resting on it again.

“No, thank you,” I say, and realize I forgot to say the “no” part out loud.

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Maybe Guys Just Grimace Themselves Clean?


I don’t go in for most stereotypically guy behaviors, because they’re nearly all terrible, based on finding a thing and doing so much of it that someone is made to weep. Pretty much the only guy behaviors I’ll hew to are bringing all the bags of groceries in from the car in a single trip, and feeling like I should spend more time in auto parts stores. I can just look up what kind of windshield wiper blades my car takes one more time.

But I did get a pack of Dial For Men, because we kind of needed soap sometime in the none too distant future, and it’s kind of delightful how they went and took a product that in principle anybody might use (“soap”) and tried to target it more towards my immediate gender. The key elements, as best I can tell:

  1. It’s got “For Men” imprinted in the bar of soap, so as to scare off any women-types with fancy ideas of washing their hands.
  2. It’s got little hand-grippy inset bars embedded on the side so as to look more like some kind of silly gadget people stare at in the kinds of action/science-fiction movies where you kind of hope you don’t recognize any of the actors because you’d feel bad for them having to appear in this kind of movie.
  3. It’s grey, so it looks that little bit more like you dropped it in the muddy snow outside.
  4. Instead of vaguely smelling like flowers or strawberries or cream, they’ve made it smell just generally less pleasant, to match the important guy trait of wanting to smell not quite pleasant.

Oh, yes, the other bit thing they did was give upon selling it, because it was on clearance for $1.58 for three bars. Apparently, Dial-type men don’t use soap, and goodness knows if they’re even into water. They just let the auto parts store smear them with some kind of wax and call that clean. And it’s not a very nice-smelling wax either.

Towards A More Perfect Bag


I noticed, on the edge of the plastic bag from Meijer’s, this warning:

Patent No. 8,067,072 And Other Patents Pending

Now I’m enchanted. I mean, I understand how you might have one patent for a plastic bag, what with it being a totally non-obvious idea of having a sheet of plastic folded up again that holds stuff and can be held at the same time, but, what about the patents pending? What other mysteries of advanced technology and imaginative design have gone into this thing I got to hold a canister of canola oil because we forgot it the first time through and I ran back in? I’m kind of hoping they’re Wi-Fi enabled plastic bags, because I like the thought of recycling centers just turning into vast natural repositories of accumulated Wi-Fi signal until they reach the point that the styrofoam packing we weren’t supposed to put in the recycling bin and that’s become an unwanted pile of junk over there can send out its own e-mails about how excited they are regarding their own patent applications.

Koko the Clown: Cartoon Factory


Today I’d like to call attention to the Koko the Clown cartoon Cartoon Factory, an installment in the Max and Dave Fleischer cartoon series that starts with a surprising and unsettling bit of electrocution, and progresses from there to getting Koko a gadget which draws its own cartoons. This brings us to the never-not-unsettling scenario of drawing and erasing cartoon characters within a cartoon world, but, I guess happily, things go on to get a lot weirder and much more self-referential, in a short that’s again remarkable for inspiring, when you’re not amused by the cartoon itself, thoughts of wondering how they could do visual stunts like these.

The version at archive.org has a soundtrack put on, I believe in order to make it more suitable for 1950’s television, but the addition of music doesn’t hurt it any and the attempt to put dialogue in might be an extra comic beat of its own. The one I have embedded from YouTube (if it lasts) has a different soundtrack, a more ethereal one which I admit not liking as much, which isn’t to say I dislike it.

Never Let Them See You Sweat


You sometimes see claims that humans are the only animals that sweat. At least, I sometimes see that claimed. Maybe I’m the problem and I need to move in different intellectual circles. It doesn’t seem like that interesting a claim, but now it’s got me bothered because I don’t even know whether other animals want to sweat. Going on about it like it’s some great accomplishment when there’s not, say, an upswell of ground squirrels looking enviously at my ability to usefully employ spray-on antiperspirant looks a little sad.

I asked our pet rabbit about this, but he complained again about the cold again and chewed on my sock.

Statistics Saturday: Things I Couldn’t Get To Work In Boggle


As your Saturday or Sunday or whatever reference guide, here are some things I’ve found not to work in a game of Boggle, that puzzle game to find the words in a randomly generated matrix of letters:

  • Rolls. (Letter ‘R’ wasn’t actually there.)
  • Queue. (Dispute about whether a ‘Q’ on the board automatically included a ‘u’ with it.)
  • Cat. (Didn’t see it.)
  • Flinch. (Shied away from it. Admitted irony of the situation.)
  • Aququrqu. (Was just needless sarcasm after that Queue dispute above.)
  • Obelus. (Nobody believes me that’s even a thing.)
  • “What do you mean that’s not in the Scrabble dictionary?” (They meant what the words obviously imply.)
  • Dogma. (Letter ‘G’ was actually a ‘Q’.)
  • “Let’s play cribbage instead.” (Fantastically bad move.)
  • Hemed. (I couldn’t believe that was a word.)
  • Sighing and walking away, shaking my head sadly that things should have come to this. (Insufficiently cool. I should have pretended I saw a squirrel doing a cute thing and never come back.)

Mathematics Comics and Robots With Knives


I know this is sudden, but I had a bunch of other mathematics-themed comics over on the mathematics blog, where you can see again about how cartoonists keep finding something funny, almost, about an infinity of monkeys for some reason. Go figure.


Flash Gordon easily defeats a KnifeBot.

Meanwhile, in 1959, for all those of you who were curious how Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon was making out against the StabBot, I’m happy to report that Flash swiftly defeated the Knifeketeer’s robot minion, and did so with style and grace, by which I mean he passed up the clearly-marked target of the robot’s groin.

I have no important updates on how Mary Worth is doing with her casserole, although Iris and Tommy do continue to look terrified.

Do alien armies really spend all their time in close-up knife-brawls with robots? We could make a fortune selling these people laser pistols.

What You Need To Know To Understand February 21


Today is Friday, February 21, unless you are reading this on the wrong day. Go back and re-wind your calendar if this has happened. It is the 52nd day of the year, which is why most people don’t think it worth gathering in monstrously huge crowds in Times Square to ring the day in, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a pretty good day if it’s your birthday or if you’re celebrating the birth of John Rawls or something.

This date is observed as Washington’s Birthday by people who never reset their computer’s time zone from that visit to New Zealand and who haven’t noticed that they’re running a day ahead of their friends because they don’t vary their daily ritual nearly enough.

The Moon is now six days past full. It should be sniffed and passed to a trusted friend to “smell this and tell me if it’s funny” before being drunk. Funny in this case means peculiar as only the minor planets smell funny ha-ha. The moon should be spotted around dawn with Saturn to its left, and Mars and Spica to the right, but do not point. Jupiter may be seen after sunset, but do call ahead as it must finish its chores before it is allowed out. Capella will be passing overhead, which should not be a matter of concern, as it rarely spits and you can’t stop it anyway. Arcturus will be rising in the sky for what it insists is the last time eve as you keep taking it for granted; pay no attention. It does this every year at about this time, and it almost always comes back, since we started keeping the folder of Arcturian understudies in a prominent location.

People born on this day include singer Mary Chapin Carpenter, astronauts Mark Kelly and Scott Kelly, and the Bavarian politician Franz Xaver Josef von Unertl, although not all of them on the same day. Persons not born on this day include cartoonist Cathy Guisewite, actor Lucille Ball, city namesake Jim Thorpe, and 19th century superclown Dan Rice. Such is the balance of all things.

The day was celebrated as Feralia in ancient Rome, in order to celebrate the Manes, which marked the end of Parentalia, which doesn’t seem to be getting us anywhere and is the sort of thing the ancient Romans were all busy about when they weren’t occupied with destroying Carthage. The festivities included arranging wreaths, sprinklings of grain and salt, and scattering bread soaked in wine and violets, although if you mixed up the orders of things it wouldn’t seem out of place. You could sprinkle bread soaked in salt and wreaths or arrange some violets and grain and not seem too out of place, which should be valuable if you find yourself in ancient Rome on the time of Feralia Parentalia Manes, which is a pretty catchy name all told.

February 21st is Language Movement Day in Bangladesh, which is why your friends in Dhaka and Chittagong have called to ask if you’ll help Bengali move its fold-out couch up three flights of stairs. Be tactful in making excuses. On learning how it connects to Bangladesh’s national identity and independence from Pakistan we feel a little bad even making that joke, and it isn’t much of a joke. It’s more kind of a “huh” followed by shrugging.

On this date in 1972 the International Atomic Energy Agency Verified that Canada was making peaceful use of nuclear power in Ontario, but we can’t help noticing that it didn’t say a word about what they’re up to in New Brunswick. Meanwhile in 1881 Winnipeg’s telephone system was sold to Bell Telephone, if you were worried about that.

On this date in 1992 the Internet ran out of IPv3 addresses, which were never in use but which were kept around just in case they could be useful sometime. The last block of addresses was used to prop the vegetable crisper up in the refrigerator so that it didn’t slip out of the tracks quite so easily. It did anyway. Several IPv3 addresses are kept as curios, but the bulk were harvested for their valuable horns, which were ground up to make a folk remedy for slow DSL connections.

Unintentional Laughs


This isn’t going to be a particularly sophisticated little installment. What sets it off is that I was reading the story comics. I didn’t think much of the story strips when I was a kid; they were just this inky-black column on the left side of the Star-Ledger‘s comics page where there were never any jokes and nothing seemed to happen. There’s still nothing happening, albeit at a much slower pace than back then, but I’ve come to understand the charms of their storytelling structures.


Mary Worth uses a casserole to squeeze her way into Iris's apartment.

That’s not to say I won’t giggle where it’s really not meant as a result of the strip not doing what it wants. For the first, here’s Wednesday’s Mary Worth, by Karen Moy and Joe Giella, which is the usual setup in which Mary is using a tiny casserole to shove her way into someone else’s life. It’s just the looks on Mary’s and then Iris’s faces that makes me laugh. The two of them have plastered these wide-eyed stares and are looking any any direction except at the person they’re talking to. And then you notice in the second panel either Mary’s falling over backwards or else she’s thrusting her hips at Iris, and either way, well.


Flash Gordon is introduced to a knife-wielding (welding?) robot.

The other is from back in the day when they knew how to introduce and run through a story in a reasonable time. From April 1959 it’s Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon, and in this story Flash has been impressed into an alien army’s suicide squadron and is being put up against a training robot which … well, perhaps there’s a time when I would have taken “this knife-fighting robot — it plays for keeps!” in utter seriousness, but that time was before Futurama introduced us to robot criminal Roberto.

I laughed so at the reveal of the knife-fighting robot that my love called downstairs to ask if I was all right. I swear.

(Again I apologize for the comics being small on the page. If you click on them you should see a wider version, and appreciate the strips in more of their glory.)

Cool Comparisons


I told our pet rabbit I’d try doing something about the cold, and I did, what with making many snarky comments about it online. I didn’t have any better ideas. But there has been progress: yesterday and today it got above freezing, enough that some mysterious force is going around and making the icicles all melt so our house looks less like it’s trapped inside some snow-monster’s maw, and just this morning I saw some bizarre municipal truck with this kind of curved metal wedge running back and forth on our street and shoving snow and ice out of the path of the road. No idea what that’s supposed to be.

Meanwhile I’ve found historical data showing that it really has been harsh, but far from the worst on record. The winter of 2007-08, it turns out, saw an accumulated snowfall of nearly seventy inches, and that after the month of February was cancelled due to terrible road conditions keeping it out of the mid-Michigan area. In 1975-76, snowfall totals were high enough that the National Weather Service ran out of numbers and started measuring in terms of letters and, by the end of March, triangles and little cartoon clouds. And the worst mid-Michigan winter in history, 1880-81, saw so much snow as a result of a second winter actually sneaking in during January, in the middle of the first winter, and tossing its pile of snow around and mostly down.

Our rabbit says he’s having none of this, thank you.

Mathematics Comics, Over That Way


Over on my mathematics blog, I’ve got another round of talking about some of the comic strips that mention something mathematical. Mostly, this time, it turns out to be about ways you can calculate what π is, in case you haven’t already got as much of π as you need. It’s all right; I’m figuring on a follow-up shortly all about my discovering I was horribly ignorant regarding one of the things I talked about, and I expect that’ll be popular since people always like to see what other folks don’t know about.

Meanwhile, John Zakour and Scott Roberts wrapped up their mock history of Working Daze, their comic strip, with what looks like it just gets into the actual comic strip again. Sadly, they’re not continuing it into projections of the future history of the strip; the following Sunday’s comic was the strip’s normal blend of pop culture and nerd references, with C-3PO and a Dalek.

Everything I Understand About Cribbage


Everything I Understand About Cribbage After Having A Friend Explaining It Relentlessly And Playing A Couple Games Over This Interactive Text-Based Link:

  1. It’s a card game.
  2. Also there’s pegs.
  3. There’s a running total that doesn’t get above 31, only if it gets to 31 or 30 or 15 it goes back to 0.
  4. You put down cards.
  5. Your opponent puts down cards.
  6. Sometimes you’re finished with the cards and you move pegs.
  7. I don’t understand anything about cribbage.
  8. If you play it right the game eventually ends. (If it doesn’t, go back and start again because you missed something.)
  9. You want cards to make like pairs or flushes or something and I think maybe it counts if you make a straight with some of your opponents’ cards or maybe I don’t understand that?
  10. I’m pretty shaky on backgammon too.
  11. Every hand starts with you giving away two of your cards to the crib, and I guess you’re supposed to someday ever see them again, or maybe not, and maybe they’re just a reminder of the inevitability of loss in this universe and a way to practice being at peace with the eventual decay of all things and the end of all life.
  12. I will never have any idea what bridge is about.

Statistics Saturday: Hi, Dad


After a little chat with my father not related to his appearance in dreams of warning, I’d like to include a couple of numbers for Statistics Saturday or Sunday or Whatever which relate to him and to the humor blog posts from this month.

  • Number Of Entries That My Dad Thinks Were Funny He Guesses Though He Didn’t Understand Them: 4.
  • Number Of Entries That My Dad Didn’t Notice But Is Sure He’d Think Were Great: 6. (Thank you!)
  • Black Knight 2000 Lightning Wheel: 200,000 points.
  • Number Of Entries About The Scary Problem In The Basement I Needed My Dad’s Advice On Fixing: 0.
  • Number Of Things I’ve Done To Fix That Scary Problem In The Basement: 1, if going to the hardware store counts.
  • Number With No Particular Connection To My Dad: 2,038.
  • Number Of Times I Realize I Ought To Call My Dad In-Between Times I Actually Do: Like 8 or something embarrassing like that.
  • Year When My Father Revealed To Me That “I’m Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover” Wasn’t A Little Ditty Bugs Bunny Just Made Up: 1979.
  • Number Of Times Out Of Ten That My Father Refers To It As “Ruptures” Instead Of “Rutgers”: 6.
  • Runs Batted In: 26.

An Embarrassing Clarification


My Dearly Beloved was reading over my little warning from the dream world, about racing whilst under-clad into Target to catch my father before he makes a terrible mistake about buying milk as the music of odd group Sparks plays on the public address system, and it turend out, didn’t understand something, so I felt I had to clarify. Yes, the dream happened as such.

But the important thing is: this wasn’t a humiliation dream, the kind where you go out in public and everyone starts laughing at you, or you realize you’re doing something that brings eternal and unending shame upon you, like misremembering which manufacturer produced the Intellivision game console. (None did. It simply appeared, from space, for a time, and then supplies stopped, which was fine because the unknown entities producing it also gave us the video game Frog Bog for which they should feel embarrassed.) No. Running through Target in nothing but underwear and maybe a T-shirt does not here produce embarrassment; it just produces a sense of frustration that people keep pointing this out to you, as if you weren’t aware, and as if the path to my father wasn’t going to take you through Men’s Wear (or, if you prefer, Women’s Wear) anyway so you could put on something sensible then if the milk situation didn’t require fast action.

I apologize to anyone who has, in the past couple days, found themselves in the parking lot of Target with my father sorting out the salad dressings and other contents of their car’s trunk-kitchen and raced in without enough clothes on and found themselves incorrectly embarrassed when they should be mildly irritated at others.

Our Rabbit’s Cold Demands


“Can I help you?” I said, looking down, at the rabbit who was shoving my shins.

“Yes,” said our pet rabbit, which was enough for him. He gave my ankle a nudge with his adorable little forepaw.

So I put the rest of his morning kibble in the dish, and he looked ready to lumber over and eat it, and said, “What do you need?”

“Seventeen papayas, eight raisins, and three slices of apple,” and then he sneezed, this little buzzing noise that sounds like an old-fashioned roller coaster security bar locking, which is one of his more attractive amusement park-evoking actions, up there with releasing clouds of fur into the air like tiny balloons of sneezing, or selling season passes for next year. “That’s not the important thing.”

So it was going to be one of those talks. “We haven’t got any apples right now, but I can put it on the grocery list for us to forget when we go shopping.”

“Good,” he said, “Now you fix the window.”

There’s eleven windows in the immediate area that we might do something about, and another four that he might have noticed while being taken to the car for one reason or another, mostly to be driven someplace. They’re all in good working order, what with being windows made of glass and continuing to exist like that. “What’s there to fix?”

“The one you broke back when it was hot,” he said, testily. “You made noise and everything and now look what it did.”

That sounded a little more familiar. “The one I pried open back in summer.” He nodded and stumbled toward the food dish, but held back, I suppose so he could scold me. “I just unsealed it, so it can open. It’s not open right now.”

“You made noise and broke the window so it wouldn’t be so hot. And now it’s cold and you have to fix that.”

“How do you even know it’s cold outside? You’ve spent two minutes outside a house or a car in the past three months.”

“And I nearly died!” he said while stomping on my foot. I leaned down to rub his ears, a diversion so obvious he wouldn’t have any of it. “If you’d left me out in that horrible little transit cage and forgot I was there my adorable tail would’ve fallen right off in the cold!”

“We couldn’t possibly forget you. You punch the cage too hard.”

“Because it’s cold and you have to unfix the window so it’s not broken anymore.”

I don’t want to overstate it, but getting that window to open was one of my life’s greatest achievements, household repairs division, far exceeding the time I opened up a desperately-needed hole in the drywall by swinging my elbow backwards without looking, giving me the chance to practice patching holes in the drywall. The window had been painted and swollen shut for decades, and which was sound enough that it could hold an atmosphere against the vacuum of space, or keep water out to a depth of four hundred feet. Getting it opened required hours of hitting the window, some of it with a hammer and chisel, some of it with a hammer and crowbar, and when I succeeded in getting the window to slide open I ran into the street and demanded people bow before me. They ignored me, because it was the middle of summer and about 180 degrees out were climbing into the bags of ice at the convenience store.

“If the window were open, there’d be a breeze. You’d feel the cold air coming in.”

“I know cold when I smell it! The window’s all cold and you come in wearing like forty-squillion things when you come in and you keep complaining it’s cold! Now fix the window so it doesn’t open and make it stop being cold.”

I promised to do something about it, and the noon news was hopeful. The weather guy said that it was going to get above freezing sometime in the next couple days, and maybe into the forties next week. This is crazy talk, of course, because temperatures that warm no longer exist, but the weather guy has clearly been taking a lot of abuse from his co-workers for the last month of frigid temperatures. When the anchor went to give him a high-five he flinched. But I pointed that out to our rabbit, who said, “I’ll believe it when I see it, and if I don’t see it, I’ll thump.”

I know he’s not bluffing.

Comic Strips I Like: Krazy Kat


George Herriman's _Krazy Kat_ for 13 March 1936: Ignatz takes the road.

Since I haven’t done this in a while, let me share one of George Herriman’s Krazy Kat comic strips. This one originally ran on the 13th of March, 1936, and was rerun on ComicsKingdom.com just a couple days ago. This seems to be a bit of a mistake as in the 2014 Theme I’m currently using the strip is squeezed down too compactly, but if you click on the comic it should take you to a page showing the comic much wider. I’ll see what I can do about getting the comic less cramped.

I think this is a particularly nice strip since it’s quite Herriman-esque yet not so cryptic as the strip can get. Indeed, you don’t even need to know anything about the comic to understand it. If you redrew it to modern newspaper comic standards (the art is a little cramped, not to mention inky, for what people are used to reading these days) you could run it today without it seeming particularly dated. It’s also got a subtle bit of fourth-wall breaking as Ignatz takes the road by snipping it out of the newspaper; that kind of gag often tries to command more attention and to have it underplayed is another pleasant bit.

In Our Defense


The Internet problem was just one of the wires had come loose? What the heck kind of problem is that? Of course we didn’t try unplugging and replugging them ourselves. Unplugging the wires is the thing you do because there’s nothing to be done and you’re just going through the motions out of the existential despair of tech support. Why should we even try the plug before making cranky calls to get our service fixed? Who thinks like that?

On the bright side, another technician came around and got to see that our pet rabbit is quite large, and to admire his large-ness, and so our pet rabbit is going to be all proud of himself all day, even though (don’t tell him) he’s not actually that big for his breed. But I always love the moment the technician stops in his tracks and realizes that is a big bunny rabbit.

Out Of The Inkwell: The Tantalizing Fly


For today’s piece I offer the Max and Dave Fleischer cartoon The Tantalizing Fly, a quite short (under four minutes!) bit from 1919 that includes the cartoonists’ typical sort of free-flowing strangeness and wonderfully mutable world, in which both Max Fleischer and his cartoon Koko the Clown can’t get to whatever they meant to do today as there’s a fly which won’t stop bothering them. It’s funny, yes; it’s also impressive to see that it’s done, since so much of it involves interactions between cartoon Koko and a real-looking fly. The cartoon also gets a bit recursive as Koko grabs hold of the pen and starts drawing on his own … well, it’s easier to see than to read about. Do enjoy, I hope.

A Targeted Warning From The Dream World


According to my subconscious apparently this is an important problem, so, let me put the advice out for anyone who finds themselves in this situation:

If you ever find yourself with my father in the parking lot of Target, and we’re working out just which of the bottles of salad dressing in that little cubby-hole we used to use for storing compact discs back before everyone got over compact discs still have any salad dressing to speak of in there, and he goes in to buy new salad dressings, and you go around back to the trunk and discover the milk in his Toyota Something Or Other is not spoiled after all, despite how hot a day it’s been, plus there’s like a third of a bottle of light vinaigrette left and you need to rush in to warn my father about this, then, remember to put on some pants and a shirt. Even if you’re just rushing in through the pharmacy door to get word to him, people are going to pay more attention to your running through Target in your underpants with a carton of unspoiled milk than they are going to notice that the speaker system is playing songs from Sparks’s 1974 album Kimono My House.

I just hope we can all take a valuable lesson from this, and that is, to not put the vinaigrette in that weird cubby-hole underneath the stereo where nobody knows what’s supposed to go in but it accumulates old papers and unneeded receipts anyway, because it’ll spill all over the papers you don’t need.

Percentages of Things Ruined by its Fans


For Statistics Saturday (really Sunday) I’d like to offer a useful little guide regarding things to be fannish of.

Thing Percent Ruined
Monty Python 73
Star Trek 78 or 79, whatever
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic 60
Football 22.5
The United States of America 37.5
Flowers 8
Typography Conventions 50
Firefly 84
Saying It’s “Sinister” Whenever Someone Mentions Left-Handedness 98
Dvorak Keyboards 22
Douglas Adams 45
Silver-Age Comic Books 38