Archive for the ‘Fake News’ Category

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The Fancy Plans Guide to the World’s Greatest Restaurants

June 15, 2010

In our ongoing attempt to be all things to all people (like an ambidextrous hermaphrodite who moonlights as a notary public), we are thrilled beyond single-syllable words to present to you the latest in an apparently never-ending series of series: The Guide to the World’s Greatest Restaurants.

With this quick-start guide safely read and stowed away in the part of your memory that used to hold pertinent information, it won’t matter whether you’re a true “foodie” or just someone who ends up ordering “vanilla” when faced with the rigorous menu at Baskin-Robbins. Soon you’ll be able to force your way into conversations at cocktail parties and bore complete strangers with endless details, factoids and homemade felt infographics.

Under Ferran Adria's watchful eye, the chefs prepare the lunchtime "Pizza Buffett."

El Bulli (Roses, Catalonia, Spain)
While potential diners may land at any major airport in Spain, the final approach to Roses must be made by hang glider or hot air balloon so as not to spook Chef Ferran Adria’s homegrown livestock and produce.

Once inside this small town, those with reservations are escorted (by armed guards) via a serpentine path to El Bulli itself. The hoods are to remain on at all times in order to preserve El Bulli’s secret location. The armed escort serves two purposes: to keep wayward tourists on the right path and to fend off jealous locals who are always kicked to the bottom of the reservation list.

Once inside El Bulli, the atmosphere relaxes as diners enjoy some of the finest food in the world. This reverie is only interrupted by some gentle gun barrel prods and the occasional warning shot as the guards remind patrons of the 90-minute time limit and that tipping should exceed 20%.

Kids under 10 eat free!

Ramsay spots something he doesn't like in a random urine test.

Gordon Ramsay at the London (New York)
Diners at this two-Michelin-star restaurant are invited to mercilessly criticize both the food and the staff, thus allowing Chef Ramsay and his omnipresent camera crew to correct these minor issues through a combination of f-bombs and verbal abuse.

If your complaint is petty enough, you may be included in an upcoming episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Shouty Thing. Those new to the Ramsay experience should use the following list of sample complaints to “brush up” on their sense of entitlement:

  • “Rare” steak edging towards “Medium Rare” (or vice versa)
  • Signature dish only “mildly” transcendent
  • Presentation could use more “dots” and “swirlies”
  • Several misspellings on the shooting release form
  • Entrée not salty enough
  • Waiter failed to mention his unsold script
  • Needs more “hell’
  • Dish failed to utilize all available forks
  • Dressing down of staff seemed forced
  • I don’t know where your “bartender” got his or her degree in mixology, but… (trail off derisively)

Fish Fry Thursday Night – $8!

Iron Chef Chen expertly dices the Velveeta.

Kitchen Stadium (Japan)
Chairman Kaga’s Kitchen Stadium does not take reservations, so it is recommended you show up at least 8 hours prior to your possible “dining experience.” Keep in mind that only 3-6 individuals will be chosen as judges and allowed to eat, while the rest will be relegated to the position of “jealously famished onlooker.”

However, being a judge is such an amazing experience that your weeks or months of going hungry will pale in comparison. As you are entertained by Kaga’s off-color tales of sexual conquest and pepper biting, two world-class chefs (or Bobby Flay) will be running their collective hindquarters off in a hectic, sweaty attempt to curry favor with the judges, often with some form of curry.

Once the dishes are prepared, you’ll be given the opportunity to praise or pan each entry with a selection of non sequiturs, malapropisms and one-liners that refuse to cross cultures.

[Note: Be sure to visit the Japanese Kitchen Stadium as the American version has about as much charm and dignity as your local Denny’s, albeit one that traffics in sea bass sashimi and squid ink ice cream.]

当社のブランドをチェックアウト、新しいストロベリー-キウィ-ライムスムージー!

A splendid shot of one of the French Laundry's signature dishes, "Rabid Broccoli."

The French Laundry (Yountville, California)
A misnomer in more ways than one, The French Laundry is Thomas Keller’s bold attempt to turn the world on its stomach through his fearless and endless reinvention of the wheel, gastronomically-speaking. One never knows what to expect when dining at The French Laundry, as the multi-course meals will either come across as a subtle seduction of your palate or a punch right in your uneducated mouth, depending on Keller’s level of playful antagonism. Once thing is for sure: he will not make your whites whiter. (Also: no ticket, no laundry.)

Highly recommended by top chefs worldwide (but not any actual Top Chefs), and if you can’t trust someone who only cooks in front of a camera crew when not signing books or fielding questions at press junkets, who can you trust?

Add Curly Fries to any meal – 99c!

-CLT

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The History of Media: Visual Arts Edition Vol. 3

June 8, 2010
[After what seems like forever, but has only actually been a month, The History of Media is back with the conclusion of yet another cliffhanger (the dreaded ellipsis) and will most likely end in yet another ellipsis. If you’re just joining us, be sure and check out Volumes One and Two, which had blazed a bloody, but dignified, trail up to this point.]

The VCR's patented "dust collection" technology allowed it to look outdated several years before its time.

Post-Ellipsis
The movie industry, flush with success, strutted away from the battle that never was, having fended off its new drinking buddy, television. Up to its collective ears in record-breaking movie receipts, the film industry (yet again) kicked back on its gold-plated laurels and lazily watched the money roll in.

The cinema was enjoying a new Golden Age, ushered in by the advent of the multiplex, the still-viable drive-in industry and some of the finest movie making ever, in the form of Airport, Airport ’75, Airport ’77 and Airport ’79: New Moon.

But as was foretold by the harrowing ellipsis at the end of the last volume, a new enemy would rise (mostly from the East). This new invention would kill the film industry harder that it had ever been killed before.

The first commercial VCR came bundled with six technicians, each assigned a button.

The VCR
Japanese electronics company JVC kicked Old Man Movie right in the throat with their VHS (Video Home System) player that promised a new era of TV and movie-dependent independence. Now people could watch television and movies in the comfort of their own home, on their own schedules.

No more standing in line at the box office or endless waiting for their favorite programs to hit syndication. The public was now in command of its mostly pre-recorded destiny, leading to skyrocketing VCR sales and not much change at all in box office receipts.

Quite obviously, home taping was once again killing an industry.

An apoplectic Jack Valenti (representing the MPAA) stormed a listless Congress, demanding that they get off their overstuffed asses and do something, goddammit. During his Oscar-worthy performance, Valenti compared the theoretical damage done by home taping to a combination of the Holocaust, My Lai Massacre and that time when he got beat up in grade school.

The television industry fought back as well, claiming that the public had no right to watch their favorite shows and movies, whenever and wherever the hell they wanted to. “What of our precious and highly annoying advertising?” they whined. “They’ll be able to skip past it, thus rendering our efforts useless. Not to mention blockbuster lineups like ‘Must See Thursday,’ which will now become ‘Can See Whenever the Hell We Want.'”

"While you were out, the VCR secretly replaced your memories with tangled masses of worthless magnetic tape."

The Positive Negatives of the VCR Invasion
However the film and TV industries greatly overestimated the public’s willingness and ability to program their VCRs, meaning that most viewing was still prerecorded movies or “live” TV. In fact, the general inscrutability of the VCR usually meant that it was regarded as a minor household diety whose mood swings and impenetrable manual were tolerated in exchange for nearly “on-demand” viewing.

Much like any diety, the VCR would periodically demand a sacrifice, devouring random tapes like “Child’s First Birthday” (priceless) or a New Release rental from Blockbuster (considerably more expensive).

Not only that but the VCR’s entropic delivery system caused videotapes to degrade steadily in a short period of time, soon reducing the act of watching an “old favorite” to a tedious bout of dicking around with tracking in a futile attempt to make the movie look like something other than scrambled Cinemax porn featuring dialogue recorded underwater.

Steve got directions to the adult bookstore, only to find he was already there...

“Boon:” Not Really a Dirty Word
Not every industry felt threatened, however. The new videotape proved to be a boon for the porn industry which was thrilled to have another delivery system. Porn theater staffers were thrilled to see their semen cleanup time drop by over 50%. Porn aficionados were thrilled to be able to “privatize” their perversions, without fear of being accosted by women’s right groups, soft news journalists or the Sarasota, FL Sheriff’s Department.

In other news, the trench coat manufacturers fought this turn of events with “Home Masturbation is Killing the Coat Industry” pickets. This movement never coalesced, mainly due to the fact that few people were willing to wear t-shirts or hoist signs with the word “masturbation” prominently featured.

Horrors! Who will gouge me for ancient "New Releases" and late fees now?

As the years went on and prices dropped, the movie industry began to embrace this “threat” as a powerful ally in its constant struggle to make even more money. They were delighted to discover that the public was more than willing to purchase something they had most likely already paid to watch in a theater. They were made positively giddy with the realization that the public would buy the same movie twice, provided one version was slapped with a “Special Edition” label and contained a cursory 5-minute “Making Of” featurette cobbled together from second unit footage and “found sound” recordings.

Movie rental businesses were thrilled as well, what with suddenly having a reason to exist and the opportunity to charge $3.99/night for a tapes that had been on the New Release wall for nearly half a decade.

Coming up next:
A veritable rogue’s gallery of industry killers, each more diabolical than the last.

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Fancy Plans… Guide to North American Trees

May 28, 2010
[In the interest of buying myself some time, I’m dragging an old post out of the archives and into the harsh glare of nearly a year’s worth of hindsight. This one dates back to 06/25/09 and features the short, punchy stylings of a blogger in his prime. You’ll notice I run a lot longer now…]

In the interest of bettering our fellow bloggers, we provide this handy guide to the trees of North America. While this can generally be a tedious and forgettable subject, we hope that, when all is read and done, you’ll walk away with at least one more fact to add to your collection of useless knowledge. Prepare to be taught at!

The over-dramatic Weeping Willow prepares to hurl itself into the river, quoting "Hamlet" all the while...

The over-dramatic Weeping Willow prepares to hurl itself into the river, quoting "Hamlet" all the while...

Weeping Willow
Easily the most “emo” of all North American trees, the weeping willow spends its lifetime sullenly hunched over, bitterly complaining about anything and everything.* It can often be found sulking morosely in the darker corners of your yard.

  • *Wind – Fine. I’m waving. Crawl out of my ass. Jesus.
  • Calm – A breeze would be nice.
  • Rain – This is how I feel inside. All the time.
  • Not Raining – Nobody understands me. Not even the weather.
  • Snow – Why can’t we live somewhere warmer?
  • Heat – This fucking figures.

Natural Enemies: Sunny, temperate days; the laughter of children

Given local wind patterns, your neighbors may be surprised by a few maples of their own, long after you've skipped town...

Depending on wind patterns, your neighbors may be surprised by a few maples of their own, long after you've skipped town...

Maple
Widely acknowledged as Canada’s only export, the maple is known for its appearance on national flags and its ruthlessly efficient seed distribution system, which is regarded by many top scientists as a “miracle.”

DaVinci’s early model for a flying machine (known today as the “autogyro”) was based on the corkscrewing flight pattern of the maple seed. The U.S. military took this to its logical conclusion in Vietnam, using their autogyros to scatter “leaflets” over the irritated population, who grumbled and told their kids to get outside and rake the yard. (“Watch out for the punji pits and anti-personnel mines. I don’t want to have to clean up two messes today.”)

Natural enemies: Rakes; currency exchange rates

Yeah. I've been working out. I also own a Big & Tall franchise...

Yeah. I've been working out. I also own a Big & Tall franchise...

Oak
A hulking metaphor of a tree, the oak tree is prized for its bold statement that even the smallest of us can grow up to do great things, like win the heavyweight championship of the world, or take out a neighbor’s water lines.

While it tends to do better in wide open areas, it can usually be found in groupings of smaller trees, rubbing its towering new look in the faces of its former classmates, who teased it mercilessly during its formative years.

Natural enemies: Squirrels; small claims court

The rarely seen, but easily activated, aspen G-spot...

The rarely seen, but easily activated, aspen G-spot...

Aspen
The most sensitive of all North American trees, the aspen is known for it “quaking” and “shivering” at the slightest breeze, while gusts in the 30-40 mph range will cause it to break down in full-blown tears. Recent scientific studies have theorized that the tree may actually be the most easily aroused of all plants, its quaking due to an incredibly easily achieved orgasm.

Either way, aspen owners should keep their distance, as it becomes emotionally attached at the slightest provocation, leading to late night surprise visits and drunk-dialing.

Natural enemies: Woodpeckers; frat boys

A promotional still from "Biker Boyz," featuring the semi-rare R-type redwood in the background...

A promotional still from "Biker Boyz," featuring the semi-rare R-type redwood in the background...

California Redwood
Although native to California, the redwood has begun to creep up the coastline into Oregon and Washington, prompting locals to bitch endlessly about these intruders. These diatribes, usually delivered from atop a bicycle or light-rail car, are usually disregarded by tourists and redwoods alike.

The looming threat of California’s bankruptcy should only increase the redwood exodus, providing the Pacific Northwest with novelty tree “tunnels” and yet another goddamn reason for tourists to visit. There is some speculation (as yet unproven) that the trees are only looking for cheaper real estate/heroin.

Natural enemies: Oregonians; tainted needles

Most Pleasant View Obstruction - Bed & Breakfast Monthly, July 2002

Most Pleasant View Obstruction - Bed & Breakfast Monthly, July 2002

Cedar
The Swiss Army knife of trees, the cedar has been used to create everything from moderately priced furniture to bedding for pet rodents. Due to its versatility and distinctive smell, the noble cedar has excelled in many areas during the last several years (listed below).

  • Intramural volleyball team captain
  • District co-champion, debate team
  • Co-signer on Aaron Nussbaum’s auto loan
  • President of the Sierra Club (1984, 1996)
  • Personal assistant to Blythe Danner, Phillip Michael Thomas
  • Toothpick of the year (1997)
  • U.S. Goodwill Ambassador to Luxembourg
  • Recipient – Don Mills Clean Living Award (2009)
  • Best Smile – Paloma County High School (Junior Year)

Natural Enemies: Cheerleader cliques; asthmatics

Close-up view of the many small parts of the common pine, which is very easily disassembled...

Close-up view of the many small parts of the common pine, which is very easily disassembled...

Pine
Perhaps best known for its involvement in the George Brett pine tar scandal (as well as its role as an “enabler” in several lesser incidents), the pine has cleaned up its reputation to become a well-known Christmas icon, on par with Santa Claus and his son, Jesus Christ.

Also well-known to homeowners and other Christmas celebrants as “nature’s litterbug,” the pine cannot help but shed needles and cones every-fucking-where constantly. Years of domestication have failed to housebreak the tree, as its shedding reaches a peak when kept indoors. “Evergreen,” my ass.

Natural enemies: Umpires; Jehovah’s Witnesses

"... at which point your grandmother, on your mother's side, fornicated with an angel..."

"... at which point your grandmother, on your mother's side, fornicated with an angel..."

Family
Ranging in size from a full-blown leviathan (Utah) to barely more than a misshapen stump with a few rare branches (Arkansas, West Virginia), this decidedly North American institution is prized for its collection of interminable slideshows and long, boring stories.

While it continues to grow all year round, it reaches its peak during the summer reunion months.

Natural enemies: Attractive cousins; Planned Parenthood

-CLT

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I Survived! – True Stories of Human Survival Vol. 3

May 21, 2010

Last spotted in the wild on May 6th, but now enjoying a full recovery, it’s… I Survived! Vol. 3. Be sure and check out Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 if you haven’t already. They’re worth every minute of your time and contained brutal portraits of severely lost hipsters and extreme sportsmen. 

Case/IH issues a recall after the disastrous addition of a new "Invert" gear.

Ronald Hofer
On an early spring morning, Ronald Hofer plows his acreage in preparation for planting. As he negotiates a wide turn, a sudden tense change upsets the tractor, severed his arm and pinned both legs below the cab. 

The initial pain had subsided, which allowed Hofer to take stock of his situation. As he gazed at his pinned legs, he sensed that the outcome had already been decided and there was nothing to do but wait and see where this led. Hofer dialled back his already limited movement to “imperceptible” and conserved his energy. 

Ronald gazes intently at the cab and his pinned legs, filling with the sense that the outcome has suddenly shifted into “cloudy,” and that he should act quickly before the moment passes. He fishes in his overturned cab for his makeshift saw, which he hopes to use as a makeshift saw. Ronald knows that if he is going to have any shot at surviving this, the legs will have to go. 

“I knew that if I was going to have any shot at surviving this, the legs would have to go,” Hofer said. “Who knew how long the present tense would last? I just couldn’t take those chances.” 

As Hofer struggled against the odds, his surprisingly dense bones and the constantly shifting time, he was spotted by a passing cropduster and its third-person perspective. The pilot began a slow bank, having spotted what he thought was a crippled or mutated calf. 

“I heard the plane and began waving wildly with my one good arm, while bleeding profusely from the other,” said/says Hofer. 

Within minutes, Hofer was being flown to the nearest hospital where a crack team of surgeons was standing by. 

Hofer has retired from farming and now lives in Florida where he spends most of his waking hours staring at the clock suspiciously. 

Officer Lochman cites the motorist for being "unresponsive to police harassment."

Kingston Miles
While watching a Food Network cooking show and simultaneously preparing himself a light Ty Cobb Salad*, Miles becomes momentarily distracted by Giada’s plunging neckline and severs his right index finger. 

Horrified by the sudden spurt of blood across his former “Fruit/Veggies Only” cutting board, Miles’ innate analness deserts him, leading to a series of profoundly bad decisions. Faced with a myriad of options in a city full of modern conveniences, Miles chooses “none of the above” and slips into full panic mode. 

Rushing to his Boxster, leaving behind his keys, wallet and freshly-cut finger, Miles finds himself locked out of his own vehicle. He swiftly makes a bloody return to the kitchen, grabbing his keys. After a quick switchover, he starts the car and attempts to call up directions to the nearest ER on his GPS. 

Finding himself short one (1) “GPS Finger,” Miles unwisely decides (for the first time in his life) to “wing it,” and heads violently off in the wrong direction, ignoring his increasingly plaintive GPS. 

Miles momentarily regains his bearings while bleeding profusely at an overlong stoplight. Attempting to correct his course, Miles makes an illegal u-turn, which attracts the attention of a lightly-dozing patrolman, who is suddenly forced to slam on his brakes to avoid the arcing vehicle. 

After a brief pursuit, Miles is finally pulled over. He tells the police officer that he has severed a finger and needs to get to the hospital. The officer asks if he would like a ride, which Miles responds to by lapsing into unconsciousness. 

Realizing he would need assistance to move Miles’ unconscious body, the patrolman (Officer Lochman) decides to retire to the local coffee shop and contemplate his next move. Upon returning to the vehicle, Lochman is surprised to find it empty. A quick search of the scene reveals that Miles has indeed vacated the vehicle, a fact confirmed by the discovery of his passed-out body in a nearby ditch. 

Officer Lochman revives Kingston Miles and cites him for “leaving the scene of an accident,” “driving without a license” and “wasting law enforcement time.” Lochman also notes that Miles seems to be “irrational, severely disoriented and bleeding profusely.” He deposits Miles at the nearest ER for a quick psych eval. 

Unfortunately, Miles remains untreated, thanks to his lack of photo ID, valid insurance and general coherence. Unable to contact his wife, he languishes for several long (and expensive) hours in the ER, his pain only occasionally interrupted by various ER staffers who berate him for tying up their resources with what is obviously a “pre-existing” wound. 

Miles is finally treated (and reunited with his wife) after a Missing Persons report falls into the hands of Officer Lochman, who states that he did see somebody matching that description “stumbling around in a nearby ditch.” The local ER also claims a match, stating that they turfed the “malcontent” to the closest VD clinic so the “faker” could learn “a whole lot about being honest.” 

*Ty Cobb Salad
1 Head Lettuce, sliced violently
1 Bunch Watercress, hurled into bowl
6 Slices Bacon, beaten to bits
2 Avocados, pitted and scarred
1 Tomato, stabbed and seeded
2 Hard-Boiled Eggs, use whites only. Beat yolk senseless and toss into nearest alley.
2 Tbsp. Chives, chopped and blocked
1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar (consume wine and allow bitterness to seep in over the years)
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard (hold in mouth briefly before spitting into nearest available eye)
2/3 Olive Oil (virginity not essential)
1/2 Cup Roquefort, grated across sharpened cleats
 

Mix all ingredients in glass bowl. Stir harshly. Rest briefly before throwing bowl through nearest window. Serves 1 broken home. 

-CLT

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The History of Media – Visual Arts Edition Vol. 2

May 14, 2010
[Those of you following along will remember the cliffhanger ending of Volume 1, in which it was revealed that “something” would come along and destroy the movie industry with its tiny screen and tinny sound. In this followup, we reveal the true killer of the film industry, which is also one of the many pretenders to the throne. Enjoy.]

 

Early television prototypes often failed to include the only element that would differentiate them from a "really huge-ass radio."

A Disaster Called Television
Little did Roger Philco and Francois Magnavox know when they assembled the first “magic picture box” that it would change American society as we knew it, mostly for the worst. 

There was no indication during its early broadcasts of test patterns, puppet shows and white men in blackface that the daily life of Americans would soon revolve around it. Instead of gathering around the wireless to watch Dad get drunk and curse the Yankees, the whole family would gather around the tiny screen to watch Elvis from the waist up or catch breaking footage from the moon landing set. 

The movie industry understood how serious this new threat could be and stepped hastily over the still-cooling corpse of live theater to denounce the new “tele-vision,” which would surely destroy their precious industry. They lamented this turn of events, cursing every new box office record and crying into their stacks of $1000 bills. 

Representatives of the “dying” industry called on Congress to do “something” about the “talking picture-mabob.” How can we get people to sit in front of our 42-foot screens, enjoy our Technicolor and Sensurround when they have 3 inches of black and white power at home, all coming to them in deafening mono? 

Congress was too busy watching the National League Championship to be bothered by an outdated industry and their rhetorical questions, no matter how many bribes and high-dollar hookers they waved around. Another blow was struck when forward-thinking Dwight Eisenhower announced his bold plan for America: a television in every house, a car in every garage and an epidemic of childhood obesity. 

Still television's longest-running night time drama.

The movie industry was premature in its panic. Americans soon proved they had the leisure time for both activities, which could easily be squeezed in between backyard barbecues and conceiving the eventual bankrupters of Social Security. 

At this point, the average male enjoyed a 25-hour work week, divided between harassing the typing pool, pounding martinis and hitting the golf course. The remaining time they spent watering the lawn, washing the car, pounding martinis and pounding the wife (mostly in a sexual fashion, but often in a physical fashion). 

TV grew and grew, becoming the focal point of American family life. Television producers turned the mirror on the public, reflecting life as they knew it in the form of sitcoms, playing up spousal abuse (I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners) and sexless marriages (every other sitcom). They also went after more respected institutions with uncanny accuracy. (See The Andy Griffith Show and its devastating take on inept law enforcement and artistic whistling or Bewitched and its brilliant satire of the advertising world, long before Mad Men made it cool to be casually sexist again.) 

As its influence grew, television turned its unblinking eye on other “hot button” topics such as the Korean War (M*A*S*H*), teen hoodlums (Happy Days) and greed (every game show/reality show). TV devoured everything in its path over the next 50 years, before going all ouroboros and devouring itself, shitting out show after show containing no actors, no script and starring everyday people like Balloon Boy’s dad. 

As the airwaves were conquered by Joe Gloryhound and his occasionally-swapped wife, the film industry breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that TV’s “tapped-outness” would allow them to continue to collect billions of dollars a year cranking out sequel after sequel. Directors such as Michael Bay were allowed to continue trafficking in explosions and recycled punchlines. All was well in the word, until… 

-CLT 

Coming up next:
Post-ellipsis!

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I Survived!: True Stories of Human Survival Vol. 2

May 6, 2010

Welcome back! It’s been a couple of  (long) weeks but here it is at last: the next volume in what is hoped to be a series for the ages.

Brace yourself for the unkempt horror that is: I Survived! V.2

Also recommended:
I Survived! Vol. 1

Above is the last known photo of the field recording equipment still alive.

Jason Brune
While capturing some field recordings for his upcoming concept album A Gaian Distress Call of Distress, Jason lost his footing on an incline when the rain-weakened ground gave way below him, sending him tumbling 120 feet to the gravel road below.

Severely wounded and unable to move, Brune briefly wondered as to the condition of the recording equipment, which he had borrowed (without permission) from a friend (who was currently out of town). His answer came less than second later when the reel-to-reel joined him on the gravel, smashing itself (and most of Brune’s arm) into hundreds of pieces.

Brune attempted to retrieve his cell phone from his pocket, but the severity of the pain prevented him from doing anything more than microscopically shifting his weight and vomiting, somewhat less microscopically.

Realizing that he would die if he didn’t receive medical attention quickly, Jason began to pray. The relative painlessness of the silent prayer was soon disrupted. An unlikely answer arrived in the form of a speeding Lexus, which ran over both of his exposed legs before screeching to a halt.

Alerted by the unexpected speed bump, Mike O’Connor (and his wife) sprang into action. (Beth waited in the car as instructed.) Said O’Connor: “At first glance it seemed pretty serious. But after some closer inspection, we only found some light scuffs on the rocker panel.”

The O’Connors brought Greil to the emergency room, putting him in the care of some of the finest self-medicators in northern California.

O’Connor: “I’m sure the trunk wasn’t the comfiest, what with our roll of chicken wire and some lovely loose agate from our earlier rock hunting in there, but I’ve got a genuine leather interior.”

Adds Betty: “We would have sent him something during his recovery, but Hallmark doesn’t carry a ‘Hope You Recover from Your Horrific Injuries and Agate Cuts’ card, and I won’t buy off-brand.”

Jason has yet to speak negatively about this experience, something doctors attribute to his “indomitable spirit” and his “struggles with re-learning the English language.”

This artist's depiction of Longwell's ill-fated jump fails on every conceivable level.

Jake Longwell
Longwell, a self-styled “extreme” sportsman, found himself in very different sort of “extreme” situation one fateful August afternoon, when his “routine” 30,000-foot skydive became anything but routine.

Says Jake: “When I saw all the quotation marks, I should have known something was wrong.”

Something was indeed “wrong” wrong.

At 5,000 feet, Jake’s parachute fails to open. He deploys his backup at 1,500 feet but it becomes tangled in the main chute. Jake heads toward the ground at nearly 80 mph, his descent only slightly slowed by his tangled chutes and his screams of “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”

Longwell’s body slams into the ground at a very “extreme” speed of 85 miles per hour, instantly pulverizing most of his “extremities.” Fearing that it will be several hours before his baked pilot even realizes that he’s missing, Jake consults his mental map and determines that he will have to crawl nearly 12 agonizing miles to reach the nearest town.

His progress is slow at first, as Longwell uses his chin to pull himself forward and his sole unbroken toe to help push. Sixteen hours later, Longwell suffers a setback when his soul patch blows out, dropping his usable chin surface by nearly one-third.

Running dangerously low on MTN Dew, Longwell regroups and gets his bearings, doing some quick mental arithmetic with his mental abacus. After mentally sliding the beads this way and that, Jake angrily hurls the mental abacus across the brain room and mindreaches for his mental digital calculator.

He is not happy with the answer. (5318008.) Jake determines that his rate of travel is around 18 inches per minute. He attempts to pick up the pace.

He presses on, using the 1.5 degree downslope to his advantage and attempts to make up for lost time by keeping his lapses into unconsciousness to less than 30 minutes per “spell.”

Around the 30-hour mark, Longwell gets another break as he find some relatively smooth pavement on which to drag himself along. No longer held up by uneven terrain and underbrush, he begins to pick up speed, occasionally troubled by irate ground squirrels and local teens, who pelt him with taunts, beer bottles and inane, indecipherable chattering.

At this time of this writing, Jake has still not reached the nearest town.

-CLT

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I Survived! – True Stories of Human Survival

April 21, 2010

Welcome to what is sure to be another short-lived series, which will then be sent to the archives to play with the others orphans and occasional one-shots.

Welcome to I Survived!, a new series which presents the horrifyingly true stories of individuals pushed to their limits, usually as a result of their overactive lifestyles or lack of good judgement. Enjoy!

Robert dresses sensibly for the cool weather by donning an extra beard.

Robert Carroll
Having wandered way from the tour group while attempting to photograph a rare moth or something, Robert soon found himself miles away from the nearest paved surface/reliable cell phone signal.

As night fell, Robert was pursued through the underbrush by a roving pack of rutting elk, who had mistaken his awkward gait and brightly-colored shirt for a display of sexual availability.

The hours stretched into days and Robert began to lose hope of being rescued and resigned himself to being an elk “boy toy” for the rest of his existence. However, while cresting a ridge during the fourth day of his ordeal, Robert was spotted by a park ranger, who promptly cited him for leaving the designated trail. His fine was $470.

Micah foreshadows his near-tragedy with a recklessly upbeat hand signal.

Micah Wassermann
While surfing off the coast of Australia, Micah became separated from his surfboard while attempting to track down the “perfect wave.” As his board was pulled away from him by the receding tide, Micah cut his losses (and his Achilles’ tendon) and swam for shore.

His hopes for a swift return to shore were soon dashed (along with a majority of his 216 bones) when a vicious riptide hurled him against a rock formation a few hundred feet from shore.

Dazed, bruised and enduring images of a tanned and well-rested Robert Palmer, Micah made another attempt, moving at an excruciating pace of 30 feet per hour. Pushed to the limits of his endurance, Micah began to suffer vivid hallucinations, including one where he narrowly escaped being hung only to awake just as he was hung.

Disheartened and nearly immobile, Micah began to surrender to the urge to sleep. Just when all hope seemed to be lost, he was spotted by passing fishermen who greeted him with taunting shouts of “Get a horse!” The taunting continued all the way through his rescue and admittance to the local hospital.

Although he has resumed his surfing hobby, Micah still cannot bring himself to listen to Robert Palmer.

Six Flags Over Quantico: Where Dreams Come to Die and Become Horrible Walking Nightmares

Kate Hastings
While visiting the local amusement park, Kate fell 45 feet from a malfunctioning Zipper into the nearby ball pit. Sustaining compound fractures in both legs, Kate found herself sinking into the quicksand-like balls. Grasping for the nearest handhold, she was able to pull herself to the entrance using Isaac (age 9) and Chelsea (age 7).

Exiting the ball pit, Kate was unable to locate anyone over the age of 10 to assist her in her crawl to the nearest aid station. In fact, her general state of disrepair and corresponding trail of blood caused a panic, setting off a chain reaction that saw Kate buried under an avalanche of shoes, followed by the massive shoe rack itself.

Completely abandoned (much like the children around her) Kate waited for help to arrive, occasionally lapsing into unconsciousness. Her savior came in an unlikely form. She awoke to find four carnies gamely lifting the shoe rack off her compressed spine in order to better get a glimpse up her skirt.

Using an assortment of hand gestures and grunts, Kate was able to exchange a quick peek at “the goods” for a drag to the aid station. They agreed and soon Kate was being ignored by the sullen teen staffing the First Aid tent. A quick peek at “the goods” later and Kate was off to the emergency room, covered in Spongebob bandaids.

Kate refers to the experience as “the worst of her adult life,” but adds that she is “suing the living fuck out of Midway Entertainment, LLC.”

-CLT

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Leaked! – TSA Internal Memo

February 3, 2010

Making the skies safer, one nap at a time...

To all TSA (Travel Security Administration) personnel:

As America’s last line of defense in the fight against domestic terrorism, we have instituted the following guidelines and procedures to help our frontline personnel stop potential terrorists, preferably before they board the plane. (Once they are on the plane, it’s all in Allah’s hands. Or God’s. Or the Dutch.)

Be aware! At any time, someone could set us up the bomb!

Profiling
To this point, our “if it looks foreign, detain it” policy has served us well. However, some recent minor (but potentially calamitous) glitches have presented us with a chance for improvement. To this end we have devised the following list of “red flags*” to be on the lookout for:

*May also be “orange” or “yellow” depending on current threat level as determined by the NSA’s random number generator. Fun fact: number generator can also be used for office keno games!

Clothing and Accessories

  • Unseasonably warm clothing/loose-fitting clothing – Can hide bomb components.
  • T-shirts with drug references – Implicit support of terrorism/troublemaking punks.
  • Abnormally large purses – Use your judgment. Some women carry these year-round as part of a generally nomadic existence.
  • I “Plane” NY shirts – Just seems wrong in a way we can’t put our finger on/troublemaking punks.
  • Fanny packs, man purses – Anything that can be done to discourage use of these items would seem to be a good idea.
  • Open-toed shoes – Considered “unsafe” in most workplaces, doubly so in a workspace where everyone is forced to breathe the same recycled air. Also tends to indicated “freeminded” hippie types, who have been nothing but trouble since the Nixon administration.
  • Diaper bags – Often filled with deadly fluids, deadly nail clippers/safety scissors, deadly powdered formula and deadly interminable stacks of baby photos.

 

"TSA officials often complete their useless pre-flight screenings by uselessly praying for their passengers' safety."

Mandatory Strip Searches

  • People of a darker complexion travelling with visas
  • People of a darker complexion not named Jose
  • People of a darker complexion named Jose
  • Women rated higher than 7.5 according to hotornot.com
  • Troublemaking, sarcastic bloggers

Suspicious Activities

  • Loitering
  • Twittering
  • Talking loudly into Bluetooth headsets
  • Sexting
  • Bomb or weapon assembling
  • Blogging (especially “live-blogging”)
  • Periphery-circling
  • Post-checkpoint shoe adjusting
  • Gathering of 5 or more people without the proper permit
  • Fieldtripping
  • Raving
  • Masturbating
  • Speed walking
  • Complaint/lawsuit filing
  • Drug dealing
  • General bitching

Look kids! Bomb ingredients! And all of these can be found in your parents' carry-on bags!

Confiscatables
(Note: please post this list inconspicuously and be sure to inform travellers that the forbidden item list is subject to change at anytime, especially if they insist on being indignant or uncooperative. Use the following phrase to defuse tense situations: “You’re about five seconds from travelling to Cleveland in the nude, buster. [Use “bustette” if speaking to a female.]

Remember: Irrational fear is your best weapon. [Note: Feel free to use your actual issued weapon if need be.])

  • Nail clippers
  • Saline solution
  • Homemade snacks
  • Moonshine
  • Explosives
  • Lighters/matches/two sticks/flint/magnifying glasses
  • Laser pointers
  • Snuggies
  • “That smartass mouth of yours”
  • Shoelaces/belts/zippers
  • Off-brand sodas
  • Lifesaving medicine
  • Battery-powered toothbrushes (manual toothbrushes are still allowed)
  • Non-fluff reading material
  • Valid photo IDs
  • Keepsakes
  • Rosary beads
  • Anal beads
  • Wallet-borne prophylactics
  • Manual toothbrushes
  • Opened copies of Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Artificial limbs
  • 50,000+ frequent flyer miles
  • Black-market kidneys
  • Your dignity

In-Flight Rule Changes
As you know, we are constantly striving for a safer travel experience. To that end, we have made the following changes to our patented “too much, too late” policy of overreaction and obtuseness.

  • Passengers will now line up single file in alphabetical order (last name first) and be led on-board by the on-duty air marshal, whose weapon must remain drawn for the duration of the flight. (Remember to check that the safety is safely in the “off” position for speedier overreaction time.)
  • For the first and last hours of the flight passengers are to remain in a supine, spread-eagled position with fingers interlaced behind their heads. No conversation or eye contact will be allowed.
  • No conversation while the aircraft is in motion.
  • Passengers must ask permission to use the restroom. Tipping your restroom attendant is mandatory.
  • In the likely event of an airborne terrorist situation, passengers are encouraged to “take matters into their own hands” as 1.) it has a proven track record and 2.) your air marshal will most likely be going mano-a-mano with the restroom lock or contemplating a mid-air career change.

Let’s all hope that these changes will lead us into a new era of regulated inefficiency and borderline brutality.

Remember, only YOU* can prevent domestic terrorism!

*”YOU” meaning “us” as a bureaucratic entity with far-reaching power and minimal oversight.

-CLT

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Volvo Courts Controversy with New Ad

January 27, 2010

volvo-ad

[Apologies for the lack of new content or interaction. Should be back in the proverbial saddle soon. Until then, enjoy this one from way, way back. The 2nd post ever here at Fancy Plans, which is mainly an Inspiral Carpets joke wrapped in a very pale Onion skin… Originally published Jan. 8, 2009.]

Volvo is placing an edgy series of ads in top magazines around the world to tout their legendary safety record. Ad team spokesman Graham Lambert says he realizes the ads may be controversial, but that, much like with the 2-4 year age group, any attention is good attention:

“If we’re looking to stand out as a car company that has cornered one facet of the market, the copy has got to be striking. Faced with crumbling economies and a worldwide slump in spending, Volvo needs to remind people that their vehicles are still the market leader in safety.”

Ad copy reads:

“If your life and the lives of your loved ones are truly our greatest riches, then placing your family into the new Volvo is the equivalent of stashing your actual riches in the rectal cavity of a rabid pit bull. And if an offset headon collision is the equivalent of attempted theft, you can be sure that other party involved will be significantly damaged. Either way, you’ll be able to metaphorically walk away and say, “Yeah, you should see the other guy.”

Volvo is no stranger to controversy, having weathered earlier attacks stemming from leaked information relating to animal testing. The leaked documents alleged that crash tests vehicles were being stuffed with rabbits before being launched head on into walls, other vehicles and over cliffs.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Fancy Plans Guide to American Cars

January 12, 2010

With the recession hitting Americans in the pocketbook (and, occasionally, the groin), you need to arm yourself with as much information as possible before wandering into the nearest car dealership. Take advantage of this brief guide to familiarize yourself with some of the more popular vehicles available today, including some available yesterday.

Requires 18,000 "C" Batteries (not included)

Chevy Volt
The stillborn lovechild of GM’s on-again, off-again, frequently government-mandated love affair with electric vehicles, the near-mythical Chevy Volt boasts a 40-mph top speed and 40 miles between plug-ins.

While the American public has yet to embrace a slow-moving car that can’t go anywhere, GM (and our government) have their fingers crossed that they are only a feature-length slide show away from being converted.

Pros: Doesn’t run on pure evil fossil fuels.
Cons: Can be commandeered by any 10-year old with an RC controller.

The official Jonas Brothers' tour vehicle: guarantees virginity for life.

Pontiac Aztek
Sporting a design rejected by Hot Wheels manufacturer Mattel as “too ridiculous,” the Aztek’s odd angles and ugly-ass plastic accents appeal to the “classic gamer” type, who get all misty-eyed and nostalgic when presented with low-polygon count screenshots like this:

Featuring graphics you can cut yourself on!

Pros: Vehicle is its own anti-theft device.
Cons: Also appeals to Crocs aficionados.

Cute, impractical and surprisingly expensive. Then there's the mini-Escalade.

Cadillac Escalade
Vehicle of choice for multi-platinum rap stars and welfare recipients alike. (Note: these terms are not mutually exclusive.) The Escalade appeals to the inner showboating thug in all of us, meaning it is very popular with young, white males.

While not going through gas like Garfield through lasagna (gangbusters!), the Escalade also emits low-frequency bass mating calls that, when coupled with flashing lights and shiny spinners, often attract members of the opposite sex with low self-esteem and even lower standards.

Pros: Also available in bulletproof.
Cons: Gives police an unneccessary “head start” when racial profiling.

This Hummer shows off its patented "Fuck You" automatic parking assist.

Hummer
A symbol of American military prowess and conspicuous consumption, the Humvee is possibly the most patriotic vehicle you can buy. Although now owned by the Chinese, the new owners say they plan no major changes to the Hummer.

Unfortunately, its new heritage may adversely affect vehicle enjoyment according to J.D. Power and Associate’s latest study.

“…[n)ow when you clip a meandering mall-walker with the front bumper while jostling for a prime parking space, you may no longer feel the vicarious thrill of being knee-deep in the shit surge and running over IED-waving insurgents. This type of normally enjoyable event may instead find you empathizing with your average Tiananmen Square tank commander, as you are faced down by a solitary shopper.”

Pros: Still 1st in the “Vehicle Name with Oral Sex Connotations” division, slightly ahead of the Porsche Boxster and the Chevrolet Cocksucker LE.
Cons: Goes from 0-60 mph in 7.5 gallons.

Also available in Chartreuse, Boa and Cheetah.

1976 Cadillac Eldorado
Measuring in at slightly over 112 ft. long and made entirely out of Americans, the “instant classic” Eldorado is the vehicle of choice for septuagenarians and pimps alike. Whether meandering slowly to the nearest breakfast buffet or rounding up new “interns” at the Greyhound Bus depot, the 1977 Cadillac Eldorado defines luxury and style. (To see how the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines luxury and style, click here and here.)

Pros: 74 combined feet of front and rear crumple zones.
Cons: 35 mph top speed; blinker default setting – “Always On”

-CLT