Archive for the ‘Fake News’ Category

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Fancy Plans Guide to Winter Driving

December 14, 2009

Nothing makes hazardous winter driving easier than snapping away with your camera.

Winter is here. The temperature has dropped and the roads are deadlier than ever (and I’m including Maximum Overdrive). Here’s a quick guide on the do’s and don’ts of winter driving. Remember, being prepared might mean the difference between life and a short period of inconvenience.

So, how can you tell whether roads are safe to travel? Well, there are many resources including local news, Department of Transportation web sites and the traffic chopper. However, these reports may be as accurate as advertised as weather conditions can change rapidly during the course of a winter storm (and only in one direction: from bad to worse).

Use this simple test to determine whether roads can be safely travelled:

Do you have to work today?

  • Yes (see A.)
  • No (see B.)

A. NO. Roads cannot be safely travelled. [Skip to the end of this post.]

B. YES. Roads are safe to travel. [Continue reading.]
(Note: the quickest way to make a road safely navigable is to call in to work. Once you are unable to make it in to work [A] you will automatically fall into category B.)

Here are some key areas to focus on:

Low visibility often results in exciting rounds of "Car Tetris."

Low Visibility
Heavy snow and high winds will often bring visibility to under 100 feet. Here’s what you can do to combat “whiteout.”

1. Be proactive. Make sure others can see you. Turn every vehicle light on. Headlights, fog lights, high beams, hazard lights, etc. If you think it might help, go ahead and fire up the hazards and dome light. The better lit you are, the better your chances of not being hit by Speedy Joe Jackass.

Those of you with aftermarket products may also consider turning on every neon light/LED attached to your Hyundai. [see below]

Of course, the trailer itself remains dangerously underlit...

2. That takes care of people seeing you. But what about you seeing them? We can never safely assume that the other drivers will light themselves responsibly, much less give two shits about anyone but themselves.

So, to get back on point, what can you do to improve your odds of seeing other vehicles? You’ve already got all YOUR lights on so you’re probably seeing the road as well as you ever will. Maybe you could squint a little or try “visualizing” the road ahead. (It works for world peace. Or so said that bumper sticker attached to that bumper you just collided with.)

These, of course, are for your nipples.

Emergency Road Kit
Should you happen to end up in the ditch, freezing river or 12-foot tall snowbank, you’ll want to be prepared in case you have to wait several hours for rescue vehicles. (Well, maybe not the river. We’re talking hypothermia in a matter of minutes once you get wet. In this case, make sure your will is updated and you’re Satisfied-Very Satisfied with your progress in life so far.)

An Emergency Road Kit should contain the following:

  • Flashlight
  • Flares
  • Matches
  • Blanket
  • Extra clothes
  • Food
  • Water
  • Booze*

*optional

(Notes on booze: While it may seem immediately beneficial to have some available alcohol to combat cold and boredom, there are several drawbacks:

1. Alcohol does not actually keep you warm. It only makes you feel warmer. However, with a good buzz, “feeling” warm may be enough. Try to refrain from removing your clothes or wasting precious battery life calling up your exes.

2. When the highway patrol finally rescues you, it is probably better if you don’t reek of booze. Sure, you’ll get a free ride to somewhere warm, but your personal belongings will be scattered to inconvenient locations several miles away from each other. (For example: you – jail, your house – right where you left it, your car – impound lot.)

3. The effect of alcohol on your decision-making skills may result in very ineffective actions, like sticking the flares in the exhaust pipe to see if you can “blast” your way out of the snow, shoving the blanket into the gas tank and lighting it for some “continuous” warmth or exposing yourself to the cold/other drivers. (Not to mention all the drunk-dialling you’ll be doing.)

No matter what the weather is, Jack Nicholson is always on the lookout for speeders.

Drive Slowly
Generally speaking, winter driving means road conditions will vary from “unfavorable” to “wrath of God.” As you travel across snow-packed and icy roads, you will notice there is a fundamental disconnect between where you think you’re steering and where your vehicle is actually heading. This often leads to accident reports containing ridiculous phrases such as “The car seemed to have a mind of its own. Like Herbie. Or Christine.”

This particular strain of black ice will also torch your vehicle, much like a drunken hockey fan.

Black Ice
A common winter death trap is the fiendish act of God known as “black ice.” Black ice is a hardy winter predator which mimics a clean, dry road surface and will attack passing vehicles, sending them into the nearest ditch, guard rail or oncoming vehicles.

Due to its invisibility, warning you to “look out for black ice” is much like asking you to plan your next accidental pregnancy. You won’t realized you’re fucked until after you’ve “hit” it.

-CLT

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Your Vehicle’s Warranty

December 10, 2009

Our faceless technicians will happily jam black lines into your featureless engine for $75-120/hr.

If there’s anything nobody really wants to do, it’s reading the fine print. You’d be amazed and possibly grief-stricken by the amount of responsibility waiving inserted into the average warranty coverage by most major auto companies.

Below lies the “fine print” of the average 5 Year/50,000 Mile vehicle warranty, all blown up into a slightly less fine print for easier consumption.

Thank you for your purchase of this [fine American vehicle of your choice]. Your vehicle comes standard with a 5 Year/50,000 Mile Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty, which covers all parts and labor* on any repairs** needed during the coverage period. Please view the details below for full terms of coverage.

* “Parts” excludes the following:

  • Shop use items
  • Third-party replacement parts
  • Replacement of parts in serviceable condition (“Serviceable” means usable or not totally broken parts that could conceivably last through the end of the warranty period.)
  • Expensive parts (“Expensive” means any parts whose cost is above $75. Additional note: all parts sold through our dealerships are over $75. Yes, that includes belts, hoses and valve stems.)
  • Routine wear-and-tear parts (Including but not limited to filters, belts, batteries, tires, rims, brake pads, transmissions, carburetors, fuel injection systems, etc. Safe rule of thumb: if it’s in motion when you’re driving, it will wear and tear.)
  • After-market products
  • Parts subject to recall
  • Replacements for recalled parts or any part requiring over four (4) hours to install
  • Wiper blades

Labor” excludes:

  • any labor charged at a rate higher than $15/hr.
  • any labor exceeding minimum labor charge (usually 0.5-1.0 hours)
  • any labor performed by non-certified technicians
  • any labor performed by your brother-in-law or uncle (with or without certification)
  • any labor performed by certified technicians if done on a/an a.) weekend, b.) evening or c.) Tuesday

Pending verification of eligibility, labor charges will be held in a “Disputed” status until such labor dispute is settled by appointed UAW official. Settlements will be delivered by a/an a.) threatening late-night phone call, b.) brick through your living room window or c.) slashing of said vehicle’s tires. (Note: Slashed tires are not covered by your warranty. See “Mob Violence and Street Riot Exemptions” for more information.)

Work performed by anthropomorphic funnels is NOT covered by your warranty.

** “Any repairs” does not cover:

  • Routine maintenance***
  • Body work
  • Windshield replacement
  • Any repair performed due to improper driving habits or vehicular abuse (See “Improper Driving/Vehicular Abuse” below.)

*** Uncovered “Routine Maintenance” includes any of the following:

  • Oil change
  • Tire rotation and balance
  • Engine fire
  • Lube job
  • Shock and strut replacement
  • Unexpected removal of catalytic converter
  • Major overhauls
  • Tuneups
  • Transmission problems
  • Catastrophic failure
  • Windshield replacement
  • Burning/burnt engine
  • Lights
  • Leaks
  • Recall-related repairs
  • Offset head-on collisions
  • Rapture

Another "certified" technician prepares to violate your vehicle, its warranty and your trust, roughly in that order.

Improper Driving/Vehicular Abuse” includes the following:

  • Speeding (including “going downhill” and “trying to make the light”)
  • Sharp turns
  • Emergency brake usage during non-emergencies
  • Sex in front or back seat (trunk and hood covered for total combined weight not exceeding 350 lbs.)
  • Leaving vehicle on while “running in for something”
  • More than 12 regular/bright headlight cycles
  • Signalling without turning
  • Generating more tha 150 foot-pounds of torque during acceleration
  • Backing vehicle into parking space
  • “Killing” engine due to improper shifting
  • Waving at oncoming drivers
  • Rolling down window to speak to driver/passengers of other vehicles
  • High-speed pursuits
  • Low-speed pursuits
  • On-foot pursuits
  • Using more than 10 foot-pounds of torque to close door/hood/trunk
  • “Ricing up” said vehicle through the addition of ground effects, spoilers and decals
  • Having vehicle urinated on by Calvin
  • Complaining about gas mileage
  • Failure to respect rules of engagement in Ford-Chevy rivalries

-CLT

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Fancy Plans Guide to Kansas

December 8, 2009

As part of a non-sustainable push to secure government funding, we are temporarily rebranding Fancy Plans as “blogucational” and fully compliant with the No Troll Left Behind Act. As part of our educational lip service, we are pleased to present our well-rounded profile of the great state of Kansas, birthplace of “The Wave.”

(It may also be noted that we have previously provided such educational features as the Fancy Plans Guide to Wisconsin, the Fancy Plans Guide to Minnesota and the Fancy Plans Guide to North American Trees.)

Kansas: home of the first flag entirely created with MS Paint.

Kansas
A dry, dusty state whose most prominent geographic feature is the horizon, Kansas has long been associated with the twin industries of agriculture and ranching. Referred to as “America’s Breadbasket,” Kansas has also been saddled with less-complimentary slogans such as, “America’s Dustbowl,” “America’s Killing Floor” and most recently, “What Happens in Kansas Doesn’t Matter Anywhere Else.”

Kansas has fought (mostly unsuccessfully) its image as a state routinely ravaged by tornadoes and infested with witches. This image has been reinforced by Kansas’ dry and dusty prog rock (especially Dust in the Wind; Arid as Hell) and Elton John’s hit song Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, in which he deserts Kansas for its lack of shiny red shoes and singing midgets.

Should you be unfortunate enough to find yourself unable to fly over the mostly fruitless plains, here are some points of “interest” which should fully earn any sarcastic air quotes you wish to deploy while recounting this visit to annoyed loved ones and co-workers.

What you call "farming," I call "stealing from God."

Topeka Wind Farm
Contrary to popular misconception, the Wind Farm does not actually produce wind but rather reaps the benefits of an energy source produced by someone else. (Much like a “collective” farm or California’s parasitic electricity usage.)

A joyous Chiefs player receives news he has just been traded.

The Kansas City Chiefs
Long gone are the days of regular season competitiveness and playoff appearances. Presently the franchise is attempting to become the New England Patriots farm team through the acquisition of cast-off benchwarmers and assistant coaches. Catch this excercise in futility while you still can as the owners have made attempts to relocate the team to New Haven, CT, where they hope to complete the metaphor as the Connecticut Minutemen.

The Royals run another "Buy One, Get Three Empty Seats" special.

The Kansas City Royals
Speaking of exercises in futility… The Kansas City Royals continue their bold experiment to operate a major league franchise on a minor league budget. This stems from a settlement reached with their last superstar (George Brett) in which they have agreed to retire his number and avoid competitiveness until “ten (10) years after Brett’s death.”

After four sheaves, Art Mitchum found himself pitching a shutout. So to speak.

Wichita Threshing Dome
Although a yearly high point for many Kansas locals, what with its heady combination of agriculture and pointless competition, the Threshing Dome can be very intimidating for the uninitiated. Trying to grasp the nuance of chaff dispersal only becomes more difficult as the competition heats up and bloodthirsty cries of “Two men enter; one man leaves!” fill the dry and dusty air.

Two members of the Dodge City chapter of Improv Everywhere demonstrate the Wild West Reacharound.

Dodge City, Kansas
The ending point of many dry and dusty cattle drives, Dodge City is also famous for playing host to Wyatt Earp’s early experiments with vigilante justice. In addition to slapping a male prostitute, Earp also winged alleged gunman George Hoy and gave a stern talking-to to hitman Clay Allison.

Visitors often note that Tombstone, AZ is a much more exciting destination, if equally dry and dusty. The Dodge City Chamber of Commerce has countered by stating that “although Tombstone bears more historical locations and an incredible performance by Val Kilmer, the O.K. Corral is just that. ‘O.K.’ If you like your entertainment to be merely serviceable, why not stay in Dodge City and visit our old-timey Adequate General Store or grab a bite to eat at the locally renowned Passable Buffet, which has been hailed by Zagat’s as ‘not terrible; you could do worse.'”

-CLT

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In Which CLT Does A Fair Bit of Shameless Self-Promotion

December 4, 2009

As if any of us really had the time or energy to put ourselves through yet another blog…

Here’s another blog:

Blow by Blow

This is a little side project with a somewhat smaller focus (i.e., not everything). I make no promises on how often it will be updated, but I’m guessing somewhat frequently for a while and then tailing off as time, attention span…

-CLT

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The Presidents of Harvard University Vol. 4 – The 20th Century and Beyond

November 14, 2009
Harvard Football

Harvard's football team cherishes its proud recruiting tradition of "taking whoever they can get."

Welcome to the last installment of the Fancy Plans mini-series Presidents of Harvard. As we roll through the 20th century and into the 21st, we continue to wish Harvard the best of luck in all their endeavors, such as cranking out spoiled children with Presidential aspirations and paying lip service to any sport that doesn’t involve a coxswain.

Previous volumes here:
Vol. 1 – The First One Hundred Years
Vol. 2 – The Next Volume
Vol. 3 – The One Before This One

As the turn of the century brought about exciting new changes, Harvard remained steadfast in its refusal to change with the times. Voting women, legal alcohol, smallpox vaccines; whatever it was, the proud Crimson wanted no part of it. The men of Harvard soldiered on, heads and hearts sworn to years past, dying of smallpox left and right.

22. Abbott Lawrence Lowell 1909-1933
As America’s fascination was captured by the “motorcar,” Abbott Lowell took to the halls of Harvard to protest this modern achievement by highlighting the dwindling fortunes of blacksmiths, horseshoe manufacturers and marketers of carriages and buggies. Taking his fight all the way to the halls of Congress, Lowell testified in front of a House Subcommittee with a carefully prepared feltboard presentation that indicated the motorcar’s destructive force on the economy.

He was rebutted by various motorcar manufacturers and their union representatives. Several “rebuttings” occurred, each one more violent than the last. But none was more violent than the last, which hospitalized him for a period of 21 years, a stay that was increased by his frequent bouts with smallpox.

With Lowell out of the picture, the motorcar companies took to the streets in a noisy, smoky black celebration of machinery’s triumph over the common horse. They were joined by representatives from several leading glue factories, early adopters and local musicians Martin Gore, Dave Gahan and Vince Clarke.

Lowell emerged from the hospital into the heart of the Great Depression, which led directly to his depression and several remarks of “What’s so fucking great about it?” He was asked to leave Harvard after three straight weeks of “mellow harshing.”

Affectionately known as “Bud.”

23. James Bryant Conant 1933-1953
Running an elitist school in the middle of the Great Depression was no easy task and J.B. Conant clearly wasn’t up for it. As admissions dwindled and various executives were forced to mortgage their third houses (especially those on St. Charles Place and Kentucky), Conant was frequently asked to come up with some sort of desperation plan to stem the hemorrhaging cash flow.

His first plan, “Passing the Hat,” was met with student riots, often composed of up to five extremely wealthy upperclassmen. His next plan, “Fee For All,” which added surcharges for such student services as “oxygen above the third floor” and “hot water on Tuesdays and Thursdays” was met with more rioting, completely contained in Alfie Moorehead’s dorm room.

By the time his last plan was enacted (1947), the nation has long since pulled out of the Depression and fought a major war. His final effort, titled “Admissions Are Up For Some Reason,” won him the attention of competing schools, who were dealing with dwindling student bodies.

Conant jumped ship to Rutgers for a lucrative two-year contract and spent his final months wildly vacillating on the retirement issue. After several stop-and-start sessions, Conant was finally put out of everyone’s misery by a back alley lobotomy performed by Harvard and Rutgers alumi in a rare display of cross-academic cooperation.

Affectionately known as “Senor Droolcup.”

24. Nathan Marsh Pusey 1953-1971
Already well past his prime (and burdened with an unfortunate surname) by the time he took office, Pusey was unprepared both mentally and physically for the upheaval his country was about to go through.

Other board members would often find themselves cornered at the local country club by an irate and bombed Pusey, who would rant about how “he didn’t get shot in the back by his own platoon in Iwo Jima just to see a bunch of scraggly potheads start rewriting the rule books.”

Pusey spent 19 long years being offended by everything, including (but not limited to) peace marches, bra-burning, the Symbionese Liberation Army, M*A*S*H* (the movie), M*A*S*H* (the TV show), the oddly exciting piano stylings of Jerry Lee Lewis, the oddly exciting marriage of Jerry Lee Lewis to his 13-year-old cousin, “that shirtless and godless Igward Pop,” public displays of affection and the unchecked rise of progressive rock.

Pusey responded to these perceived threats by shuttering his windows, tuning his wireless to the Paul Harvey Show and glaring thru slitted eyes (and shutters) at the “future of America,” most of whom were making love not war right out there on the lawn.

He spent his self-imposed exile penning angry letters to the editor and composing his 1,500-page screed against everything. He retired in 1971 to spend his twilight years as a self-appointed authority on the many wrongs perpetuated by today’s youth.

Affectionately known as “Don ‘Puppy’ Mills.”

25. Derek Bok 1971-1991
Already well past his prime, etc. but without quite as unfortunate a surname as his predecessor, Bok was throughly unprepared for the upheaval ahead of him, and indeed, his country.

Riding out the Vietnam Years as the head of “Draft Dodger U.,” Bok applied his expertise in the business field to found Harvard’s MBA program, which continues to produce overpaid executives to this day.

Having dodged a bullet with the Vietnam situation (along with a majority of his students), Bok made the first of several missteps when he took the position of Goodwill Ambassador to India for Union Carbide. Having survived this unfortunate event, Bok swiftly returned to Harvard’s angry mod-free halls only to be near-fatally wounded during the first inaugural “Jodie Foster Appreciation Day.”

Bok wisely decided to lay low during the rest of his term, often malingering at the local hospital with claims of “hypochondria” and “sucking chest wounds.” He retired in 1991, citing fears of a “coming upheaval in rock and roll, once which I am wholly unprepared to deal with,” adding “No wonder they call it ‘grunge.’ They can’t rightly call it music, can they?”

Affectionately known as “The Angel of Death.”

26. Neil L. Rudenstine 1991-2001
Following in a long line of privileged insiders, Rudenstine took the helm at Harvard during what was no doubt a tumultuous time. Neil made several overtures to his students in an effort to “rap” with them about their fears and doubts. These were rebuffed via the usual protests and riots, most notably the furor over the brief change in Harvard commencement gowns towards a more fashionable plaid.

Rudenstine spent many long hours and great deal of alumni donations attempting to win the hearts and minds of the student body with little to no success. Undeterred, he continued to spend money and ingratiate himself, which earned him the scorn of the student body and their parents.

Forced to rethink his efforts, Rudenstine tackled the problem head-on, utilizing market research and large quantities of booze. Using the “correlation=causation” theory, Rudenstine rationalized that most drunks are happy and a drunken student body would be a happy student body.

He was asked to step down when it became clear that a “drunken student body” more often equalled “paternity suits” or “violent police actions.” His final statement issued a final, drunken “fuck you” to both students and faculty alike, and closed with vaguely worded threats. He was last spotted plying the University of Kansas student body with grain alcohol and waiver forms.

Affectionately known as “Bob and.”

27. Lawrence H. Summers 2001-2006
Summers took the position of president in 2001, vowing to “stay indoors” and “lay low.” He followed through remarkably, showing up for the occasional commencement or formal dinner.

In addition to signing purchase orders and vacation requests, Summers took control of the most-under-control purchasing department. His even hand and temperament soon led to unchecked spending and the eventual dismissal of most of his staff for embezzlement.

His lesson learned, Summers attempted to take the hard-line against future abuses. He soon found his heart wasn’t in it. In fact, he soon found his heart wasn’t really in it for nearly any position or activity, and died of early-onset monotony during a long, uneventful drive to his summer home in the Hamptons. He expired behind the wheel and coasted to a quiet stop well within the lines of the shoulder, where he was found nearly immediately and buried during a small, but respectfully quiet ceremony.

Affectionately knowns as “The President, Whose Name Escapes Me.”

-CLT

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The Fancy Plans Emergency Room Survey

November 12, 2009
emergency-room

"Please plan your emergency accordingly."

Across the U.S., the Emergency Room has become the go-to service for anything from “lightheadedness” to compound fractures. As many, many people continue to use this as an Urgent Care center whose bills you can ignore, the list of ailments and injuries associated with E.R. visits has grown exponentially, from the expected (sucking chest wound) to the ridiculous (really painful hangnail).

This list is culled from the logs of emergency rooms across the nation, in an attempt to educate the public as to why their medical insurance no longer covers a trip to the E.R.

  • Kneecapping
  • Rectal insertion (animate)
  • Rectal insertion (inanimate)
  • Aqua Net poisoning
  • Explosive hypochondria
  • Sticker shock
  • Tricky dick
  • Grandmother’s taser wounds
  • Tasered by grandmother
  • “Accidental ingestion of pepper spray. In the eyes.”
  • “Trick knee acting up.”
  • Hooker’s gash
  • “Old rap battle wound acting up.”
  • Boredom
  • Complications from informal eating contest
  • Stubbed toe
  • Dislocation of self
  • “Overdosed on… um… life!”
  • Scurvy
  • Complications from botched bank robbery
  • Masturbator’s wrist
  • Axe Body Spray-related mauling
  • Soccer game (attendee)
  • Intestinal knocking
  • “Grill” repair
  • somnambulism
  • Vapor lock
  • Jodie Foster-related shooting
  • Scheduled internal organ balance and rotation
  • Broken heart (“Awwww… Clear!!!”)
  • Carradined
  • “Fell down a sack of doorknobs.”
  • Forgot safety word
  • “Fucked with bull. Got horns.”
  • “Recessive gene acting up.”
  • Insurance fraud
  • Teenager’s lament
  • Lonely
  • ‘Rhoid rage
  • Blog material
  • “Felt the need to be ignored/misdiagnosed.”
  • Blown mind
  • Irritable asshole syndrome
  • “Wasn’t actually ready for some football.”
  • Complete cyborg rebuild.
  • “Drew short straw.”
  • First-period period.
  • “Always thought rock beat scissors until I was stabbed with scissors.”
  • “Rock does beat scissors, especially when you get beaten with a rock. You should see the other guy! Oh. You are seeing the other guy.”
  • Combination of stab wounds, abrasions and paper cuts

-CLT

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An Internal Memo from Your Cable Company

November 10, 2009
1923-CommercialCableLetterhead

"Those of you unable to receive email in this day and age, for god knows what reason, will receive your memo in 6-8 weeks via horseless carriage."

To our “valued” employees:

As you may know, the cable industry is going through some trying times. We have been unfairly maligned as callous abusers of customer goodwill and tools of the entertainment industry. We have dealt with unfounded complaints about “bandwidth throttling,” “usurious rates” and “piss-poor response times.”

In an effort to get the public back on our side again, we are going to implement some sweeping policy changes that will affect everyone from the corporate offices on down. Although we are including ourselves in this “improvement,” rest assured our yearly raises will still be in place and necessary cuts (and we believe there will be a lot of those) will be made further down the line.

The following is the list of policy changes that will be implemented immediately, and in the case of some of our lousier employees, retroactively:

Executive Level

  • Publish fewer photos of executives lying around on piles of $100 bills while being service by hookers. Also, blur out or remove any Congressmen that may be in said photos.
  • That delightful Rachel Ray should have her own channel. Look into this.
  • Make an effort to look extremely doleful when speaking about “government interference and deregulation,” even when it works out in our favor.

Customer Service

  • New tiers of Internet bandwidth usage are: Surprisingly Limited, Very Limited, Limited and Unlimited* (*Surprisingly Limited).
  • Change recorded message for incoming calls. It currently is: “For retaliation purposes, this call may be monitored by customer service goons.
  • Present a friendlier image at our service centers. Maybe some more flowers and shit in the waiting areas.
  • Smile when you put someone on indefinite hold. The person on the other line will be able to tell and be less enraged when finally connected.
  • While it is important to smile, try not to laugh or giggle when placing someone on hold.
  • Refunds are to be handed out before the Better Business Bureau gets involved.
  • More color and inspirational posters in customer service areas; fewer “Higher Cable Costs Are Your Fault” signs, unleashed pit bulls.
  • Customer service phone center personnel are now only allowed to impersonate two levels of management.
  • Explanatory notes for unexpected service charges need to be more detailed than, “Sorry, that was supposed to be hidden,” or “Because fuck you, that’s why.”

Field Personnel

  • All service and installation appointments to be handled within a fortnight of originally scheduled date.
  • Service technicians are to limit themselves to one (1) meal and one (1) two-hour (maximum) nap when in a customer’s home.
  • All technicians should take care to only disable one (1) computer per Internet install.
  • Company vehicles used to transports drugs, stolen goods or illegal immigrants must be returned cleaned, vacuumed and with a full tank of gas.
  • Vehicles used for kidnappings should be torched or dumped in the lake.

Thank you in advance for your close attention to these items.

Sincerely,
The Executive Branch

(An additional note: Clicking “Reply All” to this email will result in immediate termination.)

-CLT

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Upcoming Sequels

November 6, 2009

If there’s anything Hollywood loves more than counting money and pandering to demographic groups, it’s pandering to a known demographic by cranking out a sequel. Here’s what the major studios are reheating for us in the upcoming months.

val kilmer

For the sequel, Kilmer has asked for "better hair;" "more expressive mask."

Heat 2: The Robbening
With most of the principal characters dead, the sequel focuses on Val Kilmer’s character, who was last seen ditching his wife and daughter for a life of not going to prison for several years. Al Pacino is back, obsessed with hunting down the “one that got away.”

Directing duties have been passed on to Lars Van Trier, whose unconventional filmmaking and confrontational style saw Val Kilmer participate in some improvised (and often, completely nude) bank robberies, for which he is currently serving 20 years at Lompoc Correctional Facility.

Lars Von Triers hails it as “provocative, dangerous cinema.”

Costner considers "better hair;" laying groundwork for "Expression C."

Kevin Costner briefly considers "better hair;" first attempts at planned "Expression C."

They Still Call Me “Dances with Wolves”
After a nearly 20-year stretch of failed vanity projects and forgettable roles, Kevin Costner returns to the welcoming arms of his most successful vanity project. He reprises his role as Dances With Wolves, the sole enlightened white man in existence.

The story follows his purchase of a failing business in South Dakota and his unflinching battle with decades old anti-gambling laws. Costner grants himself ample screen time to explore his character, including several topical monologues which recall Steven Segal’s triumphant work in On Deadly Ground. Written and directed by Kevin Costner. Additional screenplay work by Paul Verhoeven and Joe Eszterhas.

Time Magazine calls it “a triumphant retread, full of Costnerian hubris.”

star_wars

Carrie Fisher's requests for "better hair;" "non-related love interest" vetoed by George Lucas. He did, however, turn her character lesbian.

Star Wars Episode 9: The Twilight of the Revolution
Picking up where episode six left off (and skipping two more episodes, presumably to be retconned in later), with the Death Star destroyed (again) and the Empire defeated, Episode 9 rejoins the characters as they live out their remaining years.

  • Watch Han Solo makes an embarrassment of himself in an Aldreraan retirement community, as his randy exploits never manage to make the ladies forget that he shoots first.
  • Chewbacca returns to his home planet, only to be set upon and dismembered by his own species, who react violently to the alien smell of “human” on him.
  • Luke Skywalker is faced with the realization that the rebellion never had a solid severance package in place and is forced to perform Jedi “magic” at birthday parties and bar mitzvahs to make ends meet.
  • Leia never gets over being unable to conceive and spends her remaining years banging random helmet-wearing freaks in an effort to confront her “Daddy” issues.
  • Lando finds himself profiled into a 10-year sentence for a liquor store holdup.
  • R2-D2 and C-3PO are finally married after leaving Tatooine’s restrictive political climate for the relatively more relaxed Endor. Things end badly for the married couple when C-3PO catches R2-D2 fellating (?) a power washer.
  • On a brighter note, Jar Jar Binks is also dismembered due to his “human” smell shortly after the opening credits.

FOX-TV says “full of Lucas’ patented heart and razor-sharp dialog.” CBS-TV says “Big Chill meets On Golden Pond in a fanboy’s basement.”

james_cameron

Cameron offers to trade three Oscars for "better hair;" "artistic merit."

Titanic 2: The King of the World
James Cameron returns to the icy, money-choked waters of his greatest success, Titanic. Borrowing liberally from Clive Cussler’s Raise the Titanic (and being sued in the process) and his own dementia, Cameron presents the story of an eccentric billionaire who wishes to prove that the Titanic, with the proper level of sobriety and nude paintings, could have made that voyage successfully.

Cameron freely admits that the main character (Jim Camber) is loosely based on himself. Camber’s abrasive ego and Scrooge McDuck-esque piles of money soon find him several thousand feet below the surface, raising the Titanic for another maiden voyage.

Camber raises the Titanic and follows the fateful route. Tragedy strikes when the drunken Irish stowaways manage to rip through the hulls during an out-of-control party/car bombing. Ironically (or not), the Titanic returns to the depths at nearly the same spot as the original catastrophe.

James Cameron tops his last outing by using a combination of green screen and depression sufferers to simulate the sinking ship’s last moments. Viewers will be unable to escape the haunting images of the many extras clinging to the nearly vertical deck for life, which suddenly seems bright and livable when cold, icy death is staring you in the face. Listen closely for screams of “Fuck you, James!” and “For the love of God, where are the stuntmen?”

Entertainment Weekly calls it “a tour de force of cinéma vérité, proving just how many lives Cameron is willing to sacrifice for artless commerce (883, at last count).”

-CLT

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The Presidents of Harvard University Vol. 3 – Wrapping Up the Nineteenth Century

November 2, 2009
Harvard continues to exclude outsiders through their use of a made-up language.

Harvard continues to keep information from outsiders through their proprietary made-up language.

This volume (3, for those keeping score) takes us through the last half of a tumultuous century, which saw a civil war, the rise of the railroad, the advent of opium addiction, the blaming of said railroad workers, the “railroading” of said opium-addicted railroad workers, various land grabs, tangles with Spain and Little Spain (Mexico) and the peak of beard popularity.

Harvard, of course, was not affected by any of these things. The hallowed and insular institution continued to crank out upper class snobs and privileged twits like no other college in America (and I’m including Ole Miss).

Let’s take a stroll into the turn of the century with the presidents of Harvard, whose tenacity and shortsightedness allowed them to circumvent the “progression” of the rest of the United States.

16. Edward Everett 1846-1849
Everett’s four-year term was most noted for his introduction of “panty raids.” The first several attempts were aimed at Yale who, much like Harvard, were still only providing men with higher education. Despite this hurdle, the imagination of the Crimson allowed them to return from each raid with hundreds of pairs of “man panties” or “Yalie thongs.”

Everett attempted to spice up these same-sex raids by introducing various bills to Congress (through his well-endowed lobbyists) suggesting that some major schools be forced to allow women to enroll. Needless to say, these efforts failed (although not for a lack of endowment) as Congress, and indeed the rest of the country (including the railroad workers) viewed women as second-class citizens who could not be trusted with an education, living wage or even childbirth, considering the infant mortality rate.

Everett’s term came to an end after a panty raid on Vanderbilt resulted in the capture of female undergarments. These never-before-seen items caused severe mental trauma in those who had seen them and life-threatening psychosis in the few who had actually touched the items. After the fourth sniper attack in as many weeks, Everett was asked to step down and run (in a zig zag pattern) across the quad to his waiting buggy.

Affectionately known as “Sniper Victim #23.”

17. Jared Sparks 1849-1853
Jared Sparks is credited with introducing a successful line of weight loss programs into the normal curricula of Harvard. Sparks would often entertain his fellow officers with thrilling tales of weight loss through careful sandwich selection. Although very popular (and inspiring) at first, Sparks constant reminders and detail-heavy anecdotes about which sandwich he had eaten and how many “fat cells” were contained in each resulted in a massive backlash which heavily damaged the local food cart economy.

Sparks was finally asked to step down when his normally long-winded diatribes on meatball subs and other anti-masturbatorial foods began to arrive in the form of short sentences which were hand-written and delivered at random intervals to whomever happened to be close by. Close associates were overheard muttering about his incessant twittering and overused “fat pants” visual metaphor.

Affectionately known as “Fuck You, Sandwich Boy.”

18. James Walker 1853-1860
To know James Walker was to love him, or rather, be “loved” by him. An ego-centric womanizer until his deathbed conversion to the Symbionese Liberation Army, Walker aided and a-bedded (sorry) over 8,000 women in 8 years. As his constant scoring began to eat into his time as president, JW would often let his second-in-command, James Walker Jr. VII run the place, much to the dissatisfaction of the other Harvard officers, who saw their money being blown on candy bars and hookers and their daughters being knocked up left and right.

Walker would have lost his post much earlier if he hadn’t exercised Harvard’s “privileged insider” clause, which allowed him to live life by a different standard than the enrollees and at least some of the officers. He also used a 120-year old typo to grant himself “eminent domain” in matters related to the wives and daughters of all Harvard students and employees.

With so much going for him, Walker’s abrupt retirement came as a surprise. While Walker issued a statement referring to his “desire for a quiet life of banging random chicks, away from the day-to-day pressures of running Harvard (and banging random Harvard-related chicks),” but many of his contemporaries speculated that perhaps his “dick” had “just fallen off.”

Affectionately known as “Wilt.”

19. Cornelius Conway Felton 1860-1862*
Felton presided over an era that came to be known as “The Shortest Era Ever.” As the figurative head of Harvard, Felton spent most of his time fulfilling ceremonial duties such as groundbreaking, large novelty-check signing, baptisms, circumcisions, Hot or Not tie breakers, pancake breakfasts, mass burials and the occasional Live Aid concert.

Though Felton’s stay in office was brief, he spent each moment as if it were his last: by begging forgiveness from various deities and sobbing inconsolably. As his private sobbing and praying began to intrude on his more public duties, the Harvard officers began to work on an “early retirement” plan.

Things came to a head at a groundbreaking ceremony for the above ground pool. Felton seized the oversized ribbon-cutting scissors and attempted to slash his wrists. He was wrestled to the ground by his fellow board members and remanded to the state, which soon remanded him to the local crazyhouse, at which point the staffers remanded him to his surviving family, which bequeathed him, still alive, to Harvard University. He lived out his final years as a living statue of himself.

Affectionately known as “Three-and-out.”

*Died in office as a result of statuefication. See also: Goldfinger.

20. Thomas Hill 1862-1868
A tireless opium addict and eccentric inventor, Hill spent a majority of his seven-year term trying to perfect his “gravity bong/scientific calculator” prototype. Most historians point to his concentration on the first half to be the reason the second half was never able to get its ass of the couch or come up with rent money.

As Hill continued to chase the double dragons of drug paraphernalia (Billy Lee) and scientific calculation (Jimmy Lee), the Harvard board members acted quickly to revoke his severance pay and change the locks. He was finally ousted during an 18-hour marathon intervention in which the board members pretended to care about his health and whatnot. Hill responded by vomiting and passing out in the hall closet. He awoke 4 hours later to find his belongings (including himself) on the lawn. The rest is history. Boring history.

Affectionately known as “C. Thomas Howell.”

21. Charles William Eliot 1869-1909
Eliot lived to see the turn of the century, much to the dismay of several local bookies. An inveterate gambler and loudmouthed braggart, Eliot so ired the local townspeople that the remaining board members retired and changed their names. Indeed, the hallowed halls themselves were tainted by his filthy habits, as local thugs repoed the above ground pool, second billiards table, the K-M sections of the bleachers and the letters “R” and “D.”

After one close call with a lynching party, CW took to hiding himself in the lower levels of the undergraduate library, subsisting on hardtack and book binding. After 22 years in seclusion, Eliot returned to the surface to find the campus nearly deserted. Rather than let the proud metaphorical ship Harvard continue to drift listlessly, CW took the helm (metaphorically) and proceeded to rape and pillage Yale (not metaphorically).

At the behest of yet another lynching party (working in conjunction with local mobsters), Eliot was lynched. Due to a lack of proper tools or measurements, Eliot was suspended only four feet off the ground and was unable to properly asphyxiate.

Given a mulligan by the angry townsfolk, Eliot returned underground, eventually resurfacing to party like it’s “1899.”

Known affectionately as “Goddamned Lucky.”

-CLT

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The Presidents of Harvard University Vol. 2 – The Next Hundred Years (Very Approximately)

October 20, 2009
America's most prestigious university always reminds its students to sound difficult words out.

America's most prestigious university always reminds its students to sound difficult words out.

In case you’re playing catch-up, you can check out the beginning of this glorious (and fact-free) page in history here in The First Hundred Years.

If you’ve been playing along since the beginning, please mark spot “N-45.” This is your bonus free space.

Without further preamble, Fancy Plans presents Vol. 2 in the remarkable history of Harvard’s presidents, taking you on an aplomb-laden journey through the “Pyrite Age” of Crimson history.

9. Edward Holyoke 1737-1769*
Holyoke brought in a new wave of old school corporal punishment during his unprecedented 33-year deathgrip on the top spot. Underclassmen began to fear for their lives as hazing was not only encouraged, but made mandatory. Many requested transfers to schools with less stringent hazing techniques, like Rutgers and UC-Santa Barbara.

Holyoke’s downfall and eventual lynching was the result of his insistence on bare-bottom paddling, which put Harvard in the sights of another crippling class action lawsuit. The court found in favor of the red-bottomed underclassmen (as it often does) and sentenced Holyoke to “death by angry locals.” “Affectionately” known as “Ed Banger.”
*Official cause of death listed as “waiting to inhale.”

10. Samuel Locke 1770-1773
Four years was all it took for Samuel Locke to leave nary a mark on this hallowed institution, having enacted no major (or minor) reforms, rule changes, raids on Yale or catastrophic scandals. Often attributed hazily with coining the phrases “Don’t rock the boat” and “No, thanks. I’ll just sit quietly here in the back until the board meeting is over, if that’s ok with everybody.” Affectionately known as “Current Occupant.”

11. Samuel Langdon 1774-1780
Langdon is recognized as the first Harvard president to fully take advantage of a dangerously underage Congress, having lobbied his way into its heart and parts beyond shortly after its formation in September of 1774. Once firmly ensconced in the legislative body of the U.S., Langdon took care to have himself and his university “grandfathered” in (but not in a sexual way, of course) before most of the Constitution and Bill of Rights was enacted or amended.

He secured several large donations from various congressional bills and was often seen trumpeting his success by dangling his funding in front of various Yalies and yelling, “That’s right, pretty boys! Who’s well-endowed now?” Known affectionately as “Shaft.”

12. Joseph Willard 1781-1804*
Willard spent 14 fruitless years trying to match the successes of his predecessor, Samuel “Shaft” Langdon, the strain of which caused him to shorten his life drastically through a series of suicide attempts. This fruitless strain was further compounded by Langdon not having the decency to die in office like so many presidents before him. 

Langdon would often show up late in the evening, drunk on his own success and a combination of grain alcohol and horehound extract. These late night visits often ended with Langdon passing out in the elderberry bushes and Willard hitting a non-vital organ with his musket loader. Affectionately known as “Not Well-Endowed at All, Are We JW? Hahahahahaha!!! *vomit*”
*Died in office in an office supply mishap involving a malfunctioning moveable press prototype and perfectly functioning muzzle loader.

13. Samuel Webber 1806-1810*
Although Webber was responsible for several additions to both the student housing and professorial quarters (most notably, a much larger billiards room for the president’s office to complement the 6-lane bowling alley), he is now mainly known for not being “that guy” many people are thinking of, including:

  • the dictionary guy (Webster)
  • the grill guy (Weber)
  • that little guy (Webster)
  • that weird scout rank (Webelos)
  • that composer guy (Andrew Lloyd)
  • that previous president (Willard)

Affectionately known as “Samuel Webster.”
*Died in office due to an obituary misprint in the local paper, which Webber spent several years fighting, often in a “still living” capacity.

14. John Thornton Kirkland 1810-1828
J.T., as he was affectionately known, led the Harvard Crimson to several sports titles, including  battlechess, coxswaining, motocross, skullboning, contract bridge, narwhal hunting, Yale frosh-knifing, strip badminton and quarters. His willingness to take a “hands on” approach to coaching led to unparalleled success and several parental lawsuits. “Coach Knight” (as he was affectionately known) gave the once pasty face of Harvard Athletics the black eye it needed to “toughen up” and “take it one game at a time.”

As the new-look athletics department drew heavy coverage from the local papers, “The Ragin’ Cajun'” (affectionately a.k.a.) insisted on handling every post-game interview and is credited with the invention of the non-sensical character string which is used to denote horrendous, paint-peeling obscenities. Here’s one of its earliest usages:

Captain Kirk, as he is affectionately known, responded to this journalist’s query of “Dost thou think your coxswaining crew is yearning for the rough caress of the playoffs?” with a string of profanities, the likes of which I will try to reproduce here:

JK: Did you watch the same %^&$ race I did?? Did you?? You need to have your %^&#@ing head examined and your #@#%ing eyes as well, you piece of pen-scratching $#$%! Ask something else! Any of you %^##suckers have something even partially %^^#$ing relevant to ask? Anyone! Jesus !$@#.

Affectionately known as “Thornton ‘Van’ Wilder.”

15. Josiah Quincy 1829-1845
Quincy became known for his outlandish behavior as head of Harvard, insisting on hours-long meals every evening consisting of several courses and accompanied by his hand-picked musicians, who would often wander off somewhere deep into the E chord for 20-30 minutes at a time. Though many were impressed with the breadth of his culinary tastes and the skilfulness of the musicians, others were “turned off” by the lack of restraint and endless jamming exhibited.

Quincy would often track down those who “lacked proper taste” and lecture them endlessly on the inspiration that results when big ideas meet virtuoso musicians. This was also accompanied by his talented and meandering musicians, whose improvisations often were hailed as “breathtaking” and “grandly masturbatorial.”

Sadly, Quincy’s theatrical ideas failed to carry on once he left Harvard and he gradually became a balding lead singer/drummer in a terrible soft-rocking pop ensemble that outlived its usefulness by several years. Affectionately known as either “King Crimson” or “The Broadway Lamb.”
*If only he had died in office…

-CLT