Posts Tagged ‘Guide’


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.

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.'”



Fancy Plans Guide to Rock and Roll (Requests)

May 16, 2009
And here it is, the first batch of requests for further rock and roll education. I didn’t have time to get to all of your requests but rest assured, I will get to them as soon as is personally convenient to me. Feel free to leave more requests as what I don’t know about rock and roll will soon be long enough to fill a book.
These four young men would eventually grow up to be David Lee Roth.

These four young men would eventually grow up to be David Lee Roth.

Sweet was formed in the late 1960’s basically as an excuse to show off their collected pleather jumpsuits. Over the years, the band has split and reformed under different founders’ names, such as Andy Scott’s Sweet, Steve Priest’s Sweet and the Billy Ray Cyrus Experience.

Their first album appearance was a split with local children’s group the Pipkins. With Sweet’s proto-glam on one side and waifish proto-KidzBop on the other, the album was a hit with both schizophrenics and locals who were looking to stock up on round discs in case of sudden zombie invasion.

Their second album, Detonation Boulevard, featured a young Andrew Eldritch on vocals. Eldritch took the band in a new direction, allowing them to show off their collection of large sunglasses as well. During this tumultuous time, the Sweet underwent a series of name changes: Mercy, Sweet Sister!, Sweet Soul Sister, Southern Death Cult and finally, the Matthew Sweet.

Bolstered by an unprecedented 20-year time skip and MTV airplay, the Matthew Sweet toured extensively, greeted by thousands of fans wearing jumpsuits and large sunglasses. Eldritch left the band due to creative differences, citing his irritation with daytime gigs and ill-fitting jumpsuits. Eldritch went on two form two bands, the Mission Region 1 and the Mission U.K., before being kicked out of both and reaching for his lawyers.

The Matthew Sweet reformed as the Sweet in 1999 and resurfaced in 2000 as a tattoo on Seann William Scott’s back in Danny Leiner’s seminal coming-of-age comedy, Dude, Where’s My Car?

An unhappy librarian asks the Prunes to keep it down, there are hoboes trying to sleep in here.

An unhappy librarian asks the Prunes to keep it down, there are hoboes trying to sleep in here.

The Virgin Prunes
Formed in 1977 by Bono’s estranged boyhood friend, Gavin Friday (b. Fionan Apple, son of Sgt. Joe Friday), the Virgin Prunes acoustic stylings won the hearts and minds of Ireland’s disaffected urban youth (is there any other kind?).

A turning point came during their performance at the Newport Folk Festival. The band hit the stage as the Electric Prunes only to be greeted with boo’s and shouts of, “Judas!”

Gavin has stated that the “Virgin” part of the band’s name was facetious and did not reflect the band members sexual prowess or pure, acoustic guitars. In fact, Gavin stated that the band got laid, “at least as much as Kenny Chesney,” making the “Virgin” especially ironic. Sort of like your promiscuous sister who insisted on wearing white at her wedding. You know the one I’m talking about. And then it rained. But I digress…

Alanis Morissette, after a brief attempt to become the next Tiffany (and finding herself losing ground to Y Kant Tori Read), set her sights higher and attempted to become the next Liz Phair. Her timing couldn’t have been better as Phair’s crippling stage fright was quickly preventing her from becoming the first Liz Phair. Morissette quickly staked out her claim as a 4 Non-Blondes fifth wheel and laid the nasal, faux-boho woman-roar that would lay the groundwork for Avril Lavigne’s opus, Sk8ter Boi.

To sum up, America is a land of contrasts.

The Fiends celebrates their 20th anniversary (not pictured: Mrs. Fiend)

The Fiends celebrate their 20th anniversary (not pictured: Mrs. Fiend)

Alien Sex Fiend
Formed by a horrific lab accident involving a post-op Alice Cooper and a collection of Hammer horror films, Alien Sex Fiend became fixtures of London’s Batcave scene. They performed several high-energy gigs and killed time making crude sexual comments and lighting things on fire. Much like AC/DC, only with a sense of humor.

Despite frequently mining the same crude veins as the Cramps, Alien Sex Fiend found themselves lumped into the po-faced goth scene. While initially limiting, it afforded them the opportunity to appear on Cleopatra compilations for the next several hundred years.

Founding partners, Nik Fiend and Mrs. Fiend, may or may not be actually married. Much like the Whites of the White Stripes, the “are they, aren’t they” speculation has led to much flamage on various alt.goth message boards, although more astute fans point out that the first name “Mrs.” would tend to indicate that they are.

Captain Sensible: Crimefighter

Captain Sensible: Crimefighter

Captain Sensible
Co-founding member of the Damned, a fixture of the nascent British punk scene. So nascent was it, in fact, that the Sex Pistols were able to raise the punk flag and steal Pink Floyd’s thunder (and inflatable pig).

The debate about punk origins raged on, until Guiness was asked to step in and sort it all out. After some fact-checking, Guiness declared the Damned “the first punk (sic) band (sic) to release a punk (sic) album.” Guiness would go on to steal scenes in George Lucas’slaughriot Star Wars, as the character “Crazy Old Man in a Bathrobe.” His scenes would be stolen later by the bathrobe’s portrayal of itself during a crucial duel with Darth Vader.

Captain Sensible (born Private Sensible) left the Damned and started a career as a solo artist and producer. He also branched out into vigilante law enforcement, forming the Guardian Angels as a response to the brutal murder of Gotham millionaires, Thomas and Martha Wayne, who were gunned down in front of their son.

He has also become politically active, sort of, forming the Blah! party, a collection of apathetic non-voters (noting that non-voters make up nearly 60% of the voting public). Political analysts have noted that the “No Opinion” choice on recent polls has climbed to nearly 3.8%, threatening to overtake periennial underdog, Alan Keyes.

However, due to Sensible’s disinterest in maintaining the status quo, Britain’s government has threatened to bust him back down to private if he continues with his cheerful disrespect and rampant beret-wearing. If you would like to protest the government’s treatmeant of local hero, Capt. Sensible Sliwa, sign the online petition at Blah!’s website if they ever get it up and running.

Captain Beefheart returns for his lucky charms: this time it's personal.

Captain Beefheart returns for his lucky charms: this time it's personal.

Captain Beefheart
– 3 lbs Beef Heart
– 1-1/2 cups Safe Milk
– 1 cup Water
– 4 tsp Onion Soup Mix
– 2 cubes Beef Bouillon
– 4 Trout Masks (if unavailable, use alternate such as cod or other whitefish)
– 1/2 cup Breadcrumps

1. Trim any fat off the heart and cut each heart into quarters. Cut these quarters in 6/8 pieces. Never mind, you’re doing it wrong. Watch closely. On this quarter, cut right here. On this quarter, right here. Go ahead… No. Stop. On these first 6 quarters, cut here but when you get to this quarter, cut here, then here… OK… And 1, and 2… Jesus Christ! I’ll just fucking do it myself! 6/8 except on these 16ths. How fucking difficult is that.

2. Throw Beefheart in water. Bring to a boil. Add carrots. What the hell do you mean you don’t have carrots? Look, if you’re going to cook with me, you’re going to need to be prepared. I need you to have ingredients on hand that I haven’t even thought of yet. And they’d better be good ingredients, too. I can’t have you half-assing around the kitchen unprepared. Well, go get some. I’ll wait. I’ve got some paintings to bang out while you get your shit together.

3. Add Onion Soup Mix and Beef Bouillon to the boiling water. Not right now. Right now. And now. That’s too late. You missed on the 4th and the 7th. Start over. No, really. From the top. Look, I haven’t slept in over a year and a half. I’ve got nothing but time… Because it has to be perfect. This isn’t just some warmed-over idea. This is art! Start over.

4. Clear a Spot. 3/4 by 9-1/8. I don’t know. Inches, I guess, if that’s what you’re used to working with. Arrange trout masks into a double-helix. A double-helix! Jesus! You remind me of Mrs. Zappa’s boy, all unnecessary questions and movements. OK. That’s close enough. I’ll fix it later. You’ve done enough damage. Make sure the Beast is Shiny. Make sure… Christ! Do I have to paint a picture? No, that’s not rhetorical. I’m a fucking artist, you hack.

5. Get the milk. Is it safe? Is it safe? What do you mean you have no idea what I’m talking about? Is. It. Safe. I’m going to get my tools out. Oh… now it’s “very dangerous, not safe at all.” You’re weak, your father was weak. I’ll work the Beefheart until you can tell me what I want to know. I don’t use novocaine and there’s usually a great deal of blood.

6. Once the meal is complete, serve on randomly selected brand new dishes. Brand new. Those stickers will have to come off. Can’t have those gumming up the works, eh? Go ahead. Not like that. Not like that at all. With your mouth. Watch my humming and follow along. Lick the Decals off. It sounds weird but it will all make sense when we’re done. Let sit for 11.3 minutes to allow flavors to soak in. 11.3… Look, I’m pretty much sick of your constant whining about my time requirements. They’re not irregular. They’re perfectly cromulent.

7. Serve with Ice Cream. Not for you. Not for you at all, you multi-instrumentalist failure. That’s for Crow. It’s purely decorative and melts rather quickly. Well, shove it out on the table. I don’t like how it’s tuned out but I really can’t be starting over again, can I? Just… Oh, just throw it out! It’s not fit for consumption, you retarded Bat Chain Puller. We will start over and over and over until it’s right. We’ll need some fresh ingredients and some other stuff. I’ll let you know when the time is right. Until then, do everything perfectly and we’ll be fine.