1. Wheel! Of! (hic!) Fortune!

    LAST WEEK, the always delightful Pat Sajak revealed that early in his career as genial host of “Wheel of Fortune,” he and Vanna would occasionally knock back a few during taping breaks and return to their duties somewhat buzzed.

    Must have been a slow news week, because like you, I heard about it everywhere, and most of the coverage was ridiculously sensationalized. Fact is, if a big-time host actually came across as drunk on a game show, the episodes would have been on YouTube a long time ago.

    As it turns out, however, my dear, sweet, hoarding Nana Parsnips has been a fan of Mr. Sajak for years, and has (of course!) obsessively taped all his shows from his first episode onward.

    I needed only mention this current story to her before she dived right into her hoard and, paddling her way down through old newspapers and desiccated raccoons, quickly resurfaced with a handful of Betamax tapes in her arthritic claws.

    I’d get into all kinds of copyright trouble uploading the videos to YouTube, so instead, I offer you some screen grabs.

    Did all this drinking spill over into the show?  You be the judge.

    Buy the O!

    It’s a Prize Puzzle!  You’re going to Passages in Malibu!

    Like you and I, Pat & Vanna know to hit the drive-thru after some hard drinking!

    Apparently this Bonus Round puzzle was inspired by the noises Pat made when Merv tried rousing him from sleeping it off on the wheel.

    Ho ho!  What fun! 

    We of course thank http://atom.smasher.org/wof/ for the use of their handy Wheel of Fortune puzzle generator, where you can go and create your own Wheel of Fortune puzzle pictures, none of them half as funny as the ones I came up with, which is saying something because the ones I came up with aren’t really all that hilarious.

    …And what’s even more delightful than this Pat-&-Vanna-drunk story from last week? The “Occupy Wheel” joke that Pat made at the end of a show during the recent “Pure Paradise” theme week. That man should have his own late-night talk show. Again.

    Posted by on January 30, 2012, 5:33 AM.

  2. Life (at the 99¢ Only Store) Imitates The Simpsons!

    From “Girly Edition” (1998) where Lindsay Naegle advises Lisa on broadening her appeal:

    “Lisa, Bart’s got something you can’t learn in school – zazz!”

    “What is ’zazz’?”

    Now we know!

    Posted by on , 2:46 AM.

  3. Big Lots Presents Crystal Growing!

    SO I WAS AT MY LOCAL BIG LOTS the other day shopping for a recliner that’s entirely upholstered in that thin, webby, cheap fabric that quality furniture manufacturers use on the underside of their furniture; a rocking recliner that turns out it isn’t supposed to rock, just that whoever put it together in the back room didn’t tighten any of the bolts enough; you know, a recliner that has – instead of an actual handle to activate the reclining action – a recessed plastic ring that snaps off irreparably within about the first month of use.  I think that about covers it.

    So I was in Big Lots shopping for one of those the other day when what should I wander across but this crystal growing kit for kids:

    And I thought to myself, “Now who the hell around here is going to buy that?!”  Because in this neighborhood, brother, in this neighborhood, the kids already know how to make crystal!

    Jot that one down on a couple of index cards and you’re all set for next week’s Toastmaster meeting.

    Posted by on January 27, 2012, 1:00 AM.

  4. Big Lots Presents Some Kind of Planter!

    SO I WAS AT MY LOCAL BIG LOTS the other day shopping for a garden hose that’ll either snap like a frozen Charleston Chew rapped against the counter if the temperature drops below 42 degrees or will spring an astonishing number of leaks if God forbid I try to bend it at more than a 30 degree angle with the water on, when what should I wander across but these things:

    Hey, can we get a closeup of the sign, please?

    What the hell is this? Slovak?

    “Tarviy?” “Hummintongbird!?”

    Is this an example of voice-to-text software gone horribly wrong? Are we to presume that Big Lots creates their signage using voice-to-text software…that they bought at Big Lots?

    Or does someone in the Big Lots sign department simply not know how to transcribe five words off a box? I’ve been telling everyone this, and I’ll mention it here: this is precisely the kind of thing that’s going to be a major issue as this election year heats up.

    By the way, I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am that after biding my time for four long years, these things are finally available at Big Lots for only $2.50! Hooray!  

    I should mention they don’t just have the Hummintongbird Hideouts, they also sell the things that started the whole craze – the Upside Down Tomato Planters.

    And, yes, fellow lovers of all things retro, we’re in luck – they’re Last Year’s Design!

    Posted by on January 26, 2012, 1:00 AM.

  5. Big Lots Presents Angry Birds!

    SO I WAS AT MY LOCAL BIG LOTS the other day shopping for expired, off-brand breakfast cereal at prices never as low as you’d think they’d be when I happened across a flock of Angry Birds magnets.

    Marvelous!

    Now can we get a closeup of the top of the package, please?

    And make it cockeyed and slightly out of focus, if you would.

    Perfect!  Now what in God’s name is going on here?! Big Lots is a closeout store!

    Eight dollars for these things?! At a closeout store?!

    But that’s not even the best part!

    The best part is that it says “This is not a toy.” and then, elsewhere, we see the manufacturer’s name: “Commonwealth app TOYS.”

    Seriously, how stupid do they think we are?  We know it’s not a toy!

    It’s four toys!

    Five if you count the plastic packaging!

    Posted by on January 25, 2012, 1:00 AM.

  6. An Overdue Salute to One of the Links in the Link Section Over There On the Left!

    AS YOU KNOW, each month I like to highlight one of the websites I’ve got over there in my “Links” section below.  It’s my way of giving back to the community. Well, that and cleaning the men’s rooms at the library every goddamn Saturday for the next six months, but the website thing isn’t court-mandated.

    My salute to the hyperlink for the Annual Budget & Financial Reports for Smyrna, Georgia was an enormous smash back in October, and I was honored when the celebration culminated in me flying out there and receiving a key to the city from the mayor, as well taking part in a local Smyrna tradition, the tattooing of a ten-year-old child.

    When I shined a spotlight on our Idaho Bee Removal Directory link, I got cards and letters for weeks afterwards, nearly all of them telling me that the link was dead. (It’s since been fixed! Stop writing already!)

    And the others – the veneer softener link, the salad dressing link? Enormous homeruns for both TedParsnips.com and, these, my sister sites.

    …Oh, and of course I’d like to again apologize to those of you who clicked on the link for that freelance writer – I wasn’t aware of the hard drive-frying malware on his site, and I’m working with the Ted Parsnips Web Design Team to delete his link from the list, as well as from this post (Why did I even include it here? And twice?!), but you know the Ted Parsnips Web Design Team and their lack of urgency about anything that doesn’t concern lunch!

    Anyway, the one site from my Links I haven’t yet spotlighted is that of Mad Magazine. I had intended to, of course, but due to the notorious litigiousness of Warner Brothers, I was afraid that even mentioning the name of the magazine in an actual post would leave me wide open to some sort of never-ending copyright infringement lawsuit. Or that Voldemort himself might appear and hit me with his dreaded Ceasium et Desisto curse.

    So my attorney called up Warner Bros.’ legal department (or at least he said he did, and then billed me for it) and he’s given me the all-clear sign, and now we’re ready to really celebrate that which is Mad’s blog: The Idiotical.

    So here’s a link to that.  You should visit it.

    …Okay, let me bang the drum here for them a bit more:  It’s good stuff, and brother, no one writes a hooker vomit joke like the staff of Mad.

    Above: I think I can include that here because they’ve watermarked it so I’m just really sending more traffic (all five or six of you regulars!) to them. But if my site is gone tomorrow, pal, you’ll know why. You’ll know why.

    But what’s even better than their daily posts?  The advertisements. Yes, the ads!

    Oh, sure, people claim constantly that founder William Gaines swore you’d never see an advertisment in Mad, and for all you know, having not picked up an actual goddamn issue in the last eleven years, they still don’t. But Gaines never said anything about the website!  The website’s fair game!

    So why are the ads on Mad’s website so awesome…?

    Because they’re customized for the typical Mad reader!

    Posted by on January 24, 2012, 4:03 AM.

  7. Guess Where I Had Lunch!

    Go ahead!  Guess!

    No!  Wrong, sir!  Wrong!

    No, I ate at Bahooka!

    Yeah, so, I ate there by myself.

    Yes, by myself! Hell, how often do any of us get out to Rosemead these days, anyway? I was out there, alone, on an errand, sure, and as long as I was out there anyway, and in need of lunch, what better place to eat than at Bahooka?

    Here’s what I had!

    It’s the lunch special; I think it was a cheeseburger. It was too dark to see and frankly I don’t remember. (It comes with three Zombies – the good kind that eat your liver rather than your brain.)

    And by “comes with three Zombies” I mean I ordered, separately, three Zombies, because for God’s sake, man, it’s Bahooka, you’ve got to get a Zombie or three. Especially at lunch! Especially when dining alone!

    Above: I think this was my booth, but with the lighting, and after three Zombies, who can really say for sure?

    Afterward the traditional polynesian businessman’s three-Zombie lunch, I negotiated the veritable rabbit warren of booths in an effort to exit the premises, but much like the Hotel California, you can pay your check at the Bahooka, but you can never leave. Well, it’s not so much that you can never leave, but, really, who would want to?

    I don’t even remember where the hell this part is, but you’ll agree it’s magnificent.

    I keep trying to convince the missus that we should re-do the bedroom similar to this – like I’ve already done with our island-themed bathroom – but last week the thread holding one of my dried puffer fish broke and the pointy little guy fell on her while she was sitting on the toilet, so she’s put the kibosh on me turning any more of the place into a tiki paradise.

    Where was I?

    Oh, yes, back at Bahooka. So here’s Rufus.

    You’ll recognize him from his appearances on YouTube and also in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

    He loves to eat carrot sticks but whether or not he enjoys a slurry of half-digested cheeseburger, fries, and Bahooka’s delicious signature coleslaw mixed with three Zombies is unknown – happily for everyone involved, Bahooka’s attentive and efficient waitstaff pulled me off the tank and got me outside before the unthinkable happened.

    Aloha!

    Posted by on , 1:00 AM.

  8. I Finally Found A Smartphone I Can Afford!

    And they even had my color in stock!

    But the monthly plan? That’s where they get you.

    Still, it’s better than that reloadable one I used to have – every time I turned around I was refilling that thing. With candy.

    Thank you! G’night!

    Posted by on January 23, 2012, 1:48 AM.

  9. One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other…

    It am important to elect Bizarro Obama in 2012!

    He do exact opposite of regular Obama!

    Instead of him not turn economy around, him turn economy around!

    Posted by on January 20, 2012, 3:54 AM.

  10. Delightfully Anachronistic Package Design: Tru-Blu Duplex Sandwich Cremes!

    OKAY, now where were we?

    Oh, that’s right – as I was saying yesterday, before the Government shut down the entire internet – when I happen across a product with delightfully anachronistic package design, why, I just feel as though I’m going to bust, I get so excited!

    How come? you ask.

    Let me explain:  In this fast-paced, ever-changing world, where everyone’s looking for the “next big thing,” for what’ll be “trending” tomorrow, for what’s “hot,” here I’ve discovered some sort of product that defies Big Advertising’s ironclad rules of marketing;  a product that seems to tell us through its quaint package design, “Hey, you – slow down.  Take it easy, there, chum.  There’s no need to rush about all willy-nilly.  Look at me, why, I’ve slowed to the point that time stands still. One might say for me, an unassuming package of food, time seems to have stopped years and years ago, when they designed the very package you see I’m sporting.”

    Anyway, at the 99¢ Only Store last week, I found these cookies…

    …and I think you’ll agree that purple makes absolutely no sense for a duplex sandwich cookie when one side is vanilla, like Betty White, and the other, dark like Martin Landau King Jr., and besandwiched between the two is plain white creme.  Now if it were some sort of raspberry creme, then we could understand, but it’s not. It’s plain white cream so it makes precisely zero sense for the package to be purple.

    And by Godfrey, that’s why you and I, we love it.  That and, well, its overall package design, I guess, because it just looks old, right?

    These cheap cookies are like something they’d have in that disgusting afterthought of a daycare “center” in the bowling alley where Mother stuck me when she was on the “Wednesday Ladies” bowling league in 1975 – that terrible place, likely an unused storage room, with no windows, pale green walls and moldy carpet that smelled of urine and bowling ball hole sweat, where I and a cluster of other forgotten children of other bowling moms were left in the care of that hideous old hag who sat there on a chair borrowed from the bar ignoring us while reading “Looking for Mr. Goodbar.”

    Small, sickly children such as myself were left to fend for ourselves against the other kids (and half of them were from Chickahominy, so you know what that means…!) and invariably whichever bunny puzzle I brought from home that day would end up with pieces missing (or torn in half) and the box intentionally crushed.

    You have to remember, this was in the 1970s, back when bullying hadn’t yet been outlawed.  Jesus Christ, I still have nightmares about that place. Oh, look, great, I’ve peed myself again just thinking about it. Hold on, let me get the rag.

    Okay, I’m back.

    Anyway, those cookies I was talking about were pretty good. Hell, for 99¢, you could do a whole lot worse.

    Smells like a bowling alley storage room in here.  Well, minus the ball hole sweat.

    Posted by on January 19, 2012, 3:09 AM.

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