1. Feeling Appreciated, Again!

    Hey, guess what!  Oh, you know! It’s here again!

    lafitn1

    Yes, it’s another Member Appreciation Day at my gym!

    And the best part of Member Appreciation Day, is of course the…

    lafitn2

    complimentary fitness assessments!

    It’s such a nice change of pace from the insulting fitness assessments they usually hammer me with: “Hey fat ass, you’re going to break the treadmill!” and “You’ll never lift that with those Grover-from-Sesame-Street arms!” and “Now finish off with five minutes on the bike. We’ll have the EMTs on standby.”

    But on “Member Appreciation Day,” they say things like, “Lookin’ good, there, Slim!” and “Keep it up, big guy!” Makes a fella feel good about his own self, it does!

    Though not as good as a few plates of deep-fried crab rangoons from the all-you-can-eat chinese buffet on the corner makes you feel. I think you’ll know where you can find me.

    Posted by on December 30, 2013, 4:47 PM.

  2. “One Adam-12, One Adam-12, a 288, Man with a Fetish…”

    Ah, Officer Ed Wells…

    wellspass

    rubber

    He’s only in a handful of episodes, but he’s always a dick.

    Posted by on December 29, 2013, 4:14 AM.

  3. 25 Pounds of Hilarity!

    IT’S the day after Christmas, and you’re there at home relaxing with family. Here’s a fun one for you to pass around on that $67 refurbished Hipstreet Titan XK HS-7DTB84 your mother got for you at Big Lots on Black Friday after you mentioned you wanted a tablet.

    Okay, ready?  I’ll make this quick – the battery life on that thing’s not exactly optimum, is it?

    So I’m at Costco, right?, and I see this:

    maintenancat

    Cat food?! I thought “Maintenance Cat” was who you call when the mouse disposal in your apartment gets clogged.

    Look, folks, the rest of the internet’s giving you end-of-the-year, ‘best-of’ nonsense this week. Here you’re getting all new content, such as it is, so let’s not be too quick to complain, hmm?

    Posted by on December 26, 2013, 6:19 PM.

  4. Holiday Gift Idea #3: ‘Footprints’ In The Shorthand!

    Look, it’s Christmas – yes, yes, Merry Christmas and all that! – but you’ve just found out Aunt Judy’s all alone today and would really like to see you and the kids, and sure it’s a pain in the ass, but she still has the first dollar she ever earned so it can’t hurt to spend a few minutes with her – after all, she’s not going to live forever and she’s got to leave that money to someone…!

    Dare you drop by without a gift?

    No sir! What to do, what to do?

    Walmart to the rescue! Select locations open with limited holiday hours today!

    Over in their tasteless gift section, five bucks gets you this winner:

    footprints1

    What they’ve done, see, is they’ve whittled down the inspiring essay “Footprints in the Sand” on this plaque to just thirty-one words…

    footplaque

    …and edited it even more mercilessly (eighteen words) on the mug:

    footmug

    While the manufacturer is surely presuming that “Footprints In the Sand” is so well-known by now that they only need hit the highlights to get its message across, excising most of the text (and the entire setup, and all references to sand) was likely more a copyright concern. There are a handful of folks who claim authorship of “Footprints in the Sand,” but it looks like only the estate of Mary Stevenson makes a point of protecting it – judging by this magnificent website (from which the Ted Parsnips Web Design Team could learn a thing or two)!

    One wonders, of course, if the theme – and the aggressive butchering of a maudlin classic –  is continued on the tea bags inside that little box of tea in this gift set. I’d like to think, and now you would, too – that it is. And that it might look like this:

    foott4

    Posted by on December 25, 2013, 3:00 PM.

  5. Banking By Hashtag!

    UNLIKE you, I do most of my banking online – yes, right here at the computer!

    Oh, it’s possible!

    You see, I’m what they call an “early adopter” [industry term]; that is, someone who begins using new technology just as soon as it becomes available. Why, we’re still the only house on the block with Web-TV!

    So when Chase introduced this “online banking” business, brother, I hopped right onboard! Right onboard! Let me at it!

    Anyway, yesterday I logged into my Chase accounts to review the vast Parsnips fortune. After I signed off, I saw this screen:

    chasesecurity

    Finally!  The future is now, people!

    See, like most technologically savvy people, I’d much rather publicly interact with my bank using social media to help resolve any issues with my accounts than oh, I don’t know, privately email the bank, or God forbid, call a customer service line to speak with someone directly.

    However, I’m a bit concerned that I’d be able to adequately explain whatever problem I might be experiencing and include my name, account number, PIN number (or “Personal Identification Number” number), and possibly even Social Security number – so they know who’s having the problem! – in just 140 characters. But I reckon they’ve got that figured out somehow.

    So thank you, Chase Customer Support, for using social media to strengthen and build relationships with your customers, customers like me!

    I’d have tweeted them that, but it’s not a question or an issue that needs resolving.

    Posted by on December 22, 2013, 9:41 PM.

  6. Holiday Gift Idea #2: A Moment For Yourself!

    Hey, look at the quick, easy, thought-free Christmas gift I got for a friend!

    starbuckscard1

    I don’t piss away money on coffee myself, saving my precious dollars for alcohol, but I understand this “Starbucks” chain is somewhat popular. So it seemed like a good fit. And while giving cash to pals is considered gauche, gift cards – which we are admonished on the cards themselves to treat as cash – are still somehow acceptable.

    Oh, and don’t worry – I’m not ruining the surprise! This is a close friend we’re talking about, i.e., someone who never visits my blog.

    Anyway, like you now will, I found the copy on the back a regular delight:

    starbucks2

    Can we get a closeup? We can?! Excellent!

    starbucks

    “Welcome to Starbucks, what can I get for you today?”
    “I’d like a moment for myself. I think there’s enough on the gift card.”

    Posted by on December 13, 2013, 1:03 AM.

  7. Oh You Kid!

    No, I do not kid.

    valens2

    The 99¢ Only store put Valentine’s Day merchandise out in some of their southern California stores last week!

    valensmas

    Note the snowflakes and Santa’s hats on the right of the endcap [industry term]. And in the background is an entire display of candy canes. Because, eh, how do I put this delicately?  Christmas is still weeks away!

    Is this the most extreme example of Valentine’s Day Creep ever?

    No.

    Apparently, I am the most extreme example of Valentine’s Day Creep ever, since I was politely and tactfully advised by a store manager – who caught me excitedly snapping shots of the above display – that I am not allowed to take photos of their merchandise.

    I guess he thought I was one of them freaky conversation heart enthusiasts. Hubba hubba!

    Posted by on December 11, 2013, 12:28 AM.

  8. Six Goodwill Posters, Seven Grammy Nominations!

    Congratulations to Ryan Lewis and Macklewhosis!

    mackleryan

    While they were just Grammy-nominated for song of the year for “Same Love,” perhaps they’re better known for “Thrift Shop” –  whose lyrics Goodwill cleverly co-opted for use on posters in their Southern California store windows earlier this year:

    Coppin’ it, washin’ it, ’bout to go and get some compliments

    mackle7

    I’m gonna pop some tags

    mackle1

    Only got twenty dollars in my pocket

    mackle2

    I-I-I’m hunting, looking for a come-up, this is f—ing awesome

    mackle3

    I wear your granddad’s clothes.

    mackle4

    I look incredible.

    mackle5

    And so on.

    Surprisingly, there’s no corresponding posters for the lyrics “What up, I got a big —-!” or “I’ll take those flannel zebra jammies, second-hand, I rock that mother——” or even “That’s just some ignorant b—-.”

    Still, (used, unwashed) hats off to Goodwill for having their finger on the pulse of pop culture.

    By the way, for you folks over the age of, what?, twenty-five, “pop some tags” means removing price tags after you’ve purchased the item. But don’t feel bad! Judging by all the discarded paper stubs and price stickers on the floors and tucked into the walls of Goodwill dressing rooms, I think a number of their shoppers may have misinterpreted the song as well. goodwilltags

    Posted by on December 7, 2013, 4:54 AM.

  9. Thanks For Clearing Up The Overwhelming Ambiguity, Purina!

    friskies1

    friskies2

    Posted by on , 3:00 AM.

  10. Here’s A Fun One Left Over From Halloween!

    “BAD NEWS, Commissioner Gordon! The Penguin’s on the loose!”

    “Fire up the Bat-Signal!”

    “We can’t, sir! It burned out last night and we’re waiting on a replacement bulb!”

    “Okay, you two, follow me up to the rooftop and get ready to blow like you’ve never blown before!”

    hallowbubbles

    Posted by on , 2:32 AM.

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