1. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

    WELL, we were fresh out of chandeliers this morning at home, so it was up to me to pick up a new box at Costco on the way home from the gym today. Boy, nothing says class like a chandelier from a warehouse club, and buying ‘em in bulk saves us time and money.


    Costco makes it easy! Just heave it off the pallet, strap it to your pack mule and start back on the long trek up front to any one of two open registers! (Three if Yolanda’s back from break!)

    On my trip there, I must admit I was surprised – at first, anyway – at what I passed along the way.

    Then I realized, yes, of course! It’s August!


    It’s 100 degrees in the shade!


    Why the hell wouldn’t they have the Christmas stuff out already?!


    Posted by on August 29, 2013, 6:32 PM.

  2. Thank You, Tween Brands, Inc.!

    We got your postcard last month!


    And the other one arrived last week!


    However, you addressed them to a gal who – thankfully for her! – never lived in the filthy toilet that is Los Angeles. Nor has she ever used my post office box as her mailing address.

    See, turns out you’ve sent ’em to me sainted mudder who perhaps surprisingly does not fit Justice’s ideal demographic: a girl who is between the ages of 7 and 14 and not dead.

    Not quite sure how Mom ended up on your mailing list – and with a California address, no less – considering that when she was alive, she lived 2,200 miles away and most recently was in her seventies. And that was over four years ago. Did you get bad information from NSA?


    And when she was still with us, Mom tended to shop for clothes during the Senior Discount Days at the Bealls Outlet in the shopping center next to Publix (right by the Elephant’s Trunk Thrift Store that her creeepy son used to like going to when he visited).

    But I appreciate the heads up on the 40% off sale – I’ve been meaning to pick up another coupla pairs of those Striped Super-Cozy Soft Butter Socks.

    My feet thank you!

    Posted by on August 27, 2013, 9:00 AM.

  3. A Moment of Self-Realization!

    SOME of the most enriching times of my life are the hours and hours and hours I spend each week answering online surveys for market research companies. My input helps the real movers and shakers of the business world fine-tune old, trusted products and gauge the market for new ones.

    Not only that, but I do just a couple hundred of them or so and I earn enough points to redeem for a $5 gift card for Red Robin!

    How do I find the time to make my valuable opinions known? Well, this actual question (and my answer) from a recent poll about sausage of all things may be able to shed some light on all of that!


    Posted by on August 24, 2013, 2:06 AM.

  4. Seventeenth Filner Accuser Steps Forward!

    AND the list continues to grow.

    Today a seventeenth woman has accused embattled San Diego mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment.

    Janet Wood, a florist from Santa Monica, California, has stated that Filner once “chased her around the kitchen table” and directed her to “slow down so I can catch ya.”

    She offered as proof photographs of the ordeal.



    Update: Whoops! Thanks to eagle-eyed reader Arlene H. who pointed out that these are merely screen caps from the Three’s Company episode “Jack’s Graduation” which features the similarly (allegedly) lecherous character Dean Travers, the headmaster of the cooking school attended by Jack Tripper.

    Travers was played by character actor William Pierson who bears a striking resemblance to San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.


    That’s Pierson on the left, Filner on the right.  I think. You can see how I’d make such a mistake.

    We regret the error.

    Posted by on August 16, 2013, 3:25 AM.

  5. A Present From Mr. Whiskers!

    CONTRARY to popular belief, Mr. Whiskers, though old and gray, can apparently still move fast enough to take down one of our fine feathered friends.


    And how nice of him to leave the leftovers on the back stoop, where I walked out this morning, barefoot, and, eh, found it. Oh, believe me, there was more to my gift, but Mr. W’s the modest sort, and so he asked I not photograph the legs and entrails, which I understand is a delicacy. Just apparently not to cats.

    He’s a giver, Mr. Whiskers, is.

    Why, just last month he also left one of his trademark elongated hairball/Friskies Buffet vomit sausages for me. On the car.


    “What a nice fellow, your Mr. Whiskers,” you say. “Placing it, as he did, precisely where it can be flung free with just a convenient swipe of the wiper blade.”

    Oh no. As evidenced by the smear trail on my windshield, he horked it out on the edge of the roof and it slowly sliiiiid down.

    Posted by on July 20, 2013, 1:14 PM.

  6. Comic Con 2013! Live! From the Floor!

    DON’T worry, folks – I know these posts are coming a bit erratically lately, but I’m still alive.

    I’m down here…on the floor. Finally woke up with my usual Friday morning hangov– eh, migraine, and it occurred to me: oh yeah, the San Diego Comic Con is this weekend. It somehow snuck up on me yet again and as usual, I have no material ready for it.


    Join me, won’t you, in revisiting last year’s Comic Con post which my regular, what?, six readers all agree is “the only mildly amusing thing you’ve ever posted on this crap website of yours.” Yes, all six of you made that exact same observation, sure.

    Oh, you know things have taken a sad turn over at Ted Parsnips Dot Com when I’ve resorted to linking to old posts! Yep, wonnn’t be long now before this domain is available once again at GoDaddy!

    Posted by on July 19, 2013, 2:36 PM.

  7. I Wanna Be A Lifeguard!

    If you’re like me, you don’t have the swimming skills, upper body strength, CPR training or six-pack to become a lifeguard on one of Southern California’s beautiful, trash-strewn beaches. Nor do you likely have the dedication to work towards achieving any of these things. And for what, really? The chance to swim out in cold, polluted water, dodging stingrays and sharks just to drag some fat-ass back to shore who somehow managed to fall off his trendy paddleboard right smack between a riptide and an undertow? Who the hell needs it?!

    That’s why I was thrilled when I found this at TJ Maxx the other day.


    Two-day lifeguard certification class: $140 and a weekend shot to hell – and there’s no guarantee I’d pass.
    Boogie board with the word ‘Lifeguard’ on it: $9.99.

    Yeah, I think I made the right choice.

    Now I can head out to Zuma with this slung over my shoulder and impress the entire beach-going public without even getting wet. And once those military dog tags I bought on eBay arrive, people’ll really stop and take notice.

    This is going to be the best summer ever!

    Posted by on July 6, 2013, 4:06 AM.

  8. 0.000726 Leagues Under the Pool!

    LIKE YOURS, enormous tracts of the landscape that is my workday is made up of avoiding doing any work at all and looking at those time-sucking websites with a whole grid of fascinating and enriching slideshow-based articles to peruse; i.e., “Ten Scariest Abandoned Scrapbooking Stores,” “Sexiest Waltons Cosplay” and “Ridiculously Adorable Organic Material Stuck to the Undersides of Subway Seats” where you click on a link that brings you to another page of articles in little boxes and then you click on one of them (usually not the one you were originally interested in because it curiously doesn’t exist on this new page). And that brings you to another page which leads you to yet a different website of links and then again to another page and a different site, on and on and on and on, and his father’s father before him.

    One of the things I’ve seen time and time again, and you have, too, probably, is the “World’s Biggest Pool.” And as it will soon enrage you, it enrages me every time I see it. Every time I see it! 

    It’s a magnificent example of how the internet has dumbed down so many who now will believe anything they read and are too lazy to use any critical thinking skills or do any research on their own.

    Those who provide content for these sort of sites ought to be ashamed, is what, for taking the so-called facts concerning this pool at face value without verifying them nor even using reasonable common sense; instead reposting this nonsense everywhere.

    You see, San Alfonso del Mar is a large resort on the coast of Chile. It has a pool in front of it that’s very big.


    The “facts” usually cited are that the pool is 1 kilometer long, covers about 19 acres, holds 66 million gallons of water, and has a maximum depth of 115 feet.

    I don’t have any problem with the first three pieces of data.  It’s the last one – the 115 foot depth – that I call utter hovadina on.

    Let’s take another look at the pool, shall we?


    As you can see, it’s right up against the shore. A child, even a stupid child, who has dug holes in the sand at the beach knows that the deeper you go, the more likely water starts rushing in through the sand. Suddenly, your hole collapses. (Much like after you had that particularly virulent strain of monkey dysenta— Okay, never mind about that.)

    Now imagine digging a hole 115 feet deep this close to the shore. The water table so close to the Pacific Ocean would make this an engineering nightmare! Probably!

    And for what? What exactly would be the purpose in having one end of the pool 115 feet deep? You tell me! For scuba diving perhaps!  To explore what? The featureless cement bottom of a pool?

    Here’s a photo of a few mighty vessels asea, or in this case, apool:


    And another:


    Notice that in each instance, you’re seeing a shadow of roughly the same size just below each of these magnificent crafts. That’s because the shadows are on the pool bottom, I posit, a relatively short distance below.

    Next!  Satellite photo:


    If one end of this pool was 115 feet deep – that’s roughly as deep as a ten story building is tall by the way –  then that area – wherever it is, would be significantly darker than the shallower areas of the pool.  You can see very shallow areas of the pool – presumably wading areas. But nothing very dark.

    Clearly, this pool is not 115 feet deep.

    Therefore, I submit, Your Honor, that this pool is at most 11.5 feet deep, and that somewhere along the way, someone left off the decimal point.

    For the want of a dot on a page, the world’s largest pool has become the world’s deepest pool as well, and if you should go for a dip and your room key slips out of your trunks and sinks to the bottom, well, better call the front desk and see if they can get Ignacio in Maintenance to fire up the bathysphere and retrieve it.

    Yet, I’m a reasonable a man, and I can understand how this misinformation has been repeated ad infinitum across the internet because doing the research on this one is not as easy as one might think.

    I wanted to be able to definitively say “I looked into this, dammit, and the pool is actually eleven and a half feet deep – Ignacio himself told me so!”  so I got in touch with both the resort and the company responsible for building the pool.

    In fact, I contacted them multiple times…but each attempt ended without any answers.


    Crystal Lagoons Corporation LLC is the company responsible for designing and building the pool. They’re headquartered in Chile, but they have phone numbers in New York and Miami. Each time I called, I talked with what I presume is an answering service that couldn’t provide any information, and even though I left my contact information, no one called back.

    I emailed them as well, both at their American and Chilean email addresses. No response! I fared no better contacting the resort itself:  No reply to my emails and surprisingly, whoever answered the phone at this enormous world class resort couldn’t put me in touch with anyone who spoke better English than I speak Spanish. (And despite living where I do, I don’t hablo español muy good-o. Ha!)

    Terrified of high international rates on my next phone bill, and suddenly remembering I write a blog about bad deals in thrift shops and good deals in dollar stores and not some sort of exhaustively researched online reference work, I didn’t call back.

    Lest anyone suggest my assertion that the World’s Biggest Swimming Pool at San Alfonso del Mar is not 115 feet deep without concrete evidence to back it up makes me no better than those awful sites I’m complaining about, it’s not merely Buzzfeed and its countless viral content-peddling clones that are regurgitating the inaccurate depth factoid.

    It’s also good, wholesome, decent sites like  Popular Mechanics, Wikipedia, National Geographic (!) and, dear God above, the one website we all thought we could always count on, Snopes.com.  Oh, Barbara and David Mikkelson, what happened?

    So I say we settle this once and for all. Let’s get some kind of Kickstarter/IndieWhosis thing going to send me on a fact-finding mission down there for a couple of weeks so I can finally get us a definitive answer and put this controversy to rest once and for all. I’ve already got the tape measure and snorkel so don’t worry about that; I just need you folks to come up with airfare (first class, please – I drink a lot) and maybe twenty-five thousand dollars for an ocean-facing suite plus miscellaneous expenses. (Prostitution is legal there!)

    Anyone pledging five grand gets a free postcard from the lobby (contingent on if they have free postcards in the lobby).

    Pledge ten thousand and you get everything from the $5,000 package plus a little bottle of shampoo or a hotel bar of soap or something. I’m rewriting – née correcting – history here, folks, and you can be part of it! Let’s do this!


    Posted by on June 18, 2013, 2:38 AM.

  9. Ah, The Innocence of Youth!

    LAST WEEK I had to take Bryce to buy some new clothes.

    He’s at the age where what he wears is becoming important to him, so the days of dragging him into Goodwill, having him try on something that more or less fits, snapping off the tags, and then quickly walking back out to the car are over. (Plus some of their locations have security cameras now – imagine!)

    You’re thinking, “Ted, you poor bastard – Bryce obviously inherited those gorgeous Parsnips genes so you must be going broke buying his wardrobe at Hollister and A&F!”

    I wish!  

    No, we live in the filthy West Valley, so he’s trying to “fit in” by dressing like everyone else around here: He insists we shop at that place next to 99¢ Only where all the local gang-bangers buy (or I guess steal – ha!) their clothes.

    I bought him his Chucks and his knee-high white socks and his oversized khaki Dickie shorts and his wife-beater and black and white flannel jacket…but when we were walking out he saw something – and his reaction just about melted my heart.


    “Daddy, can I have 75¢ for the Guns N Grenades machine? Pleeease?”



    How could I say no? Of course I gave it to him. He may be growing up, but it’s moments like this that make me realize he’ll always be my little boy.

    Posted by on May 28, 2013, 4:56 AM.

  10. Walmart’s 2013 Memorial Day T-Shirt!

    EACH Memorial Day, I head into Walmart, find their patriotic t-shirt offering for that year, and look at the label to see where it’s made!

    It’s a blog post that has become a time-honored Ted Parsnips tradition!

    And it’s not particularly surprising, or at this point, even slightly amusing, but if we know one thing here in America, it’s that even if something is no longer really working for us, like Daylight Savings Time, or Attorney General Eric Holder (Hey! This is not a political blog!), we don’t bother to make changes. We just keep things the way they are! Inefficient consistency at the cost of all else!  That’s the American way!

    So here’s the t-shirt!


    And here’s where it’s made! China! Awesome!


    Now you’re asking “Since it also has the Spanish translation for ‘Made In CHINA’ inside the collar, isn’t it racist for them not to also have the Spanish language equivalent for ‘I [heart] USA’ – which would be ‘Me [heart] EE.UU’ – alongside the design on the front?”

    Look, I don’t want to get involved in any of this. I’m probably already on some kind of government watch list for that Daylight Savings Time crack.

    Posted by on May 25, 2013, 4:39 AM.

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