1. What’s Up Glitches!

    LIKE YOU, I got sucked into this stupid, stupid non-game game “The Simpsons: Tapped Out” (“It’s life-ruiningly fun!” says Homer). Unlike you, I do not own a smartphone, and play it on my little iPod dealie, which is technically a mobile device, I guess, usually for ten minutes as I lay in bed, trying to fall asleep, if I’ve already worked through that months’ stack of Archie Comics digests and Harriet Carter catalogs.


    As you well know, what you do in “Tapped Out,” see, is you tap on stuff and build things and send Simpsons characters on little tasks, and are occasionally mocked by these same characters for doing just this through word balloons, Level Up screens, and occasionally – very occasionally – short clips of exclusive animation. And brother, we all of us deserve to be mocked. Because there’s absolutely no point to any of this! It’s a complete waste of time!  


    Speaking of complete wastes of time, you’ve been thinking of starting a Tumblr account, but every single idea has been taken. Almost. The truth is, every single idea has been taken but two. And here’s one of them:


    And it’s all yours!

    Yes! Go ahead! Steal it! Hell, I don’t care! Technically, yes, it is my idea and you might want to send a couple hundred dollars my way as a token of your appreciation, but between this blog, my regular job, my court-mandated community service picking condoms off the beach in Santa Monica and the cardio bootcamp I run for overfed feral cats (We meet twice a week in the alley behind Vallarta Supermercado in Winnetka, 6 pm sharp!), I don’t have the time. I can’t take on any more projects!

    So look, pal, The Simpsons: Tapped Out Glitches is all yours if you want it! Just clear it with Gracie Films,  Fox Digital Entertainment and EA Mobile.


    And just to get you started, I’ve compiled a bunch way too many of screen shots of some of the more delightful glitches – “texture glitches” as they’re officially known – that I’ve come across. Yours for the taking, there, buddy!

    [By the way I learned they’re called “texture glitches” from the Tapped Out player’s best friend – the only website you’ll ever need to answer all your Tapped Out questions (or some of them at least), Tapped Out Tips.]

    Anyway, on with the images!


    It seems that almost every unique, one-of-a-kind building in Springfield is subject to being temporarily multiplied and appearing in place of the houses you can build.

    Above, in place of a row of White Houses, is the Try-N-Save, backwards – as all these glitches seem to be – with the coin-operated kiddy rides, normally in front, splayed out above each store.


    Classic! A row of pink houses is replaced with multiple Moe’s Taverns, here with what seems to be a plague of rats. It’s actually just the entire animated sequence of the one rat that runs along the roof when anyone is inside on a task.


    The Mapple Store stands in for a cluster of Blue Houses. A row of computers for sale can be seen in the little squares by each store. You can’t usually see them very well because they’re obscured behind the glass of the front doors.


    Overlapping Gilded Truffles.


    Here’s the House of Evil, your one stop evil shop, which was only available during the Halloween update. The items seemingly raining down to the left of the stores is the merchandise in the store window. I can’t tell what these things are but it’s a good bet one is a monkey’s paw and another is a cup of cursed frogurt.


    Eleven separate post offices right next to one another. No wonder the USPS is in trouble, right? Ha! Ha ha ha!

    What causes these texture glitches? No one knows. They’re like a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a vest. Or a Mystery Box within a Mystery Box within a Mystery Box and so on, infinitely. Which hasn’t happened to me yet, but I keep hoping.


    Also, by “no one knows,” I mean some programmer or coder or game designer could probably explain it to you, but it likely involves the terms “dongle” and “fork” and no one’s allowed to use those words anymore.


    A row of Java Server coffeee houses taking over for the Pink Houses. Insert late 1990s ubiquity-of-Starbucks joke here.


    Six Howard’s Flowers shops stand in for a clutch of Blue Houses here…


    …And even more Blue Houses here. What episode was “Howard’s Flowers” from?  I don’t know either.

    Perhaps these glitches stand out because they’re multiples of the buildings you only get one of, standing in for a group of houses in a “house farm.” It’s entirely possible that single regular houses may also appear as glitches, but I wouldn’t notice because the coloring of, say, the purple and pink houses are kind of close. And also, I’ve got houses strewn willy-nilly all throughout Springfield, and if one orange house is suddenly a brown house for two minutes, it’s not even going to register up here. (I’m pointing to my head.)


    The area above – normally a cluster of Blue Houses – seems to be one of a couple places in my Springfield particularly prone to glitches. Here we see that Tom O’Flanagan’s Pub, from way across town, has mysteriously appeared here.


    Skip’s Diner. I don’t recognize this from the show, unless it’s the place where John and the Simpsons went to eat in “Homer’s Phobia.”


    A big wad of Cool Brown Houses – available only for a short time to promote the current season’s episode “The Day the Earth Stood Cool.” Overlapping as they do, they look like hideous condos from the late 1970s.


    This is the other place in my Springfield where my game usually tends to get all glitched out – a smaller section of Blue Houses. Could it be that the Blue Houses are the problem? Here we see they’ve disappeared and in their place, four Police Departments seem to be sinking into the ground.


    The Try-N-Save appeared here, too.

    These glitches don’t affect game play, by the way. They’re like digital mirages. If you tap on, say, any of those, eh, Evas-N-Yrts above, it’ll tell you it’s a Blue House. Sometimes if I scroll away until it’s no longer in the screen and then come back, it’ll have returned to normal. Other times it’ll be something else completely. And sometimes if I just stay there without moving around, the glitch will eventually cycle through a number of different structures.

    And it’s not just buildings that suffer from texture glitches:


    Here’s a bunch of floating blue Dumpsters with the left side of the lid – the side that Cletus lifts up, behind each unit, showing the three different positions used in animating it.


    Six weather stations! Neato!


    Channel 6 news vans with their various elements strewn alongside each one.

    While I’m way too old to understand computer programming, and don’t have a definite explanation for these glitches that are mainly isolated to two specific areas, I have narrowed things down to a couple of possibilities: I either made the mistake of building on the hallowed ground of an Indian graveyard, or – and I think this is much more likely – there’s a particularly strong electromagnetic force below Springfield resulting in occurrences we just don’t understand. This also might tie into Hans Moleman’s disappearance underground every 108 minutes and the mysterious polar bear in Mr. Burns’ office.


    Bridges are another element that seems particularly prone to appear randomly. Above, in a glitch worthy of Escher, sort of, Fat Tony can be seen “taking care of a problem.”  Or half of him, anyway.


    A few fountains have been disassembled on the lawns of some Purple Houses.

    My experience has been that the longer I play the game, the more likely it becomes to see these aberrations. If I just spend a few minutes in it, there’s no problems.  But if my Springfield session is longer than about eight minutes, all hell begins to delightfully break loose.

    And as for visiting friends’ Springfields, I’ve only noticed one glitch, but it was magnificent:


    The Santa’s Little Helper balloon (from the Thanksgiving update) has been multiplied five times and exploded into each of the individual elements that make it up. I don’t remember who’s Springfield this was, but I envy you, friend, if you experience this sort of thing on a regular basis.

    Occasionally it’s the characters themselves that get all glitched out. My favorite – and by Godfrey, I know I took a screen shot of it, but I can’t find it – was when Santa’s Little Helper (the actual dog, not the balloon) briefly replaced each of the lamp posts I had placed around the town hall. He was in a begging pose, and each of the posts looked like statues. It was, yes, a delight.

    This was one of those instances where it kept, changing, too. Shortly after that, the posts turned to Dr. Nick…


    …and then Grandpa:


    …where they’re doppelgangers of the real Abe Simpson sitting on a bench feeding pigeons.


    Above, two still images of Krusty in a walk cycle from the “Inflate His Own Self Importance” task are enlarged and mysterious have replaced two pine trees behind the Muntz house.


    Again, a slightly-larger than normal version of a character – Groundskeeper Willie – has appeared. There’s normally a trash can where he is. Creepy!


    This one makes no sense at all. Larger-than-life-Luigi is either standing in a Valentine’s Day  heart tree while tossing a pizza, or ascending to heaven. Or climbing the tree trying to grab the pizza dough as it ascends to Heaven.

    Other glitches are similarly absurd.


    This one looks like an elaborate sliding tile puzzle that someone gave up on because it was just too damn difficult.

    And my very favorite:


    It’s like Kandinsky and Warhol collaborated on a Simpsons: Tapped Out texture glitch.

    Now most of my, what, six regular readers are probably saying, “God almighty, that was a long post! I don’t come here for this crap! I don’t even play this stupid game and I’ll tell you one thing, Ted – I sure as hell won’t now! In fact, you might have to start writing ‘my, what, five regular readers’ after you wasted my time with this!”

    And I understand your frustration.

    But know this: A year and a half ago I wrote some nonsense about these ridiculous “Koo Koo Birds” stuffed animals which inexplicably gave me by far the most hits I’ve ever gotten. “The Simpsons: Tapped Out” being among the top-grossing games in Apple’s App Store, there’s a good chance that this near-endless parade of images and long-winded conjecture about something I have no business trying to explain just might push my blog’s average number of daily hits toward that golden “Baker’s Dozen” range of  about 13 or so again!

    Posted by on March 30, 2013, 10:56 PM.

  2. Even More Recently At Wendy’s!

    “As you know, Budek, I had to let Thorg go.”

    “I know, Boss. It was bery sad.”

    “He was a good worker, but there were…problems. So with him gone, you’re my number one guy now! And today we need to let customers know about the launch of our Flatbread Grilled Chicken sandwiches. They’re brand new and they’ve just arrived here at Wendy’s! So you get up on that ladder and put something up on our sign! Make me proud, boy!”

    “I do it right now! I do it bery bery fast!”


    Posted by on March 29, 2013, 3:11 AM.

  3. 58 Energy Shots You Need To Ingest, Just For God’s Sake, Not All At Once! Part 3 In A Series!

    MANY OF YOU, what, six regular readers of this blog might be wondering why I’m listing the level of Vitamin B-12 in each of the 58 energy shots I’m reviewing. That is, assuming you’ve noticed this at all and you’ve read the previous posts on this, and let’s face it, those are two enormous assumptions on my part. Still:

    I’m no doctor, scientist, or so-called “pharmacist” but it seems that the level of Vitamin B-12 in each shot is proportional to the effectiveness of the shot.

    “Well, Ted, you jackass,” you sneer, “Why don’t you just take Vitamin B-12 pills if you’re tired instead of putting all these crazy chemicals in your body?”

    Because Vitamin B-12 pills don’t come in colorful little bottles, smart ass!

    “Or better yet, why don’t you just get some goddamn sleep?!”

    Aaaah, get outta here!

    Now if there’s no further questions, on with this week’s energy shot reviews!


    Stacker2 Xtra Energy Shot
    Price: $1 at Dollar Tree
    Calories: 0
    Vitamin B12: 500 mcg / 8333% RDA
    Flavors: Berry, Grape, Orange
    Before: Bleary-eyed.
    After: Able to finish the entire dog house portion of your Snoopy latch hook rug kit before going to bed.

    Stacker2 Xtra Energy Shots will do in a pinch, but they’re not the most effective of the dozens I’ve tried. The grape flavor is pleasant, though not too strong, somewhat like a weak Kool-Aid.

    What’s this…? More?!


    Stacker2 Extra Strength Xtra Energy Shot
    Price: $1 at Dollar Tree
    Calories: 0
    Vitamin B12: 500 mcg / 8333% RDA
    Flavors: Grape
    Before:  Rundown.
    After: Traversing six long city blocks on your daily run during the time “Who’s Johnny” by DeBarge plays on your iPod (versus the usual four blocks).

    Stacker2’s Extra Strength Xtra Energy Shot tastes exactly the same as Stacker2’s regular grape Xtra Energy Shot. In fact, the ingredients listed are identical – the only difference is the amount of the amount of the “proprietary energy blend”: 2125 mg in the regular version versus 2200 mg in this extra strength version. You get a whopping 75 milligrams more energy blend in the extra strength version.

    What is a “proprietary blend”? It’s a mix of ingredients without individual amounts of each listed ostensibly to protect the manufacturer’s secret formula. However, some manufacturers use the term simply as a way to keep consumers from knowing just how little they’re getting of individual ingredients.

    My attorney would like me to mention that with Stacker2, it’s undoubtedly the former.

    It’s kind of a moot point though, right? If you’re at Dollar Tree and need an energy shot (most likely to keep from collapsing from sheer exhaustion while waiting in a long line for the one checker that’s open), you might as well pick up the Extra Strength Xtra Energy Shot: They’re all the same price.


    Stacker2 Diet Energy & Crave Control
    Price: $1 at Dollar Tree
    Calories: 0
    Vitamin B12: 500 mcg / 8333% RDA
    Flavors: Tropical Blast
    Before:  In a food coma.
    After: Ready to hop right back out of the booth and go for fourths at Hometown Buffet!

    Don’t let the diet angle of this one scare you away. You don’t have to be a lazy fat ass whose sole attempt to lose weight is limited to gulping down the contents of a 2-ounce bottle to try this energy shot!

    Because that’s essentially what it is – another energy shot. The ingredients are nearly identical to the regular and extra strength offerings of Stacker2, above, with the only differences being three additional ingredients in their “proprietary blend” and no food coloring.

    It was purely in the interests of science and blog content that I tried it and it’s one of my favorite from the Stacker2 extended family of energy shots. Not because of its effectiveness, mind you. But because of the taste. It has one of the most unique flavors I’ve ever encountered in my many decades of reviewing energy shots: It tastes kind of like liquid bubble gum. I’m not saying that’s a particularly great taste – but at least it’s different!


    Name: Ginseng Blast Energy Igniter
    Price: 99¢ only at the 99¢ Only store
    Calories: 5
    Vitamin B12: None/not listed
    Flavor: Lemon-Lime
    Before: Burned out.
    After: Ignited!

    Well, not really ignited.  This one didn’t do much for me. You know why? No B-12!

    Ginseng Blast Energy Igniter has a sort of overly sweet green tea flavor that I would never peg as “lemon-lime” despite what’s on the label.

    Speaking of which: “Ginseng,” “Green Tea,” “Aloe Vera,” “Goji,” “Antioxidants”- this bottle is like a Who’s Who of early 21st century trendy health words, so I think it’s safe to presume they merely ran out of room before they got to “Acai Berry,” “Flaxseed,” “Quinoa” and “Flintstones Gummies.”


    Name: Pep’n Energy Power Shot
    Price: 99¢ only at the 99¢ Only store
    Calories: 5
    Vitamin B12: 500 mcg / 8333% RDA
    Flavors: Berry Pep
    Before: Very pooped.
    After: Berry pepped!

    Made by the same folks as Ginseng Blast, above, Pep’n Energy Power Shot: 8 Hour Energy Rush is the one to go for of these two. It’s got that tangy Berry Pep flavor you love and it’s got a crapload of Vitamin B12. But mostly, the bottle is a delight: bright neon green gradating into black and lettering in pinks, reds and purples. And with silhouettes of a girl kickboxing and a guy snowboarding, you’ll feel energized just looking at this energy shot.

    With this batch, that makes for a total of fifteen reviewed, forty-three to go!

    No sense in letting the above seven 2-ounce shots I just downed in the last twelve minutes go to waste at 2:33 in the morning. There’s no better time than the present to get started on that re-roofing project! First order of business: Assemble the necessary tools. Circular saw, nail gun, leaf blower (Might as well clean the gutters while I’m up there!), chainsaw (for the red maple limb hanging over the guest bathroom), CD boom box and just the right kind of lively music to match my high-energy mood.


    Perfect! I think I’m good to go!

    Posted by on March 25, 2013, 2:33 AM.

  4. Scrabble, Schmabble!

    ATTENTION brainiacs!  Calling all wordsmiths!

    Now’s a great time to pick up the home version of “Words with Friends” – the thinking man’s game! It’s on sale at Target! $17.99! For a limited time only!

    The popular mobile game comes to life! Says so right on the box!

    Look! Look!


    Now you can play the blatant Scrabble ripoff in home, in person, with actual physical tiles, against opponents face to face,  just like Scrabble!

    However, I’m wondering how Words with Friends: The Home Version handles its legions of genius mobile players’ most-beloved feature: The ability to continually place random letter combinations that kinda sound like they miiight be a word in various places around the board until they stumble into something that the game accepts.

    Posted by on March 23, 2013, 3:59 AM.

  5. ¿What’s Bueno? Clinere Ear Cleaners!

    ¿What's Bueno? I'll Tell You!

    Finally! An ear cleaner to get excited about, if we’re to believe the manufacturer’s punctuation!


    I was thrilled to find these Clinere Ear Cleaners! at the 99¢ Only store the other day. Not only do the “soft flexible plastic” items remove wax, provide itch relief and (thank God!) exfoliate the outer skin surfaces of the ear, they’re made in America!

    But most importantly, they’re personal ear cleaners!

    And you know what that means!


    No more waiting in line to use the public ear cleaner!

    Posted by on March 20, 2013, 5:27 PM.

  6. #268: The Orange Line Extension!

    AH, the vaunted “Orange Line” bus extension which opened up near me last summer and has been a thorn in my side ever since.


    The Los Angeles Metro bus system is certainly deserving of its own entry in a future edition of this wildly popular feature of my blog, but today, we’ll focus specifically on the Orange Line Extension.

    From the Metro website:


    I am, thank dear God in Heaven, not a bus rider.  I have been a bus rider in the past, and I pray to dear God in Heaven never to be a bus rider again. Los Angeles is a car city and that’s just the way it is, despite how all the ninnies and nannies are trying to convince us it can be otherwise.

    It can’t.

    It’s too spread out. It’s laid out for exhaust-belching automobiles. It’s not a public transportation-friendly place. Just ask our maid, Ildefonsa, who mutters in angry German under her breath when, on a whim, I send her over to the Westside or to Hollywood for a few sprigs of fresh cilantro at one of those ridiculous farmer’s markets. She knows her entire day is shot – she’ll be stuck on one hot, stuffy, stinky overcrowded bus after another instead of her usual practice of disappearing for eight hours in the nursery flipping through “Goodnight Moon” and “Corduroy” while sneaking sips of the Sambuca we use to get little Dillon to sleep when he’s over-excited.

    My daily busy, busy, busy ant-like comings and goings frequently take me across Canoga Avenue. Used to be that what I’d do, see, is wait for the light to turn green to cross Canoga, and then I’d cross Canoga. If I was on Canoga, and heading east, I’d turn at whichever light I was at…and head east.


    Now that the busway runs parallel to Canoga on a sliver of land previously occupied by  used car dealerships, storage facilities, long-abandoned train tracks and unmarked graves of any local politicians who dared make a move against the labor unions – probably! – what I do is basically the same thing, only it takes me roughly eight times as long.


    There’s now two sets of lights at all the intersections crossing Canoga from the east – the light for bus lane traffic and the light for street traffic. And despite how infrequently the buses seem to rumble by, these lights are usually red, if only to keep stupid drivers from stopping on the bus lane.


    Add to this the frequent and disturbing flashing of red light cameras (which we were told were being disabled throughout all of LA over a year ago) as well as the fact that the busiest thoroughfare it crosses  – Sherman Way at Canoga – is now a complete clusterf– …you know, and, brother, you’ll be arguing that the Orange Line Extension needs to be #1 on my list!

    And then I remind you that the numbers on this ongoing list are arbitrarily assigned, and we all calm down a bit. Here, have some Sambuca.

    Ah, that’s better, right?

    Still, I hate the Orange Line Extension, and now, so do you.

    It’s one of the 857 Reasons to Get Out of the Filthy Toilet That Is Los Angeles!™


    By the way, I haven’t even touched on the damn bike path running alongside it!  I haven’t even touched on that thing yet!

    That, friends, is what is known in the business as “dramatic foreshadowing.”

    Posted by on , 3:34 AM.

  7. If Nautical Nonsense Is Something You Wish…

    LIKE YOU, I collect tiki mugs and related exoticabilia.

    Unlike you, I’ve done so for ages. I’m not some Ionakana-Come-Lately who just started a few years ago when it became wildly trendy. No, I began collecting tiki stuff a little before that, when it was just reasonably trendy.

    So you can imagine my delight when I was over at Petco recently picking up some more of that anchovy-flavored hairball paste Mr. Whiskers loves (on a crisp Ritz cracker) and I happened past the aquarium department where I saw this:


    …And it took me but a moment before I realized, why, that’s not just any Easter Island mo’ai, that’s Squidward’s mo’ai, from the perennially popular Nickelodeon cartoon “Spongebob Squarepants!”

    Sure enough, when I backed up a little bit, why, there was Spongebob’s pineapple house!


    And it was right next door, to the right – our right – of Squidward’s place – just like on the show. Happy accident or Spongebob-loving Petco employee with an obsession for accuracy? I think we’d both like to believe it’s the latter.

    These aquarium decorations are from the good folks at Penn-Plax and they’re just two among a number of Spongebob decorations for the well-dressed fish tank.

    They’ve even got the Krusty Krab!

    Look! Look!


    In addition to these buildings, they’ve also got little resin figures of all your favorite Bikini Bottom citizens – Spongebob, Patrick, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, Mrs. Puff, Plankton, even Gary.


    And what strikes me, and now you, about these decorative houses and the characters – is how very on-model they are. That is, how everything looks exactly as it does on the show!

    Well…almost everything.


    But let’s make this a teaching moment and use poor Sandy Cheeks’ ghastly, distorted countenance and the unbelievably agonizing pain we must assume she is experiencing as a warning to any of you less-experienced divers out there about the gruesome effects of surfacing too quickly.

    Posted by on March 18, 2013, 5:52 AM.

  8. Personal Hygiene and Enema System! Available Now at Goodwill!

    Thank You Free Online Photo Editor!

    LIKE YOU, when I’m out and about running errands and I need to feel fresh down there I head to my local Goodwill, snag an old threadbare washcloth from the linens section, wait until a homeless person is causing a scene using one of their dressing rooms as a toilet (you never have to wait long) and then take advantage of the distraction by flying through those double doors at the back and heading to the employee bathroom. There I’ll run the hot water, drop my drawers, soak the washrag and proceed with what the poor people of Puerto Rico call “taking a Slovak shower.” Ugly, ugly term. Racist! Shame on you, poor people of Puerto Rico! No wonder your filthy island paradise will never be a state.


    Sometimes there’s a dearth of washcloths! Sometimes there’s a cart blocking those double doors, or someone’s already in the employee restroom in the back! Sometimes a homeless man is crapping the floor in the dressing room but no one cares! Or he’s doing it so quietly and non-odorously and politely that he and his shopping cart are long gone – two, three alleys away – before anyone realizes! Then you can’t perform your mid-afternoon toilette, and pal, you’re screwed!

    It’s times like these that you really appreciate finding items like this at Goodwill:


    It’s the Cara Number 3 Economy Water Bottle Combination 2 Quart Personal Hygiene and Enema System!

    And it’s got all the bells and whistles!

    Look!  Look!


    For $2.99, you get it all: Tubing! Shut-off clamp! Water bottle! Adaptor! Enema pipe and vaginal pipe! Stopper! And hook!  (Presumably for retrieving any of the other bits and pieces you might lose up there!  Hey, happens to the best of us.)

    With this baby you can effect any necessary freshening-up in the privacy of your car’s backseat, right there in the parking lot! Just be sure you’ve brought along a thermos of piping hot water. Maybe some plastic sheeting, too, if you have fabric upholstery. Definitely if you have leather.

    And for God’s sake, don’t forget to feed the meter! Believe me, brother, you don’t want to be standing in the middle of a municipal parking lot wearing nothing but a long t-shirt and arguing with a meter maid with a long piece of white tubing dangling out of you, especially if you’ve neglected to engage the shut-off clamp! Then you’ll get the parking ticket and whatever citation they give street vendors for pouring unsold horchata in the gutter at the end of the day.

    Anyway, I’m not sure how the 10 Year Limited Warranty is impacted by buying this second hand in a thrift store, but I have a feeling that the good people of Cara, Incorporated would probably work with you on that.


    …because they care.

    Posted by on March 16, 2013, 4:22 AM.

  9. ¿What’s Bueno? Glutino Corn Bread Stuffing!

    ¿What's Bueno? I'll Tell You!

    LIKE YOU, I have little time for all this “gluten-free” nonsense we’ve all been subjected to over the last few years.

    In fact, I blogged about it at delightfully ponderous length back when my blog was still in its infancy. That was two years ago, and as I predicted then, gluten-free products have since gone the way of the dinosaur, the Edsel, the Disney Princess Jewelberry Pop-Tart.

    Indeed, such products were just another silly Big Grocery trend an idiotic public briefly embraced, like panini bread, dulce-de-leche flavored anything (known here in America as “caramel,” thank you very much!), and tampered bottles of acetaminophin pain relievers, all of which were eventually discontinued.

    Which explains why this stuff ended up – where else? – at the 99¢ Only store!


    And by “stuff” I mean stuff…ing.

    Now, of course, I didn’t try it – why would I? But even if there was some call for gluten-free products in the marketplace, I’m not sure a product called “Glutino Sans Gluten Free Mélange á Farce Corn Bread Stuffing” would have lasted much longer.

    “Farce” is right!

    First of all, they seem to be telling us they’re a gluten-free family of products, but their name brand – “Glutino” – sounds like it’s nothing but gluten. That’s like telling me that you’re allergic to spaghetti and then I fix you a great big bowl of Spaghettios.

    Well, it’s not quite like that, I suppose. But there’s something there. I mean, for God’s sake, they’re celebrating the word “gluten” like it’s a positive attribute. And it is – we both know gluten is delicious, but they’re part of the anti-gluten lobby. You…you see what I’m getting at, don’t you?

    Next, the product description: “Sans Gluten Free Stuffing.” Okay, it’s gluten-free, I guess. And according to them, that’s good. But wait – it says “sans” at the beginning, which means “without.” Which means it’s gluten-free stuffing without…I don’t know, the gluten-free aspect of it…? The double negatives cancel each other out…I think. So now it’s not gluten-free? Hell, if that were the case, I might have bought some!

    It’s not just me, right? They could have made this a lot clearer. The brand, the product name – it’s all incredibly confusing. And I’m not even touching on the bilingual aspect of it, which I know infuriates you even more than it does me.

    So that’s why this is our What’s Bueno at the 99¢ Only Store Item of the Week. Well, actually, my attorney telling me not to piss off any large multinational corporations is why. Have you tried this Glutino stuffing? Delicious! Good stuff!

    Wow, I’ve come a long way in two years, haven’t I? Today’s posts have a definite economy of style not present in my earlier work. Short, concise, to-the-point!

    Streamlined, brother! Positively streamlined!

    Posted by on March 12, 2013, 4:20 AM.

  10. 58 Energy Shots You Need To Ingest, Just For God’s Sake, Not All At Once! Part 2 In A Series!

    ENERGY shots!

    What would this blog be without them? The Ted Parsnips Web Design Team practically lives on them, I use them to write when my own creativity and my bottle of gin have both run dry, and heaven knows you, what, six readers probably need them to get through some of my longer, head-scratchingly abstruse posts where there’s some vague hope I’ll eventually get to the point.

    As a public service to you, the reader, I’m going to review 58 of these babies or die trying! Sure, my physician has warned me it’ll probably be the latter. But man, what a legacy to leave behind, right?


    Rx Energy Fast Shot
    Price: 99¢ only at 99¢ Only Store
    Calories: 10
    Vitamin B12: 500mcg / 8,333% RDA
    Flavors: Green Tea
    Before: Lethargic.
    After: Enthusiastically reorganizing your sock drawer alphabetically.

    Packaged to resemble a miniature Arizona Iced Tea container, Rx Energy Fast Shot is one of the weaker energy shots out there, but still has a bit of a pick-me-up, and it tastes vaguely like prune juice – bonus!  Peel off the plastic label and onlookers could easily mistake it for a tiny, airplane bottle of booze, so why not down a few while driving in heavy, slow-moving traffic? “The joke’s on you, officer – this isn’t alcohol! It’s a natural green tea energy shot! …That? Yeah, well, that’s a crack pipe.”


    ON GO Energy
    Price: 99¢ only at the 99¢ Only store
    Calories: 5
    Vitamin B12: 500 mcg / 8333% RDA
    Flavors: Grape, Fruit Punch, Pomegranate Blueberry, (and, not shown) Lemon Lime, Berry Blast, Mandarin Orange
    Before: Nodding off.
    After: Getting the dog up on his hind legs by holding a paw in each hand and dancing with him while singing “In a Mountain Greenery” and the dog’s wagging his tail but whining and gently biting your hands because he doesn’t like being on his hind legs while being waltzed around the living room – not even to his favorite Lorenz Hart tune.

    ON GO is one of a handful of brands that I always see at 99¢ Only. They get points from me for having not one, not two, but six flavors, and they’re actually pretty distinct. My favorite, and now yours, is Lemon Lime, which tastes like the melted, concentrated res•i•due you suck out of a spent green Fla•Vor•Ice sleeve.


    Energy 2000
    Price: 99¢ at Walgreens
    Calories: 0
    Vitamin B12: 500mcg / 8,333% RDA
    Flavors: Grape
    Before: Listless.
    After: Surprising your girlfriend by duct-taping all of the ATM receipts in your wallet into that damned scrapbook she’s always trying to get you to work on with her.

    Just how powerful is Energy 2000’s “energy blend”? It’s so strong that its natural and artificial grape flavors are no match for its medicine-y taste. And much like that Ecuadorian cab driver who said he could safely shuttle me from the Valley to LAX in time for my flight, the bottle likewise earned my trust by promising “No crash!”

    Well, we’re off! A fine, auspicious start to this new blog feature, you’ll agree! Depending on how you look at it – whether you count brands, images, or flavors – I’ve reviewed eight, five, or three energy shots, and have only fifty, fifty-three, or fifty-five more to go. It’s a race against time! Can I review them all before my spleen gives out and/or some asshole at Cracked steals the premise and somehow manages to come up with copy that’s even less entertaining?

    Posted by on March 11, 2013, 6:23 PM.

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