AS regular readers of this blog know, back in my matriculating days, I was an accounting major at Valley Vocational College (Winnetka campus). My nickname was Mouse CPA – “CPA” for my chosen career and “Mouse” because I eschewed the standard dorm-issue bed and instead slept in a nest fashioned from bits of string I’d collected and cedar shavings that I bought by the bale from PetCo. (Hey, give me a break: I was only 38, I was on my own for the first time in my life – I wanted to be different.)
My best pal was Beto Nuñez-Waldemar – “Copy BNW” we called him – and he worked the graveyard shift at Kinko’s in that old bank building with the mural on Victory in Woodland Hills, yes, making copies. Hence his nickname!
Man, knowing someone who works at Kinkos – whoa. Let me tell you, we all exploited that connection whenever one of us had to make a xerox of a receipt to send in for an oil filter rebate!
Post-class, when we were often fired up by a particularly provocative lecture on Pre-Revolution French Bookkeepers by Prof. Morris Detzer (“Detz” we affectionately called him), some of us guys would head over to Baja Fresh for a “rap session” where we’d hold court in the back booth, cocks-of-the-walk, all of us, still sporting our green visors and elastic arm bands.
One day me and Beto, full of piss and vinegar, and – this being Baja Fresh – fire-roasted salsa negra, decided to leave our mark there at our favorite eatery: we scraped our names into the toilet seat in the men’s room with the edge of my all-metal Pickett N902-AF Bookkeeping slide rule. (I still have it! I use it to pick my feet now!)
That was, of course, years ago.
Well, I can’t tell you how stunned I was when I was in the neighborhood last week and find out that not only is the Baja Fresh still standing, but it’s obviously the same toilet seat, because, yes – our names are still there!
Can we get a closeup of the seat? We can?! Excellent!
I’d have thought the friction caused by innumerable gluteus maximi flopped on the seat would have worn away our inscriptions, yet it’s quite the opposite: Years of ass sweat, dried skin, miscellaneous butt-dander, and, yes, let’s not forget feces (plus other bodily effluvia) have worked themselves into the grooves and in fact made our names stand out all the more on this stark white background of molded polystyrene.
Sadly, I never realized my dream of becoming a certified public accountant – Father threatened to cut me out of the will unless I entered a field with a solid future. At his suggestion (read: demand), I “chose” the lucrative world of freelance writing for the robust and exploding magazine industry.
But to see that this horseshoe-shaped monument to our carefree college days has stood the test of time – well, it kind of brings a tear to my eye. Ah.
* * *
…Or, I guess the shorter, bullshit-free version of all this would be “Who the hell carves their initials in toilet seats?”
TED, where have you been? many of you, what, six readers have been asking, or, maybe thinking of asking, over the last month.
And then you continue, You’ve been even more erratic in posting crap no one wants to read here at Ted Whosis Dot Com than you usually are! What gives? What’s going on? Where ya been?
Well, I’ve been in litigation hell is where I’ve been!
Turns out some jackass who goes by the name “Canis Iratus” – which I don’t think is even his real name! – stole a few images from my website. Oh, believe me, I was as outraged when I found out as you are now just hearing about it!
Seems he snagged the images from my post “Reasons to Leave LA #805 – Dogs In Stores” and then took it a step further by somehow accurately describing the locations, dates and general circumstances of where, when and why I snapped each of the photos. And that’s not all, brother! Then he started a Tumblr account with it, the ridiculously named “Dogs Where There Shouldn’t Be Dogs.”
What’s more, the guy seems to have precisely mimicked my signature style of writing overlong, drawn-out posts where, really, just a photo and a caption would do – that is to say, an image and maybe a brief, short, concise cutline or description beneath would get the message across quickly and efficiently, with an economy, or parsity, of words, yet this guy iterates and reiterates and just goes on and on and on and on and pretty much just repeats himself or goes off on some absurd tangent until you’ve completely lost track of whatever point he was attempting to make.
Where was I?
Ah, yes: If that’s not a blatant ripoff of my signature style, brother, I don’t know what is!
So I got my attorney on it right away who sued the bastard – handsome devil, I’ll say that for this Canis Iratus fellow, anyway – and lost the case!
And somehow as a condition of the settlement, I not only have to talk up his site here, but put a link over there, up on the left, so you can click on his site every now and then and go visit it. The indignity! This guy steals my photographic property and copies my style – and I’ve got to promote his website?! Now you can see why I seem to be preoccupied with the threat of litigation, if this is how my idiot lawyer does with an open-and-shut case like this.
Before I forget: I’m also required to encourage my few Twitter followers to follow the devious son-of-a-gun as well, here – and I will grudgingly admit that if you like the rapier-like wit of my Twitter feed, well, pal, it’s more of the same with him. What’s most galling is I actually compose my own Tweets, such as they are, and his are auto-generated when he publishes a new post.
Oh, yes – lastly: I’m supposed to encourage any and all of you folks to take photos of non-service dogs you see in stores (or other places where they shouldn’t be) and send them over to him for inclusion on the blog. That is, of course, if you agree with his Draconian worldview. Now, you get into any fistfights (or dogfights) for surreptitiously snapping photos of strangers, you bring that up with him, not me!
Well, that takes care of all the terms of the settlement. Well, except for my 120 hours of community service cleaning public toilets at Lanark Recreation Center in Canoga Park. Which actually set a legal precedent because the whole thing was a civil matter that I initiated over a copyright issue.
But at least I’m avoiding jail time, right?
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! And then we all of us have some fun as I feign shock and outrage upon realizing it was made in some God-forsaken furrin country.
It’s a blog post that has become a time-honored Ted Parsnips tradition, is what!
So let’s get started.
Here’s the t-shirt!
Annnd now to see where they made it…
Let’s all take a stab at it. I’m going to say “Myanmar.” No – no, wait…Estonia!
Okay, all, what, six of you, you’ve taken a guess? Got something in mind? Good!
It was made in…
What?! Made in the USA?
Well, I don’t think any of us saw that coming. But it does go to show the power of this blog. Sure, it took Walmart three years to get the message, but it’s pretty clear I’ve made my point.
So there you go, garment workers of America! I think you know who to thank this Memorial Day.
This guy took a selfie!
In other news, there was a mass-stabbing at a Pennsylvania school, and this guy was stabbed or something, but forget all that! Borrrrrrrrring, right?
Headline story on Google News?
Yes – this guy took a selfie!
Like you, I love 21st century journalism. (Though I do apologize to journalists of the past for using the word “journalism” there.)
And by the way, if this guy did anything heroic, saved anyone else from getting stabbed, etc., then, seriously: good for him. I’m not diminishing his possibly heroic deeds. (Although at this point the news stories are all incredibly vague. In the 21st century, we can’t wait for corroboration or fact-checking! No time for that! No sir, no how!)
I’m just all jazzed, as all thoughtful Americans are, that this guy took a selfie. Thanks Google News and USA Today. We’re – all of us – a little more intelligent, a little more well-informed, thanks to you!
AS REGULAR READERS of this blog know, last week the Parsnips clan got in some early, pre-spring camping up at Sequoia and this is the first time we brought along Evan, five. Oh, he’s a little dickens, he is. He insisted on taking a box of Totino’s Salmon Puffs into his tent with him when he went to bed “in case I get hungwy in da middoo of da night.”
Aw, how precious.
Yeah, well, we all thought so, too – until a 600 pound black bear ripped his tent open at two in the morning carried him off. “Let go of the Salmon Puffs!” I yelled. I mean, if you’re going to have to organize a search party at that hour you want to be able to offer the rangers something to eat, right?
As luck would have it, when Evan dropped the food, the bear dropped him. (And took off with the Puffs – of course.) So all is fine, right? A splash of hydrogen peroxide on the puncture wounds, a coupla dozen Buzz Lightyear Band-Aids here and there, and let’s all get back to bed – I’ve got a long drive back tomorrow.
No, of course not, my life is never that easy. Ever since we got home, the kid’s afraid of the dark, and when it’s daytime, all he does is talk, and whine, and cry about this little mishap – yap yap yap yap yap!
And then these hideous drawings! He finishes one, and then he get started right away on another one, and they’re all the same! You’d figure with his right arm in a sling, he might give it a rest, but he’s a boy possessed! Sheesh!
“Well, you’re the one who wanted to bring the salmon puffs into your tent,” I’ve reminded him. Like that does any good!
Look, folks, I work at home – I can’t have him going on and on and on about this all day long. I’m getting nothing done here!
So we figured the best thing to do, short of returning him to the foster child depot (and losing out on that check!) was get him enrolled in some sort of daycare place. Maybe being around other kids his own age, he can work through this issue or play Legos or something to keep him occupied. Regardless, this way, he’d be someone else’s problem for fourteen or sixteen hours a day, right?
I flipped through the phone book and came across a day care facility up the street. “Hmm, Melody Child Care – that has a nice ring to it,” I announced, and having come up with such a witty line, I figured I was pretty much committed to this place.
Anyway, first thing Monday morning, I’m dropping him off there and thankfully all this bear nonsense will be behind us.
YOU know what’s been in the news a lot lately? Yes, that’s right: flushable wipes!
They’re “flushable” all right – like a five-pound bag of quick-setting concrete is “flushable!”
Oh, you’re technically able to flush any of ’em down the toilet, sure–that’s not where your problems start. No sir, that’s where your plumber’s children’s college funds start.
Those guys have been loving all that extra business they’ve been getting by yanking out your soiled doo-rags once they clog up the waterworks halfway between your terlet, dere, and the septic tank or municipal sewer line.
However, Consumer Reports did one of those reports [for consumers!] and found that these dealies…
…passed with flying colors! (Presumably various shades of brown.)
Cottonelle FreshCare flushable cleansing cloths actually did break down.
But they did break down, my attorney is quite insistent I let you know.
That’s not what we’ve come here for today. We’re here because of this emblem on their package:
Let’s ignore that ominous asterisk on the upper right corner that seems to say “Sewer and Septic Safe…but…”
At first I thought it was another of those dangling asterisks without a corresponding one elsewhere on the package, but eventually I found its mate and see that it indicates a trademark of Kimberly-Clark, the makers of this fine personal care product.
Why an * instead of a ™? No idea. Seems to me a standard trademark symbol wouldn’t leave people looking for terms, conditions or exceptions, but what do I know? Regardless, forget all that.
No, what you need to focus on is the artwork in the middle of the above emblem. It, eh, it seemed sort of familiar to me somehow.
And then I realized:
It’s not identical, of course–the one on the left has a rectangle in the middle and is just blue and white–but there are definite similaries. And I guess it’s good there’s no red in the lines representing water. If that was the case, you’ve probably got more problems than, uh, keeping clean down there and should probably call your doctor before Roto-Rooter.
Anyway! Complete coincidence or subtle commentary on the current administration? I wouldn’t know; I’m not legally qualified to comment on logo design and this is not a political blog.
So someone else can make the inevitable CafePress bumper sticker.
Hey, guess what! Oh, you know! It’s here again!
Yes, it’s another Member Appreciation Day at my gym!
And the best part of Member Appreciation Day, is of course the…
…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.
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:
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?
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:
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…
…and edited it even more mercilessly (eighteen words) on the mug:
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: