1. 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:


    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.

  2. Keeping In Shape, The Active Way!

    LIKE YOU, I’d been thinking about switching gyms. Where I go now, the equipment’s old and a lot of the machines are constantly out of order. In the weight room, there’s little to work out with because every week more and more of the dumbbells and free weight plates have gone missing. And the worst part? Getting the goddamn third degree from the people at the front desk as I drag my backpack out of there each afternoon. I don’t have time for that, not when the scrap metal yard down the street closes at 4:30!

    So I was thinking about trying out this place:


    I’d heard of 24 Hour Fitness, of course, but I didn’t know enough about the type of clubs they have. But here’s what sold me – right there on the sign, it lets you know it’s an active gym.

    An active gym – you know, as opposed to a motionless workout center. Oh, sure, some people are more at home at one of those torpid, idle, static, immobile fitness places where you come in and remain perfectly still, but not me, brother! No sirree, I’m a shark, always moving! That’s why a gym that says “active” right out front is the place for me!

    Believe me, I learned my lesson years ago when I got roped into a never-ending contract at Performance ProFit and then after I signed I found out my membership was only good at their Performance ProFit Sedentary clubs.

    Still, what a workout Alma put us through in her six p.m. pinochle class. Whew!

    Posted by on November 27, 2013, 1:03 AM.

  3. One Fine Day At The Novelty Gaming Machine Company!

    “Johnson! We need a name for our new line of steel claw game prizes! Something fun and playful that will appeal to young kids who want to try to win that favorite stuffed character while allaying their concerns about unauthorized use of trademarked properties!”

    “I’m on it, Boss!”


    Posted by on November 25, 2013, 1:00 AM.

  4. Don’t Forget To Vote And Get Your Flu Shot!

    WE’VE got a run-off election coming up here in my little corner of the toilet that is Los Angeles. (Square toilets – very fashionable right now. But a real bitch to clean!)

    The race is between some guy named Matt Yabbadabbadoo, I think, and someone else who – judging by the sheer volume of political flyers Matt has sent out – doesn’t have a prayer. I forget his opponent’s name, but I voted for her. And not because I root for the underdog but because she didn’t flood my damn post office box with countless flyers! Let that be a lesson to you political hopefuls who someday may need the coveted Ted Parsnips endorsement.

    So the run-off is a mail-in election, and here’s Matt’s latest p.o. box-clogging ad:


    It’s an 8 x 10-1/2″ card, so that mailman is fairly large. And outside of a Lichtenstein print, those Ben-Day dots [industry term] don’t really read too well when they’re blown up. Oh, it looks fine up there, because it’s shrunk down for the blog. But in person, hoo boy!

    Maybe a coupla closeups might prove my point:


    The dot pattern is an especially odd choice since a very light flesh tone is laid down beneath them anyway and they’re only used for the skin. Everything else is solid color.


    You’ll agree it gives our retro postman a rather sickly look.

    So, with all that in mind, I think this might be a more appropriate version:


    Posted by on November 12, 2013, 3:02 AM.

  5. Man Will Reportedly Hand Out Letters Instead Of Candy To Children With Stupid Parents Or Who Work In The News Media!


    Posted by on October 30, 2013, 5:09 PM.

  6. Like I’m A Piece Of Meat!

    Hey, look at the sign I saw at the gym!


    I’m a bit confused, though. Today is “Member Appreciation Day”…?  Just today…?

    Judging by the ogling I’m constantly subjected to by those lookie-loos in the showers, I thought every day was “Member Appreciation Day!” Ha ha ha!

    Sure, I laugh now, but I always leave that locker room feeling optically violated. And yet it’s the women in there who complain about me!

    Posted by on , 10:19 AM.

  7. Finding the Lord at the Post Office!

    LIKE YOU, I always find religious tracts at the post office when I go there to check my mail.

    Last week, I came across this one:


    A bit of a play on an old idiom, “JESUS LOVED YOU SO MUCH IT HURT,” it reads, with His hand impaled to the cross with a garish splash of blood where the spike’s been driven through. If they were going for shock value, it got my attention, even living as I do in our so-called “advanced” society where violence – in movies, in video games, on TV and in real life – is so disturbingly commonplace.

    I called up the number on the back of the tract and told the man who answered that its graphic message had intrigued me. I wanted answers.

    “My son,” the priest on the other end of the line explained, “We only had a budget for two colors.”

    Posted by on October 28, 2013, 6:00 AM.

  8. What You Need To Know About The Latest Trend In Lazy Headline Writing

    Culled from a Google News Search during one 24-hour period. And these are not even a tenth of them!


    Keep it short, I’m reading this on my iPhone on the freeway.


    There’s no such thing as “too many” possums.


    (The author fell down before he managed to type “Know.”)


    He’s frickin’ had it with you people trying to sneak through the express lane with 18 items!


    No no no! I don’t need to know anything! I just this weekend started watching it on Netflix!


    They discontinued the one shaped like Fred’s car when they introduced the Betty one.


    Nothing, since you live in AmericaOh, you’re a Slate reader. Well, that explains it.


    Chocodiles are addictive, I’ll admit, but I wouldn’t call them “the new drug.”  Oh – Krokodil.  My mistake.


    Which boof can I score some Krokodil at?


    You didn’t win.

    Now I don’t mean to suggest that every article featuring the words “What You Need To Know” in the headline is completely frivolous, presumptuously imparts artificial importance and implies personal value to a piece full of trivial nonsense. There are some things out there that, yes, you need to know! It’s just a matter of recognizing the difference between articles that offer information you might actually benefit from reading versus those you wouldn’t.

    For instance!

    Helpful after a catastrophe or other unfortunate situation:


    Impossible to imagine a set of circumstances where this would ever be of any use whatsoever:


    A valuable resource, I  presume:


    This one you can safely skip:


    (Unless it tells you whether the Android user you’re dating has Hepatitis A.)

    The article here…? Could be important; may keep you safe and out of the danger zone:


    However, this one…  –Actually, you know, this one could suggest similar precautions to avoid tragedy:


    And while this one may not seem important…


    …maybe if you’d read it, you wouldn’t be considering this now:


    Okay, I don’t know what that means, either, but there was some kind of joke there, right? There was something there!  Right?


    …Yes, yes, yes, maybe I should read this one.

    Posted by on October 1, 2013, 11:28 PM.

  9. What Happens When You Tie in SongPop? I’ll Tell You!

    YOU’VE got to download SongPop! It’s the best game EVARRRRRRR!!!!!!!! We’ll have so much fun playing against each other!  

    Two different pals told me exactly this some months ago.  So I did – I gave in and downloaded the damn app just to shut them the hell up!


    And of course just as soon as I did, once I’d downloaded this “amazing” game they were going on and on and on about and was finally able to play against them…? They’d gotten tired of it and now I’m lucky if they log in to play one round every three months. Hmph.

    I still play. But now I play with complete strangers. With strangers there are no expectations so they can’t let me down. I can count on them to not break my heart. Perfect strangers are people I can trust.

    And an amazing thing happened the other day – one mystery player and I actually tied!

    If you play SongPop, you know how unlikely this is, because you’re scored on how quickly you answer correctly. A fraction of a second one way or the other across five songs could result in you and your opponent having scores separated by thousands of points.

    But apparently the fellow I was playing against (actual user name redacted because I respect this stranger’s privacy, dammit!) and I are pretty evenly matched in TV Themes…and in this particular round, very evenly matched: We identified all five themes correctly, each in the same amount of time, resulting in a tie score!


    And what happens in an ultra-rare SongPop tie score?

    I seemingly won and was awarded those three little SongPop coins. I reckon, though, that the other guy “won” and similarly got three coins as well.


    But here’s the weird part:  Going into this round, my opponent had two wins to my one.  When this screen (below) popped up, I saw my ‘1’ win for half a second before it rolled back to ‘0’!


    What gives, SongPop?!  You said I won! And even when I lose, you’ve never penalized me by taking away previous wins!

    And what of my opponent?  Did he experience the same thing on his end?  Did he roll back to 1 or is he up to 3 now?

    Who knows? Most strangers are happy to play SongPop with you, sure, but they get annoyed when you try engaging them with the “message” feature. But I respect that – this way they remain strangers – and not “friends” who insist you download a game that they never play with you.

    Dr. Abramson says it’s better for everyone if I blog about this stuff rather than spend a lot of time on it in Group.

    Posted by on September 28, 2013, 11:30 AM.

  10. Bizarre Sighting: Ceramic Toad Swallowing Cheap Novelty Bat Caught On Camera!

    LOOK CLOSELY and you’ll realize that this is a rare, and perhaps first, sighting of a sink toad feeding on a rubber bat. Yes, this happened.


    This amazing photo was taken over the kitchen sink by me. What happened was I was trying to get a head start on decorating the house for Halloween. I hung the rubber bat on a hanging plant hook in the ceiling. Evidently the cheap elastic string broke and the bat fell down into the waiting maw of the hungry sink toad.

    Sink toads usually feast on scouring pads or sponges, but they are notoriously opportunistic feeders, even swallowing the occasional dish rag or Clorox wipe.

    After struggling with the meal for quite some time, the toad eventually gave up and spat the bat out. The bat recovered enough to have its elastic retied and rehung in a different part of the house.


    The toad, or hideous ceramic frog as it is technically known, is an invasive species from a local thrift store that took up permanent residence in my house two years ago after it was listed on eBay with no bids.


    I guess I overestimated the online market for ugly scouring pad holders. I’m sure I won’t make that mistake again.

    Posted by on September 26, 2013, 10:39 PM.

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