Sunday, March 31, 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure #135: Playoff Champion

Playoffs??? You want to talk about playoffs? Playoffs!?!? Well, yes.

With warmer snow signaling the beginning of spring it won't be long until the heroes of summer return to take to the baseball diamond for a thrill ride that's only considered less dull than soccer because it has cultural traction on its side. Our steroid-fueled heroes will be hitting big time dingers, getting three-baggers, playing out of a scuffle and other feats of heroism veiled behind bizarre jargon, crotch-grabbing, endless spiting and the occasional beach ball on the field.

Yeah, let's face it, baseball is kinda boring. All the efforts to introduce "extreme" elements and seizure-inducing spectacle labor in vain against the simple truth. Honestly, we're reaching the point where the restroom urinals are more interesting than the actual game. Still, it's a tradition, you can drink and over-eat without worrying about too much excitement affecting the digestion/inebriation process and every so often the game rises above its considerable limitations to produce memorable moments.

 Alternate Title: "The Worst Human Being to Ever Live."

In that spirit it's time to return to always dependable triple-digit Choose Your Own Adventure books. At this point in the series quality control had pretty much vanished, resulting in drivel like "The Terrorist Trap" (!!!) and "Surf Monkeys" (!). Yes, those are real. Today's story, thankfully, takes a more down-to-earth approach by presenting baseball managerial tactics as the core plot mechanic. That's a relief, considering last time I died naked, alone and terrified in quicksand while trying to flee a MILF-led kidnapping ring. The worst thing that will happen this time, I'm assuming, is losing the game, disgracing your family, never knowing true love and becoming a hopeless human wreck desperately trying to recapture that fleeting moment of glory that was never fully realized.

Batter Up!

We start with a huge information dump that goes on for several pages. The "you" in this story is a catcher, a big time hitter and the most respected player on the "Wynona Cougars." We've reached some ill-defined "school" (college?) playoffs that was alluded to in the title and are preparing for the semi-final showdown against "Passyunk." I guess "Moo Mud" got eliminated in group play. However, disaster strikes as the beloved coach suffers a lovingly illustrated heart attack and is hurt or dead or something. 

In unrelated trivia, a lifetime of steroid abuse has been linked to heart problems.

With Coach loaded into the old meat wagon we're forced to go on without him, appointing a player-manager in his stead. I, of course, get the nod. Something tells me that losing this game would psychologically destroy my c.y.o.a. alter ego, so let's hope for the best.

My first decision is classic baseball "what would you do?" the kind of thing that would be the first chapter of a "How to Manage a Baseball Team" book if something that depressing actually exists. The opposing pitcher, a total monster on the mound, is a right-hander. Most of my better hitters bat from the orthodox side of the plate. This is, we are told, a considerable disadvantage. Should we put in some southpaws, even though they live shorter lives and are more likely to suffer insanity? 

I decide to stick with the original line-up. Yet another example of the massive, institutional discrimination against lefties. Yes, I am left-handed myself, but I don't see what that has to do with this outrage.

Lefties: The Hand of Fate.

After that bit of ugly handism a completely awful game, even by baseball standards, ensues. It stays 0-0 for "inning after inning" as both pitchers dominate soft bats. The opposing pitcher racks up 16 strike outs and I'm beginning to wonder if my self-hating lefty antics are going to be our undoing. Then, Ghost in the Machine! The Coach, "unable to speak," arrives in a wheelchair to offer moral support! Our team promptly goes crazy and hits the winning run in the ninth inning! 

Now all that remains is a little piece of business called Scarboro and their ace pitcher Doorknob Clinton (!!!). 

Do a search for "Doorknob Clinton" and this is what you get.

Doorknob proves to be as formidable as you might expect, striking out the first two hitters with the old trouble ball. Now it's my turn. He's feeding me his "sinker" but I decide to be "ready for anything!" Now there's some stra-teg-ery. Ten moves ahead, ready for any trick.

I strike out.

This game is another no-score snooze-fest. Man, no wonder everyone is inhaling cheap beer at these. When I actually get bat on ball in the 4th it feels like it's "made of lead." If only there was some sort of illegal way to make my hitting stronger, but alas, there isn't. Unfortunately Scarboro mounts a rally, with Good Dog McGee (!) bunting runners to second and third with only one out. Next up? Bad Dog McGee, obviously. I'm guessing he's a decent guy with a mostly unearned bad reputation, while "Good Dog" gets away with murder but no one ever suspects him because, hey, he's a good dog.

He had won the battle against himself. He loved Big Master.

We get the classic "small ball" scenario where I walk the Dog (ugh, so sorry for that) to set up the inning-ending double play. It works! With the potential excitement expertly averted, it's back to more thrilling one-two-three innings. We begin to speculate that Clinton might be a "machine." I don't think I have to tell you what the fuel probably is.

Ninth inning. With the opposing pitcher batting I'm given the option to call for "fast balls" but the concern is our pitcher is exhausted. Apparently this game is taking place in 1910: no offense, endless small ball, complete games instead of several relief pitchers, etc. All we need is some casual racism and that theory will be confirmed. 

I call for some finesse pitching, but my guy is so exhausted he completely screws that up and the result is a 1-0 lead. Then the reliever finally comes in. Cracker jack timing, as always.

May contain the "eff" word, according to a helpful sticker.

Then we lose. The ending explains how the opposing pitcher went on to a long and successful major league career, complete with World Series heroics. Meanwhile I fade into well-deserved obscurity, but at least my first name isn't "Doorknob" so there's always that.

Overall this was a good one, calling back happy memories of that golden age of baseball before players figured out they could inject clean urine directly into their bladders to defeat drug testing. The more realistic story was actually rather refreshing after all the sensational b.s. these books usually serve up and the strategic decisions made sense. Maybe not a classic, but still probably better than "Surf Monkeys." Probably.

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

News You Can't Use: Minor League Baseball Team to Debut Urinal Video Games

Video Games, Minor League Baseball and assorted horrible bodily functions: these are the three pillars upon which the greatest nation to ever exist rests. This is why we'll always be Triple A Number One, regardless of what so-called "experts" who use "actual reality" to make those determinations say to the contrary. All that remains is to somehow unite this triumvirate to form one awe-inspiring whole, much like the Holy Trinity or Voltron.

Clearly all of human history has been pointing to this glorious moment, where the combined efforts of practical computing, low level sports and waste disposal converge, creating what is clearly humanity's crowning moment. Civilization can now disband, the goal that has been foremost in our minds since fire was first harnessed and animals domesticated has finally been realized. We can now play video games by pissing while at a Bush League game.

O brave new world, that has such urinals in't.

Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley IronPigs will debut the "Urinal Gaming System" in its men's bathrooms—the custom urinals feature a "pee controlled" video screen that will entertain fans as they use the restroom.

As if attending an "IronPigs" game with other assorted human wreckage wasn't enough already. Now you're pissing with power. I certainly can't foresee any unintended consequences here. Nope, nothing could possibly go wrong.

The system is designed by a British company called Captive Media—in a demo for the urinal, the company shows a snowboarding slalom game in which the character is controlled by where the player pees.

Because freezing temperatures, some guy's rear end and physical injury are what you want to be thinking about during this intensely personal moment.

"If only I could somehow control this with my own waste..."

The IronPigs' Coca-Cola stadium will be the first American sports venue to feature the games. According to Captive Media, office complexes in Knoxville, Tenn. and Dallas, Texas already have them. There are about a dozen companies in Europe that have them as well.. this isn't really a first at all and isn't really news. Sorry to waste your time by pretending it was. 

According to the team, the first game will be an alpine skiing game but will be rotated in and out during the season. In a statement, Kurt Landes, the IronPigs' general manager, said "these games are sure to make a huge splash."

Komment Korner 

What a great idea. Make me what to drink water!

I can't wait to hear about the first drunk idiot that thinks you have to pee on the screen to play. You know it's going to happen!

Do I get extra credit for puking?

AMazing innovation. can I import my skyrim character?

Some korean kid will still steal the high score, even in this.

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

DotTeeVee: Southern European Aryans League Army

Last time on DotTeeVee we had a few laughs, possibly while rolling on the floor or losing your pants, at the expense of the far left. Since I'm fair and balanced and clean and loyal and trustworthy it's only fair that we take the time to deliver a similar rank-out to the far right. And no MSNBC, the "extreme right" is not someone who believes in the constitution, wants to limit the power of government and thinks a 16 trillion dollar foreign debt might be a bigger concern than filling out "brackets" for an amateur athletic competition. What I'm talking about is literal nazis. Well, ok, nazis that have that special sort of idiocy and fecklessness that only America can produce.

With that in mind, it's time to meet the President and, as far as I could tell, only member of the Southern European Aryans Army. It's a formless blob of pale flesh named "Dustin Victory." He's opted to perform his first presidential address shirtless, just like any legitimate mainstream politician, but the absence of a cossack horse or Hawaiian beach somewhat ruins the effect. Instead he's in a darkened room, covered with crude, possibly homemade, tattoos that resemble splotches of mold on Wonder Bread more than anything else. I honestly think this is what the LAMEstream media believes is the composite image of a "red state" voter.

Still more appealing than Mitt Romney.

As you might expect, our racially-pure "president" has a lot to say. Specifically "Hello, my white brothers and ssssisterssss." If anything I down-played the snake-like hissing coming from this Over-Man in that transcription. This bizarre sibilant speech patter continues as, and brace yourself because this is shocking and unexpected, he starts ranting about "liberalsss." Man, Harry Potter was right, those snake people really are racist dicks.

   "Hello my purple brothersss and sssssisssterssss."

He's worried that the vast left-wing conspiracy will "smash my name." You're shirtless, covered in terrible-looking racist ink, and hissing like a samovar. I don't think the "liberalsss" are going to have to do a lot to make you look bad. Also, I'm sure smearing some racist nobody loser from Mud Nose, Mississippi is currently the primary objective of The Left. Once those brackets have been updated and after a few more rounds of golf are finished, that is.

"If you did not hear it from me, then I did not sssssay it," seems to be the main point to take away from this mess. This total scumbag is protecting his good name. Weapons grade irony, right here.

Step One: Slander the snake-nazi.

After a denial of acts of violence and an admission that "Yesss, I am a racissst" we get an appeal to the First Amendment. No MSNBC, this guy is not typical of people who believe in the Constitution. Really, he isn't. With a hearty "Nineteen One" (???) and some Sieg Heiling (!) we wrap things up. Man, I hate Alabama nazis.

We conclude with some random sniffling and hissing, appropriately enough.

You're probably thinking, "Well, that destroyed all my faith in humanity, but do you have any videos of him drunkenly dancing to country music?" Suffice it to say, today is your lucky day. We hear some George Jones and the last, best hope of the aryan race appears, flexing. A little something for the ladies, I guess.

Let's see you outlaw these guns, Obummer!

From there it's back to more Heiling and approaching the camera with his mouth open, for some reason. Maybe it's one of those snakes that unhinges its jaws to swallow mice whole or something. Then the drinking begins, including putting the cheap domestic beer can right up to the camera so we "get" it. Then, the confederate flag is presented. I'm not sure how this could be more obvious, other than maybe a neon sign that says "Inbred Hate-Filled Moron" with an arrow pointing at him. 

We get all "Blair Witch" as the high resolution potato recording this awkwardly pans around a room full of ill-defined shapes. Then it's time for some double fisting. Drinking is very sophisticated and debonair. 

Man, Stone Cold Steve Austin really let himself go.

We conclude with more flexing, and a claim that our glorious leader is "gum (?) drunk as hell." There are things that have come out of a baboon's anus that are more valuable and appealing than this guy. 

All right, just one more. Like a car wreck or CPAC conference I find watching the disaster both horrifying and completely fascinating. In this final video the important issue of "I don't want no trouble" is addressed. As usual The Leader is tired of "liberalsss" but this time he's going to do something about it. Specifically, he states we "have a right to defend ourssselvesss." Great, now he's going to ruin the Second Amendment. I'm looking forward to videos where this idiot makes forced quartering of troops in our homes or having to testify against yourself seem appealing via his opposition to them.

Out comes the gun. Oh dear. With a cigarette precariously balanced on his upper lip he points the gun right at us. Where do I sign to give up all my rights to "liberalsss?" 

The average gun-owner, as imagined by Nancy Pelosi.

"If trouble is ready, we are ready," he mumbles through a partly filled mouth. Mercifully, it ends.

Komment Korner   
Im not sure I'll ever stop laughing....SSSSSSStutttter much?

You are pro-White, and I honor you for that. But please remember, the average person won't join or support a group with your presentation.

Dustin, what happened to your breasts?

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

News You Can't Use: Comfort Food Could Worsen Mood

If you're too much of a sissy wimp coward to inject the fruit of the golden triangle right into your neck veins chances are you're medicating yourself with food instead. If you're American, that chance is about as close to 100% as any statistical probability is going to get without some academic dishonesty going on. Yup, nothing better to fix that bad mood than shoveling massive portions of chemical poison into the old gaping maw while cholesterol-filled tears slide down your greasy, fat face. Welcome to the closest approximation of paradise that can be experienced in this fleshy prison (if you're too yellow-bellied to do needle drugs, that is). Incredibly, the argument has been advanced by nothing less than SCIENCE that this gorging process might not actually bring the happiness you would expect. Clearly further investigation is warranted and that's why this is News You Can't Use.

I feel better already. Also my arm is tingling.

Humans are often tempted to consume rich, unhealthy foods when feeling stress, depression or anger, a practice commonly referred to as “eating one’s feelings.”

I love the bizarre and condescending tone this article begins with. You crazy "humans" and your so-called "feelings." I can only surmise that this article was written by the world's smartest ape or the world's most average android. Let's try to understand this weird ritual conducted by "humans."

For many, fattening food options are also easier to obtain, and the consumption of comfort foods such as fast food is common practice in the United States – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, 11.3 percent of the average American diet consisted of fast food between 2007 and 2010.

So if you were living in Bora Bora for the past forty years and just got an internet connection, somehow, and wanted to check how the good ole You Ess of Ayy was doing, there's your answer. We're stuffing greasy horse-meat in out grotesquely bloated faces.

After soda was outlawed, The Man came for me next. But I was ready.
CDC researchers additionally observed, “As lifestyles become more hectic, fast-food consumption has become a growing part of the American diet.”

As writers become more lazy, unattributed quotes has become a growing part of padding out an article.

The study, conducted at Pennsylvania State University, reportedly found that eating poorly not only worsens moods, it also doesn’t do much to alter moods positively before or during meals.

Fortunately lying, monkey-flying scientists have taken a break from proving atheism to ruin binge-eating. The goal of science seems to be to make sure everyone is deeply depressed all the time.

Zero facts.
The negative emotions experienced after treats are said to be primarily connected to concerns regarding body image and maintaining a proper diet.

I honestly wonder who is saying this. The article certainly doesn't know. More top quality "research" from an Ivy League diploma-mill.

Researchers reportedly collected data for the study by asking 131 women with unhealthy eating habits and self-image concerns – but who did not exhibit signs of an eating disorder – to travel with handheld computers that prompted the participants several times daily to answer questions about dietary choices and mood at a given time.

You have no signs of an eating disorder, but you eat in an unhealthy fashion. Here, take this handheld computer that will apply constant guilt to your fat ass throughout the day. Then let us know if you're happy. People are getting paid for this sort of drivel. 

As usual I recommend that you don't click that link unless you want to be bombarded with ads for garbage that no one, anywhere, needs. Does anyone actually click on that b.s., let alone waste money on it? Now there's a study. Pick people with unhealthy internet habits but no internet habit disorders. Give them another, tiny little computer. Track the mood. This is science. Can I has grant money?

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure #100: The Worst Day of Your Life

Last time I tried a gamebook it promised espionage and high adventure but delivered TSA-style airport tyranny, shake-down rooms, the prison diet and way too much sarcastic self-awareness. After that bad experience it's time to return to Choose Your Own Adventure, where completely unaware and totally screwed up is the order of the day.

Speaking of days, that takes us to our subject. Specifically the "Worst Day of Your Life." Anywhere else I'd call this lame hyperbole to drum up some interest but with a cover that features a bull crashing through the window of a suburban house while the "you" avatar runs for cover I think there's at least a small chance it will live up to the advance billing.

Your new dream house in suburban Pamplona.

We start with some classic "I ain't superstitious" denial, despite the obvious fact that every Choose Your Own Adventure character ever suffers from cursed luck. Despite these objections, I'm starting to wake up to the reality that bad luck, sorrow and an early grave are my likely lot in life. Specifically, a "rocket" I "set off" in the backyard hit the neighbor's house. If this happened in 2013 I'd probably be picked up by Homeland Security and held without trial in an undisclosed location for domestic terrorism before being sentenced to death by a star chamber, so count your blessings, kid. I also got suspended from school for accidentally playing the Devil Music (Jailhouse Rock!) over the P.A. system. I guess the whole school board wasn't a purple gang.

Just a little side-project I'm working on.

The upshot of all this is that I have to spend the summer earning money (Yuck, Capitalism! Boo!) at Uncle Norbert's dirt farm in "Moo Mud, Ohio" while my family vacations in Hawaii. As the story proper begins I'm on the bus to the demeaning rural labor, but my lunch was ruined by bugs, the bus breaks down, I'm already late for the slop 'n' plop detail and there's tornadoes and flash floods possible. Not exactly an auspicious start. I decide to leave the bus and walk the remaining six miles to the farm, which for the average American might as well be the distance from the Earth to the Sun. 

I begin the Long Walk, trudging down an empty road while dark clouds begin to gather. Then a van pulls up and a strange man is all "Hey little boy, get in." Yeah. This really happens. I didn't think we'd get a scene like this until Choose Your Own Adventure #248: Trapped in the Penn State Shower Room.

  What could go wrong?

Morbid curiosity wins out and I get into the Molestermobile. The driver immediately starts driving erratically and turns off the main road but the obvious suspicions are proven incorrect because there's a tornado! I don't think I've ever been so grateful for the arrival of a funnel cloud. We avoid it and the driver takes me the rest of the way to Moo Mud. The lesson here is always accept rides from strangers.

It's pouring rain and the farming community has "shut down for the night." Just flip a giant switch and it all turns off, I guess. Go unplug the chickens, it's nighttime, etc. Anyways, I'm in front of a gas station, but it's closed too, so I decide a policy of randomly wandering around is the wisest course of action. Not a lot of self-preservation skills here. A sign mentions a "lost alligator" named "Snappy." I respond by falling down and being swept away by the flood waters.

The next outrageous twist: the gator gives you beer.

Given a choice to "go with the current" and probably be devoured by Pennywise the Clown, I decide to grab a floating "object" which is as specific as the book will get at this point. It's a log. After crawling through thorns and generally getting the business from Mother Nature I'm back on the road, where I hear a voice calling for "Snappy." It's this crazy old man who's all "where's my pet gator?" and "I remember ol' Herbert Hoover" and "by dicky cricky" and all the other b.s. you get out of that segment of the population. Suffice it to say I decide not to go with him.

This is pretty much what happened.

I wait for help, hopefully from someone with a better grasp on reality than the alligator grandpa. Several hours pass in the rain before I run in front of a car and flag it down. It's a Porsche (!) driven by a "woman around your mother's age" or a WAYMA, if you will. "Dear Penthouse..." Anyway, she's all "get in" and it's basically a replay of the "van incident" but totally awesome this time instead of creepy as hell. Time to get another "rocket" ready for "launch."

She takes you to her house and invites you to take a bath. Yeah, I think I know what that's code for. She even tells you to "put your clothes outside the door." Yep, won't be needing those for quite a while. I relax in the luxurious bathroom, reflecting on how my luck has changed. Knowing these books she'll probably turn out to be a cannibal or witch.

The End.

So I pick up the phone to call my friend Steve and brag about what's about to go down, but "Mrs. Barlowe" is already on the line, making a kidnapping threat (!) to your uncle. I love how these books take an already screwed up situation and make it even more ridiculous. I hop out of the tub, but my clothes are gone. Yes, this is a book aimed at eleven-year-olds, why do you ask?

Naked or not, I'm making a break. Wrapped in a towel I dive into a closet, while Mrs. Barlowe is now in full-blown black widow mode, offering "hot chocolate" before discovering my absence. I bolt out the door and keep going, losing the towel on a spiked fence. Naked, alone and pursued by a MILF-led kidnapping ring I blunder into "quicksand" and die. Yes, after all that this is my sorry, completely cliched and truly horrible death.

How many mistakes can you find in this picture?

This was hands-down the most completely fudged-up one of these books I've read so far. I don't even know what else to say. When slowly drowning in quicksand barely cracks the Top Five Most Horrible Moments you know you've experienced something wonderful. I'm honestly afraid to see what else is in this book, so I'll just put it away and we'll all forget this ever happened.

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

News You Can't Use: Seattle Dive Bar Becomes First to Ban Google Glass

Technology! It pretty much solved all our problems, which is why we have a national budget surplus, young people are reserved and well-behaved and you can't leave the house without being offered jobs. Despite this conquest of the mundane, the future looks even brighter, complete with special "augmented reality" glasses that create an electronic wonder world that a decade ago could only be approximated by putting a sack over your head and then smashing a hammer into your forehead repeatedly. This exciting new alienation advance is worth pretty much all the money I have. Seriously, just take it all.

Not everyone's happy about this, if you can believe that. There is one natural enemy of hands-free internet and the high-tech lotus-eating it implies and that enemy is, of course, the "dive bar." The lines are being drawn for the coming battle between what is actually hip and who was doing what prior to it gaining mass acceptance.

He had won the battle against himself. He loved Big Google.

The 5 Point, a self-described dive bar in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood, posted a notice to its Facebook page this week telling Glass Explorers looking to grab a pint that they will need to remove their $1,500 spectacles. The story was noted today on GeekWire.

"We are aware of the irony of using the internet to denounce the internet, so don't bother pointing it out." I was also very disappointed to learn that "GeekWire" wasn't about carnival freaks. The $1,500 price tag for these wonderful glasses insures that the initial audience will be an even mix of the idle rich, CEO-types that see the benefit in early adaptation and total and complete suckers.

And not a single stereotype was defied on that day.

"For the record, The 5 Point is the first Seattle business to ban in advance Google Glasses," the post reads. "And ass kickings will be encouraged for violators."

Aw, yeah it's clobbering time! Prepare to be physically censored you Google-loving bastard! Eat this fist! 

Bombastic language aside you could almost argue that is some lame publicity stunt. No, can't be. "The 5 Point" loves you and would never sink to such a level for evil "profits." This is nothing but purity and sincerity, a line drawn in the sand against the evil-doers looking to steal our privacy and God-given right to go creepin' in some dank hole.

Meinert admitted he was having a bit of fun: "Part of this is a joke, to be funny on Facebook, and get reaction."

You can read the original story here, but I don't really recommend it because your computer will be assaulted with a million ads and other assorted b.s. Following the sad defeat of the "dive bar," the last bastion holding out against the dominance of internet commercialization, we can only expect more of this is in the bleak future that awaits.

Also, I hope none of these "Google Glass" users drive cars. Just sayin'.

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

DotTeeVee: Dumb Liberal Hippies Don't Know Why They're Protesting

It has recently come to my attention that there's something out there called "network television." I'm still somewhat sketchy on the details, but as best as I can tell it's a non-interactive version of the internet viewed mainly by degenerate morons and Luddites. Apparently these so-called "networks" even produce cutesy little amateur hour news shows, usually full of technical gaffes, factual errors and a general air of ineptitude. I find it fascinating why anyone would treat this as a serious source of information when fair superior online alternatives are available. In any case, I have randomly selected a news clip and will now perform my due diligence.

We get a short opening informing us that something called "CBS" is responsible for the abortion we're about to witness, complete with its bizarre eye logo. "We're watching, we're powerful, we even have a Youtube video with 718 dislikes!" I'm so scared CBS, whatever the hell that stands for. We're told that they are examining something called "Occupy Sacramento" which I'm assuming is a reference to the secret war we fought with California in 2011. While this opening is delivered another, smaller television screen shows footage. A teevee in your teevee, wtf LAMEstream media?

    Screens within screens, my friends.

The protestors, according to CBS 13, "lashed out" at an event that was "supposed to be peaceful." If you're expecting to see a reporter "bite the curb" or the like, forget it. The "lashing" consists of talking loudly in a not especially coherent fashion. Why we get this crazy hyperbole when the sad truth will be made manifest in just a few seconds is one of the bigger mysteries of this clip. We're already watching, you can stop with the con game.

The rather dull events to come are then described as "an unexpected confrontation" which is just bizarre considering the news team actively sought out the communist brigade. Maybe if the trust fund Che had popped out of a closet like a horrible smelling jack-in-the-box it would count as unexpected, but not the b.s. we end up getting. This is why no one watches Television any more. I think maybe a dozen people watched the Super Bowl, if that.

Is it just me or is that fist somewhat suggestive?

Anyway, the big clash between the 99% and the 1% consists of a scrawny, smiling person extending a finger toward the camera and maybe lightly brushing it. "They got in our face," declares the reporter, even though it's pretty clear from the footage that this is a feckless group of naive thrill-seekers. After the ugly "finger incident" everything settles down considerably. Taking into account that this is literally the "unwashed masses" you have to concede that the earlier bombastic language seems a little misplaced. 

Nothing screams individuality like a piece of merchandise mass produced in China.

It's time to ask the Big Question: "Why are you here?" Faced with this softball from a sympathetic interviewer the representative of the People's Revolution offers up awkward silence while the man that "lashed out" earlier rambles in a manner that suggests untreated mental illness. Man, where do I sign up for this? I can't wait to freak out squares and destroy capitalism with these crazy diamonds.

Oh here's the problem! I accidentally set my brain to "off."
Maybe the event organizer will have a better answer? After all, even a mighty Soviet state requires a strong dictator to keep things in line for awhile before voluntarily surrendering his power and stepping down once the Worker's Paradise has come to full fruition. Sadly our bush league Trotsky doesn't really fare much better than the other dregs interviewed. He basically says they'll figure out why they're here...tomorrow. This is what happens when the slacker generation tries its hand at Bolshevism. "I'll get off the couch and liquidate my enemies tomorrow Mom!" 

"Communism? I thought this was the line for One Direction!"

In an amazing coincidence we randomly select an attractive young lady with an unfortunate case of "Leno Chin" for the next interview. She basically has nothing of value to say (Yeah, really. I know, I was shocked, too) but in a funny bit some guys with their faces concealed jostle to be on camera in the back, despite the obvious fact that their identities are disguised, removing any point to this. 

Perhaps desperate for anything resembling a cogent argument or valid point we then talk to one of the few people over 25 at the event, a sixties leftover. He proudly declares his communist affiliation and I can imagine the reporter's thought process: "I'm trying to make these troglodytes look good and what do they do? Make endless moronic statements and then swear allegiance to the U.S.S.R. Gah!" The situation isn't helped by the former red diaper baby making crazy faces. 

 "Stalin had a lot of good ideas!"

The young lady from earlier gets another chance to display her mind boggling ignorance and doesn't disappoint, declaring she's here for "People!" after being fed that line from someone off camera. Finally, after all this b.s. we talk to a relatively normal older gentleman who is concerned about "corporate greed" ruining our country. I wonder what this well-meaning and sane man thought about being surrounded by mask-wearing goofs, communist true-believers, and bubble-headed morons. Something tells me this was his first and last protest.

The protesters plan on staying the night (Yay, sleepover! We can eat pizza and call boys!) but the Police State has declared that this will not be allowed. "This is tyranny, man! Rule of Law is fascist." We talk with a "young mother" who plans on staying the night. Even the reporter can't maintain his stoic neutrality in the face of this idiocy and tries to talk her out of it. She blows it off with a reference to "extra blankets."

  "Please tell the viewers what the hell you were thinking."

More lame "confrontation" follows. The protestors decide to turn the tables and ask the media why they're here. With this kind of cunning it's only a matter of time before capitalism, Western Democracy and the plutocracy are smashed into bite-sized pieces by these heroes of the proletarian. Honestly, I think they might be here to "do a story." I know it sounds crazy, but I just might be on to something.

"Impeach Bush!"

An effort to call a "time out" fails and we wrap up with some night shots and the reporter struggling to produce the correct date. Still caught up in sports metaphors we run down the "game plan" for the 99% and the police. Suffice it to say, they're at cross-purposes. We admit that maybe one valid point was raised by that one guy who probably left shortly afterward, never to return. "Will this grow and gain mass nation-wide popularity?" becomes the question. Major spoiler: No.

Komment Korner

Ahhh, a strawman from a retarded piece of shit.

are you effing kidding me? These monkeys are the future of our country?!?!?!?

The dude in the black hoody just wanted to hold a sign and yell lmao


atleast shes hot, i would fuck her

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Twistaplot #10 Mission of the Secret Spy Squad

Last time we explored a rich and highly nuanced world of fantasy in Deathtrap Dungeon by entering a deadly dungeon and...well...dying. You can't accuse them of false advertising, that's for sure. Following that debacle (I think it's impossible to die faster than I did) it's time to put away the dice and go back into the kiddie pool for another Choose Your Own Adventure idea thief. This time it's "Twistaplot" which, believe it or not, was put out by Scholastic and prominently featured Goosebumps author R.L. Stine (not in today's book, though). With that impressive pedigree you'd think this series would be a little less on the fudged up side, but you'd be mostly wrong as the stories would often veer into murder, mayhem and, in today's tale, cold war espionage. Yeah, really.

Overall, I have a soft spot for this series. It was generally well-written and as original as a rip-off could be. There's also a lot of fourth-wall breaking snark, perhaps anticipating a future where they would basically be fodder for that in a blog. Let's check it out.

"Ok, USA!"

I love the title. It's a secret spy squad, as opposed to all those spies that operate openly with full disclosure. The redundancy, repetition and saying the same thing over and over is very much appreciated and enjoyed. We get a funny bit right away as the instructions page threatens to self-destruct in thirty seconds. Like I said, these books were a little more self-aware than was typical of the genre. Apparently I'm on the Junior Track and Field Team, something that conjures up images of homoerotic stretching, underage drinking purges and buying a bottle of aspirin for $100 after being told it's "steroid pills." International espionage never really came up.

By taking all of these pills I shaved two seconds off my mile time and my genitals fell off.

Anyway, we're supposed to compete in some sort of b.s. "peace games" in Europe, but instead are in a cave being briefed for the cloak 'n' dagger by a Bogart look-a-like. He also has a metal hook for a hand, the code name "Raven" and regards the C.I.A. as a "boy scout troop." This all comes off as pretty try hard, quite frankly. The fictional country of Solonia (between Belgium and Luxemburg!) is menaced by a group called BRUTE (not the aftershave, I think) who are planning on assassinating King Idle (!) which, somehow, could cause World War 3. I mean, what could be a bigger threat to the Western Democracies than the death of a paternal autocrat in a nation roughly the size of a Burger King parking lot.

You stay dry, a figurehead monarch gets wet.

Since this is still America, what to do next is put to a democratic vote and it all comes down to my decision. The book lets you "chicken out" but immediately calls you out on that decision in another nice touch. Instead, I decide we should go to Solonia and save their beloved tyranny from the long arms of double entendre using deodorant makers.

Next stop, the Blandsburg airport, presumably not far from Squaresville. Not surprisingly for a nation known as "Little Luxemburg" everything is small. The local press is waiting, eager to do an interview, but he faces stone-walling from my coach. We learn that "marathon sleeping" is the national pastime of Solonia, the flag is "gray on gray" and the anthem has two notes. Again, the fate of the free world rests with this feudal left-over.

A possible replacement for the "Two Shades of Gray" flag.

He keeps playing the sympathy card to try to score that scotching expose, but with the stakes as high as they are I turn him down. He makes a cryptic remark and offers a gray button that says "Solonia Is For Surprises!" Legitimate, intentional humor in one of these books? Yes. After refusing the button the reporter produces more erratic behavior, blaming "an old ping pong injury." It is something of a blood-sport.

"Finish Him!"

We get a shockingly prescient bit where airport security starts tearing into my possessions. They even suggest a "body search." This book is legitimately humorous and it predicts TSA grope sessions. 10 out of 10, friends. Suddenly, I'm alone, as the rest of the team probably bugged out rather than witness me having to drop and spread. I'm given a choice to run (to where???) but decided to let them finish the search. 

I'm hustled into a "little green room." "You're shaking so badly you get your zipper stuck halfway down," the book states. Fortunately this a reference to the zipper on your jacket, but still. They find something incriminating, and the next thing I know I'm being frog-marched toward what's basically the Ministry of Love. Time to put on that "rat helmet."

I'll take the radiation, please.

Back in the mini-love I'm accused of spying and seated in front of a "ping pong sized table." Man, what is it with the co-authors and ping pong? Still more shake-down happens (gah, enough already!) and this time the "Solonia" button turns up in my bag. Not sure how they missed it earlier. From here it's off to a "detention cell." I'm really enjoying all this high adventure: cavity searches, holding cells, stuck's a dreamworld of magic.

"Me lawyer you" offers a full-figured gentleman and luckily this isn't code for making me a jailhouse bride. A long conversation is summarized in another funny bit, with the choices coming down to admitting guilt and hoping for the best or rotting in the cell. Seeing as how the evidence is all against me and one would imagine the American government would notice my plight at some point I take the plea bargain, such as it is. I rot in the prison for a week, lose ten pounds and am exchanged for a crew of fish mongers and a second round draft pick. The end.

Let's drag your excess fat into a blind spot and shank it.

It was a pretty disappointing run, all things considered. I didn't do any spy stuff and what did happen is pretty much business as usual in today's airports, though I guess the idea of getting repeatedly violated by government goons still had some novelty in the early eighties. Next time I'll have to try to get to the page where "your undercover contact is a bionic pig!" We can create better bacon, we have the technology.

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

DotTeeVee: Woman Screwed By Casino

The gambling industry and casinos in particular usually represent the heart and soul of the community. Run by squeaky clean professionals of the highest character they create many useful and uplifting jobs while providing valuable recreation to any city lucky enough to play host. It's with more than a little surprise, then, that I address today's youtube tale of a woman's casino experience that somehow fell well short of optimal. Can it even be real? Screwed by a casino? I know those words, but they make no sense when combined in that way. Are they sure the real title isn't "Screwed By Cashews?" No? Well that would at least make more sense, considering the degenerate criminal scumbags typically found in the salted nuts arena.

Hopefully a poorly produced internet "newz" show can get to the bottom of this. Well, who better, right?

Let's start with some good old patriotic garbage as we get an apropos to nothing American flag and text that identifies this program as "The Young Turks." I'm as anti-sultanate as any right thinking person, but still have trouble getting too excited. This oddly placed nationalism will continue in the show itself, as another flag and a picture of Mount Rushmore is displayed prominently. USA! USA! USA!

This guy is their target demographic.

The show staggers out of the gate as the chirpy female anchor mis-identifies the screwed woman as "Louis" before providing the correct name, Louise Chavez. In a bit of delightful and entirely necessary racism her snarky male co-anchor asks an off-camera man named Jesus if he knows her. Because all Hispanics know all other Hispanics. We call this the Latin Hive Mind.

Honestly, though, what the hell? I mean, this isn't a live show or anything, is it? Couldn't they just correct the mistakes and edit out the casual racism? I'm just sayin'.

Weird prejudices, moronic patriotism, shocking ignorance...USA! USA!

After we get done having a good laugh at stripping an entire people group of their full humanity we address the story proper. Or not. Again we get hung up, this time on the issue of Penny Slots: pro or contra. Our cheery bubble-headed host, identified as "Ana" is quick to rush to their defense in the face of more snark from her obnoxious partner. Or, "Don't diss the penny slots" as she puts it. Luckily that line is delivered straight instead of with an affected "Urban" accent, keeping the racism count at One. For now.

Ana makes a claim that she won a thousand dollars on penny slots and for once I share the smarmy co-anchor's cynicism and lack of socially prescribed decency. At an impasse over this claim, we finally get to the heart of the story.

It's you or me penny slots and I'm gonna make damn sure it's you.

We get a mildly interesting shaggy dog story about Louise's misadventures in the gambling Mecca that is Central City, Colorado. Losing that last twenty bucks to a bathroom slot machine in Primm, Nevada suddenly seems like James Bond shit by comparison. Apparently she won a 42 million dollar jackpot on penny slots. The sleazy male half is again incredulous and again I'm forced to side with him. I don't know if making this jerk-wad into a sympathetic figure is an achievement of some sort or just more proof of how awful this show is. 

Incredibly, the "casino management" is somewhat reluctant to offer an eight figure return on a one-cent investment, instead appealing to the "maximum winnings" of $251,000 printed on the side of the machine. Again, it's a penny slot machine. Shouldn't the "maximum winnings" instead be a picture of an envelope and a half-used roll of scotch tape?

The prequel to "How to Really, Really, Really Win at Slots" featuring the "pull and pray" method.

Ana is so outraged that she stumbles over the numbers, while the unnamed male is clearly preparing to deploy the full strategic douche-bag arsenal. We're told that the woman was a little upset about it and was given a free breakfast in exchange for silence. Always giving, giving and giving. That sounds like the kind of Casino Folk I know.

While that breakfast got converted into yellow, vein-clogging goop an "investigation" into the "real winnings" was conducted. After all the dust had settled the 42 million jackpot is recalculated as about twenty dollars. But at least you had fun, right? I mean, you're really paying for entertainment and shouldn't expect to win anything. 

After an "investigation" into her winnings, she owed the casino $300,000.

Ana can't remember her position in the great "should a casino screw over patrons" debate, and she immediately gets called out on this. Snarky co-host suggests that no one would ever side with a sleazy, dishonest casino and Ana is desperately backpedaling and pulling out crazy faces. Man, this is the real news right here, the stuff the LAMEstream media won't touch!

  "Her gaping mouth's red glare, the douchey sarcasm bursting in air, and our flag was still there..."

After regaining her composure Ana appeals to the letter of the law rather than the spirit, by pointing out the limits posted on the machine. She suggests the maximum possible award as a compromise, and this leads to Wise Guy further suggesting that it depends on what she actually "hit." Holy fudge, they actually ARE on the side of the casino. We've been set up! Get out!

The horrifying truth. "Obey the Casino. The Casino is your friend. No independent thought."

The nameless, odious man continues to obfuscate and distort the issue. Even Ana seems convinced. I guess this video should be retitled "Casino Investigates and Fixes Incorrect Payout, Gives Woman Free Breakfast."

Well, not so fast, as we get a lame appeal to emotions from Ana, complete with empathic hand gestures. Mr. Douche actually seems to be convinced and adopts a more contemplative tone of voice as he concedes that even giving only half of the 42 million would still be an outrage, let alone the actual bone-ride that occurred.

"Up next, my five-star review for the Tucker Max movie."

His usual water-and-vinegar tendencies return in force, however, as he breaks down the full indignity: "doesn't have a thousand, doesn't have a hundred, etc." He declares the lesson is that we should avoid penny slots, but Ana will defend this much-maligned past-time to the bitter end, even adding an almost certainly apocryphal story about winning $400. We get a black screen, some breathing and a "what could possibly go wrong?" The new media, friends. May it reign forever.

Komment Korner

What a fag making dumb fuck jokes that are gay

Both spellings are correct , you dumb FAGOT

id sew the shit out of the casino if that happened 

This guy is a douche lol

One day, i walked into a casino and insert a quarter and won $425.

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.