Friday, August 29, 2014

Choose Your Own Adventure #12: Inside UFO 54-40

Last time out my danger sense failed to protect me from deadly ice and a promising "You've got ESP!" yarn ended in abrupt and meaningless tragedy. This time we've got one of the most memorable books in the series, featuring a lame gimmick that teaches kids valuable lessons about how rules are for suckers and cheaters always prosper. But I'm getting ahead of myself. We're going to be dealing with the 1982 non-probing version of alien abduction and might well end up in a galactic zoo. Let's get this mother on.

 Vertical mouth, stiff and upright cigar shaped object, head...paging Dr. Freud...

Before we start the story proper we get a "Special Warning!!!!" outlining the ill-conceived Gordian knot that would earn semi-immortality for this one. It involves the search for Ultima, the planet of paradise, not to be confused with the dreadful Perfect Planet by the same author. Packard had some issues with removing the flaws from solar satellites, no doubt about that. Anyway, one can't reach Ultima by making choices or following instructions, which basically implies this paradise is going to be full of dangerous psychopaths.

The solution, of course, is to just leaf through the book until you find the entry containing Ultima, since no decision leads there. As a very wise man once said "Too clever is stupid." 

No Ultima for me on this read-through. I'm going to follow the rules like a sucker and thus insure failure, just like in real life.

 Children's programing for your budding sociopath.

I'm chilling in a supersonic concord, crossing the Atlantic, reflecting on how supersonic travel is the inevitable wave of the future, along with removing airport security as society reaches moral perfection and such intrusions are unnecessary. I'm heading toward Paris for reasons unknown, maybe to see an iron lattice tower or something. While straining to see Greenland out the window a glistening object rushes toward the plane. I do a heavily truncated version of that Captain Kirk Twilight Zone episode and black out, waking up in circular room. An alien voice in my head explains I've been recruited for a galactic zoo. 

Is it wrong that I think this would be a pretty sweet gig? Is "I'd be willing to be a zoo animal for aliens" a sign of personal weakness? Nah, probably not. It was righteous as hell in Slaughterhouse Five, after all. Put in a fake stock ticker and watch me go crazy, maybe some hot actress, aw yeah.!!!

I make a pathetic demand to be sent back home, which produces the dismissive response you might expect from an intelligence that has mastered both interstellar travel and telepathy. I'm floated down a passageway and deposited in a room with other humans. I'm all "Hey, fellow Terrans!" but at the same time I'm really eager to get some sleep going. You know what, this zoo thing is probably going to work out. Just learn to like eating for hours and being stared at and I'll have the full skill set.

You can get to Robot Storage by following directions...I think.

When I wake up there's a metal compliance band around my head, beaming in pacifying thoughts sort of like in that Roddy Piper movie where he doesn't have any gum. I'm told I'll be happy if I'm good. Pulling at the device produces pain, so I decide to leave it on and bide my time. Obviously, in a book so anti-authority it demands you break its own rules this is the wrong move. I start to feel really groovy, but then have a freak-out just like a square adult alcoholic and "time stops." Yeah. 

I can't prove that Edward Packard did lots of drugs when he was younger, but I could build a strong circumstantial case. I'm just saying.

 You take "The Ticket" and have a "Bum Trip." The End.

From what I experienced, this one is probably pretty good overall. There's a lot of wild stuff going on, that's for sure. It's too bad that finding Ultima overshadows everything else, especially considering how lame the problem and solution really is. When I was twelve I found the Ultima entry and then tried to reverse-engineer how to get there by finding the relevant choice, which didn't exist. When I'm on my death bed I'm really going to want those fifteen minutes back.

Quick, turn to page 101!

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

News You Can't Use: Idiot Lights Himself On Fire For ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Ice is good. It cures diseases and creates fifteen second videos rich in whimsy and wacky. Fire is not good. It burns us, it does. When the two are combined you would think that they would cancel each other out and create a sort of lukewarm "it's okay" or "it could be better." Instead the result is amazing. It defied my fearful and superstitious expectations regarding the natural world and ruined hair that had already been compromised by a hat. Let's head south to take the farr 'n' icy wadda challenge.

I mean, you like challenges, don't you? You're not some sort of sissy? Come on.

We never thought we’d see the day when the Fire Challenge and the Ice Bucket Challenge were united as one.

Oh no, our various societal St. Vitus dances are mutating and merging together into a sort of behavioral super virus!

Dubbed the Dumbest Man in the World by E!, the man in this YouTube video staged an absurd Ice Bucket Challenge wherein he lit his head on fire before dousing himself in ice water.

It's dumb, I'll concede that, but the dumbest man in the world? Seems pretty unlikely. All he did was try to imitate a stunt he probably saw the previous weekend at a monster truck rally. It's not like he bailed out bankers or something.

To make matters more absurd, he also equipped himself with a tiny stars-and-stripes-covered vest, camouflage cargo shorts, and a giant Confederate flag.

If you asked a New York liberal to create a "Red State Voter" from a ball of alluvial clay and then somehow breath life and semi-humanity into it, this would be the end result. 

The man, who identifies himself as “Cam,” is raring to go before the challenge starts. What could go wrong?

Welcome to Ice and Fire World, where nothing can possibly go wrong. Please enjoy what will certainly be the most memorable vacation of your life.

After taking a sip from his flask and spitting it out, Cam lights his hat on fire.

And with this sentence, the new golden age of American Literature began.

"I ain't takin' no census!"

Nanoseconds later, his entire head is engulfed in flames.

Rule of Komedy: Metric measurements for impossibly small quantities are pretty much always funny.

A friend dumps a bucket of water on his head, but it does nothing to extinguish the flames — in fact, the fire on his head only gets bigger. What is the actual science behind this?

Fire getting does it work? Explain this one away, lying scientists. 

The two man reenactment of the Battle of Atlanta.

The idiotic man and his friend run off screen, the friend yelling, “Dude, roll on the fucking ground!”

Expect to see an animated Aardvark in the upcoming public school awareness campaign called "Stop, drop and roll on the fucking ground."

Thankfully, despite his head having been transformed into a great ball of fire, Cam re-appears on camera alive.

It would be a shame to lose a guy who is likely to cure diseases, write symphonies and/or do valuable hog farming labor to the personification of a Jerry Lee Lewis song.

“Dude, my hair’s fucked up,” he says, but he otherwise looks to be fine.

"This is gwine hurr mah male model creer."

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, designed to raise money to help fight disease, has also taken a dangerous turn. Earlier this week, we reported on the U.K. teen who died when dumped a bucket of water on his head, and proceeded to jump off an 80-foot cliff.

Take the "Gravity Challenge" to find a cure for Uncontrollable Salivating Syndrome!

We repeat: No amount of bodily harm is worth 15 seconds of Internet fame, people.

So you might want to skip the "Hitting Yourself with a Hammer Challenge."

Full Story.

Komment Korner

[Insert something unoriginal about Darwin awards here] [pretend I'm original]

gotta fill sorry for someone like this. who puts there very life @ Stake for some notoriety...

Did he think the "Don't try this at home" didn't apply if he went to a friend's house?

This guy suffers from Cranio-Rectal Syndrome.

Dumb, but no Darwin award this time.

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Top Five Worst Sports Logos (Number 3 Will Destroy Your Sanity and Render You a Hopeless Human Derelict)

About once every six months I make the mistake of clicking on one of those "list" articles that have infected the internet like a severe herpes outbreak (or so I'm told, cough, cough) for the last few years. The outcome is always the same: a plague of advertisements, a list of seven items that must be reloaded twenty-four times to fully read and a general feeling of emptiness and malaise after #7 failed to be amazing, as promised. We all know about this and we can all agree how much this is Not Good. This is not what I'm here to talk about.

When I descended into plugin container hell by clicking in between "celebrity thongs" and a new super steroid that helps actors play their characters better somehow I encountered writing and logic that was so completely awful, devoid of effort and insulting that I feel the need to create a sand-line with my big toe and say "You ain't crossing this, Big Internet." Yes, I'm angry at the low quality of a "click bait" article. No, I am not a crank.

What was offered was the ten worst sports logos. What was delivered was completely bereft of wit, literary skill, and cultural value. I was honestly wishing I'd opted to watch pictures of famous person butt-floss struggle to load thanks to the competition of three dozen flash ads.

Before I ruin this thing worse than 1945 Dresden or today's public schools I'm going to show you how it's supposed to be done. It's very important that a critic establish his or her credentials, after all. Proper accreditation of wise-asses, that's what I'm all about. So here are two logos I personally consider ungood.

Horrible colors. A faddish reference to a forgotten movie (Billy and the Clone-o-saurus, if memory serves). In said movie the "raptors" couldn't even kill vegetarian children, which you would think would be the easy tutorial level and not the final boss. The artist can't decide if the cloned lizard is supposed to be a dopey cartoon or actually intimidating. It's not even properly centered thanks to the tail throwing off the symmetry. Everything about this logo is horrible. It is objectively bad. If you like it, please seek help.

Do I even have to say anything? Well, yeah, that's the point of this. We've got an ethnic stereotype created by an artist who apparently can't tell the difference between Native Americans and Japanese as depicted in World War 2 propaganda posters. It's so inept I'm not sure if it's offensive or just sad. Let's start slapping that all over merchandise and you'll buy it because you're a moron.

That's how you do it. Now let's consider what's raising the big money on heavily monetized web honey traps.

The main argument against this one was it failed to depict "Bills" and instead is a stylized Buffalo. It's also called out for being "boring." I'll concede this one won't win any awards, but you can't really call it an embarrassment like High Chief Tojo or the killer dinosaur that was once defeated by a gymnastics routine. The colors are good, it has a certain minimalist charm and a wad of cash or a depiction of Wild Bill murdering the Cleveland logo would not be much of an upgrade. At worst this one's a C-, but we need a list of ten and putting in actual effort is a waste for something that will be half-read by droolies who will probably be promptly diverted by all those amazing personally-tailored and slow-loading commercials.

Instead of making some obvious corrective dentistry joke the big problem with The Predators logo, we are told, is that no one knows what a saber-tooth tiger looks like. This means the proles will get confused and, I guess, refuse to cheer this Ice Gang. Yes, in the age of information we live in the argument against this one boils down to massive societal ignorance in regards to Ice Age Mega Fauna. Even if you didn't know what a smilodon was, which I doubt is the massive problem the list-maker insists it is, you'd still look at this and think "Hey, that's kind of cool. It's like a tiger with severe overbite issues." Granted the colors and overall presentation aren't exactly top tier, but that's not the argument we get because even the most basic discussion of aesthetics is way too intellectual and what the heck kind of thing is this crazy critter poppin' up on mah sex box?  

After the last debacle I was not expecting the case against Tennessee's logo. The author explains what Titans are, using nice small words thankfully, and then wonders why an awesome Titan wasn't depicted instead of the flaming Tee. I mean, just imagine how righteous that would be! We could have Father Time (Cronos) or Mother Earth (Gaia) on our football helmets! What about Prometheus? Imagine the slammin' halftime show where an eagle will fly down to devour his regenerating liver!

Yes, that was the argument that was made. I'm confused by animals with slightly bigger teeth but I want to see literal representations of Greek Mythology. Consistency, is it too much to ask?

Despite the good colors and solid presentation this one is also dismissed as "boring," followed by a lament that "alcoholism" remains something of a taboo subject for baseball squadron iconography. And let me tell you, your average alcoholic favors 5% American piss-beer and not the bottom shelf hard liquors. So please, Brewers, be more exciting and maybe promote underage drinking. That would be a massive improvement, according to words I struggled to read as pop-ups kept covering them.

We conclude with some more good-ole ignorance. The reviewer thought the "Cardinal" would be a bird, which is something I also thought when I was nine and was first exposed to one of America's most famous universities. The disappointment that it's actually a tree apparently impacted our hack writer as if he found out about Santa or something. I mean, here we were, all fired up for red birds and instead it's a plant. Refund, refund! It's then explained that trees are not intimidating, which having seen "The Happening" I'll readily concede, but I don't think they're trying to scare you. It might, just might, be part of school tradition. I know it's crazy. After all, college mascots and supposed to be nightmares made flesh, like the Ohio State Buckeye or the Maryland Turtle.

There were five more, but my hard drive had caught fire by this point and I think the point has been made. You truly do get what you'll put up with.

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

News you Can't Use: Man Calls 911 To Complain That Stripper Would Not Have Sex With Him

There's a right way and a wrong way to use the magical three digit number capable of summoning law enforcement or emergency services in about the same amount of time it takes to get a pizza delivered to your house. The wrong way is when there's any sort of problem or conflict that needs to be solved in the next thirty minutes. The right way is for body disposal and, apparently, for attempting to get refunds when the grind club quasi-prostitution crossed over into the real thing in your own mind and then failed to deliver on these delusional expectations.

After paying $350 for a private dance at a gentlemen’s club, a Montana man called police to complain that the stripper did not have sex with him.

And yet there's a few cranks out there that think the coarsening of society is not entirely a force for good.

I don't know what part of "Take your keys out of your pockets so you don't damage my butt implants" this guy interpreted as an invitation to the adult act. It's almost as if this is a sleazy idiot and not the "gentlemen" of high quality such a night spot generally attracts.

William McDaniel, 53, paid for the dance Saturday evening at Sagebrush Sam’s Exotic Dance Club and Casino in Rocker, a Butte suburb.

Nothing says "exotic" like a western shrub combined with a common male name. And hey, semi-legal gambling! I wonder if he would have made the same emergency call if someone split up two tens in blackjack.

But when he did not get the expected sex, he dialed 911 to register a consumer complaint.

"Nine One One. What's your emergency?"

"I'm at a strip club and spending money without result. Help!"

This was a mistake on McDaniel’s part.

This is about as true a statement as you'll ever read.

Did not receive "handsome John" discount.

After questioning McDaniel, police arrested him for offering money for sexual favors, a misdemeanor. He was booked into the Butte-Silver Bow Detention Center, from which he was released Sunday morning after posting bond.

Sometimes it's just one of those days. First my wet-brain attempts to pay for intimacy fell through, then The Man is more interested in punishing the victim than correcting this horrific injustice.

It is unclear whether McDaniel (seen in the above mug shot) allegedly sought the sex in the Champagne Room at Sagebrush Sam’s, which has only one review on Yelp.

The lack of proper internet vetting from middle-age scumbags should have been a red flag. 

In March, “Dan M.” complained that the club “is dirty and smells like vomit” and needed a “complete makeover.”

Vomit and filth. Feeling amorous yet? I'm also looking forward to "Extreme Makeover: Semi-Brothel Edition" where we can tell the uplifting tale of cleaning up regurgitated food and making a "Champagne Room" worthy of having a ten minute long "date."

He added, “Even the stripper pole looked like it was going to break loose from the floor. Cleanliness and attitude need to be addressed. I will not go back.

"After five hours and several hundred dollars I left in disgust."

Komment Korner  

I was with a guy in the late 1970's and we drove to the South Bronx New York City and he got ripped off by streetwalkers and went to a nearby cop car. The cop told him if I arrest them I will also arrest you for solicitation! This guy was not playing with a full deck obviously. Good thing he didn't get arrested because I was 15 at the time and didn't know how to drive! South Bronx at night and a white teen is not a good mix to be out on the streets! BTW, I didn't get ripped off and had a happy ending in record time. Oh my gawd, she was so fugly, I was so happy to get that over with.

Wow, Brian Cox, Mike Ditka, and Tom Arnold had a love child.

where the heck is His Sign???


Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

News You Can't Use: Lassie as Salesdog: One More Trip to the Well

Much like strategic oil reserves, endangered barn owls and my willingness to put up with people that whistle there's only a finite amount of ideas. Fortunately, in the Creativity-Industrial complex we can simply resurrect the better moments of the 1950s, something that's not really an option when it comes to burned dinosaur remains or the person who made annoying mouth noises and forced me to beat them to death with a claw hammer. Thus, we see the return of "Lassie" and it's probably just a matter of time before that "Racket Squad" re-imagining that the world is literally begging for like we're a thirsty loser trapped in the classic television Friend Zone.

Maybe it was the three publicists in tow. Maybe her hairdo was wilting under the hot television lights. Maybe a dog, even a showbiz one, was just not meant to be a meteorologist.

Maybe I'm just like my mother. She's never satisfied [with lame attempts to recreate Truman administration television characters].

Booked to help give the weather report, she woofed off cue and let loose a torrent of drool.

So it was pretty much like any other "celebrity" appearance, just with slightly more mistimed barking and slightly less foul emissions from the face holes.

“I’m not sure,” a Fox anchor said as the segment ended, “but I think Lassie is annoyed.”

Being re-animated by a combination of chemistry and evil wizardry by Big Television will do that to you. It is the same dog, right? "She's my dog, I'll grind her into essential salts and perform the dark ritual, Pa."

“Good work, gorgeous,” said one of the public relations people, Ame Van Iden, giving her client a pat on the snout.

When professional celebrity "handlers" cross over into "pet lover" territory you might want to have that air sickness bag ready.

Initially flummoxed about what to do with a treasured but outdated symbol of Americana, the studio is now convinced that a simple collie can still resonate in a Grumpy Cat world.

Because your grandparents sort of half-watched it in between playing with their lead toys, you'll like it too!

Studios typically revive old characters with new movies. But DreamWorks Animation dismissed that idea, aware that Lassie’s rural escapades would have little relevance for viewers now keen on explosions, aliens and superheroes.

As you've probably already guessed, the new "Racket Squad" will have superpowers, be issued mortars and mini-guns and will battle Martian bunco schemes, the schemes that cost decent people more money every year than all the bank robbers with their violence.

Now to roll several thousand pounds of TNT in here!

Instead, the studio decided that the best hope for making money from Lassie was to make her a merchandising star, and it turned to a suitably old-fashioned tactic to prepare an onslaught of products next year: the publicity stunt.

If that fails, we'll try to market this dog by telling you to "Look behind you! No, seriously! You've got to look right now!"

“Unlike everyone else in Hollywood, Lassie is much bigger in person,” Ryan Seacrest told listeners when the dog stopped by his radio show.

There's probably some kind of Tom Cruise joke here.

Slick promotion is a Hollywood specialty, of course, even for hard-to-sell products (like bad films).

Because your average movie goer, the one that struggles to get popcorn into a misshapen maw and yells instructions at on-screen characters, is noted for being extremely discerning.

Experts say that in success, Lassie could generate tens of millions in added revenue.

"In failure it would be significantly less, obviously," they further clarified.

“Our ambitions are global,” said Michael R. Francis, DreamWorks Animation’s chief brand officer, “dog food, dog accessories, dog grooming, dog beds, dog training,” targeted mainly at adults.

It's good that this is a global campaign so that the large portion of the world that's trapped in poverty can learn that there are dogs with a lifestyle an order of magnitude better than their own.

None of these planned Lassie products are available right now, but the studio says deals for all of them are in the works.

Commercials first, product second. Makes sense.

Resuscitating the character is such a priority that even Jeffrey Katzenberg, the studio’s chief executive, is working the phones. He called Harvey Weinstein and persuaded him to put Lassie on a coming episode of “Project Runway.” Mr. Katzenberg has also pitched the dog for a guest spot on “The Amazing Race.”

Filler to sell products in a "Project Runway" episode? Next you'll tell me some of it is scripted!

“There is nothing Lassie can’t do,” he said. (Well, except certain things unbecoming to a V.I.P. One tip: Do not ask Lassie to fetch.)

You might also want to have, say, a doctor, perform that open heart surgery.

The 2006 film “Lassie” took in only $652,163 in North America.

So I guess I can be forgiven for having absolutely no recollection of that cinematic abortion.

Unsure of how best to freshen the musty franchise, the studio commissioned market research, which to its delight found that Lassie retained an 83 percent “brand awareness” among Americans; words like “loyal,” “hero” and “heartwarming” were most often associated with the character.

Welcome to Joe Biden's America, where our virtues are put into sarcasm quotes while we roll our eyes and roll about the floor laughing at them.

“We realized that Lassie has an authenticity that makes her a merchandising holy grail,” Mr. Francis said.

You have chosen...unwisely.

There are no plans for a new Lassie movie or TV series.

But watch for "Sexy Diverse Young People House" debuting this fall!

Filmed entertainment is also expensive, and the character would have to be updated, though perhaps not to the point of wearing a cape.

"He's the dog from 1938 with today's 'urban' attitude! Get your dawg on!"

“I would love to believe that modern children would sit down and watch lovely Lassie frolic with Timmy in the meadow,” said Jeanine Basinger, a film historian. “But I fear they would get awfully bored unless she turned into a superdog that blows things up, and that would be sacrilege.”

Worst generation ever, am I right? Always wanting those explosions. Generation Kaboom, that's what they are. It would be a crime against nature and nature's God to do that. Whereas selling "dog beds" to horrible wealthy scumbags is totally respectful to the character.

“Lassie was always a bit of an acting lightweight anyway,” Ms. Basinger added.

As opposed to Rin Tin Tin who had considerable dramatic range.

Full Article.

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

News You Can't Use: Times Square Characters Want to Unionize

A short time ago I broke the incredible story of New York scumbags and junkies dressing up as cutesy cartoon characters as part of an elaborate grift to strong arm and pull petty confidence games on tourists. "Pols," which I guess are elected officials, vowed to fix the problem. If you have even the most minimal exposure to the big city politician and their promise-to-success ratio it probably isn't surprising to learn that not only has nothing been accomplished but now the Looney Tunes mafia has a plan to "go legit" and expand their criminal empire.

Times Square is quickly becoming the costume capital of the world. They seem to be everywhere.

You'd think this would be an upgrade from the giant rat capital of the world or the apathy toward murder victims capital of the world, but sadly it really isn't.

City officials have said they want to crack down, but now the people who wear the costumes also want to take action and organize to protect their jobs.

You read that correctly. Pan-handling, pulling simplistic scams (I took your picture, you owe me $10) and outright threatening visitors who naively blundered into this urban heart of darkness is a legitimate job that must be protected. I guess it has to be considered as such, now that welfare recipients are considered government employees and "more free stuff" was the pivotal issue of our last presidential election.

You know them as Elmo, Cookie Monster and Woody, but the people who wear these costumes decided to take on a new name: Association of Artists United for a Smile New York City.

Now get to know Scuzzie, Heroin Monster and Exposed Genitals Pervert. They're here to make you smile.

"Once you make that ATM withdrawal you'll get your kid back."

Organizer Alex Gomez says the goal is to clean up the characters' image in the wake of growing complaints.

Because nothing cleans up an image faster than a union. Look what it did for the teamsters! 

The last few weeks have seen at least 5 times square characters arrested on charges including aggressive solicitation and disorderly conduct. Among them was a Spider-Man caught on tape allegedly punching a police officer.

My "punch law enforcement" sense is tingling like crazy. Wait, my mistake. That was just the methadone starting to wear off. 

The incidents led the NYPD to circulate a flier telling tourists tipping is optional.

"Yo, you ain't gots to obey some mook just cuz he's dressed like a kitty cat or some shit."

A bill is in the works that would require the characters to undergo background checks and wear photo id.

Red tape, identification cards and extra taxes fix everything. Except for vote fraud, where it would be wrong.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed support. But some of the characters say they just want to be left alone to please tourists and collect their tips.

"Just leave us alone! We should be allowed to peacefully prey on the weak and gullible, just like any good New Yorker."

"Cross this line and I'll break your knees, scab."

Komment Korner  

Your enabling bad behavior!!!!!

I'm assuming the first thing their new union will do is negotiate a settlement for the countless trademark infringements. (sarcasm)

Why not vagrants, drug users and perverts, is NYC with a great mayor all you New Yorkers voted for.

The Union of the Stupid.

I don't get how they can unionize when what they're doing is basically theft.

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Friday, August 8, 2014

DotTeeVee: 13 year old boy arrested for smiling

DotTeeVee is finally back and suffice it to say I picked a great video to return with that certainly wasn't the first mildly amusing under three minutes drivel I stumbled on. No, this is very, very special. It's all about the plague of Face Crime threatening whatever the hell it is that our country is supposed to represent. It's time to get that smile off your face for the greater good. Throw in some police state and the always amusing middle age beer bellies and you have to know this is going to be the most fun you can have while imprisoned in your cell of flesh and bone.

We start off with some youths skateboarding and I'm relieved to see that this activity hasn't changed at all since the fadish popularity it enjoyed when I was the correct age to be arrested for facial expressions. You know the drill: wheel around, attempt some basic stunt and fail miserably, pick up your board and hold it poseur style, repeat until you remember that video games and "R Rated" downloads are waiting back inside your house.

 I rolled around for six seconds without falling...a new record!

Our anti-heroes have constructed a crude "ramp" using a plastic garbage bin and a piece of wood. They're using this construction to preform hot tricks like skating up it...and then sliding back down. I mean, holy dog stuff, I thought I was watching the X Games there for a moment. All is not well in this pocket paradise however, as an adult with an aggressive case of male pregnancy is walking over to squash the righteous good times with the totally major bummer rule of law.

Our full-figured villain wants to know who owns the garbage can propping up the primitive one-eighth pipe, and one teen bravely speaks truth to power by claiming "It was there when we got here!" Sorry son, this isn't an evolution debate where "billions of years, mutations and environmental forces" can be played like an instant-win card. Clearly there are signs of intelligent, or let's be honest semi-intelligent, design. 

"It was formed by the forces of erosion and plate tectonics, honest!"

Suffice it to say the enemy of clean good times is not mollified by this answer, or even the flippant "It was!" that follows. Sure kids, just double down on your lies. We get a threat to call the sheriff and then there's a collision as one of the Precious Natural Resources tries to skate up the board while the evil elder is removing it. For a moment it looks like things are about to get ugly.

   A leaked image from the upcoming "Home Improvement" remake.

We get more common core debating as there's an argument over whether or not Grim Chronos hit one of the beings of pure light and innocence. Father Time insists that law enforcement wouldn't believe their story, even though this entire incident is being recorded, just like everything that now happens thanks to camera phones and beloved Big Brother. Instead of pointing this out the future doctors and lawyers fall back on "Seven on one!" "Seven punk kids!" is the witty rejoinder.

Now riled up by this baby first's rights and responsibilities lecture the embodiment of uncoolness makes the threatened call to the authorities while telling one of the skater's to "Stay here!" He points right at him, but the mind that one day might cure cancer or come up with a workable flat tax still doesn't understand. "Me?"

Yeah, you.

The message finally sinks in and he tries to run off, but apparently fails. Somehow. There's missing footage, footage that I'm sure paints the innocent cherubs and their skate boarding fun in an extremely positive light.

 "Please don't call the cops, boxing reptiles."

When we rejoin this little morality play the lost sheep of generation nothing have been rounded up and are receiving a civics lesson from The Man. Apparently there's a thing called "Private Property" that carries with it certain rights, such as the right not to have to host a special education version of Tony Hawk's pro skater. The impromptu class is all "We didn't do nothing!" which naturally sets off the fuzz even worse. The upshot is they'll have to go. Man, it's like that thing we learned about in our public school history class where the French were put into gas chambers by Russians or whatever. 

In a last bit of pathetic resistance the kids claim they were going to leave on their own. And yet, here you are. There is a logical problem with this.

Now it's time for the tyranny I promised. Channeling Dirty Harry the 30% BMI representative of the law asks "What's your problem punk!" and, of course, wants to see identification. Suffice it to say the Skate Board Kid is lacking ihnen papieren. Things quickly degenerate as the System Criminal delivers massive police brutality, up to and including touching an arm and promising to "take you home." 

When they came for the poseurs I said nothing, because I wasn't a poseur.

We get plenty of passive-aggressive whining from the victim of Orwellian-style oppression. He repeats the claim that he was going to leave and then practically begs to be let go. Is it wrong that I'm starting to hope we'll get into a massive conventional war that will last about ten years and feature the return of the draft? 

The cuffs come out and with that a nice pitiful "Ow, This hurts really bad" is produced followed by more begging. The whining continues, but Officer Evil simply responds with "Anyone else wanna join him!" Not surprisingly, there aren't any takers. Into the police car, drive off, fade to white.    

Komment Korner  

Leave the country please, no one is forcing you to stay

You`re happy I`m not because if I were Russian, you would have been hurt

Ow my arm what a little bitch pussy drop this kids ass in gaza and lets see how he likes it

Me and my friend got arrested for throwing bricks in the air. what the fuck I can't throw bricks?

imagine if it actually said, "Disrespectful 13 year old boy taken home for trespassing" and it explained how the cop put him in cuffs to teach him a lesson

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

News You Can't Use: Subway Trains Fumigated After Bedbugs Found

In New York City when we say "don't let the bedbugs bite" we mean it very literally. We also might warn you about aggressive junkies dressed up as Hello Kitty, rats the size of ponies, underground humaniods that mostly subsist on human flesh and stage shows that are often overrated and fail to deliver the full entertainment value you would expect for the price demanded. Yes, there are a few dangers to living in a city that resembles your "teen hero dystopia" minus the plucky kids, wacky futurist fashions and even the smallest glimmer of hope. The good news is that the fumigators are on the case, so soon the bedbug problem can be downgraded to a mere "subway car interior coated with poison" issue.

The city fumigated three subway trains after bedbugs were spotted on them over the weekend, the MTA says.

New York don't play, sucker. The city itself, not workers or even half-human mole people, went to work on these trains. Three letters were there to comment on it.

All the bedbugs were found on the N line.

Not to be confused with the "Death Wish vigilante" line or the one that takes you right into the throne room of the Mole King whose unfathomable demands are immediately carried out by his blind minions. The "N" will take you to the burning tire district after a few stops in "Gramercy Rifts" territory.

Two trains were taken out of service Sunday after the bugs were found on some cars. A third N train was fumigated Tuesday.

Let me check my fingers. Yup, that would make three.

MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz wouldn't say where on the trains the bugs were found, nor would he say at which point in the line they were discovered

He also wouldn't comment on the meaning of life, was highly taciturn when asked about those Elmo bullies and didn't having nuttin' to say 'bout living in the world's worst city.

The Daily News reports some of the critters were spotted in seat cushions in train cabs used by conductors and motormen.

Maybe if we referred to the C.H.U.D.s in a cutesy fashion they would seem like less of a problem.

Could bedbug sniffing dogs be the answer?

Ortiz didn't say when the last reported bedbug sighting on a subway train was.
We're in good hands with this "see nothing, say nothing" guy in charge.

Komment Korner  

Wish there was a way to AGREE with your post but not "like" it...

Everything that goes wrong, you blame Obama. You would think he has been in that office for the last millennium

This country is a republic.

What the NYC subways need to fumigated for is to get rid of LIBERALS.

Fumigation won't work---believe me I tried.

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Choose Your Own Adventure #26: The Phantom Submarine

Previously, my Mayan adventure ended rather ingloriously when my love of wells, drilling for water and allied concepts let to kidnapping and, presumably, torture porn. After that disaster it's time to finally try to chase a lame literary trend and look at a book that's all about submission. And by that I mean, of course, submarine missions. Top off this already can't miss concept with bizarre eighties ideas about ESP and it's time to get hype.

Before we go any further I have to address the sad state of Extra Sensory Perception as a cultural belief. Seriously, why isn't that a thing anymore? Instead we get "I control 100% of my brain!" which sounds awesome until you realize every waking moment would have to be spent manually commanding your heart to beat and so on. There's a good reason we don't control that stuff, and it has nothing to do with sexy rebellion against whatever warmed-over 1984-for-babies dystopia that refuses to recognize how special and wonderful being different truly makes me.

Anyway, the point is kids today don't know 'bout the ESP and it's sad.

There's some underwater stuff too, I guess.

I'm just sitting around maxing and relaxing when I basically have an epileptic aura and/or psychotic break that involves buzzing, swirling visions and objects colliding. Apparently, this is my lame super powers kicking in to predict the future and not the beginning of a life of being shuffled from one institution to another, being prescribed the latest fashionable "meds," and finally being abandoned by the system and becoming a hopeless derelict. Instead, there is indeed a minor fender-bender and this is proof I'm the chosen one and definitely not clinically insane.

I have a similar incident at school. In today's best of all possible worlds this would probably mean a 'script for kiddie crack, but this is 1983 and the imagination hasn't been outlawed yet. I tell my parents and Dad sends me to meet with a professor, because meeting a professor is the kind of thing that makes for entertaining reading. He's all "You've got Extra Sensory Perception!" and I'm all "I know, right!"

 "Your cool super power will keep you from skidding!"

The upshot of this meeting is that I'm contacted by a government agency that is collecting people like me to stare at goats or whatever. Incredibly, they actually ask me if I want to participate, instead of being all "Phony scandal" this and "It's the right thing to do" that. Man, thank goodness L.A. based punk rock was there to keep Dictator Reagan in check. 

Because they asked politely, I agree.

"Mr. MDC, tear down this poster."

I tell my mother that I deserve "to know what's going on in my head" which is something every parent must dream of hearing. Dad shows great restraint by quietly assenting, instead of recommending a methadone clinic as a more cost-effective alternative.

I'm taken to Washington D.C. and a doctor asks me to guess the numbers on cards, perhaps in hopes of getting me into the super-secret government "Repay the Debt Via Blackjack" program. Unfortunately, I don't do very well, so my powers are only good for predicting disaster and won't be able to defeat Vegas. Speaking of disaster, I sense one coming on right now.

From the makers of "Child Bagman."

Sure enough, a truck slams into the building. Are we going to get "Terminator" style carnage? Well, no. Instead it's some guy who blames "bad brakes" for his almost unbelievable negligence. The doctor decided that I've got some abilities after all, even if they're not exactly what you'd call practical unless you're hanging around people who are super accident prone or simply have cursed luck. 

As you might expect, this leads to an assignment as an "ESP Specialist" on a submarine.

Continue this very logical and predictable plot, it turns out this dive boat will use my mind powers as a "special backup warning!" It turns out that ships, and especially submarines, are being lost at a alarming rate both by the West and our Red "friends." Clearly my head issues will be the difference maker.

Double-secret salvage of the Queen's wayward sons.

The submarine is, naturally, no ordinary model. It's basically a giant metal manta ray, complete with non-nuclear missiles and an undersea scout craft that would have R.A. Montgomery nodding his head and saying "Yeah. That's how you do it." The "Manta" has never sailed, but obviously the darkest hour of an international crisis is a good time to try out this massively impractical prototype. 

Also the ships are generally disappearing right after they are first launched from port, but the law of averages suggests we'll survive so no worries.

I'm pretty much in charge of everything, another excellent idea, and am assigned an isolation booth where I'll use my sixth sense to guide the ship. I decide we should go to the Arctic. We head toward the Bering Strait, passing Sarah Palin's house and noting the presence of Russia.

This new house in Yalta is awesome!

We sail under an ice floe, but the amount of space for the submarine is rapidly shrinking. Still, my powers insist this is the right way and I haven't been wrong yet. Except all those cards, but forget that. As it gets narrower, we come to a full stop trapped by a "solid wall of underwater ice." Yes, a classic era Metallica song was almost certainly inspired by this book. Please update Wikipedia accordingly. 

I decide we should blast our way out with torpedoes. We manage to create a nice hole in the ice, but for some reason I'm given the option to go out in the wussy scout ship. How about "no."

We enter the hole, I try to ignore the massive Freudian subtext, and then get "stuck." Then we get crushed to pieces. For some reason my danger sense had nothing to say about any of this. 

I'll be fine.

I liked the general concept of this one, but it suffered from not enough choices and way too much exposition, a problem that will become more common as we get deeper into this series. Richard Brightfield has his moments, but when my overall impression is "a less good R.A. Montgomery" it isn't exactly high praise. The ESP gimmick was pure eighties, but if you're gonna give me the spider sense it can't just turn off at critical moments. Also "Phantom?" Did the author actually want the title "Manta Submarine" but slurred it and was misheard? Seems likely.

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.