Friday, October 30, 2015

Twistaplot #14 Instant Millionaire

Last time we were promised fame and riches, but instead got bullied by puppies with flippers and survived quicksand thanks to the author actually researching that topic and understanding that basic swimming skills would save you easily. Today we're going to continue the theme of unearned McDuck money by examining the Twistaplot interpretation of this cultural touchstone. Truly I am a glutton for misery. At least this one promises to actually examine the impact of sudden material acquisition, as opposed to the Which Way book with three lame stories that had little, if anything, to do with making bank other than that providing the loosest of rationales to tie together tepid detective, explorer and kidnapping stories that weren't substantial enough to fill up 90-odd heavily truncated pages on their own.

Charlie Sheen's childhood.

While "Famous and Rich" had a fairly substantial, if goofy, set-up involving a mysterious old man with poorly defined magical powers this one simply kicks off with an invitation to choose a lottery number. Yes, just one. Presumably they'll be about 100 billion balls in the world's largest tumbler for this to actually work. I'm really feeling good about 25,594,120,001, my personal lucky number. One point for improving on "A wizard did it!" to drive the plot, minus several dozen for the abruptness of the opening and for encouraging underage gambling. Come on R.L. Stine, you're supposed to scare the kiddies, not turn them into low rollers.

I won this 43 times in 1996, but failed to send $800 through Western Union to claim my winnings.

There's four numbers to choose from and I decide to go with 50 because I've devised a system that can defeat random number generation. It turns out this number does not, in fact, win the millions promised in the title but instead nets the "jumbo" prize. An elephant. Get it? Haw. There's a reference to telling "Uncle Clyde" (always an Uncle in these) to stock up on peanuts, because it's always a good idea to introduce new characters literally two sentences away from "The End" and why not grind in a little extra indignity after having the equivalent of one of those loser doors from "Let's Make a Deal" open up rather than a highly satisfying Twistaplot Mammon fantasy. 

From start to finish I read less than one full paperback page worth of text. Great for little Timmy trying to pull a fast one on his 1987 fourth grade book report, maybe somewhat less ideal for an hilarious blog review in the waning days of 2015. 

The End.

I'm sure there's lots of amazing plot lines where you get one million American in a time where that was considered a fairly large sum of money, but not for me. I'm not even sure what else to say, other than to note the fact that I'm one book closer to being done with Twistaplot forever, which undoubtedly is a positive note we can end on, rather than being angry about a two page story-line that can be summed up by the false idea that there's something inherently funny about large land animals.

You're as trusting as an elephant, bro.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

News you Can't Use: Hollywood Moves Back to Demonic Possession Stories

For those who don't own a calendar and have forsaken all contact with the outside world, the primary demographic I'm trying to reach, you need to know it's almost time for Halloween. This, of course, means another tepid round of limp PG-13 offerings that substitute dolls and other non-scary objects for actual story telling. Expect plentiful lame jump scares since that's a lot easier than establishing a mood of growing dread and maybe, if you're lucky, lots of product placement. But wait, we're switching back to "the demon was my co-pilot" stories as the main metaphor for fear of societal disintegration and personal atomization, now that stories about ghouls have reached saturation levels. Will this new trend revive the most stagnant of all genres? Well, no, but we still have to look at the article anyway.

It’s enough to make your head spin. Some 40 years after “The Exorcist,” demonic possession is back, spewing out movies, TV shows and books.

Ha, clearly punchy writing full of clever turns of phrase is not back.

“Ash vs. Evil Dead,” based on the “Evil Dead” film franchise about demons plaguing vacationers at a cabin in the woods, is premiering on the Starz cable network on Halloween.

Like most people I felt that Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness left many themes and plot lines about the dead that are, oddly enough, also evil, unexplored. Ever since repeatedly viewing that 1992 masterwork and writing multiple letters each week to every cable network, no matter how obscure or goofy-named, to demand that we get the proper cynical cash-in reboot that this series always deserved.

A sequel to the hit 2013 film “The Conjuring,” about an attempted exorcism, is in production.

It's rated PG-13, contains a doll that might frighten a timid seven-year-old living a completely sequestered existence in a Mennonite colony and was released last year to a critical reception that could be fairly described as "savage." When "shameless cash grab" is probably the closest thing to a blurb you could put on a poster you know it's just a matter of time before you get another bite at the apple.

“The Witch,” a film-festival darling about possession in a Puritan family in 17th-century New England, is set to open in February.

Yeah, it takes time to remove the shame and target wallets, so please be patient. Besides, nothing's more frightening than February weather or a lonely Valentine's Day, am I right? Hey, come back here!

A revival of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” opens on Broadway that same month, starring Saoirse Ronan as a young woman amid charges of witchcraft in Salem.

You are aware that this is actually a tale of very human failure with absolutely no demonic elements, right?

A reality-TV special advertised as a “live exorcism” of a haunted house is scheduled to air the night before Halloween.

Still more watchable and less intelligence insulting than the first Democratic debate.

Streaming services, looser broadcast standards and more television options have broadened this audience and fueled more projects.

Yeah, streaming. Like a stream of puke from a drunkard's mouth.

Teens can make a TV show or movie viral in minutes. Young-adult novels turn into hit movies, like the “Twilight” vampire-werewolf films.

And you, as a fully mature adult, will go see this puerile garbage because you're a moronic sheep.

“The Walking Dead,” about a dystopic world overrun with zombies, is the most popular show on cable TV. 

Can there be a twenty year or so moratorium on the word "dystopic" for the benefit of people that can't correctly use it?

The 2013 zombie movie “World War Z” racked up big world-wide ticket sales for weeks.

Man, all this technology really has accelerated the pace of society. Let's talk about 2013 releases, pine for new, worse versions of 1992 sequels and generally fail to move forward.

The new wave of possession films could take scary movies even more into the mainstream.

And no "R" rating, because we want lots of kids at our diabolic possession movie.

The last one, this time for sure, unless it's really profitable.

Teenagers especially relate to the notion of one’s body and mind being taken over by an uncontrollable force they can’t understand.

Demon possession = I can't control my horny levels.

Belief in a demonic presence is a part of many religions, notably Catholicism. Mark Neveldine, who directed this summer’s film “The Vatican Tapes,” says Pope Francis is helping drive the new interest in exorcism.

That or "climate change," I forget which.

“There’s almost like a weird little thrill to the idea that the devil did make me do these horrible, terrible things, and I’m not responsible,” he says.

"I wasn't my fault, George W. Bush left it like this!"

“I love ‘The Exorcist,’” Ms. King says. “It’s a great book and a great movie, but that story has been told.”

But never in a format where nudity and most swearing words are forbidden and hey, easy on the disturbing content because we want that wider, dumber, audience.

Komment Korner  

The Jesuits were reformers, proselytizers, and, most importantly, soldiers of the Holy Mother Church in her battle against the Protestant Revolution

Doggone WSJ spell swapper.

If you believe in God and reject Him....your punushment is fitting.

Get your facts straight!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Friday, October 23, 2015

News You Can't Use: Oregon AG Accuses Retailer GNC of Selling Drug-Spiked Dietary Supplements

Are you looking to get on some "gear" but haven't been able to figure out that the guy who comes to your gym wearing a suit once a week, isn't at all muscular and promptly disappears into the locker room for thirty minutes before leaving without doing any exercises is the person you need to talk to? If this is the case you might want to consider the powders, placebos and potions offered by the General Nutrition Center, located in rapidly dying shopping malls near you. Or maybe not, since as best as I can tell from skimming a lengthy, meandering, poorly written article from USA Today that I'll probably get sick of riffing on halfway through there might be dangerous drugs lurking among the safe ones that promote thickness, solidity and tightness.

GNC, one of the world’s largest retailers of supposedly all-natural dietary supplements, has knowingly sold products spiked with two synthetic drugs, according to internal company records and a lawsuit filed Thursday by Oregon’s attorney general.

I'm not an expert at so-called criminality and fraud, but I'm pretty sure if you're going to "spike" something with synthetic drugs it's in your interest not to leave a massive paper trail of memos and TPS reports. What would these records even look like? "RE: Miracle Slim Diet Powder. Yeah, we're gonna add to, or 'spike' if you will, this product with dangerous drugs. The funny thing is, no one will ever find out and we'll make that big evil genius bank. So don't say nothin' and maybe destroy this memo, k?"

The suit accuses GNC of selling thousands of units of 22 workout and fat-burner supplement products that contained picamilon, a prescription drug in Russia that is used there to treat neurological conditions. 

In post-Soviet Russia diet pill is for makink the mind work better. Also, I'm not sure what the downside of this is, other than the involvement of the Russian boogeyman that has been bombing the terrorists we were planning on somehow turning into good little democratic consumers. Washboard stomach and a cure for my neurological conditions in one handy pill? How can I lose?

Internal company records show a key GNC official knew as far back as 2007 the ingredient wasn’t natural, the suit alleges, and therefore could not lawfully be included in dietary supplements, which can only contain natural ingredients. 

The only unnatural supplement act is one that's physically impossible to perform.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum also accuses the retail giant of selling other workout and weight-loss supplements that contained a synthetic amphetamine-like chemical known as BMPEA, Beta-methylphenethylamine and by several other chemical names.

This is an outrage. Bennies in the thinner potions. Hey, wake up, you're supposed to get angry! Come on, we need litigation!

Among other evidence of wrongdoing, the attorney general's office cites emails circulated two years ago among top GNC executives in the wake of a 2013 USA TODAY article about BMPEA in supplements.

Technical ineptitude with you electronic post office leading to a downfall. We call this the "Hillary maneuver."

GNC, which initially said it wouldn't comment on the pending litigation, issued a short statement Thursday afternoon

We convinced them to do it be texting "please respond."

Shares of the company plunged almost 15% to $34.23 in late afternoon trading.

Time to dump those Russian neurotoxin futures, the bottom just fell out.

According to the lawsuit, actions in May 2007 by a key GNC official — responsible for ensuring that supplement labels and scientific claims are accurate — show "GNC knew that picamilon is not a lawful dietary ingredient."

It also revealed that "Guaranteed to jack you up" is a totally scientific claim that proved misleading.

If your amateur ass takes it and dies we can use the "For Professional Athletes!" blurb to defeat lawsuits.

Documents reviewed by the official at that time showed “that picamilon was a synthetic drug created by Soviet investigators and was not a lawful dietary ingredient in the United States,” the suit alleges. 

We must keep this Red Menace from sapping our vital bodily six-packs.

Komment Korner  

my friend's sister makes $61 hourly on the laptop

Anthing can be considered a supplement like table salt or sugar.

Stop advertising your ignorance!

If they are guilty for anything it is selling cr@p that doesn't work.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

News You Can't Use: YouTube Offers U.S. Subscribers Paid Option With No Ads

If this is the only site on the internet you visit, something I do recommend, it's my duty to inform you that today is "future day" or something, celebrating the date mentioned in a 1989 movie when the hero would arrive in an amazing future. Suffice it to say this film's predictions regarding autumn of 2015, fueled by Reagan-era optimism and a desire to instill mirth rather than crushing despair in audiences, have proven less than accurate. There is no Jaws 10, self-tying shoes haven't even been seriously attempted, cars are boxy, economical and don't fly and skateboarding technology is, if anything, in retrograde since they stopped making those Tony Hawk television games.

On the other hand, this brave world is not without amazing innovations. Innovations like attaching commercials parasite-style to homemade videos and then offering a chance to make them go away in exchange for some fiat currency.

Alphabet Inc's YouTube will launch a $10-a-month subscription option in the United States on Oct. 28 that will allow viewers to watch videos from across the site without interruption from advertisements, the company said on Wednesday. 

The same ignorant and easily led herd that makes horrible garbage popular now has a chance to pay money for something that (shhhh, don't tell anyone I told you this) can be easily acquired for free. It's hard to imagine the motley assembly of suckers, mouth-breathers and Madison Avenue fantasy marks made flesh that will toss a Hamilton on this pile and it's maybe best not to try.

Starting early next year, the service called YouTube Red will add exclusive shows and movies from top YouTube creators including PewDiePie, Lilly Singh and The Fine Brothers.

This was the "horrible garbage" alluded to in the previous paragraph.

"Consumers are embracing paid subscriptions of ad-free content at an incredible pace," Robert Kyncl, YouTube's chief business officer, said at an event at YouTube's production space in Los Angeles.

"It's like you morons are willing to just give me money and all you get in exchange is a removal of obnoxious and insulting content that can already be defeated in a variety of ways. Man, I love getting paid off of you idiots."

The effort offers a new source of revenue for YouTube and its video creators.

It's like the traditional media is being slowly rebuilt piecemeal from first principles. Maybe call this service "cable television."

Rival streaming sites such as Vessel and Interactive Corp's Vimeo are luring online stars to their paid offerings, which provide creators a larger cut of revenue than they typically receive from YouTube's ad-supported videos. Facebook also is taking steps to boost video viewership on its site.

Any talk about this not being an intellectual golden age can now stop.

YouTube will continue to offer its free, ad-supported service, which has more than 1 billion viewers around the world.

That sure is a relief, now I can aggressively upbraid all the "Youtube is gonna end" and "Facebook gwine charge you startin' Nivbembar!" human units littering social media.

Sure told you! Well, gotta go pay my direct teevee bill.

Creators of 99 percent of the content watched on YouTube have agreed to make their videos available on YouTube Red, Kyncl said. 

The remaining videos are presumably investment tips, portfolio management, how I buy elections and other one percent material.

A Disney spokeswoman did not immediately respond for a request for comment.

Please respond. Fast Disney is fast.

The YouTube Red service will be available initially only in the United States.

Congratulations USA, you're the test market for this trick bag.

Users who sign up for YouTube Red through Apple Inc's app store will pay $13 a month.

Over the course of a few paragraphs the price has already gone up. What kind of jive is this?

YouTube also launched a new YouTube Music app that is free to watch with ads. Subscribers to YouTube Red can watch YouTube Music content without the ads.
You're not getting that hoverboard, stop asking.

Komment Korner  

Apparently people don't know you can block those ads for free with Firefox (using a plugin).

I'd rather eat McDonald's grey burger bun than pay YouTube $$ to filter out the ads.
in the eternal words of Judas Priest: 'You(tube) got another thing coming'
History repeats itself! This is how cable TV started

As my dad said, ignorance is expensive.

You lost me at poopoodie. 

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Friday, October 16, 2015

DotTeeVee: You Can't Stump the Trump (Volume 4)

Ordinarily this is a somewhat frivolous endeavor, chronicling amusing but largely unimportant topics like sovereign citizens battling police tyranny, human resource betrayal and why watching someone else remotely play a video game represents a major step forward in the field of time homicide. Not so today, as what we're about to experience is truly time capsule material, the kind of thing that defines an era and a generation, a "where were you" type moment that will be seared into your cortex like an "X" into the buttocks of a freshly lassoed bullock. We've got our next president and our next refreshing generation coming together and yes, there will be dubstep.

This panel of Republican hopefuls continues to the right for another four hundred feet.

We hit the ground running with footage from the first Republican debate, back when there were about seventy candidates each vying for a chance to lose in the general election and also this guy from reality television who probably will fizzle out any moment now, unlike this legion of Mitt Romney impersonators. Like any good video we open with narration from some public domain nature film, the sort of thing that might be on your TeeVee when you start doing the wild thing during the late show and the channel changer gets trapped beneath the love-making and flicks its way into the high 800s.

The New York businessman, golf course owner and right-wing extremist gestures broadly as the narration compares him to a certain kind of centipede noted for its alacrity and ability to inject poison into other, lesser, venomous vermin. Maybe not the heroic comparison I would have gone for, but on the other hand who wouldn't vote for someone capable of injecting paralyzing venom into the enemies of our freedoms?

Hope and change.

Scary music plays as the camera closes is on the Main Man and it's time to begin the stumpings. Dubstep plays as Rand Paul gets his lunch eaten by the 133rd richest man in the world. Money falls from the sky as a reporter gets the deportation treatment, a shopped in sniper rifle blasts the Univision employee and I realize that I've finally discovered something created by a person under the age of 30 that can be completely enjoyed, without any of the usual reservations. A quick Rosie O'Donnell diss and it's time for a title card. Let's go.

There's some CNN graphics for the second debate, while simulated narcotic use it also presented, I guess as some sort of ironic counterpoint. I'm getting "baked" but watching something that's nominally "serious." That's some solid commentary on our system, right there. 

There you go again.

Donald Trump introduces himself and describes his achievements and if it wasn't for another "raining money" effect it would be almost like a conventional political commercial, free of drug abuse, killer centipede references and catchy electronic dance music. No thanks, in other words. Fortunately, it's right back to bagging on Rand Paul and his low poll numbers. The Kentucky Senator who is often asked "Are you really still running for President?" offers a feeble counter, complaining about attacks on his appearance. Naturally this leads to height jokes and the old "I never attacked him, but easily could," feigned moral high ground. Rand Paul, officially stumped.

"I ain't votin' for no manlet!"

The narrator informs us it's now "Jeb Cuck Time" as if there was a single viewer who didn't know, and offers a chance to drop seventy-five Washingtons on the Jeb Guaca Bowl. Something tells me the person or persons behind this video prefer a very different kind of bowl. This somehow segues into a discussion of wealthy donors and how it impacts our political system and how the other Bush kid wouldn't let Trump open a casino in Florida, a charge the hotel owner denies. Both men then argue over this hypothetical gambling venture as if it were a key issue, culminating with some Grand Theft Auto graphics. 

Less than 5% in the polls, Game Over.

Despite this crushing victory, it's right back to more bickering and interruptions. The big payoff this time is Jeb gets called out on finally showing some energy, cue air horn, nuclear fall-out countdown, the sniper rifle and more "centipede" themed South London club music. Could these outrageous effects have made the Democrat debate watchable? Well, no, but the fact that I even considered the possibility is a testimony to the greatness unspooling itself here in "cuck time."

One final argument between Jeb and Trump reaches a critical moment when Florida Bush offers The Don a chance to apologize for some of his more controversial statements. If you can't predict the outcome of this offer you obviously weren't following the Presidential race this summer, possibly hitting a beach or being with loved ones or some other waste of time. Naturally, as the video puts it, the brother of W is "Blown the [fudge] out."

Believe it or not, there's more. A wild shill has appeared, complete with Pokemon music. Yes, it's that Jeb Bush staffer here to call out our next President on his failure to be a "Friend to woman (sic)." Already stumped by basic grammar, not looking good. It's hard to believe but this goofy nonsense was national news for a short while, before being tossed on the same pile as Trump is gonna give amnesty, someone said a racial slur at a Trump event, the hair might not be real, here's a made-up quote where Trump insults the American voter and all the other non-events that have slid off the teflon surface of a man who is, by the way, great on women's health.

Speaking of which, Trump mentions that he's great on women's health and also really good at getting tenses right when delivering spoken English. Our young lady plant isn't done though, demanding the same pay and the ability to control the body or something. Repeating these tired talking points earns some half-hearted "wooing" from the crowd and it looks bad for our hero. A song about "spooky skeletons" helps really emphasize the gravitas of the situation.

"You're gonna make the same if you do as good a job." Air horn, gun, oh my [fudging] God, dubstep, etc. I don't know what else I can say. Imagine the best possible orgasm, multiply it by a thousand and you're still nowhere near it.

Drug references, hashtags and gun violence, a potent combination.

We end with a possible Illuminati sighting and some Disney music, but by this point I was lying face down on the floor with a smile carved into my face that might need to be sand-blasted off.

Komment Korner   

If I included all of the stumpings, the video would probably end up pushing the 15+ minute mark.

Yo im about to vote for Trump because of this.

Strong man who will work with Wladimir Putin to keep safe the world.

Literally the greatest man to ever live.

are you suggesting he cannot be stumped?

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

News You Can't Use: Billionaires Shrug Off Volatile Markets for Art Shopping Spree

It's very important that we keep track of and cater to the whims of our billionaires, the wise and noble success stories that work tirelessly for our common good. Whether it's destabilizing some sand box or trying to get more people on narcotics you can rest assured that Uncle Ten Figure has your best interests at heart. But what of their own activities, the life we are told should be the focus of all of our combined envy and admiration? As it turns out various problems hitting the prole sector don't seem to be stopping the art shopping sprees and by art, of course, I mean total and complete garbage.

Art dealer David Kordansky checked his wristwatch nervously. It was 45 minutes into the opening of the Frieze Art Fair and his booth, with large abstract paintings intersected with neon light tubes by Mary Weatherford, was mostly empty.

Nice to see the Solyndra remains are still a money sink for limousine liberals. Or would be, if they'd just show up. Where are you, guy that bet against our currency, got rich, and now indulges his bad taste? Come on marks patrons, get up in this sucker. Maybe I should check that watch again, possibly while displaying the signs of anxiety. Should help.

“I am waiting for the individuals these paintings are on reserve for to show up,” Kordansky said on Tuesday, tapping his timepiece. “Is there a line outside?”

Please tell the unindicted White collar criminals are out there. I'm dying here, man. 

Kordansky didn’t need to worry. Neither the 15-minute line snaking through the fair’s Regent’s Park location nor the roiling financial markets could deter the international jet set from its annual art shopping spree in London.

Wow, what a relief that news is. Now that this real issue has been settled we can focus on minor distractions like how the power just got cut off.

The displayed five paintings by Weatherford sold at the VIP preview, with prices ranging from $120,000 to $220,000.

"You think people will pay that ridiculous price?"

"I only need one."

Billionaire Eli Broad, jeweller Laurence Graff, heiress Nicky Hilton Rothschild and actor Benedict Cumberbatch joined the throngs of established and wannabe collectors who descended on Frieze and its nearby sister fair, Frieze Masters, on this crisp October day.

I suggest you skip Frieze Masters which is full of industrialists, politicians, heiresses that received less than a billion dollars and other commoner scum.

Broad, who navigated the aisles in a wheelchair following back surgery, said he was cautious about the financial markets and bullish about the art market.

All that worthless money we keep printing has to end up somewhere, right?

“The art market is very strong. You’d think there are no troubles anywhere in the world.”

It's almost like the obscenely wealthy live in this fantasy world insulated from reality, but we all know that's not true. Soros wants you blowing dope and living in debt, he obviously has the common touch."

Once I explain the Marxist symbolism behind this ugly monstrosity you'll want to buy.

Established in 2003, Frieze has become one of the world’s leading art fairs, competing with Art Basel and expanding geographically with a Frieze New York edition in May. 

I'm sure we're not telling you anything you didn't already know.

“Sold,” Timothy Blum, co-owner of Blum and Poe, based in Los Angeles, Tokyo and New York, kept telling clients inquiring about a $600,000 painting by Yoshitomo Nara. The gallery also placed a new painting by Takashi Murakami for $1 million.

I don't even like it. I just wanted to acquire it to prove I could and to stave off the inner emptiness.

“It’s a very safe place to go,” said Marianne Boesky. “You are buying quality, not something untested.”

None of this art made of pudding that rapidly decays, not here, no sir.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Friday, October 9, 2015

News You Can't Use: Homeless Florida Man Brings Skull to Grocery Store

With Halloween just around the corner and down the temporal street that ultimately leads to dark and hateful oblivion it's time for some real life scary stories. Or at least a real life "I can't believe how awful and pathetic everything is" story, which is what the so-called real world tends to create rather than PG-13 thrill rides about evil dolls and evil clowns and evil dolls that are clown-dolls. Still, today's story manages to take highly unusual events and present them in the most banal "oh well" fashion, so at least there's that. If we can't have sincere scares at least we can be proudly desensitized to hometown horrors.

Shoppers at a Sebastian, Florida, Publix grocery store called 911 when they saw a homeless man walking around with a human skull, authorities said.

More "Publix" snobs, people who think they're too good for "Everything's Cheap and Rotten" or "ALDI." All it takes is a dangerous human derelict and his macabre fashion accessories and everyone's using their little glow screens to call in the five-oh.

"He had put the skull on top of a trash can over there because he wanted to tell somebody to call the sheriff's office," said Indian River County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Thomas Raulen. 

That's how that works. If you need police assistance, go to some lower tier food depository and set the item of concern or a reasonable facsimile on the ash can. Society's nice and healthy, nothing about this is unusual, please resume your shopping for Dinnerables and assorted swine parts.

The unidentified homeless man found human remains in an isolated area near the homeless camps and brought it to the Publix to report the body on Tuesday.

This one homeless camp... I also like how there's more than one and it's just accepted with "oh well" resignation. Not our problem 'til they start with the skullin', I suppose.

“He was using it as a puppet," witness Nick Pecoraro told WPBF News. "It smelled like death.”

We'll just leave out these bizarre and sickening details when we make the police report, because it's easier that way.

Can we just do more common core math instead?

Raulen said that it was unlikely that the victim had been decapitated, but that the body was too deteriorated to tell much information about the victim. 

I don't know anything, but I'll still offer lame speculation for no good reason.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

News You Can't Use: College Bro Arrested Over Mac-and-Cheese Rant at Food Court

Hey brahs, let me aware you on the latest jimmy rustling events from the poverty level four year debt center. It turns out the non-lifting, untanned normals in charge don't take kindly to open alcohol containers or physical attacks, which probably proves some sort of point about the decline of society but I'm midway through the second 40 ounce so maybe ask someone else. In any case, try to stay safe as we examine this case of an attempt to acquire proteins gone horribly wrong. Das not it, mang.

University of Connecticut student got into a confrontation with a campus food court manager who wouldn’t let him buy macaroni and cheese with bacon and jalapeño peppers, and was arrested.

Another defeat for the free market. "Let me get this mac n' whatever, dudemar." "We're a state-funded university. We already got your tax dollars, bud."

An obscenity-laced video shows 19-year-old freshman Luke Gatti arguing with and shoving the manager on Sunday.

Every generation gets the version of the Great Debate that it deserves.

Police and the manager say he was refused service because he had an open alcohol container.

Yup, that's a college student all right. I guess we could just use our own discretion and make the sale anyway, but the principle of the thing is worth creating the 2015 answer to a Ritz Brothers movie.

The nine-minute video shows Gatti being tackled by another employee, being arrested by police and spitting at the manager before being led away.

No matter what you like, chances are this "bro" has it. Enjoy open containers in public? No problem. Customer service and unrestricted commerce? Aw, yeah. Fluckie football and gestapoism? This is America, remember?

Bench, squat and dead is what does.

He’s charged with breach of peace and criminal trespass. 

College really is a rich learning experience. Now you can experience being a nuisance to our legal system.

He hasn’t returned a phone call seeking comment.

Fast misc.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Which Way Books #4: Famous and Rich

I can't stop reading Which Way Books. Honestly, what's not to like? The stories are threadbare and utilitarian, the low expectations coming in make the moments of glorious competence shine even brighter and there's a very pleasant lack of self-awareness and fourth wall (third page???) breaking. Sure, I'll probably get back into the always reliable late-early Choose Your Own Adventure offerings very soon, but for now it's time to live the American dream of filthy lucre and all eyes on me via the highly satisfying medium of barely serviceable text from 1982 practically dancing on badly yellowed pages.

How about some unrealistic life expectations?

I have to concede that the usually brilliant Which Way opening is sadly deficient in this one. Instead of poor TeeVee reception, magic birds or horrible movies coming to life the high concept here is that some older gentleman moves into the house next door. Since it's the eighties and I don't have to check a phone every fifteen seconds or take lots of arm-length photos of myself I go over to talk, something people used to do. We have this lengthy conversation that, fortunately, is brutally summarized down to "talking 'bout dreams and stuff" and suddenly my new best friend wants to know about my future goals. "To be famous and rich!" Roll credits?

Instead there's some red diaper talk about how ambitions often come at a heavy cost and money can't buy a beautiful sunset and general "You've got to LIVE every day, man!" bullshit that we're all sick of hearing. My pragmatic response is the only way I can determine if power does, indeed, corrupt is by being handed the joystick of wealth and glory. Naturally this leads to mumbling and quivering, because this guy is some sort of wish-granting plot contrivance.

Can we get that lengthy conventional war, with mandatory draft, going soon? Please?

Because it's Which Way there's the usual triple choice of things that are very loosely related to the core conceit that's been so expertly established, specifically three occupations that allegedly deliver the chedda and that sweet envy and hatred of the faceless masses. One is movie star, which is fine, but the other two are a mess. Explorer? Maybe in the 19th century, old-timer. Detective? Sure, that's a sure route to big money and we all know the more notoriety you have the more effective you would be. Notably absent are more believable options like air-headed nepotism case who "accidentally" releases home-made pornography into the public domain or son of already wealthy parents who becomes obscenely wealthy via monetary voodoo.

Fine, I'll take explorer.

We makin' Cartier coin.

Instead of swimming in portfolios or being worshiped by life's extras I'm right in the middle of an adventure, one that involves a light aircraft. Get your lawyers on the phone, R.A. Montgomery. I'm on the cover of "Time" magazine, which seems an odd choice when there's National Pornographic, but I guess there was a time when they might have covered global exploration before they lost all relevancy and went off the Cultural Marxist deep-end. No time to dwell on that, the plane's engines are on fire. It's famous and rich, not famous and fastidious about pre-flight check-ups, after all.

I jump out, hit the water, deploy a raft and note an island about 25 miles away, all in rapid fire prose. Hey, we're not being paid by the hour, here. I'm given the choice to retrieve the floating parachute, but instead decide to paddle toward the island, nice and secure in my new wussy and impractical mode of travel. Many miles of rowing against ocean currents, no problem.

This raft is superior to other rafts in every possible way.

After much rowing I'm confronted by a "mammoth bed of seaweed" blocking the path to the island. No, not water dope! Faced with this daunting obstacle I decide to soldier on and incredibly just float right through the wet green to the beach. Just as I think I'm in the clear I hear barking and a family of sea lions is swimming toward my raft. First waterlogged crops and now ocean dogs. You're gonna have to do better than that, nature. 

As you might expect, the pets of Davey Jones are more about goofy playful cavorting than devouring the flesh of a guy that did a magazine cover when that feat still had cultural relevance. Just as I hit the shore, though, a "bull" sea lion, the pack alpha I would assume, is running up on me in a "vengeful rage." Faced with this, I'm given two different coward options instead of some righteous "last good fight" battle with the playful clowns of the sea. Also, what does this have to do with being famous or rich? I've got nothing but a raft and paddle to my name and I'm running and hiding from a Sea World warm-up act. Gah.

Not exactly the most intimidating enemy.

So I run away with the goofy nemesis hot on my heels, barking happily and slapping its flippers together in anticipation of devouring flesh and washing it down with warm blood. Then I blunder into quicksand. The world's greatest explorer, ladies and gentleman, punked out by an animal know for its goofy clapping and working wacky horns and now I'm sinking into wet earth. Fortunately, both myself and the author remember that so-called "quicksand" is just really muddy water and you can float and swim in it, so that's what I do. After getting out, a rescue party is there to bail my pathetic ass out before I get attacked by panda bears or get trapped in pussy willows or whatever other humiliating event that could top what already happened occurs. 

Plus, they know who I am because I'm famous. The End. Good grief.

 Don't you hate it when there's no bamboo or you're shot to make Chinese medicine?

This one was pretty bad. How did I become a famous explorer when I'm so completely inept? Why am I exploring an island that a "rescue party" can easily access? How come the story-line I got had nothing to do with the thin reed setting up the action. I'll give a point for correct understanding of quicksand, but that's all this one is getting. Yeah, I'm going back to Choose Your Own Adventure next time.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.