Saturday, July 22, 2017

Twistaplot #3 The Formula for Trouble

It turns out I haven't posted one of these since January, but on the other hand you can't rush quality and you also apparently can't rush whatever this is, either. In any case, it's time to return for more Twist-a-Plot, keeping alive the slim hopes that I can review every book in this particular series. At least today's entry looks somewhat promising, judging, as you always should, by the cover featuring President Dog and a few members of the "Dark Universe," the new corporate buzzword for fifties monster movie villains that have become walking cliches stripped of any interest. All of this is pouring out of a beaker, I'm freaking out, man.

Who is a good politician? You are, boy! Yes, you are!

This initial moderate good will is quickly drained away by the bizarre set-up, including a friendship with an elementary school teacher whose house I hang out at. This would probably raise more than a few eyebrows today, but it was a more innocent time, I guess. Anyway, I'm told to rush over. "You're not going to believe your own eyes!" Fortunately, when I arrive he's missing and we don't get a Very Special Episode of Twist-a-Plot. But first I must decide if I want to be accompanied by a dog or a friend and I decide I've got Rover backing me up.

The dog's name is actually "Titanic." Yeah. Sometimes too clever is stupid, sorry. The authors (Yes, it took two people to create this book-shaped door-jam) were apparently pretty proud of what seems like an in-joke the reader isn't privy too, the best kind of literary in-joke, as this name is repeated several times while we search for "Mr. Watson." Did he discover the double helix in this basement? The answer is "no." Instead, he's created a "Super Strength" potion that will be sure to leave baseball announcers in complete denial for years. Must be special lighter baseballs or something.

Of course it's just sitting their, waiting to be abused. I'm given a choice not to drink, but let's keep it real. It's time to destroy the MLB record book and make millions.

The substance that was not illegal when I experimented with it, honest, tastes like lemonade and provokes immediate panic from my canine buddy. Easy boy, I'm the same person, just all jacked up. Or perhaps not, because I'm also in agonizing pain that the author compares to being "hit with a fastball." Well, if I'm going to hit all those dingers that will happen sometimes. 

As you probably already guessed, the strength potion turned me into the wolf-man. So I guess it's going to be basketball, not baseball. I start the mournful howling, drawing some attention from outside. Time to "look for an electric razor." Ah, that awful snark this series is known for, how I missed it.

There is no razor. An entire page, full of painful wackiness (dead battery humor, my sides are destroyed), is devoted to conveying this information. Gah.

  Yo, I heard you like cinematic universes, dawg. How 'bout this drivel?

The authors then explain that I'm a werewolf, because it was pretty ambiguous up until now. I burst through the door and there's my school principal (I heard there was an inappropriate relationship going on here, etc) and a police woman. They see my bike and naturally assume I'm the horrific monster that shares continuity and cannon with The Mummy and Gill Man, as any reasonable person would do in this situation. The co-authors describe this as graduating Summa Cum Furry. Yes, it took more than one person to come up with that.

I'm given a choice to be good or bad and decide to go with the grain and play for Team Evil. I assumed this would allow me to brutally murder the elementary school boss and the representative of the law (no silver bullets in that gun, good luck) but instead get a page full of b.s. about the animal nature within and our good intentions and how I should go hide at home instead of feasting on the freshly killed corpses of people who were trying to help me.

This book sucks.

To add insult to injury, my family doesn't even notice the change, at least in any meaningful way, so I turn myself in to the National Guard who were summoned for some reason that I'm sure made sense in the haze of narcotics and "Hey, that's really funny!" this slop was written in. Before they can shoot me like a Freedom School hippie in "The Trial of Billy Jack" the formula suddenly wears off, the status quo is restored like this is some horrible sitcom and that's the amazing story of the temporary lycanthropy caused by a potion that was supposed to make me strong.

No one wants to fight in a John McCain endorsed foreign debacle, what gives?

I can't really say too many positive things about this one. The authors (I still can't get over that. It's a Twist-a-Plot book, not the Manhattan Project.) put in some effort to make this one stand out, but the end result was disappointing, to say the least. If everything becomes a joke, why should I care? Also, Titanic the dog? Why? I guess I can live without knowing.

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

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

News You Can't Use: Domino’s Staff Member Forced to Kneel as a Gun is Pointed at his Head

Ordering cultural appropriation versions of Italian cuisine can easily turn into a total and complete disaster so it's probably not a surprise that every so often there's blow-back from the endlessly put-upon martyrs who just wanted a reasonably cheap and warm carb-load in a box left outside the front door. It's even less surprising when this sudden reversal takes place in a Southern Hemisphere penal colony. Yes, let's head Down Under to meet a man who was pushed too far by the whole "thirty minutes or less" trick bag and decided to perform a deleted scene from "Falling Down" on a wage slave.

Chilling footage of the moment a man pointed a shortened firearm in the face of a Domino’s Pizza Smithfield staff member has been released.

Chilling, just like the ice-cold pizza that came three hours after I ordered it. Seriously, I was wronged and my complaints are legitimate, how come no one cares?

Philip Raymond Willich was angry. He had been unable to get a discount when ordering his pizza on the phone.

Some smooth-talker told me I could get a deep discount if I mentioned my affiliation with the Professional Domino Player League, but it turned out to be a shuck.

So he went to the shop to confront the young staff member Isaac Ramsay, and asked him to step outside for a chat on October 21, 2015. 

Protip: When a confrontational yabbo wants to "chat" outside you should refuse.

Police Prosecutor Senior Sergeant Lisa Buchanan said Willich, 53, had wanted an apology.

I could have just said "sorry" and deescalated everything, but my fanatical loyalty to a place that produces something that tastes like a spicy rubber tire demanded I refuse.

When it wasn’t forthcoming he drew the weapon, which had been concealed under his clothes, and pointed it at Mr Ramsay’s head.

Looks like you're really going to earn that minimum wage today.

“It is the most serious common assault I have seen to obtain an apology for not getting a discount on a takeaway pizza,” Snr Sgt Buchanan said.

Yes. This was the worst version of that highly specific scenario I've ever seen.

“It wasn’t loaded but the victim wasn’t aware of that.” 

That's not a gun. THIS is a gun.

Snr Sgt Buchanan said Mr Ramsay was effectively “begging for his life”.

No apologies, though. I'd rather die than express regret that you didn't get a reduced price from my distant and faceless employer.

Under Queensland law, Willich must spend at least 12 months in jail because of the weapons charge.

It only took about two years to finally reach this conclusion. Now to start planning the cruel and unusual punishment.

Defence solicitor Paul Richardson handed up two comprehensive reports about his client, which described Willich has having narcissistic personality traits, high alcoholism and a depressive disorder.

I love myself so much, I'm profoundly depressed, time to drink lots of top-shelf booze.

 What do you mean this offer is expired? *pulls gun*

“The common assault was a very serious example of common assault,” Magistrate Alan Comans said, adding that they were also someone calculated.

This thing was an excellent example of this thing.

He committed the assault in the most menacing and frightening way.

As opposed to all those friendly and comforting assaults, I guess.

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

Thursday, July 6, 2017

News You Can't Use: Pregnant Woman Arrested For Cupcake Battery

It's amazing how easy it is to turn a horrible incident into pure knee-slapperism by altering just one of the awful details to wack-a-doodle goofiness. Turn the gun into a marital aid, the car driven by the drunkard into an Eastern European picnic table, maybe make that thrown bottle a cupcake. It really isn't all that difficult. This evidence suggests the current comedy famine we're living in is actually intentional and not merely a cultural refractory period following the removal of Pauly Shore from the public eye or whatever your plausible explanation would be.

A pregnant Florida woman was arrested for domestic battery after pelting her brother with frosted cupcakes during a 1:45 AM argument Saturday in the family’s Vero Beach residence, police report.

If they had sprinkles the charges would have been even worse.

According to cops, Latonya Daugherty, 24, was quarreling with her 30-year-old sibling when the “verbal argument escalated.”

"Escalated quickly" is the phrase I think you're trying to employ here. A simple quarrel over whether we should accept the Riemann Hypothesis goes wrong and bakery novelties become deadly projectiles.

The cupcakes, an arrest affidavit notes, struck Yaddow in the arm and chest.

Eat this Ding-Dong, you miscreant. Ugh, just winged ya.

Yaddow, investigators say, retaliated by removing frosting off his arms and “wiping it in her hair.” Yaddow, pictured at right, also allegedly kicked Daugherty in the stomach.

The one weakness of this otherwise well-conceived volley of empty calories. We're taking some friendly frosting fire, will try to hold out, please send help.

In an interview with police, Daugherty’s mother described her daughter as the “initial primary aggressor as she threw cupcakes.”

I'm sure those were the exact words and not some Morlock gibbering as depicted in the classic novel The Time Machine.

But Yaddow’s reaction, cops concluded, “exceeded a reasonable response in self defense,” prompting officers to arrest him for aggravated battery.

Before you criticize police, remember that we expect them to referee this sort of absolutely staggering violent idiocy.

While police took note of the blue frosting in Daugherty’s hair, the cupcakes themselves were not collected as evidence.

Er, yeah. We don't actually need them as evidence. *discretely wipes crumbs off mouth*

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

Saturday, July 1, 2017

News You Can't Use: Cops Hunt For Chrome-Domed Rogaine Bandit

The heartbreak of male pattern baldness, let alone the "chrome dome," is truly one of nature's cruelest pranks, right up there with a nose that never stops growing and uncontrollable falling down syndrome. It's arguably forgivable, then, that mid-life crisis cases are addicted to extremely flammable hair growth miracle cures, ranging from semi-legitimate transplant efforts to "hair in a can" spray paint solutions. Still, we live in a land of laws, and trying to restore your lost youth in a vanity-themed effort to stave off death's grim specter must be done legally. We either have a country of law-abiding baldies or we don't. Treat you scalp, but do it the right way. I love the Rogaine, I love the Rogaine.

Michigan police are seeking the public’s assistance in apprehending a bald Rogaine thief. 

The problem with this manhunt is he'll use the product, immediately regrow a full head of thick, luxurious and glorious hair and the above description will be worthless. 

According to cops, the suspect last week swiped seven boxes of the hair regrowth product from a CVS pharmacy in Dearborn.

Next week we'll try to catch the empty pants thief who swiped seven crates of magic penis enlargement pills.

The chrome-domed culprit then placed the Rogaine in a shopping bag, exited the store, and drove away in an “older model Chevrolet,” police report.

Looks like the "restoring the classics" guy from those Hair Club ads has finally crossed over to the dark side.

As seen above, the suspect--wearing an “Air Force Dad” t-shirt--was recorded by CVS surveillance cameras as he entered the store on June 22.

We can only hope the tragic baldness that directly led to crime wasn't caused by our military "accidentally" exposing this guy to nerve gas or whatever.

Dearborn police suspect the perp will again try to steal Rogaine since “12–14 months of consistent use is needed to see results.”

Expect to see two or three new hairs in four to six years, if you're lucky. I think we know who the real crooks are, man.

Life is hard, then this happens, then you die.

Chief Ronald Haddad noted that, “While this is not the most hair-raising crime, we must protect our retailers as these crimes drive up the retail costs for honest consumers."  

This sort of hairy situation, full of bald-faced lies, can only end with the criminal shedding his freedom.

The suspect, cops say, is a black male between the ages of 30 and 40. He was wearing blue jean shorts at the time of the Rogaine heist.

Suspect was not wearing a hat and had no visible prosthetic limbs. 

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