This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Short Shorts

1. You know, they've been making automobiles for well over a hundred years now. In all that time, why the hell haven't the car manufacturers gotten together and said, "Okay, everybody, once and for all: We put the gasoline tank filler pipe on this side!" It would save so much time and confusion at the gas pumps if we could all drive up to the pumps the same way. The federal government loves regulating all things concerning cars, like emissions devices, safety features, and what have you... Why don't they step in and say, "From 2011 on, all gasoline tanks must be filled from the left [or the right... or even the center, behind the license plate]. We hated to pass this law, but it was painfully obvious that the moronic auto companies were never going to get around to it."

2. On a related note, I will never believe that the government is truly serious about protecting automobile passengers until someone steps in and protects the children we send to school in those death traps we complacently call "school buses." When a school bus gets in an accident, its cargo of young lives is about as well-protected as a dozen eggs would be if I placed those eggs in a plastic bag and threw said bag against a nearby wall. "Save the children," indeed.

Will Elder, 1921-2008, R.I.P.

Will Elder, one of the founding fathers of MAD Magazine, died on May 14th.

MAD began as a comic book in the early 1950s, but had changed to magazine format long before I first encountered an issue in the early 1960s. However, in the mid-1960s, my sister purchased every single MAD paperback reprint collection, which had all the old MAD comic book stuff. Thus, I was introduced to such artistic paragons as Wally Wood, Jack Davis, and Will Elder.

When I first read those MAD collections, I was just at the age where I was beginning to notice the "credits" in comic books and magazines. Years later, when I was old enough to read Playboy and first encountered "Little Annie Fanny," I wondered, "Is this the same Will Elder who used to work for MAD?" And of course, it was.

Will Elder's "Chicken Fat" school of cartooning, which literally filled the panels with goofy signs and other sight gags, made sure that the reader got more than his -- or her -- money's worth. I can't even guess how many hours Mr. Elder entertained me.

I just wanted to say thanks.

Johnny Five


Okay, good...

I just checked. It's not just me. A lot of people on the 'net have been struck by the similarity between Pixar's Wall*E, and Johnny Five from the two "Short Circuit" films produced in the 1980s. (With maybe a splash of E.T. thrown in for good measure.)

5. I love it when an article talks about "the surviving members of The Beatles," like there are three or four dozen of them floating around the planet. Folks, there are two surviving members. Half the group. Period. There were four in the real core group -- John, Paul, George, and Ringo -- and that's not trying to insult Pete Best, or Stu Sutcliffe, or any of the people who've variously been referred to as "the fifth Beatle" someplace because of their amazing contribution where blah-blah-freakin'-blah was concerned...

And no, no fair counting Yoko.

Let's face it, if you were one of The Beatles, you were one of the coolest people in the universe, ever. Or at least you were cool for a period long enough so that you'll be indelibly stamped in the minds of Earth's citizens as a "former Beatle," and nothing you can do -- not even a stint as Mr. Conductor -- can take that away from you.

I mean, if Paul McCartney -- I'm sorry, I meant Sir Paul McCartney -- were to be elected Prime Minister of Great Britain, you just know that even if he were assassinated in office we'd read this: "British Prime Minister and former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney was shot today outside of... " Hell, Ringo could become an astronaut and a serial killer, and the eventual news article would read, "Ringo Starr, former Beatle, astronaut, and accused mass murderer, was apprehended today... "

6. Hey, that bit about "Sir" Paul McCartney reminds me...

What in the world possessed Great Britain to start knighting pop stars? I mean, sure, I think The Beatles were incredibly cool, and even said so above, but... Sir Paul? And... Sir Mick Jagger? Sir Cliff Richard?

Can you see King Arthur trying to defend Merrie Olde England with a Round Table comprised of Sir Paul, Sir Mick, Sir Cliff, and... Sir Elton?

7. Finally...

For as long as I can remember, I've heard jokes and complaints about how the airlines lose people's luggage.

I can fix that. Right now.

What the airlines need to do is to remove a few unnecessary steps from the whole process. Each company needs to hire someone who is currently working for a bus company like Greyhound, Trailways, Peter Pan, et al, quadruple their salaries, and let them tackle the way things are being done.

Within weeks, these new consultants will have instituted new systems where, after going through baggage security checks, each passenger brings his (or her) own bags directly to the plane he'll be flying on. Then he'll watch as it's loaded onto the correct plane, so he'll know it'll fly to the same destination he's going to, at the same time that he does.

What could be simpler than that?

(Pay me.)

Thanks for your time.


  1. You're on a roll this morning eh?

    1. "...accused mass murder" this made me sputter coffee on my desk.

    2. I completely agree with knighting pop they sold a butt load of albums how in the WORLD does that make them knight worthy?? Do they even own swords? OR armor? LAME
    -Note we should google what the exact apparent "qualifications" are to becoming a "knight" do them and then demand to be knighted.

    3. I love Wall*E I don't care what you or all the other geeks out there say, he's adorable and makes me want to squish his little cheeks.

    4. ....carton of eggs in a plastic bad and slam them against the wall!

    Yes I realize these aren't in order, if they were it would be too easy for you.

  2. Every time I go to get petrol I always momentarily forget which side my petrol cap is.
    Why? I've had the same car for about 6 years. Why do I do this?

    Argh, it's been a long day and it's only half five of the pm.

  3. I'm going to need IANO to sum up for me...I'm way too tired to process all these short shorts.

    ::crawls into corner of the blog...falls asleep::

  4. SARAH: Go to Wikipedia and check out the list of celebrities who've been knighted. It's pitiful.

    JAYNE: Damn that Alzheimer's....

    CAKE: To Sum Up:

    1. Car manufacturers are retarded.

    2. School buses are deathtraps.

    3. Will Elder died.

    4. Wall*E's a rip-off.

    5. Once a Beatle, always a Beatle. Both of them.

    6. Knighting pop stars & other celebrities is retarded.

    7. Bus companies are smart, airlines are retarded.

    Can I have my couch back now?

  5. OH it's true! I missed the third much for trying to function on 4 hours of sleep...

  6. ::pulls blanket over head, burrows into corner of the couch::

    Go 'way.

  7. I'm with cake on this one, I am mad tired today

  8. Maybe we should just start calling Paul and Ringo "The Liverpool Two."

  9. 1. Forget the tank thingy, I want my rocket pack. STAT!
    3. RIP Will.
    5. Are you sure they're not referring to japanese beetles? There are quite a few surviving ones.
    6. I wish they did it over here. Sir Nipsey Russell (posthumous honor).
    7. You're brilliant, you know.

  10. Sparkle:

    5. Can't keep your mind out of the freakin' garden, can you?

    7. You wouldn't keep saying that if you had to live with ne, and feed my cat, and wash my socks, and organize my antique opium/laudanum/heroin bottles, and...

    Hey, where'd she go?



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