What I’m about to tell you may be considered vain. On the other hand, it could also be considered a responsible act of brushfire prevention. I’m talking, of course, about excessive ear and nose hair. I bring this up because of a recent conversation I had with someone who wanted to express his opinion on…
To be honest, I can’t remember what it was because I couldn’t overlook the fact that he appeared to have a chinchilla stuck in each ear.
I tried to be a good listener.
Tried to look reflective.
At least until I realized saliva had pooled in my open mouth.
It’s true I sometimes make fun of scientific discoveries that, in my opinion, seem a little silly — such as genetically altering a mouse to glow in the dark. That’s because I just can’t see any benefit to creating a rodent with its own built-in night light. While it might make for goofy fun at the lab when all the lights are out, should one of these neon mice manage to escape and reproduce, I’ll be the one stuck taking my cat to therapy twice a week.
However, from time to time, there is a scientific breakthrough so significant, so far-reaching, so groundbreaking that even I — a trained humor columnist — must stop and say:
WOW! This is quite possibly the most important scientific discovery since….
…The glow-in-the-dark mouse!
(For me, the yardstick by which all modern scientific discoveries are measured.)
Thanks to researchers at Lewis and Clark University and the University of California Berkley, we are on the verge of another milestone in scientific achievement — something that could quite possibly change the world as we know it!
Hello, and welcome to another edition of High-Tech Watch, a consumer information guide to the latest technology, and the exciting items you can expect to see following the eventual collapse of the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
We begin in Scotland, where textile researchers are currently working to perfect material that can generate and store static electricity through the natural rubbing of material. This would allow wearers of clothing made with “Smart Yarn” to generate their own power for things like cell phones, iPods, laptops or, in the case of a full-length kimono worn by Steven Seagal, a small Chicago suburb. The technology is relatively simple, and dates back to the early 1970s, when a combination of corduroy pants, wool socks and shag carpeting was blamed on the electrocution deaths of several people in the U.S. and Canada. Continue reading Before flushing remote-controlled toilet, duck behind Steven Seagal
As a journalist, I’m trained to recognize even the most subtle signs of trouble.
A misspoken word.
A reluctant glance.
A gang of monkeys destroying a library.
Thanks to my training and experience — and several highlighted newspaper clippings sent in by concerned readers following last week’s column about crazed squirrels — I have painstakingly pieced together what I, as a member of the conservative media, believe is undeniable evidence that animals are planning to take over the world. Continue reading Good reasons to avoid any monkey with a pet Chihuahua
The act of “playing” is a crucial part of how a child establishes self image and a basic understanding of the world. I know this because, as a progressive father of today, I have read extensively about this very topic — which is why I progressively freaked out when I found my son playing in the shower with a Barbie doll.
It wasn’t the fact that he was playing with a doll that bothered me, it was the fact that it was still completely intact — something I don’t expect from a child who routinely disassembles my office chair and a good portion of my desk in less than four minutes using nothing but a three-piece “Bob the Builder” tool kit.
Several years ago while visiting the Grand Canyon, my chance to enjoy one of the world’s greatest natural wonders was marred by an unprovoked squirrel attack. Anyone who’s been there can tell you that the park is completely over run by hordes of crazed, hyperactive squirrels. It’s gotten so bad that the park service installed coin-operated food dispensers, the idea being that tourists could feed the squirrels while remaining blissfully unaware that the pellets were, in effect, simply a diversion meant to save their lives.
The problem is that the squirrels are now SICK of these pellets, which tourists still purchase, but now hurl directly at the squirrels while fleeing back to their cars. In most cases, they never get to see the Grand Canyon at all, choosing instead to escape by turning their windshield wipers on high and dislodging enough squirrels to navigate their way into the nearest Sequoia patch.
If you want to observe the difference between men and women at its purest form, study their shopping habits. With the holiday buying season now officially under way, there’s no better time to witness this phenomenon for yourself.
Here’s a brief study guide to get you started. Women: a) Define an outfit as something comprised of at least three pieces of clothing, all of which are interchangeable and flattering. b) Have researched the best buys and know where there’s a sale today. c) Are undecided about whether or not a drop-waist makes them look fat. d) Will try on all clothes within arm’s reach of the fitting room.
Men: a) Define an outfit as something comprised of jeans. And maybe a fishing lure. b) Have researched today’s game schedule on ESPN and know they can get to the store and back during halftime. c) Are undecided about how to answer when their wives ask if a drop-waist makes them look fat. d) Won’t get within arm’s reach of the fitting room. Continue reading Men are from NAPA, women are from Macys
Unfortunately, these warnings don’t appear on actual humans. Instead, they are issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which has the monumental task of thinking up ways stupid people might injure themselves using standard household items.
While the commission generally stays ahead of the curve with the help of researchers, lab studies, and a select group of retired circus chimps, from time to time a hot new product is embraced so quickly by the general public that there’s simply no time to warn them that actually embracing it could result in serious injury. This past holiday season, according to the safety commission, reports of house fires involving large men submerging whole turkeys into deep fryers has risen dramatically. This prompted the commission to issue a special, multi-paged consumer alert called:
I had a frightening dream last night. In it, I was wearing an alpine yodeler outfit. The kind with the brown shorts, the white knee-high socks, and the little cap with the feather in it.
Wait, it gets scarier.
I was on vacation with my family. Our kids were older, and my daughter had a boyfriend with her. A space ship landed, and an alien came out yodeling the theme from “Close Encounters.” My wife was calling to me, trying to be heard over the yodeling alien, when I finally heard her cry out in utter desperation:
The cat likes to play checkers.
As you might expect, I woke up in a cold sweat, unable to shake that vivid, terrifying image of—that’s right:
My daughter with a boyfriend.
True, she’s only 11 years old right now. But time passes quickly, and in another 15 years she’ll begin dating. To me, this dream was a clear indication that I should begin preparing myself for the inevitable. When I explained this to my wife, she laughed.
Being a journalist, I naturally have journalist friends who, whenever we get together, want to talk about (yawn) heady issues facing the nation and the world. This is done in a discussion format similar to “Meet the Press,” except that our debates are often interrupted by someone’s beer getting knocked over. Aside from that, it’s just like the show on TV. As you can imagine, our exchanges get pretty heated as each of us presents an important topic of debate.
What is our stance on the Middle East?
Should we overhaul social security?
How do we deal with North Korea?
Or, as I challenged:
Why does the new Bugs Bunny look like he’s been shooting steroids with Jose Canseco?