Archive for Say What?

Unhip to the lingo

New York TV producer Michael King on a recent example of Extreme Silliness:

Okay — I have to post this image, but let me set this up first. This evening, we posted the obit for Alan Young, Mr. Ed’s straight-man, who died at 96 — which is exactly how we wrote the article. I’m pretty sure most rational folks are familiar with the comedic term “straight-man” when it comes to comedy duos.

In any event, take a look at some of the Facebook responses. And yes, these people were serious.

Facebook thread on the death of Alan Young

Juliette Akinyi (“Baldilocks”) Ochieng commented:

I once asserted that the Internet hasn’t created more idiots. This exchange might make me reconsider.

I’m not sure that we have more idiots, but the Internet has given our existing idiots a chance to grow and develop and take a meaningful shape in today’s complex society.

(This last line poached from Arlo Guthrie, in case you think you’ve heard it before.)

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Handy, but not in a good way

I’m hoping this is not a real product:

The Jerk Shirt from CamSoda

Gadgette explains:

The basic premise is that the shirt includes one fake arm, which disguises the fact that your real arm is under the fabric of the shirt, getting jiggy. Thankfully, the part of the shirt that might come into contact with your “manhood” (if you can still call it that after using this) is splash-proof and wipe-clean. Hooray!

I believe I speak for everyone here when I say “Ewwww.”

The, um, promotional video has about 400,000 views already.

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More than just lost in translation

This could have been one of those “You had one job” deals, if we knew whose job it was to do Column B:

Back of Walmart tape package

Wonder if they sell this product in Francophone Canada.

(From reddit via Miss Cellania.)

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When the right name is still wrong

I mean, yes, it fits, but no, you shouldn’t:

Maybe a hyphen between the two words?

For the curious, area code 858 covers northern sections of San Diego County in California.

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Be true to your shool

And remember: they’re concerned.

This particular Marietta is in southeastern Ohio.

(Title inspired by Little Stevie Weingold.)


But can she dance?

This shot of singing group Fifth Harmony apparently came from a Billboard cover shoot, and there’s something seriously wrong with it:

Fifth Harmony for Billboard maybe

I’m pretty sure Ally Brooke Hernandez, known professionally as Ally Brooke (seated, center), wasn’t born with two right feet.

Billboard said it wasn’t any of their doing:

“The photo circulating on the internet is a manipulated outtake from a Billboard photo shoot. It was never published by Billboard.

But perhaps the best commentary came from Hernandez herself:

Where this would get complicated, I submit, is when you have not only two right feet but a left one as well, as with this character from American Horror Story a couple of seasons back:

Three-legged woman from American Horror Story

I’m sure she can dance, especially the waltz, but I’m not so sure I want to find out for myself.

(Via HelloGiggles.)

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No joy of six

After fifteen years, the government of Ontario has decided that this plate is offensive:

Ontario license plate VI6SIX, expires November 2017

In vain did Daniel D’Aloisio try to explain what it meant:

“My relationship with my father was very short. He passed away when I was 19 years old due to cancer,” said D’Aloisio.

The pair shared a passion for the Habs.

D’Aloisio explained there were only so many characters, so VI is short for vie, French for “life”.

“‘6’ is from ’76, I was two years old and Montreal won their cup, and ‘six’ being six Stanley Cups my dad and I celebrated together in his short life with me.”

Their favourite player of all time, Mario Lemieux, wore 66.

A lot of sixes. The provincial government, however, saw exactly three:

If you read VI as the Roman numeral for six, the plate becomes 666.

In the New Testament, that’s the “number of the beast” and some see it as representing Satan.

Sheesh, Toronto. You want fire and brimstone, look westward; Fort McMurray is going through hell right now.

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Dollars to Harare

In 2009, Zimbabwe essentially gave up on its existing currency, inasmuch as even the highest denominations were worth more as toilet paper than as an actual medium of exchange. And I don’t think any of us were quite visionary enough to ship those bills to Venezuela.

To replace that failed dollar, Zimbabwe came up with the idea of officially recognizing certain stable foreign currencies. Among them: the US dollar. Now where do you get US dollars in Zimbabwe? They’ll be printed in Zimbabwe:

Zimbabwe is set to print its own version of the US dollar in order to ease a cash shortage in the country.

Central bank governor John Mangudya said the cash, known as bond notes, will be backed by $200m (£140m) support from the Africa Export-Import Bank.

The specially-designed two, five, 10 and 20 dollar notes will have the same value as their US dollar equivalents.

Except the $20 probably won’t have Andrew Jackson on it.

(Via Fark, which thought of the Jackson joke before I did.)


Not submitted by Dick Hertz

At least, I don’t think it was.

During Sunday’s Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, a local TV station posted onscreen messages to runners, including this one:

I. P. Freely was not available for comment.

(Via Fark.)

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Once at most

But so far, the answer is no:

“The victim suffered two wounds. One proved to be fatal; fortunately, the other one was not serious.”

(Via James Del Rey.)

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Life imitates Allen

Alvy Singer (Woody Allen), in Annie Hall, addressing the audience:

There’s an old joke … um … two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ’em says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.”

That was nearly forty years ago, but it’s evidently still remembered:

<mcmahon>How bad is it?</mcmahon>

(Via Rand Simberg.)

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From the Oxford files

Not everyone has an opinion on the Oxford comma; some people simply don’t give a fark. Still, there are times when you absolutely need that extra little bit of punctuation, and Michael Barone’s Friday column was one of them. As it appeared in the local paper on Saturday:

Ted Cruz showed an ability to adapt to terrain and vary his approach from his usual college-debater style. Appearing with his wife, mother and supporter Carly Fiorina, he spoke of the achievements and tragedies of women in his life.

I admit to a certain fondness for Carly Fiorina, but I had no idea she was that busy.

Someone at the Washington Examiner, Barone’s home base, has since rewritten the paragraph.

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Meanwhile on the Texas Gulf Coast

Geography classes, these days, are evidently about everything other than geography:

To misplace the nation’s seventh largest city is — well, actually, all you can expect from the dullards who believe themselves in charge of the National Agenda.

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Spoiler alert

I suspect this isn’t going to do squat for the Civic’s aerodynamics:

(Via Jack Baruth.)

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A Terrapin mistake

At least it wasn’t Missouri:

Or, for that matter, Mississippi.


Not ready for Schedule C

Siri, Apple’s digital assistant, can apparently comprehend algebra, but fergoshsakes, don’t expect her to understand the Federal tax system:

Tax help from Siri

To be fair, nobody, including entities like Siri with no body, can actually understand the Federal tax system.

(From reddit via Miss Cellania.)

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I think I understand this, but I can’t really be sure:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Where are can buy small computer table and that must be compactly and not big?

I figure “compactly” is the inverse of “bigly.” Then again, I have never owned a “computer table”; I do, however, have a stupidly heavy desk. (The heaviness itself is not stupid, unless you’re actually moving the damned thing, which had to be disassembled to get it through the sharp angle at my front door.)

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Hung up on minor details

Cover of Deliciously Decandent by Fiona MoodleyThe wondrous world of seemingly random retweeting, which of course it isn’t — nothing on Twitter is truly random — landed a promo for this book in my stream, and while I admit to partaking of the occasional romance novel, by which is meant it’s probably no more than a third of what I read, give or take a percentage point here or there, I think this one might be just a hair beyond my specifications. The story goes like this:

He is every woman’s fantasy. He can have any woman but her. He will do anything just to have her in his bed were she belongs.

She is a widow and has a little girl. She cannot afford to be promiscuous but she is drawn to him like a moth to a flame.

When they come together it is explosive. Sparks don’t just fly it dominates. Can he keep her in his bed or will she run away?

Points for noting that promiscuity has its price, if not necessarily in an obvious currency. But how do we know if it’s truly “decandent,” whatever the heck that means?

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Far afield


Unless, of course, there’s a rabid Tasmanian devil on the way to Ljubljana.

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It’s really a gas

And a pretty important one, too:

Protip: If you don’t want to stay alive, quit breathing oxygen.

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There will be chocolate

For some reason, this made me laugh:

Just for the sake of completeness:

You already know what Kelis had to say on the subject.

(Via Paris Berelc.)

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I’m guessing Malone died

For those keeping score, Dublin’s Samuel Beckett Bridge is downstream from the James Joyce Bridge.

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Or so they decided

Via Arthur Stock and Language Log, what might be a curious headline:

Front page of Philadelphia Inquirer 30 January 2016

Although the one that gets me is lower down on the page: “Pope’s Fiat sold for $82,000.” If a mere fiat brings that kind of money, what would someone pay for a nihil obstat?

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Not the original recipe

At least, I assume it isn’t:

But can you see the Russian Tea Room from there?

Note: 0161, if I remember correctly, is around Manchester.

(Via Liz Mair.)

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My, Texas, how you’ve changed

I mean, really:

CBS News infographic for Texas GOP primary with illustration of South Carolina

Then again, both Texas and South Carolina have cities named Greenville. Maybe that’s it. Yeah. That’s the ticket.

(Via Daily Pundit.)

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The sameness of the sky

The line between “mostly cloudy” and “partly sunny” is apparently even finer than I thought it was. From the National Weather Service’s local forecast today:

Forecast for 17-18-19 January 2015

Can you tell them apart? I certainly can’t.

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The obvious goes ungrasped

No other explanation makes any sense:

The whole point of fanfiction is to infringe on the intellectual-property rights of people who can’t see that this is the One True Pairing. Maybe they’re a Second Party rather than a Third.

Time for this again:

The Shipping Department is taking notes.

(Via @SpinsterAndCat.)

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Spontaneous-combustion engine

Consumer Reports, it appears, is trying its best to sound a bit less Consumer Reports-y. From a February review of the new Volkswagen Jetta with the 1.4-liter turbo four:

Since its 2011 redesign, the Jetta sedan has offered more engines than Spinal Tap had drummers.

This will not encourage people who question VW’s overall reliability, if you know what I mean.

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And you thought it was cold outside

Volkswagen’s little Evade the Emissions stunt has now been hacked and examined, and at least one of the findings is startling:

[Felix] Domke said he graphed the European emissions testing cycle and overlaid those results with the upper and lower limits of the ECU’s “normal mode” and discovered that the mode aligned perfectly with the limits.

He didn’t test differences in engine performance, nor could he say whether the cheat applied to cars in other countries. But Domke pointed to a parameter in the engine’s code that seemingly always initiated its “alternative” exhaust program: the outside temperature would only need to be suitable for life to exist — above -6,357.9 degrees Fahrenheit (-3,550 degrees Celsius).

This condition is available pretty much anywhere in the universe at any imaginable time. Well feigned, Vee Dub.

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And apparently nowhere to go

Just the same, it looks like you actually can get there from here:

Now I’m curious to see their printed schedule.

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