Overall traffic at this site dropped slightly last year, from about 5000 visitors per week to a tad under 4500. I attribute this mostly to fewer Really Big Traffic Days — I had only three days in 2006 with as many as 1000 visitors, versus ten in 2005, including the Biggest Day of All, 5 April 2005, in which 3430 folks showed up at my virtual threshold. (The biggest day of 2006, the 13th of February, tallied a modest 1484.) In an effort to persuade myself that it's not a decline in perceived quality, I'm devoting this space to some of the better turns of phrase I came up with during the last twelve months. Prepare yourself for things you might have seen before.

On Toyota's smallest US model, from "Stinking badges", 3 January:

"[T]he MR2, almost immediately dubbed "Mister Two" in the press, [was] a tiny two-seat roadster that had just about enough cargo space for a Hershey bar if you didn't get the kind with almonds."

Self-explanatory, from "We'll always have Dolly", 6 February:

"One of the wondrous things about Dolly Parton, I've always felt, is that she has a splendid pair of legs which are almost always on display, yet which no one has ever seen: this is magical misdirection worthy of Penn and Teller."

A man in a blue suit, from "Plenty of dough, anyway", 27 February:

"And not just any blue, either: we're talking Ice Blue Secret blue, strong enough for a man, if that man is Bruce Vilanich on a bender."

Oklahoma City in transition, from "We never metaphor we didn't like", 13 March:

"I see this town as a farm girl, used to fresh country air, at least when she's upwind from the livestock, used to simple, uncomplicated fare for dinner, suddenly faced with the task of picking out a prom dress and not having the slightest idea how she's supposed to look in it. You can tell her that her hair is pretty, that she can afford to take an inch or two off that hemline, and she might even say she agrees with you, but you can hear the butterflies doing barre exercises in her mid-section, almost loud enough to drown out her voice. And yet when she finally puts it on, fills it out, makes it work, you know someone's going to fall for her — hard — and you just hope it's someone worthy of her."

On this state's alleged lack of culture, from "Home of the sorta brave", 17 April:

"While it is indeed true that there is no single place in the Sooner State from which you can swing a dead cat and hit restaurants of twenty-seven different ethnicities, and that there is no surplus of waifish Goth girls with art-history degrees, not everyone — not even everyone of college age — aspires to live inside a Bertolucci film."

About a spam site selling drugs, from "The proper use of Googlebait", 4 May:

"[S]omeone working on their behalf has spammed me incessantly, and [I] note that if there were left on planet Earth only one dose of the one miracle drug that would save me, and that they had it and were offering to sell it to me for 49 cents, and that they would have Monica Bellucci in a towel deliver it to my door at no extra charge, I would still rather die."

On the new hookup between Nike's running shoes and Apple's iPod, from "It's a conspiracy, I tell you", 25 May:

"Next, I suppose, is a GPS insert for your shorts, so you'll always know exactly where your ass is."

Why you should not look for innovations from your phone company, from "The narrowest possible broadband", 22 June:

"If the Bell System were still around, you'd still be paying $3 a month to rent a frigging Princess phone."

If Sophocles had written Snakes on a Plane, from "Sphinx on a plain", 23 August:

"Samuel L. Jackson does Sophocles! They'll take liberties with the story, of course, but people will line up just to hear him say "I want this [obvious twelve-letter noun] off the [adjectival version of same] throne of Thebes!"

About increasing information density, from "Five megs, no waiting", 10 September:

"Big Blue probably never imagined in those days that in a mere fifty years, it would be possible to store 250,000 MB — the size of the drive on my current primary PC — in a space smaller than an issue of TV Guide, and I mean the old TV Guide, and not the Fall Preview Issue either."

Separating the pious from the poseurs, from "Uh-oh, the D word", 19 September:

"Islam has swords; Scientology has lawyers. Deprived of these, neither of them would dare pose as a religion, let alone demand a role on the world stage."

Worst pun of the year, from "A Wii bit of gougery", 19 November:

"There are entirely too many people with Wii puns of mass distraction."

A scammer fakes an Iranian address, from "And you thought they only enriched uranium", 9 December:

"It is, of course, highly unlikely that anyone in the Iranian inner circle is actually running this operation, but there's something sort of poetic about the notion of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad trying to move bogus wang pills in a desperate attempt to keep the reactors running."

And I did come up with an idea for one new product: Wuss-B-Gone. Try some today.

The Vent

#515
  1 January 2007

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