Archive for December 2005

Extra Extra Crispy

December 31st, 2005 — 12:10pm

Nineteen-year-old Chris Garnett has legally changed his name to He even has the legal papers and Virginia driver’s license to prove it. No word on whether the PETA employee’s friends and family will call him Ken, Tuck, Fried, Cruel, or just Goofy.


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This Coffee Tastes Like Crap

December 30th, 2005 — 1:25pm

The World’s Most Expensive Coffee is Kopi Luwak, and it will run you $175 a pound. It’s expensive because it’s made from beans that have passed through the digestive system of the Indonesian palm civet, and face it, harvesting them is a shitty job. The cat-like creatures eat ripe coffee cherries, digest the outside, and leave the beans in their droppings. There’s no record of who the first person was who decided to roast, grind, and drink the brew made from Montane Rat dung before finding out that the palm civet makes the good stuff.

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Lying Your Way To Fame And Fortune

December 29th, 2005 — 11:21am

Bill Meinel was named World Champion Liar for the second year in a row. Honestly. The honor was bestowed on him by the Burlington (Wisconsin) Liars Club after he beat out almost 400 other entries. Okay, maybe it was only 350. His lie was more like a one-liner, so maybe his title is a lie too. Apparently politicians, CEOs, and Jayson Blair weren’t eligible, otherwise Meinel wouldn’t have stood a chance.

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Taking Over The Family Business

December 28th, 2005 — 11:43am

Everyone dreams of starting a family business and passing it on to future generations. Of course that business isn’t usually bank robbery. When police arrested Tricia Owens of Edison, OH for robbing the First Federal Bank in Mount Gilead, she turned in her brother Rodney — for having robbed the same bank in 2001. She claims to have been inspired by him. It must be true what they say: The family that commits crimes together does time together.

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It’s Not All About Curb Appeal

December 27th, 2005 — 12:59pm

Most people looking for a house check out the number of rooms, the layout, the condition, the location location location, and whether the house number is good feng shui. Okay, “most” may be overstating the case, but in Hayward, CA it’s causing a problem. County house numbers are assigned according to how far they are from downtown Oakland, so many people’s addresses in Hayward have 5 digits which, along with living at the end of a cul-de-sac and having a door that opens onto a staircase, is bad feng shui. And we all know how painful that can be. City Council is offering waivers to developers who want short numbers, there’s been a run on mirrors, red ribbons and crystals to hang in blighted houses, and you can be grateful you don’t own the last house on the block and live at 66,666 Main Street.

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A Nun Bun-napping!

December 26th, 2005 — 11:59am

When I drove across the country in 1997 I stopped in Bongo Java, a coffee shop in Nashville, to see the Nun Bun, a cinnamon bun that looks like Mother Teresa. And yes, it really does. Well, on Christmas morning someone broke into the coffee shop and stole the Holy Cruller. Nothing else, just the Nun Bun. It was shellacked, so they couldn’t eat it. If you spot it, don’t bite, don’t dunk, and above all, don’t unroll it — grab it and send it back where it belongs.

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I’m Not Lion

December 23rd, 2005 — 1:28pm

The San Francisco Zoo gave its resident animals their Christmas presents on Thursday and Jahari, a very lucky lion, got “meat bones lovingly swathed in tiger bedding soaked in eau de tiger urine.” Yum! Remember, it’s not too late to change your Christmas dinner menu.

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Keep Those Thoughts Away From Me

December 22nd, 2005 — 12:40pm

A woman in New Mexico claims David Letterman has been using “code words, gestures and eye expressions” on his show to let her know that he wants her to move East, marry him, and be trained to be his co-host. Last week she asked for a temporary restraining order to make him quit bugging her. She asked that he be forced to stay at least 3 yards away from her and not “think of me, and release me from his mental harassment and hammering.” Instead of suggesting she wear her aluminum foil helmet 24-hours a day instead of just during waking hours, the judge granted her the restraining order. Hopefully Letterman won’t have too much difficulty complying.

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When Your Cat Doesn’t Match Your Sofa

December 20th, 2005 — 9:00am

Years ago in Philadelphia I saw a T-shirt that read: “Good art doesn’t match your sofa.” To this day I regret not having bought it. Now it turns out that the same concept is a valid reason to drop your pet off on the side of the road. When Britain’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals investigated 530 complaints of animals being abandoned, some of the reasons given included: “My cat doesn’t match my new carpet” and “My dog doesn’t match the new sofa.” I wonder if anyone thought of buying a new carpet and sofa?

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God Still More Popular Than Jesus

December 19th, 2005 — 8:12am

A survey of English children under 10 years old found that God is the World’s Most Famous Person. Jesus came in third after soccer player Wayne Rooney. The Beatles, who once said they were more popular than Jesus, apparently lied. Or have just fallen out of favor. The rest of the list:

4. David Beckham
5. The Queen
6. Harry Potter
7. Beyonce
8. Father Christmas
9. Robbie Williams
10. Simon Cowell

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Even Losers Can Be Winners

December 18th, 2005 — 9:04am

Last January Arthur King-Robinson — not to be confused with King Arthur Robinson — bet $882 that he’d be dead by the first week of December. He was 91 and, had he died, the 6-to-1 odds would have netted his wife $5292, enough to pay off the inheritance tax bill after his death. He lived. They lose — now if he dies his wife may not be able to keep their house because she won’t have enough money to pay the taxes. Living is easy, dying can be tough.

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Mona’s Formerly Inscrutable Smile

December 15th, 2005 — 1:46pm

According to a computer algorithm developed by researchers at the Universities of Amsterdam and Illinois that assesses people’s mood by examining facial features, the Mona Lisa was 83% happy, 9% disgusted, 6% fearful, and 2% angry. DaVinci, on the other hand, would be 100% happy knowing so many people are spending so much time worrying about it. Though of course he’d say it in code.

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Street Safety

December 14th, 2005 — 10:43am

Crocodiles have edged out elephants as the most dangerous animal to man in Zimbabwe. Last year crocs ate 13 people there, elephants trampled 12, and buffaloes and hippopotamuses, considered some of Africa’s most dangerous animals, only killed one person apiece. Slackers. And to think, all we have to worry about while walking around is cars, muggers, and people trying to get us to sign political petitions.

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So What’s Your Major?

December 13th, 2005 — 10:26am

Greg Hogan, the sophomore class president at Lehigh University, walked into Wachovia Bank the other day and robbed it of $2,871. He was arrested at his fraternity house later that evening. Sure the results of the Strong Interest Inventory he took in high school recommended he become a priest, a farmer, or a bank robber, but he should have waited to complete his upper level courses before starting his field work.

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No Wonder They Call Him The Man Of Steel

December 12th, 2005 — 11:22am

According to The Sun, Britain’s impeccable news source, the latest Superman is showing his bulges too much, and we’re not talking about his biceps. Even though the wardrobe crew has fitted actor Brandon Routh with a special codpiece in his tights, reports are that the studio may still need to erase his, uh, super endowment digitally. Hey, PG doesn’t mean “Plentiful Girth,” you know. No word on whether Lois gets to ask, “Is that a piece of steel you bent with your bare hands or are you happy to see me?”

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Eight Spoons Is Enough

December 10th, 2005 — 11:25am

Dick Van Patten, who will never live down his stint on Eight Is Enough, is putting out a line of dog food, and just to show how good it is he ate some at a media luncheon. While he sampled the “Irish Stew” flavor, it also comes in spaghetti and meatballs, hobo chili, and the charmingly generic “Chinese takeout.” Let’s hope he doesn’t reverse the roles by extending the line to include snacks for people in flavors like Liver with Gravy, Lamb and Rice, and Cat Poop with Chunky Litter.

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Paging Allied Van Lines

December 9th, 2005 — 10:50am

In a news conference yesterday, the president of Iran suggested that Israel be moved to Europe. Of course he didn’t say who would pay the shipping expenses. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, “It just further underscores our concerns about the regime in Iran,” then went on to suggest that should it work out, we might want to consider moving Washington, DC to Texas, France to the South Pole, and Mexico to the United States. Oh sorry, the last one’s already in progress.

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And You Thought Your Plot Was Expensive

December 8th, 2005 — 11:36am

A Michigan real estate developer now owns what could be the world’s most expensive piece of real estate after paying $1,752 for a square-inch piece of land. In Indiana, no less. The money covers back taxes owed on the 0.0000000159-acre plot, which were it a full acre would cost $10 billion, though chances are there would be a quantity discount. Officials aren’t sure exactly why the plot is so small, but they’re certain that the buyer’s bank account is too large. There are no plans to build on the land, at least not until nanotechnology is perfected, at which time it could serve as a flea circus, roach motel, or home for the buyer’s common sense.

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The Queen Of Hearts Is Always Your Best Bet

December 7th, 2005 — 1:12pm

When Gary Boswell and Greg Thornock tied in the Eureka, Utah City Council election last November, state law said they needed to cast lots to break the tie. So yesterday they drew cards. When they turned them over, Boswell had the queen of diamonds. Thornock had the seven of clubs. Thornock sat and waited for someone to tell him who won since he “wasn’t sure what his seven of clubs meant.” Once again, Darwin is proven to be correct.

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You Bite Up My Life

December 6th, 2005 — 11:10am

Want music with that sandwich? You’ll be able to have just that later this week when the British supermarket chain Tesco starts selling sandwiches in boxes that play music when you open them. The first sandwich is turkey and cranberry sauce with pork and cranberry stuffing, and it will play a medley of Christmas music including Jingle Bells, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and We Wish You Some Merry Rolaids. If it’s successful look for tacos that play Light My Fire, fish and chips that play Salmon Chanted Evening, and cheese on baguette that plays Let It Brie.

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