Revenge Of The Nerds: The Next Generation

So I’ve been keeping up to date on this whole “CSU wants to build a new football stadium on campus even though they already have one a few miles off campus” ordeal. For everyone not up to speed on the matter, read the previous sentence.  Now that everyone is caught up, one of the proposals is to tear down two of the freshman dormitories to make space for this new structure.

Of course everyone who watches half as many 1980’s B movies as I do knows exactly where I’m going with this:  THIS IS THE EXACT SAME PLOT AS THE MOVIE “REVENGE OF THE NERDS!”

Anyone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, go watch it on Netflix.  Now that everyone is caught up, how cool is that analogy?  The football coach is played by the football coach (played wonderfully by a young and slimmer John Goodman), the President of CSU is played by the dean of Adams State College.  I’m not sure who the nerds are going to be, but they will be walking up to their dorm only to see it blown up (for dramatic effect only– I don’t think dynamite would be the appropriate tool for the job) and John Goodman standing on top of a bobcat with a mega-phone telling all the new students to report to the gymnasium for their temporary housing.

Having no other choice, the nerds will band together and fight the new stadium constructions like most conflicts in life– in a college carnival setting.  The nerds will eventually come out the winners. Lewis, the head nerd, will have sex with the hot head cheerleader (although he did the deed while pretending to be her boyfriend– I’m pretty sure that could be considered rape.)  Gilbert will find work as a emergency room doctor until he dies of a brain tumor at the end of season seven on ER.  As for the rest of the group, I think one of them was on an episode of Star Trek as an alien or something.

So just remember– don’t underestimate the nerds.

Get Ducked

An older man is sitting in an over-sized chair. “My name is Steve, and I am the product manager here at the Select Comfort’s Sleep Number bed product line.  While our product line has been an amazing success over the years, we are always looking for new ways to improve our customer’s sleep experience. I recently received a letter in the mail that pointed out a way in which we can improve our award-winning beds.”

My husband and I both love our sleep number bed.  I keep my side at 25 and he sets his side at 85.  We both sleep well all the time.  The only problem is that sometimes at night we like to play some “adult” games, and having both sides set to the same number for a short time would really help.  Can you help us out here?

“I understand your problem. Suppose you are playing a game of ‘duck, duck, goose.'”

Switches to a shot of a man and a woman on their bed in their pajamas.  The husband is sitting in the middle of the bed and the wife is behind him touching him on the head saying “duck” each time.  Suddenly she yells “goose” and starts running in a small circle on the bed.  The husband gets up to chase her, but once he steps on the soft side of the bed he losses his balance and flies off the bed at a 45 degree angle.

“Now who wants that to happen to them when they are getting goosed?”  The man in the chair asked.

“To solve this problem we have added additional buttons to the sleep number controllers which we have called the ‘duck’ buttons.  Once configured, the ‘duck on’ button will bring both sides of the bed to the same preset pressure.”

The woman and man are in bed.  The man is asleep.  The woman reaches over and touches him gently on the shoulder.  He wakes up and looks at her.  She smiles and ever so slightly raises her eyebrow.  He smiles back at her.  She reaches for something under the covers and pulls out a game of Jenga.  They both jump out from under the covers and start setting up the game in the middle of the bed.  They are about to start playing, and then she remembers to hit the ‘duck on’ button.

A different woman is sleeping in her bed.  A man comes into the room.  He is unshaven, has a significant pot belly, and has just finished a can of beer.  The throws the empty can in the corner of the room and gets into bed.   He looks over at his wife and grabs his controller to hit the ‘duck on’ button.  The wife wakes up and realizes what is going on in the bed.  She reaches over to her controller and hits the ‘duck off’ button.  The bed returns to the original settings. 

“Hitting the ‘duck off’ button can be used to express an unwillingness to play games in bed, in addition to resetting the bed at the end of the game.” the man in the chair explained.  “So from everyone here at Sleep Number, have a good night sleep after you get ducked.”

Iron Chef Amsterdam

Announcer: Welcome to the premiere of Traveling Iron Chef. While Chiarman Kaga Takeshi’s “Kitchen Stadium” vision remains a fixture of Japanese culture, he recently gave a direct order to his younger brother, Lou. Instead of bumming around Kaga’s apartment watching television all day, Lou has been instructed to travel to the ends of the earth in an effort to discover more Iron Chefs. Moving through the countryside with an army of helpers and a scaled down “moderately equipped kitchen tent,” Lou searches for an answer to the eternal question, “Whose cuisine will reign supreme?”

Lou: We have traveled many moons from our homeland, and today we are broadcasting from the European country of Holland. Two local culinary artists will go in, but only one will come out with the title, “Iron Chef Amsterdam!” And now, the moment you have all been waiting for… today’s secret ingredient is… MARIJUANA!

Announcer: The marijuana plant, also known as hemp, cannabis, pot, grass, or weed, is one of the most rugged forms of flora known to mankind. Able to grow in almost any climate, marijuana has become a plant of choice for “amateur horticulturists” around the world. The non-flowering section can be used to produce cloth that is both durable and environmentally friendly. While using the bud of the plant as a cooking ingredient is not commonplace, a movement that can almost be described at underground has evolved to help promote marijuana consumption. Despite all this, the plant in question remains illegal in many parts of the world—due in large part to intensive tobacco company lobbying efforts.

Lou: To help judge the creations of our two Iron Chef candidates, we have three well-known members of Japanese society: Sumi, a young female actress from a popular soap opera, Typo, a fifty-five year old journalist, and Shooki, a new age psychic. They will be evaluating two highly respected Dutch chefs, Willhelm and Hansel. Chefs– you have one hour, starting now!

Sumi: I am very excited to be here. Hee hee hee.

Announcer: It appears that Chef Willhelm is preparing thinly-sliced duck breast for his first entrée.

Typo: I am an old, old man. And I am very good at complaining about things. This is why I am on the show so often.

Announcer: Well, this is quite amazing! Chef Willhelm is lighting a large pile of the marijuana on fire in order to SMOKE the duck breast. He is instructing one of the assistants to keep the smoke going at a constant rate. Chef Hansel is preparing chocolate and sugar. I think he is going to make some sort of a dessert.

Sumi: The tent is filling up with smoke. I kind of like it… I feel all tickly. Hee hee hee.

Shooki: Yes, I feel as though the spirits of 1000 dead relatives are inside my body dancing around and having a party.

Announcer: I’m not sure what the chefs are doing, but they are being very deliberate about their actions now. Perhaps they are contemplating their next dish. Someone had better tell them they only have one hour to complete the competition!

Typo: I find this smoke to be highly irregular. The secret ingredient should be in our tummies, and not in our lungs– very unusual. Am I talking too much? I feel as though the words are coming out of my mouth with much less effort than usual.

Shooki: I never found old, whiney Japanese men attractive until just now. Typo, can I touch your hand for a moment?

Typo: I am flattered, Shooki, but I must inform you that I called the front desk and had some hookers come up to my hotel room to pleasure me before the show. Did you know they can just add it to your room service bill? Are these thoughts in my head, or are they escaping out of my mouth?

Announcer: After spending the past five minutes staring at the top of the tent and smiling, chef Willhelm has sprung into action. He is getting something out of his pocket. It appears to be a cellular phone. Who could he be calling?

Shooki: I believe he is trying to get in touch with one of his deceased parents.

Typo: You are being foolish, Shooki. You can’t call dead people on a telephone. Where would the phone company send the bill?

Announcer: We have gotten more details from the cooking area. It appears Willhelm has called for pizza to be delivered to the tent. Extra pepperoni and bread sticks are the order. But will it get here fast enough? In the mean time, Hansel has finished baking brownies, and, if I’m not mistaken, just broke open a box of Hagelslag, or literally “chocolate hail.” This Dutch delicacy is generally used as a bread topping instead of cheese or jam.

Sumi: Chocolate hail? Is the tent going to hold up okay? Hee hee hee… snort! Snort! SNORT!

Announcer: Chef Hansel has just filled his mouth with Hagelslag. Now he is laughing uncontrollably and it appears the tiny pieces of chocolate are coming out his nose.

Lou: Competitors, your time is up!

Announcer: It has been quite an unsual hour. Chef Willhelm, please explain your dishes.

Chef Willhelm: I was planning on making a smoked duck dish, but my assistant got too high from the marijuana smoke and fell asleep under the table. So, as a backup plan, I had pizza delivered. Unless the delivery guy screwed up, it should be pepperoni. Unfortunately, I ate the bread sticks during the commercial.

Typo: I like the taste of the pizza, but if I am not mistaken, there is no direct connection with the special ingredient. Also, it feels as though the food getting larger in my mouth the more I chew it. Is that happening to anyone else?

Shooki: I see dead people! Get it? I’m being funny. It’s from that movie a few years ago– the one with the little kid.

Announcer: And now, Chef Hansel, tell us what you have done here.

Chef Hansel: Well, I don’t know about everyone else, but I got really stoned when what’s-his-name lit that big pile of pot on fire. But I’m used to it, so I made my favorite pot brownies. Oh yeah, and I’m sorry about the Hagelslag coming out my nose… it just seemed like a good idea at the time.

Typo: I think this dish truly enhances the flavor of the marijuana. Please do not be insulted that I didn’t try any of it– I’m saving it for the hookers in my hotel room.

Shooki: Can I go with you? I’ve never seen hookers before. How much do they cost?

Typo: It depends on what you want. You can ask them when we get back to the hotel.

Sumi: You are cute, so I’m going to give you a lot of points. Hee hee hee.

Announcer: The competition is complete. Who is going to be Iron Chef Amsterdam?

Lou: Sumi awarded Chef Hansel twenty points. Typo and Shooki seemed to have left without turning in their scorecards. So I guess the winner is… Iron Chef Hansel. Yeah, yeah, yeah, now hand me one of those brownies. And does anyone here have any Pink Floyd? I could really go for some Dark Side of the Moon right about now…

Traffic Jam

I was looking through the web statistics for newfunny.com, and was somewhat surprised about what words lead people to this site.  Here are the top 10 phrases according to godaddy.com where I host the site:

porno, porn movie, rush limbaugh wedding, www.newfunny.com, holmes on homes, british petroleum, bp, south park porn, orgazmo, silly christmas letters.

Next I went to wordpress to see what it thought were the most popular search phrases.  It agreed with godaddy.com in spirit, but also came up with:

playstation 4, dukes of hazzard, lord of the rings, UPS

So now I’m thinking– do I need to write in such a way to include more popular keywords?  I made one casual reference to an “R” rated comedy about making a pornographic movie and it accounts for a lot of the traffic to my site.

Welcome to my first keyword centric blog entry:

Joss Weaton, creator of cult favorite “Firefly” and “Serenity”, and Nathan Fillion are sitting in a restaurant eating breakfast and filling out paperwork.

Nathan is concentrating on a paper, and finally looks up and asks Joss, “Does 17 feel lucky?”
Joss replies, “Stop asking me about the lottery numbers.  I know that you said you wanted to win the lottery and buy the rights to Firefly, but I think we should focus on new ideas instead of living in the past.”

“You are right, Joss.  So what type of show should we create?  How about a porno?  You haven’t made one of those yet?

“I don’t know if I am up for making a porn flick.  The lesbian plot line with Willow and Tara in Buffy was as far as I’ve ever gone down that road.”

Nathan thought about it for a minute and replied, “How about we make a funny porno movie?  It could be centered around some unlikely celebrity, like, say, Rush Limbaugh.  The main character could have an unexplained obsession with Rush Limbaugh’s wedding pictures.  It could be a pornographic version of Saving Silverman.  Or a political version of Orgazmo. Who wouldn’t want to see that?”

“I think you might have something there.” Joss replied. “But securing the rights could prove difficult.  We would work for years and not see it in theaters until after the Lord of the Rings prequel movies get finished.  If every other prequel movie is any indication, the Hobbit movies are going to be way better than the related movies.”

“How about we work in some video game tie-ins?”  Nathan asked. “If we started now we could get a game released on the Playstation 4, Xbox 720, and Wii 2.”

“Way to think ahead, but I’m not sure how many people really want to see that man naked.  How about a Dukes of Hazzard porn flick?  That could be really funny.”

Nathan looks at his watch.  “Well, Joss, I love having these breakfast brainstorming sessions with you, but I have to go film another episode of Castle.  And I need to get some gas on the way over.”

“Have fun on set.  I think there is a British Petroleum station around the corner.”

“Wasn’t BP in the news lately?” Nathan asked.

“Yeah, something about some minor rule violations.  Some people got all bent out of shape over it.” Joss answered.

Nathan turned back as he walked out the door.  “Don’t forget to call when Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along 2 is ready to shoot.”

Back To The Future, Part 4

Marty walks into the empty lab with no sign of either Doc or his four legged friend Einstein.  Marty straps on his guitar and plugs it into the large amplifier.  A UPS truck wildly pulls into the garage just as Marty begins to play. For no obvious reason the vehicle is covered in ice and steam. An old man in a UPS uniform and a scruffy dog exit the truck.  Marty sets down the guitar and cautiously investigates the situation.

“Doc– where have you been?” Marty asks.

The Doc looks down at his watch and yells, “Great Scott!  I didn’t realize how long I’ve been gone.”

Marty looks at the Doc’s clothes and with a puzzled look on his face asks, “What’s up with the new clothes?”

“You see Marty, I decided to make a change in my life, so I signed up to be a seasonal UPS driver.”

“Well, at least you aren’t messing with that time machine anymore.  That thing was nothing but trouble.”

“I know Marty, but I’ve finally figured out how to make it work!” The Doc explains as he gestures towards the UPS truck.

“You built a time machine out of a UPS TRUCK?”

“No, no, no, Marty.  I’ve realized the problems encountered when changing the timeline for one’s own personal agenda.  So I took the original design and made some key modifications.  You are now looking at the worlds first ON TIME MACHINE!”

“What?”

“No time to explain– just put this on.” The Doc orders as he throws a UPS vest at Marty.  “We’ve got work to do!”

The Doc starts organizing packages in the back and after putting on the vest, Marty looks at the truck and runs toward the front hood.  He tries to jump on the hood and slide over to the driver side, but the hood is too high up and at a steep angle.  He rolls across the front bumper several times awkwardly before falling to the ground.

The Doc, too busy organizing packages to notice what just happened, warned Marty, “By the way, don’t try that dramatic sliding across the hood trick.  The height and average angle of the hood is not conducive to entering the vehicle in that manner.  A more practical method of entering and exiting the vehicle is to use three points of contact.”

“Point taken Doc.” Marty says as he brushes the off his clothes and gets into the passenger side of the truck.  “So why are we doing this anyway?”

“Marty, I’ve discovered that key points in history have been negatively impacted by packages not being delivered on time.  If we can fix these anomalies once and for all we can restore the original intent of the timeline.  All we have to do is travel back in time a make the deliveries when they were originally supposed to take place.”  The Doc explains as he starts up the engine.  The vehicle rumbles to life and rolls outside.  It gains speed going down the road.  Soon a bright light flashes and they all disappear– the only evidence of their presence is lingering flames from the tires.

TO BE CONTINUED…

The B Team

A woman drives up to a gas station, gets out of her car, and starts pumping gas. A ringing noise is heard coming from her pocket. She pulls out a cell phone and starts talking.

“Hello? Yes. Yes. No. That’s not what he told me. I don’t know why he said that. I know. Yes, this is going to be a problem. Don’t worry, I’ll figure something out. I’m not sure what I’ll do right now.”

A group of four men quietly walk up behind the woman.

The leader of the group solidly rests his hand on the woman’s shoulder and announces, “Congratulations, ma’am, you just hired ‘The B-Team.’”

“Who are you freaks, and why are you sneaking up behind total strangers at the local Loaf ‘n Jug?” the woman asked after she sprayed a healthy does of concentrated pepper spray in their general direction.

“The name is Melvin,” the man said as he curled up into the fetal position while clutching his face in agony. “Gary, the pepper spray is constricting my throat–how about you finish the introductions?”

“Don’t blow your big chance,” Gary said quietly to himself as he stepped to the front of the group. “In 1998 a group of four total strangers was arrested for jaywalking in Bismarck, North Dakota. After paying a nominal fine, these men promptly left town while muttering profanities under their breath. Today, not really wanted by anyone in particular, and not having any extraordinary skills, these men attempt to eek out a living imitating their favorite 1980’s television series. If you have a problem, and can’t outrun them, you are pretty much stuck with the B-Team.”

Gary looks back at the rest of his team and whispers, “HELLO! You two were supposed to hum the theme song during that part.”

“HELLO! We were busy helping Melvin breathe-— is that OK, Mr., ummm, In Charge Wizard Guy?”

Gary, not sure what to do next, compliments them on saving Melvin, and then turns back to the woman. “So does that clear things up?”

The woman cautiously puts down the spray. “OK, suppose for a minute I believe your story, Gary. Why are you standing here in your underwear?”

“Oh, that.” Gary clears his throat and continues, “I want to get into the modeling business, so I figured I’ll display myself until we save the life of a perky young lady who just happens to work for the underwear department of Sears. Then she will have to give me a shot in their catalog. It all works out pretty well since I’m the team pretty boy.”

The woman looks Gary over and tries to conceal a puzzled look. “Well, I maybe if you lost some weight and worked on your complexion…”

Melvin gets back up and regains his composure. “Good thinking there, Vance, and Band-Aid– you really came through for me. Look here lady, we can pummel Gary’s self esteem all day, but that isn’t going to solve your problem. Wait a minute, you haven’t told us your problem yet. That pepper spray disrupted our usual routine. Does your situation involve the Mafia? Or maybe drug lords taking over your family farm?”

“Nothing that exciting– I ordered a new cell phone, but I’ve waited two weeks and it has yet to show up. I’m getting to the point where I’m going to call the phone company and complain.”

Melvin shook his head and smiled. “Young lady, you have a lot to learn about how the phone company works. Here is what you are going to do. Gary– put on some clothes and start dating Catherine Zeta-Jones. Vance, I need you to find out everything you can about cellular phones. And finally, Band-Aid, I need you to modify the van somehow.”

“I threw away all my clothes when I decided to be an underwear model.” Gary said.

“No hablas inglés.” Vance pronounced.

“You Fool! Our van broke down in Nebraska, and we couldn’t afford the repair bill.” Band-Aid yelled out.

“And look,” Gary pointed to a Greyhound Bus. “Our ride to Chicago is about to leave! If we don’t get on, we are going to be stuck at this gas station until tomorrow afternoon. And all our stuff is on the bus too!”

Melvin turns to the woman apologetically. “I’m sorry we couldn’t get to the bottom of this, but we are a team on the run– for our bus, in this case.”

“That’s OK. At least I know my pepper spray works,” the woman replied sympathetically.

The four men start running for the bus as it heads out of the gas station. Melvin gets on last, and stops for a moment at the door. He pulls out a container of chewing tobacco and puts a large wad in his mouth. He takes one last look at the woman at the gas station, and proclaims, “I love it when a plan comes together enough that we don’t get arrested.”

Suddenly Melvin starts chocking and chunks of moist chewing tobacco are seen flying out of his mouth. He loses his balance and falls off the bus—-which just keeps going.

I Could Write For Robot Chicken

I’m a big fan of Robot Chicken on the Cartoon Network.  It combines stop motion animation with CGI to create short (sometimes just a few seconds) sketch comedy.  Here are two ideas for very short skits:

A courtroom setting.  An older woman in a black leather jacket is on the witness stand being questioned by the defense lawyer.

“Miss Jett, could you please read to the jury the first sentence of your own account of how this all got started?” the lawyer asks.

Joan Jett sighs, and replies, “I saw him dancing there by the record machine, I knew he must a been about seventeen.”

“And are you aware of the statutory rape laws in this state?”

My second idea:

The nerd is running around inside Doctor Who’s violently shaking tardis, pushing various buttons, and pulling different levers in a desperate attempt to get it working.

Outside three high school bullies are shaking a port-o-let.  One of them yells, “You’ve got to come out sometime, nerd!”

Inside the nerd is pleading with the tardis, “We must quickly depart from these time space coordinates!”

Ouside the bullies are losing interest, so they all get behind the port-o-let and tip it over so that the door is facing the ground.  Then they walk away.   The nerd tries to open the door to get out, but is stuck inside.  He dejectedly comments, “I’m trapped inside my very own time machine!”  Soon sewage starts leaking out the sides and the nerd adds,  “and the Tardis is leaking trans-matter fluid.”

New TLC Show

Following the success of the show, “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant,” The Learning Channel greenlighted a sister show titled, “I Thought I Was Pregnant But It Turns Out I Was Just Getting Fat Really Quickly After My Boyfriend Dumped Me And I Just Sat Around On The Couch Eating Microwave Pizza and Twinkies All Day Long Waiting For A Miracle To Occur.”

The Dukes Of Hazzard

Boss Hogg, after having finished an absurdly large lunch in the back room of the Boar’s Nest, looks out the window at Bo and Luke Duke in the General Lee doing doughnuts in the parking lot before driving away.  “Those Duke boys have been a thorn in my side all day long!”

Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane walks over to the table of dirty dishes an tenatively replies, “Well, Boss, I did see you drop a deep fried chicken wing bewteen your ample stomach and the chair during breakfast.  Maybe that’s what is causing your discomfort.”  Rosco tenatively reaches in to extract the piece of food, but before he can get close enough Boss Hogg slaps Rosco’s hand with a large butter knife.

“Get away from me you idiot!” Boss Hogg yells as he starts to twist and squirm in his chair.   After a few absurdly strained attempts Boss Hogg finally grasps the wing and immediately starts devouring it.

“Well, that did help a little bit,” Boss Hogg admitted, “but I still want to get rid of those Duke boys once and for all.  We need a plan, Rosco.”

Rosco thought for a minute and then replied, “What if we planted something on the Duke’s farm to make it look like they were producing illegal drugs?”

Boss Hogg thought about it for a moment.  “I like your thinking Rosco, but there is no way we could convince the honorable Judge Buford Potts the Dukes are dealing drugs.  Buford Potts and Jessie Duke have been fishing buddies since they were both little kids.”

“Dang it!” Rosco yelled.  He looked over at his assistant reading some type of legal book.  “Enos!  Stop reading that comic book and help us take down the Duke family!”

Enos looked up and said, “Well, golly, Rosco, I was just reading about new legal developments in Civil Asset Forfieture.  We don’t need any proof to take all their stuff, we just need a suspicion that they are doing something bad, like growing Mara-wa-hanna on their farm.  We could even ask for Federal assistance.”

Boss Hogg smiles and yells excitedly, “This will get those Dukes out of Hazzard county!” as small pieces of chewed up chicken wing land on Rosco’s clothes.

The next day a squad car and Boss Hogg’s white Cadillac drive up to the Duke’s house.  Rosco, Enos, Boss Hog, and a Federal agent step out of the vehicles.  The entire Duke family storms out of the house.  Uncle Jessie yells, “What is the meaning of this?  We haven’t done anything wrong and you know it.”

Boss Hogg prods Rosco, who pulls a paper out of his pocket and starts reading, “Jessie Duke, you and your family have been accused of growing, transporting, and selling maraijuana.  All of your assets and personal belongings are now legal property of the Hazzard County Sheriff’s Department.”

Uncle Jessie is infuriated.  “Just wait until Judge Potts hears about this.  This little plan is going to backfire on you Boss Hogg.”

Rosco turns to the Federal agent.  “You see here, Mister, uhhh….”

“Smith,” the agent replied.

“Mr. Smith,” Rosco continued, “here is what happened.  My assistant Enos was performing surveillance on this farm a few nights ago when he observed a large number of marijuana plants growing behind the chicken coop.”

Daisy piped up, “You mean when Enos was snooping around trying to watch me take a shower with his night vision goggles?”

Everyone looked at Enos as he looked down awkwardly at the ground making small circles in the dirt with his right foot.

Boss Hogg broke the silence by explaining, “during the observation, Enos was detected by Miss Duke.  She obviously applied her womanly abilities on him in order to obtain details of the upcoming raid.”

With an odd blank look on his face Enos stared off to the distance and said, to nobody in particular, “I want to see Daisy’s womanly abilities….”

Rosco interrupted Enos, “which is how they managed to remove all the evidence before the raid!”

Everyone started arguing at once.  After a minute, Agent Smith spoke up, “I’ve heard enough!”  He reached for his two-way radio and gave an order.  A minute later several unmarked black Suburbans drive up and helicopters land behind the barn.  Heavily armed agents dressed head to toe in black clothing start swarming the area.

Two agents tip over the chicken coop.  A few run into the house and come out wearing pairs of Daisy’s cut off jeans.  A team of agents run towards the General Lee with welding equipment.  Sparks start flying and the agents are giving each other high fives when they get the doors to open and close correctly.  The crew from MTV’s “Pimp My Ride” go after Uncle Jessie’s old pickup.  They paint it, add 10 television sets, and drive it away.

Rosco hooks up the General Lee to the back of Boss Hogg’s Cadillac.  The Duke family is standing in front of the house not knowing what to do.  Boss Hogg gets behind the wheel as Rosco and Agent Smith get in the back seat.  As Boss Hogg pulls away with the General Lee, Agent Smith starts playing a guitar and sings:

Framed the old Duke Boys
For growing pot by the barn
The best Hazzard ever saw
They evaded the law since the day they was born

Daisy’s got some nice curves
Bo and Luke look good too
That should help when they are broke
On the streets begging for food

Boss Hogg wanted them out
But he didn’t know how
That is until the feds gave the
Fourth Amendment a bow

So no more good Duke Boys
No more General Lee
Crushed by abuse in a system
They couldn’t even see

Funny And Sexy– Is It Possible

We rented “Zach and Miri Make a Porno” from Netflix this weekend.  The premise is quite simple– long time friends and roommates Zach and Miri are broke, and decide to remedy the situation by filming a porno flick.  Of course nothing really goes as planned, and things get weird between the two friends when the idea of having sex with each other and a bunch of strangers comes into play.

Overall I enjoyed the movie.  Seth Rogen who plays the main character Zach, does a great job being the slightly irresponsible but good intentioned roommate.  Elizabeth Banks play Miri, who kind of seems too sexy to have been living with Zach for the past decade.  These main characters get developed well through witty dialogue.  My biggest problem was that you could see where the plot was going every second of the film–  no major surprises.  Zach and Miri attend their high school reunion and meet a moderately successful gay porn star.  Brandon St. Randy mixes Keanu Reeves good looks, Clint Eastwood’s scratchy voice, and a dash of old fashioned compassion in perfect proportion to create his almost-but-not-quite over-the-top performance.  I kept waiting for him to appear later on in the movie, but was sorely disappointed.  Oh, I guess I should have put “spoiler alert” before that last sentence.

I don’t know exactly how this type of compensation works, but someone should be paying Jason Mewes because they really just stole the his character of Jay from several movies (Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Clerks 2, and so on) with the Lester character.  He looked and sounded just like Jay, which really bothered me since all of the other characters seemed so original.

My favorite line of the movie was Zach telling Miri, “I don’t mean to alarm you… but I think I just jerked off Lester a little bit.”

See this movie if: you are a Seth Rogen fan and enjoy porn satire.

Don’t see this movie if: you are on a first date, want to watch a real porn movie, or want to be surprised by exciting plot twists.

And, while I’m thinking about comedy pornography, I think the best movie to see in this genre is “Orgazmo.”  Written by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Orgazmo details the transformation of Joe Young from a Jahova’s witness on his first mission to taking down an organized crime ring.  A variety of jokes about Utah (Joe Young, “I’m not a superhero! I’m a Latter-Day Saint.”),  fake boobs (“My doctor says now I have enough silicone in my body to kill a small elephant! Isn’t that cool?”), and even a surprisingly insightful debate by the porn stars about who gets degraded by pornography.

The movie might have seen a wider audience if it hadn’t gotten an “NC-17” rating.  I don’t think it is any more or less graphic as “Zach and Miri,” which received and “R” rating.  I suspect the people who rate movies just don’t like Matt Stone and Trey Parker.  I’ve read that “Team America” and “South Park: The Movie” both orginally received NC-17 ratings.  Which is interesting since one was made completely out of puppets and the other one was a cartoon.

So if you are only going to see one funny pornographic movie this summer, watch Orgazmo.  If you are going to see more than one, also check out “Zach and Miri Make a Porno.”

Star Trek 11? I’ve Lost Count

I have to start out by mentioning that back in the day I used to just skip out of work so I could be one of the very first people to see the latest Star Trek movie on Friday afternoon.  Being a UPS driver doesn’t make this very easy, and I didn’t really want to use one of my two option days I get each year.  So Katherine and I went to the theater on Sunday afternoon to see what all the fuss is about.

My first impression of the movie was, “Wow– they must have saved a lot of money by using the set of ‘Ugly Betty’ as the bridge of the Enterprise.”  Every time they turned a corner on the ship I was expecting to see Vanessa Williams bravely holding up some comically large space weapon with her assistant Marc cowering behind while making sarcastic comments about how the crew dressed such as, “if this is the best outfits the future can come up with, well just phaser me now.”  I’m not quite sure where America Ferrera fits into this situation, but I’ll bet she would stick her nose in everyone’s business and find a quirky resolution to the problem.

Here is a run down of the some of the main characters:

James Kirk: fiesty kiddo who spends most of the movie dangling perilously on the edge of things.

Young Spock: realizing that the television show “Heroes” isn’t going to last forever, Zachary Quinto stepped out of the role of the evil Sylar and hopped on board as Spock.  His biggest challenge for the role: shaving his facial hair between every take.

Old Spock:  according to the movie, Leonard Nemoy was 147 years old when he got sent back in time.  I swear he didn’t look a day over 90.

The Bad Guy:  Had some strange tatoo on his face and went around destroying Federation planets.  I’m not sure if these two facts are related.  Too bad Ricardo Montelbon wasn’t around when they filmed this– now there was a guy you just couldn’t help but hate.

And the big surprise at the end:  There wasn’t any!  None of the main characters were killed because they all have to be kept alive so all the stuff that has already been made at least kind of makes sense.  I guess that’s the problem with making a movie that is both a prequel and a sequel in the Star Trek Universe.

I suspect the next film will focus on how William Shatner became such a bad actor.

24 UPS Commercial

This is another idea I’ve come up with for a new UPS commercial.

The entire commercial is similar to the style of the television show “24,” with views of different scenes at the same point in time.

Voice Over: “The following takes place between 5:00 P.M. and 9:00 A.M.”

A timer appears at the bottom of the screen with 5:00 P.M. on the left side and 9:00 A.M on the right.  A UPS driver walks into an office building and picks up a next day air package from the front desk and the timer starts moving.  He walks out of the office and the camera zooms up into the sky to show him overhead walking towards a UPS truck parked on the street.   A label points to the UPS truck and identifies the package car number.  The driver gets in and pulls away from the curb.  A different color marker shows the path of the package car.  The camera angle keeps zooming out.  The path of the package can still be seen as the package car drives back to the center.  Other paths and labels appear following different package cars as they head back towards the center.

The camera zooms down and into the building to show the package being taken out of the truck and placed on the belt.  It then gets loaded on a feeder truck.  The camera zooms out again and a new label is shown that follows the feeder truck as it drives to the airport.  As it approaches the airport other feeder truck labels and paths can be seen.  The camera zooms down and inside the cargo hold and shows the bin being loaded onto the airplane.  It zooms back out and shows the path of the airplane.  It zooms out enough to see the entire country.  As night falls darkness gradually covers the country and lights of major cities can be seen.  As the airplane approaches Louisville, Kentucky, UPS airplanes with labels and paths from all around the country can be seen approaching the airport, forming orderly lines preparing for their landing.

The camera zooms in again showing the package being unloaded and sorted in the facility.  It gets loaded on a different plane and the camera once again zooms out and the paths of all the outgoing planes can be seen diverging from the center of the country.  The process of zooming in and zooming out to show the progress of the package is continued throughout the process until the package is delivered.   The timer slows down when the package is being handled and speeds up when the package is in transit to get the entire journey into a 30 second commercial.  When the package is in a facility the map frame gets smaller and new frames pop up to show people moving the package.  When it starts moving the map frame gets bigger and takes up the entire screen.

An interesting aspect of the commercial is that it could be made with actual  global positioning data from UPS with an actual package.  Just attach a small camera to the package and have a small camera crew follow it from point A to B.  The zooming in and out would have to be done with some CGI magic.  Ideally the package would go from the east coast to the west coast to maximize the distance traveled.

This idea is way beyond anything I can create with my current video production resources,  so I figured I would put it up on my newfunny.com websites for the world to see and maybe someone can make it a reality.

Brown Collar Song

When I was just a young boy
I didn’t know what to do
Bouncing through jobs
Drifting without a clue

Then one day my purpose became clear
I felt a few inches taller
The very first time
I wore the brown collar

So now I go door to door
Just a spreading my word
My presence is known
When I’m not seen or heard

Brown shoes brown socks
Brown shorts brown shirt
You can’t help but to stand up and holler
When you see that man in the brown collar

Some days my body gets sore
I’m only human after all
Some times that old truck breaks down
And I give a higher power a call

Some days the sky opens up
And the cold and darkness come
Quitting is not an option
My work is never done

Brown shoes brown socks
Brown shorts brown shirt
You can’t help but to stand up and holler
When you see that man in the brown collar

UPS Superbowl Commercial

Sunday early morning local news program. The stadium crew is busy setting up chairs in the middle of Investco Field.

News anchor: … and preparations are underway for what is expected to be largest single event at Investco Field…

(Quick Channel Change)

Mid-morning: News reporter standing next to the highway at I-70 and the Kansas border. Eighty percent of the vehicles going west are UPS trucks, both delivery and feeder trucks.

Reporter: …here on I-70 at the Kansas border since dawn. As you can see behind me, a majority of the vehicles passing by are the familiar brown color, and it shows no signs of letting up…

(Quick Channel Change)

Noon: News reporter in the control tower at Denver International Airport. Outside UPS planes are parked everywhere on the tarmac. Three lines of planes in the sky can be seen on the approach. The radar shows a solid line of planes in the air ready to land. In the background an air traffic controller is giving direction to countless UPS flights.

Reporter: …from the main control tower at Denver International Airport. Usually a quiet time for the airport, this Sunday afternoon controllers are busy directing planes and finding space on the ground for all this incoming traffic. Fortunately, the three parallel north-south runway configuration allows concurrent…

(Quick Channel Change)

Dusk: News reporter at one of the entrances at Investco Field. The parking lot behind her is filled with UPS trucks of various sizes, some of which are still in the process of parking. A steady stream of UPS drivers are the only ones entering into the stadium.

Reporter: …everywhere I look I see more and more brown. Delivery trucks of all sizes and even the big 18 wheelers are quickly taking every available parking spot.

Switches to helicopter footage showing the stadium and surrounding parking lots. All are filled with different sized UPS trucks and drivers walking towards the stadium. The highway and most nearby roads contain mostly UPS trucks.

Reporter: I’ve just received a parking update. All Investco Field parking—FULL. Pepsi Center lots—FULL. Auraria campus and Coors Field—ALL FULL. Officials are requesting that drivers…

(Quick Channel Change)

Evening: News reporter inside Investco Field. The stadium seats and the entire field are all filled with UPS drivers finding their seats with the exception of a small square shaped stage in the middle of the field with a single microphone on a stand on the edge of the stage. The crowd is talking amongst themselves creating a high energy level.

Reporter: …standing room only here inside the stadium. We have gotten word that the ceremony will begin momentarily. The latest official attendance is 91,312 with a few latecomers trickling in the gates. This is by far the largest single event to be held at this stadium.

The audience lights start to dim and two dozen spotlights around the stadium light up the stage.

Reporter: It looks like things are starting up. We are going to try and get a close-up now.

The camera zooms into the stage. The crowd quiets down surprisingly quickly. A small girl wearing a dress walks up to the microphone clutching a doll and a small book. The microphone is a little bit too high on the stand, so she has to reach up on her tip toes to get it. She puts the microphone to her mouth, hesitates a second, and says, “Thank you Santa.” Then, not sure what to do, she looks around, sets the microphone on the stage, and runs over to her mother waiting for her on the side of the stage.

The entire crowd starts clapping and cheering wildly. They all rise to their feet to give her a standing ovation. Then it fades out to brown and says “What can brown do for you?”

IGF

Announcer: Do you have a girlfriend?

[Shots of three different guys nodding]

Announcer: Is she perfect for you?

[First guy nods, and the other two shake their heads]

Announcer: Is she inflatable?

[First two guys look offended, the third one give and apologetic shrug]

Announcer: If you answered “Yes” or “No” to any of these questions, or if you haven’t changed the channel yet, you need the IGF 3000! After months of continuous use, inflatable girlfriends, or IGFs, have been known to malfunction and produce undesirable behaviors.

[Shot of man and IGF in bed with the man shivering and all the sheets on top of the IGF]

[Shot of man and IGF sitting on the couch. She is holding the remote. He says in a whiny voice, “Mannequin again?”]

[Shot of IGF sitting at the kitchen table wearing a wife beater and boxer shorts with a cheap can of beer in her hand and a lit cigar in her mouth]

Announcer: If this sounds like you, DON’T WORRY! The developers of the IGF 3000 have used “science” and “technology” to make everything all better!

[Shot of a lab. One guy is furiously fake typing on an old Commodore 64. Another guy is intently watching a test tube of liquid boil while occasionally looking at something on his clipboard. It turns out to be a comic book.]

Announcer: But wait! If you order now, we will throw in the “enhancement pack” ABSOLUTELY… at the regular price. In addition to all the basic features already described, the enhanced version will make your IGF even more productive around the house. She can exercise the pets.

[Shot of IGF in sweat suit being dragged along the sidewalk by a dog on a leash. Then dog is shown riding her leg.]

Announcer: She can run errands.

[Shot of IGF driving a car in regular clothes]

Announcer: She can even work on an oil rig!

[Shot of sign saying “Footage not available”]

Announcer: Quantities are, well, in theory, limited, so order now before your pesky roommate comes home and sees what you are doing!

Lord Of The Rings

Gandolf, having just said goodbye to Bilbo Baggins, is sitting by the fire contemplating his next move.

Frodo comes in the front door, picks up the ring from the floor and walks over to Gandolf.

The wizard looks at the young hobbit and in a grave voice states, “Frodo, this ring is a source of unimaginable evil. You must take the ring to the fires of Mount Doom—the only place where it can be destroyed. It will be a dangerous mission, but the fate of all Middle Earth is in your hands. I won’t lie to you, Frodo Baggins—you may not survive this torturous journey.”

Frodo looks down at the ring in his hands and back at Gandolf. He gets a big smile on his face and says, “Gandolf, you silly old man. We live in Middle Earth, but that doesn’t mean we must live in the Middle Ages. There is a much easier way.”

Frodo walks over to Bilbo’s office and sits down at a modern-day computer. He starts typing and using the mouse. A moment later a piece of paper comes out of the printer. It is a UPS label addressed to “Mount Doom, Middle Earth” with a note on the top “Delivery instructions: Please deposit this package in the fire pit of Mount Doom (no signature required)”.

Frodo puts the ring in an envelope and applies the UPS label. He walks out of Bag End and looks around. He sees a UPS drop box on the other side of the path and casually walks over to it and deposits the letter.

“Now, Gandolf, lets celebrate with some of that fine shire weed.”

“My dear Frodo Baggins, you are full of surprises.” Gandolf laughed gently as he started loading up the pipe.

A few hours later a UPS truck drives up to the drop box. A driver gets out of the truck and looks at the address on the envelope and gets a resigned look on his face. He reaches for his cell phone and dials a number.

“Hey hon, I’m going to be late…. Yes, I know it’s our anniversary, but I have to go make one last delivery that’s out of my way… Yes… yes… Of course I’ll make it up to you… I know… I’ve got to go now… ok… bye.”

The driver gets back in his truck and drives away. Next it is seen driving by the celebration honoring Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday. Eventually the truck gets to the edge of the shire. It keeps going out of the shire without stopping. The condition of the road keeps getting worse. He makes a right turn and heads straight up a snow covered mountain pass. Eventually the snow is too much and the truck gets stuck in the snow. The driver puts on his jacket, grabs the letter and a backpack, and gets out on foot. He crosses the rest of the pass on foot.
Eventually he comes to the mine and enters it. He is oblivious to the dead bodies that litter the floor. He reaches into his backpack and pulls out a flashlight to guide his way. As he is going through the mines Orcs are shooting arrows at him that miss his head by inches.

When he exits the mine, he sees Mount Doom in front of him. He starts up the mountain with a renewed enthusiasm. He gets to the top and stands at the edge. Right before he throws the package into the fire a strange creature jumps in front of the driver and grabs the envelope.

“My precious!” Gollam shouts. He squats at the driver’s feet trying to get the envelope opened.

“Hey, that doesn’t belong to you!” The driver yelled. He tried to get the envelope back but Gollam wouldn’t let go.

The driver looked around to see if anyone else was watching. He then kicked Gollam, the envelope, and the ring into the fire pit. He looks down at Gollam and yells, “what can brown do for you, bi-otch?”

As the drive walks away he picks up his cell phone starts ringing. “Yeah, I’m done… I don’t know, whatever you want to do is fine. No, everything went okay. See you soon.”

Envigoral Infomercial

Woman: Look at yourself right now. Do you feel tired, depressed, and lethargic? Do you think you deserve more than life has given you? Do you find yourself susceptible to high pressure infomercials? If you answered “yes” or “no” to any of these questions, you need to learn more about Envigoral.

Man walks in: Most people haven’t heard of this new and exciting product due to some minor paperwork issues with the Food and Drug Administration. What we can tell you, however, is that Envigoral contains a unique mix of state-of-the-art drugs, exotic herbs, and various types of filler material.

Woman: When you take a daily supply of Envigoral, the medicine immediately goes to work inside your body.

Cut away to a cartoon outline of a human body. Two dozen blue E’s go into the mouth and move around inside the body.

Man: Once Envigoral is inside your body, it goes to work making every cell in your body just plain feel better! Who doesn’t want to feel better than they are right now? I know I like “better”.

Woman: You would be crazy not to like “better”!

Man continues: How does it work? We could explain it to you, but we are pretty sure you just wouldn’t understand. Just start taking it and you will feel so much better you won’t even care how it works.

Woman: Just swallow the recommended daily allowance of Envigoral each morning….

Camera pans down and shows a clear bowl full of blue refrigerator magnet letter Es.

Woman: It couldn’t be any easier. Your road to recovery starts today!

The woman picks up an E looks at it, then looks at the camera and makes a fake smile. She puts it in her mouth and a second later she starts gagging.

The scene quickly changes to show information on how to order.

Announcer (speaking quickly): Envigoral is not approved by the FDA. Don’t bother consulting your physician before taking Envigoral—its so new he probably hasn’t even heard of it yet. To work properly, Envigoral must be swallowed whole. Chewing this product can result in death. All sales are final. Not responsible for future fraudulent credit card charges. Why would you even think we would have anything to do with that? Geesh! Any questions or concerns should be send with a self addressed stamped envelope along with 30 dollars in cash to Envigoral Corporation, Nigeria, Africa. Don’t worry, it will get there. Order now, and, well, we will get our hands on your money that much faster.

Woman: So stop sitting on your couch wondering why life is passing you by. Lean over, pick up the phone, and dial our 1-900 number right away. Once you place your order, you will be on the road to recovery immediately after the 6-8 week shipping period has elapsed.

Man moves into the shot with a dozen lower case ‘e’ magnets of different colors all around his face, neck, and arms.

Man: If you order now, we will, for a limited time, include the topical cream at no extra charge. If you don’t we will come to your house and/or place of business and harass you in highly unethical ways. That’s the Envigoral guarantee!

========================================================
American Chopper Commercial

Two marketing guys are at one end of a long table discussing options for upcoming episodes. The first one says, “We could kill off Paul Sr this season.”

The other one replies, “You realize this is a reality show?”

They sit there awkwardly for a moment looking at each other. One is nervously tapping a pen on the end of the table. Slowly they both look over to the other end of the table out of the camera’s view.

A different camera shot shows Paul Jr and Mikey sitting at the table. Mikey says, “Lets do it!”

The American Chopper logo appears with the time and episode information….

Final shot– everyone is leaving the meeting when Paul Sr walks up the hallway saying, “sorry I’m late… did I miss anything?”

Paul Jr hesitates a second and innocently says, “no.”

The Real World: The Next Generation

Commander Data and Captain Jean-Luc Picard are sitting in the Enterprise ready room.

Commander Data comments, “I find this mission to be highly illogical, Captain.”

Captain Picard replies, “Yes, I know, but we have no choice but to go through with the alliance.”

“But the Enterprise has fought off many worthy adversaries—why should we give up without even firing a single photon torpedo?”

“Listen Mr. Data, we survived numerous adventures over the years, but trust me, this time resistance IS futile. Let’s just get it over with and move on.”

Picard and Data walk out of the ready room on to the main bridge of the Enterprise. The room is empty except for two men poised with cameras. Picard walks over to a waiting camera man, briefly pauses, and starts reading from a script. “This is the true story of seven strangers, picked to live on a starship and have their lives holographically recorded, and find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting REAL. The Real World: The Next Generation!”

Picard gestures at the turbolift and continues, “And now let’s welcome the seven young strangers who will be running the Enterprise on her next mission.”

Four girls and three guys in their early twenties sheepishly walk out of the turbolift and on to the bridge. After brief introductions with Captain Picard and Commander Data, the Captain explains the mission. “With the assistance of Commander Data and myself, the seven of you will be in charge of…” The captain rolls his eyes and quietly sighs to himself. “…delivering a shipment of Ramulan ale to the resort planet Risa. While this may not be the most dangerous mission ever attempted, you will have to learn about ship navigation, interstellar communications, and of course… “

“Hey everyone, I just found a ****load of Ramulan ale in the cargo hold,” one of the seven strangers who apparently snuck off during the introductions yelled as he burst out of the turbo lift, “and someone loaded thrity-seven different erotic hot tub programs on to the holodeck’s computer! Let’s get it on!”

The seven strangers start celebrating and giving each other high fives as they head towards the holodeck—completely forgetting about the Captain and their new mission.

The next scene shows the seven strangers getting drunk in the hot tub. Picard and Data are sitting in the tub still in their complete uniforms looking awkward and uncomfortable.

“Dude, I am sooooo wasted on this Ramulan ale… what all is in it?” One of the seven asked.

Sandy and Jill started a conversation. “So if you could do anyone here, who would it be?”

“Honestly?” Jill asked.

Sandy replied, “Yeah.”

“It may just be that I’m really drunk right now,” Jill confessed, “But I think it would be that robot guy.”

Commander Data, hearing his name, cocked his head slightly and addressed the girl’s comment. “I am fully functional, programmed in multiple techniques.”

“Data!” Picard snapped, “We need to get things moving here. We must to get to Risa as fast as possible so we can move on to our next REAL mission—delivering badly needed medical supplies to Barrius 3.”

One of the other women in the hot tub piped up. “It may be because my grandfather did bad, bad things to me when I was young, but that bald English guy is looking pretty good to me right about now if I could just convince him to spank me for not cleaning up my room perfectly. Is that a bad thing?”

The Captain got shivers just thinking how many things were wrong with the entire situation. Picard yelled out, “Enough is enough. Computer—end holodeck program and seal off the cargo hold to everyone but myself and Commander Data. The rest of you will get into a regulation Star Fleet uniform and report the main bridge in ten minutes.”

Captain Picard starting walking briskly out of the holodeck. “Commander, you are with me.” He ordered. Data looked over at Jill, made a telephone gesture with his thumb and pinky and silently mouthed the words “fully functional” before following the Captain to the bridge.

Eventually, everyone finds their way into uniforms and to the main bridge. The Captain starts explaining how to operate various functions on the ship. “Everything can be accessed through voice commands to the computer.” The Captain explained. “For example: computer—plot a course to Risa.”

The computer responded, “Course laid out. At warp eight we will arrive at Risa in three hours.”

Steve, the one who first located the Ramulan ale, piped up, “Hey computer—you sound pretty hot. What do you look like in a bikini?”

The computer responded, “Please restate the command.”

Captain Picard smacked Steve on the top of his head. “This is not a game! Look, all you guys have to do is tell the computer to engage on the course to Risa and we will be on our way. Do you think we could get that done sometime today?”

Jill looked around and asked the Captain, “So which one of us gets to say ‘engage’?”

“What? It doesn’t matter. Someone says it and the ship starts moving.” The Captain explained.

“I think we need to have a ship-wide meeting to decide.” Steve said.

“I give up! Commander Data—you are in charge. If they can’t decide who gets to say ‘engage’ in the next ten minutes Data will say it. I’ll be in my quarters reading Great Expectations until we get to Risa.” The Captain ordered as he walked towards the turbolift.

Three hours later Picard and Data are waving goodbye to the seven Real World members on the planet of Risa displayed on the main screen on the bridge.

“Captain,” Data started, “I found this mission provided me with a unique insight into the human condition.”

“What are you talking about Data?” the Captain asked, “This was nothing more than seven spoiled kids allowed to run around the ship for the entertainment of the holoprojector audience. What is insightful about that?”

“After you retired to you quarters,” Data explained, “with the aid of my newly installed emotion chip, Jill demonstrated several ways to make me even more fully functional, if you know what I mean.”

Not sure how to respond to Data’s last comment, the captain replied, “Plot a course to Barrius 3, warp 9, Commander.”

“Course plotted,” Data replied. “Captain, can I ask you a question?”

“What is it Data?”

“Can I say ‘engage’ this time?” Data asked.

“Sure Data.” The Captain said, with a hint of resignation in his voice.

“Engage.”

The Silver Screams

Welcome to the first debate for the 2004 Presidential Election here on the Fox News Network. We have with us, from the Republican side, current President George “Dubya” Bush. Representing the Democrats tonight is Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman. In order to give the American people more of what we think they want, the theme of this debate is “Politics at the Movies.” Every statement must contain at least one cinematic reference. But enough of the small talk– we begin with an opening statement from George Bush.

Bush: I’m sure my opponent will try and change the subject with all kinds of facts relating to how I have been running this country over the past three years. But first I would like to point out that Mr. Lieberman shares more than a passing resemblance to Star Wars’ Senator Palpatine.

Lieberman: What? That was a movie, and besides, it takes place in a galaxy far, far away. Go back and look at my voting record– I have never endorsed building a Death Star in my fourteen years as a congressman.

Announcer: Whoa there, Senator! You should know our broadcast well enough not to bring up vague notions like your voting record. Please stay focused on the matter at hand, or you won’t get any more camera time.

Bush: Death Star, huh, we could use something like that in the War on Terror. We could set it on “singe” and take Afghanistan right off the map! I wonder how much Haliburton would charge us to build one under the table. Dangit–am I talking out loud again?

Lieberman: Fine… if I’m the evil Senator, that means Bush is Jar-Jar Binks! I’ll concede there isn’t much of physical resemblance, but they both have wacky accents, and, well, let’s face it— they are both bumbling idiots.

Bush: Mr. Lieberman, we have a little saying where I come from. I can’t remember it off the top of my head, and even if I could, I probably wouldn’t say it right on the first try anyway. Going back to Jar-Jar Binks– Despite his unusual accent and awkward adolescence, Jar-Jar bravely served in the military defending his planet from the evil invasion force. Several years later, a more wise and conservative Mr. Binks became a public servant and assisted Queen Amidala in official duties of the Imperial Senate. Finally, Jar-Jar… well, I haven’t seen the next film. But my point is this: If you want to compare me to Jar-Jar Binks, I’ll take it as a compliment Senator Palpat… I mean, Lieberman.

Announcer: Whoa! He really burned you there Joe.

Bush: But obviously I’m Maverick from Top Gun. Studies commissioned by my administration shows that 53% of voting-age American females would enjoy watching me play sand volleyball half naked with Anthony Edwards and Val Kilmer. While I am more than willing to give the public what they want, scheduling conflicts between the three of us have kept it from happening. As a compromise, however, I did dress up in a flight suit on that aircraft carrier earlier this year.

Liberman: If I was going to be compared to a likeness of a movie character, I think the best fit would be that of Oskar Schindler from Steven Spielberg’s World War 2 drama “Schindler’s List.” After learning of the horrible crimes committed by the Nazi party, Schindler puts himself at risk in order to save more than 1,000 Jews from a German concentration camp. His bravery in the face of evil has been an inspiration for the past decade.

Bush: Yeah, I think I’ve seen that one—but for some reason we could only see it in black and white. I remember getting horrible customer service when I called the cable company to complain about the picture. So should we, as Americans, be surprised that Joe Lieberman’s favorite movie centered on a controlling Jewish man and literally thousands of naked people? I’m sure everyone else found the ending as terribly confusing as I did, but the general idea I got out of it was that this Schindler guy bought as many of the naked people as he could in order to start his own perverted sex brothel and corresponding Internet site. Now is this the kind of man we want running the country?

Announcer: That’s all the time we have tonight. Stay tuned for next week’s debate, when we force the candidates to address the tough question, “What would YOU do to reduce the size of J-Lo’s ass?”

This Old Crack House

Good afternoon everyone. We are on location in Detroit, Michigan to kick off our latest project. But before we start out, I need to explain to our viewers at home why this is going to be one of the most unique projects ever attempted. Our broadcast affiliate, just like any other television network, is required to comply with FCC regulations to incorporate anti-drug messages into the station’s programming. While most channels simply agree to run a certain number of approved commercials every month, the Public Broadcasting Service doesn’t have traditional commercial breaks. After countless meetings with lawyers on both sides, an agreement was made to produce a special anti-drug episode of our home improvement series. To make this project even more special, we have assembled an All-Star PBS team. In addition to my usual crew, Dean Johnson and Robin Hartyl put their “Hometime” plans on hold and flew in from Minnesota. Norm Abrams is ready to help out in the New Yankee Workshop. My name is Steve Thomas, and welcome to “This Old Crack House.”

Steve: I’m standing in front of our next project– a crack house in Detroit, Michigan. Just looking around here, Tom, I see a lot of unique challenges.

Tom: Right you are, Steve. First of all, this is going to be a scheduling nightmare. While we usually put in a lot of long nights to get a project like this finished on time, we saw the condition of the neighborhood, and the entire crew agreed to stop work at dusk each day and high-tail it back to the Holiday Inn.

Steve: And that’s thirty-seven miles away!

Tom: Yes, it is, but we feel it’s a necessary precaution.

Steve: Now the situation with our homeowner is quite unique. Grace Smith is an eighty-five year old retired school teacher. It turns out that the crack heads broke into her house when she was visiting her grandchildren in the suburbs. Now she is too ashamed to tell anyone, so she just spends most of her time in a dilapidated garage at the back of the property. We will be taking with Grace a little later, but first, Tom, what is the condition of the house?

Tom: Well Steve, I hate to tell you this, but the situation doesn’t look too good. I went down into the basement to see what was going on, and it wasn’t pretty. First of all, I discovered what I believe to be a decomposing body near the hot water heater. And, more importantly, the crawl space lacks adequate ventilation. Over time, this has caused the floor joists to rot. Before we do anything on the main floor, we are going to have to reinforce the sub floor.

Steve: And what about the body?

Tom: Well, it doesn’t pose any structural issues, so I think we will be better off leaving it alone. Maybe, if the budget allows, we could cover it up with some scrap plastic to keep the rodents away.

Steve: Tom, you know as well as I do that on a project like this, we always seem to run into these kinds of issues. But let’s take a moment right now to see what Norm Abrams has got going for us in his workshop.

Norm: Thanks Steve. I’m sorry I couldn’t be out there to see all that urban decay personally. I did get some measurements of the crack house and I have acquired the materials for a new carpentry project. But before we start any work, we need to take a minute to talk about safety. Remember to always use protective eyewear when operating power tools. Also, each project has its own unique hazards. For example, we are reminding everyone to wear steel-toed boots with a thick rubber sole at all times. We don’t want to start working only to have someone accidentally step on a syringe filled with leftover heroin and traces of possibly HIV infected blood. Just to be on the safe side, we have also made the entire landscaping crew promise, in writing, not to engage in unprotected sex with any of the crack whores in the house.

Now for the project itself– after seeing footage of the crack house, one of the first things that I noticed was the horrible condition of the methamphetamine lab. Half-empty bottles of cough syrup were on the floor, and the main work area lacked proper ventilation. I’ve designed a nice mahogany work center that will really help the occupants of the house. It contains plenty of storage for raw materials, and I’ve used a special crown molding that gives the piece a very elegant appearance. Anyone using this area will now be able to manufacture large quantities of illegal narcotics while at the same time reducing the risk of blowing themselves up in the process. If you would like to build a meth lab in your house, a set of measured drawings is available on our website.

Steve: We will check back with you later Norm. Next we have our friends Dean and Robin from “Hometime” who are working in the bathroom.

Dean: Hello, I’m Dean Johnson…

Robin: And I’m Robin Harytl. Dean and I have been working together for so long that we can even….

Dean: …finish each other’s sentences. Well, that was just a little bit of a humorous exchange we have been working on to introduce ourselves. Just to use at parties and what not, if we ever get invited to one.

Robin: We are really excited to be here. Now normally we only tape our shows in affluent suburbs of Minneapolis, so this was a quite a change for us. To help add a little class to this crack house, Dean and I are brainstorming ideas for fixing up the bathroom.

Dean: There are two things that really jumped out at us when we entered the bathroom. And, no, that doesn’t include the crack head hiding behind the door who tried to steal our video camera equipment. First of all, we thought someone started their own project when we saw some rather large holes in the drywall by the toilet.

Robin: But then we realized someone just cut out the copper pipes and, we think, traded them for crack. The other feature is a message left by one of the home’s occupants in some kind of permanent marker. It says, “Yo yo yo… Mary Katherine is my crack hoe. Anyone who touches her gets their house privileges revoked and a healthy ass whooping by me. — Anthony.”

Dean: We did think about painting over the note, but in the end we decided it gave the area more character if we just left it alone. Also, right as we were considering our options, the original author, Anthony, came into the bathroom and suggested, using gestures with his favorite baseball bat, that we not alter his message in any way whatsoever.

Robin: As far as the missing pipes, we decided to do something to keep this problem from coming back sometime in the future. Instead of repairing the damage, we have decided to remove the toilet, and cut out a small hole in the floor. This will allow the urine and feces to drop directly down into the crawlspace, and onto what appears, from up here, to be a dead body of some sort.

Dean: Now normally this would be against the building code, but given the unique situation of this house, we decided to take certain liberties with the new design.

Steve: Well, that’s all the time we have for today. In our next episode we will see what happens when Tom Silva accidentally drops acid and the schedule gets pushed back due to a surprise police raid. So keep watching as we work to put the crack back in This Old Crack House.

Conservative Weather Channel

(Fade in to Jerry Falwell rhythmically tapping a pencil on the desk)

Falwell: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the premiere of the Conservative Weather Channel. My name is Jerry Falwell and I’m here today with my co-host Pat Buchanan. How are you doing today, Pat?

Buchanan: I’m excited Jerry– excited to be here and grateful for this opportunity to finally create a weather channel for the conservative citizens of the world.

Falwell: I couldn’t agree more– While the liberal news bias has been well documented for many years now, most people are ignorant of how it has crept into the weather reports. We founded the Conservative Weather Channel, or CWC, to let people learn about the weather from a solid conservative perspective.

Buchanan: We like to think of the CWC as “the weather channel that Jesus would watch.” To start out, we eliminated the flashy introduction graphics. In its place we just have one of us tapping a pencil on the edge of the desk when the cameras start rolling. We considered several other ideas for the introduction. One option involved banging a large gong– it was a pleasing sound, but we didn’t want to get into the whole “Asian” issue.

Falwell: Good point, Pat. Our viewers aren’t interested in different cultures– those kind of people are too busy watching “The Jeffersons” on “Nick at Nite.” But enough small talk– lets get right down to the weather.

Buchanan: OK, Jerry. I was outside a few minutes ago, and it was raining. Everything else is mere speculation.

Falwell: You see, this is exactly what the CWC is all about. Those liberals over at the Weather Channel use all kind of fancy computers and satellites in a futile attempt to predict the future. Lets be honest here– that kind of attitude just flies right in the face of God. I don’t want to go so far as to say they are minions of Satan, but that entire operation sure would benefit from some good old fashioned God-fearing humility.

Buchanan: This morning I read the Bible and asked God to help me see His vision for today. With His blessing I researched past temperatures for this time of the year and factored in the sins of humanity. Using this data, we performed a statistical report to find the average mean high seasonally adjusted temperature. God willing, we can expect the high today to be 65 degrees, plus or minus 13.34 degrees. The range of course, is the statistically accepted two standards of deviation of the mean sample value.

Falwell: I’m glad you took the time to explain your methods instead of just picking a random number out of the air. So what would you suggest for our viewers that are going to be outside today?

Buchanan: Well, Jerry, I like to play it safe. Going outside with just a short sleeve shirt would simply be tempting fate. I suggest a long sleeve shirt, waterproof jacket, parka, earmuffs, sandals, sunscreen, a baseball hat with those flaps that cover the neck and ears, and of course six to ten road flares. Anyone going farther than the local grocery store should, obviously, take extra precautions.

Falwell: Now that’s what I call conservative! I can’t think of a better feeling than playing it safe. Do you have any information on long term weather patterns?

Buchanan: I believe residents of the San Francisco area should be prepared for a reign of fire. God is angry about all their non-Christian behavior and is getting ready to punish the entire vicinity to set an example for the rest of this great nation. Now I can’t say what the exact form of there complete and utter annihilation is going to be, but a sudden earthquake and falling into the Pacific Ocean seems like a distinct possibility.

Falwell: I can’t argue with you on that point. Well, that’s all the time we have for today. We hope you enjoyed the show. And remember folks, if you miss the show for some reason, just read the Bible and pray to God– He will help show you what to do. Good night, and God bless you.

(Jerry starts tapping on the desk again as the cameras fade out.)

Internet Cafe

The scene opens with a wide shot of an average-looking bar. A dozen or so people are sitting around talking. A very typical bar scene.

Two guys walk through the bar. They are wearing nice pants, dress shirts, and ties. They sit down at two empty seats at the bar.

Andy: Bartender, can we get two beers, please?

Bartender: Coming right up.

Carl: I was hoping that we could have been on the 8 o’clock flight home. I can’t believe how picky those guys were about some of the fine points of our proposal for their web site.

Andy: Well, I think we came to an agreement where everyone was happy. I’m sure once we start designing the web site everyone will relax quite a bit.

Bartender brings over two beers. Andy and Carl start drinking them.

Carl looks at the woman sitting next to him. She doesn’t seem to be with anyone else. She is smoking a cigarette. Carl turns towards her.

Carl: Hi there, my name is Carl.

The woman totally ignores Carl and blows cigarette smoke into the air. This infuriates Carl. He leans over to Andy.

Carl: Did you see that? That bitch next to me won’t even acknowledge that I exist. What, is it too much effort to say “hi” back to me?

Andy: Yeah, I saw that. Maybe she doesn’t like the computer geek types.

Bartender: Excuse me, would you two gentlemen like some HELP?

Carl: Uhhh… I suppose. Is she deaf or something?

Bartender: No, not at all. You see fellows, you are in the Internet Bar. In here all the rules of talking to people through Instant Messenger apply. It is quite possible that the woman you contacted is busy doing something else at the moment. Maybe when she has some free time she will respond.

Andy: Are you crazy? She is just sitting there doing nothing! How hard is it to say hi?

Bartender: We don’t like troublemakers in here. If you can’t follow the rules you will be reported and asked to leave.

Just then the woman finishes her cigarette, puts it out in an ash tray, and turns toward Carl.

Woman: Hi Carl, my name is Jenny. How are you doing tonight? Sorry I didn’t respond sooner– I was out smoking a cigarette. So do you have a picture?

Carl: That’s OK, I’m kind of new here. I’m just in town for the night because… why do want to see a picture of me?

Woman: I just want to see what you look like. Hold on, I might have a picture of me you can see.

The woman pulls out her purse and starts looking through a series of pictures. The first one is exactly like what she looks like now, the next is an older picture of her when she was in better shape and sitting in a bikini next to the pool. The last one looks kind of like Brittany Spears. She pulls out the bikini picture and hands it to Carl.

Suddenly a young teenager bursts through the door and starts running around the bar yelling and screaming.

Teenager: Who wants to see naked pictures of Christine Aguilara? I’ve got all your favorite teen celebrities on my site. Come to my web site and see. It’s only 2.99 for the first week! It’s the best porn money can buy! If you aren’t happy….

Two bouncers came over and grabbed the kid from behind. They shove a towel in his mouth to shut him up. They quickly escort him to the door.

Woman: (talking to Carl) This place may be a dump, but at least they have good security.

A bald middle-aged man sits down next to Andy.

Bald man: Hi there, my name is Erin.

Andy: I’m Andy. How are you doing?

Bald man: I’ve been busy getting drunk with all my Sorority friends.

Andy: What? You are a bald fourty-something old man sitting here in a cheap suit.

The bartender looks up at Andy. The bouncers come over and get ready to remove Andy from the bar. The bartender gestures for the bouncers to hold off for a minute.

Bartender: Listen buddy, you are new here, so I’m going to give you a second chance. If you can’t follow the rules for chatting online I’ll have to ask you to leave.

Andy: OK, I’m sorry. I won’t let it happen again. I promise.

The bartender smiles at Andy and the bouncers move back to the door. Andy uncomfortably turns to the bald man.

Andy: I was just kidding.

Bald man: Oh, that’s OK, I like to play games. Especially drinking games.

Andy: Well, I’m a little old for that. And anyway I’m married.

Bald man: I think older men are HOT. They really know what they are doing. And I don’t care that you are married.

Andy: Well, that’s great and all, but I’ve got to get going.

Bald man: Are you sure you don’t want to come over and get drunk with me and my girlfriends?

Andy: Uhh… maybe some other time. Bye.

Meanwhile, Carl is making small talk with the woman next to him. A man in walks in and sits next to the woman. He is wearing a greasy jumpsuit like one you would see at a factory. He is six feet tall, black, and very muscular. He turns and looks at the woman.

Black man: Hey baby! Remember me?

The woman, who didn’t notice the man come, is startled and quickly turns around.

Woman: Oh, God, how could I forget? You are amazing. WINK

Black Man: Thanks-you were pretty good yourself. So what are you up to tonight?

The woman looks over to Carl and sighs. She turns back to the black man.

Woman: Nothing. Want to get together? I’d love to see you again.

Black Man: Great. How about we meet at the same bar as last time?

Woman: I’ll be there in ten minutes. See you then.

The man walks out of the bar. The woman gets ready to leave. Before she gets up she turns to Carl.

Woman: It was nice meeting you, Carl, but I’m really tired. I think I’m going straight to bed tonight. Maybe we can talk some other night.

Carl: OK, have a good night.

The woman runs out the door. The bald man who was talking to Andy moved on to someone else. Andy turns to Carl.

Andy: This place is too strange.

Carl: Yeah, but I think it’s growing on me. I think I had a chance with that last woman. Did you see the picture of her in the bikini? She is good looking.

The camera slowly zooms away as the two are talking.

Carl: Maybe I should get a picture of myself to show people.

Andy: Why bother? Everyone can see you as it is.

Carl: You are missing the whole point.

Andy: And that is?

Carl: Sigh– it’s hard to explain.

Carl and Andy finish up their beers as the screen fades to black.

Gods Playing Poker

Close up of finger pressing doorbell.
Doorbell rings.
Door opens. The view is of the closed door from the outside. Thor is inside and opens the door.
Thor: Jesus Christ! You decided to come after all!
The view changes to inside looking out the door at Jesus Christ.
Jesus: Thor, my child, it is a pleasure to see you again.
Thor: I’m the God of Thunder– I’m not your child!
Jesus: I’m sorry Thor, you are right. I’ve been spending a lot of time around humans lately. Just this morning I produced my image in a tortilla in a small town in eastern Texas.
Thor: I’ve always admired you for that. You take time to make your presence known in so many subtle ways. I seem to have an uncontrollable urge to hit things with bolts of lightning to get my point across. But that’s just me. Patience has never been my strong point. Where are my manners, come on in and make yourself comfortable. The rest of the group will be here shortly.
Jesus: Thank you, and I brought a lovely bean dip I made from scratch this morning.
Thor: Oh no-bean dip and lightning bolts– not a good combination! HA HA HA!!!
Jesus smiles and goes inside.

Doorbell rings. Door opens.
Thor: Allah! I’m glad you finally decided to join us!
Allah: Normally I like to keep to myself, but I got your e-mail message and said, “Why not join them? We all are gods after all– why can’t we all get together for an evening of casual entertainment?”
Thor: Wonderful. Come on in-watch the step there. Jesus is in the living room. Feel free to make yourself a drink and enjoy some of the vegetable platter I set on the coffee table.
Allah: Thank you.

Doorbell rings. Door opens.
Thor: Zeus!!! The god of gods. How is life up at the summer cottage?
Zeus: It’s wonderful, as always. The weather is just perfect and I don’t have any annoying neighbors.
Thor: Great! Everyone else is here, so I guess we can get started.

New scene– the four Gods are sitting at a poker table. The style is just like the “Dogs Playing Poker” poster.

Thor: For the first game it’s going to be straight five card stud with nothing wild.
Thor deals out five cards to everyone. Nobody looks at their cards yet.
Zeus: I fold
Allah: I bet all my chips
Jesus: I fold
Thor: OK EVERYONE, LISTEN UP! This is going to be the most boring game of poker if everyone knows what is going to happen. YES, we are all gods, and yes, we can all be omnipresent if we choose to, but in the spirit of this game we should all refrain from using this power. Agreed?
Zeus lifts up can of beer and begins talking.
Zeus: Thor is right. We all need…
Suddenly Zeus gets hit with a lightning bolt.
Allah: Jesus Christ– why did you have to hit Zeus with a bolt of lightning?
Jesus: That wasn’t me. Personally, I suspect Thor was the instigator.
Allah: Of course it was Thor, you nimrod.
Thor: I’m sorry, I just got a little too excited. And Zeus raising his beer can provided a path for my built up electrical energy to be dispersed. I’ll try not to let it happen again. Are you OK, Zeus?
Zeus laughs heartily.
Zeus: It will talk a lot more than a few bolts of lightning to stop me from playing.

Zeus deals another hand of poker.
Thor and Allah quickly fold.
Zeus: Hey Jesus, how about we make this game a little more interesting?
Jesus: What do you propose?
Zeus: Instead of playing for chips, we play for people. The winner of this hand gets to have a little fun with one of the loser’s followers. Nothing lethal, but everything else is fair game.
Jesus: Zeus, that wouldn’t be very nice.
Zeus: Oh come on, don’t you ever get tired of being benevolent all the time? Or are you chicken?
Jesus: This may be the two cans of Red Bull I’ve just finished off talking, but you have yourself a deal.
Zeus: Show your cards, beer boy.
Allah: Red Bull isn’t beer, Zeus.
Zeus: Shut up– can’t you see we are trying to play a game here?

Jesus has a full house. Zeus has a straight flush.
Jesus: So who are you going to torment Zeus?
Zeus: Well, there is one of your followers I find particularly annoying. This guy really reminds me of that Job guy from the Bible. Except he lives in Silicon Valley, develops video games, and goes around obsessing about how Jesus does this and Jesus does that and how fricken wonderful you are. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus, I love you like a son, but this guy just needs to learn a little lesson. He kisses your ass and you make sure nothing bad happens to him.
Jesus: I’m going to need another beer. Probably two.
Allah: I already told you that it’s not beer.
Jesus: Allah, why do you have to take everything so literally?
Zeus: Shut up– both of you! Back to my winnings: first of all I’m going to give him a wicked case of acne.
Zeus slaps his hand on the table.
Zeus: Next I’m going to make all of his high priced Internet stock worthless.
Jesus: I get the point. I’m a sissy. Now just stop.
Allah: This isn’t funny anymore Zeus.
Zeus: Hell, I’m just getting started. Now I’m going to disconnect the high speed Internet connection– he is going to have to dial up at 56k. Serves him right!
Jesus: I really mean it– enough Zeus!
Zeus: I know you will just switch everything back once I stop. You will probably even make him even better off than before we started.
Jesus: I am not going to… Well, I don’t … that’s not the point. You are making me angry!
The wind starts blowing and keeps getting stronger.
Allah: Jesus– this isn’t doing anyone any good.
Zeus: Stay out of this Allah. If you were a half way decent god you wouldn’t have your people blowing things up to make you happy.
Allah: Oh, the truth comes out now, huh? Well how about we let your followers live in the crappy desert for a thousand years and see how they turn out?
The ground starts shaking.
Jesus: You want to play chicken, Zeus?
Zeus: With you, patsey boy? Any day!!!
Jesus: I’m not afraid of you!
More shaking and wind.
Zeus: Let’s go all the way, bitch.
Jesus: I’m not backing down.
Zeus: Neither am I.
Incredible shaking and wind.
Massive zoom out to the entire universe. It is shaking violently. Suddenly everything collapses on itself and all is quiet and totally dark.
In quiet, apologetic tones fading out:
Zeus: I’m sorry.
Jesus: No, I get like this sometimes when I drink.
Thor: I might have helped with the destruction thing.
Allah: So are we going to do this again sometime?
Zeus: Of course– we can have it at my house next month. My wife makes those little tiny hot dogs with toothpicks in them….
Jesus: Great– I’ll be there.
Thor: I’m game…

Traffic Jams

Very few things in life test the strength of a family bond quite like getting stuck in a traffic jam with a sibling on route to the airport. The situation becomes even more intense when their plan centers around flying to Vegas and hooking up with a significant other for New Year’s Eve. I had plenty of time to realize this fact while sitting in my car with my sister the on the twenty-sixth of December.

In general I-25 does an adequate job of moving north and south bound traffic through the Denver metro area. Sometimes, however, the large eighteen wheeled trucks can really slow things down. Especially when they are positioned perpendicular to the normal flow of traffic. Being tipped over doesn’t seem to improve the situation much either.

Often times brother and sister do not require words to communicate thoughts and emotions to one another. I didn’t even have to turn my head to sense my sister thinking “I told you we should have taken E-470 to the airport, but you were too cheap to pay the three seventy five toll charge.” Of course I was busy thinking “Hello! How was I supposed to know a truck was going to tip over on I-25? Do I look like Miss Cleo?”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Omar does not bear any resemblance to this black female Jamaican television psychic. Their voices, however, are remarkably similar.]

After about 10 minutes of barely creeping forward it became fairly obvious that no cars were getting past the accident. Eventually several police and fire trucks drove up along the shoulder and arrived at the accident site. Which was a good thing in most respects because their purpose is to clear up the situation and get traffic moving.

Some of the cars on the right hand side of the road came up with the idea that if the emergency equipment could make significant forward progress on the shoulder, they could too. Most drivers will do anything to safely get out of the way of a ten thousand pound fire truck with flashing lights and an eardrum splitting siren. The same respect is not given to beige late model Honda Accords.

Being in the middle of three lanes, we watched as the Accord drove on the shoulder and passed three cars before its driver realized the futility of this course. As the Accord tried to merge back into the right hand lane, nobody would let him get back off the shoulder. Eventually the guy in the Accord and guy in the car who wouldn’t let him in both laid on their horns as they inched closer towards one another. The fact that everyone was traveling, on average, zero miles an hour seemed to be lost on both of them. If massive tragedies in the world tend to bring out the best qualities in our society, minor traffic jams must be the audition stage for purgatory.

At that moment in time I realized people in cars don’t really have any good methods of communicating with each other. Honking a horn is really the only way to express an opinion in this type of situation. Which is a lot like dogs barking. Maybe the first bark is useful, but after that it is just annoying noise. And of course dogs barking at other dogs barking is a wonderful way to spend a hot summer’s night.

To make the world a slightly better place to live, I believe cars should be equipped with the “emotion icons” similar to those found in E-mail messages and Instant Messenger services. For example, when merging on to the highway, the driver could press the “smiley face” button on the dashboard. This would cause a display unit on top of the vehicle’s roof to light up briefly with a smiling face. The driver who let the car in would see this sign of gratitude and, if he happens to works for the United States Postal Service, might postpone his plans for a murderous workplace rampage.

Another useful icon would be a face with an “Oops, my bad—Sorry about that” look to be used when a driver does not take note of the car in the blind spot before changing lanes on the highway. An “I’m this close to going on a murderous rampage” symbol might prove useful. Even something along the lines of “I’m in the process of delivering a baby—please get out of my way so I can get to the hospital!” could come in handy on occasion.

So, eventually we made our way past the accident, pausing only briefly to see the twisted wreckage that had delayed our journey. While slightly behind schedule, I dropped my sister off at the airport with enough time for her to get aboard her flight to Las Vegas. When I got back home I documented my proposed enhancements and sent them off to several major automobile manufacturers. I have not received any replies, but I remain optimistic 🙂