February 28, 2005

Coming in March: The fight for your dinner

What do you want to eat next month? Two dueling organizations want to make that choice for you, each by declaring March their own -- and each with the, uh, best of intentions:

The American Dietetic Association says March is National Nutrition Month. It claims:

The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association says March is National
Frozen Food Month. It claims:

The NFRA has been coordinating the March National Frozen Food Month promotion for 21 years because it's been proven that promotion in the frozen food department works! For nine of the last ten years, the frozen department dollar growth during March has outpaced the rest of the store.

I bet I can guess which one will be more successful.

Permalink: 01:50 AM | Comments (0)

Table scraps:

MY FRIEND MARK writes and records some great understated acoustic songs, but this weekend I became smitten with one in particular called "Bright lights, big city." It reminds me a lot of the Lucksmiths, a great little band from Australia. Anyway, take a listen.

"YOU'RE AN ASHCROFT! No, you're the Ashcroft!" Without explanation, profanity on overseas flights is replaced with the tight-ass's last name. It's fitting: He sure is an Ashcroft.

A MESSAGE TO teenagers from Laura Bush:"Though erotically sensitive just like girl nipples, boy nipples are NOT privates Ė yet. But my husband and I are working hard to instill a sense of sexualized body shame so acute, that one day soon boys will learn that their nipples are dirty little things that will get them Ė just like you! Ė arrested when they strut around topless at Myrtle Beach. America is not some big, old licentious San Tropez and it's time all of you out there realized it!" (Alright, so it's not real. But here's to abstinence-only education satire and more satire!)

IS THIS PHOTOGRAPHY series, "Homeland Security," actually the self-proclaimed "procession of tableaus that confront the power and impotence of firepower," or is it a bunch of naked guys that all look like Nick Nolte? Either way, it's worth a look.

I LENT MY mentronome to a friend about two years ago and forgot to ask for it back, and then last night I wanted one and discovered -- ta-da! -- an online metronome. How great!

WHAT TO DO when something really bad about you shows up in the local paper? How about try to buy every single copy so nobody else can?

IT MIGHT SOUND silly to read about MatisYahu, the Hasidic Jew rapper/reggae artist. But seriously, check it out.

Permalink: 12:07 AM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2005

Five fingers when one will do

Hey, Bush made it through his five-day tour of Europe without anyone getting in a fist fight! Tremendous! Let's give everyone involved a hand, shall we?





It's beautiful, isn't it?

Permalink: 12:40 AM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2005

Hooray for backlash! Hooray! Hooray!


Gossip Columnist Lloyd Grove has declared an end to Paris Hilton appearances in his column, and Low Culture broadened it to a full-on call to arms: Let this talentless wench control our attention no more! That sounds more than perfect to me, and as you'll note above, it also seemed like a great purpose to use a logo creator I recently found. It's not like I posted much about her to begin with, but after this post, I assure you: HappyScrappy is officially a Paris-free zone.

Continued after jump...

Permalink: 09:25 AM | Comments (0)

African courts: The world's source of creativity

The New York Times claims that the state's traffic court "is stand-up improv at its most creative," but I must disagree. Clearly, the courts in Africa have better performers. To start with, remember the guy who was busted for pretending to be a female athlete, and said in court that a traditional healer made him grow a penis? Now, here's a guy with an even stranger situation and excuse: He fed a man to the lions, but claims it wasn't murder because the guy was already dead. As he told the court:

"I immediately walked up to the compounds. I then questioned Chisale's whereabouts and Richard told me he was lying dead in the bathroom. I found him lying on the floor. I tested his pulse, he did not respond. I asked Robert: 'What now?' " Scott-Crossley said.

"He turned around carelessly and said: 'No body, no murder.'

"I did not kill Nelson Chisale - I only helped his murderers, Richard Mathebula and Robert Mnisi, to throw his body into a lions' enclosure to avoid the wrath of the local community.

Sounds reasonable to me. Justice prevails!

Permalink: 12:26 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2005

The school of blessed hard knocks

Photo from waxy.org.

Last week, according to the Los Angeles Times, about 100 priests sat down to begin an eight-week study of how to distinguish and fight demonic possession. That's right: In a desperate and rare move for the Vatican, the doors are being swung upon to Exorcism 101, where Godly men will learn how to give Satan the ol' heave-ho. But what exactly is exorcism school like? Are there field trips? Final exams? It's not too clear. But for the benefit of future students, here are some excuses not to use if you don't turn in your homework:

ē "The hound of hell ate it."

ē "I went out looking for Satan, but became distracted by a tasty plate of seitan."

ē "The victim's head spun so fast that it popped right off -- and at that point, well shit, the last thing she needed is a priest."

ē "The power of Christ compelled me."

ē "I took her to a gym, but it didn't help." (Get it? Exercise? Exorcise? Oh, the hell with it, this isn't very funny anyway.)

Permalink: 12:14 AM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2005

I met one of my favorite authors this weekend, and suddenly turned into a turtle


I know, I know: With the weird angle and puffy jacket, I look like that girl in Willy Wonka who eats the defective chewing gum. But look who's next to me! It's Dave Eggers! It's Dave Eggers! One of my very favorite authors! And because I love when someone I admire turns out to be a really nice person, I'm now going to dote like a giddy schoolboy:

Continued after jump...

Permalink: 08:15 AM | Comments (2)

The bad lede that never dies

Here is my plea to journalists everywhere: Please, unless there's some outstanding or ironic reason, do not ever start an article by declaring that its subject "never expected" something unexpected to happen. For example, don't follow the example of this lede from a recent Globe and Mail piece:

When Erika Ross lifted her shirt and unsnapped her bra to nurse her newborn daughter last month in Dufferin Grove Park, she never expected that people across Canada, the United States and even Finland would end up weighing in on it.

You know what would be news? If she did expect it. Imagine that: "When Erika Ross whipped her boob out in a park last month, she knew it would become an international affair." Well hot damn, get that woman a job at 1-900-PSYCHIC! But if that isn't the case -- if she never predicted this wildly unpredictable thing -- why is it noteworthy? How is this an observation worth putting at the top of the story? "Johnny Carson didn't expect to become a television icon and last 30 years as host of the Tonight Show," another article declares. Really? One man didn't expect to become a television icon? Stop the presses.

Permalink: 07:49 AM | Comments (1)

February 18, 2005

Life on the streets

I was meeting some friends at a restaurant in Cambridge a few nights ago, and parked my car in a garage a few blocks away. Almost as soon as I left the garage, a light rain started to fall, so I picked up the pace by jogging. Up ahead, I saw a woman walking alone, and tried to steer clear of her.

This situation is always a bit precarious, because itís easy to be freaked out at night by fast footsteps. I try to stay conscious of that, and either jog around a person or make some sort of innocuous noise -- a cough, say -- in the hopes that it conveys my innocence. So far, it had seemed to work, but not on this night.

The woman started walking diagonally, right into where I was jogging. Then, in the course of about two seconds, we abruptly met: I tried to stutter-step around her, and she heard me, turned around and stopped -- and because I was in mid-stride, that left me with almost no room to move out of the way. It looked, I guess, like I was running right at her. She screamed -- I mean, a real come-rescue-me-Batman scream -- and threw her arms up into a standing cower. I didnít know what to do, and instinctively put my arms up, as if to show I meant no harm. But instead, now I was running at her with my hands in front of me.

We never actually collided. Instead, it was as if a small, invisible pole popped up between us, and we both bounced off in different directions. I kept jogging, and she ran off a few feet to the side.

"Iím sorry, Iím sorry, Iím sorry!" I said, looking behind me.

"JESUS!" she said, her hand to her heart.

"Iím sorry, Iím sorry! I was just... you were walking and... Iím sorry!"

As I jogged away, I realized that wasnít a very good explanation. In fact, there wasnít much in that interaction to convince her of my intentions -- and she very well might have gone home that night thinking her preemptive scream saved her from some street rapist. But it seemed like an even worse idea to turn around and re-explain, so I just continued on, a thwarted criminal who was late for dinner.

Permalink: 11:58 AM | Comments (3)

February 17, 2005

Man's best friend-with-benefits?


That awfully tortured metaphor -- "Pet your dog, not your date" -- is the design of a pro-abstinence t-shirt, a nice little item for kids unfortunate enough to be enrolled in Bush's pseudo-science, doomed-to-fail abstinence-only education programs. But politics aside, is that metaphor even proper? Can you go switching the meaning of "pet" in the middle of a comparison -- that is, assuming they're not actually telling kids not to avoid patting their dates on the head, or suggesting kids take some of that sexual tension out on the family dog.

But then again, maybe they are suggesting some doggy-love. Republicans are notoriously on-message, so consider the message from this infamous 2003 interview with Republican Senator Rick Santorum:

Santorum: In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality ó

Associated Press: I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about "man on dog" with a United States senator, it's sort of freaking me out.

SANTORUM: And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately.

So wait: Are Republicans advocating man-on-dog as an alternative to pre-marital or homosexual sex? What an odd choice for the moralists. Did Halliburton get into the puppy breeding business? Is this an order from the top dog?

Permalink: 08:24 AM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2005

The computer is my crutch

A friend of mine recently gave me a fun idea for a new I Can't Draw, my series of poorly drawn pun comics. I attempted a few sketches and they all came out terribly, so I decided to just give it a shot on Photoshop. Here's what I came up with:


Permalink: 12:37 AM | Comments (4)

Table scraps:

I'M A BIG winner and you can be too, at Radosh.net. He's holding a series of contests to win copies of a really interesting-sounding thriller/sci-fi book. (Both are genres I'm not generally interested in reading, but the concept is really promising so I'm excited to give it a shot.) Go on, enter.

SEMI-AMUSING CONCEPT, excellent execution: Spamusement, cartoons inspired by spam subject lines. (Via Heaneyland!)

HOW DOES ONE (or two) write an entire book about the Brad-Jenn break-up in five days? Says an author: "The advice we got was, 'Hit the return key more often.' My paragraphs were too long. That was what turned my magazine writing into book writing." Well, that sounds about right.

REMEMBER "TEE," THE guy who lost his memory and was mentioned in a previous Table Scrap? Well, he's still lost, but he's also found.

LOVE BEER? FOR the taste? Well then, why not just have a beer-flavored drink? Hmm? Hmmmmmm?

AIN'T NOTHING FUNNY about herpes. But there's everything funny about someone unknowingly getting a tattoo that means "crazy diarrhea."

CASES OF MISTAKEN identity: The Social Security Administration declares one woman dead, and the woman replies: "I'm the healthiest ghost you've ever seen." And a family who received middle-of-the-night gay-bashing learns the rainbow flag they hung outside means something more than "peace."

HUMOR FOR THOSE who flirt on IM.

THE ENGLISH GO nuts over cheap furnature.


Permalink: 12:06 AM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2005

Score one for evolutionists


From the Wall Street Journal, courtesy of Slate:

In a study titled "Monkeys Pay Per View," neuroscientists at Duke University discovered that rhesus monkeys will give up a portion of hard-earned perks for a peek at pictures of the dominant leaders and nubile females in their troop. But they won't pony up to look at faces of subordinate simians.

"People are willing to pay money to look at pictures of high-ranking human primates. When you fork out $3" for a celebrity magazine, [said one researcher], "you're doing exactly what the monkeys are doing."

Wait, does that explain why every time I see Paris Hilton, I want to throw poop at her?

Permalink: 12:27 AM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2005

From the Best Excuse Ever Department:

Samukeliso Sithole, a star female athlete in Zimbabwe, was hauled into court this week when it was discovered she's actually a he. How to explain such a thing? This from the New York Times:

Mr. Sithole told the court that he had been born with both male and female genitals, and that his parents consulted a traditional healer for help. The healer, he said, prescribed a mix of herbs that caused his male organs to disappear entirely.

Unfortunately, he said, his parents paid only half the healer's fee. And when the healer recently tired of waiting for the balance, Mr. Sithole said, he caused the male genitals to spontaneously grow back as punishment. Mr. Sithole said that he had made arrangements to pay the debt, and that he had been scheduled to turn over the money - and revert to exclusively female status - on the day he appeared in court.

Oh, I see! Hey, is that a banana in your pocket or did you just sprout a mystical pair of genitals? I wonder when those new genitals grew -- because if it happened while he was taking a leak, that could have been messy.

Permalink: 12:45 AM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2005

The fifty-first way to leave your lover


White Castle restaurants in Cincinnati are now accepting reservations for Valentines Day dinner by candlelight. Here are some suggestions for what to do after the meal:

♥ Spend the evening on matching his-and-her toilets.

♥ Really bare your hearts, on the operating table during a triple-bypass.

♥ Slide her the Slyder, if you know what I mean.

♥ Write poetry: "Roses are red / like the face of a pheasant / We went to the Castle / cuz I think you're a peasant"

♥ Use the extra grease on your plates as massage oil.

Permalink: 11:57 AM | Comments (6)

Table scraps:

TAKE A GUESS how much it costs an airline to provide those awful little pillows on flights. No, really. Go on. Guess. The answer's right here.

WHICH IS STRANGER: That a man was swimming naked towards Anna Kournikova's house because he believed she had propped the door open for him and left some clothes for him to wear, or that the story about it is accompanied by a 25-picture photo gallery that seems to say, "Dude, Anna's so hot, it makes sense that someone would stalk her"?


REVEALED: THE PLACE where Wes Anderson finds inspiration, and a bit more.

HOW'S THIS FOR scary? A man is thrown out of a car, wakes up on the street, and can only remember that his nickname is Tee. "I just want to have my memory back. I hope someone is looking for me," he said.

THIS IS OLD news by now, but I just got around to reading a story about the two girls who were sued for giving neighbors some home-baked cookies, and it really is pretty pathetic.


Permalink: 11:13 AM | Comments (1)

February 09, 2005

Schadenfreude: malicious satisfaction in the misfortunes of others


Today was one of those awesome, hilarious days, when something really bad happens to someone you really don't like. Remember Jeff Gannon, the conservative pesudo-reporter planted at White House press conferences to lob softballs when things get too hot? It turns out that, in between his writing online stories praising anti-gay Republicans, he's been operating what appear to be gay military-themed escort services and had a saucy photo of himself floating around online. (The thumbnail on the left captures most of the sauce. The middle one is him being all-American. The right? Well, the right is actually Michael Rosenbaum from Smallville, but isn't it funny how similar they look? I thought so.)

As bloggers kept digging, Jeff -- oh wait, that's not his real name -- resigned from whatever "news" position he apparently held. Pretty amazing, isn't it? Now, why couldn't Bill O'Reilly have folded under the heat as well? You win some, you lose some, I guess.

Oh Schadenfreude, how I love thee.

Permalink: 09:48 PM | Comments (0)

Rove, Roving, Rovest?


Hey, listen, Switzerland held the parade. I'm just asking the obvious.

Permalink: 12:48 AM | Comments (0)

Table scraps:

FUN WITH TOMBSTONES! B.P. Roberts will forever be remembered for his tombstone inscription, "I told you I was sick." But if that's not clever enough for you, you don't have to die to write a better one.

WELL, AT LEAST he had a place to take a dump: Failure to install phones in residence hall bathrooms caused one student to be trapped for almost 29 hours during the holiday break.

BECAUSE NOTHING IS made without somebody finding sexual interpretations, there's this.

WHEN HE TOLD his pals at the bar that "If Wales win I'll cut my balls off," they thought he was joking. He wasn't.

HAVE YOU EVER heard people from Greenland speak? I hadn't until watching some clips from their local news shows. And here's the thing: Their language sounds like English in reverse. Seriously. Go watch.

TOO WEIRD TO not be true? The name of the candybar Kit Kat sounds an awful lot like "kitto katsu," a saying Japenese students say during exam time that means, "I'll do my best to make sure I succeed." And because of that, for some strange reason, the candy has suddenly become hugely popular in Japan.

A QUICK PLUG for an album I bought recently that I'm super excited about: Shake the Sheets, by Ted Leo + the Pharmacists.

AND THEN, THERE'S this... and better yet, this!

Permalink: 12:16 AM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2005

"Moments after something happens that I tell myself I will remember forever, I forget the particulars"

I went to high school with a guy named B. (well, plus a few letters), who was real smart, soft-spoken and had all sorts of crazy hobbies and travel plans. Every time we spoke, he'd tell me some new cockamamie nugget of information, like how to turn your urine into water if you're stranded in the middle of the desert. It's a fun process to explain to people -- sort of like a gross-out parlor trick, although I've never performed it -- and while I've forgotten just about everything else he told me, I do remember that one thing. I never thought either of us would ever have to use it. I wonder, now, if he will.

B., I learned yesterday, is a marine medic in Iraq. He recently sent out a lengthy e-mail about his experience there, which had been passed around a bit until a high school friend -- this one who I'm still in touch with -- sent it to me. It's really something: gritty, gruesome, a worthy tribute to what soldiers over there are going through. It's filled with crazy details, images I'm glad I'll never have to carry with me. Things like:

This war has become a war of mortars and IEDs (the insurgents rarely engage us directly), and it was an IED that claimed a marine from our unit and a marine engineer loaned to us to locate and disarm these makeshift bombs. This particular device was probably a 155-mm artillery shell rigged to explode when someone called the cellphone wired to it. When our guy bent down to examine it, he only had time to turn around and say "there's a cellphone attached" when it went off, killing him and the engineer standing nearby, and severely wounding a second engineer. I wasn't around when it happened but we arrive soon after to load the bodyparts on our vehicles and bring them back to the base. The remains of our man go into a trash bag, but as horrible as this seems it is a good thing: he felt no pain. His body came apart before his nerve impulses could tell his brain what was happening.

Anyway, I don't know how to get in touch with B., but I'm guessing he won't mind if this essay receives a larger readership than the folks on his e-mail list. (But in case he does, I'm not going to publish his full. If somehow, at whatever time, I learn he'd be happy to have this posted here, I'll add it and make mention of it in a later post.) Take a moment to go through the e-mail, which is after the jump. It's amazing -- terrifying, really -- to think so many people of my generation are having these sort of experiences. It's more bravery than I have, I'll tell you that.

Continued after jump...

Permalink: 08:12 AM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2005

Table scraps:

YOU'D THINK SOMEONE like Rob Schneider would be able to laugh off any joke about his career. In fact, you'd like somebody like Rob Schneider would actively INVITE jokes about his career. After all, the man made Deuce Bigalow, and is now set to release a sequel. He must know this isn't top-of-the-line stuff here. He must know he's going for low-brow yuck-yucks. He must. Right? Wrong!

WHAT CAN'T THIS horse do? (video)

HERE'S SOMETHING WORTH pondering today: A customer was banished from a McDonalds after hurling an Egg McMuffin at an employee. Just recently, a federal appeals court in New York decided to hear a case arguing that fast food is dangerous. So: If the prosecution in the case wins, should the customer who threw the food be charged with assault with a dangerous weapon?

REMEMBER THAT URBAN legend in which two people engage in cybersex, decide to meet, and discover that they're father and daughter? Here's a real story that's slightly similar: Two people meet on the Internet, decide to get married, meet, and discover they're actually estranged husband and wife.

MY NEW FAVORITE proverb comes from this interview: "It's good to be open-minded, but if you are too open-minded, your brains fall out.''

WHAT ORDERING A pizza would be like if John Ashcroft stuck around another four years.

IF YOUR COMPUTER has sound and a keyboard, then this page is really where you need to go right now.

AND THEN, THERE'S this. (But I'm warning you: It's somewhat disturbing.)

Permalink: 11:15 AM | Comments (1)

February 06, 2005

Athletes agree: Don't be such a lazy bastard today

The National Athletic Trainers' Assoication sent out a pretty unintentionally amusing and condescending press release recently, urging people to be active on Super Bowl Sunday. It actually suggests, with a straight face, things like "Encourage your guests to stand up, stretch and run in place to avoid leg stiffness. Make it mandatory that every time a touchdown is scored, all guests have to jump up from their seats and cheer (or boo)."

Translation: "Off the couch, fatties!" Really, it stops just short of suggesting football fans work out their fingers by flipping channels during halftime. These ideas are like drinking games featuring V8.

Anyway, for anyone curious about other ways to feel bad about yourself stay healthy today, the full release is after the jump.

Continued after jump...

Permalink: 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2005

No wardrobe malfunctions this year!

Sir Paul McCartney, who will be providing the Super Bowl halftime entertainment on Sunday, yesterday showed off some of the moves he'll be performing during the show. Let's take a look...


It's goooooood! Paul's getting into the spirit of the day by showing off a field goal gesture. I'm wonder if he'll do that during "Turn turn turn." One point for every turn!


Hey, that's nice. That must be when he's thanking his backing band. They do all the work, folks. Give 'em a hand.


Oh. Oh, Paul. Not so good, Paul.

Permalink: 09:18 AM | Comments (4)

February 03, 2005

Table scraps:

YOU SAY FASCISM, he says fashion. Let's call the whole thing off? Not when Kim Jong Il (a.k.a. K-Jong Illin) is in charge: The wacky leader of North Korea has mandated that his people adopt a new "socialist style" hairdo.

HOW CREEPY ARE talking babies? Take your side: Is this animated version of "We are the champions" called "We're out of pampers" funny? And what about those damn Quiznos ads?

WITH EVERY SUPERBOWL comes "media day" -- and it's absurd. (Meanwhile, there's still a chance to join the New England Patriots before gametime -- and no, I don't mean join them at a party. I mean, join the team.)

BY NOW, I guess everyone's already heard the news that insurgents in Iraq have kidnapped an action figure, and are threatening to behead it. But in case the news stories haven't been enough for you, here's a blog with graphic detail.

RUSSELL CHRISTOFF WAS standing in line at a Home Depot in the spring of 2002 when a woman leaned over and said, "You look like the guy on my coffee jar." Little did he know, Taster's Choice had been using his photo on its cans since 1986. One lawsuit later, and he's a millionaire.

WHAT DOES THE president do when a press conference gets too heated? He calls on Jeff Gannon, a man apparently planted at conferences to pose as a journalist and ask loaded, softball questions. Here's a gem of his from a Jan. 26 conference: "Senate Democratic leaders have painted a very bleak picture of the US economy. [Minority Leader] Harry Reid was talking about soup lines, and Hillary Clinton was talking about the economy being on the verge of collapse. Yet, in the same breath, they say that Social Security is rock solid and there's no crisis there. How are you going to work -- you said you're going to reach out to these people -- how are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?" Wow.

DYING FOR A dose of the open road? Take your pick.

IF YOU LOVE cats, and you love Fat Boy Slim, then you will love this video.



Permalink: 12:13 AM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2005

From the desk of My Nine-Year-Old Self That Never Was:

OMG! OMG! So, like, tonight the prez is totally gonna make a big speech, and it's gonna be awesome. He'll be all like, we are strong. And all the people in the audience will be like, yeah! And they'll give him a standing O. Oooooh. We were gonna have a slumber party to watch it, but mom said it's a school night and we can't. Total bummer! So instead, using this program, I made digital dolls of the prezzy's new cabinet members so we can play "state of the union" at recess tomorrow. Check 'em out!


That's Condi. She's like, the hottest. I bet the reason she doesn't have a boyfriend is because too many guys like her, and she can't figure out how to choose one. I had that problem once, but then Tina bought me a chocolate milk at lunchtime and we've been going steady for a whole week.


That's Mikey Chertoff, the Homeland Security Secretary designee. He's big and scary, but I bet he's a big softee inside. But shhh! Don't tell the terrorists! My friend Billy says he could beat Mikey up, but I don't know!!! Maybe. Billy did play little league last year, and he hit a lotta home runs. And Mikey's bald like grandpa, which probably means Mikey has to go to the bathroom a lot.


That's Margaret Spellings, the new education secretary. She reminds me of Billy's mom, who always comes in when we're playing Playstation and is like, who wants a snack? And we always say, we do! We do! And then she brings in a plate of, like, carrots or grapes or something, and we say thanks and then, when she leaves, we tell Billy that his mom sucks. But not like that! Sicko! (What does that mean anyway?)

Continued after jump...

Permalink: 08:15 AM | Comments (0)

New buzzwords of the day: malicious intent

Yesterday on NPRís Morning Edition, some guy being interviewed about rising medical malpractice lawsuits said we live in a society in which any mistake is considered evidence of malicious intent. When we screw up, weíre all presumed guilty -- not necessarily in a legal sense, but in a moral one. It sounded like a pretty astute observation, although I couldnít really come up with another example of how to prove it.

Then, a few hours later, a cop pulled me over. I wasnít speeding, so I was genuinely curious when he walked up and asked me for my license and registration. I forked it over, asked him whatís up, and he sternly told me my inspection sticker is outdated. As a new car owner, thatís not something I would have ever thought of. I asked him, in all seriousness, if thatís something that normally gets mailed to me. He scoffed, then walked over to the sticker, looked at it, and walked back to his car. As he passed my window, without breaking stride, he said: ďItís five months overdue.Ē

Then he sat in his cruiser for a few minutes, and came back with a $50 ticket.

I was pissed. Ok, fine, the inspection sticker is outdated. But let's consider what the point of pulling me over is: If itís to remind me that the car needs to be inspected, thatís great. Mission accomplished. But a ticket? Punishment for not doing something I really, honestly didnít know I needed to do? Whatís that accomplishing? With or without the ticket, this experience will prompt me to get the car inspected, and isn't that the greater good here? Clearly, heís assuming I had malicious intent. That's why I get a ticket. Thereís no other way to explain it.

So, thatís what I told him.

Continued after jump...

Permalink: 12:10 AM | Comments (3)

February 01, 2005

Happy anniversary to me!

Well, look at that. This month marks the one-year anniversary of HappyScrappy, my ever-morphing project since 1997, bucking no trends by becoming a blog. Amazing how time flies, you know? A whole year. Who would have thought? Honestly, it only feels like 11 months and 29 days.

Ok, just kidding. 11 months and 28 days.

In honor of this anniversary, here's the very first graphic I made for the blog, way back in Feb., 2004: The Jay-zino, a hip-hop-themed casino my friend Joe (of Duck and Monkey) was convinced would make a killing (ha ha) in Vegas.


He raised that roof, fo' shizzle.

Permalink: 01:02 AM | Comments (4)

Table scraps:

SHARE A SECRET via postcard.

SO, HOW STRONG are electrical wires? This strong.

REMEMBER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, when boys flirted with girls by picking on them? What do you suppose would be the adult version of that? How about, oh, robbing a woman and then calling her to apologize and ask for a date?

JOHN KERRY MASTERS the art of invisible origami.

YOU KNOW HOW they say the youth are our future? From a reporter's perspective, the future's starting to look dim: A new survey shows that one-third of high schoolers think newspapers should seek government approval before printing an article, and a college professor says most journalism students don't read newspapers.

FOR ANYONE CURIOUS about the much-reported Republican playbook on how to pitch the social security "crisis," here's the document in full.

CHECK OUT MY stunning(ly bad) artwork at Heaneyland!, where a request for illustrated bunnies has been heard, and heard well.


Permalink: 12:50 AM | Comments (1)