October 31, 2005

Believe it or not, we graduated college years ago

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Lately I've become a frequent visitor to Big-Boys.com, which is mostly filled with videos of people doing stupid things and then hurting themselves. It's a guilty pleasure of mine -- kind of like watching those "World's Scariest Police Chases" episodes on Fox. I watch because I think there's great humor in people getting hurt while intentionally doing something stupid. Guy falls off a ledge? Not so funny. Guy falls off a ledge because he was trying to do a skateboard trick? Hilarious.

Until now, all my idiotic actions have escaped film. But this weekend, some friends and I went apple picking -- and when a video was taken of my friend Joe and I smashing apples on our heads, I knew I had an obligation: It must go on the web for the amusement of others. So here it is, my first attempt at posting a streaming video to this site. That's me on the left and Joe on the right. It was his idea to do this -- and you'll notice that while he cracks his apple open after a few whacks to the head, I just keep hitting my head and screaming, and eventually drop the damn thing. He may have won, but he also walked around with a bump on his forehead and apple juice-crusted hair for the rest of the day. I'll pass on that prize.


Permalink: 09:20 AM | Comments (1)

October 28, 2005

Where, oh where, are the jealous ex-boyfriends?

CollegeHumor has been running a "Hottest College Girl" competition for a little while, in which readers choose one girl against another and the winner moves ahead in brackets. The girls are all of the ultra-sorority variety, some of whom are model-hopefuls with professional shots and others are just gals with a nice bra and a digital camera. I admit (shamefully) that I've voted a few times, and often wonder who these girls are. They each have profiles, but they only contains dopey, stereotypical categories like "worst pickup line" and "favorite drinking game." The contest's prize is a vague promise of a possible modeling gig. Why, I ask, did they submit their photos to something this blatantly stupid? Are they just really starved for attention? Did some jocky boyfriend put them up to this? And then it hit me: The blogosphere! Tens of thousands of people vote in this contest every day -- some of them must know these girls and have blogs, and are dishing all sorts of awesome gossip about them.

This, I figured, would be hilarious.

But, no. I was wrong. Blogs may be great for celebrity gossip, but they're practically mum on these ladies. Technorati shows only about a dozen links to the damn contest, and they include only one actual note from someone who knows one of the girls: This guy went to high school with this girl, and writes, "She was kind of dumb and slutty then, and I can see that not much has changed." Ouch -- and to add insult to injury, she lost by 12,302 votes in the second round.

And yes, just for the record: This just might be the shallowest post on this site ever.


Permalink: 12:12 AM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2005

Ethnic stereotypes: trick, or treat?

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I just sent this e-mail to the strip's creator:

From: jason at happyscrappy dot com
To: mallardmail@yahoo.com
Date: Thursday, October 27, 2005 8:50 AM
Subject: Today's costume

Mr. Tinsley,

I know you use "politically correct" as a derogatory term, so I couldn't help but wonder about your message in today's comic ("Politically correct Halloween costume idea #3"). Are you suggesting that society is too touchy about white people portraying other ethnicities, and that it should be OK for white people to dress up in, say, blackface? If not, I don't really understand the strip. Please explain.

And in case this matters to you, I'm a person of what you called "that pale pink color." I don't know if there's really any pink in it, but perhaps that's another debate.

Thank you,
Jason Feifer

I'll let you know if the impossible happens, and he actually responds.


Permalink: 08:53 AM | Comments (1)

Hurricane Hanna-Barbera

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Someone in South Florida managed to board up their home with a sense of humor. My dad took this photo, and it made me wonder: Do all the Flintstones have their own storms?

Sadly, no. Wilma, of course, just stopped by. We had Hurricane Frederick in 1979 and will have Fred in 2009. Betty came by in 1972 -- and for good measure, it should be noted that Hurricane Betty's is a strip club in Worcester, Mass. I couldn't find a record of a Hurricane Barney or Pebbles, and it's probably arguable that every hurricane is Hurricane Bamm Bamm.


Permalink: 12:31 AM | Comments (1)

October 26, 2005

Table scraps:

OMG! SO, LIKE, the beaker was such a bolo, and got major big eye in the Banana Belt. What? Don't know what that means? Clearly, then, you're not hip enough to speak Antarctic slang.

BOY WRITES ADVICE column at age 12, and quits at 19. Now he's 35, he wants the column back, and his old paper isn't interested. But don't feel too bad for him: the Boston Globe's Alex Beam says the column sucked back then, and the guy's sample adult columns retain that same suckyness. Or, well, he says it better: "The samples he is showing resurrect the earnest tone that sounded more natural coming from an adolescent than from a man who claims to have 'been on the dating scene for many years' and who is still living with his mother."

I SUSPECT THIS video is from some sort of "America's Funniest Home Videos" type show, but I can't deny the excellence of a montage of karate accidents. And if you want something slightly grittier, here's an idiot who thinks he can jump onto a tree.

GEEKY DOMAIN NAME stuff: Here are the 100 oldest registered domain names; a program that puts a monetary value on blogs based on AOL's link-to-dollars values (which says this site is worth $14,113.50); and a site that claims to have the longest domain name in the world -- and while I don't know how to verify that, it is indeed long. (But then again, so is this one.)

SIGNS ARE A lot funnier when someone pastes the word "FUCK" over part of it. Take a look. (via Bretthager)

I TURN MY home and work computers off every night, which I thought was the responsible energy-saving and common-sense thing to do. Apparently, though, there's been a longstanding, raging debate about this practice. Check out the survey results here.

AND THEN, THERE'S this.


Permalink: 12:14 AM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2005

A campaign goes down the toilet

Wouldn't it be wonderful if every politician, in the course of a campaign, could be as brave as James Skwarok and admit what he admitted?

"Of course I'm not a real person," Skwarok said earlier this week. "I'm a big piece of poop."

Alright, so Skwarok is actually an activist who dressed up in a big feces costume and tried running for mayor of Victoria, British Columbia, under the name Mr. Floatie. But I think that's beside the point.


Permalink: 08:17 AM | Comments (0)

It's why they call it fiction

I admit I’m about a month late to this discussion, but I’m not sure I agree with a common line of thinking about Geena Davis’s “Commander in Chief.” Here’s a fine example of the argument from the current issue of the New Yorker, which is apparently as belated as I am:

Even before the show began, it was being discussed as though its primary purpose were to pave the way for a woman to be President, sooner rather than later; in fact, it’s reality that paved the way for “Commander in Chief.” Not so long ago, a show about a woman President would have been a sitcom; it’s only the genuine possibility that a woman (not necessarily Clinton, and not necessarily in 2008) could hold that job that makes such a show dramatically credible.

I caught an episode a week or so ago and liked it, but I’m not really sure if this show is a positive reflection of the country’s readiness for a female president. Yes, sure, the show is good because it reflects a topical question and seriously explores the possibility of a female president. But then again, maybe the show works because it raises the issue and then says -- reassuringly to some folks -- “Ah, but this is only fiction!”

After all, I love “24.” I even bought freakin’ “24” trading cards. But that show is full of spying and disposable civil liberties and electronic surveillance -- stuff I’m quite opposed to. In a way, though, “24” comforts me -- not because the good guys win, but because I see all this scary real-worldish stuff and think, reassuringly, “Ah, but this is only fiction!”

So, same thing with a woman president? I don’t know. I like seeing one on TV and I’d love to see one in real life, but I’m not sure those two are connected.


Permalink: 08:15 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2005

Wilma, you sloppy bitch!

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My dad just ran out into the eye of Hurricane Wilma and sent me these photos. My parents are in Coral Springs, Fla., where one person has died because a tree fell on him. They're reporting a lot of flooded streets and downed trees; the screen around their patio and my childhood basketball hoop have tumbled down; and there's some mysterious banging on the roof. Hopefully that'll be the end of it, but they have half a storm left to go.

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Obviously this is no Katrina, but it's the biggest thing to hit Broward County (just north of Dade, which contains Miami) in decades. I was living there during Hurricane Andrew, and remember sleeping in the hallway on the night it hit. Luckily for us, it took a southern turn at the last minute and left our area mostly safe.

Update, 10:44 a.m. Those pictures came just in time. They just joined the hundreds of thousands of people without power.

Update, 4:15 p.m. All safe, hurricane over. About half the trees in the neighborhood are down, the roof lost a few tiles and some water came in through the windows. A window in my grandma's place, about 45 minutes away, blew out completely. No injuries, though. "It was pretty freaky," my mom said.


Permalink: 10:27 AM | Comments (1)

October 23, 2005

Extra! Extra! Read all about my vacation!

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I always thought travel writing was unabashedly self indulgent: You take a fun trip, and then publish a long essay in which you gush about all the great stuff you saw -- and sometimes even throw in some of your own vacation photos for good measure. So when I went to Australia a few months ago, I thought, “I’ve got to get a piece of this travel writing action.”

Today, success. The Kansas City Star published a story of mine about Kangaroo Island, Australia, complete with some photos taken by some family members and myself. You can check it out here. And if the piece moves you to plan a vacation, here’s a “go box” I was asked to compile about the place.

The paper’s site requires registration. But, a little birdie told me that if you click on one of the above links and reach a prompt page, you can enter at@dotcom.com for the e-mail address and onetwo3 for the password, and you’ll be home free.


Permalink: 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2005

Puppies and squirrel and momma, oh my!

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I tried. Really, I did. I saw this story (via CityRag) about a squirrel being adopted by a momma puppy, and figured I'd make it a Table Scrap. I said that'll be it, because this is not a site dedicated to posting cute animals. That's too easy. Too wholesome. I could do that all damn week. But, no. I cannot stop myself. I cannot deny the cuteness. I cannot deny that in Latin, this is cutius maximus. It must be its own post. I have no choice... and I also have nothing else I can think of to post today, so this is rather convienent for me. Go read the story. Make sure to check out the photo gallery. Do not be afraid of saying "awww" out loud. Those around you will look and agree.


Permalink: 09:16 AM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2005

Mallard, meet thy creator

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Today's Mallard Fillmore strip turns its inexhaustible supply of hot air on the postal service, and-- oh dear lord, Mallard, what is that fleshy thing coming down toward you!? Run! Run! Flap those flabby wings and see if you can fly! It's eating a pencil, and it might eat you next!

...oh, wait, is that dripping, flesh-colored mass supposed to represent the creator of the strip? You'll have to forgive me -- my fingers don't split at the end like a snake's tongue, so I didn't at first recognize what those were. But this is an interesting turn of events. The creator of Mallard Fillmore has stepped out from behind the curtain, and it turns out he's not just some College Republican-looking man with a business suit and some crayons. He's actually...

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Marvel Comics' The Blob, a terrifying creature with elastic skin! This explains so much.


Permalink: 09:08 AM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2005

The rock star that wasn't

Only once have I used this site to consistantly promote something that is not mine, and that was "Gary Benchley, Rock Star." Gary was writing a series of essays about his life on The Morning News, and I linked to every new one that came out for months. I thought they were wonderful. Hilarious. Thoughtful and well-crafted. And, yes, they seemed a bit exaggerated, and names were surely changed to protect the innocent -- but even when these stories became somewhat questionable, I had faith in The Morning News to not be running some sort of hoax. I had written two pieces for them -- one, two -- and the editors seemed like very upstanding, smart fellows. Surely, I thought, they wouldn't do something as stupid as run a regular column from someone who doesn't exist.

But they would.

I'm embarassed to say, Gary was a hoax -- the whole thing, top to bottom. They admitted this late last month, but I didn't notice until now because I had stopped reading the site -- and in fact, I had stopped reading the site because I had begun to question whether Gary was real, and if Gary wasn't real then I couldn't really trust what else I was reading there. It's too bad. Aside from this, they really do run a solid web mag.

I guess I feel a little burned. I read those pieces regularly, I implored readers of my site to check them out, and I once even wrote "Gary" an e-mail. A friend and I were both regular readers of the column, and had met in New York one summer day to hang out. While there, we wondered what would have happened if we wrote Gary ahead of time and asked him to grab a beer with us. Would he have? After we both left New York, I wrote Gary to ask him. He wrote back, "I'm scared to meet people from the Internet. What if they kill me?"

Har har.

Sure, there's some solace to take: Paul Ford, the writer behind Gary Benchley, suffered physically and financially during this hoax -- but he also got a book deal out of it, so boo-hoo. But more importantly: He fooled me. He fooled us! Inexcusable.


Permalink: 09:51 AM | Comments (2)

October 17, 2005

There's masturbation, and then there's this

Writer Simeon de la Torre claims to have had a female orgasm -- "waves of euphoria radiated over me from the pit of my stomach to my toes," he said -- and he did it by going to a hypnotist. She told him to imagine that he is his wife, and that the two of them are having sex. "I started to feel a bit odd," he said -- as well he should have. Doesn't this mean the hypnotist was asking him to imagine having sex with himself?

And this isn't the first time I've read something like this. A Nerve.com columnist once had a mold made of his penis, and then asked a friend to strap it on and screw him in the ass. (The piece, which was really entertaining, is unfortunately now subscription-only.) And in Paul Feig's new book "Superstud," which is about his young sex life, he details how he was seriously injured while trying to give himself a blow job.

So, is this the final frontier for sex writers? To really go where nobody has gone before, you've got to fuck yourself?


Permalink: 12:00 PM | Comments (4)

October 14, 2005

Next time, Hi, let your fists do the talking

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I love Hi's expression in that last panel. After furrowing his brow, leaning in uncomfortably close to his son in the second panel and declaring that he hates the boy's creative output, he staggers backwards in the third, eyes wide open and dot-mouth agape as if to say, "What!? This boy is happy? Is my active discouragement -- my bald intolerance, my fatherly slapping down of creativity -- worth anything these days?"


Permalink: 01:31 PM | Comments (0)

Best pizza? Best bagels? Biggest superiority complex?

I love New York City. I really do. I often say I'd like to move there, and I mean it. But there's something I really hate about the city, and it's something I saw reflected perfectly in a single sentence in the New York Times today. It was this line, contained in the third graf of a story about all the rain that has dampered the state:

The storm that parked itself over the metropolitan region may have been nastier to New Jersey and Long Island, submerging streets and flooding basements and blowing down trees, but it left the city a soggy, frustrated mess.

Now, first: This storm has actually been hitting all of New England. I live near Boston and went to Vermont over the weekend, and I haven't seen a dry street in a week. But, ok. Fine. It's the Times -- even though it's a national paper, I'll still allow it to focus on New York. But what I hate about New York City is its centric mentality -- its insistance that anything outside the city is marginal, is far away, is not really worth attention. Anyone watch "Sex and the City"? Remember when Miranda moved to Brooklyn, and the girls acted like she was moving to Tibet? That's what I'm talking about.

So, back to this sentence from the paper. "...may have been nastier to New Jersey and Long Island, submerging streets and flooding basements and blowing down trees, but it left the city a soggy, frustrated mess." Yes, yes, just down the street in Long Island, streets were under water and basements were flooded. Yes, sure, lives were impacted. But forget about that! In the city -- ohmigod! -- we were wet! Wet and... frustrated!


Permalink: 10:04 AM | Comments (6)

October 13, 2005

Table scraps:

HERE'S A CASE of some serious hat-hair: A Jamaican barber Darain Housen has been styling his hair to look like a hat for the last 20 years. He knew it was a success when he wore it for the first time to a party, and people bought him beer. "Mi an dem fi go a di party but di three of them had caps an' mi had none so mi get two mirror one behind mi and di other in front of mi an' mi trim mi hair like a cap an' go a di dance," said Housen. (And that quote is no joke, by the way.)

"WILL! YOU! GO! to! prom! with! me? (And dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance?)" If I were 17 and saw this video, I'd totally go to prom with this girl. I can't imagine what it would be like, but I'm sure it'd be better than my actual prom.

I USUALLY KILL creepy bugs by sucking them up with a vaccum cleaner, and apparently I'm not alone. Sharper Image is selling a "Bug Vacuum" for this exact purpose. The only downside, to me, is the last word in its description: "Vacuum up spiders and other creepy-crawlies with arm's-length ease and return them to nature — unharmed." Unharmed? Screw that. I want those bastards dead.

WHAT'S MORE UNFORTUNATE: A couple just had their 16th child, and the father said more could be on the way ("If the lord wants to give us some she will accept them, he said of his wife), or that every kid's name starts with the letter J (Joshua, 17; John David, 15; Janna, 15; Jill, 14; Jessa, 12; Jinger, 11; Joseph, 10; Josiah, 9; Joy-Anna, 8; Jeremiah, 6; Jedidiah, 6; Jason, 5; James, 4; Justin, 2, Jackson Levi, 1; and Johannah, newborn.)? Update: Daniel Radosh finds that these baby-makers have gotten far too much media attention.

TRY AS YOU might, you'll never be as good at air guitar as this guy.

HERE'S THE CONCLUSION no dog lover (including myself) wants to hear: "There's no convincing evidence I'm aware of, from any reputable behaviorist or psychologist, that suggests dogs can replicate human thought processes: use language, think in narrative and sequential terms, understand human minds, or share humans' range of emotions." Example: When a dog is left alone and tears up the house, it's not because the dog is expressing displeasure. It's simply freaked out. (But if you'd prefer to think otherwise, perhaps you'll like the comic strip Animals Have Problems Too.)

PARENT'S NEW FEAR: What's a "camel toad"?


Permalink: 12:41 PM | Comments (3)

October 12, 2005

Something stinks, and it's not Wallace's cheese

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At first I thought Wallace and Gromit had been shamed only by the theater I saw it at, because they screwed the name up on the ticket. (The movie's subtitle is "Curse of the Were Rabbit," or CWR. The ticket got it backwards.) But then a reader pointed me toward two other blunders plaguing the movie: The studio had trouble promoting the movie on the Isle of Portland because the word "rabbit" is too taboo there; and far more tragically, the warehouse that contained all the old Wallace and Gromit props burned down.

Oh, Wally and G, I'm sorry! If it's any consolation, I loved your new movie.

Update: The real meaning of RWC


Permalink: 11:50 AM | Comments (0)

Well, it would sure keep me off the land

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Can anything scare vermin away better than a life-sized Courtney Love? I saw the scarecrow at a store while visiting friends in upstate Vermont this weekend. It was called "scarecrow gal" and cost $135. I doubt the similarity was intentional, but it sure is good.


Permalink: 10:22 AM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2005

Internet phones: Kind of scary, kind of cool

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I don’t own a landline, and my cell phone gets awful reception in my apartment. I've struggled through it for a year, but yesterday became overly frustrated when I needed to make some calls and my phone refused to cooperate. So, I decided to wade into the new frontier of Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VOIP. I downloaded Skype and registered for free, which was really easy.

Then came the big test: a call.

But who to contact? I don’t actually know anyone with Skype, or anyone who uses VOIP. Skype does have a little feature in which people can open themselves up to random calls -- but amusingly, this exciting new technology is already infested with the same sort of hornbots that make the rest of the Internet so damn creepy. The screencap you see above is from one of the searches I did. In addition to not wanting to provide sex and cock for people like irene_lovely, I was nervous about calling anyone at all. This is all so new and mysterious, and I don't know what's appropriate. I decided it would be least intimidating to randomly call an American 20-something girl -- I'm not really sure why -- but options were narrow because I also wanted to find someone not seeking sex or cock. After a few searches, I finally found a winner: Rebecca in California.

Continued after jump...

Permalink: 12:01 AM | Comments (2)

October 07, 2005

What a quack

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Oh Mallard, Mallard, Mallard. You're trying to make some sort of social commentary about how everyone uses phones, but as usual, you fail on two points: One, you're using a phone while making your point, and two, you'd be so easy to recognize in a crowd because you're a walking, talking duck, wearing a suit and a tie.

That confusion aside, this strip does give further insight into just how bad of a reporter Mallard Fillmore is. You thought he was lousy just because, like a Fox News reporter, his news coverage is ultimately just a lead-in to some semi-incoherent conservative commentary? Well, take this: As any reporter except for Mally O'Duckster will tell you, cell phones are a must-have. But then again, maybe Mallard just can't afford it. After all, his employer's idea of a computer monitor is apparently a dented piece of metal with four screws on the side. Just what kind of ramshackle operation does this duck work for, anyway? He's like Jeff Gannon, but with hair.


Permalink: 11:44 AM | Comments (4)

October 06, 2005

Biting off more than you can chew

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Last week, two readers left comments wistfully recalling an old feature from this site's pre-blog days: the picture of the day, in which I just posted a daily random picture and some meaningless commentary. In a subsequent e-mail, one of those commenters, Leah, requested "a one-time honorary picture of the day." So, here it is.

What the hell is that up there? It's what happens when a python tries to swallow an alligator whole. This is like Mother Nature's version of Godzilla vs. Mothra. The result, it turns out, isn't good for either: The gator will die, but the python will explode. (And that doesn't happen, as a friend joked last night, because the gator is made of Alka-Seltzer. It's because the gator claws at the python from within.)

Ick.


Permalink: 12:22 PM | Comments (1)

October 05, 2005

Table scraps:

SPIN-OFFS AND PARODIES! First, the game mousetrap. Then, this great art video of cause and effect called "the way things go." Then, Honda steals it and makes a commercial. And then, finally, and perhaps most amusingly, some British guys spoof the whole damn thing. (via Rocketboom)

WATCH "THE SHINING" in its new, feel-good form:"Shining." (via Panopticist)

IT'S A MIRACLE cure! It improves smell, reduces risk of heart disease, makes you lose weight, improves bladder control, causes pain relief and even makes your teeth better. What is this mystery cure? From Forbes.com of all places, it's... sex!

EVER WONDER WHAT the lovechild of Hello Kitty and a shoot-em-up video game would look like? Check out Halo Kitty.

I WAS READING the Wall Street Journal a few days ago, and came upon a reference to a camel-llama hybrid that someone created and called "Rama the Cama." I immediately put down the paper and began searching. How did I not know about this? I think someone should have informed me. Holy moley. Indeed, it's true: In 1998, Rama the Cama was born. And here he is now.

LOVE THAT NEW-car smell? Too bad it's kind of deadly.

DID YOU DISCOVER HappyScrappy by seeing the web address scribbled on a dollar bill? Surely, someone out there has. I may or may not have done that to a hundred or so dollar bills, but I did just discover (and may or may not have been relieved to learn) that it's perfectly legal to write on money, so long as it isn't done to the point where the bill is unfit to be reissued. This whole time, I thought it was illegal. That's a relief -- I mean, it may or may not be a relief, depending on if I write on money.

AND THEN THERE'S this. And for cute kitty lovers, there's also this.


Permalink: 08:37 AM | Comments (2)

October 04, 2005

Fortune cookies at the White House

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I got this with my veggie lo mein yesterday, and was struck by how monumentally bad the advice is. What is it saying? "Try blending in with the idiots around you"? Or, "If you keep your intelligence a secret, it's easier to take advantage of people"? Or, maybe this is only meant for all the popular girls I went to high school with: "Be smart, but never show it... because otherwise the jocks won't want to get slobbering drunk and molest you."


Permalink: 12:22 PM | Comments (4)

October 03, 2005

How to get free photos with celebrities who want to sell you their autographs

Unlike generous-but-lesser-known people like Peter Laird, minor celebrities can make a fair amount of money at comic book conventions by selling overpriced autographs and glossy photos. I didn’t want these photos -- and especially didn’t want to pay $20 for them -- but I did want to get a picture of myself with two of the celebs at the Boston convention: wrestling legend Mick Foley and Incredible Hulk star Lou Ferrigno. After all, how many chances will I get to stand next to these guys? But the question loomed large: How could I do this without paying in cash?

At first, I tried honesty. Lou was selling Polaroid photos of himself for $20, and I asked one of the people working his booth if Lou would let me take a digital photo of us for free. The person said that sounded fine -- and after all, Lou was averaging one fan every few minutes. He might as well be pleased that anyone cares about him, right? So, I asked the big guy: “Lou, would you mind if we took a photo with you?” He looked unhappy. “You can take a photo if you buy anything on the table,” he said, waving his massive arm across the wide array of glossy, overpriced photographs of him that were piled high on his table. “Yeah, but I only wanted a photo. Do you mind?” I said. “Only if you buy something on the table,” he said. Hulk maaaaad!

Clearly, this wasn’t working. So, I moved to plan B -- the forced photo. I walked a few feet away from him, held out my arm, and took a photo of myself with Lou in the background.

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Mission accomplished.

Mick Foley was trickier. There was a long line of people waiting for his pricy autograph, and I couldn’t just slip in there and ask for a freebie. So instead, I checked his table throughout the day and waited for the line to dwindle. Finally, with about an hour left in the convention, the line disappeared and Mick was left to talk with some of the staffers. I hung around nearby, waiting for someone else to request a photo so I could see what happens. Instead, though, I saw an opening: One of the staffers who Mick was talking to had walked away, and Mick shouted at the staffer to come back because he had something to tell him. The staffer didn’t hear him, and kept walking.

Enter me: “Do you want me to get him?” I said to Mick. “Yeah,” he said. And so off I went, running through the convention floor, furiously dodging people until I finally caught the guy and brought him back to Mick. After the staffer and Mick talked, a few other people approached, and I continued to hang around until everyone was done. Then, I leaned in and said, “Mick, I’m sorry for being a cheap bastard, but can I trade you my hustling for a photo?”

“What hustle?” he said.

“I ran and got that guy for you,” I said, and a staffer sitting next to him backed me up.

“Oh, ok,” Mick said, and picked up one of his glossy photos to give me.

“Oh, no,” I said, and held up my camera. “I mean, a photo of us.”

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Success.


Permalink: 12:13 PM | Comments (3)

Scenes from Boston's comic book convention

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Out of curiosity, I went to a comic book convention in Boston this weekend. Every stereotype you had of these things, it turns out, is probably true. People coming in costume? Check. Fans seeking autographs from obscure people such as Kane Hodder, who played Jason in "Friday the 13th" movies? Check. Geeks galore? Check check check.

Here are a few of my favorite moments.

1. I am walking down an aisle full of comic book salesmen, and a girl is sitting near one booth beckoning people to check out her wares. I hear one guy behind me say in a giggly, nasaly voice, "My mom says stay away from girls." Another guy with a similar voice replies, "They're evil." I turn around to see who's talking, and it's two middle-aged guys with big guts and cartoon characters on their t-shirts. I suspect there's another reason they're not getting close to girls.

2. There's a booth near the front of the convention floor that has hired attractive girls to wear skimpy outfits and draw attention. One of the girls, dressed as what I'm assuming is Little Red Riding Hood, walks over to us as we near the front of a lengthy line for concessions. She's busy, she said, and doesn't want to go to the back of the line. She asks if she can just give us money to buy a bottle of juice for her. It's obnoxious, but we relent. As she stands there waiting, I ask her, "So, is this a day of fat, older guys hitting on you?" She answers, "That's every day."

3. A local college kid with a camera walks up to an artist's table, identifies himself as a reporter for his college's tv station and asks for an interview. The artist, who is surrounded by artwork featuring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, agrees. The kid begins taping and says, "So, I see you like to draw a lot of ninja turtles." The artist replies, "Well, I'm one of the co-creators of the ninja turtles." It's Peter Laird, one of the two people who brought these wacky characters to life. The kid says, "Oh." And then, "Congratulations." And then, at a loss -- and hopefully learning a lesson about researching interview subjects before talking to them -- says, "So, how did you come up with the ninja turtles?"

Continued after jump...

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