Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Should Snuffleupagus be Seen?

Kids today have it so easy, what with their iTelephones, crappy hip-hop music, and the ability for all adults on Sesame Street to see Snuffleupagus. The first two I’m fine with, but the last one really chaps my hide. Growing up watching Sesame Street I always found it infuriating that no one but Big Bird could ever see Snuffleupagus. I use to say “Mommy, I’m infuriated! Why won’t anyone else see Snuffleupagus?” She would always simply reply with putting a Double Stuf Oreo in my mouth (To this day I can still taste the “stuf”).  

For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry, I get that a lot. Snuffleupagus is a big brown woolly mammoth type Muppet creature on Sesame Street. Big Bird, who is a big yellow bird type Muppet creature, with an obvious drinking problem, was the only character on Sesame Street that could see Snuffleupagus - for all of my childhood. And get this, it wasn’t because Snuffleupagus had some kind of invisibility power or that Big Bird had been hitting the sauce; it was simply because of bad timing. Repeatedly. All the time. Over and over again. Incessantly.

There they would be, Big Bird and Snuffleupagus setting Big Bird’s picnic table with food and plates, getting ready for a Sesame Street picnic, in which the entire street’s population was to attend. And two seconds before everyone shows up, Snuffleupagus realizes he forgot his frisbee or something and has to head home to get it. Leaving Big Bird looking looking like a fool when he tries to explain to everyone that Snuffleupagus was just there. Well... more of a fool than he normally looks. Simultaneously, six year old me is screaming at the television, “NOOOO! FUCK THE FRISBEE! STAY! STAY! JUST TWO MORE SECONDS AND THEY WILL SEE YOU!!! STAY YOU FRICKIN’ MAMMOTH IDIOT! STAY!!!”. I used a lot of exclamation points back then.    

But thankfully in 1985 the horror ended. Sesame Street finally decided to let everyone see Snuffleupagus and at last Big Bird was vindicated. Although the drinking problem has obviously gotten worse. I am very happy about this change and I’m sure Pat fully and one hundred percent-ly agrees. Right Pat?

Pat:  Is that really how you spell his name? Sorry. I didn’t really pay attention to the rest of what you said, ‘cause I was trying to make it right in my mind. That just doesn’t look like the way I would spell it. You sure?

Christian:  You think I would intentionally spell it that way if I didn’t have to? That many times! I looked it up on Wikipedia and they said that’s the official spelling. And wikipedia is on the internet so there’s no way they’re wrong. But yes, it is the most ridiculously spelled word in the history of mankind. It’s right up there with opossum and Humuhumunukunukuapuaa (Hawaii's state fish). And speaking of surprise spellings, I had to look up the spelling of my above Oreo reference, because I couldn’t remember if it was “Double Stuff” or “Double Stuffed”, and it turns out it’s neither? “Stuf” with only one ‘f’?  What is going on here?  I didn’t remember that and I ate those things well into my current age. It’s like my whole childhood is crashing down before me inside a spelling inferno.

Pat:  You probably didn’t know this (because I don’t think you choose to remember ANY of the important details of my life that I share with you in confidence), but the Humu Humu Nuku Nuku A Pu A’A happens to be my favorite fish, for it’s name alone, and I have been told by a few native Hawaiians that my pronunciation of it is much better than that of other Hoales. There’s a little something to be proud of, yeah?

Anyway, I’m confused again. What did you ask me? I can only think of Hawaiian fish and Oreos. Something about Wikipedia? I try not to use it. In education we tell students to avoid using it as a source in their research because you can never be certain of its validity. We also tell them to avoid using the pronouns “I” and “You” in their writing. It’s a sign of a less refined form of narrative and expository writing.

Christian:  Well... While we were in high school, and I was taking AP Physics (the AP stands for Advanced Placement and as I am sure you remember, you were not in this class), we were tasked with engineering and constructing small airplanes out of balsa wood. After weeks of designing, constructing, testing, and surviving two balsa fires, I completed my aviation marvel. I decided to name it after the fish of a randomly chosen state and lo and behold, Hawaii was the fortunate state to have their fish graced with my airplane taking its namesake. I grabbed a marker, scribed the name down both sides of the plane, and The Humuhumunukunukuapuaa Balsa Bomber was born. Unfortunately at this point, the airplane could no longer fly due to the immense weight of all the ink that was needed to write out this unfortunately long name.  

My point being, the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa fish is much more personal to me than it is to you and Hawaii should have never been let into the Union. It would be a much more exotic vacation destination if it was it’s own entity, like Tahiti or Mordor, and not part of the United States.

Also, why are you bad mouthing Wikipedia? It’s a great source for research and fact finding. It’s how I learned that it was during the US Civil War that Neil Diamond first walked on the moon.

Pat:  I’m glad you were learning important aviation techniques in high school, and forgoing trivial matters like learning to respect the struggles of native peoples around the globe.

Hawaii? Not LET into the union, but FORCED, against their will by pineapple-loving god fearing Christians. Hmm...does that make you proud of your given name?

Tahiti? I BET they would like to be their own entity. ‘Til they are, they will remain a stifled possession of France.

Mordor? Actually, I don’t know anything about this one. I never read the books. But I bet that Sauron fella’ woulda’ loved him some autonomy from the rest of Middle Earth.

But I’m glad your fascist imperial balsa wood aeroplane of oppression made you happy.

Christian: Let, Forced, Tomato, TAHmato. My point is everyone knows Hawaii is one of the US’s 50 states but no one thinks of Tahiti as one of France’s 50 states. It’s its own deal and therefore it’s much better that Snuffleupagus can be seen by everyone.  Q.E.D.

Wait, what are we talking about? What happened here?

Dearest readers,

It looks like we may have strayed off topic a bit on whether or not Snuffleupagus should be seen by everyone. We figure it best that we just end it now before everyone, including you, is filled with regret. However, I do think we can all agree that it was completely Pat’s fault this happened. We apologize from the bottom parts of our hearts and tune in next week where we will do our best to tackle this still unresolved issue.

Soothing caresses,

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Time Traveling: Which Way Should We Go?

Who knows if we will ever have the ability to time travel. With the amount of time our scientists spend trying to build better toothpastes, advancing laundry detergent technology, and working on that NASA thing, I’m guessing not.

But assuming we did have time traveling capabilities, if you could only travel in one time direction  - into the future or into the past - which direction would you want to go? Also, assume that you would have the ability to come back to your current time as much as you wanted. I know it doesn’t make sense because if you could do that it means you could travel in both directions, but this is hypothetical science damnit!

Pat:  So, I can only travel ONE way? And I know you said you can come back to the present as many times as you like, but doesn’t that mean you’d be going both ways? said that in the preface. Well, I still don’t get it, and I’m not comfortable making such a big choice when I don’t feel like I understand the question. I don’t know, Christian...I don’t think I can take this one on.

Christian:  Pussy.  

Pat:  Okay, fine...BACK! I can’t really see what could be good about travelling forward. It’s not like I’m super excited to see what goes gray first- my head or my back. Travelling back I could at least try to influence myself a bit. I’d sure as hell make sure I didn’t buy those fringe leather boots!

Christian:  Slow down there Marty McFly. No one said anything about being able to change your past to benefit your future self. I’m a firm believer that once you time travel into the past you are now in an alternate time line separate from the past you had previously experienced. Thus eliminating that whole kill your parents and cease to exist paradox that causes you to be photoshopped out of pictures. I think Einstein once said, “Paradoxes don’t happen because of math.” Although I might be paraphrasing. Therefore you can forget about heading to the past to try and improve your now life. That ship has sailed buddy.

Also why is time traveling all about you? You’re telling me that if you could travel in time, forward or backwards, all you would do is go see what you are/were up to? You’re just going to stalk yourself? Interesting. Vain. But interesting.

As for me I want to see the future in all its glory. I want to know if we ever start living on the Moon or have robot butlers. I want to see the wonders the future brings us. Don’t you want to know what Mach level Gillette reaches with their razors? Just imagine how many Machs it’s going to be. It’s going to be amazing!

Pat:  Well then what the hell is the point? If I can’t make those little fine-tuning adjustments that will result in a cooler and more refined me, then, again, what’s the point?

No. Y’know, I hadn’t thought about it that much, but you totally hit it. It would be all about me. I’m not really interested in seeing what anything else in the world is like. I just want to know what I WAS up to or what I WILL BE up to. Total self-voyeur. Sorry. Does that ruin your time-travel game?

Christian: (Warning: I’m about to do some pretty advanced and dangerous verb conjugation. It is required if one is to discuss, properly, the time traveling arts. This should only be attempted by those of us who are scholared in this advanced super field, who are pushing the boundaries of verb conjugation on a daily basis. We areing pioneers indeed.)

Pat, your future self will be going to have been really ashamed of your pre-future past self when time traveling was finally possible and you are having visiting him then.  

Your future self is going to be all “Don’t you have anything better to do? Stop following me! What are you doing with that camera? Just let me shave with my new Mach 27 razor in peace! Get him out of here iJeeves3000! (your future robot butler)”

And because Machs will be so plentiful in the future they’re going to start throwing Machs at you as you run off with your severely outdated camera (probably not even HD! Jesus Pat, the 90’s are over, get with the times). And as you are pounded with Machs, head to toe, you’ll be thinking; My future self and past Christian are/were right!

Pat, I think you’re going to have regretted this decision in the future past. It’s not too late, there’s still going to have been time to eventually changing-ed your mind.

Pat:  Fuck, dude...seriously? I don’t even know what comes after a double-negative (probably a triple-negative now that I think about it), but you did a negative to the fourth power in there or something.

So, I think what you were trying to say is that I’m wrong. Y’know, if you’re going to condemn me to being wrong in the past, present AND future, you might want to take into consideration the future of this blog. You are beating your blog-partner into the ground with this dehumanizing future-past criticism. I have feelings too, you know, even if they won’t manifest until the next century.

And I’m starting to worry that you either have a weird fetish for Mach razors, or that you’re getting some kickbacks from Gillette. Are you screwing me out of some endorsements?

Christian: Pshhh. No. What? I don’t have any secret endorsements going on. I just really enjoy getting the closest and most comfortable shave ever, due to Gillette’s 3 Blade Shaving Technology combined with Anti-Friction blades that gently glides over my face. It’s guaranteed to be your closest shave ever.  

I also really enjoy, Dr. Pepper - Because There is Nothing Like The Taste of Dr. Pepper - and Geico car insurance, which reminds me - We’ve got great news!  We can save you even more on your car insurance today! But you don’t see me mentioning those products.

But as for deciding which one of us is right in this time traveling debate, only the future will tell. Which means I must be the one that is right since I was the one that said traveling to the future would be better. You can’t argue the math, Pat. It’s science. But don’t worry, in the future you’re going to be too busy fighting the restraining order your future-self filed against you to really care.  

P.S. Remember you always have a friend in the diamond business with The Shane Company!

Pat:  I’m sticking with my vote, and I refute the idea that we can’t go back and change things, ‘cause you know what I’m going to change right off the bat? I’m going to make sure that the blog by-laws state very clearly that any and all endorsement deals related to said blog be split evenly between all blog writers. You probably got a kickback from Nabisco for that Triscuits vs. Wheat Thins post too, didn’t you? Man, I’m getting screwed!  

Can we really save money on car insurance? Because I’ve been thinking mine is a little steep.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Look at This. It Looks Atrocious.

There is an evil on the horizon that is threatening to corrupt our society to its core. It’s this movement that says it’s now grammatically correct to just have one space between sentences instead of the traditional two. Talk about letting the terrorists win. I don’t think I’m being over dramatic here when I say that this is an atrocity of unparalleled proportion.      

I’m assuming this trend is a side effect of the overwhelming popularity of texting and instant messaging. Sure it makes sense to be a little loose on the number of spaces between sentences in these formats, but texting and instant messaging is a no holds barge orgy of grammatical chaos. In texting, “c u L8r” is a complete functioning sentence, translating to “See you later.” “OMG!” is shorthand for “Wow!” and “LOL” translates to “I recognize and understand that you were attempting to be humorous in your previous communication.” LOL!

This is all fine and dandy when you’re typing on a two inch screen only using your thumbs (and let’s be honest here, you have fat thumbs), but as for more formal writing, it’s just a hideous pattern of injustice. Take the following examples:    

     The sun will set in an hour. It should be very pretty.
     The sun will set in an hour.  It should be very pretty.

As you can see the first pair of sentences is horrid. It’s like looking at the mangled wreckage of a fatal car accident. On the other hand the second pair is absolutely gorgeous! It’s like watching a mother bald eagle feed her young. It’s rejuvenating and I actually feel like I now have more energy from reading it. But if you are still not convinced, look at this example:

     The Priest was arrested. He was charged with sodomizing 26 children and 14 puppies.
     You have just won the lottery.  All of your dreams will now come true.

You tell me which pair of sentences you like better.

Some of you more astute (read anal) readers may have noticed that the sentences in this post are only followed by a single space. I apologize profusely, but I had no choice. Due to the communist formatting style of our blog’s host site, if we put two spaces at the end of each sentence we run the risk of of having unintentional indenting of new sentence. That’s the kind of grotesque pleasure these sickos get with an additional space.

So in conclusion, my fat thumbed anal readers, do we really want our children growing up in a world where sentences are only followed by a single space? Have we gotten so lazy that adding that second space now requires too much effort to be bothered with? There’s one thing I remember learning from my college health class is that to obtain the quickest high, drugs should be taken intravenously. But only having one space in between sentences is one high I don’t want to be a part of.

Pat:  No disagreement here. In fact, in reading your two contrasting sentences above, where the only noticeable difference is the extra space in the second sample, I just spit a bit of food onto my computer screen as a result of uncontrollable laughter. I think it might have been a speck of sausage. Damn. It was good sausage, and now it’s wasted. You’re right--those single spaces are dangerous and costly!

Christian:  Great. How many specks of quality sausage do we have to sacrifice before we learn? Is there no end to this horror?