Thursday, January 23, 2014

It's All Downhill From Here

Pat, you appear to know what you’re talking about some of the time. I was hoping you could answer something for me. For the past few years, for some unknown reason, I have become very consciously aware anytime I use the phrase “It’s all downhill from here”.  Meaning anytime I use that phrase I immediately think to myself “Oh hey I’m using that phrase again.”

This over awareness has caused me to constantly second guess my actual use of it. It’s gotten to the point where I’m getting concerned I’m not using it correctly. Which is what I’m hoping you can help me out with.

Now, if we were standing on top of a hill and I point down the hill and say “It’s all downhill from here” I understand that. Using the phrase metaphorically is what I’m stumbling with.

But before I get further into the specifics I was hoping you could first use it in a phrase yourself. Metaphorically that is. No stealing my standing on top of a hill example. The reason I want you to use it first is because I’m concerned that after I explain all the nuances of it, you too will become overwhelmed, confused, and will also start second guessing yourself. Therefore we need an untainted example that we can go back to as a reference in case you go off the deep end.

Ok go.

Pat:  No problem, buddy...I’ve got this one!

“It’s all downhill from here? Then where are we going, exactly? Because I assume that we’re going to get back to where we started, and if that’s the case, then I want to know EXACTLY how much downhill we’re going to have to endure, as the laws of physics dictate that there will be an equal amount of UPhill to get back to ground zero, and I’m not too keen on lots of uphill. So, if it’s not too much to ask and all, could you please tell me exactly how much goddamned downhill you’re talking about before I commit myself to going with you?!”

Is that what you were talking about? If so, then it’s all downhill from here.

Christian: Yes and no. Your long-winded quoted paragraph was completely wrong. However you made up for in that last sentence. In this example you used it to imply things will be easy from here on out. Which is correct. But can’t that exact phrase also mean things are going to be getting worse from here on out?

For example. Godfrey has an unsustainable gambling problem that he has kept from his family and work but he just got arrested for holding up a Toys R Us. It looks like it’s all downhill from here for Godfrey.

This is correct too, no?

Pat:  Yeah. But I think you’re both right.’re right both times.

See, Godfrey’s life is certainly going to go downhill after robbing the toy store. What with the courts, and the jail, and the inmates and all. Kinda’ sucks to be Godfrey.

But it will also be getting a bit easier, no? I mean, look at our criminal justice system. Will Godfrey have to work and pay taxes anymore? Will Godfrey have to buy food or cook for himself anymore? Will Godfrey have to bathe or exercise or mow the lawn or fix his car or watch his daughter grow up and go out with skeezy guys?

Life’s looking up for Godfrey I’d say!

Christian: But herein lies my problem. It has the two meanings and I have put so much over-thinking into this that I’m now having trouble using the phrase at all. Let me give you real life example from my historic past that I’m sure will cause you to always second guess yourself when using this phrase for rest of your life.

I was helping some friends move. Moving is naturally stressful but this particular move did not go well at all for the family. Once we were finally done I could tell that one of the move-ee’s was particularly bummed so I said to her, “Don’t worry it’s all downhill from here.”

Was this a good, reassuring thing to say at this moment, or was I a complete ass?

Pat:  Is it possible that you were both? A reassuring asshole? ‘Cause I think that’s probably how she’s thinking of you right now. You might want to ask.

I don’t know...this seems like a tough one.

Know what I do in situations like these? Make shit up. Really. ‘Cause I’ve learned that as long as you say things with confidence, and back it up with a snide and disapproving smirk and eye roll upon questioning, people will assume you know what you’re talking about and pretty much buy anything.

For example, one time I was riding on a train through Italy, it was late at night, I was tired from a day’s adventure, and my travel mates would not stop pestering me. So I puffed my sleepy self up, got all annoyed looking, and barked at them, “If you both don’t knock it off, I’m gonna’ content, man(s)!”

I don’t know what I was saying, but you know what? Those two travel mates sure backed down.  I have that pretty intimidating appeal sometimes.

So...yeah. Try making something up. Like, “Man, those prunes sure are the pitted variety!” You’ll be surprised.

Christian: Hold the telefono (Italian for phone) Pat. I just happen to know those travel mates of yours from Italy because I was one of them. And I seem to recall after you screamed, “I’m gonna’ content,” we did become silent but it was because we couldn’t figure out what you were saying.

Granted we were considering the fact that you did indeed say something that made sense and were going to let it slide but then we decided to call you on it and ask what the hell you were talking about. And as I’m sure you recall your response was “You know. I’m going to content from you guys bothering me. Like when they warn you on propane tanks, ‘contents under pressure’.”

Ha ha. You thought “contents” was a verb!

Pat:  Shut up. It works.

(goddammit...I hate when he does makes me want to content all over again!)

I think, after that last comment, good sir, that our blog future is all downhill from here.

Figure THAT one out, you prune pitter!

Christian: I can’t. That’s the problem. I think the phrase “it is all downhill from here” will forever be one of the Universe’s greatest unsolved mysteries. Like gravity or why you have to double the amount of cooking time when microwaving two frozen burritos instead of just one.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Muppets for Counter-Points: The Interview

Today is a PCPPP first! Our first interview! With a human! Our friend Addman from the blog Muppets for Justice has recently published his first e-book and is doing a blog tour to promote it. And today his tour stops here!


We wanted to do an interview with him but he lives in England which according to Wikipedia is no longer part of the United States, which means it’s foreign. In days of yore (<-- English word) this would have presented quite the problem. But thanks to today’s internet, communication problems are a thing of the past, just like the common cold.

Therefore, we suggested he fly to Portland and check into a hotel that offers free wi-fi so that he could e-mail back and forth with us. But he assured us that they have e-mail in the UK too, so he decided to just stay there and answer our questions. Fine. No hipster donuts for you, Addman!

Before we start, we should mention that since we have never done an interview before we had to do some internet researching beforehand to get some guidance.

OK. Let’s go. First question:

Christian: Why should we hire you?

Addman: Although I lack any relevant qualifications or experience, I do have other characteristics that make me an essential employee. I bring a certain sexiness to any office situation, what with my short skirts and pouting lips. You won't regret it.

Christian: And what did you like or dislike about your previous job?

Addman: Bob, mainly.

Christian: Well I’m sold. I think we should hire him. What do you think Pat? We really need someone to replace that idiot that keeps messing up my lunch order.

Pat: First off, that guy doesn’t actually work for us. He works for Subway, making sandwiches. Underpaid, too. Poor guy.

Wait...what kind of interview are we doing here. Step aside, friend. I’ve got my own questions.

Is there a Sesame Street where you live? Do the people there speak with British accents? Oh, and by the way...we call the way you speak an “accent”.

Addman: You guys know of the stereotypical "British Accent", but the fact is that Britain is full of different accents. Linguists reckon that if you travel ten miles in any direction, you come across a new accent. Accents include Georgies, Cockneys, Brummies, Yorkshire, Scouse, Manc, Cornish, and that's to mention Scottish, Welsh and Irish with all their permutations. Bet you feel bad for using such a poor stereotype now.

Oh and, we just get the same Sesame Street as you.

Christian: You forgot Australian and Canadian on that list too, hot shot. Where, exactly, are you from? We prefer coordinates.

Addman: I live in England, specifically in the midlands. Think of it like The Shire in Lord Of The Rings, only with a pasty shop and a tesco packed inbetween each house.

Pat: Pasty? I think you forgot an important letter. We put pasties on boobies here. We put PASTRIES in our mouths. Well...I suppose some people might put boobies in...never mind. So do you have Muppets in England? Do they really fight crime?

Addman: Our muppets aren't really muppets at all, but are roving automatons which stalk the landscape and attempt to eradicate life wherever they find it. Tickle Me Elmo toys are highly feared in our society.

Pat:  So...pretty much the same as here, then?

Christian: From England, huh? I’m assuming that means you are British. When did you realize you were British?  Does your family know?  Did they accept you?

Addman: I first came out as British in my teens, when I found myself standing in a queue for no apparent reason. My parents had always suspected since I tended to complain about the weather on a frequent basis. They were remarkably supportitive about the whole thing.

Pat: That’s nice. Supportitting our teens is important. Kermit the captain of the Muppets? you have Kermit in England? You do know that the Muppets are American, right?

Addman: You inflicted this living hell upon us? Kermit is a highly feared leader of the muppets. To utter his name is too unspeakable to speak of. We just call him "He-Who-Is-Green".

Christian: Pat, enough with the questions about the Muppets already. It’s just the name of his blog.

Pat:  Beg to differ, buddy. Plenty of peace accords have been wrought over a nice conversation about friendly puppets. Do your muppets have genitalia?

Addman: Yes, and I have photographic evidence, although I'm not at liberty to let you see.

Christian: Jesus Pat, when did you develop this Muppet obsession?

Pat: So Addman, do you actually interact with the English Muppets? Hey! That sounds a lot like “English muffins”--do you have those too? I bet you just call them muffins. Did you know that, unlike yours, our muffins have very different tops and bottoms. All due respect, but your muffins are kind of boring.

Addman: Do you really want to start a trans-atlantic war with an Englishman over bread products? We've fought an internal struggle for years over what to call a bread cob. You will lose.

Pat:  What the hell is a bread cob? Does your bread grow on stalks like our corn does?

Addman: You disgusting heathen. If I didn't need you to promote my book, this interview would be over!

Christian: Pat, I think bread cob is an English religious thing. Not polite to ask about them. We better change topics. What are some of your favorite blogs?

Addman: Well, your Blog is one of my favourites. I love the debating style and rapport that you two have, and you always seem to come at a topic from a viewpoint that I've never considered. Other than you guys, I like the pure comedy of Chiz Chat, the thoughtless gibberish of Thoughtless Gibberish, the madness of The Diary Of Rob Z Tobor, and not forgetting the Beer For The Shower boys. All have influenced me more than I'll ever pay them for.

Christian: Oooh, wrong answer. Close though. The correct answer was just us.

Just us.

Pat: Is British humor as popular there as it is here?

Addman: In all honesty, no it's not. Our TV is painfully lacking in decent humour or satire at the moment. You guys actually make the best comedies right now, yet you don't seem to realise it.

Christian: You mean like Three’s Company and Alf? Classics.

Pat:  Christian, why does he keep putting ‘u’s where they doun’t beloung?  Do you knouw?

Christian:  I don’t. I think it’s another one of those “bread cob” type things that you aren’t supposed to talk about, so don’t say anything to offend him.

Addman, why did you start blogging? You know that blogs are American, right?

Addman: We do a lot of American things here. For example, we eat McDonalds when we can't be arsed to make a Sunday lunch.

Pat:  Do you know Nigella Lawson? Do you know the naked chef?

Addman:  Nope. Do you know Ethan Hawke?

Pat:  Funny you should ask. I was actually just hanging out with him last night.

The gang.

Christian: Moving on. Can you tell us about your book?

Addman: Well since that's why we're here, yes. It's a collection of my favourite posts handpicked from my Blog, Muppets For Justice, but with loads of new stuff thrown in for good measure. Consider it to be a greatest hits album with all the best tracks, plus some unusual B sides and original works. If you're still not convinced, it's cheap, so there's that too.

Christian: I’m sorry I was talking to Pat.

Pat: Oh, thanks for asking. I’m reading Kermit Culture: Critical Perspectives on Jim Henson’s Muppets, a great collection edited by Jennifer C. Garlen and Anissa M. Graham.

Christian: I see. We should probably wrap things up here. Pat is there anything else you wanted to ask him?

Pat: Yeah. What do you want to know about us?

Addman: As a long time reader, I was wondering if you both ever reached for the same item at the same time and ever brushed each other's hands? Even though it was purely innocent and accidental, did you pull your hands away quickly and spend the rest of the day talking in a deep voice to reaffirm your manliness?

Christian: There probably isn’t a day that goes by that this doesn’t happen.

Pat:  And Christian will never say it, but it is beautiful and awesome!

Christian: I have one final question. Where do see yourself in five years? In June.

Addman: Printing out my own eBook over and over, to lie on top of a pile of them like a washed up idiot.

Pat:  WRONG! You forgot to mention that you’re breathing, probably still spinning yarns (<--British-ism) about Muppets, and likely still British! Ha ha. Sucker!

Well I think we totally won this interview. Sorry Addman, but better luck next time. However we would like to thank you for participating in the interview and being nice enough to translate all your answers into English before sending them to us.

Be sure to check out his new book!

For those of us in the US you can find it here. But apparently there is a different Amazon in the UK (they do know Amazon is American, right?). So for those of you over there you can get it over here.

And be sure to go follow his blog too at Muppets for Justice. It’s very good and very funny. You won’t be sorry.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Favorite Word?

You know me, Christian. I’m not one to indulge forays into the land of “favorites”. Thus my reticence to take part in your questions about best:

(I think at this point it merits pointing out that we can all clearly see that Christian is having trouble aging and acknowledging that we’re no longer living in the three-decades-old decade.)

Yeah...usually I try to avoid your “best” games, only to be badgered and harassed (by you) until I play your game only to find out that, regardless what I say I end up losing. Whatever.

But now things have changed! Know why?

For as long as I can remember, I have stood by my assertion that “Motherf*!ker” is the best word ever invented in the English language. Seriously...try it. Loud. Hard. With a French Canadian accent. It’s fun.

But then I started seeing them. The Lyrica™ commercials. You know, the ones with middle aged (well, that might be too polite. We’re middle aged. They’re old. But they look good for old people). They complain about how everything hurts. But then they went to their doctor, and learned that they have it.

Know what “IT” is? Only the best word EVER!

Christian: Are we talking best 80’s word? Because the best 80’s word is “tubular”.

I’m not familiar with the Lyrica commercials. Is it AIDS? They find out they have AIDS? You’re suggesting AIDS as the best 80’s word? That’s a horrible choice, Pat. “tubular” is much better.

Plus isn’t AIDS an acronym? That means it’s not a word, Pat. Try again.

Pat:’re misunderstanding. I’m starting to think you do this on purpose, by the way, just to confuse me and feel good about how, in the end, you’ll emerge victorious. Damn you, Christian, damn you to hell!

No...I simply meant that in the spirit of your “Best 80s…” posts, I wanted to throw out my own “Best of…” idea, ‘cause there’s a word on TV now that I REALLY like. And it’s not AIDS. I kinda’ don’t think anyone should like that word. It’s just not a good word. But the one I like is a REALLY good word.

C’mon, man...just play my game. Please?

Christian: Have you said your word yet? I’m confused. If it’s not AIDS then what is it? Not knowing your word is going to make it a lot harder for me to point out why it’s a poor choice for best word.

Is it “really”? Is that why you keep putting it in all caps?

Pat:  No. That’s for emphasis. Because I haven’t figured out a way to get my pleading, exasperated voice to type the way I want it to…so I use all caps. Should I opt for italics instead? Bold type? Underlines? Strikethroughs?

I’m open to suggestions.

Nope, my favorite word is most certainly NOT “really”. It’s similar, though. I’ll give you a hint:

It starts with ‘F’ and ends with ‘ibromyalgia’. Any guesses?

Christian: Fibromyalgia? Jesus how do you even pronounce that? How can that be the best word?

It’s hard to say, hard to spell, and it’s a chronic disorder. Not best word material by any means.

If we are looking for all around best word I’m going to suggest “riboflavin”. That is a great sounding word. Say it. It just dances off the tongue. It’s spelled just like it sounds and riboflavin itself is a positive thing. Vitamin B stuff baby. Win, win, win.

Riboflavin kicks fibromyalgia’s ass everyday of the week. Everyone knows that.

Pat: No, you’re wrong. IF there’s a word that can beat “Fibromyalgia” (and there’s NOT...but if there were) it would be “motherfucker”. Duh! EVERYbody knows that. And NObody knows what the hell “riboflavin” even is.

Psst! “Motherfucker” is a pretty awesome word too, isn’t it? I sure think so. “Fibromyalgia, motherfucker!”.  Man, those two sound great together!

Christian: All I can say is “motherfucker” is much better than “Fibromyalgia”. Motherfucking better. However most words are. For example “bilateral”, “murmuring”, and “vigorous”” are just a few words off the top of my head that are far superior to“Fibromyalgia”. Even though they still fail in comparison to “riboflavin”.

However I’m willing to concede “riboflavin” as best word and just go with “motherfucker” if we can just forget you ever mentioned “Fibromyalgia”.

Pat: Nope. Not giving in on this one. I started this post and I’ll finish it, by fibromyalgiaing all over you!

(that doesn’t sound so good as a verb)

Here’s why. Turns out I might have something called ASMR. Not sure what it stands for. But I’ve got it real bad. And it happens every time I hear that word: “fibromyalgia.  ESPECIALLY when the ladies in the commercials say it.

It gives me tingles.

Apparently, not only is the word, “fibromyalgia a trigger FOR ASMR, but ASMR videos can actually help sufferers OF ASMR.

So now, if you disagree and argue with me, you’re making fun of my pre-existing condition, and even today’s insurance companies wouldn’t be THAT heartless and cruel…‘cause they can’t under Obama’s ACA.  Are you really going to challenge the POTUS, motherfucker?

Feel free to say I won.

Christian: I was a little bit nervous about looking up to see what ASMR was. Since you mentioned tingling I was greatly concerned it was going to involve your penis and that guy up above that painted fluffy happy clouds. Fortunately it’s something else.

P.S. You did not win. I did. If for no other reason than that google search I just did about ASMR didn’t have anything to do with your penis and the fluffy cloud guy.