I was at the airport the other day and we were an hour or two early for our flight because I've inherited my mother's paranoia with regards to missing flights. So we're sitting in the terminal with nothing to do when I remember that we walked by an arcade on the way to the gate. So I grab both of my kids and we check out the game room (they don't own Game Boys because I'm mean), and it's got a handful of racing simulators and a few other things. Then, at the back of the room, I saw a Lord of the Rings pinball machine, complete with a small plastic Balrog you could nail with the ball if you timed the flipper right. FUCK AND YES. So I say to my kids, "Holy shit! Pinball! Let's check that out!" And neither of them gives a floating shit. They're way too invested in the dipshit hydrofoil game that costs 50 cents and gives you exactly 90 seconds of playing time in which you inevitably discover that the game designers made the steering wheel way too fucking sensitive.
So I say FUCK IT and I leave them to grope the hydrofoil game's steering wheel (I didn't put money in the 2-year-old's racer, because he didn't give a shit about the game actually beginning), and I go throw my money in the pinball machine. Then I look up at the screen and it says CREDITS: 6. Someone had left FIVE free games on this bitch before I had strolled up to it. I damn near shit my pants with excitement. Stumbling onto free pinball is like finding out your weed dealer will accept your Cosi Club card. I've gotten the pinball machine to give me a free game with the MATCH at the end exactly twice in my life, and I'll never ever forget it, because it was awesome, and the machines made that POP! sound that pinball machines make when you get a free game. Is it supposed to sound like a woman's bra popping off? Goddamn right it is.
So I start playing and right away I'm playing well. I get the ball in all the little designated ball vaginas on the machine, and I trigger the multiball, which is fucking BADASS, even if it does end up distracting me and causing me to lose all four balls within half a second. The score is going up higher and higher. This was one of those newer pinball machines with grade inflation, so my score got to 20 million in hurry, which was a bullshit score but I didn't care because FUCK YOU, TWENTY MILLION POINTS, YOU CUNT. I had the timing on the flippers down, and so I could start owning the shit out of that Balrog. I felt like a GOD. A God of pinball!
Then I quickly realized that, with the two kids in the fold, there was no fucking way I was gonna be able to play all six of these games. The kids' stupid games had already ended, and I was out of change, and there was no way to get them to figure out the token machine (Why did it require tokens? FUCK!) on their own while I DOMINATED Middle Earth. Quickly, they began braying for more change while I tried to keep my precious, precious game alive. But soon I was overpowered, and I let my ball fall on purpose so that I could give them money and shut them up. Then I ran out of dollar bills and the jig was up for good. I walked out with the kids and the machine still had five free games on it. I told one of the dads walking in with his kid about it and he looked just as excited as I did when I found out, only to also realize he didn't have a prayer of actually enjoying all that free kickass pinballkakke. One day I will be rich and I will own a pinball machine and I will NEVER let my kids touch it, because they don't fully appreciate that shit.
Before we hit the Funbag, a big round of applause to Lindy West for answering all your questions last week and doing a damn fine job of it. Now, your letters:
Without looking, do you think there are more Google hits for "coldplay" or "cosplay"? I haven't looked yet.
I thought "cosplay" when you first asked, mostly because I would prefer to live in a world where chicks dressing up like Silk Spectre is a more popular search term than the 21st century's answer to Boy Meets Girl. Here are the actual search results:
COLDPLAY: 138 million results
COSPLAY: 142 million results
It's kind of amazing how close they are. Thankfully, cosplay is the preferred search term among those nerdy internet nerds who use the Internet. I'm going to Comic Con at the end of this month, and I was told by someone who lives in San Diego that the number of hookers who come flooding into town for the event rivals that of the Super Bowl and the NBA All Star Game combined. Just a massive sea of hookers ready to take v-cards all over the place. I desperately want to meet these hookers and ask them what kind of fees they charge for cosplay sex, along with the worst cosplay request they've ever gotten. I bet you say the name "Oola" to these girls and they shiver. I wonder if johns from the convention bring their own cosplay costumes for the hookers to wear, or if the hookers have a ready-to-wear wardrobe of traditional favorites like Slave Leia and Jessica Rabbit. You may laugh at Comic Con attendants paying $2,000 to have a three-way with Slave Leia and Jessica Rabbit, but I won't, because that sounds hot as shit. If you're a hooker who's ever dressed up in a cosplay outfit for a client, OR you've been one such client (much better odds with this readership), let me know.
And while we're on the subject of cosplay, I'd really like it if Katy Perry could dress up one day as the Cinnamon Altoids girl. I don't think that's a big favor to ask.
Have you ever been left something in someone's will? I have this recurring fantasy where a relative leaves me something that I didn't know they owned, like a strip club. And on the topic of wills, do those scenes they always show in movies where they're reading the will out loud in front of a crowd of people in some scholarly room actually take place? Or is it now just an email telling you to come to such and such address to claim your prize?... If during my lifetime I never have anything left for me in a publicly read will I'll be very disappointed.
I've inherited a couple things in my life. When I was a kid, my father's father died and he left me some stock in the Santa Fe railroad (I was a big fan of Rail Baron when I was kid. Also, I masturbated a lot). I remember my Dad trying to explain what stock was to me and not understanding it. Then my dad said, "Well, it's worth money." And THEN I got it. I was so jazzed someone left me money, I couldn't wait for my next relative to die. I immediately pictured an entire home library stacked to the ceiling with archived copies of Velvet magazine, a satin nutrag by my side at all times.
The other thing I inherited was an autographed Hank Aaron baseball from my mother's father. It's around here somewhere. I probably should have put it in a case or something. Or sold it for weed money. I'm sure my grandpa is up in Heaven right now wishing he had bequeathed the ball to someone more worthy. I bet Leitch would use the ball as an anal bead.
So those are the only two times I've inherited stuff, and in both instances I was not in some formal white shoe lawyer's office for a formal reading of the will or a taped message from the deceased (We call that The Rupert Horn Move, and it's always a solid play. I watched Brewster's Millions way more times than I should have. TEN MILLION TEN MILLION TEN MILLION DOLLARS! TEN MILLION TEN MILLION TEN MILLION DOLLARS!). I was just told about it by my folks. For the past twenty years or so, I have long daydreamed of finding out I was tangentially related to someone extremely wealthy, who in turn left me all of his shit. But I'm old enough now to know that there is no one in my lineage who will probably make that happen. And I cannot tell you how disappointed I am in my fellow relatives for not stepping the fuck up and making a billion dollars to give me. Fucking Magarys. What are they good for? NOTHING.
It's clear I'm gonna have to make that billion dollars on my own. And when I do, any relative who wants to inherit my collection of kickass motherfuckin' pinball machines is gonna have to work for it. I'm gonna tape my will on DVD, and announce to my surviving loved ones that all the money is buried somewhere in Egypt, and that they must follow a series of elaborate clues to ascertain its final location. Only they won't know that, once they find the money, two hundred angry pit vipers will be awaiting them. MWAHAHAHAHAHA.
Where to start with this one...
What are the odds that eight of those thirteen cats are found dead at the bottom of a hoarding pile two years from now?
Somehow despite not being able to hear or see, Helen Keller was able to learn how to talk and I am pretty sure read braille too. If she could hear and see (or hell just one of them) how smart would she have been? Did God see her potential awesome powers and her potential to be an evil genius and thus remove her sight and hearing to take her down a peg?
Doubtful. I think God took away her sight and hearing because God is a bastard who randomly inflicts harm on innocent people for no good reason. LOUSY GOD.
We used to make Helen Keller jokes all the time when I was a kid. And I think part of the reason we did it so much (aside from the fact that they were CRAZY FUNNY), was because it was easier to laugh at her predicament than think, deep down, about what it would really be like to have her afflictions. Because sometimes, late at night, I wonder what would happen if I got into some freak accident and suddenly I couldn't see or hear. Just this giant shroud of quiet darkness shutting you out from the world forever. Just like that dude in the "One" video. I always changed the channel when that video came on, because I couldn't deal with it. The idea of it is so unsettling, so disturbing, so fucking brutal that there's no mature way for me to deal with it. I'd rather just make a joke and ignore the harsh reality. Say, you know why Helen Keller can't have kids? Because she's DEAD! Isn't that funny?!
Would you rather win no rings like Stockton/Malone/Ewing but be a household name and The Star of your team, or win multiple rings as a journeyman player, like Robert Horry? (although you could argue Horry is a household name) Does the sport you play make a difference, or would it be the same in any sport (Patrick Ewing vs Dan Marino vs Ted Williams)?
It depends on if the journeyman in question made a shitload of money, as Robert Horry did (upwards of $50 million in career earnings). If you're just talking about some random NFL towel-waver who never made more than the league minimum, fuck that. Give me Marino's career in a heartbeat. Even if it is somewhat torturous to know that you were good enough to win a title, but that winning a title in any team sport is often dependent on forces far beyond your control. It may suck to live the rest of your life knowing that you didn't win a title mainly due to bad luck (or, more accurately, not having extremely good luck), but having "fuck you" money and national recognition tends to make up for it.
One of my friends just got the card attached while waiting to catch the subway. Classy or creepy?
ALL CLASS. If you're a lady and your pussy ain't compromised, I'd give Rainiero a call.
My girlfriend was an art student in college (14 years ago). I just found out she has tons of nude photos of herself from back then. If she shares them with me, is there an ethical problem with me looking at pictures of a naked seventeen-year-old version of her?
How long after graduating is it still acceptable to wear fraternityshirts? I'm currently in law school and don't normally wear any of my old frat shirts, but when I go to the gym I will wear one, most people probably have no idea what my fraternity actually is since I go to a different school for law school than I did for undergrad, but am I allowed to wear a shirt that says my undergrad school and fraternity to the store? To the gym? To class (as some other law school students do)?
I think it probably depends on the shirt. If the shirt is just some random frat event shirt like TAPPA KEGGA ORIFICE FEST 1996, I don't see any reason why you couldn't wear it to the gym. It's a gym shirt. It's supposed to be an old t-shirt you don't mind infecting with green pit stains. You're not making a statement with it or anything. It's probably one of those shirts you throw on because you don't even realize what you're wearing. I'm terrible about throwing clothing out. Sure, that M.O.D. t-shirt I have probably isn't as cool as I thought it was way back when, and it's three sizes too small, but it's still a shirt. It's still useful. I might still need it in a pinch. What if there were a sudden flood and the only scrap of clothing nearby was my precious Big Dogz shirt? Gotta keep it.
On the other hand, if you're 27 years old and you're purposely showing up for a date in a big red ALPHA BETA shirt, then you're a fucking idiot.
How annoying must the national anthem get for pro athletes? For average people, they hear it once or twice a month maybe. For pro athletes, they hear it everyday.
I have to go to lots of birthday parties because I have kids, and after going to so many I have a visceral hatred of "Happy Birthday." I could chew on steel when people sing it, it makes me so aggravated. And I hate that I have to join in any time a bunch of assholes are singing it. It's not MY kid. I didn't ask to come to this Gymboree and waste an hour of my time. Anyway, I assume that my revulsion to that song is probably close to how ballplayers feel about having to stand through the anthem day after day after day. I'm sure they just ignore it best they can and think about pussy the entire time. I know I do.
I am slated to be a groomsman in a wedding this summer and the bride recently emailed me asking me to pick a song to be played as I escort my bridesmaid into the reception. Any other suggestions as to the perfect entrance song?
I assume she'll frown upon or "Closer," by Nine Inch Nails, or "L.G.B.N.A.F." by Ice-T. And that's a shame, because you obviously should pick something that connotes that you and the bridesmaid will have sex during or after the reception. Because you totally will! HOORAY INTERCOURSE!
I went to a wedding recently and one of the weirdest things about weddings is when the DJ announces the bride and groom and the members of the wedding party at the reception, because the DJ always gets wayyy too excited to do the announcement, and so it basically sounds like he's announcing the starting lineups at a Chicago Bulls game. FROM NORTH CAROLINNNNNAAAAAAA… It's like the bride and groom are gonna box each other instead of share a first dance. Frankly, I'd prefer that.
If the United States has to have a selective service draft, are we seriously going to pick who we send to war randomly? Isn't that a pretty horrible draft strategy? If we have to have a draft I say we put these satellites to work and at least do some decent scouting, or why wouldn't we just draft the entire AFC South or something?
You have to do a military draft randomly, or else people will try and rig the system to get certain people (like Dane Cook or whoever) drafted out of spite. Being drafted means you're going to put in harm's way and you're taken out of the national spotlight for a while, so imagine how many people would frantically try and game the system to make sure Daulerio got drafted. If AJ was sent to Afghanistan for a year, ESPN could start up its Friday Night Orgy tradition again. They'd be ecstatic. The corruption of the system would easily trump any noble intentions you have about finding the absolute best and most capable people to send off to war. Best to keep things the way they are now, with our wars fought by people too poor and often too uneducated to have any other career options. TOTALLY FAIR.
How old do you think Muhammad Ali would have to be in order for you to beat him in the ring? According to Wikipedia his last fight was just before he turned 40. Conversely, say you're fighting child Ali. At what age does he beat you for the first time? His first fight was at 18....
Ali will be 70 years old in January. He's had Parkinson's Disease since 1984. He's so frail that he almost never appears in public anymore, so who knows if the disease has so totally ravaged his body that he can barely move. I think you could probably beat him in a sanctioned fight right now. But deep down, you'd almost certainly be terrified that Ali would, for just a second, snap out of it long enough to deliver a left hook that would explode your jaw and tear your palate clean in half. I know I would. He's a cagey fella like that. Maybe this whole Parkinson's thing has been a ruse the whole time, and Ali was playing Rope-a-dope for the past three decades specifically so that he can unleash hell upon you. Also, he has grandpa strength now, and that's not to be fucked with. I know I'd be thinking about it as I wailed on the poor crippled old man in a horrifying and incredibly sad spectacle. I don't think Ali became beatable until maybe three or four years ago, tops.
As for child Ali, I assume you'd give him until early puberty, maybe a little bit beforehand just to make sure he couldn't do any lasting damage. Call it nine years old to be certain. I could beat a nine-year-old Cassius Clay. This is why we need time travel.
A friend and I were discussing the following situation: the morning after the Mavs win the NBA title, LeBron James is found in his house dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Would this be the biggest story in sports history? Would you feel bad for calling him a cocksucker? WHAT WOULD HAPPEN?
A lot of it would depend on the note. I mean, if he left a note that bitched about the media judging him and basically painted himself as a victim, I think everyone would end up calling him the biggest pussy in the history of the universe. But if he left no note, or he left an incredibly sad and heartfelt note that served as a final desperate plea for help, then the whole goddamn world would explode. Can you imagine Wilbon the next day? He'd basically try and order the Internet to be turned off. And there would be a thousand more horrible columns from the Jeff Pearlmans of the world saying that WE killed LeBron, and that society is going to hell and all that bullshit. Either way, it would make for an incredible news cycle. You saw what happened when both TO and Vince Young had rumored suicide episodes, and they didn't even have the courtesy to die. Imagine if a high profile athlete finally went through with it. It would be stunning. LET'S KEEP OUR FINGERS CROSSED!
Time for a GREAT MOMENT IN POOP HISTORY. This one is called HAVA NAPOOPA:
The year is 1998, and I'm visiting my then-girlfriend studying in Israel while I was studying in Europe. It's Yom Kippur, and my Israeli girlfriend is still hesitant to introduce me to her family - I'm half Jew, half Irish, so I don't count for either side, as far as most of them are concerned - which means I was left alone in Jerusalem for a day.
I figure: "Hell, it's the holiest of Jewy holy days. Why not head to the holiest Jewish site?" So off I trot to the Western Wall, and then begin to wander away when my intestinal tract had one of those "Here comes the thunder" movements of material. For some reason, I then remembered the uncleaned peach I ate in a fit of hunger from a roadside Bedouin fruit vendor a day earlier, and know in my heart that A) the rain is coming and B) it's coming really fucking soon.
Nearest to me was standing a group of Israeli soldiers, including one lovely young Israeli girl toting an M-16 who happened to deign a glance at me when I approached. She explained that there were two public bathrooms nearby: one was about a mile up the road, and the other was just next to the men's side of the Western Wall, not 300 yards away.
I take a look at the one next to the Wall, see a stream of Hasidic men walking in and out, and decide to chance it for the one up the road. I make it about ten steps - the soldiers hadn't stopped giggling at my stupid-Americanness yet - when my stomach lets out another angry growl.
So I turn, head towards the Wall bathroom. I manage to get only about halfway across the plaza in front of the Western Wall when I shartted. And not only did I shart, it was a big, bulbous, viscous shart that I feel splatter on the back of my boxer shorts and begin oozing down my leg. A few more steps and it's beginning to drip on the front of my sandal.
The bathroom was miraculously empty when I entered, and I get into a stall in time to beat the next shart. I throw out my underwear, empty the roll of toilet paper in a pathetic attempt at cleaning myself, and pray the big wet spot on the back of my khakis isn't too noticeable.
When I exit the shitter stall, there's two Russian Hasids, with the big furry hats and beards and curly sideburns, enrapt in conversation at the sinks. Upon the sight of me (I stand 6'1" - a veritable giant amongst Jews - and dressed like a hippie at the time with a giant Jew-fro and flowery shirt), they stop and begin sniffing the air. And I know without looking there's surely some shit on my forearms and elsewhere. They exit with a look of utter disgust that they took great pains to be sure I saw. As did the next several Hasids who entered the bathroom while I ruined an until-then perfectly Kosher sink.
Later, I walk swiftly back to the youth hostel, enter the communal shower fully clothed, and never tell my hot Israeli girlfriend exactly how I spent the holy day.
Excellent. Couple things until next week: That Comic Con visit I make is on Saturday, 7/23. You'll be able to buy copies of The Postmortal there, a full month before the formal release date. Also, if you live in the UK, first of all, FUCK YOU because you live somewhere that has Caffrey's on tap. Also, you'll be able to buy the e-book of The Postmortal on 8/30 under its British title of The End Specialist. And that's all I got.