Monday, April 07, 2008

Witz Pickz: Netflix Hilarity, Being Financially Responsible

I'm kickin' the week off with the buffet o' pickz:

Netflix Hilarity:
Every half year or so, I get really into the idea of skateboarding. I never had the chance to learn as a kid, and I got scared after I saw my older neighbor completely destroy himself going down a hill. Nowadays, I wish I'd had a cool older brother who taught me to skate. That way, I wouldn't have gotten so into skating culture when I was far too old to actually start skating. I listen to punk (starting in mid-high school), I wear skate shoes (because I have flat feet and they are wide), and I own both Skate (for PS3) and Tony Hawk 3 (for xbox). All I really wanna do is learn to Ollie so I'm not deemed a complete poser by the 13 year olds I pass on the street.

For this reason, I searched "skateboarding" on Netflix (proooobably the least cool thing a skater could do...) and came up with this movie. I started to read the summary and laughed-- it was amazing. Check it out:

"The Skateboard Kid: Queue up this gem for a healthy dose of family values. Zack Tyler (Trevor Lissauer) is the new kid on the block with no friends and no joy in his life. The local kids are skateboarding freaks, so Zack finds a used skateboard for a good price and tries to join in the fun -- only to be rebuffed by the tight-knit gang. But Zack's luck suddenly changes when he discovers the board has magical powers!"

Who does Netflix have working for them? It sounds like a book report written by a sixth grader with some repressed anger at his job. I mean, listen to how it starts: "Queue up this gem..." How sarcastic does that sound considering it's The Skateboard Kid?? Since I was an english major, we'll go through this like a poem, line by line. "He's the new kid on the block with no friends and no joy in his life." Whoah! "No joy in his life?" That is HARSH! How old could this child possibly be? Doesn't he at least enjoy SOMETHING? Food? Video games? Does he have a pet? I'm already worried this child is going to commit suicide-- maybe The Skateboard Kid has some high stakes after all. This next part is when, like a sixth grade book report, they throw in all sorts of specific, unusual details and slang. The neighborhood kids are skateboarding "freaks," but don't you worry, because Zack gets himself a skateboard..."for a good price." PHEW! As I was reading this summary, I was immediately put off by the fact that Zack might have paid too much for his skateboard! See how that's a bit specific? Or maybe it's there to make us feel less bad for Zack when we learn that his efforts were rebuffed by the group. No matter what, though, I'm hooked by the last line-- "But Zack's luck suddenly changes when he discovers the board has magical powers!" BOSP! Out of nowhere, this seemingly simple, realistic skateboarding tale turns into a skateboarding ADVENTURE. Nevermind the fact that the skaters either only like Zack for his magical skateboard OR that the skateboard's magic is to make friends with skateboarding freaks, Zack's luck changes. Now, I assume that this means "for the better" and not "leading him to a horrible and far more tragic life of early on-set baldness or men's restrooms:"

"What's the skateboards magic powers?"
"Can you fly?"
"Can you go really fast?"
"Can you skate better?"
"Then what's the power?"
"...No gag reflex."

It's ok to laugh at that-- it's only hypothetical. Anyway, I'm gonna put The Skateboard Kid in my queue and then probably be baffled when it finally arrives in 6 months.

Being Financially Responsible -- The Sharper Image Edition:
I don't really know how I ended up on The Sharper Image's email list, though I suspect it has something to do with a golf-themed gift for my Grandma at some point in the past. Regardless, I received an email from them the other day that struck me as odd. The title of the email was, "The Sharper Image Online -- Take 90 Days To Pay -- Apply Now!" Now, while I don't shop at The Sharper Image at any point other than two days before Christmas, I can understand buying something there very occasionally, like a camping tool or bottle opener. But, reading that email, I was struck with a truism. If I EVER need 90 days to pay for anything at THE SHARPER IMAGE, I should not be purchasing it. "Gee, should I really buy this $300 dollar boxing robots game? I mean, I don't have the money NOW, but I think within 90 days I should be able to--" Stop there. The answer is no. "Oh man, I really am digging this pillow slash neck massager slash alarm clock, but I have rent and all these student loans to pay off. Well, but by July I should be able to--" NO! Not the case-- let the dream go. I will give The Sharper Image another shot in December. In the meantime, I will continue to look at The Sharper Image's email catalogue and gawk in bewilderment at how they manage to stay in business the other 11 months of the year.

Human Slash Back Massager Slash Alarm Clock,

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