Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Witz Pickz: Back to Basics

I KNOW-- I haven't posted in a while. I haven't been shaming myself, I've had writer's block, and the stuff I've managed to write hasn't been good enough to subject you all to it. What I've been forgetting, however, is that I started this website (Alright, fine-- ahem, this blog) to comment on all the ridiculousness the world has to offer. So, instead of looking at myself and my lack of passing out on planes, using terrifying bathrooms, or being picked up by the police on my birthday, I once again turned to the world for material; and wouldn't you know it, but there's plenty to write about.

I've been watching March Madness and the only thing standing out more incredibly than Bill Raftery's commentary ("He has stroked it ADMIRABLY!") is the unfathomably bad commercials we see everytime a gawky white-kid wearing a t-shirt underneath his jersey hits a three pointer, causing whoever is playing Cornell, Butler, or Northern Iowa, to call a timeout.

I'm not even going to mention the UPS commercials, which have gotten to the point that even Corky from Life Goes On is saying they're retarded and Ricky Martin is calling them gay. Instead, let's talk about the Taco Bell Shrimp Blogger commercial that incredulously begins, "I'm a shrimp blogger..." That is SHOCKING. Allegedly, this guy travels around the world, eating shrimp and blogging about them? The only thing more unbelievable than that is, "When I heard Taco Bell had a new shrimp taco with six juicy shrimp, I just had to try one!" Such integrity! Such commitment to the product! You mean to tell me that this guy is in Australia, downing fresh prawn with the locals, but upon hearing that TACO BELL, which is essentially a bathroom with an impulse buy food counter attached, is selling shrimp tacos, he rushed back off to chain-store-fast-food civilization for a taste? I CALL BULLSHIT, SIR. The best part about this commercial is that the guy never says what he thinks of the product...probably because he's still stuck between the toilet and trash can, suffering that special "Chinese Finger Trap" kind of food poisoning.

This is less awful and more inexplicable: Verizon is using the old Big Red gum theme song to promote their 3G network. I don't understand what happened here. Was Big Red gum a huge cultural success and I just missed it? Was the song THAT well-received? Or did some Verizon exec decide that "Big Red" was the perfect nickname for their network and therefore, they had to go with the whole gum thing to make it work? And doesn't AT&T just have to come back with the "You My Boy, Blue!" ad campaign to totally destroy Verizon? I mean, they already have Luke Wilson alienating viewers everywhere, why not pick up the Old School footage?**

Garden Gnome:
A block from my apartment, in the glass window of a research laboratory, a garden gnome pushing an old school lawnmower stares menacingly out at the street. I say garden gnome, but it's not really a gnome. It's a tiny, bald, oddly proportioned, old man statue, pushing a bladed grass-cutter while staring at passersby with an enraged, threatening expression; so it's like if a garden gnome that had done some really heinous shit, went into the witness protection program, lost the hat and beard, and was attempting to lay low in a suburb of Lincoln, Nebraska. It's terrifying. And I wish I had a picture, I reallllly do, I guess I just thought I'd always have another chance to snap a photo, and never took one. See, there's only one thing more terrifying than the terrifying statue: the statue is GONE. GONESIES.

This means one thing: that the creepy thing came to life (as seen in Mannequin and Mannequin 2), and somewhere in the city, possibly in my neighborhood, potentially still on my block, probably in my apartment building and/or closet, the creepy statue is loose. It's like the Leprechaun movies, only scarier because it's not dressed like a goddamn leprechaun!* What's weird is that this thing scares me because it's old, wrinkly, and is a statue, whereas if I met an old, wrinkly midget, I'd probably try and get him to ride one of these Shar-Pei's.
That might be offensive, but it's also effing ADORABLE. You remember when medicine was still ridiculous enough to chalk deaths up to things like "old age," "a broken heart," and "grief?" Well, people would be dying of "too much adorableness." It'd be that adorable.

“More Sex in the Civil War”:Speaking of the olden days, I was flipping channels to avoid knifing my eyes out during basketball commercial breaks, and came upon this gem: "More Sex in the Civil War" with the description, "More salacious tales of soldiers and citizens." Sex? During the Civil War? Between soldiers and citizens? So...not to go all knee-jerk reaction joke on you all, but...that's like...rape, right? I mean, what other stories are making headlines? Was Rutherford B. Hayes bangin' dudes? Was Clara Barton throwin' around handies to wounded soldiers? Because otherwise, these stories are either about raping and pillaging or chronologically-old people getting safely laid. Obviously, I had to watch part of it and it turns out that MORE Sex in the Civil War (because the first was so good that the people demanded a sequel) is primarily about how "There's a war on" became the best pickup line around, causing massive STD epidemics, surges in prostitution, and everybody banging everybody. In short, the Civil War makes the '60's look like an episode of Full House.


Looks Like Runoff From the Sass Factory Has Gotten Into the Water Supply,

P.S. For those of you playing Witz Pickz Bingo at home, today's post included "retarded", "gay", "rape", "midget", a masturbation reference, and a nuanced food poisoning joke. There goes my corporate sponsorship from Walmart.

*Incidentally, do leprechauns and The Pilgrims shop at the same store? Were the pilgrims actually leprechauns or are the buckles just a coincidence? How can you be afraid of a leprechaun? I just don't think I could get past the outfit:

Leprechaun: I'm going to kill you now!
Witz: No, no, I get that, it's I get your pot of gold?

**I don't know anyone who has seen those Luke Wilson commercials and not said, "What a douchebag." I liked Luke Wilson, but after seeing his puffy, sag-faced smug mug on my tv every time I turn it on, I hope he goes all, well...OWEN Wilson.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Shattering My World, One Slice at a Time...

There are basically two things sustaining me these days: Netflix instant-streaming video and Trader Joe's Three-Seed with Honey Bread. This may seem melodramatic, but I recently realized my facebook account is about six pics short of one hell of an "In Memoriam" slideshow. There are a few I'd need to get rid of, but overall, I dare you to look at those pictures while listening to "Glycerine" by Bush and not cry. The day you see "Witz has untagged himself in 30 pics" is the day before I take this movie to the checkout counter. The moral of the story is that this morning, I went to retrieve my toast and it was on the floor.

Yyyup. My toast was on the floor, meaning my toaster-- my GD inanimate top-load toaster, which I have used with the same bread almost every morning for the last few months, ejected my slice of comfort from its belly and sent it hurdling to the cold, clammy, poorly-cleaned kitchen floor. If you were wondering what "Fuck You" sounded like in Toaster-speak, it's "Ch-chnk!"

At first, I didn't know what had happened. I returned to the kitchen to find an empty toaster where once there had been bread. My first thought was that one of my roommates had wandered in and forgotten whether or not they were the ones who had started making breakfast. I was momentarily astounded and infuriated that one of them would do that. "Time to move out," I decided. My second thought made a lot more sense: Ratatouille was actually a documentary and the main chef rat lived in my apartment, was probably hungry, and was POSSIBLY still voiced by Patton Oswalt. "I'm not moving anywhere," I determined.

My third thought was far less plausible: the toaster fired my food out of its cage and onto the floor. This theory meant that my toaster had somehow become stronger and was able to send bread of the same weight a further distance today than it could yesterday. If this was true, it would mean I could no longer assume anything would function one day as it had the last. The radiator might try to cook us all in our sleep, the microwave might turn my potato radioactive, and, obviously, all of these things might have free will.

My shower might watch me bathe, my Gilette Power Razor might try to slit my throat, or my phone might call people while in my pocket for no apparent reason and give them a frightening window into my life-- oh wait, that already happens. I don't know why I assume these things would gain free will and become evil, but it seems logical. I even assume that my fan, which I turn on most nights to fall asleep, would start changing settings from low to high to medium to high to low to high, just to alter the sound level it's producing and thereby negate the white noise affect that I turn it on for in the first place.

These are all reasons why I was both skeptical and terrified to look down at the floor to where my toast might be if the world is a mischevious, bedeviled, chaotic, insane asylum-- and so, of course, there it was. Shocked, I picked up the toast and stared at the moist outline it left behind on the black and white tile. I looked at the toast and blew on it half-heartedly, already knowing that I wouldn't eat it. At least one person living in this apartment (read: me) has dropped raw chicken on the floor and not cleaned it properly afterwards.* The chicken isn't half as bad, however, as the incident which occurred at one of our parties, where, as far as we all could figure, a pirate drunkenly used our toilet, stuck his peg-leg in the bowl and proceeded to wander out through the kitchen and the dining room, leaving circular shaped tracks along the way before disappearing into the night. Sooo, yeah, I wasn't gonna eat the toast.

Throwing out the improbably ejected piece, I placed another slice of bread in the toaster and waited, watching. "It won't happen again," I hoped aloud. In the other room on my computer, The Office was still on pause via Netflix. My apartment was the same, my roommates were the same, and the same smell of browning bread filled the kitchen as it had so many times before-- but as I looked down at the moist outline left by the bread on the cold, clammy tile, I knew; everything was different.

Maybe This Is Why I Need A Job,

*To be fair, I did clean up the raw chicken after I dropped it, I just have no idea what level of clean is CLEAN ENOUGH when this has happened. I don't know if it's me or a generational thing, but I was raised to pretty much believe raw chicken is THE WORST THING THAT CAN TOUCH ANYTHING. Salmonella, food poisoning, other bacterial infections, bird flu, swine flu, AIDS, a conservative congress-- these are all things that can be caused by raw chicken. Can soap really get the job done? Can the floor ever really be cleaned without getting a shaman involved??