Friday, November 16, 2007

Bumper Stickers You Probably Won't See on Humvees

You know how some days, you just find yourself burning with passion and righteous indignation and you can't wait to crank out a post laden with barbed satire and insightful commentary? Well, this isn't one of those days. Enjoy some bumper stickers, bitches!

And my personal favorite...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Vaya Con Carne, Mi Amoebas!

My friends accuse me of speaking Fake Spanish.

You see, I took six semesters of Spanish when I was in college. However, like most of my other classes, I only committed the material to memory long enough to pass the exams. I know there are all kinds of complicated rules for subjunctive tense, past tense, past-perfect tense, future-imperfect tense, past-double-decaf-with-a-twist-of-lime tense, etc., but I can't remember a single one. Each week we were given a list of 20+ vocabulary words to commit to memory, the idea being to build our vocabulary gradually. But each week, I would memorize those words, pass the vocabulary test, and then drink them all away the next weekend.

During my third semester of Spanish, the instructor hit on the brilliant idea of pop quizzes. Each day, he would select two people at random and have them go to the front of the classroom to carry on a conversation in Spanish. It didn't matter what they talked about... the idea was to get them to use their vocabularies, which were supposed to be considerable by this time.

So one day, I got called, along with an adorable little Kappa Alpha Theta named Caitlin. As the two of us made our way up to the front, my mind raced to form sentences from the 20 or so vocabulary words that I could remember. I knew it was up to me to take control of the conversation, because otherwise Caitlin might veer off onto a topic for which I simply lacked the words to express myself.

So our conversation went as follows:

Me: ¡Ay, caramba! (Oh, darn it!)
Caitlin: ¿Que pasa? (What is happening?)
Me: Estoy muy cansado. (I am very tired.)
Caitlin: ¿Por que? ¿No duerme usted mucho? (How come? You don't sleep much?)
Me: Si. Es verdad. (Yes. It's true.)
Caitlin: (Says something in Spanish that I just don't understand.)
Me: Um... ¿Que? (Um... what?)
Caitlin: (Repeats something in Spanish that I still don't understand.)
Me: Um... Yo no se. (Um... I don't know.)
Caitlin: (Getting frustrated) ¿Por que no duerme mucho? (How come you don't sleep much?)
Me: Uh... um... Porque mis cosas estan en el bano con el diablo. (Because my things are in the bathroom with the devil.)

At this point, Caitlin just looked helplessly at the instructor until he told us both to sit down. Caitlin probaby got a really good grade because she was cute. I got a C.


A couple of years later (I spent an indordinate amount of time in college), my buddy Keith was struggling through his Intro to Spanish course. Despite my illiteracy in the language, I had managed to pull A's and B's in the classes, so he turned to me to help him study.

Basically, it was a list of questions that the instructor was going to be asking the class the next day, and they had to be able to respond in Spanish. It was really elementary stuff... What is your name? Where are you from? How are you feeling?

One of the questions was "How old are you?" In Spanish, that translates to "¿Cuantos años tiene usted?" or "How many years do you have?"

So I ran through the questions with Keith, and he seemed to have the hang of them. Then we got to the birthday question.

Me: ¿Cuantos años tiene usted?
Keith: (Blank stare)
Me: ¿Cuantos años tiene usted?
Keith: Um...
Me: Just go through it word by word. You can figure it out.
Keith: Okay. Say it slow.
Me: ¿Cuantos... años... tiene... usted?
Keith: Um... uno?
Me: One? Seriously?
Keith: Are you asking me how many anuses I have?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Jack Chick Halloween Special - Part 2

In case you missed Part 1, just scroll down and read it you lazy bastard!

Jack Chick has spent the last 40 years putting the "mental" back into "fundamental" with his hateful little comic book tracts. These "Chick Tracts" rail against all the things that are wrong with the world: Catholics, hippies, rock music, astrology, evolution, etc. But for some reason, the one item that rides at the top of God's shit list is Halloween. Why? Well, the reasons are so myriad and insane that it would take several pamphlets to enumerate them. Fortunately for us, Cap'n Jack has set out to do just that, which brings us to the second entry in his crazy-ass parade...

Boo! (1991)
Like the much touted "War on Christmas," Jack Chick believes that the true meaning of Halloween has been lost amidst all the secular hijinks and commercialism. You see, when kids put on those Batman costumes and wander from house to house asking for candy, they are actually reenacting an ancient ritual where druids used to put on Batman costumes and wander from house to house asking for children and virgins.

Our story opens with Charlie, a high school student in his mid-30s, renting out a campground for the annual Salem High School Halloween party. And the name of this campground is... wait for it... Camp Basil Bub! Haw, haw, haw! Our middle-aged high school student gets a hell of a deal on the place because just one year ago, 13 people were... MURDERED! And despite the fact that the killer was riddled with bullets and still got away, Charlie gets right to planning the evening's festivities. You know, music... snacks... sacrificing a live cat at midnight. And as the honking high school students drive away, a sinister figure with a pumpkin head and a pet snake suddenly realizes that he forgot his chainsaw.

Midnight comes, and things are getting mighty wild at Charlie's Halloween party. The three or four people who showed up are gathered around an altar for the cat sacrifice when, suddenly, the pumpkin-headed man bursts into the cabin WITH HIS CHAINSAW! So apparently he went home and got it, thus neatly wrapping up what could have been a storyline left dangling for years. Take a lesson, writers of Lost!

Anyway, the pumpkin-headed killer dices up everybody at the party except for one guy, and a mouse and a cat, all of whom flee the grisly scene. Apparently, the sole survivor calls the police, and one of the deputies interrupts the Chief, who is using black magic to levitate a coffee cup when he gets the news of the massacre.

Forty minutes later, the Chief and his sombreroed federales have emptied their guns into the pumpkin-headed killer, who removes his mask and reveals himself to be... SATAN! The sight of the effete Prince of Darkness proves too much for one of the deputies, who lapses into an Irish brogue as he flees.

Satan makes his way to "the village" and, for nefarious reasons we mere mortals may never understand, decides to cap off an evening of slaughter by scaring a Christian. He crouches outside the window of the "Village Church" and peers inside at Joey, a fine young man who apparently spends many an evening praying until after midnight. So what was Joey praying for? No idea. I think he was pissed that he didn't get invited to the Salem High Halloween party, so he asked God to send an unstoppable killer to hack up Charlie and his friends with a chainsaw...

As Joey makes his way home from his marathon prayer session, the devil jumps out and tries to scare him. But Joey's faith in the Lord is strong! He rebukes Satan, who literally runs for the hills while shouting swear words that are apparently best left to the imagination. Joey defiantly shakes his fist and tells the devil that he hates him *and* his lousy birthday!

The next day, a clearly shaken Joey goes to see his pastor, which seems like a reasonable course of action once you've had a personal run-in with the Hoary Master of the Netherworld. I mean, let's face it. Once you've come face to face with the very embodiment of evil, you're going to have some questions of a very spiritual nature.

What Joey wants to know is if Halloween is really Satan's birthday.

"Of course not, you retard," the pastor almost replies. He then launches into the standard Jack Chick diatribe about druids and human sacrifice. Now, this kind of bothers me because early on in the story, the devil himself referred to Halloween as his birthday. Why would he lie about something like that? I swear, sometimes Satan can be such a bastard!

Anyway, the Insane-o-meter gets cranked up to 11 as the pastor explains Satan's plot to Joey. Satan uses Halloween to trick little kids into becoming werewolves and witches, and then they commit human sacrifice, which God really hates. Not because it's murder, but because it makes a mockery of the crucifixion, which Satan is trying to keep you from hearing about. And THAT, Pastor Moe Howard informs us, is his trick.

I can't help but be disappointed with Chick at this point. Usually he puts a lot of thought into his conspiracy theories. I mean, he's concocted a secret history of the world involving lost Israeli tribes, the Illuminati, the European Union, the Lincoln assassination, the liberal media, and the Catholic Church. That's batshit crazy writ large, my friend! But what do we get for Satan and Halloween? Some half-assed attempt to connect a bunch of unrelated dots. Let's face it. This "wicked scheme" is even lamer than Joker's attempt to conquer Gotham City by becoming King of the Surfers.

So that's pretty much it for Boo! In an epilogue of sorts, we see that Joey managed to scare the devil back to Hell by talking smack about his birthday. Whimsically dressed in his pumpkin head, Satan laughs good-naturedly as a tormented soul shakes his fist from damnation's flame and calls him a rat.

Powerful stuff.

Next: A kid dies tragically on Halloween night, and a Sunday School teacher comforts his friends by assuring them that he's burning in Hell. Don't miss Happy Halloween!