The Indubitable Dweeb
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» Posts from July, 2010

July 14, 2010

Some Things That I Hate…

I’ve written before on this blog that I don’t have many pet peeves. It’s true. I really don’t. Perhaps I should qualify what I mean though. For there are some things that I hate with the passion of a lambada dancer. But that’s different than having peeves. Peeves are annoyances. Hate is at once emotional and, in my case, completely rational. It’s about seeing something that’s throwing the world off its axis and knowing you must condemn it for the travesty that it is. I will list some things that I hate here:

Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberg: Look at this smug son-of-a-farmer. He lands a plane in the Hudson River and they book him on Oprah and 60 Minutes. Next thing you know, they’ll be knighting Toonces the Driving Cat for swerving off a friggin cliff. That’s right. Sully ain’t no better than Toonces. I mean, from where I stand, any pilot who can’t land his plane on a runway is a fascist, socialist, French food-eating, soccer-loving kamikaze! You can, and you should, quote me on that. Want a hero? Try John Travolta. Not only was he the yin to Kirstie Alley’s yang in all those Look Who’s Talking movies, but he also never lands his planes on rivers. Case in point.

Sustainable Agriculture: Cucumbers are like albino rhinos. When I buy a one, I’d like to know that there ain’t any others like it. It’s the last of its line. So, I would hope that after my cucumber has been plucked from its cucumber bush, the entire plant is drenched in kerosene, and some overalls-clad hillbilly is tossing his corncob pipe down and banjo plucking the inferno into the night. An extreme view? Not if you’ve ever suffered the humiliation of showing up at The International Cucumber Festival in Suzdal only to find that some woman also has a kirby shaped like a duck.

Orphans: I’m not talking the Dickens variety or those Slumdog Millionaire tots, though I’m certainly not big fans of their pickpocketing, gameshow-winning ways. What I’m talking about are the ones who are always hanging out at the hotspots with Sandra Bullock and Madonna and Angelina Jolie. Clearly all they want to do is wink and shoot finger-guns at the paparazzi, then parlay the TMZ coverage into a book deal and a perfume line. I’ve had a hard enough time getting department stores to even sniff Dusky, A Fragrance by Aaron Starmer, now I got some 4-year-old Javanese celebutante to compete with for shelf space! It’s enough to make a man cancel his subscription to OK! Magazine.

Bushbabies: I don’t have many occasions in my life when I actually have to deal with bushbabies, but every once in a while I like to pop into the nocturnal primate room at the local zoo and check out an aye-aye or a slow loris or two. Without fail, I always end up coming across one of these bug-eyed nightmare merchants of a bushbaby and my day is shot. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I certainly can’t take in some jungle-themed animated film, for fear that it might feature a John Ratzenberger-voiced silver greater galago singing Randy Newman ditties.

Huns: Attila was alright, but the rest of these jokers? According to Wikipedia, “Huns practiced scarification, slashing the faces of their male infants with swords to discourage beard growth.” Jeeze, what a pathetic band of 5th-century metrosexuals. Remind me that next time I take my time-machine back to the pre-Magna Carta days I shouldn’t worry about bringing toenail clippers and Amstel Light. The Huns should be fully stocked. Sissies.

July 12, 2010

Taking the Piss Out of the Brits

I always assumed it happened at a town meeting in Pennsylvania circa 1718. They were hammering out a new ordnance, regarding wooden dentures or witches or something, when a young statesman with that distinctly American spirit said, “If I may venture to put forth a proposal, it would be that we cease conversing in this ridiculous British accent? Let’s just talk like normal people talk.” The proposal was followed by silence. Then the slow clap. Then the first occurrence of a crowd chanting, “USA, USA! USA!” a full 58 years before Washington crossed the Delaware. And from then on, not a single person born on this side of the Atlantic would grow up to sound like this guy:

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a bit of an anglophile. I adore London. I can sit through hours of British television with its washed-out palette and easily attainable heroines. I shrug like a Slim-Jim-fed simpleton and humor any Brixton-born footy fan who informs me that “the rest of the world doesn’t call it soccer, mate, they call it football, you know, like you yanks call the one with the chubby blokes.” I’m charmed by the Brits in the same way I’m charmed by that 35-year-old-guy who still wears his letterman jacket out to bars and gives you tips on how to pick up the ladies. There’s some interesting historical perspective there, but these are the folks that find Benny Hill funny.

The only thing that truly annoys me about our friends across the pond is their occasionally ridiculous pronunciation of words. I’m not talking about
usage of words. I’m fine with crisps and lifts and biscuits and lorries and all that. It’s the zany sounds that get me. Any waver of the Union Jack will say that British English is the purest form of the language and that it contains nothing but correct pronunciation. But I submit this. Ever since the fore-mentioned monumental town meeting of nearly 300 years ago, they’ve had it out for us. And Sir Robert Walpole or some 18th-century statesman decided that they should spite us by making their version of the language even more ridiculous. He went to Parliament, all wigged up and drunk on Pimms, and proclaimed, “We shall show those uppity colonists. From henceforth, Glacier is pronounced Glassier, like…Classier. And urinal is pronounced Your-Eye-Nal, like…well, good heavens, I haven’t a clue. But what the heck, it’s bound to rankle the noblemen of New Jersey.”

Seriously. Glacier. Urinal.

If you’re friends with Peter O’Toole, ask him to say those words. Gasp in horror and do what any red-bloodied American should do. Remind him he starred in Supergirl.