Archive for June, 2012

You gotzta spend money to SPEND money, yo!

Posted in Ironic on June 21, 2012 by Arthur Gradstein

You know the economy is upside-down and in trouble when you have to spend money to spend money.  It used to be “spend money to MAKE money”, but I guess someone ran the numbers and they didn’t add up.

For example, parking at the mall.  I’m there to spend money at Cinnabon and The Gap.  This is good for everyone.  I get to enjoy a frosted crack-bun and a cardigan, and my dollars help Viacom or General Electric make a bigger profit.  That means the stock goes up and stock holders are satisfied just to eat another orphan, instead of foreclosing on your mother’s house AND eating another orphan.  At least I think that’s how it works.  The orphan can’t be saved, I know that much from business school.

Another example: my wife ordered checks today from our bank.  We’ve handed the bank all of our cash to lend out for their profitable gain.  It used to be that they rewarded us for this with interest on our accounts or even small appliances.  I discovered toast thanks to Wells Fargo.  But now there is virtually no interest and certainly no blender.  You’ll have to pay to park to buy that.  And things that used to be free, like CHECKS, now cost $13.95 plus $6 shipping.  I’m paying to spend my money that Chase is making money off of.  Wtf?  Sidenote: checks suck and are antiquated.  If the only way to pay you is by check, PLEASE sell your business to Viacom or General Electric.  They’re coming for it anyway.

The one that bothers me the most: cover charges.  Bars and clubs charge me to enter the premises so that I can pay them double the cost of a mixed drink for myself and that girl over there.  And I guess her chubby friend too.  “If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends.”  I think Plato said that.  Anyway, there is no reason I should spend $20 bucks at the door to spend $13 bucks on a Banker’s Club and Tonic after waiting ten minutes behind a living cloud of Acqua Di Gio.

I think we are all being fooled to pony up additional dough because we’re told that “times are tough”.  So we justify it as a temporary condition.  But no more!  Join me in taking a stand and voting George McGovern in ’72!

Red Light Laughs

Posted in Pranks on June 12, 2012 by Arthur Gradstein

I am a firm believer that laughter is not only the best medicine, but also a powerful method of making peace.  Humor has an uncanny ability to disarm someone who is angry and make them realize their own absurdity.  For example, when my wife gets mad at me and her voice starts going the way of the tea kettle, I hoot and holler like a monkey, hop around, and slap the bed.  It always makes her break when I act like a wild chimp because, after all, when we get angry, that’s what we are.

Living in Los Angeles, road rage is commonplace.  People spend hours in their car alone, battling traffic, and the isolation makes it very easy to fall into a rage.

You get honked at, flipped off, cut off almost daily without necessarily even doing anything wrong.  That level of tension isn’t healthy.  Don’t bring that shit home to your family or your dog or hamster.  They don’t deserve it!   So I like to do my part for the good of society by helping road-ragers find some calm and enjoy the rest of their commute.  Here’s how:

Red lights provide a great opportunity to make a rager laugh.  If someone flips you off, honks, or mouths colorful words at you, catch up to them at the next red light.  They’ll probably expect you to yell back.  But instead, pick one of the following Stolen Duck approved methods:

1. THE PHANTOM

Pull up alongside them.  Stare at them for a few seconds with an incredibly stern face.  Don’t even blink.  Then, with your left hand, pull your seat recliner lever and quickly lean back.  From their point of view, you’ll disappear below your window line and it’ll look like no one is in the car.  Stay there for a moment, then sit back up.  I guarantee they’ll be laughing.

2. THE FACE-OFF

This requires that you keep a mask of your choice in your glove box.  Before you pull up alongside the offender, put on the mask.  Face away from them at first, like you are too afraid to look at them.  Then quickly turn your head to face them, revealing your mask.  The shock and absurdity will make them laugh.  I like to use this mask (of course):

Be creative with your choice.  Even the classic glasses, nose and mustache is highly effective.

3. THE EXPLORER

This requires a sunroof and a pair of binoculars, or even better, a spyglass.  When you pull up next to Mr. or Mrs. Angry, throw the car in park, slide open your sunroof and stand up out of it with your binoculars.  Look around like you are confused and lost.  Hold up your binoculars or spyglass and check the horizon.  Ask your red light neighbor if they know which way north is.

4. VIOLENCE IS WRONG!

This one works especially well for the ladies.  When you get to the light, roll down your window and pull your own hair out of it.  Actually pull your own head out of the window.  Scream at the top of your lungs, “Ow!  Stop it!  Let go!  Violence is wrong!”  You can use your other hand to try and pry your hand off your head.  Keep it up until the light turns green, calmly release yourself, and drive away like nothing is out of the ordinary.

5. THE CONFESSION

Just start yelling at yourself about how bad of a driver you are.  Loudly ask yourself, “Why would they let me drive?  What idiot decided to give me license?”  Ask your road rager if they agree.  “I mean, I should NOT be behind the wheel, right?”  If you have a car you don’t care about, grab a hammer or a tire iron and say, “You know what?  I deserve to be punished.”  Then lean out of your window and start smashing your own door panel.  Or even get out and smash your own hood.

And of course, you can always invent your own method, which Stolen Duck would love to hear about!

Spinach Teeth

Posted in Experiments on June 11, 2012 by Arthur Gradstein

Part 1

I had a lovely dinner with my wife last night at a restaurant called “Gulfstream”.  I ordered the roasted chicken.  She ordered the salmon.  Which meant I ate the salmon and she ate my chicken. I wanted that chicken.

Anyway, both dishes came with a side of sautéed spinach.  It was delicious.  But both my wife and I caught a serious case of spinach teeth.  No, not that there was spinach caught in our teeth, an embarrassing and unfortunate condition often paired with Gohomealonus, but rather we had a chalky or fuzzy sensation on our teeth.  It lasts for a few hours, or until a vigorous  a-brushin’ and a-spittin’.

After dinner, I was curious as to the cause of spinach teeth so I queried the almighty Google.  Here’s what he said:

“(Spinach teeth)” is caused by the high quantities of oxalic acid found in spinach. The oxalate crystals leak out as you chew, and even more, when you cook spinach and these crystals coat the teeth. Drinking milk with spinach can exacerbate the chalky sensation. Rhubarb, beets, kale and chocolate are high in oxalic acid as well.”

Thanks Google, you are such a good dad!  The wiki goes on to suggest that the Oxalic acid is a defense mechanism to discourage animals from eating the plant.  Because nothing dissuades a hungry bear like the discomfort of chalky teeth.

But I think man is superior to bear, and to prove it, I’ve decided to show Oxalic Acid that I can handle whatever it can throw at me.  Which apparently is a combination of cooked spinach, rhubarb, beets, kale, and chocolate washed down with a glass of milk.

Part 2

Just got back from the grocery store.  I checked out a girl with a pretty face in the parking lot.  Then I noticed she had unusually thick  thighs.  Then “she” walked into a wig store.  Yikes.  On with the experiment.  Let’s meet the players!

GREEN KALE

Better Known As: Spinach’s giant, hairy cousin

RHUBARB

Most Famous For: the tang in strawberry-rhubarb pie

Often Confused With: demon celery

A RED BEET

Inspiration for the song: “We got the beet!”

Greatest Prank Ever Pulled: Bloody urine freakout

CHOCOLATE

Last seen: Cheating on Mint with Peanut Butter.  Rightfully so.

MILK

Working Title: Nipple Water

SPINACH

Made famous by: Popeye, E. Coli

The Plan

Roast the beet, saute all the vegetables together with some garlic and butter, and then melt in some of the chocolate.  Chew it thoroughly for 30 seconds to extract maximum chalkyness.  Swallow.  Take a large sip of milk.  Observe Results.

PART 3: The Eatening

Okay.  It’s all chopped up and ready to go.

I melted some butter and threw it all a pan.  It actually looks like it might taste half-decent.

It’s all cooked and combined.  Now to make sure I get a spoon with a bit of everything.  Here’s goes.

It’s in my mouth.  Start the clock.  Initial reaction: this tastes fucking terrible.  It’s bitter, it’s tart, it’s fibrous.  The chocolate in no way goes with anything else.  The garlic was a terrible idea.  The beet tastes like sadness.  I’m chewing.  Fighting gag reflex.  But…

The chalkyness is growing.  Fast.  Quickly becoming unbearable.  I am totally chalking out.  At 30 seconds, I force myself to swallow and reach for the milk.

The taste of the milk is actually welcome.  It washes away the horror of what I just swallowed.  But it definitely intensifies the chalkyness on my teeth.  We’re at chalk mach 6.  Now I have a terrible case of dry mouth like I open-mouth kissed the business end of a Dyson vacuum that indeed has not lost suction.  It’s overwhelming.  Fuck you, Oxalic Acid.  My stomach hurts and my teeth feel like a caterpillar.

After a few minutes, I take a picture of my chalky teeth.  The results are shocking.  Almost like the Oxalic Acid is trying to tell me something…

*UPDATE: THE FOLLOWING MORNING*

I guess that meal was even chalkier than I thought.  Whoa…

What a waste…

Posted in Funny Objects on June 7, 2012 by Arthur Gradstein

I’m not an environmentalist by any means, but I don’t like it when materials are produced that needlessly go to waste.  Which is why I hated walking out my front door this morning to find this:

A phonebook.  In 2012.  I love how they put the QR code in the corner like, “Hey!  We’re part of the digital age!”  Those yellow sacks were all over the neighborhood.  So much paper.  So many man hours to distribute. What a complete and total waste.  At first, I thought it might make an interesting entry to compare the time it took finding a number in the phonebook versus googling it.  But then I looked down at my hands and realized that I’d just looked up Pino’s Pizza and Tanning on my phone and the phonebook was still on the table.  So I decided that, its original purpose obsolete despite Yellow Pages holding on as hard as they can, I’d try to find another use for that big, stupid, antiquated book.  At first, I tried the obvious:

A HAT.  But it wouldn’t really stay on my head, and yellow does nothing for my complexion.  So I kept trying:

A CUTTING BOARD.  This worked okay, but the food tasted like the way newspaper smells. Soily.  No go.

A BEER KOOZIE.  This had promise.  But then the pages started getting soggy.  And it really didn’t keep the beer cold at all.  I lost a perfectly good beer to ambient temperature.  What else will you take from me, Yellow Pages?!  I knew I had to get MORE CREATIVE.

iPAD CASE.  Didn’t really fit.  Kinda killed the whole sleek Apple thing.

BUTT ENHANCEMENT.  Too square. And frankly, my ass doesn’t need help.

TOILET FOOTREST.  Especially useful if you have one of those tall toilets where you have to squeeze on tippy toe.  But there was no traction, and I slid out from my seat like a water slide.  Then I noticed the pages.  Thin, crumply, like a…

ROLLING PAPER!  But smoking the ink gave me a headache.  And honestly, it was kind of a waste of weed, a joint that large.  Who am I, Snoop Diddy?

A SEX TOY?  This created way more problems than it solved.  Paper cuts, friction, my wife walking in.  This one was a bad idea from the start.  So, as a last ditch effort to turn trash into treasure, I tried my hand at MODERN ART.

Interesting.  But too post-modern for my taste.  And way too political.  I guess there really is only one place for a phonebook in 2012.

Difficult Riddles

Posted in Riddles on June 3, 2012 by Arthur Gradstein

These are really tough riddles, so I hope you are smart.  Highlight below each riddle to reveal the answer.

What’s red and smells like blue paint?

Red paint.

What’s brown and sticky?

A stick.

Who’s still together after all their shit?

My buttcheeks

Buddha’s Hand

Posted in Funny Objects on June 3, 2012 by Arthur Gradstein

I was food shopping the other day, rounded the corner, and was horrified and aroused by this amazing object:

Wow!  The grocer told me it was called a Buddha’s Hand, a citrus that could be used for zesting, jellies, and for perfuming rooms.  But I knew what it was really for: doing impressions of Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Pork: Be Inspired!

Posted in Ironic on June 2, 2012 by Arthur Gradstein

Targeted advertising is the wave of the future for monetizing the internet. By pulling keywords from our websites, emails, and profile information, we now see ads that are specific to us.  Write an email about going to the beach and boom — you see ads for sunglasses, sandals, and liposculpting. What an age!  But it seems that those behind the system might be abusing that power…  My friends Andrew and Helene were kind enough to invite my wife and me to a shabbat dinner at their house a few weeks ago. So, what ad gets attached to the evite? A huge picture of a pork chop wrapped in bacon with the headline: PORK: BE INSPIRED.  I revisited the page a few times to see if the ad would rotate, but nope, the marriage of pork and shabbat has been etched in the tablets. Apparently to the pork moguls, shabbat-celebrating jews represent an untapped (and uninspired) resource to *hock* their pork products.