Friday, March 14, 2008

The Indianapolis Colts urinal

Can't confirm whether this was used by Peyton Manning, but for a diehard Colts fan, this product is No. 1. Or at least for going No. 1.

This item will come with a letter of authenticity signed by Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts.

Don't worry. He signed it with a pen.

Life changes, tattoos don't

After passing along a note about tattoos yesterday, I remembered this column I wrote in September.

Life changes, tattoos don't

The Dallas Morning News

Now that college freshmen have spent a few weeks on campus, they’re probably getting the hang of things. They might, however, have some questions about higher education.

Among them:

How do I balance studying and a social life? Why do some textbooks cost more than the desk I set them on? Is there a way to convince my roommate that a burglar broke into our dorm room and stole his entire collection of Norwegian folk music?

All are important questions, especially the last one. I once had a friend who was nuts about a “global rhythms” CD. I kind of liked it at first, but after a few weeks I was ready for any song that didn’t include bongos, a sitar or a willow flute.

Anyway, back to helping college freshmen — lovingly referred to as “Cha-ching!” by their academic institutions. Do I have any answers for the questions above?

Sadly, as was the case with many test questions I faced at the University of Arizona, no. But as a college graduate with many friends who graduated from college, or attended college, or at least considered enrolling while playing a “global rhythms” CD, I can pass along one solid piece of advice:

It’s easier to change a major than a tattoo.

No, I’m not kidding. That’s serious advice.

That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with tattoos. I truly admire people so passionate and committed to something that they decide to make it a permanent body adornment. Now that’s confidence.

But the college years are a vulnerable time. You’re impulsive, reckless and swayed by peers who are in their 10th semester and still haven’t declared a major. It’s when you’re learning about the world, learning to be independent and learning that using a karaoke machine to broadcast play-by-play of a video game in your dorm room is not welcomed by neighbors. (Your experience may vary.)

And this is the time when a lot of people get inked up. You’ve got confidence, you’ve got zeal and now you’ve got a fire-breathing dragon covering your back, a snake slithering up a bicep, and a tattoo that says “EAST WING BROTHERS FOREVER!” on your shoulder.

Wait. Who are the East Wing brothers?

Who knows. Many college experiences include at least one foggy night.

That’s why, college students, you should think before you ink. Don’t let friends talk you into it — or out of it. Getting a tattoo is an intensely personal decision, much like cosmetic surgery, your political affiliation and whether to admit you once owned M.C. Hammer’s Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ’Em album. (Hey, at least it didn’t feature any willow flute.)

If the tattoo really means something to you, go for it. My brother, for example, has about a dozen tattoos, and I think they all mean something to him. Even the “Wixon” that’s spelled out on his arm in a font size you might expect in a newspaper headline such as “Texas annexes Mexico.”

What that “Wixon” tattoo means, I don’t know, but our name does get misspelled a lot. I guess when someone writes “W-I-C-K-S-O-N,” it would be nice to just roll up a sleeve and flash a definitive spell check.

Still, it’s not worth it. Which I think a lot of college students would say 10 years after they give permanence to a fleeting moment in their lives. So before heading to a tattoo parlor, ask yourself these questions:

Does this tattoo include the name of a love interest I’ve known for less than a month? Will I proudly display this tattoo when I stop using the term “kegger?” If I have a bunch of tattoos, and they degrade over time, in 50 years will I look like a beat-up package that got accidentally mailed around the world?

I hope this will help. My only other college advice is that, although sometimes you might feel lost on a large campus, you are always more than a number to the university.

In most cases, you are a combination of numbers and letters. Such as Student No. A14529T.

It will be easy to remember if you have it tattooed on your arm.

'80s Flashback: Mary Lou Retton

Friday is here again, so it's time for another '80s Flashback.

Before a word from our sponsor, here are the recent '80s Flashbacks:

'80s Flashback: One night in Bangkok
'80s Flashback: Adams Atoms
'80s Flashback: Don't you forget about me

OK. This week's flashback is brought to you by No Holds Barred, the 1989 film featuring Hulk Hogan and the tagline "No Ring. No Ref. No Rules." And, well, no good. But hey, Hulk and the WWF were very '80s.

So this week's flashback is to the summer of '84, when Mary Lou Retton won the gold medal at the Olympics in L.A. I still remember it well because her "perfect 10" vault was played over and over. Especially on our family TV, because we had just bought our first VCR and were amazed by the technology. (Yes, we were easily impressed).

Here's the video, featuring the line I've heard over and over, "she just did the best vault of her life."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Regretting a tattoo

Have any tattoos?

According to this story, if you have one, you have a 50 percent chance of regretting it. That percentage seems a little high to me. But I can see how some people would have a huge regret.

From the story:

Alan Jenkins, a steelworker, recently revealed that he had undergone 20 hours at his local tattoo parlour and spent £870 on having a life-sized portrait of his girlfriend's face etched into his back.

However, soon after, Lisa Crooks left him for a colleague.

That must've been more painful than getting the tattoo.

A fire ant bite is indescribable?

I love overdramatic commercials. When they present a product as life-changing or describe cold symptoms as near fatal, there's great comedy value.

Yesterday I saw a commercial on killing fire ants. A man looks at the camera and says this:

"The bite of a fire ant is indescribable."

Breaking your femur is probably indescribable. Same goes for having your foot run over by a truck. But getting bitten by a fire ant?

That's happened to me many times. So to help this man in the commercial out, I offer this word from the dictionary:


Yes, the bite of a fire ant stings. For a couple of minutes. Then you move on and hope you don't suffer something truly tragic in your life, such as heartburn.

Woman on toilet seat for two years

From the Department of Beyond Weird:

A 35-year-old woman who apparently spent two years in her boyfriend's bathroom in Ness City had become stuck to the toilet seat, authorities said Wednesday.

How? Glad you asked.

"She was not glued. She was not tied. She was just physically stuck by her body. It is hard to imagine. ... I still have a hard time imagining it myself," Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said in a telephone interview, adding that it appeared her body fat had grown attached to the seat.

Outrageous. Kind of sad, too, but I'll still point out the funny connection of a comment from a sheriff with the name "Whipple."

You know Mr. Whipple, don't you?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Researching squirrel contraceptives

A gray squirrel contraceptive research project is under way on the Clemson University campus in conjunction with the USDA National Wildlife Research Center. The study is being conducted to reduce the damage the rodents cause to trees and shrubs.

I guess, like with teenagers, the abstinence lecture didn't work with squirrels.

Great icebreaker at parties ... Hey, so what are you up to at work?

You know, just some research on contraceptives for rodents. Typical stuff.

New York governor was just being passionate

By now, I'm sure you've heard about the trouble for New York governor Eliot Spitzer. But he was -- in one sense -- keeping his campaign promise:

"To bring some passion back."

Here's his campaign ad:


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A very strict dress code

Here's an interesting sign from a club.

The dress code is strict ... no caps, no baggy pants, no cargo pants, no shorts, no T-Shirts, no muscle shirts, no tennis shoes, no sandals.

But if you want to smoke, that's no problem.

Fire extinguisher turns pizza into ball of flames

A smoldering pizza burst into a "ball of flames" when ____________ tried to put out the fire with a water extinguisher.

Can you fill in the blank?

A. firefighter
B. pizza worker
C. college student

It's C, and the story includes this bit of advice:

"If you are not sure how to use fire-fighting equipment, do not use it, call us and let us deal with it."

Scary bit for kids planning to live in a dorm:

When he tried to dampen down the flames with water, the fat in the pizza exploded causing the whole block of flats to be evacuated.

Proxy weddings in Montana

No bride, no groom, no problem. Nothing swells the heart with love like a double-proxy wedding:

“Will you have this man by proxy to be your lawful wedded husband, and with him to live together in holy matrimony pursuant to the laws of God and this state?”

They have those weddings in Montana. Maybe they also have a proxy mother of the bride who cries during the ceremony.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Response to the energy drinks column

I haven't heard from Steven Seagal, but several readers weighed in on today's column, Humor Me: Bring on the energy drinks. Here are a couple:

I'm writing about today's article in the DMN, Monday, March 10,2008, 'Drink up some energy', well done. I think the whole energy drink business, hype and even little cute vehicles buzzing about town as moving ads, is a reflection of America's stupidity, it says a lot about our society, sad really.

Aside from the fabulously named & oh so carefully blended concoctions of pure crap in a pretty package, this "stuff" is nothing more than trash, something I wouldn't even sneak feed to my neighbors mean dog. This "stuff" could be full of under the sink household chemicals for all we know, but who cares it's all about a cool can, a cool name..., it must be some odd form of a fashion statement for the younger generation, I guess.

About Steven Segal, the man of no substance, who now hocks poison in a fancy cool named can, I have never liked him ever, not from day one, not now, not ever, and I like the way you tied the likes of him to the likes of energy drinks, BOGUS!

You forgot the most important slogan for energy drinks "One sip will give you the energy to earn enough money to buy another energy drink." ( At a cost 10 times that of gasoline and almost as much as Starbucks coffee. Ever wonder why bucks is in the name?) Isn't capitalism great?

Michigan women's basketball coach rants

Well, at least he's a very passionate coach. That's quite an entrance to a postgame media conference.

A memorable basketball debut

Soccer matches often end in a tie. Hockey games too. But basketball?

When it involves 4- and 5-year-olds, yes. My son Ryan's first basketball game ever ended in a 16-all tie on Saturday. Ryan scored four points, but he might've made more of an impression with his dancing on the court.

Yes, during the game. He also had a hard time keeping his pants up. I know baggy shorts are the trend, but we probably should've gone with extra small over small.

Asked for comment after the game, Ryan said:

"I don't know what to say."

It's a rare moment when he's speechless.

Humor Me: Bring on the energy drinks

The Dallas Morning News

The only Steven Seagal movie I’ve seen is Marked for Death, and I saw it when I was marked with pimples and struggling with peer pressure. But the movie did make a big impression on me.

First of all, Marked for Death remains the best movie I’ve seen involving a Jamaican drug kingpin named “Screwface.” Second, I still remember that Seagal thwarted injustice with martial arts and delivered powerful lines such as “put your hands where I can see ’em or I’m gonna blow your head off.”

He had the energy to do both.

So when I heard there is an energy drink called Steven Seagal’s Lightning Bolt, I wasn’t surprised. I also wasn’t surprised to see the Web site for Lightning Bolt claim that the drink holds “untold natural power.”

Untold natural power! That’s unintentionally hilarious, much like Steven Seagal.

But, hey, I’ll give Seagal some credit. He unveiled the drink a couple of years ago to cash in on the ridiculous popularity of energy drinks. And it doesn’t take Seagal’s incredible wisdom — “infinite wisdom” in the humble words of his Web site — to know that the best way to market an overpriced energy drink is by being over the top.

For example, Spike Shooter energy drink takes this subtle approach on its Web site:

“Spike is so potent, the label warns newbies to take it slow, but the flavor’s so good, you’ll want to slam the whole can.”

Whoa, dude. It must be the 1,057 milligrams of “Spike Shooter Formula” in every can. You’ve got to take that slow. Same goes for Burn energy drink’s proprietary blend of Endurlac.

Wait a second. What the heck is Endurlac?

Well, I’m sure it has some beneficial quality, just like the white willow bark extract in BHIP, the aronia berry in Amplifire and the aloe leaf and COQ10 in Marquis Platinum Vitality Drink. I bet if you asked people about their drink, they would guess COQ10 is a character from Star Wars before they guessed it was in their cup.

But it might not matter what’s in the drink. If you check an energy drink’s Web site, the ingredients are often difficult to find. But it’s easy to find descriptions such as this for Monster Energy drink:

“We went down to the lab and cooked up a double shot of our killer energy brew. It’s a wicked mega hit.”

The writer had to be laughing when putting those lines together. Doesn’t it sound like a thirtysomething person trying to talk cool to the neighborhood kids? Like this column is so wicked hype.

But of course, energy drinks are not for kids. Many even include warnings that their product is not suitable for children, although Mad Croc says its energy drink is what you need “when your parents remind you that the lawn isn’t going to mow itself.”

So I guess it is suitable for the slacker adult who needs to get a job and move out of the house.

It’s also suitable for women, but they might prefer Rip It Chic Energy, which boasts that it was “designed by a female chemist.” Its flavors are — omigod! — “Sin-A-Man” and “Berry In-O-Scent.”

Or maybe women would be more interested in Hype Enlite. I don’t know what’s in it, but the Web site raves about its bottle:

“The Hype Enlite packaging is pink and very stylish, contains a stunning floral design and hidden messages. Once the liquid is poured into a glass, you will see it matches the can’s refreshing pink looks.”

Yes, if you’re the kind of person who values a drink that matches the color of its can, this one’s for you.

If you prefer a drink that adds words to the language, check out Vault Red Blitz. It’s a one-two punch of “refreshergy.” If you want a drink that claims to enhance sexual prowess, check out Wired XXX. Drink it down, then get wild with the help of Maca, L-Arginine and Horny Goat Weed.

Or maybe you just want a lift from some Tibetan Goji Berries. That’s part of Steven Seagal’s Lightning Bolt, which contains the “countless secrets of true energy that Steven Seagal has discovered.”

It also promises that you won’t have an energy crash a few hours after drinking it. That crash is experienced only with other drinks.

And with the careers of some action-movie stars.


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