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When I was a kid, the movies taught me that there were five things that I wanted. Now, you’ll have to remember that it was the early nineties, and, being a kid, I was impressionable. It is only with adult eyes that I can see that I totally still want these things now.

1. A lightsaber

When I was a kid, this was the ultimate icon of being awesome. This weapon of the Jedi was only to be used by the capable, the talented, and, naturally, the awesome. Every kid thought that he could be that way too, if only he had one of these.

The problem, of course, is that, were it real, the lightsaber would be the most dangerous weapon one could wield. At least with a gun, you can be fairly certain the deadly part is facing away from you. With the lightsaber, it’s flailing all about your face, and getting hit means you lose a body part. Instantly.

And, while the new series may have made some parts of the Star Wars universe less awesome, lightsabers only got better.


Everything is better when doubled

2. A dinosaur

For some reason, it seemed every kid my age went through a dinosaur phase, where it was all we could talk about, or read about. It may have had to do with the fact that Jurassic Park came out during this period, and was oddly being marketed to kids, despite featuring lots of gory, dinosaur-related carnage.


Cuddly

But that didn’t matter. Most kids, especially kids that were smaller than the others, or maybe got picked on a lot (I was pure muscle and eight feet tall, this wasn’t a problem), wanted a dinosaur to be their best friend. Everyone would do what you said out of fear of being eaten. Bedtime was a thing of the past.

3. A Wise-Cracking Animal Sidekick

The dinosaur thing kind of fits in with this. As its been said, everyone is the hero of their own story. Being pumped full of Disney cartoons, I grew up with the assumption that all heroes had sarcastic animal friends who were quick with a song, joke, and eventual straight-to-video spinoff. So I never could understand where my sidekick was. I knew many animals as a child, and not one of them sang, or even had the voice of Nathan Lane. The only animals I could get to follow me around were the wasps whose nest I disturbed.


And their jokes are terrible

2. My Parents to Disappear

For some this may seem odd, but I know at least one person my age read that and went “Kevin!” No, not your brother. Though he may have stolen your car again.


Kevin!

One of the biggest hits of my childhood was Home Alone. This movie knew what kids wanted. Every kid deep down knows that he could take care of himself, if given the chance, and this movie proved it. Kevin not only learns to feed himself, and go shopping, but he also fends off two burglars, as inept as they may be. We could all do the same. In was inherent in our genes. We just needed to opportunity. If my parents had gone on vacation, accidentally leaving me behind, I knew that I could not only do as well as Kevin, but better. I knew it wouldn’t end with me crying in the corner the second the wind outside made scary noises. No, that only happens now.

1. Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Room

I don’t even feel the need to explain this one. I’m just going to show you.

Beautiful.

…And on That Note

After writing my last article I was sent this video.

I’m not sure who I feel worse for in this video. But let that stand as a lesson. A kid can be anything he wants to be in life, even a single lady.

Motown fixes everything

So it’s about time I addressed the existence of a song called “Single Ladies.” Everyone else has, including but not limited to that horrible chipmunks movie sequel.

Seriously. Alvin and the Chipmunks weren’t even good as cartoons, why on Earth someone would make them live action and real chipmunk sized is beyond my fathoming. But that’s not my point today.

This is the song in question, for all of you viewing this website from a neighbor’s wifi under your rock.

I have a host of objections against this song. First, what is that weird squeaky noise? They accompanied this song with what sounds like an alarm clock underwater and then washed their hands of it. That’s all that is accompanying Beyonce’s voice! Angry boring drums and some weird sound effect over and over. I’m sorry, but Beyonce’s voice is just not strong enough to carry a song by itself…and I don’t think Pavarotti himself could have held his own accompanied by that weird zippy robot noise.

If someone were to bottle pure annoying, I think they’d find it could be crystallized in the form of that noise.


Or into this.

And the lyrics aren’t so great either. Let’s put aside the Buzz Lightyear quote for a moment and focus on the fact that she either refers to herself as “it” throughout the entire song, or she is under the impression her ex just really, really liked her ring finger. And, while the chorus scolds the ex boyfriend for not putting a ring on it, the bridge chides him for treating her to “things of the world,” because, “she’s not that kind of girl.”

…So did she want a ring or not?

Either way, I’m left scratching my head. Needless to say, I hated the recording the first time I heard it and I still do. It’s boring. It’s hard to listen to on account of there being nothing but Beyonce’s voice, weird noise, and drums. It’s insulting. I imagined there was nothing on this earth that could make me like it, not even a weird ill-fitting music video with a weird robot hand and chicken dance moves.

I was mistaken. Motown made me like it. Motown fixed this song. The people at Endless Noise decided that what this song was lacking was a band. Music. Something to accompany the vocals. Piano. Bass. Horns. Guitar. A band.

It just goes to show you: if your lyrics are crap and your melody can’t stand alone, don’t throw out the band. Motown’s got your back.

Robin Hood Caught

Well, Denver finally did it. They’ve got Robin Hood in custody. Apparently Hood hasn’t so much been robbing from the rich and giving to the poor as much as stealing identities and feeding his drug habit.

He was caught shoplifting some baseball caps, no doubt in order to update his look a bit.

robin
Now no one will know how much I love the Cardinals

When store security stopped him, they discovered “injection devices” which I suppose were needles. But Robin, quick on his feet, tried to cover his tracks, assuring the officers that they were “for heroin.”

Realizing he may have put his foot in his mouth there, he recovered quickly by basically incriminating himself as deeply as he possibly could by apparently handing law enforcement all they could ever need to know about his criminal history. Presumably on a platter or other serving dish.

I guess it just hurts to finally come to terms with the man behind the legend. Oh well, Hood. Perhaps it’s about time he retired anyway.

Old People

Attention old people: You are slow. Could you read that okay? Probably not. YOU ARE SLOW. That’s better. Now, I know some of you probably think I’m being unfair to the older readers here at Say No to Crack, and I concede I am. But of course old people know they’re slow. Except for a few.


And I shudder to think what their definition of fast would be.

But the point stands. The majority of the elderly are aware that they no longer move with their same youthful speed. So would it be so hard for them to get out of my way.

Say, for instance I am at the store. I have less than ten items, a fact which entitles me to my own lane. This makes the trip potentially much quicker, and I do not wish to bathed in fluorescent lights and muzak for longer than I have to be. Nothing in this world should prevent me from exchanging money for goods in a hurry – except for the elderly roadblock nice lady who has decided that her Metamucil can only be found in the middle of the aisle.

An easy solution presents itself. I could simply go around, correct? Simple enough, if I wanted to send an old person hurling to the floor faster than they’ve been able to walk in twenty years. What do you take me for?

You see, in addition to losing their ability to move at a reasonable speed, the elderly also tend to lose the ability to move in a straight line. They will weave left and right until they either bump into something or someone – and I don’t want to be that someone. Asking politely if you could slip by rarely works either, as that would require them to hear you, or, at the very least, give a young person a break.


Excuse me, ma’am…um…never mind.

But let’s not dwell on the unpleasant. Think for a moment: when driving on the Interstate, there’s a lane for people that wish to go slower, is there not? The choice is clear: an elderly grocery store lane.

Section off a part of every store aisle exclusively for the aged. This way, those who can move faster than a glacier will be able to get what they need quickly, and those who think the glacier needs to slow down a tad can meander towards the Tom Brokaw books. We can even add bumpers to the sides to protect against weaving.


And aid bowling

Of course, if we’re building separate lanes for people who are ticking me off:

You, Ms. Hurry Goesfast. There is nothing you have to get that will not still be there in two more minutes. This isn’t a catch your own rabbit store.


Though that would be AWESOME.

There’s no reason to bowl everyone over on your way to buy those q-tips. Ear wax is not a pressing issue. I hope. But whether you get it at sixty miles an hour or an actual human speed makes no difference. It will still feel all weird when you stick it in your head.

So, by pushing and shoving me out of the way, by cutting me off because you cannot wait one second for me to finish picking a candy bar, you’ve broken store etiquette. You can’t just cut someone off in the checkout lane. That’s like the real-world equivalent of…something…bad.


Pictured: something bad

So slow down people. Life’s too short to go racing through it after over-priced frivolities. And, speed up. And get off my lawn.

Merry Commercialmas!

Today is the day! At last! The day where kids all over the world leap out of bed at the speed of sound and open their presents in a flurry of paper and ribbons. Merry Christmas!

…But you know what? All these new, hip, updated versions of all my favorite Christmas songs has made me come to realize just how outdated those songs are – their old-fashioned lyrics and messages simply don’t mesh with the sexy modern treatment Christmas has been receiving. I mean, peace and love to mankind? Love and magic and family togetherness? Yeah, okay, grandpa, now tell us about vinyl records and hoola hoops and president Truman and buffalo nickles and powdered wigs and the Great Serb Migrations.

grandpa-tumblebug
Okay, grandpa, nice stick guitar can we play Rock Band now?

So on this special day, I’d like to suggest to the public at large a few minor changes to old traditionals that might just help bring them up to the twenty-first century, okay? Bear with me now.

1. Frosty the Snowman.

So. A magic hat makes a snowman come to life. He dances around with some kids and then leaves, promising to come back some day.

Yaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwnnn.

FrostySnowman
Don’t be sad, Frosty. You’re just obsolete.

Picture this: Frosty comes to life, and leads all the children thumpity-thump-thump all the way to Wendy’s for a tasty Frosty with french fries. See? Just a little product placement can really take it places. Genius, I know. You can have that one for free.


They even make them in vanilla now too, so that’s ok

2. Santa Claus is Coming to Khol’s.

You better not save,
You better come buy
You better not wait, I’m telling you why,
Santa Claus is coming to Khols

He’ll see you when you’ve reached him
After a giant, crowded wait
He’ll advertise our discount racks
So spend for goodness’ sake!


As if Claus hadn’t sold out already

…Now that one, that one’s not free. I accept paypal payments.

3. Silent Night.

With a little tweaking, this song becomes the sad tale of a man who’ll never turn to Verison again for his mobile phone needs. Round yon Virgin Mobile more like!

Untitled3
Radiant signal from thy satelite…”

The list is as endless as imagination itself. This, as we know, is the season for receiving, and I think that includes receiving ideas and subsequent royalties. Greensleeves? Or Spend some Greensleeves. Do you hear what I hear? Or, did you hear what he bought?

I hope this season finds you all in appropriate spirits. I know I am! Merry Christmas!

Beatology

Christmas is coming. To tide you good children over until then, here is an educational pre-inactment of what historians will see looking back on twentieth century pop culture.

Also, I’m pretty sure I just invented the word “pre-inactment” so nobody use it, it’s mine.

A late return

Well! I’ve changed jobs recently, tacking a 45-minute commute onto my daily work schedule. And, while I’m sure you’ve been waiting on pins and needles for my return and perhaps have found yourselves frustrated, remember: at least I’m not these people.

Someone in Phoenix took out a pair of books and then moved out of the state. Rather than doing what most people would do and say, well, it looks like we got some free books, they decided to read them (apparently at one word a day) for 51 years. And then return them.

reading01
“Blue.”

Along with $1,000 to cover the fines.

If everyone were this honest, I imagine the world would be better. Or our libraries would all be empty for decades at a time. I only wish I knew what the books were.

I’m not talking about genetics attractive. I’m talking about behavior attractive. Sometimes all it takes is one mistake to turn a perfectly lovely person into an unattractive one. This article is here to help them, to help everyone, avoid these mistakes.

4. THE KISSY FACE.


It doesn’t work.


Not even in black and white.

a group
Not even in a group


Not even for a dude

This one has been done to DEATH. There are approximately one trillion web-pages out there cursing the name of this snap-shot phenomenon. Stop doing this, everyone who does this. It distorts your face and makes you look dumb. Nobody likes this. It’s not funny. It never works.

3. THE BOUQUET CATCHERS

Maybe this one is a little specific, but it’s true. When a person gets ready to go to a wedding, they generally dress nicely. Pick out their nicest clothes, their best shoes. They apply makeup carefully, do their hair just so. They want to make a nice impression, and also to respect the bride and groom.

Then, mysteriously, for a handful of minutes, this person who tried so hard to be presentable, devolves into a hulking, violent primate. I mean, catching the bouquet can be – and is, for most people – a fun tradition. But for some, it’s the most competitive sport they’ve ever known, and they will spoil it for everyone else.


Pictured: a bunch of sane women and three who have chosen used flowers over dignity

My advice: stop worrying about that bouquet. Don’t hulk out and start elbowing people like a football player- it doesn’t match your dress. If you really want to get married next, just ask someone, don’t rip a girl’s hair out over a second-hand bunch of flowers. Maybe you’re doing it to be funny, but it’s not, and it may end in tears.


Let’s tear it to pieces in a violent display of public self-respect!

2. FLIP-FLOP FORMALS

This one goes along with number 3. Flip-flop (or “thong”) sandals are perfectly fine for day-to-day use. I don’t prefer them, but they work as an ultra-casual shoe for most. So what is the point of people spending hours on their hair, faces, and clothes, just to skip the final step and throw on some lazy pair of flip-flops?

I mean, maybe if your wedding/dance/formal is at a beach, fine. But it doesn’t matter how much shiny metallic paint or plastic jewels they cover them in, a flip-flop is a flip-flop is a horrible way to complete a formal outfit.


No, no, no!

…And yes I know some people wear them because they’re more comfortable than formal shoes. Buy different formal shoes.

1. THE BRAGGART

These people are probably the worst, in that they think they’re actually doing their image a favor when really they’re making a fool out of themselves.

These people have to name the price tag of everything they wear. They’ll inform you of the worth of their purse collection even if you didn’t ask. They’ll tell you how much their sunglasses cost if you so much as look at them.

They’re the first to tell you they went to the best school, had the best professor, made the best life choices.

You like that chair? Oh, it’s a special antique, don’t sit too hard in it. You like that watch? Well, not everyone can afford one like it. By the time you’re done spending an evening with a braggart, you’ll know all about their awesome grades, jobs, clothes, family, even the thread count of their sheets. If you have an interesting story, don’t get too attached to the idea of finishing it. The braggart’s been everywhere you have, and did more while they were there.

All they’re doing is trying to impress you. What they’re really doing is providing you with a hilarious story once you get back to your friends. Never forget, kids, if your idea of impressing someone is listing a price, or name-dropping, you probably haven’t actually done enough stuff worth bragging about.

So always remember, beauty is as beauty does, and beauty does not dress up nicely only to wear flip-flops, make kissy faces, and brag about how adroitly they elbowed that bridesmaid in the face to catch the bundle of limp flowers (with their $500 elbow).

You’re all beautiful. Happy November.

Gun-slinging Granny

I personally love stories about old people being super. It’s just a comfort to know that no matter how old you get, you can still be rock on awesome. Like that 72-year-old guy who beat up his knife-wielding attacker in June. Best quote of the article:

McCalium threw the knife towards Mr Corti but the former Royal Engineer dodged the blade and then punched him.

Or the 78-year-old bank teller who put on her angry voice to kick a bank robber out of the building.

But I’ve never heard a story quite as amazing as this.

A family sits in a hotel room, enjoying their evening, when an armed man bursts in and demands all their money. The thief shoves his gun in their faces and the younger members of the family begin to obey, when the grandmother pulls out a gun and – no crap – shoots him dead.

Why don't you ever wriiiiiiiiiite??

Why don't you ever wriiiiiiiiiite??

This must have been the biggest surprise (at the very least it was the last surprise) of the bad guy’s life. He thought he had it in the bag, the door was literally open for him. “Everybody knows what the game is here,” he said, the smugness in his voice probably tangible. “I want your money and I want your jewelry…”

So next time your grandmother offers you a butterscotch candy, accept it and be glad it’s not a bullet. And please remember to always, always respect your elders. They might just kick your butt.

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