Monday, July 7, 2008

Next Door Neighbors

I am really excited to be able to sit and write a whole lot of nothing right now. I've recently gone through a change of address...and no...I am not in my Mom's basement...yet.

James and I moved into our new apartment in NE Minneapolis last week. I'm fairly certain we've upgraded by transferring tenements. Seeing as though whenever it stormed in the old place, worms would wriggle through my bedroom wall, die, then dry up on the carpet. That's a true story...and it's every bit as disgusting as it sounds.

We have two floors at our new place. How cool is that? Although, I do feel compelled to convince the landlord that we now need an escalator, elevator, fireman's pole, or one of those stair chair lifts (pictured right) installed, because taking the stairs is too much work.

I have yet to really get to know anything about my neighbors, other than their names, which I've already forgot. So, I saw it fit to ponder, what kind of neighbors do I really want to live next to? Then I remembered, thinking is a lot of work. I'll let you do the mental gymnastics for me.

Ned Flanders
If you want the never-do-wrong, steady-as-he-goes type of neighbor, this should be your pick. Ned keeps his lawn and house clean and presentable, his kids have uncommonly great manners, he let's you borrow his power tools without question and will never raise a fuss if you return them a month late...or at all.

And there is zero chance he's going to throw a raging keg-fest that will keep you tossing and turning all night. Yes, Ned is the perfectly quiet and clean neighbor you can always take advantage of.


Mr. Rogers

Another goody-goody-two-shoes type. Fred Rogers' sweater collection is fully furnished by his mom's knitting needles...every single one! Guess what you're getting for Christmas?

Unlike Ned, Fred has all sorts of day time "parties." And he hangs out with known gang members...the Sesame Street Gang. If his friend choices are any indication, Mr. Rogers is clearly a little immature...and not in the fun, "let's try and live off nothing but booze for the next three days" kinda way. Kind of a let down.


Cosmo Kramer

The polar opposite of the two previous options, Kramer is obnoxious and unpredictable. He barges into your place unexpectedly, eats your food without permission, and steals your stuff.

He does however provide endless entertainment with his hair-brained schemes and actions. His idea to market the "bro" (the male bra), the fact that he turns his apartment into the set of Merv Griffin's show, plus his overall homely sense of style mean you will never be in short supply of a good story to tell.


Steve Urkel
Catchphrases are lame (just ask Ricky Gervais in Extras..."are you having a laugh...is he having a laugh?"). Urkel has too many to count such as, "Did I do that?" and "No sweat, my pet."

So he will be insanely annoying to be around and associated with, but you will never have to worry about being that guy. He already is. In other words, keeping up with the Jones'...er...Urkels' will not be tough and you will never be the biggest loser on the block.


Kimmy Gibler
Admittedly, Kimmy is a stupid girl. She most likely will make you stupider (see...that's not even a word). She redeems herself by allowing you to do the stupid things you subconsciously want to, but feel silly for doing. And if anyone ever catches you doing this stupid shit you can just blame good ol' Kimmy.

Did you know: Uncle Joey (aka Dave Coulier...who is not cool) is widely suspected to be the subject of Alanis Morissette's bitter tell-off You Oughta Know. You know...the song where she sings this beautiful couplet, "Is she perverted like me/would she go down on you in a theater?" To quote Coulier himself, "Cut-it-out!" (with hand-motions).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Accessorize Me

While the rest of you were busy maturing and becoming adults, I managed to stay true to my roots. I haven't progressed even a little bit in the last 15 years. I will unabashedly admit that I still think it's hysterical when someone publicly flatulates, takes one in the shorts, or eats it while roller blading. Therefore, if I'm having trouble recalling why I put so much value and emotion into action figures as a kid, I can't imagine the mental anguish you're going to put yourself through to try and figure it out!

My primary toy obsessions growing up revolved around He-Man, (which is by far-and-away the best name ever in the history of names, because the symbolism makes, if I can use his own terminology, Arnold Schwarzenegger look like a "girly man") and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. By the way, if you liked Michelangelo the best...you and I can not be friends. Everyone who's everyone knows that Raphael was the most tubular turtle.

All this got me thinking...I deserve my own action figure. Undoubtedly, you could just use the same body mold used with He-Man (pictured above). The similarities are unnerving. Of course, we'd have to put my dashing mug on top. And since I'm a little more modest...some clothes. This is where I need your help. Every action figure has an accessory...what should mine be?

PBR Tall Boys
PBR me ASAP. Just writing that phrase makes my mouth water. You say they haven't won a brewing medal since 1893? First of all, it's only been 105 years since then. Secondly, that's only because some people like their beer to have flavor! For the rest of us...this is the beer to drink.



A Chuck Klosterman Book
If you haven't already read Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, drop everything right now and go to the nearest library. Chuck expounds upon everything from MTV's The Real World to internet porn. He also offers a series of ridiculous scenarios to ponder. Here's one to think about:

Someone invents "the dream VCR." The machine allows you to tape an evening's worth of your own dreams, which you can then watch. However, the inventor will only allow you to use this device if you agree to a strange caveat: When you watch your dreams, you must do so with your family and your closest friends in the same room. They get to watch your dreams along with you. And if you don't agree to this, you can't use the dream VCR. Would you still do this?

Stack of Snobby CDs
The collection would consist of old soul greats like Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson, original punk rockers like The Clash and Stiff Little Fingers, moody post-punk artists like David Bowie and Echo & The Bunnymen, some recent indie pop and electronic music like CSS and Tough Alliance, and of course in order to counter balance all of that snootiness I would have to include a guilty pleasure like MC Hammer's Too Legit To Quit.


Nooka Watch
I know this is a really lame choice. But sadly people seem to notice it more than my wit and charm. Although it seems intuitive to me, it apparently is difficult to read. I've had several people ask me if it's a phone/watch which I guess isn't the dumbest thing you could think, because one conspiracy theorist thought it was a detonating device.




Hair Gel
Have you noticed how many people like to compare others' appearance to a celebrity that they resemble? Yeah...I get compared to Nickelodeon's Jimmy Neutron (pictured left). Apparently I have a problem with using too much hair gel. That kid's hair is out of control.

On a side note: I was relaying my disappointment with this comparison to a co-worker in college, and she told me I shouldn't be embarrassed at all. "Jimmy Neutron is cute." I couldn't tell if she was hitting on me, or if she just had a thing for little boys...creepy!

Final Verdict: Hair Gel

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dimwitted Detectives

In the eyes of detectives, crime scenes are like puzzles, and all the pieces necessary to catch the criminal are there. Great gumshoes like Columbo, Hercule Poirot, Veronica Mars, Monk and Sherlock Holmes made the process of gathering and deciphering clues seem elementary. But just like every profession, there are those that excel and those that flounder.

Which of the following investigators is the biggest imbecile?

Inspector Gadget
Inspector Gadget is perhaps the greatest underachiever of all time. A man blessed with go-go gadget arms and legs, springs in his shoes, an inflatable coat, and a helicopter hat should not have trouble fighting crime.

Disappointingly, without his daughter Penny and dog Brain making sure he did not screw up, Dr. Claw would surely have taken over the world by now...shameful!

Inspector Clouseau
Often confused for the Pink Panther, which is actually the stolen diamond in the movie, Clouseau is an often times oblivious and awkward detective.

He not only embarrassingly botches the investigation looking for "The Phantom," but gets himself convicted of the very crime he is trying to solve...truly pitiful.



Mark Fuhrman
The one time LAPD detective became infamous in 1995 as a result of his role in the O.J. Simpson trial. He is responsible for finding the ill-fitting bloody gloves of O.J...errrr...I mean...the yet undetermined killer. Remember..."if the glove don't fit you must acquit."

And due to possible tampering of evidence and his racist ideals, he was largely responsible for casting a reasonable doubt that O.J. was a killer. In the process, he was convicted of perjury. To this day, Mark Fuhrman is the only person involved in the O.J. case to garner a conviction. What a d-bag!


Maxwell Smart
Actually more of a secret agent than a detective if you want to split hairs, but he himself wouldn't know the difference so I think it's fair to include him here.

Immensely awkward, clumsy, and unintelligent, Maxwell Smart does, however, display considerable prowess when it comes to hand-to-hand combat. Without his highly gifted and astute female side-kick Agent 99, Smart would never thwart any sort of crime.

Will Steve Carrell due him justice in the upcoming movie?


Final Verdict: Inspector Clouseau (3, Gadget 2, Fuhrman 2, Smart 0)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rat Pack vs. Brat Pack vs. Frat Pack

Anyone that's ever attended high school knows there is a social hierarchy. You've got the sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads and...of course...the "cool kids."

I forfeited any chance I might of had of being a part of the cool group when I decided to skip school for a day because I knew there was going to be a Knight Rider marathon on TV. Oh whatever...like you don't think David Hasselhoff is the shit! I have to admit, however, Ferris Bueller might have used his off-day a bit more efficiently.

The three posses listed below are the keepers of cool for their respective generations.


The original kings of cool. These multi-talented superstars were the bees knees in the '50s and '60s. The group consisted of Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford. They were the original stars of Ocean's Eleven.


The Brat Pack consisted of a group of young budding actors and actresses, more specifically, Anthony Michael Hall, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Rob Lowe, Ally Sheedy, and Judd Nelson. They were like totally awesome, radical and tubular during the '80s. Although probably the least well known of the group...Andrew McCarthy has starred in some gems. If you haven't seen Mannequin, starring a young Kim Cattrall, treat yourself sometime soon. And who can forget his performance in Weekend at Bernie's?


They are the new kids on the block...no...not those new kids...stop dating yourself! In the '90s these guys became the phatest guys around...no diggity. The main members include: Steve Carell, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, and Owen Wilson. Interesting fact...Owen Wilson has given himself the nickname...The Butter-Scotch Stallion. Is that not the lamest thing you've ever heard?

Final Verdict: Brat Pack






Inspector Gadget
1(20%)

Inspector Clouseau
3(60%)

Mark Fuhrman
1(20%)

Maxwell Smart
0(0%)


Total votes: 9

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The People vs. The Hangover

So if you are someone that thinks there is nothing more nerdy than writing blog posts, you are wrong. I spent nearly an hour last night looking at The Gavel's site stats. A few interesting things were accrued from this research. For instance, people from Germany, England, Romania, and Columbia have taken a peek. Someone found this blog via Google by searching "Michael Bolton Sucks." And the most popular and most visited post to date has centered on drinking bad wine.

In conclusion, my audience is a worldly bunch of drunks with a little bit of music taste. In order to cater to the interests of my audience (thank you marketing 101) I have created an Ultimate Hangover Mix to soundtrack this post.




The Ultimate Hangover Finalists:


































































































Final Verdict: Idiot #2

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Finest In Yellow Journalism

Embellishment and sensationalism are often implemented when telling a story for dramatic or comedic effect. In many cases, deviating slightly from the truth is understood and even welcomed. However, as is obvious to most already, when one strays too far from the truth it often leads to false notions of what actually took place. The Superbad clip (NSFW) below provides a perfect example of my last point.

video

This leads us to our next case. Which of the following sources do you consider to be the best reporter of news...and why?

The Onion:
They proclaim to be "America's Finest News Source." If you need a representative sample of their reporting check out this video clip.



Fox News:
Some people argue Fox News and its anchor-people are biased because they cater heavily to the conservative/Republican agenda. But that seems a bit unfair. Afterall, their slogan is "We report. You decide." Decide from this video...



Weekly World News:
Billed as "The world's only reliable news source," WWN has a long and storied history of bringing people facts. And it should come as no surprise that it's the eighth highest circulating newspaper in the world when they have quality news stories like this one.


The Daily Show:
Led by the charismatic John Stewart, its main goal is to bring truth and facts back to the news...with a "slight" liberal bias. Get a flavor of their leftist propaganda below.



Final Verdict: The Daily Show (4 vs. 2 the Onion vs. 0 Fox News vs. 0 WWN)

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Gavel Goes Green

It has been over a month since I subjected any of you to my absurd dribble, and as much as I'd like to claim my return to blogging is due to an overwhelming demand for my witty verbiage, it's more a byproduct of me just being bored.

Although some time has passed, not much has changed has it? The news media refuses to report on anything except Obama's former fanatical, religious, conspiracy theorist Reverend Wright, America's gas prices, and the struggling national economy.

I thought I'd give you a break from the redundant, repetitive, and superabundant aforementioned topics and talk about the importance of going "GREEN." Okay...so it's just as obvious and annoying as the others, but I have some green ideas that most people (aka sane people) haven't necessarily thought of. It's your task to decide which of these you will adopt this summer to save our planet from imminent doom.

Shower in the Sculpture Garden
The Cherry Spoon provides guests with the option of a quick shower or a nice relaxing bath. Remember to bring your own earth-friendly suds or bubble bath.

Or for those true earth crusaders...try not showering...at all!





Order Every Meal From Galactic Pizza
They have a complete vision of the future that lists all of the different green and community enriching activities they engage in already.

Your pizza might cost an extra $ or $$, but superhero delivery men and women (i.e. Captain Awesome, Veggie Avenger, Luke Pierocker, etc.) bring you your pies which totally makes up for the extra money, right?

If not, according to this article, you can get 50% off your order if you dress like Richard Simmons. Lucky for me...


Buy Your Clothes at Ragstock

I guess any used store will do, huh? Fashion is perhaps the most cyclical industry in existence so you know no matter how stupid you might look wearing your new neon off-the-shoulder tanks or tight acid wash pants you'll eventually be back in style soon...you could even start a trend! Remember...you have to suffer for fashion.

And it seems like a horrible thing to bring up winter when we just survived a long one, but I hear that Ragstock has a killer sweater section.



Final Verdict: Eat Organic Food (4 vs. 1 vs. 1)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Michael Bolton vs. Fingernails on a Chalkboard

As usual, I was being a huge nerd the other day and alphabetizing my CD collection (at least I wasn't putting them in chronological order like John Cusack in High Fidelity.) For the most part, I was pleased that I had a number of solid and timeless purchases, including: The Beatles' Help!, Arcade Fire's Funeral, and Sam Cooke's The Hits.

I also came across a few purchases that beg the question, "What the hell was I thinking?" such as: Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls Soundtrack, Jay-Z's The Black Album: Acappella, and Pissed Jean's Hope For Men. However, it wasn't until I found Michael Bolton's The Hunger in my CD stacks that I became embarrassed.

Michael Bolton

"How am I Supposed to Live Without You" seen above, is Bolton's most successful song. It held the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for three straight weeks. Which sounds impressive until you learn that Los Del Rio's "Macarena" held the #1 spot for 14 weeks.

Fingernails on a Chalkboard

Taken from Nightmare on Elm Street, this clip is without a doubt the most dramatic take on the old cliche.

Now the question you have to ask yourself is...if you had to listen to one of these more than once, which would it be?

Final Verdict: Michael Bolton wins (6 vs. 1)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Enough Talk...How You Walk?

Everyone has their own way of walking. Some of us stand tall and take big strides, some of us are hunchbacked and drag our feet. I am still looking for my signature stroll. Much like Joey from Friends, I am going through a walking identity crisis. Help me decide which of these walks below I should add to my repertoire.

Walk Like and Egyptian

This walk was popular when the pyramids were made (according to all those drawings anyways) and made a huge comeback in the '80s thanks to The Bangles. This proves that being cool is sooo cyclical. Since I've never been cool...I'm pretty sure my time is coming up!

Walk The Dinosaur

I didn't know Robin Williams was in a band (you'll see him :20 seconds in). This walk is clearly pre-historic. If you think I should go old-school, than this is definitely the walk you should choose for me.

Walk Like Cleto

(The song starts around 1:10) This walk is the new rage. I hear all the kids are doing it. And yes...this is REAL. I've watched it twice from start to finish and I still can't believe it. Highlights are too numerous to count, but I especially cherish the line, "You're going to bounce that booty like a basketball."

Final Verdict: Walk Like an Egyptian (3 vs. 1 vs. 0)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Man's Worst Friend

Last Friday I attended the rehearsal show for A Prairie Home Companion at the lovely Fitzgerald theater. That brings my attendance of live-recordings for the show to two, which subsequently means I have listened to the show in its entirety twice now. I know some would label a native Minnesotan that does not like Garrison Keillor's APHC a retard; but as The Office's Michael Scott points out, "You don't call retarded people retards. It's bad taste. You call your friends retards when they are acting retarded." So back off people...I'm the real deal!

This most recent show was the annual "Joke Show." I'm pretty sure I heard every pun under the sun (damn...I have a way with words, huh?). One joke shared that night went as such:

A dog is truly a man's best friend.
If you don't believe it, just try this experiment.
Put your dog and your wife in the trunk of the car for an hour and drive around.
When you open the trunk, who is really happy to see you?

Well that might work with most dogs, but the dogs listed below are not "man's best friend." In fact, they are quite the opposite! It's time to decide which dog is "man's worst friend."


Unknown Dog from Duck Hunt
Unless you were the loser kid that sat three inches away from the TV and actually touched the barrel of the gun to the screen, you are undoubtedly familiar with the nameless mutt that laughs at you when you fail in Nintendo's Duck Hunt. Initially, we all laughed with him. Afterall, it is only a game. However, after having several laughs at our expense, our attitudes towards this dog changed dramatically, didn't they? When it became obvious we were going to fail, who else here started saving bullets just in the off-chance they could tag him mid-giggle!?


Spuds McKenzie
Made famous in the '80s by Bud Light, Spuds McKenzie is a bull terrier. Spuds makes this list because I'm pretty sure lessening a man's chances of dating a woman is NOT friendly behavior. And "the guru of good times" always got the ladies he wanted. Check out this ad for proof.

This dog certainly had its day, but men need not fear losing their girls any longer, for Spuds passed away at the tender age of 10 from kidney failure. And as it turns out, "he" was a "she" all along. Before it became known, Budweiser employees privy to this sensitive information did their best to conceal Spuds from cameras, so as to hide her female "parts" while she urinated. You can't make this shit up!



Red Dog

If you are having a tough time powering through a hang-over people like to say, "you just need a bit of hair from the dog that bit you." However, if that dog is Red Dog...trust me...don't heed this advice! Brewed by Miller Brewing Company, Red Dog beer is widely considered one of the worst tasting beers. Need more proof...I once attended a heaven and hell party where heaven had a full bar with mixing ingredients, and us hellians, were stuck with Red Dog...at room temperature.



Cujo

We all look for different qualities in our friends. Some of us want funny friends, nice friends, cool friends, or if you're looking for the whole package...ME! But unless you're Tony Soprano, you definitely don't look for best friends that are killers. From the insane mind of Stephen King, Cujo first terrorized movie-goers in 1983.




Final Verdict: Duck Hunt Dog (4 vs. 0 vs. 3 vs. 1)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Battle of the Booty Jams

Most of these tunes will be familiar to you already, so watching the music video isn't necessary. But damn if it isn't funny! In some cases, I elected to embed the "clean" version of the song...which is to say, it's as "clean" as my thoughts are when someone mentions Rachel Bilson (off the record...yes, I have seen full episodes of The O.C. ...and enjoyed them). What I'm really trying to say is...this might serve as my first NSFW post depending on your employer. I guess I shouldn't necessarily be excited about this fact...but I am.

"Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-A-Lot

I like...this song and I cannot lie. I'm willing to bet that at least half of you reading this know ALL the lyrics to this song. Hopefully I am not the first person to tell you this...but that is really lame.

"BOOTAY" by Spank Rock & Benny Blanco

I warned you. This is the most recently released booty jam. According to Rolling Stone magazine, the female rapper featured in this video, Santogold, is going to to be the next big thing. Your welcome for keeping you cool. Just make sure you say you heard it here first.

"Bootylicious" by Destiny's Child

I don't think I can handle this. And I KNOW I'm not ready for that "jelly." However, Stevie Nix does make a 3-second cameo right at the beginning, which is pretty cool.

"My Humps" by The Black Eyed Peas

Whenever I hear this song I can't help but think of the hunchback of Notre Dame...and apparently I'm not the only one (this is really really lame).

Final Verdict: Baby Got Back (6 vs. 2 vs. 0 vs. 0)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Big Ern vs. The Jesus

First of all, not too long ago I watched The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. It. Was. Awesome. It's a documentary about the world of competitive video games, specifically Donkey Kong. The sheer nerdery on display is off the charts. We're talking Steve Urkel levels. I'm a fairly nerdy guy (this post and blog serve as evidence), but this movie makes me look like freakin' Fonzi. If you need a bit of a self-esteem boost, I would highly recommend watching this movie.

Without further ado...let me present our next case. This is definitely a heavyweight match up (I'm talking about The Stones vs. The Beatles, Ali vs. Foreman, Godfather vs. Godfather II, etc.). These are without a doubt two of my favorite movie characters of all time. Ironically, I would rate the respective movies they appear in as only average. Wait...did I just make an ironic statement, or was I "Alanis Morrisette ironic" (aka not ironic at all)?

Big Ern McCrackin:


Bill Murray is a comedy god. Whether it is the desperation, the insane comb-over, or the over-the-top dance moves, Big Ern is the perfect example of the guy you love to hate. He also bowls a whale of a game (lame adjective choice...I know).

The Jesus:


Nobody fucks with The Jesus! Foul-mouthed, hair-netted, and pony-tailed, The Jesus is a formidable foe...and rumor has it he's never thrown a gutter ball.

I know...I'm so torn too. But it's time to crown somebody the most bad-ass bowler!

Final Verdict: Big Ern (5 vs. 4)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Chighur Cut vs. Flock of Seagulls vs. The Mullet

Whether you believe the 80th annual Oscar recipients won due to performances head-and-shoulders above their peers, or because this year's nominees were weak, it's safe to say that the awards show lacked surprises. To epitomize this fact, Javier Bardem anti-climatically accepted the Best Supporting Actor award for his chilling portrayal of Anton Chighur in the Coen brothers' adaptation of No Country for Old Men (which also deservedly won the Best Picture award.)

Although Bardem deserves a vast majority of the credit for inducing fear via his performance, a percentage of the "creep" factor is due to his now iconic haircut. A cross between Prince Valiant and Jack White, the Chighur Cut is as flattering as the fanny-pack...which is to say...it doesn't look good on anyone! This got me thinking...what other male hair styles are impossible to overcome. That is of course...if you want to date.

A Flock of Seagulls became notable in 1980 thanks to the hit song "I Ran (So Far Away)." However, despite their overall above-average musical output, their legacy is band-member Mike Score's hair-don't (seen right). Most famously referenced in Pulp Fiction, the cut has become a pop-culture staple and hopefully will never grace another head.


The mullet, also known as the ape-drape, BIFPIB (business in front, party in back), the kentucky waterfall, or the skullet, is the reigning heavyweight champion of lame haircuts. It's so popular that an entire hollywood movie was made in its honor (Joe Dirt) and a website is devoted to its uniqueness. And in my opinion, no one wore it better than A.C. Slater (seen right) from Saved by the Bell.

Final Verdict: Flock of Seagulls (6-FOS vs. 3-Mullet vs. 1-Chighur Cut)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Franzia vs. Carlo Rossi vs. Boone's Farm

There are really only two kinds of wine drinkers. There are those that simply drink wine and then those that obnoxiously smell, swirl, sip, and pontificate about wine. The video embedded below, a scene from Sideways, an often-times funny movie about two men's journey to wine country in Napa Valley, provides an amazingly accurate example of what I'm talking about, and should help you figure out which kind of wine drinker you are.



If you aligned more with the dude on the left (Thomas Hayden Church), you probably already know and love Franzia, Carlo Rossi, and Boone's Farm wine and this discussion will probably take you back to the days when "blue tooth" was what you got the morning after a bout with the vino. If you saw yourself in the dude on the right (Paul Giamatti), you most assuredly never allowed yourself to drink such "classless" wine, or at the very least, would never admit it in public. For those that have already had the pleasure of getting to know these fine spirits, I apologize, for I will be highlighting facts you are already aware of. But for those snobs out there, read and learn about what makes each of these fine wines so great.

Franzia: IT COMES IN A BOX! Which as far as I know, doesn't give it any other legitimate advantage other than...IT COMES IN A BOX! According to their website, "Water flows over the American Falls at Niagara Falls at a rate of 75,000 gallons per second. At that rate, it would take over 13 minutes for all the Franzia wine sold in one year to flow into the Niagara River!" I know...amazing, right? The flow-rate of the Franzia box is also quite impressive thanks to its built-in spigot...which someone smarter than me has already proven has its uses.


Carlo Rossi: There are 13 types of wine that Carlo puts into jugs for our enjoyment, which makes it easy to find one with flavors to complement whatever it is you might be eating...here's an example. And after you savor the last drop of your jug-wine, you can still put it to good use...by making something out of it. Check out these hot designs: Chardonnay Chandelier, Cabernet Couch, Sangria Sound System, and the Paisano Plasma TV Stand. See snobs...Carlo is all class!


Boone's Farm: Unlike most wine-makers, Boone's Farm doesn't have your standard flavors (i.e. Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot, etc.). It has better ones, like: Apple Blossom, Mountain Berry, Orange Hurricane and of course Strawberry Hill. But the best part about Boone's Farm wine is that you will never dirty a wine glass because it is meant to be enjoyed directly from the bottle.


Final Verdict: Franzia (6-Franzia vs. 5-Carlo Rossi vs. 0-Boone's Farm)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Richard Simmons vs. Billy Blanks

During the past 20 years there has been a well documented and dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. This slide set effectively illustrates this trend by mapping the increased prevalence of obesity across each of the states. Way to go Mississippi and West Virginia!

Now stop and imagine what this slide show would look like if fitness gurus Richard Simmons and Billy Blanks hadn't blessed our nation with their classic workout routines during this span. Minus liposuction and Jared of Subway fame, no other person, or thing, has helped more Americans lose weight and regain their figure than Simmons's Sweatin' to the Oldies series and Blanks's Tae Bo craze, although Tony Little (nice ponytail...jerk) and his Gazelle machines, which are currently selling like Tickle-Me Elmo dolls during Christmas, is catching them quickly.

If you've been living under a rock, or you're just genetically incapable of gaining weight (we all hate you) and you've never seen these masters of muscle entropy, or if you just want to get your heart pumping, I have embedded a small sample of each guru's work.

Note: If you've never seen footage of
Richard Simmons on the Late Show with David Letterman it's a must see. Also, the Simmons video below has been updated with a new tune...proving once again the timelessness of his work. One other thing to look for: Billy Blanks has the biggest man boobs...I mean pectoral muscles...I have ever seen. Very impressive...and speaking of impressive...how does he manage to avoid a nip slip during that workout? Enjoy!





Final Verdict: Richard Simmons (9 vs. 2)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bit-O-Honey vs. Tootsie Roll

We've all been there. You wake up 15 minutes late. You rush in and out of the shower, brush your teeth, and throw on clothes you hope match once you get into the light. You weave in and out of bumper-to-bumper traffic, saving 30-seconds of commute time, and earning yourself three well-deserved middle fingers. Kudos, you've made it to work on time!

There's only one problem. You missed breakfast and you have a meeting in 15 minutes. Sneaking into the company kitchen, you hope to find leftover donuts or bagels, but no dice. Your only hope of staving off hunger pangs and embarrassing stomach gurgles now is...yeah, that's right...the company candy bowl.

While power walking to the candy bowl, you suddenly salivate, dreaming of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, bite-sized Snickers, and mini-bags of Skittles. Unsurprisingly, those are no where to be found once you reach the bowl. After a minute of sifting and intense prayer, your hopes are dashed and you are left with two options...Bit-O-Honey vs. Tootsie Rolls. Which do you choose to stuff your face with?

Final Verdict: Tootsie Rolls (4 vs. 3)

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Moonwalk vs. The Truffle Shuffle

Although fully capable of executing a variety of deft dance moves myself (the microwave, the straight-line sobriety test, the shopping cart, the sprinkler, the straight jacket, etc.), I lack the size and skill to pull off the majestic moves executed in the videos embedded below. Therefore, in my mind, that makes this case a very interesting one.





Both of these legendary moves became famous in the mid-'80s and were responsible for opening doors to their dancers' respective futures. In the case of Michael Jackson, the "Moonwalk" opened the doorway to major stardom. For Lawrence "Chunk" Cohen, the "Truffle Shuffle" was his ticket to opening a slightly more modest door...the one leading to his friend Mikey's house.

So let's breakdown the moves. The purpose of MJ's "Moonwalk" is to give the illusion that he is walking forward while in reality he is actually moving backwards. He accomplishes this feat through an impressive combination of both physical coordination and silky-smooth timing.

In contrast, the goal of the "Truffle Shuffle" is to maximize one's "jiggle." Due to Chunk's abundance of "junk in the trunk," he is wildly successful in achieving a Jell-O like state.

And there you have it. Though their momentous moves differ radically from one another, it is this courtroom's task to determine which dancer's fancy footwork is most beloved. Let the debate begin.

Final Verdict: The Moonwalk (9 vs. 4)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Opening Statements

Welcome fellow jury members. This is the inaugural trial in the lowest of the lower courts. Technically, this trial system is in fact even lower than those held by those grotty, gavel jockeys Judge Judy and Judge Mathis. However, unlike those amateur affairs, there will be no asinine arguing over a few hundred dollars that your former live-in boyfriend/girlfriend owes you because you were stupid enough to lend them the money for Glamour Shots photos that they swore were going to, "like, totally launch my modeling career."

No, this courtroom is reserved for cases of greater importance, cases that are both controversial and eye-opening. Cast your vote via the web-poll located in the sidebar and then make sure to voice your arguments in the comments section. You never know...you might even be able to sway someone else's opinion on the matter.

So without further ado, here's our first case:

Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts vs. Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Pop-Tarts


These are the two most popular and iconic Pop-Tart flavors Kellogg's produces. If you need case history check out Wikipedia's page on Pop-Tarts, or do some of your own research. But remember to be safe. According to wikipedia...

In 1994, Texas A&M University professor Patrick Michaud performed an experiment proving that, when left in the toaster too long, strawberry Pop-Tarts could produce flames over a foot high.[9] The discovery triggered a flurry of lawsuits. Since then, Pop-Tarts carry the warning: "Do not leave toasting appliances unattended due to possible risk of fire."
Now that I've given you fair warning, let's make sure we keep all the "burns" in the comment section. Finally, if there are any cases you think should be brought to justice via this courtroom feel free to email me your ideas.

Final Verdict: Frosted Strawberry (10 vs. 3)