The PandaBank Difference

Dear Neighbor,
There’s a new bank in town. Perhaps you’ve seen our stickers on a light pole.
We’re not just any bank. We’re PandaBank. Like our name suggests, we love zoos.
At ordinary banks you’re just an account number. At PandaBank we know you by your first name and a physical characteristic. Just ask Monica Cankles.
At PandaBank we know you don’t want to be bothered with banking at odd hours, so we don’t have ATMs. We eliminated paper waste with our slate checks. And we eliminated electronic waste by turning everything off.
Unlike regulated banks, PandaBank is not FDIC insured. That allows us to go by the honor system and do things other banks can’t. Like keep money in shoe bins from the Container Store.
You work hard for your money, why not let us put it in a shoe bin from the Container Store? When you need it back, come talk to us. We’ll have you sign a few things and give it to you for a small fee. Sure, other banks do that too, but other banks also give you perks for opening new accounts.
Other banks spend huge amounts of money advertising and pass those costs on to you. PandaBank outsourced all their creative to a guy in Bombay:
Not bad for $89.
At PandaBank, we know your money is like a child to you: It has a lot of germs and you want it to grow quickly. Plus, burning it is illegal.
PandaBank knows you have other choices when it comes to banking, and we’re working hard to stop that. If you live near Park and 38th, there’s a PandaBank branch near you.
We hope to see you soon. Stop in, and look for the guy with the most buttons on his hat.
Carl M. Peytonplace
Branch Manager & Barista

Dr. Phil’s Meds Expire

A lot of people ask me what the secret is to a successful marriage and I am happy to tell them: it is berries.
It doesn’t matter what kind of berries. That’s not the significant part. Their colors, shape or size is totally inconsequential. What matters is that they grow on bushes or small plants and can be easily smushed into jams.
I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking that’s crazy, you can’t be serious! because that’s exactly what each and every therapist has said. You’re berry-obsessed, said Doctor Fielder. I think there’s too much emphasis on berries in your life, stated Dr. Ziegenfeld. And Dr. Malmstrom said I was berry crazy. But you know what I said to them? I said Berries! That’s because I don’t swear anymore and replace all naughty words and racial epithets with berries. Anyway, there’s a reason those people are no longer my therapists. For that kind of money I want someone who understands berries and how they are the secret to every successful marriage. They can go berry themselves.
So back to the original question. Why do so many relationships fail? Easy:
Berries (not the swear, the plural noun).
When I met my wife at Knott’s I knew she was the right one for me. I could tell that she knew the difference between straw- blue- boysen- and cran-. For example, she’s a waffle. Every day she starts her morning covered in syrup. Perhaps whipped cream. And always, always berries. I’m sorry. She’s human. She’s not a waffle. She’s human. She’s my wife. And she’s good with berries. By berries I mean children. And mutual understanding. Oprah. I’m so sorry. I’m all over the berrying place here. She’s not a waffle. Okay, this is bullberry. I sound like a berrying nutcase. The secret to a successful marriage is not berries. I’m not sure why I thought that. It’s communication. When you’re in a good berry – marriage – you communicate. You don’t keep secrets from your partner. You share everything. If you can’t do that, if you’ve established a secret Post Office box as a drop box for the berry people, then you’ve done your waffle a disservice. When I met my waffle. WIFE. So sorry. I’m coming across like a berryhole.
We’re going to take a short break.

The Week In Garfield

A weekly analysis of the world’s greatest cartoon.
Jon asks Garfield if he is jealous about his new flame, Liz. Garfield thinks Jon shouldn’t flatter himself.
Why this is funny:
The humor here comes from the fact that Jon secretly wants Garfield to be jealous of his dating Liz. For the cat to express such feelings would suggest that he values Jon and their friendship – offering a necessary boost of self-esteem to a 50-year old bachelor who has been living with a cat for nearly three decades.
However, what Jon has not realized in the 28 years he’s cohabitated with a cat is that Garfield is a sassy, independent feline with a rapier wit from which no one is safe.
Apparently the relationship between Jon and Liz is going swimmingly. Although Jon states he likes Liz “a lot” he is unwilling to be “serious” in the sense that he considers himself not ready to show her his sock drawer. Garfield agrees with Jon, and suggests that he should not show her his sock drawer until his wedding night.
Why this is funny:
In this case, no one is prepared for the comedic sucker-punch: that a sock drawer represents a relationship milestone. The comedy juggernaut continues through the last panel when Garfield suggests Jon should save the sock drawer for his wedding night with Liz. This is hilarious because most people do not see wedding nights as an occasion for sock drawer voyeurism but rather as a night of drunken humping. Or for traditionalists – awkwardness and bleeding.
Jon reports to Garfield that Liz laughed at his jokes all night. When he is greeted by silence, he inquires as to whether it is wrong to question Liz’s sense of humor. Garfield suggests that it is not, implying that Jon’s sense of humor is not good. The comedy factor is significantly increased by Jon’s polka-dot bow tie.
Why this is funny:
We start by laughing at Jon’s outrageous bow tie, then we find ourselves rooting for him. The child-like excitement of a 50-year old man gushing in front of his aged, snotty cat is endearing. When his enthusiasm is greeted by silence (a signature Garfield technique) Jon remembers he’s not funny. This is reinforced by Garfield who, like Mo’Nique, is never afraid to tell it like it is. The humor is multiplied because Garfield is a little cat and Jon is a human who could conceivably have the snarky feline put to sleep.
Liz meets Garfield and states that since she and Jon are dating, she hopes they can be friends. Garfield suggests that this will be difficult because he has seen her naked.
Why this is funny:
This preys on our emotional investment in Jon, and our anxiety about his new relationship. We want things with Liz to work because Jon is approaching his golden years and lives with an impudent cat. But we also know that Garfield is never going to make things easy – so we’re completely primed for his impish response. Naturally we’re not disappointed! Not only does he suggest he’s seen Liz naked (imagine the hilarious visual of a naked woman walking by a cat!) but Garfield’s excuse rings true: It is hard to be friends with someone who’s seen you naked. Right?
Jon and Liz express their like for one another. Jon informs Liz that he wants to take the relationship “to the next level” – which Liz comes to understand means polka-karaoke night. Garfield tops off the punch-line with the sarcastic quip “Welcome to our world, baby.”
Why this is funny:
Again, cartoonist Davis displays a mastery of the comedic art of building up expectations in the audience before delivering something completely unexpected. In this case, we all come to believe “the next level” must mean something significant such as dating exclusivity, cohabitation or sodomy. But no! Once again the reader is sucker-punched with the hilarious revelation that Jon considers “polka karaoke night” an advancement in the relationship.
When Garfield quips “Welcome to our world, baby” he is acknowledging that a socially inept 50-year old bachelor and a snide cat is an unusual situation for a woman to be brought into. One can only wonder what happens with Jon and Liz next week, and if there’s some kind of tenure for cartoonists.

Next week: A look at the incredibly subtle humor of Cathy.

Best. Buy. Ever.

Employees I’ve dealt with at electronics mega-retailer Best Buy, placed in other lines of work.
Tells audience he’ll “be right with them” and spends the next eight minutes trying to break down a cardboard box.
Says he needs a key for the cabinet. Goes and looks for a key. Says he doesn’t know who has the key. Shrugs.
Is adamant that SBUX is around $80 per share. Finally consults a computer and admits it’s $34 and he doesn’t know what happened because he’s sure it was $80 yesterday.
Can’t help you with the stabbing because he’s only familiar with larceny.
Answers all questions with “Mmmmmmhmmmm.” When asked directly if he knows what he’s talking about, excuses himself and doesn’t return.
Knows they definitely don’t carry bread because they only sell food. Checks with manager. Had no idea bread was food.
Though supposedly on a fact-finding mission, is actually on a lunch-eating mission.
When asked for parsley, leads you to squash.

MTA Subway Store – Germphobic Specials

Having to ride the subway is bad enough, but having to touch the filth-covered bars is downright traumatic. MacLure’s Disposable Subway Mittens insulate your hands in a biodynamic anti-bacterial gel, putting half an inch of Kevlar-reinforced nylon and microbe-resistant poly-cotton padding between you and some homeless guy’s snot. Sold individually as well as in weekly and monthly commuter packs. $2.95 ea.
When you push through a turnstile you’re putting your crotch in the same exact place that millions of other crotches have been. No one knows what the long-term effects of that could be… do you want to take any chances? Our Turnstile Tongs ensure you exit the station free from crotch germs, if any. Comes with convenient carry case and 12 oz sterilizer spray. $18.95 ea.
Sometimes the subway feels like a lose-lose venture! Stand, and you’re forced to touch the microscopic urine particles that are no doubt coating all surfaces. Sit, and you’re putting your clean pants on a surface that some drunk’s filthy shoes were probably propped up on. Seat Beaters are revolutionary germ-resistant pads infused with the power of twelve bleaches. Just remember to lean forward or your shirt will most likely be contaminated by the seatback.
Avoid germs and have fun at the same time! The Flying Goldfish Kiosk Finger lets you use MetroCard kiosk buttons fearlessly – and it’s guaranteed to make fellow straphangers laugh. Refill your card, get a new card, or take advantage of several other kiosk options without worrying about fecal residue. $8.99 ea.
The subway is not mobile-phone friendly, so if you want to report a suspicious package you’ll need to use the payphone – yikes! Ironically, that festering cauldron of germs could be even more dangerous than a gas attack. The See Something Say Something Kit saves the day! Use the six foot wooden stick to get the receiver off the hook, dial ‘0’ with the rubber fingertip guard, then simply shout your urgent message at the phone with the bullhorn. $124.95 ea.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

What is a FAQ?
A FAQ is a document that answers questions common to a particular subject or theme. In this case, FAQs.
What does FAQ stand for?
FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions.
When would I use a FAQ?
You would use a FAQ any time you wanted to explain something to people without having to do so on an individual basis. So it’s like a bullhorn that can be ignored.
What kind of questions does a FAQ address?
A FAQ addresses any questions that the writer feels are likely to be asked by people reading it.
How can the writer anticipate what questions will be asked?
It depends on the subject matter and the writer’s skill(z). If he’s writing about electricity, he’ll know people will ask about the difference between an amp and a volt. If he’s writing about Dungeons & Dragons, he’ll know people will ask what a +5 scimitar is, and what’s wrong with him.
Who takes it upon themselves to write a FAQ?
Anyone who has too much free time and feels they know a lot about the subject, be it Martin Van Buren or Flamenco.
What does a FAQ look like?
A FAQ often consists of questions in italics followed by answers to those questions.
Are FAQs useful?
Yes. For example, if Paul Revere had used one he’d have saved himself from riding all over Boston with this FAQ:
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Q: Are the British coming?
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp A: Yes.
How long is a FAQ?
The length of a FAQ depends on the subject matter. If it’s about a complex subject like dissociative identity disorder it could be very long. If it’s about David Spade or Grenada, one page will suffice.
What’s the most common way to end a FAQ?
Quite often a FAQ will end by acknowledging the people who put it together.
Thanks to Buster Poindexter, Fran Tarkenton, Crispin Glover’s neighbor Tyler, Jackson Browne, Anne Rice, Devo, Jeff from The Wiggles and the entire staff of General Dynamics for their help in putting this FAQ together.

Six Petty Squabbles That Destroyed Mega Force

Mega Force was the most elite unit of the Galactic Army. They prepared for duty with very intense training and enjoyed state-of-the-art equipment. Their members were hailed as heroes in all corners of the universe. Mega Force was disbanded in 2134 because of internal bitching.
The issues:
Laser Beam Sounds
Members of Mega Force could not agree on a sound for their laser beams. Several fought to change the existing laser beam sound from the traditional high-pitched Cheew-Cheew sound to a lower-range Byoo-Byoo sound. This ongoing dispute diverted time and energy that would have otherwise been devoted to more worthy projects – such as keeping Station Beta from being destroyed.
The Patch
Lt. Danté felt the cursive font on the Mega Force patch was messy and that it looked like it said “Mega Fonce.” He wouldn’t let up for three weeks until finally HQ agreed to change the font. When the Tioks attacked New France, everyone’s uniform was in the shop having the patches replaced. By the time they got their new patches sewn on, thousands were dead and everyone was mad at Mega Force. People said they wished the Mega Fonce guys had come instead, because they were faster.
Frivolous Claims
Farschanth translator Captain T’ung was forced to spend three months defending against allegations of sexual harassment from Betty Po despite the fact the Farschanth are genderless and born from fibrous husks.
Sgt. Baker’s Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Sgt. Baker was teased mercilessly because he would not operate the teleporter until Mega Force members were standing on the teleport pad according to height, name and birthday. Because Mega Force members wouldn’t cooperate, often times it took 40 minutes to get to the planet surface – at which time most hostages were usually dead.
Failure to Scramble
Dispatch Officer Porter refused to call the Advanced Tactical Spacefighter by its proper name, so no one knew what he meant when he said “Launch the dildo boat.”
Lieutenants Brandon and Barnschweiger
Brandon and Barnschweiger tied up the secure communications link calling each other “bitch” for twelve minutes, so nobody heard the message from CENTCOM telling everyone to look out for the supernova.

Sky Mall: For The Shameless Traveler

The Alternating Pressure Point Seat is an excellent addition to all the stuff you already have to carry to the airport. A microprocessor alternates air pressure in the seat’s chambers to insure you don’t suffer from Deep Vein Thrombosis, also known as “Economy Class Syndrome.” Deep Vein Thrombosis is a new syndrome discovered by the very same people who make the Alternating Pressure Point Seat. With more media coverage it’s destined to become a popular travel concern, so don’t miss your chance to not suffer from it! Simply place the $225 seat on your already existing airplane seat, and voilá – you’re sitting on two seats.
Chatty seat neighbors are a bane to the traveler who likes to be left alone. What to do? Look no further than the Inflatable Travel Pillow. If your neighbor seems like the talkative type, simply take out your ITP and start blowing. During the 30-45 minutes it takes to inflate, you’ll be unable to carry a conversation. When you’re done, simply flop forward and enjoy a restful sleep on this classy vinyl colossus.
You’re on a flight when suddenly you feel a chill. You could settle for a mundane airline blanket, but why when you can slip into the luxurious In-flight Sleeping Bag? Simply remove the ISB from the same bag you keep your Alternating Pressure Point Seat and Inflatable Travel Pillow in and step in to a world of comfort. It’s like having your very own bed, except you’re sitting up in a seat and you can’t move your legs. Remember to remove the In-flight Sleeping Bag before leaving your seat, or in the unlikely event of an emergency.
Is she hurt? No, she’s sleeping. You’ll be the talk of the cabin with Komfort Kollar. Using the same technology developed for people with whiplash, Komfort Kollar lets you sleep soundly – immune to the glares and gestures of fellow passengers. If you’re on a short flight and don’t have the time it takes to blow up your Inflatable Travel Pillow and flop forward, the Komfort Kollar is the answer. Best of all, it’s bulky and can’t be deflated.
If you’re like most folks, you’re a little weary of “normal” air and would prefer to breathe something that’s been filtered by an unsubstantiated technology. That’s where the Personal Air Purifier comes in. Air on board a plane can contain all sorts of allergens, germs, dust and more. The Personal Air Purifier’s patented Ionic Wind technology takes the air and adds a whooshing noise to it, potentially making it better so you can spend less time worrying about the air you breathe, and more time explaining your noise-emitting three pound necklace.

How To Make Money In Stocks

Trade stocks through a licensed broker, not from a guy named Lewis who wants to be paid in cash.
A good investor always sees opportunity. For example: In a heavy downpour he’ll say “Who makes these crap umbrellas that everyone leaves scattered in the streets of New York?” Then he’ll invest in that company because people keep buying those crap umbrellas.
Buy Starbucks seven years ago.
Long-term investments are generally a better bet than short-term investments. A wise investor buys a stock, then forgets about it for 18 years. Only when his son goes off to college does he think, “Hey, I wonder how Lucent is doing?”
Don’t forget your “due diligence.” If you don’t know what that means, just casually glance at the company’s analysis on Yahoo and you’re done.
Although it helps to know what Price-to-Earnings and other figures mean, it’s not essential as sometimes they’re just made up by the company.
If you call your broker to ask about a particular company and you hear him click-clacking on his keyboard – that means he’s looking it up on Google.
Know the key difference between “Day trading” and “Sitting at the computer in your pajamas losing all your money.”
Ask your broker if a certain stock looks “uppity-doodles” or “downity-doodles.” If he doesn’t ask you what the hell you’re talking about, he’s not a good broker.
Knowing when to get out of a stock is just as important as knowing when to get in. When you see the CEO being led away in handcuffs, you probably missed the best time to sell.
A good broker will repeat your order and execute the trade, not ask “How I do that?”
A bad broker won’t stop talking about wanting to dance professionally.
Invest in companies you know, or at least companies you’ve heard a lot about. Don’t invest in companies which are invisible because you can’t see what they’re doing and you’ll never know if they went out of business.
Stocks are in a sense tiny pieces of a company. Owning even a single share lets you bully and harass the staff of that particular company’s operation and preface your complaints with “As a shareholder…” For example: “As a shareholder, I’m very upset this Home Depot is sold out of my favorite twine.”
If you’re going the discount brokerage route, stick with well-known houses like Scottrade, E*Trade, Schwab or TD Waterhouse. Avoid lesser-known brokerages like StockForce!, Let’s Do This and PhatTrade.
Buy one of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad books by Robert T. Kioyosaki. Then buy stock in paper companies like Georgia Pacific once you realize he’s contractually obligated to poop out books like that on a regular basis.
Your portfolio should contain a mixture of stocks, mutual funds, bonds and cash. When the market is acting wiggly, use the cash for scratch tickets.
The “conservative” portfolio contains reliable stocks and bonds, and tends to grow slowly with minimal risk. This is the best bet for not squandering what grandpa left you.
The “moderate” portfolio contains a mix of reliable and speculative stocks, and aims for more growth by taking on more risk. This is the best portfolio for Libras and drivers who lurch out into intersections then panic and hit the brakes.
The “aggressive” portfolio is highly risky, but has the greatest potential for gains. On the downside – you might be working at Bickford’s when you had hoped to retire.
If a company decides to incorporate Mohammed into their logo – time to sell.
Don’t get caught up in “shorting” stocks, futures or options trading – those are all things best left to an investor who knows what he’s doing.
Most important: Have fun! Investing in stocks is all about the free annual reports you’ll get and the joy of proxy voting. Remember: You can’t take it with you, but having owned JDS Uniphase when it was $125 will stick with you for eternity.

Camp Falsehopes

We see them every day on reality television, dating websites, and job interviews.
They’re comedians, musicians, artists and writers. They sing, they dance. And they have a dream – which usually involves being rich and/or famous.
They’re America’s young adults: confident, proud, cocky. Full of spirit and ambition. Eager get out there and show the world what they’ve got. And yet they’re mediocre, witless, and untalented.
Where do these young men and women get what it takes to overcome that reality and put themselves center stage with so little to back them up? Where do concepts like “aptitude”, “intelligence” and “paying one’s dues” find themselves smothered to death by a big duvet of denial?
Camp Falsehopes, for Unpromising Teens. That’s where.
Founded in 1964 by Dr. Angus Delton, Camp Falsehopes was one of the first places of its kind – a pioneer in the field of adolescent deniology coupled with praise therapy. What began in the back room of a dental office quickly expanded to accommodate a growing influx of bleak and incompetent young adults. Not long after its founding, it became obvious how badly America had needed such a place. A place where kids wouldn’t be asked to practice, study, or not eat eight pounds of bacon. A place that wasn’t afraid to tell them just how incredibly awesome they were, over and over and over again. A place where coddling wasn’t just for eggs, but for children – beginning mere moments out of the womb and ending right around the time they try to join the workforce.
For unremarkable young American men and women, Camp Falsehopes is the answer.
Our graduates are regularly in the public eye. Perhaps you’ve noticed them on American Idol, or heard them thinking they’re going to enter the workforce at $150,000 a year. Maybe you’ve accidentally stumbled on to their back-room comedy show which they believe to be absolutely hilarious.
At Camp Falsehopes, our mission is simple: Reward every single child with an endless stream of praise so that they develop an overwhelming confidence and sense of ability. Equip an entire generation with the can-do attitude that outshines the dim realities that they might find troubling. Make sure every child knows we’re all equally smart, attractive and share the same unlimited potential. Simply wanting to succeed is enough. Effort and ability should never be part of the entitlement equation – and at Camp Falsehopes, they never are.
Our Philosophy:
You are the smartest, most talented, most beautiful young man or woman to ever grace us with your presence. You poop gold.
Some Of Our Methods:
– Showering your amazing child with morale-building praise.
– Setting easily-attainable standards of excellence.
– Making criticism as unheard of as marital fidelity in Paris.
– Mandating every eighth word should be a variation of “wonderful.”
– Blaming all negatives on outside forces, like mean people or l’ailment du jour.
Some Of Our Classes:
You Are Brilliant! The purpose of this class is to give everyone the confidence they need to form opinions and make declarations – but without the awkwardness of encountering dissent. Kids who attend You Are Brilliant! have all the answers, and quite frequently choose to take the follow-up class: My Great, Unchallenged Idea.
Stop Dreaming And Start Being. Want to be a great singer who should be famous? You are! That’s the message our kids leave after taking this class. All performances receive incredible amounts of applause, giving even the most tone-deaf aspiring star the gusto he or she needs to make their case in front of 38 million people on American Idol.
That’s Not How I See It. Students taking this class will learn how to deal with criticism from all the nasty critics of the world with phrases like “You’re wrong!”, “My mom says otherwise” and “I disagree!”
Matchcrafting. Students learn how to ramp-up their online dating experience by creatively redefining the meanings of “slim” , “intelligent” and “very attractive.”
Yet Another Comedy Troupe. No one’s funnier than you are. Practice your act in front of an audience of supportive, like-minded peers before letting the world see your hilarious mocking of the Normandy invasion and your signature “Grandma’s Menstruating Again!” sketch. (Kudos to alumnus Jimmy Fallon, regular breacher of the fourth wall.)
Blame Dynamics. Being able to quickly assign blame for one’s faults is of paramount importance. Students learn how and when to attribute problems to Attention-Deficit Disorder, Dyslexia and jealous others who don’t want them to succeed.
Some Of Our Facilities:
We have a wide range of outdoor activities designed in the spirit of encouragement through the removal of needless challenge. Our archery targets feature a four-foot wide bullseye.
The swimming pool is 14 feet long, but labeled as “Olympic Sized” so as to give the impression of achievement. The water is heavily salted, giving even the largest boy or girl the buoyancy of a physically adept, professional swimmer. Public address speakers are hidden in the stands and play a continuous loop of encouraging cheers.
The prestigious Camp Falsehopes Hall of Fame features every single young adult to ever attend Camp Falsehopes.
Our state-of-the-art auditorium features a Jennifer Lopez 500X Audio Processing System that will make your son or daughter sound like a million-dollar contract.
Pollux the Pony is arthritic and practically immobile, giving all students a chance to easily mount and ride him. Being able to mount and ride a pony makes kids feel good – like they could run a Fortune 500 company with a 1.9 GPA from Sparkplugs University.
Our cafeteria staff will call you gorgeous even if you choose to externalize inner sadness with muffins.
Some Of Our Key Staff:

Margaret Heyberry founded F Stands For Future, a grass-roots group which successfully removed grading from schools because of its tendency to hurt feelings and make kids feel uncomfortable. Thanks to her achievements, all K-12 students nationwide pass with flying colors and get a giraffe sticker.
Paula Abdul could find something nice to say about Hitler. “You tried real hard, good for you!” she’d say, “You have the spirit it takes to succeed and I love you for it!”
Brendan LaPierre was one of the first young adults to attend Camp Falsehopes, and he liked it so much he stayed for good! He is working on his fifteenth novel and expects it to be published as soon as he finds an agent who recognizes his genius.
Duncan Lynde coaches our baseball team. Everyone who returns to the dugout receives a victory hug regardless of their on-field performance. He eliminated humiliating “shirts vs. skins” competitions and now everyone wears a flattering olive poncho.
Victoria Shoutingwolf is an angry Native American and everything she writes is great and meaningful as a result.
James Blunt performs his hit song “You’re Beautiful” constantly, only stopping for bathroom breaks and yogurt.
Camp Falsehopes has dramatically changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of American teens, why not yours?

Camp Falsehopes is not responsible for anything that happens off camp grounds.

A Million Little Explanations

In the wake of James Frey’s comeuppance on Oprah, and with my own memoir of hardship, addiction and persecution heading to press, I feel it behooves me to come clean now.
Chapter One
Rather than “I stormed the beaches of Normandy” I should have said “I walked out to the water line 50 years later to get a D-Day soldier’s perspective.” I’m sorry if “stormed” suggested otherwise.
Though “I suffer from poliosis” sounds serious, it actually means premature graying of the hair. I am expected to recover.
I never met “the Bachelorette” and did not “high-five her with Sidney Poitier.”
Chapter Two
My friend Karl and I did not overdose on a combination of cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy. We shared a bottle of Shiraz and fell asleep watching The Suite Life with Zack and Cody.
When I said “some of my best ideas came while walking between classes at Harvard” I did not mean to suggest I attended Harvard.
I was not “abused” as a child, but my father never let me win at Monopoly.
Chapter Three
I did not lose a sister to Cat Scratch Fever.
My boxer is named Rommel, but he was not a member of the Bow Wow Wermarcht and Hitler never threw VolkSnacks at him.
My uncle did not invent a hover tractor.
Chapter Four
I did not call Monika Lewinsky a “tubby tartlet” to her face. Rather, I was across the street and muttering to myself.
I “dined with Donald Trump at Nobu” in the sense that he was at another table talking to Mark Burnett. I do not wish to give the impression they know me.
The statement that I “slept with” 118 women in one night was a rough estimate based on the number of guests at the Holiday Inn. It was not meant to suggest I was in the same room with them.
Chapter Five
My only knowledge of the Kamchatka Peninsula comes from playing Risk, and therefore most of my travel tips will not be helpful.
By “I had a large group of followers” I meant people behind me on the escalator at Best Buy. Not necessarily people who revered me.
The only evidence that I am the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln came from a ditzy tarot reader and not “a government think tank.”
Chapter Six
I am a billionaire only if you convert dollars to Mozambique Meticais.
My understanding of twelve-step recovery programs comes from something I heard on NPR while driving in the rain, not from actually attending them for eight years.
I do not operate Raven Riley’s Webcam, and she does not “pay me in coochie.”
Chapter Seven
You can disregard this chapter as I was never a bishop.
Chapter Eight
De Gaulle did not “hit on me at a rockin’ bat mitzvah.”
I was indeed named after Irish king Brian Boru, but there’s no evidence he’s my grandpa.
The Pop Rocks Kid did not die in my tree fort.
Chapter Nine
The term “gonzo journalism” was not coined by Madonna.
When I said I accidentally ran over a cop, I neglected to mention that I was playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
When I said I grew up in the ‘hood and know what it’s like to be black, I neglected to mention I was playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Chapter Ten
“Made out with Heidi Klum” is misleading. It was a peck on the cheek, and her name was Velda Ross.
Para-sailing in Cancun does not qualify me to call myself a stuntman.
Usher is not afraid of me.
Chapter Eleven
My grandmother did not bequeath me an Orc Sword.
“I have a fleet of cars at my disposal, 24/7” is a reference to taxis.
Steven Seagal and I were not in the CIA.
Chapter Twelve
“Let’s do this” is not a phrase I hold the copyright to.
It’s possible “an orgy of gruesome decadence” is a little heavy-handed when describing the purchase of an overpriced organic lemon at Whole Foods.
I do not have a memoir.

Good Psychic, Lousy Guidance Counselor

“Berklee School of Music is great, but you need to weigh their price tag with the fact you’ll never sell more than 43 albums.”
“I’d be happy to put a word in for you, but I really should save my Dartmouth connections for someone who won’t wind up in prison.”
“Do you really want to go to a school where you’ll eventually be known as Tag-Team Sally?”
“The Tower signifies your acceptance into Cornell. The Ten of Cups signifies a frat beer blast. And Death signifies your low tolerance.”
“I don’t want to discourage you, but I see the face of someone not passing the Bar – and they have your glasses.”
“I think you’ll find the Peace Corps is the experience of a lifetime. Especially when the natives accuse you of witchcraft.”
“If we throw this application in the trash now, we save the expense of having Yale do it.”
“All I’m saying is med school is a lot of time and money to spend on a career that comes to an ugly end in June, 2012.”
“If your heart says ‘musical theatre’ then I say Emerson. But your dead grandpa says pansy.”

Ben Podcasts From A Trunk

Hi, it’s my first podcast, so I hope it comes out well. I have a great microphone and about two hours left on my laptop. And I’m locked in the trunk of a car, so if you hear me, please come help me.
Anyway, the topic of my first podcast is the new Xbox 360, which I’m really excited about. I’m just a little distracted at the moment, because it’s very dark except for the glow of my PowerBook. I’m locked in a trunk and the air is very heavy. But the Xbox 360 looks absolutely great, it’s got a gorgeous design which I can’t really appreciate as I’m locked in a trunk. But it’s great, and you can stand it up on its end or have it lying flat, like I am doing since I was clubbed by a guy in a clown mask and thrown in the trunk.
Xbox wisely had a good selection of games available for the 360, something they failed to offer with the launch of the original Xbox. It’s hot in here. If you remember, they came out with the original Xbox and there were only a handful of games available, while PlayStation had tons. Please. I know I’ve made some mistakes, notably sleeping with Kemara, and if that’s the reason I’m in the trunk, I understand fully. Lesson learned. Just please get me out of the trunk. The fact of the matter is Kemara is not a good match for you, and I’m sorry you had to find out this way. It wasn’t personal, it just happened. I didn’t plan anything, but you obviously planned on putting me in the trunk. Get me out of here and I won’t tell the police.
So, the Xbox 360 has a 500 Mhz ATI graphics processor which really gives it the ability to bring games to life. That and the fact that it’s optimized for HDTV means that with the right set-up, you’re in the middle of the action. Please help me. From Ridge Racer to Test Drive to Quake, the graphics are absolutely stunning. Is anyone there? Carl?
The 360 has a 3-core CPU, and each core runs at 3.2 GHz. That gives you blazing speeds, so you can say goodbye to load screens and lag. So stuffy in here. The wireless controller lets you say goodbye to being “tied down” with wires which I realize is why I can’t move my legs. My legs are tied. Why not my hands? I’m just going to pound the trunk a sec. Anybody there?
The wireless controller works 30 feet from the console, which is great of course. I just feel so claustrophobic in here. This isn’t funny. I don’t know if it was Carl in the clown mask. It all happened very quickly. Please help me. I think there’s no air in here. It’s running out, I’m sure. Wireless controller.
One of the real – help. Help. One of the real great features, of course, is Xbox Live – the multiplayer community that lets you really connect with other Xbox players. Anybody? There are several advancements and I’m so tired. I’m sure it was Carl. I’m falling asleep. I could be dying. Please open the trunk! If you like this podcast, check out my Xbox fansite for more. Oh my God the car is starting.

The Twelve Days of eBay

WOW! Mint condition partridge in pear tree **NO RESERVE**
You are bidding on a partridge in a pear tree. The partridge is self-feeding as it lives on pears. Very low maintenance too because he fertilizes the tree. Just needs water on occasion. The pears are delicious if you can wrangle one from the partridge. I would keep it but my lease forbids more than one pet and I have a cat. Recommend insurance because I don’t know how well DHL ships birds.
Take-a-L@@K!!!!! Turtle doves, pair. Awesome present!!!!
Two white turtle doves. Great present for a couple of love “birds”! White, black eyes, good health. They are easy going and very quiet for the most part. Sorry, I am unable to answer any questions about feeding, care, etc., because they were a gift and did not come with instructions. I would keep them but my cat is freaking out and I’m already in violation of my lease.
Imported hens, no reserve, Check It Out!
You are bidding on three chickens from France. They need a farm environment more than my New York apartment. I do not know if they are male or female, sorry. They are very friendly and inquisitive but not a good idea if you have a cat or lease restrictions. Bid away!
This is a gorgeous family of four birds. If you love birdsongs, these birds will not disappoint. I must sell them because my lease is in jeopardy as I have too many pets and the beautiful birdsongs travel through the bathroom vent and upset the angry lawyer in 4G.
Collection of rings. Never worn.
You are bidding on five rings. They are gold. I do not know much more about them as they are a gift from my boyfriend. They’re pretty nondescript, like the ring from the Hobbit. I would keep them but honestly I need the extra money for birdseed. Also, they are sized for small fingers and mine are swollen because I’m allergic to chickens.
Day 6
*no reserve* Suuuuuper-fertile geese *no reserve*
These six geese must be females because they keep making eggs! If you are looking to break into geese farming or already are a geese farmer, this would be an excellent addition to your flock (gaggle?) as they are very productive. Must sell at any price because they’re taking up my bedroom and the cat is panicked.
Day 7
BIG Box of swans
These swans love the water! They have overwhelmed my bathtub and really need a more open space. I can’t use my bathroom and the landlord knows something is up. Shipping is not included and should be discussed because I’m not sure the best way to send swans. They have big feet.
Day 8
Female Dairy Workers
PLEASE! Keep all your comments about indentured servitude to yourself. These women were a GIFT and I am selling them because my apartment has only one futon. They seem pleasant enough but YOU NEED COWS otherwise they sit around all day and complain about the swan droppings.
Day 9
Dancers —-no reserve—-
SERIOUS BIDDERS ONLY. These ladies will put on a cool show like Riverdance at your command but you are TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE for their food, lodging and entertainment after that. Frankly, I’m not that big into dance and one of them stepped on my cat. Free shipping – they’ll walk.
Day 10
Hyperactive Nobility — SEE FOR YOURSELF—
This is a collection of ten rich guys who love to party! If you have kids this could be the ULTIMATE gift because they jump around all day (noble privilege). Be advised: they complain about everything, don’t like cats, and they won’t stop harassing your milkmaids. Must be well-fed and filled with brandy at all times or they’ll complain about you during their afternoon tea.
Day 11
These guys have GOT TO GO because the angry lawyer in 4G is threatening to get me evicted. They are MEGA talented and can really get your lords jumping and ladies dancing – which is great unless you have hardwood floors. Please, BID!
Day 12
A Dozen Drummers
I just broke up with my boyfriend, received an eviction notice and my cat ran away. Do I need a dozen guys banging drums around my house? No. Totally nerve-racking, and not one of them offered to help carry my futon down the stairs. No reserve price. Lot includes drums and tall Nutcracker hats.

This Monkey Means Love

rubber monkey.jpg
Honey, honey. Happy Anniversary. I bought you the Sharper Image “Alive” Chimpanzee. I love you.
Wait, don’t make a face like that. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “What will I do with an animatronic monkey?” “Why would you buy an animatronic monkey for my anniversary?” “What were you thinking when you purchased an animatronic monkey from the Sharper Image?”
Trust me, honey, there’s a reason I bought the Sharper Image “Alive” Chimpanzee. And never forget that I love you.
Honey, first of all, this is a Sharper Image Worldwide Exclusive. You can’t get it anywhere else. It’s unique. Just like the ball that said “Fuhgeddaboudit” when squeezed. But this is no talking squeeze-ball. It’s a life-like animated rubber bust of a chimpanzee that I suppose I’ll put on the table over there.
Honey, I love you. The Sharper Image “Alive” Chimpanzee has four distinctive moods: “Curious”, “Happy”, “Fearful” and “Feisty” – so in many ways he’s just like me. When I’m away you can look at the rubber monkey bust on the table – or maybe bookshelf – and think of your husband and our love.
And when I get home, I can trigger the monkey’s moods with a remote control. It will be great, honey, because you can say something and I can tell you to look at the monkey to see how I feel about what you said. For example, when I come home with a $150 animatronic rubber monkey bust and place it on the table and you start cursing me, I can press the “Fearful” button. You will see the fear I feel, but you will see it expressed through the soulful eyes of a rubber chimp.
Honey, I don’t want you to think this is another pointless toy built by baffled Asians and destined for the attic. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is not Robosapien or a Lightsaber. This is a monkey, and we came from monkeys. His appearance is remarkably lifelike! Even the catalog will tell you it was painstakingly crafted to exacting standards. Do you have any idea how exacting the standards are for a rubber monkey head? Very. I’m sure of it.
I love you, honey. I think the Sharper Image “Alive” Chimpanzee is the ultimate anniversary gift. We’re going to learn together what it’s like to be in the presence of a chimpanzee. And his soulful eyes track movement, so as we walk around the living room together it will be like someone else, a rubber monkey, is experiencing our lives with us.
Best of all, for $29.95 the three-year replacement guarantee insures that our robotic chimp will be with us for at least three years. Looking down at us from the bookshelf, or maybe the table. Maybe the counter by the phone. He’ll be there, sensing our presence, twitching, reacting, surprising guests. It will be great, as long as we keep his batteries charged.
Happy anniversary, honey. I love you.
Look at the rubber monkey head. I’ll press the button to show you how happy I am.

Not Very Good Book Of The Month Club

How Jesus Makes Rainbows
Kansas Board of Education
Self-Published Ramblings of a Semi-Literate Recovering Alcoholic Who Praised His Own Book on Amazon
Edmund R.J. Phelps
May I Fondle That For You?
James Lipton
Rich Dad/Poor Dad’s Guide To Just Making Theories Up
Robert T. Kiyosaki
Barbra Streisand’s Angriest Faxes
F. Mellet
Another Book with Questing Elves In It
David P. Morrison
The Seven Habits of the Five Highly Effective People You Meet In Heaven
Stephen Albom
Chopstick Better
Hu Lin Pang
Trump: Trump On Trump
Donald Trump
Consumer Reports Rates Bear Repellants
The Truth About Santa
Michael Moore
The Idiot’s Guide To Books For Dummies

The World’s Most Comprehensive Junk Email

Good afternoon. My name is Ethics T. Foreclosure. I am a former account supervisor of Mr. Charles Mbobo who recently reached his ideal weight thanks to Hoodia, the miracle root from Africa. I received your contact information via Plaxo.
Regrettably the news I bring is not as enjoyable as a celebrity ringtone or barnyard orgy. In fact, if this news upsets you, you may want to try the discreet online pharmacy for prescription-free Xanax.
Unfortunately I have to report that Mr. Mbobo was killed in a terrible car accident. Although he usually spent most of his time making $15,000 in 30 days from the home he purchased with his pre-approved mortgage, he was in the free car he won as a result of participating in a nationwide ice cream survey. Sadly, Mr. Mbobo, his wife, and his two hot webcam girls were killed in the accident – a circumstance which can not be reversed like baldness can with an herbal cure. Mr. Mbobo’s amazing replica Rolex was destroyed in the accident, and to make matters worse he had not taken advantage of a free auto insurance quote.
Mr. Mbobo had recently won the international lottery, which excited him more than discount Ephedra. He had planned to use the additional money to purchase shares of Koko Petroleum (KKPT.PK), a hot, undiscovered gem of a stock I would encourage you to purchase immediately. His funds, including monies received from his advance payday loan and $250 Old Navy Gift Card, were located in an account valued at $45 Million (US Dollars). These funds are currently in an account in Liberia. You needn’t have earned your degree online to realize that Liberia is suffering from civil strife and as a result bulk ink cartridges are as hard to come by as Cialis soft tabs. The government can not be trusted with finances or complimentary platinum cards, just as surely as your PayPal account has been compromised.
For that reason, I am looking to spirit the funds out of the country. To do this I will require the assistance of a reliable party in your country – which is why I am contacting you and not an 18-year old hardcore hottie. In return for your assistance, I will offer 10% of the proceeds ($4.5 Million) and a chance to accept credit cards and enlarge your penis.
To properly execute this transaction I will require your complete cooperation and a Texas hold ’em poker face. You are known as someone who is trustworthy, with plenty of hot singles in your area looking for love. We believe you can help us get out of debt forever.
I await your contact at but if you are unable to assist me, I ask that you erase all traces of this confidential, urgent message with the #1 spyware remover on the market.
I look forward to working with you more than a $99 Disney vacation.
Your good friend,
Ethics T. Foreclosure
Jackboot curry basic wigwam stiff adventure Kevin Bacon melon ladle birthday party cheesecake jellybean boom

Global Humor Workshop: France

Otis Langmann once said “Humor is not universal” – a strange thing to say during a blimp crash, but absolutely true and insightful. Indeed, humor is not universal. Just like languages, traditions, or attitudes about walking around naked, humor is influenced by many factors, from geography and culture to politics, religion and even economic development.
Thus, one man’s Desperate Housewives is another man’s Shoah. It seems incredible, but if an uproarious American comedy offering like That’s So Raven found itself in Iran, you wouldn’t hear a single ululation in the audience – even if women were allowed to see it. Likewise, bring Iran’s chador-busting comedy Allah’s Fiery Nuclear Condemnation of Jews and Zionists to the U.S. and we find ourselves asking “What’s so funny about that?” before calling the U.N. and requesting an explanation and/or some sanctions.
In an effort to understand the comedy of other cultures, Banterist is setting out on a global quest to analyze some of the premier humor offerings of various countries in the hopes that some day we’ll all be on the same page – if not religiously, culturally, developmentally or intellectually, then at the very least, comedically. As Otis Langmann once said: “Understanding a national sense of humor is paramount to the hey hey hey haw.”
It doesn’t make much sense, but in his defense he was on fire.
Today’s explored country: France.

Continue reading…

Superficial Voter’s Guide – NYC 2005




Looks a little like you’ve been confronted by a mob of angry smokers, but it definitely says you’re the boss.




History is filled with mustachioed politicians, but they rose to power through revolution, putsch or brutality. That’s not coming through here.




He’s got the conservative look down. In New York City. Sure to take the Lower East Side by squall.



Education Party

What’cha got in there Seth?




A party with a one-note platform is slightly absurd, but I can picture you angry over a wounded Spruce. Sold.




Yearbook committee called. Wants photo back.



Rent Is Too Damn High Party

Voter intimidation only works if you’re standing in the booth with us.



Socialist Workers Party

Can’t be bothered to supply a profile or a photo. Must be busy teaching film.



Continue reading…

CSI: Allergy Response Unit

Episode One: The unit works to snare a Brooklyn Mafia boss who has a mattress that makes him wheeze.
Episode Two: A single fingerprint leads Detectives Melsky and Duffert to a counterfeiter with four cats.
Episode Three: It’s a race against the clock as a dangerous arsonist aggravates Mrs. Peel’s asthma.
Episode Four: Detective Haggart refuses to open a 30-year old cold case because the envelope is dusty.
Episode Five: The detectives shut down a Manhattan escort service using animal dander.
Episode Six: A key witness to a brutal gangland slaying is interrogated with too much perfume.
Episode Seven: An undercover cop infiltrates a murderous drug gang only to be offered a hazelnut.
Episode Eight: Three days before he’s set to retire, Detective Williams suffers a rash. (With Terrence Trent D’Arby as a self-sabotaging dandy)
Episode Nine: Headquarters is turned upside-down as Internal Affairs investigates reports of widespread lactose intolerance.
Episode Ten: Detective Melsky separates from his wife and must come to terms with the fact his deodorant burns his armpits.
Episode Eleven: A kidnapped priest is absolutely miserable with all the pollen.
Episode Twelve: After Detective Haggart’s partner is killed on duty, the unit struggles to discover when the HEPA filter was last changed.