Vampirism, Livestock Abuse and Other Questions about Facebook

Peer pressure... As an adult, I sorta expected to be done with that. But after too many respected online friends explained how Facebook was where all the "cool kids" hung out, I decided to update that old empty profile of mine.

Which was odd, since my school career pretty much ran toward the individualistically "tepid."

Anyway, so I hit Facebook, found friends, felt welcome. But I'm still puzzled about some things:

  • Who are these "3 people in Gibsonia who think I'm stupid" and why do they want me to take an IQ test? I mean, in school, when kids called each other stupid, we never had to deflect it with standardized testing. Just a few "sez you's" and "I know you are but what am I's." Today's kids apparently require evidentiary support.
  • Why does Facebook keep asking "why some celebrities look so young" like it's the riddle of the Sphinx? Miss Celebrity, meet Mr. Scalpel and Miss Liposuction. It's so simple, I don't even need those smarties in Gibsonia to explain it. Incidentally, a positive way to represent young-looking celebs? Is not Jennifer Aniston puffing like a chimney on her Virginia Slims. Just sayin'.
  • What does Facebook have against sheep? And why do people keep lobbing them at me? Since arriving on Facebook, I have been struck by several sheep, a groundhog, Poked, Superpoked, possibly UltraSuperMegaPoked, and encouraged to catapult various creatures of the hoofed persuasion myself. I blame Monty Python for this. Ever since the Great Livestock Lobbing of 1013, things haven't been the same. Just please, please, please remember, before you lob-- give fleece a chance. Not that I'm a fan of PETA, but I can't believe they haven't gotten involved yet.
  • Is button addiction curable? My scoliosis in high school may have, in part, been due to the sheer weight of my purse from the number of pithy buttons I'd pinned there. (Doctors should look into this sort of thing.) On Facebook, I seem to have reinstated the addiction with an application called "Pieces of Flair"-- virtual buttons for all occasions. I've made my own buttons. I've coveted others' buttons. Friends give me buttons and I am powerless to deny them. I must have them. All of them. I must put them on my virtual corkboard. I must display them for all to admire. Anyone know of a good Anti-Flair Addiction Support Group?
  • I have been bitten by vampires and they want to recruit me for the Vampire Cause. What should I do? See, on the down side, I'm not really a joiner. If everyone else is out slaughtering villages and plotting to eradicate the human race to create a brave new vampire world, I'm just not as inspired to rampage, too. On the plus side, I imagine I'd get some really elegant clothes, great hair (Evil always has excellent hair), and get to live in an abandoned mansion. So I'm torn.

Well, those are the main questions about Facebook that I have right now. I'm actually feeling pretty good considering the vampire bite and a slight concussion from a sheep to the head.

How are you Facebookies faring?


Celebrating the Few, the Noble, the Kinda Sorta Unthought-About

Let's face it, it's grim out there. People's inner rage has gone outer... We're watching our 401Ks erode into high-end bubble-gum money... Our peanut butter jars now come with nuclear contamination symbols on them... And David Caruso still seems to have a career.

But at Of Cabbages and Kings, we like to think on the bright side-- mainly so our cabbage mascot up there doesn't try to commit slaw off some high building. (He's working through some things.)

So today, picking up where the Bud Light "Real American Heroes" theme left off, I'd like to highlight just a few of the people out there who have gone unrecognized. The little-considered taskmasters who quietly, thanklessly impact our daily lives. Yes, today we will celebrate the underrated professionals in this world that make life just that much sunnier.

Let's give 'em a hand, shall we?
  • The person who puts the inspection stickers on clothes. Thank you, "Inspector 15- Jane", for making sure my t-shirt today is soft, well-seamed, and color-fast. At the end of the day, when I am not orange, I have you to thank.
  • The guy who changes the numbers on gas station signs. Laughing in the face of arm and neck strain, dangerously high winds, rain and snow-- you, gas station guy, use the metal pole of precision so we know the latest prices, and make the best gasoline decisions for our money.
  • The guy who invented the shape of the so-tubular Pringle. Oh, designer of edibles, you calculated the perfect way potato molecules could be reformed into crunchy stackable snack nirvana, giving birth to a whole new artform for crisps technology. This crunch is for you.
  • The person who puts those twisty ties in toy packaging. Barbie has reached little Suzie's hands safe and well-coiffed, thanks to your dedication to doll safety. Yes, we spend 20 minutes trying to get those ties off, but that is more a testament to your rigorous standards and our hurried, impatient society, than the importance of your job. Cheers to you, my friend!
  • Who put the "bop" in the "bop-shoo-bop-shoo-bop." We never did find this out, and it's been decades now. But we know many a baby has been brought back due to your efforts, oh Wizard of the "Ramma-Lamma-Ding-Dong." You have a higher success rate for relationship repair than Dr. Phil. Well done, I say!
  • Singer of bad jingles for cable business advertising. You knew when you first heard it, that the GoodFeet Store song would never win you a Grammy. Yet you, Singer of Questionable Verse, still gave it your all. It takes rock-hard self-esteem to proudly sing of arch support. Here we give you the applause you rightly deserve.
  • The person who slaps the stickers on individual pieces of fruit. The phrase "apples to apples" means nothing to you, fine Fruit Label Sticker-Onner. You know the difference between a Pinata 3435 and an Ambrosia 3438 and you make it mean something. Self-checkout would elude the casual fruit purchaser were it not for your work. You have given us the gift of time.

Who do you feel has earned a place among these workforce giants? There's no better time than now to praise their efforts, and let 'em know you care!


The 2009 Drama Llama Awards

Blame it on the Oscars. Or the financial crisis. Or the need to create jobs.

But I noticed, there's one area of online existence that hasn't received its fair share of official ceremonies.

And yet, it's fascinated and horrified big audiences with its brazen acting, intricate plot-lines, over-the-top character development, and flashy song-and-dance routines....

Online forum dramatics-- and the Drama Kings and Queens who reign supreme.

Anyone who's spent much time in any sort of public forum on virtually any topic-- from blogging to fishing to cheese-sandwich-assembly-- knows what I'm talking about.

Those actors and actresses who hone their thespian craft on message boards-- drawing the eyes of all around with outrageous pronouncements, bitter rivalries, nefarious conspiracy theories and widely polarizing subject matter.

The folks who enter with a bang, leave with a "Goodbye Cruel World" and return later, reborn and cleansed, like the phoenix from the ashes...

Or, y' know, with a new avatar and the same tell-tale way of typing.

These are the candidates for the Drama Llama Awards. (The "Llammies.")

Now you might say doing an award ceremony for this sort of thing would only encourage online actors to give it all they've got. That it would glorify the less-than-desirable attributes of online life into one big ol' Festival of Trolling and Narcissism.

But let's take a look at the benefits of developing an official ceremony in praise of this, our most resilient, primal and deeply-rooted online art...

Creating New Jobs
First of all, the Llammies would help create jobs. Don't just think of the high-end avatar designers, the web hosts, the voting app developers, and the advertising campaigns that would lead up to the awards themselves.

But think of the fulfilling careers many talented writers could have in penning powerful farewell and comeback speeches for forum members!

Like the classic "You Done Me Wrong" speech which spreads guilt across the forum masses like extra-smooth peanut butter. Blame to those directly involved... Blame to those who logged on not taking sides in times of great injustice. Like Germans not speaking out against Nazism. Or, y'know, just because you happened to be offline for an hour or two and missed the hubbub.

These writers could also give polish to the "On Further Consideration, I Have Decided I Will Not Remain Stifled By Naysayers" speech. Where the lead actor has taken a brief hiatus from his or her dramatic, public career and has returned... renewed, envigorated and taking their art to a whole new level.

To a lesser degree, these writers could supplement their incomes year-round with passive-aggressive notes to their clients' friends, family and significant others-- explaining why the author has been giving them the cold shoulder for a few weeks. Those kind of "we need to talk" notes.

I see a whole market here.

Providing Inexpensive Entertainment and Fame Alternatives
Cable prices are skyrocketing, movie prices are going up and yet household budgets are tighter than ever. But the Drama Llama Awards and the acts leading up to them would give online audiences a unique alternative to current reality television programs, at one flat rate.

Like reality TV, the Drama Llamas would allow regular joes and josies to have their fifteen minutes of fame. But unlike reality television shows, where the lead actors and actresses are cast from thousands, the Llammies mean just anyone with determination, shaky self-esteem and a dash of flair has an chance at becoming an internet sensation-- with only the price of an Internet connection.

Improving Morale
Because tight finances are preventing many from taking vacations this year, or indulging in luxury items, morale is taking a dive and glamour is eroding from our daily lives. So what better way to add a bright spot of razzle-dazzle, excitement and anticipation by having an awards ceremony? Everyone will totally forget they've been laid-off, the mortgage is overdue and little Timmy needs braces, when they're distracted by critical questions like:

  • "Who Will Win for Best Supporting Sycophant?"
  • "How Many Avatar Changes Can Our Metamorphasizing Starlet Have During a Single Performance?"
  • "Who Will Snatch the Award for Most Blatant Scam Denial of The Year?"
  • And "Who Will Win for Best Long-Running, Multiple-Thread Serial Grudge?"

Enhancing Research and Education
And, not to be forgotten, would be the Llammies' contribution to the field of education, particularly in the areas of psychology and self-help. As a result of the Llammies, psychologists, psychiatriasts, cultural anthropologists and stand-up comics will get the opportunity to examine the most extensive body of data on human behavior ever collected into one spot.

This will prove invaluable to further our collective knowledge about life-affecting challenges like Narcissistic Personality Disorder, schizophrenia, manic-depression, esteem issues and the connection between troll comments and poor spelling.

Amateur online dramatics is as much a part of the human experience as war, love, and rubber-necking. Don't we owe it to ourselves to channel the shock and horror of these forum performances into something more... well... sparkly?


If Dead Authors Had Blogged

Poe rantin' and raven on a PC? Orwell worried about spyware? Steinbeck pushing his new web tutorial program, "Of Mice and Manuals?" If our literary greats of the past were around today, would they be online-- and blogging?

Well, today, I thought I'd share just a few of my best guesses:

William Shakespeare
For his day-job, he anonymously writes a high-profile PR blog for an influential celeb politician . His task? To pump up the candidate's idyllic family life, community service, policies and event appearances...

All the while demonizing details of the politician's opponents with salaciously-spun content, YouTube video clips and some sly reenactments which border on slander.

Will's personal blog, on the other hand-- is written under the penname "IronWill". And readers aren't quite sure if this swashbuckling narrator is real, or simply a character of another blogger named Marlowe. Marlowe, it seems, has a strikingly similar avatar, appears on all the same social networks but never at the same time, and works off the same ISP server.

Partial post--

To blog, or not to blog, that is the question;
Whether it's cooler to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous commenting trolls,
Or to write posts against their slanderous lies,
And by opposing, end them. To delete, to sleep;
To sleep, to get keyprints deeply embedded on one's face.
Note to self: stop falling asleep at my desk.

Charles Dickens
He maintains a fiction site called "TheOldeCuriosityBlog" under the username "Boz." He posts part of his serial stories once a week, and has gained a strong regular following-- largely housewives falling into the soap opera fanatic demographic.

In a rare personal post, Boz relays his concerns about the print publication industry:

I would like to thank all of my readers, who supported me during the serial I've now compiled into one unified work, renamed "The Pickwick Posts." I know you've all been emailing, asking for an update on the possible publication of this.

Well, I've shopped it around to a number of print publishers and I am hearing that it doesn't fit into the hot markets right now-- like Self-Help, Inspirational, or Drooled On by Oprah. The rejection letters indicate no one wants to take the risk. So I'm thinking of self-publishing. Anyone have the good word on Lulu?


Charlotte and Emily Bronte
These home-schooled goth girls from Yorkshire, "Char" and "Em," write a joint blog called "Blathering Heights," a mix of dark emo poetry, steam-punk painting, graphic novel reviews, and personal posts on their slow progress in therapy. You can listen to the music that inspires them through their on-blog streaming MP3 playlist. Char's faves are the ethereal Cocteau Twins, Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Dead Can Dance and the Smiths, where Em's taste leans more toward newer punk and thrash-metal influences.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Due to strong search engine traffic, and having a lot of popular blogger friends, "SammyC" has gained a big audience with the psychedelic crowd for the few posts he's written. Unfortunately, he posts very rarely, and almost never finishes anything he starts. His blog will be giving readers a permanent 404 error in under a year.

Partial post-

After a serious night of partying with buds Byron, old Keatsy and the gang, I crawled part of the way home and fell asleep under the shrubbery. That's when I had this seriously weird dream. When I woke up, still groggy, I wanted to write it down, but all I could find within arm's length was a broken crayon and an empty Cadbury wrapper in the gutter. I jotted it down, then passed out again. So this is the most I could read off that wrapper, misspellings included...

In Xanadu did NewtonJahn
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where ELO, the sacred singers sang
Through discos measureless to man
Down to a sunless roller rink.
I'm not sure where the whole Olivia Newton John roller disco theme came in-- I never really even liked that movie. But maybe there's something there. Possibly I'll rework it. But right now, I've got the munchies.


Jane Austen
Jane is a marketing-savvy heiress with a large fan base in the personal diary set, due to her quirky, catty exploits. Her stories are loosely-veiled recaps of her own "Super Sweet 16" party, her hanging with Paris and Nicole Richie, and her social gala photo ops. She spends 50% of her time on Twitter tweeting friends, friends of friends, and friends of friends friends who are actually paparazzi using pseudonyms, talking about parties she's attending, designers she's into and books she's reading. She is already being approached by agents and publishers, some of them not even friends of her daddy.

I'd love to add some more here, but I ran out of time. So any ideas for literary greats who you'd envision blogging today?


Sudden TV Series Abandonment Syndrome

I hated to break the news to him but it had to be done. Like a Band-Aid on hair-- the faster it's off, the more merciful.

"Pop," I said, bracing for the inevitable, "Monk is ending this season."

And yup-- NASA astronauts heard my father's anguished cries from their latest space mission.

The same thing happened when Riptide was canceled in the '80s.

You probably don't even remember it, since it was only on for about two seasons. But that quirky private-eye-computer-geek team made a deep impression on the Pop.

Chicks in bikinis, orange remote control robots, geeks with taped glasses, detective-work, palm trees and fast boats... As far as Dad was concerned, it had all the elements of classic entertainment. And twenty-five years later, the Pop is still in mourning.

I'm surprised he's not wearing a Hawaiian printed arm-band with a computer chip glued to it, in memory of the thing.

Then there was the recent Stargate SG-1 exodus, and Pop is feeling the withdrawal symptoms of that, too. Stargate... where we go from planets with unsubtley-spacified ancient Earth cultures to vaguely metaphorical interplanetary social commentary on adventures with:
  • A big dude with better eye-makeup than mine carrying the soul of a psychic tadpole between his man-boobs...
  • A brilliant female scientist who shows that brilliance doesn't prevent you from being captured and sold as a sex slave every other episode...
  • Another scientist mainly for exposition and frowning
  • MacGyver in uniform

I was concerned when I first read Stargate SG-1 was going off the air, because I knew what it meant to the Pop. I mean, I'd sat through some episodes with him. I'd heard him dub it the "finest science fiction program to date." Far superior to the Stargates that followed, I understand. Something, it would seem, just short of Shakespeare but with more forehead prosthetics.

And I was right: I'd barely shared the bad news of its cancelation when he'd cycled into the tried-and-true, "How come everything that's any good is canceled?" recap.

"Dad, it was on for ten years," I reassured him. "We had two presidents, two wars, the dot-com boom, 9/11, iPod technology and Rosemary and Olive Oil Triscuits in that time."

But based on the previous Riptide loss, his Sudden Series Abandonment Syndrome (SSAS) has kicked in. In the face of painful loss, he is not willing to forgive.

And now Monk.

"I was just getting into that and now it's cancelled," he sighed. "Just like Riptide. And look what happened to Stargate SG-1! You know, that was the finest sci-fi program ever made?"

Absolutely, Pop. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry...

Perhaps someday they'll make a pill to ease the pain of Sudden Television Series Abandonment Syndrome. To soothe, to help him forget.

Until then, there are DVDs, and I've sent him a box full of them. Eye-makeup-dude, sex slave scientist and Admiral MacGyver can live on forever, in those beautiful iridescent disks.

I hope it brings him some joy... washes away the anguish of missions unfinished... cultures unexplored... and the bitter, salty taste of tears unshed...

In the meantime-- According to Jim, ER, and Kath and Kim live on...

Television... she's a capricious little minx.


Do you suffer from Sudden Television Series Abandonment Syndrome? Did a show go off the air that you still miss? Or is there anything on TV you can't believe is still running? I'd love to hear about it!


Rip Slaughter: Zombie for Hire

This story has been inspired by the actual Google search for the phrase "zombie for hire." Any similarities between characters in this work of fiction and anyone living, dead, undead, or just moderately gnawed upon are completely coincidental. Thank you.

It's a dark and stormy night. But in our line of woik, ya don't expect no sunshine and rainbows. Fact is, even midday it's pitch black here, with only the flashin' neon beer signs to filter in through the venetian blinds, lighting our lunch hour and my Look magazine. We learned to woik in the dark long ago.

In our world, we live on gut instincts and guts.... Brains and... well, y'know, brains.

The back alleys are our schoolyard....

The cemeteries our playground...

The hair salons are our... hair salons. Hey, a girl has to look presentable. After all, somebody's got to do the meet-n-greet. And Mr. Slaughter? Well, he don't always make such a hot first impression.

Oh me? My name's Audrey Allhart. I'm Mr. Slaughter's Gal Monday-to-Saturday-Sundays-Half-Day. The hours are rough, yes. But then, so is this business. Ya just never know when some mug with a big checkbook says he's gonna need ya.

Now ya might think a Zombie for Hire does only one thing-- hit-man woik.

But it's not so much as you'd think. Sure, we get the occasional domestic resolution case. Y'know, the old lady's cheatin' so the injured party needs somebody to make short woik of the happy couple.

But we also get a lot of clients lookin' for a courier who won't question (Mr. Slaughter's not the fastest in the field, granted-- but he soitenly ain't gonna bog you down with the chit-chat)...

Sometimes we get called in by the meat packin' plants to meet waste disposal regulations... Not glamorous, but it's a livin'.

Sometimes it's crime labs who need bones cleaned real good for moider analysis... Sort of a public soivice gig for us, them ones are.

And we do get our share of film extra woik. In this economy, it really saves on the make-up and costumes, getting real zombies for the roles. So much so, Mr. Slaughter's been makin' a name for himself in the b-movie biz-- gettin' more screen time, bein' paid now for groans and the like.

In fact, you can see him pretty clear in WickedDeath 2. He's the one who headbutts leading man Wayne Wallace, then goes for his jugular.

We're real proud.

And Mr. Slaughter, he deals with it all like the professional he always was. Him, he don't remember nothin' about Before. Don't remember when he was a dimestore gumshoe with a fedora and a dream.

I think it's moicy.

But not for me. No, I get no moicy. I remember. I remember before Rip got bit by that bum who owed him fifty clams and gave him the permanent case of corpse, instead.

But me and Rip, we manage. It's not the same as it used to be, o' course. Like we don't go dancin' the way we used to. After Rip dropped an ear doing the Jump 'n' Jive, dancin' lost a lot of its spark.

And he's gone from a lover to a biter. Now I'm fighting him off for all new reasons. But we're workin' it out. Anyways, a girl's got to be careful these days no matter what guy she gets herself mixed up with.

So a hot date out for us these days pretty much involves a trip to the cult pictures... a stroll around the town on Halloween... or him playin "Scarecrow," drawin' in boids and then having a light evening snack.

It ain't pretty, but then it's an ugly world. You woik with what ya got.

Friends tell me, they say, "Audrey, you're still young and know how to wear a seamed stockin' on them gams of yours... Why ya stickin' with that undead louse, Slaughter, when ya could be married to an up-n-coming soda joik, some smart middle manager or be one of them chanteuses, singin' torch songs down at the Blue Butterfly?"

But the fact is, sometimes when I see my Mr. Slaughter there, veins in his teeth not a care in the world, I know my ol' Rip Slaughter's still in there. And they don't know what it's like when ya love a man like that.

Maybe in a way, we're all zombies in this world. Just goin' through the motions until ol' Fate gives us the bat to the brainpan.

I dunno. But if ya need our soivices, do give us a call. We're in the book under Z.


Is there anything our Zombie for Hire can help you with? Comment here today!


Saint Dustin of the Eternal Refill

"You say you took someone else's medication? And how do you feel?...

"You feel high?... Well, when did you take it?...

"A minute ago?" The pharmacist winced and pushed at the bridge of his nose. He switched the phone to his other ear, and motioned at me to show him what I needed.

Optimistic fellow. I indicated I'd wait. From what I could tell, this dude was going to need all of his attention for the live one on the phone.

He looked grateful for a fleeting moment, then listened, and quickly interrupted the caller. "No, no, don't drive if you feel high. Don't get in a car..."

"No, that medication shouldn't hurt you, but if you're feeling high, just stay home." The pharmacist flashed me a pained smile.

Then he blinked with surprise. "Pissing all over the place last night? But you just took the medication a minute ago... When did you take the medication?...

"Oh! Someone else is pissing all over the place? Well, I thought we were talking about you." The pharmacist was looking like he'd gone two rounds with Mohammad Ali to poor results.

"Let's just focus on you and the medicine you took," he went on patiently. "...No, no, don't try to operate a car."

At this point, I was wondering if there were sainthood options for well-meaning, young martyred pharmacists.

Dub him "Saint Tolerance of CVS"...

"Saint Put-Upon of the Holy Mortar and Pestle"...

Or maybe just "Saint Dustin of the Eternal Refill." I don't know. I'm not quite up on these things.

It made me grateful, though. At least in my line of work as a marketing project manager, when clients are befuddled, it isn't a question of life, death and heavy machinery operation.

Bodily fluids are oh-so-rarely involved.

And I almost never, ever have to play 20 questions to determine where urine is coming from, and its original ETA.

No, my challenges usually involve trying to explain that just because puce, chartreuse and teal are a CEO's favorite colors, it doesn't mean they'll necessarily make a snazzy impact for the new corporate logo...

That more flashing, spinning blimp-shaped bullets are probably not "tasteful attention-grabbers"...

And that anonymous surveys tend not to yield a whole lot of useful mailing list information.

Tricky at times, yes. But rarely hanging in the balance of stomach-pumping or daisy-pushing...

Hypochondria or hearses...

And definitely not rabbit-chasing grannies causing five car pile-ups on the Parkway, instead of simply sleeping it off in the La-Z-Boy in front of Oprah.

My heart goes out to the folks on the pharmacy front lines.

Now, I do know you've got to complete a certain number of miracles to apply for sainthood...

But I think if Our Pharmacist of Perpetual Patience managed to stop Great-Aunt Myrtle from hitting the roads higher than Grace Slick on a Wonderland Weekend... her pee-soaked companion riding shotgun...

Well, that would have to count for something...

Wouldn't it?


The Save the Searchers Foundation- sniff, sob

At Of Cabbages and Kings, we aim to please. And as I look through my search engine referrers, I see a number of visitors who, likely, have gone away terribly unhappy.... Their search needs unmet... Their connection with the right blog information, miserably unrequited.

I weep for them.

So today, for just the cost of a freely-hosted blog post, I'm going to answer some of my favorite recent search requests as a public service to the great people of the Interwebs.

Because that's the way we roll here at Cabbages-- exactly like Sally Struthers doing a Save The Children ad. But, y'know, without all those kids getting in the way...

Or the actual saving...

Oh, and with a lot more sarcasm.

But otherwise just the same. Here we go:

pixie sticks candy does it have melanie?

After some detectivework, I can safely say-- yes. Melanie has been held hostage in the Pixy Stix factory for the last 20 years. You should tell the police to keep an eye out for a man with a top-hat and a plum topcoat, answering to the name of Wonka. He is the one responsible. And when you do find Melanie, remember-- don't release her from her chair right away. A 20-year sugar high will require a few weeks of detox, and experts indicate the sugar shakes can become quite violent.

In the meantime, you might want to check out Night of a Thousand Pixie Stix and read about other sugar addicts like your friend.


stephanie zimbalist shoe size?

For those who don't remember her, actress Stephanie Zimbalist was best known for her role of Laura Holt, in 80s detective show Remington Steele. Now I was unable to discover the answer to this life-altering shoe size question on all of the possible relevant resources... The IMDB... The Stephanie Zimbalist Fan Club... Or So I went to the source, Miss Zimbalist herself. Who had this to say:

"Was that that creep who kept trying to break into my dressing room and steal my footwear? We caught him back in 84, a Dr. Shoal Exercise Sandal in one hand and a faked backstage pass in the other. He's been stalking me ever since. You tell him from me the only shoe of mine he'll be getting is the boot from my lawyer."

Ah, yes... another problem solved! It feels so good to be a helper.


nacked forth grade girls
In this case, to this visitor I am sorry to report, sir, that you have more problems than we at the Save the Searches Foundation are able to address. But I do recommend that when looking for illegal images of underage females online, you perhaps try using spell check to better refine your search. Unless, of course, "Nacked Forth" is the name of some small midwestern town and you were looking for the end-of-term grades received in the locality's prominent Girl's School...

In which case, I owe you an apology.


how to face your clown fears?

This is a legitimate concern. Many people, such as myself, have coulrophobia-- or the fear of clowns. Now some experts say the best way to face fears of any kind is to confront them.

But we with Clown Fear know that standing in a circle of circus clowns for a friendly meet-and-greet is only a sure way of 1.) getting pulled into a closet which is actually a portal to hell never to be seen again 2.) getting pulled down into the drain or sewers which is actually a portal to hell never to be seen again 3.) getting eaten alive by Tim Curry in a scene even scarier than his performance in McHale's Navy. (If he was a Russian, why did he have a German accent?). Hoping to never see it again.

So my recomendation instead is preventative. Don't watch It, Poltergeist, Killer Klowns from Outer Space or read this post about Barnum and Bailey's Toilet of Clown Infested Doom. Don't. Do. It.



WowShams-- the single shammy cloth that comes with coffee spills, juice spills, bathwater from your dog, blood from your last mass murder, and dirty fluid from the carwash already inside it! Simply squeeze to release the product's patented Insta-Stain Producing Technology, and create the beautiful stain, smudge or smear you're looking for. This company also makes Comment-in-a-Can and Review-in-a-Can. Act now!

slick it up spandex
That's easy-- Might I recommend a WowSham? (Please see above.)


how to tell staff to stop forwarding unnecessary emails
Excellent question! First, I would recommend reading the book: Passive-Aggressive Bosses and the Employees Who Love Them. Available at any of your major bookstores. Then I suggest you write a memo and slip it to them when they're at the watercooler laughing at that morning's LOLCat.


Well, that's all we have for today! I'm sorry I wasn't able to answer all your questions, but our time and funding at Save the Searchers is limited.

Have you gotten a mystifying search engine referrer? Why not share it with Cabbages readers? Our comments section is open 24/7-- no lines, no waiting!


The Miss Piggy Sow Landslide of '78

This little piggy went to Jenn's house... This little piggy...

...Went to Jenn's house, too.

This little piggy should have stayed home, but in a desire to clean one's knicknack shelves while simultaneously regifting... it also went to Jenn's house.

And thus continued the parade o' regrettable pork in my possession.

Frankly, I blame Miss Piggy.

It all started at Halloween when I was about seven, when a current Muppet Mania dictated that I should make my holiday debut as that porcine puppet diva. A skinny, flat-chested porcine puppet diva, albeit. But, say... Miss Piggy spokesporking for Jenny Craig.

The costume itself consisted of a purple satin dress, long white gloves, a string of pearls, a faux-fur coat, a blond wig, and a homemade mask cleverly created by my parents of window caulking.

The window caulking mask inspired awe among my mother's friends and the Halloween Costume Contest Committee...

And gave off chemical fumes that probably will explain a lot about me to you guys.

For my younger readers, I should note that the 70s were not the days of Child Safety. There weren't things like child safety seats, Mr. Yuk stickers, lead testing, or child-proof caps.

If little Suzie flew through the windshield, drank Drano, ate lead paint chips, or got brain damage from inhaling caulking fumes for four hours on Halloween night... well...

That just meant you'd have to replace her with another one that looked just like her, and hope no one noticed.

Kinda like goldfish.

So that was the atmosphere of the celebrated window caulking pig mask. And with the widespread success of Mom's homemade costume under our snouts, I suppose it was really only to be expected that the image would eventually become confused somehow among my mother's friends and my own relatives.

The nice ladies, these friends of my mother, these aunts of mine, would sometimes send along little tokens to me at my birthday or Christmas. Thoughtful gestures mainly as a courtesy to Mom.

But seamlessly... silently... and without warning whatsoever.... my appreciation for the character Miss Piggy somehow collectively transformed in each of their minds into the idea that:

"Jenn loves pigs."

And, boy, once those little piggies dug their hooves in-- oh, there was simply no going back!

Suddenly, I started receiving plaster pigs... hand-painted pottery pigs... pig t-shirts.... and pig pens (seriously, it was a pen with a plastic pink pig glued to it that read "pig pen." A comedy classic).

Pigs for birthdays... Pigs from Santa... Even pigs in honor of the Chinese Year of the Pig! Yep- for a good three solid years, these fine ladies had me entirely covered in pig products for every special occasion.

There was the pig beach towel with the mysterious letters "MCP" printed on it. (Years later it dawned on me the letters were supposed to stand for "Male Chauvinist Pig.")

And then the most... unique... of all of my pig gifts-- a glass pig toothpick holder. Three playful little oinkers in different positions, and plenty of room to put a whole box of picks for my teeth...

Just the sort of thing all the cool kids were asking for!

Of course, now I see my pig collection really helped Mom's friends clear out a lot of unneeded stuff. So at least there was a plus side.

Still- by about year two of perpetual birthday livestock, I was pretty sick of pork. I was begging my mother, "Please-- can't you tell them I don't really like pigs? We're from New Jersey, fer Pete's sake-- not Walton's Mountain! I've never even seen a real pig!"

But Mom was understandably mum. It was too late. There was no way to say I wasn't pro-pig without hurting their feelings...

I would simply have to accept it whole hog.

The last of the Pig Posse arrived at my high school graduation... but thankfully, by that time the line of swine had dwindled down to the occasional pig sticker, the odd and assorted porkly tchotchkie.

It was with some relief, I admit, that I left for college as those little piggies stayed home.

And the moral of the story, my friends?

Well, I guess that there's no business like sow business...

And she who puts lipstick on a pig to become the sow who carries the silk purse, will undoubtedly be casting pearls before the swine really fly.

Er... something like that.

And thus ends this tail.

Anybody ever decide you folks should collect something you weren't really into? I'd enjoy hearing about it.


The Day The PC Died: With Apologies to Don McLean

Something must be in the water. Or the air. Or rotting along the Internet Highway. Because PC crashes and Internet access problems this week seem to be mysteriously rampant among my online friends.

So to console the folks who've been dealing with this Earth-shattering lack of connectivity lately, I was inspired to write a little song. It's done to the tune of "The Day the Music Died," so before we leap right into it, I'd like to send many, many apologies to Don McLean.


Oh, so many.

Okay, that said, here we go:

The Day the PC Died


Just late last week or so
I can still remember how the Web, it used to make me smile
And I knew if I could log-on
I'd have readers saying, "blog on!"
And maybe they would Follow for a while
But I pushed the button, and I shivered
The silence, how it made me quiver
Virus, maybe malware?
The screen, it gave a blank stare
I can't remember if I cried
When I powered up and it just sighed
The loss, I felt it deep inside
The day the PC died


So, bye-bye Tweets from good Stephen Fry
Took my PC to the GeekSquad and they said they would try
While great new toys for Wii were waving goodbye, saying,
Chin up, dude, you're starting to cry
Chin up, dude, there's no need to cry


Do you hold PCs aloft?
And do you have faith in Microsoft
Because Bill Gates has told you so?
Do you believe in service fees
Can virus scans save our PCs?
And can you teach the clever tricks you know?
Well, I see that you charge by the hour
I found the rates there at the counter
It's so much cash to lose
But withdrawal makes me sing the blues
I am a lonely, Tweeting, blogging Stumbler
With my sleek workstation I made my fumble
Then I saw my Web world crumble
The day the PC died
I started singin'


Bye-bye Tweets from good Stephen Fry
Took my PC to the GeekSquad and they said they would try
While great new toys for Wii were waving goodbye, saying,
Chin up, dude, you're starting cry...
Chin up, dude, there's no need to cry...


Now for four days I've been on my own
I have a laptop, it's on loan
But it's just not the same to me
When I log-on, the apps don't know my name
And the forums they don't look the same
And my fingers tend to hit wrong keys
And while I waited for that phone call
To say it's fixed and here's the last bill
Trouble's new direction
Zapped my whole connection
Yes, seems some jerk in a Corvette Shark
Hit a power line outside our office park
We sang dirges in the dark
The day the PCs died
We were singin'


Bye-bye Tweets from good Stephen Fry
Took our PCs to the GeekSquad and they said they would try
While great new toys for Wii were waving goodbye, saying,
Chin up, dudes, you're starting to cry
Chin up, dudes, there's no need to cry

Everybody sing!

Warning: May Cause Deadly Death

Imperfect skin? Or a deadly, painful, lung-rattling, wasting-away sort of Dickensian respiratory infection?

Looks like the marketing folks for one pharma product are hoping you'll choose that flawless, psoriasis-free complexion... y'know, while you cough up a lung onto the Bed-in-a-Bag and get last rites.

I saw the commercial for this psoriasis pill the other night while eating dinner. And it was the commercial's prominently-noted side-effect of tuberculosis that made me look up from my potpie.

Tuberculosis, fer Pete's sake!...

The big infection of historic novel and movie melodrama! Where a tragic supporting character bravely wastes away into nothingness. (Usually along with a nice gut-quaking, relentless cough and a possible Oscar nod.)

Now who wouldn't want that?

The commercial itself shows people removing their jackets to show their cheery liberation from the itching and scaling associated with the life-affecting skin condition.

Meanwhile, we hear a list of possible side effects that would make biochemical terrorists back away and say, "Geez, guys-- overkill much?"

Yup-- side effects like, oh... our buddy tuberculosis... plus skin cancers and lymphomas... allergic skin reactions... swelling and difficulty breathing... numbness... vision problems... a fever that doesn't go away... new or worsening heart failure... and a rash on the face and arms.

Now, let's think about this. You wear a lot of layers because you're embarrassed for people to see your skin.

So you take a pill to clear up the psoriasis and now, you not only have a risk of new, potentially death-flirty ailments...

But you also get three exciting different possibilities for marring the skin you're trying to clear up in the first place? Wow, sign me up!

Of course, this is nothing new, is it? I mean, how many products do we see out there that are designed to treat... oh... allergy symptoms. But the side effects cause sinus infections, nasal congestion and spontaneous combustion of the upper noggin region?

Or cholesterol products that make your heart jetpack for safer locales?

Or irritable bowel calmer-downers that cause violent stomach cramps, public contorionism and uncontrolled miming?

What I want to know is why the side effects are always so dreadful. I mean, just once I'd like, say, my blood pressure medication to have side effects like:

WARNING: May cause strong electro-static charge that draws in $100 bills
WARNING: May cause patients in service industry to radiate pheremones causing unnatural client aquiescence and mirth.

How about:

CAUTION: Use of this product may cause you to look totally rockin' for your 20th high school reunion

Or even:
WARNING: Patients may experience sudden understanding of what's going on in Heroes this season.

Something like that, I think I could get behind. I mean, it'd be good for us, the consumers, and it'd be a big seller for the pharma companies, too. Win-win!

In the meantime, though, I guess I'll just keep taking the ol' blood pressure meds as is. At least they don't cause TB.... Though, they do say they may cause baldness and finger-numbness in some patients.

But, hey, who actually sees a blogger, anyway? Hair is so totally over-rated! And my typing is still really accurtyuihnjkjkklfsdfdsds

Humorbloggers Humor-blogs Bloggerella

Groundhogs Protest Steelers' Superbowl Win

As the city of Pittsburgh sleeps-off both beer buzz and the joy of Superbowl stardom, the portly, furred figure of George Groundhog casts a lone shadow on the littered downtown streets, protest sign in hand.

But Can the Steelers Defend
Against Six More Weeks
of Winter?"

...the sign reads.

In an Of Cabbages and Kings exclusive interview, George Groundhog explains: "This year, more than ever before, Groundhog Day has been pushed to the wayside simply because of a childish team sport. I'm here to remind the world that, Steelers' win or not, February 2 is coming and it decides just how many weeks you'll be slogging through the snowdrifts....

"Let's see whether your Terrible Towels will keep your windshields free of road salt. Or how well your Polamalu jerseys keep you warm in minus 10 degree temperatures. I suggest you give the holiday its due."

Harsh words from Pennsylvania's Third Most Famous Groundhog!

But our in-depth investigation shows George Groundhog has made a career of stirring up controversy. His landmark protest of the filming of Groundhog Day led to a now-legendary blow-up on the set with lead actor Bill Murray.

Complaints over the film's noticeable non-groundhog focus, and the use of Hollywood groundhog actors instead of local talent reportedly held up filming for weeks.

On the set, Murray was reported as saying, "George, that rat bastard! I haven't had a rodent steal my limelight like that since Caddyshack. I swear, I'm ready to prep the plastic explosives."

In 2007, George also made headlines by publicly chastising his own cousin, Gus, for "lowering the collective groundhog reputation" as the Pennsylvania Lottery's official spokesrodent.

"Do we want the groundhog to symbollize the flagrant waste of hard-earned money on pipe dreams? Or do we want the groundhog to truly mean something? Ask yourself."

Gus was not available for comment.

And while not everyone agrees that the Superbowl has taken the shine off Groundhog Day festivities, analysts are seeing some support for his sentiments in the Groundhog-American community.

In fact, as the dawn rises on Heinz Field, a small cluster of local groundhogs have gathered, with picket signs sharing their own concerns.

"In the Shadow of Superbowl Mania" reads one.

"Six Superbowl Rings or Six Weeks of Winter?" says another.

"Where Were You February 2?" expresses a third.

And "Forget Not The Hog," expresses a last message.

So far their organization has been non-violent, but pending citywide parades and Steelers celebration, time will tell how this epic battle of Man versus Marmot plays out.

Are the groundhogs organizing in your area? Do you think George Groundhog has a paw to stand on with this? Of Cabbages and Kings would like to hear from you!