theferrett: (Meazel)

I don’t need to root for the Yankees.  I need a bar where I can sit with a rowdy crowd of other cuisine fans and boo Krissy on Master Chef.  I wanna thump some stranger on the shoulder when Mary nails the Beef Wellington on Hell’s Kitchen, people who’ll bullshit with me about how they’d transform that leftover meatloaf on Chopped, get into friendly arguments because they think Rodney the Pie Man should be the Next Food Network star and I firmly believe that Sinmaster Russell should get in.

A place like that, though, couldn’t just be a sports bar, brimming with Budweiser and reheated potato skins.  No, this would need to be the gastropub’s gastropub, a place with thirty perfectly-selected beers and beautifully-cooked appetizers, served beneath the big screens.

And before the Mystery Box is revealed, you can pay a fee to be one of the six tasters – and when the ingredients are on the table, the bar’s chef will begin cooking furiously along with the contestants, given the same challenge in the large and very visible kitchen so you can watch either the local show or the game show.  (Assuming they have the proper ingredients on hand, of course.)  When it’s done, he’ll serve you up what he would have done with the Iron Chef ingredient of cauliflower, and you can critique it before the crowd.

Where is this bar?  Why does it only exist in my mind?  Can someone local make this for me?  Please?

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

theferrett: (Meazel)

Do not send money to your online interest. There are online users that earn a living by faking love and pretending to run into hard times.

Part of me read that and went, “What an interesting fiction challenge! I bet I’d be really good at that.”

Then I started to map out the sorts of personality traits it would take to appeal to the lonely guy/gal – a good reason for a stunningly attractive person to be lonely and looking for someone on the Internet, the secret rituals that make someone feel loved, constructing the steely-eyed hard-luck story where I’d never ask for money, I have my pride, but – no. Really? You’d do that? I couldn’t. But….

Inevitably, I’d run into other professional love-fakers. We’d get together for conventions, flown to exotic locations on the dollars of sad men, exchange best practices for not being found prematurely, gossip about our best and worst conquests. We’d hold contests to see who would extract the most money, and I’d win. Other lonely-hearts extractors would whisper about me: “Have you seen his techniques? Oh, it’s a pleasure to watch him set the hook.”

In time, I’d step away from the danger of predating on sad boys in basements – they’re eager, sometimes they track you down, sometimes things get violent. Instead, I’d move into the role of paid advisor, troubleshooting sticky situations for a cut of the gross, showing up like Mister Wolf – a chain-smoking professional who barely shows his disdain for the clumsy hash you’ve made of things. Really? You let him buy airplane tickets for his mom to meet you? Oh, we’ll have to -

And then I snapped back to reality, realizing what a horrid, horrid fantasy this all was. I’d never do it.

But if I did? I’d be good at it.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

theferrett: (Meazel)

So Bill Gates has put up a $1 million reward if some clever cocksmith can create the next-generation condom.

This has attracted its share of sniggers, but the truth is that condoms flat-out suck.  They do reduce sensation significantly, and in the distinctly unromantic time it takes to slip on one, erections can be lost.  And that difficulty means more STDs transmitted, more unwanted pregnancies, more excuses for douche guys to be douches.

We can put a man on the moon, but that just gave us Tang; a real, high-sensation, easy-to-wear condom would mean a safer world in millions of tiny ways.

But one of the new condom contenders is Origami Condoms - which, wisely, has different models for different sex acts, male, female, and anal.  And I am looking forward to all the many ways in which science can improve my nookie (and exactly what levels of reward will come with Origami’s impending Kickstarter campaign).  But this statement really caught me off-guard:

1. Easy donning method slides the condom onto the penis in 2.8 seconds.

Isn’t that, uh, kind of specific?  Two-point-eight seconds?  That’s… pretty damn exacting timing.  Like, how much better is that than three?   Is this an average time?  How many condoms did they time going in before they arrived at this?  One pictures scientists, brows furrowed with concern, going, “Dammit, we’re at three-point-five.”

“But Phil, we’re guiding the glans to a ridiculous amount already,” a junior lab assistant observes.  “We can’t possibly change the angle without risking…”

Don’t tell me what to do!” the lead scientist yells, throwing his laptop to the floor.  “I have studied penises all my life.  When I was a young boy, all I did was catalogue the geometries of every holes my cock could fit into.  The UN Council of Intercourse has issued me their highest awards for my penile cladding techniques.  And if I say there’s a way to break the peen of light, then it will be done!”

Seriously, with this kind of specificity, there had to be contests.

I’m imagining a row of men, lined up like Olympic swimmers and sporting bobbing erections, with a referee and a whistle.  At the sound of the gun, eight men whip this condom down to wrap their willies, as kneeling scientists triumphantly click the stopwatch.  “Three-point-one seconds!” one claims.

“Oh, we can do better than that,” the head of Origami condoms mutters angrily.  “Get the fluffers.”

Then there had to be the failures – the poor men who panicked and wound up with this art deco Rubbermaid thing wrapped around their ankle, the boys with broken penises who aimed wrong, the shameful premature ejaculation.  These condoms come with electronics, are outfitted with memory cloth like Batman’s wings to change shape in mid-coitus, perform exacting calculations to caress the shape of your tallywhacker to six significant digits.

Eventually, you will desire them for masturbation.  For platonic relationships.  For illicit wedding ceremonies in Switzerland, where a man and his condom can finally lie together in the way that man and God intended.  These are the condoms of the future, and nothing will stop them from their inevitable goal of replacing humans with a rubberized, glorious, endlessly moisturized environment of orgone and pyramidal bouncing.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

theferrett: (Meazel)

In this article on “quack cancer cures,” Xeni Jardin quotes this beautiful nugget that will help us to change the face of science forever.

“It’s true that alt-med apologists dress up their beliefs in language that sounds scientific, but when you scratch the patina of scientific language off, it doesn’t take long to find the religious imagery, often facilitated by the more conventional religious beliefs (i.e, Christianity) of the believer.”

This sort of shenaniganery works because if you dress nonsense up in things that other people don’t understand, they’ll buy it.  I know!  I’m a computer programmer!  I have a magic number: the power of 2.  If I tell you, “You can only have 200 entries in your phone book,” people will whine and bitch and moan that it’s unfair.  But if I tell them, “You can have a maximum of 256 entries,” then people go, “256!  That’s like 16-bit, and 32-bit!  It’s a magic number!  It must be hard-wired!”

And they leave me alone and I get coffee.  It’s brilliant.

But then I read this fantastically entertaining cartoon on what would happen if we treated history like it was biology, and I thought: We’re doing it backward.

If idiots can use scientific language to gull over desperate people, then why don’t we use arcane religious language to placate the religious?

Look, you can say, “The theory of evolution demonstrates that a population of organisms that interbreeds and has fertile offspring will grow modifications in their genes, some of which will prove beneficial.”

Or…. you could say, “Our priests tell us that our understanding of God’s thinking shows that a population of beloved creatures that begets will cause God-inspired innovations!  Some of which cause animals to be damned to the fires of extinction!  And others which uplift them to the apex of predation!”

Look, we don’t have to believe it, any more than any number of the charlatans selling killer nostrums do.  But we just change the language a little bit to ensure that it works for us!  Watch!

Old, Controversial Word New, Praise-Be-To-The-Heavens Word
Scientific Theory God’s word made flesh
Experiment An Exploration of the Mystical, Wonderful Laws that God Hath Given Us
Hypothesis The glory of God shines in this direction
Inference God whispered this to us in the dead of the night after we prayed really, really hard, but my pride may get in the way here
Procedure The Holy Rituals
Observation I have seen with Thine eyes, Lord, and have returned to tell thee
Control In The Garden Of Eden
Repeated Trials Tribulations
Conclusion God said so

It’ll take a bit to get properly formulated, of course.  And when people start going, “But that’s not what it says in the Bible!” then we’ll just have to get down and dirty, sinking into Leviticus and talking about the Metatron and the Holy Ghost, and then saying, “The will of God is very complex.”

Meanwhile, all in the background, we’re doing science, bitches.  Under cover.  And eventually, we’ll pass collection plates for stem cell research, and people will fucking praise it.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

theferrett: (Meazel)

GM RIDLEY SCOTT: So you’ve all been in cryosleep for two years now, on a mysterious mission to the stars.  Your bodies lie in capsules, tended to by -


SCOTT: What?

FASSBENDER: I’M A ROBOT OH BOY!  I never need to sleep.  I’m gonna spend the whole trip watching movies, and running around the ship, and playing X-Box… It’s so cool!  Wait!  Does the ship have a gym?

SCOTT: …I guess.

FASSBENDER: I’m gonna ride a bike and shoot hoops!  Because I’M A ROBOT!  How do I do when I shoot?  Huh?  Tell me how I did.  I bet I did awesome!!!!!

SCOTT (rolls some dice): Sure.  You get it through the net.

FASSBENDER: I do it again!  Look at these stats on my character sheet!  They’re through the roof!  Being a robot is awesome.  I bet you wish YOU guys were all robots…

CHARLIZE THERON (whispering to fellow player STRINGER BELL): Hey, am I a robot?  I can never make sense of these character sheets.

SCOTT: Okay, yeah, Fassbender, you make a lot of hoops.  Then the ship shudders to a stop and everyone wakes up.  Your bodies cry out for nutrients…

STRINGER BELL: I smoke a cigar and set up a Christmas tree.

SCOTT: …what?  This is an enclosed spaceship!  Where the hell did you get a Christmas tree?

STRINGER BELL: Right on my inventory sheet.  I come prepared.  You’ll also see I have three freeze-dried Chihuahuas, a can of shark repellent, a case full of silly string, and a tin full of Mexican jumping beans in my left pocket.

SCOTT: Okay.  You set up a Christmas tree.



SCOTT: So you all meet inside the gymnasium.


SCOTT: No, you do not.  You’ve never met these people before.  Now you have to introduce yourself.

SCARY TATTOOED GUY FIFIELD: Wait a minute, we’ve never met each other?  Weren’t we all in cryosleep on a multimillion dollar mission into space?  Didn’t we at least have some kind of pre-ship meeting?


FIFIELD: What, did they wheel us onto the ship in cryosleep?


SCOTT: See?  Mikey wheeled you all.  That’s how it works.  In space.

THERON: Christ, Ridley, it’s a roleplaying cliché if we all meet at the inn when the plot-coupon guy hands us an adventure… but at least that makes sense.  As adventurers, we’d be drinking at the Inn.  We didn’t take some techno-roofies and lay down in a vaccubed to be shanghaied seventy million lightyears into space, only THEN to be told what the fuck we’re up to.

SCOTT (grumbling): Like you girls know anything about roleplaying.  Girls don’t do anything.  They don’t even give birth in this campaign.


SCOTT: Nothing.  So you’re all at the Inn…. I mean the gym….


MILLBURN: Whafuck, there are DEAD ALIENS here in the compound?  That shit’s bad news.  I’m leaving.

THERON (facepalming): Millburn, you’re a biologist.  This is the first non-Earth biological structure you’ve ever laid eyes on.  This should be your holy fucking grail.  Why do you want to leave?

MILLBURN (waving character sheets): Look at this guy!  I’ve got no combat stats at all!  I’m toast in combat.

FIFIELD: Holy crap, you’re right.  Who the hell gave me 90% skill level in – what the hell is geology?

SCOTT (facepalming): The study of rocks.

FIFIELD: Why the hell would anyone wanna look at pebbles?  I wanted to bring weapons here!  I’m all bad-ass!  I have tattoos and a scraggly beard, and you’re telling me I’m not ju-jitsu expert, just the master of dirt?

MILLBURN: Yeah, screw this noise, let’s go back to the ship.  I’m not gonna get myself killed.

SCOTT: Fine.  You go back to the ship.

FIFIELD: So what’s happening there?

SCOTT: Nothing.  It’s the ship.  All the adventure’s over in the, you know, deeply alien complex I made this gigantic map of.

MILLBURN: You’re telling me there’s nothing to do back here?


MILLBURN: Shut UP, Mikey.  All right, fine.  We go back to the alien complex and wander around.

THERON (horrified): Do you… Want to tell anyone where you go?  Radio in?  So people know what happened to you after you left?

MILLBURN: Nah, we’re cool.



STRINGER BELL: So, you wanna have sex?

THERON: You know, I think this is what passes for character development in this game.  Why not.

FASSBENDER: THIS SLIME IS SO COOL.  What happens if I feed it to Holloway?

SCOTT: Wait a minute, you find the alien muck that you don’t know what it does, on the same ship with your ailing master who you’re programmed to protect at all costs, and you’re just going to… Feed it to someone?  In the hopes of what?

FASSBENDER: I’m a ROBOT, man! I don’t think human!

HOLLOWAY: Wait a minute, I don’t want to eat alien slime.


SCOTT: Yep.  He bamboozles you.  Down your hatch the alien slime goes.

HOLLOWAY:  What?  I don’t even get a save?

SCOTT: It was a very good roll.

HOLLOWAY: Oh, for Christ’s sake.  Charlize is right.  Hey, Noomi, you wanna have sex?

NOOMI RAPACE: Baby, let’s make character development all night long.


FIFIELD: GOD, this game’s boring.  So they went back to the ship and didn’t tell us?

THERON: You didn’t tell us where you went!

FIFIELD: At least you’re having sex.  If I’d known I could have had sex with you, I would have totally spammed that attack, if you get my drift.

MILLBURN: Okay, we found some more dead bodies, and there was some kind of blip over there, and so now what?

SCOTT:  It’s an abandoned alien complex.  It’s been dormant for two thousand years.  There’s not that much to do.

MILLBURN:  Fuck, man, throw us a bone.  Make a roll on the wandering monster table or something!

SCOTT: Fine.  Fine.  You want random fucking monsters?  Okay, a… A deadly alien snake rises from the muck.  It looks like a cobra, flaring its hood at you and swaying back and forth.


SCOTT: It eats you.

MILLBURN: Man, that is so UNFAIR.


SCOTT: All right, Noomi, that was some pretty amazing work.  You exit the autodoc, stomach stapled, alien extracted.  I totally thought you were hosed.

NOOMI: I find Mikey.  Fucking Mikey.

FASSBENDER: HI NOOMI!  YOU’RE AWESOME!  That was so cool, the whole “zip” and “snap” and “slurp” thing!

NOOMI: Now I’m going to kill you.


NOOMI: Because you just tried to kill me.  By implanting an alien baby inside of me.  I assume you’re either trying to destroy me personally, or are generating aliens as part of an elaborate biowarfare program.



FASSBENDER: I just wanted to see what would happen.  Dude, it’s cool, you’re alive, I’m alive, now let’s go meet a alien!  I found a frozen one.

NOOMI: …how did you wake it up?

FASSBENDER: I pressed a LOT of buttons.  They went beep!

NOOMI: What are you going to do when you meet the alien?

FASSBENDER: I’m going to tell it that my dad wants to lick it.  ‘CAUSE I’M A ROBOT.

NOOMI: This I gotta see.


SCOTT: So you kneel in front of Weyland, in service, and clasp his hand.

THERON: I’ll do what you want…. (pauses dramatically) …father.

(Entire group GROANS in anguish.)

FIFIELD: You really went there, Charlize?  Calling him Dad?

THERON: SOMEBODY has to roleplay here, you ass!

SCOTT: You shut up.  I think it’s cool.  Fine, Charlie, he’s your dad.

FIFIELD: 1979 just called, man.  It wants its plot twist back.

SCOTT: Will you shut your pie-hole?  You’re ruining my game!

FIFIELD: I’M ruining it?!?  Dude, I’ve been dead for an hour now!  I’m bored!  Way to DM, lameface.

SCOTT: What do you want me to do?  You fell in acid and DIED.  There’s not much to do after you’re dead.

FIFIELD: …what if I came back as an alien zombie, revengeous for blood, and attacked the ship?

SCOTT: That makes no sense.  On the other hand, I did stat all of these NPCs who I never gave names to.  Okay, fine, roll it up.


SCOTT: All right, Charlize and Noomi!  The alien ship is tumbling from the sky, landing on you.  It’s falling in a completely straight line.

NOOMI: I juke left.

THERON: So do I.


THERON: …what?

FASSBENDER: You’re probably a robot, too!  That’s how you find out!  I bet you run real super-fast, like a rocket, when your life is in danger!

THERON: But the ship will crush me.


THERON: …fine.  It’s not like I’m missing out on all the excellent plot twists if I die.  Ridley, what happens if I run in a straight line?

SCOTT: You get squished.



SCOTT: Okay, so the pilot and his two friends killed themselves out of boredom, Fifield and Millburn killed themselves out of boredom, and the only people left are Noomi, and -


SCOTT: Noomi, you wanna play again?

NOOMI: Can I stuff Mikey’s head in a bag so he shuts up?

SCOTT: God yes.

NOOMI: I’ll be here next week.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

theferrett: (Meazel)

Yesterday, Gini smooched our girlfriend Bec, then and broke out in a rash so nasty it required two Benadryl for Gini not to scratch her lips off.  Bec apologized.

“It’s okay,” Gini said.  “You were using the same Burt’s Bees lip balm as always. I would never in a million years have guessed that would give me a rash.”  Then her phone rang, and she went off to talk to a client.  By the time she got back, Bec and I had had A Talk.

“We’ve been thinking,” I said.  “And you’re underselling yourself.  We’re pretty sure you could do it in five hundred, tops.”


“A million years is a long time,” I explained.  “That’s, like, twenty thousand of your lifetimes to date.  If you’d really thought about it, I’m sure you could knock it out of the park in a few centuries.”

“…knock what?”

“Guessing what would give you a rash.  Admittedly, it’s pretty specific, but if you do it full-time…”

“Wait a minute!” Gini said.  “I get bored after five minutes of guessing games with you!  I don’t want to spend the next million years endlessly guessing what might give me a rash!  That’s a horrible fate, wandering around for all eternity having to do nothing but wondering what might give me hives!”

“I’ve taken that into account,” I replied serenely.  “I figure it’ll take you two centuries of wandering the Earth, resenting your status, lamenting to a cold and uncaring God the strange and inexplicable task he has bequeathed to you and you alone.  After that: three centuries of daily guessing.  Tops.”

Soon after that, we got into a debate about whether we were having a debate or an argument.  Good times, good times.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

theferrett: (Meazel)

So I went to see Titanic 3D this weekend, and it’s interesting how big a movie it still is.  I don’t think of it as being made in this era, because it’s got this Gone with the Wind sweep that you don’t see much any more – a huge tale of two thousand people on a boat, from rich to poor, wise to greedy.

Yeah, I know, we have tons of epic movies these days now that we can have CGI extras, but the extras look very CGIsh.  Something about the way James Cameron shot Titanic makes the extras look like people, struggling for life, each with their own story that’s being extinguished in the freezing water.

And I have just a batch of weird observations on the movie, in no particular order.

Expanding on my thoughts about traditionally quote-unquote “female” stories (and Titanic is often viewed as a chick flick), it’s interesting to watch the way Jack consistently ignores what Rose knows, because He Knows Better.  She’s actually saying, “Jack, no!” and Jack is ignoring her, pulling her along, in a flagrant disregard for Rose’s stated desires.  And yet Jack is right.  He does know better.  But is this teaching guys to just ignore what chicks say?

Or is that a human desire?  After the film, I told Gini she was my Jack, and after I explained that I didn’t want her to die in a vat of freezing water, I explained that when I was down or self-loathing, she’d pull me to a place I didn’t want to go that made me a better person.  Is it universal that we’re all looking for someone who knows us better than we do ourselves, and is strong enough to ignore us when we need to be ignored?

One of the things I haven’t seen mentioned as a strength of Titanic is the strange pleasure we take in the crew’s demise.  Not that we’re happy they’re dying, but the crew seems psychotically devoted to keeping the ship running right up until their hideous drowning, and there’s a certain satisfaction to be seen in people so devoted to their duty that it clearly can’t be the money at work.  Titanic’s romance is also partially built on this bedrock of people will do their duty, even when that duty is so blinkered as to keep the third-class passengers locked in the lower decks.

I mean, come on.  If I was on the Titanic, being paid McDonald’s wages to do laundry, I’d be cracking rich people skulls to be on that fucking lifeboat.

I actually counted.  When Billy Zane is not making merely factual statements about what he wants, there are precisely three lines in the entire film where he is not wrong.  His whole purpose in this film is to be precisely erroneous at every step.

Knowing how freezing the water is, I have problems believing that Jack and Rose would be able to be submerged in the frigid below-decks water several times for minutes at a time, and then be perfectly okay. I know, I know, but it matters, man.

There’s a lot of parallels in Rose’s isolation-journey and Ripley’s isolation-journey in Aliens.  I should watch them one after the other to see how they stack up sometime.

I still think old-Rose is a dick.  Come on, man, the guy’s been searching for the diamond for three years.  He’s obsessed.  You’re gonna be dead in two hours anyway.  Let him have it.

Old-Rose is also a dick because I can never stop feeling bad for her second husband, waiting alone in Heaven, knowing that the fifty years of support and love he put in for her don’t matter worth a good goddamn.

The greatest tragedy of Titanic is that Rose and Jack brought it upon themselves.  When Rose and Jack emerge after fucking in the car, kissing and shouting, they distract the lookouts, who promptly crash into an iceberg.

Therefore: Rose and Jack’s fucking caused the ship to sink.  DON’T HAVE SEX, KIDS.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

theferrett: (Meazel)

Okay. So apparently, Gotham City has a big ol’ spotlight with a bat in it that they turn on when they need Batman.  Cool.  I get that.

What do they do if there’s trouble during the day?

I mean, clearly they don’t have some other means to contact Batman, like a drop-off cell phone or something, because if they did then clearly they’d just use that and not tell everyone in Gotham where Batman was going to be in twenty minutes.  Because if I was a criminal, I’d just line that rooftop with explosives and then burn it when Batman showed up.  So clearly, this is their best bet for getting Batman to come to them, and they accept the risks of, say, Deadshot the Sniper showing up every time they activate this big glowing “BATS IS HERE” bulb.

So that means that for twelve hours of the day, and on cloudless nights, the cops have zero way of contacting Batman.  This seems like a pretty obvious workaround for criminals.  Just plan your crime at noon, and you have a nice solid eight-hour window to escape.  Assuming you have to commit your crime in Gotham at all, of course, it’s the one town with Batman, you couldn’t go to Pittsburgh or Cleveland or some other Batman-free zone to do your dirty work?  But hey, just work your dastardry while the sun’s out and Batman – who, apparently, is so disdainful of police radios that he requires a huge fucking night-light before he deigns to show up – will stay in hibernation.

You know what I’d do if I was commissioner, and had to have a big ol Bat-signal?  I’d double up.  Bat-Signal at night, Bat-Blimp during the day.  A big ol’ transparent blimp with a bat painted on it that casts a huge shadow across Gotham City.  Of course, there’s a good chance I’d do this because I’d want to say, “What?  The bank depository has been broken into?  RELEASE THE BAT-BLIMP!”  But that’s me.



Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

theferrett: (Meazel)

Thanks to evolving Death Flu, the romance for Gini and I last night consisted of chugging NyQuil and collapsing into bed by 10:00.  We know how to party at La Casa McJuddMetz.  (Alas, I had a big night planned with all sorts of kinky shenanigans, too.  But now the ice chicken’s melted.)

In other news, is anyone else as fucking creeped out by Brent’s googly terror-eyes over at PVP as I am?  Those huge, jiggling orbs look like flan inside a fishbowl.  I know it’s supposed to make Brent more sensitive and expressive, but instead he just looks like Shaggy going “ZOIKS!” as he sees a monster for everything, including when he’s ordering coffee.  Brent’s gone from uber-cool to Mister Wimpy, and I keep worrying that he’ll accidentally catch those enlarged orbs on a pencil or something and they’ll leak out of his head. It’ll be like that dude at the end of Raiders, only with eyes.  And then who will comfort Skull?

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

theferrett: (Meazel)

In a Facebook discussion, a friend of mine said that, surprisingly enough, she didn’t want to have sex with someone who’d increased his penis size via irradiated cadaver tissue implants.  She said, and I quote, it would be “creepy to be intimate with the skin of more than one person.”  Which, hey, if you don’t want to suck the nuclear zombie cock, that’s your business.

On the other hand, my mouth is full of irradiated dead men’s bones.  They flayed my gums open and dumped in bone chips scavenged from corpses (WARNING: post full of pictures) in order to build up my gum tissue enough that they could put in implants.  And, as I noted, women are far more likely to kiss me than they are to make intimate contact with Little Elvis, more’s the pity.

So.  Because I am stupidly curious about such things, which is creepier?  Kissing a guy with dead bones in his mouth, or sexing up a guy with nuclear dead men in his cock?  State your opinion, and your justification!  I want to know.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

theferrett: (Meazel)

Gini went to Teavana this weekend and almost drowned in pretention.

Teavana, if you do not know, is a store that doesn’t sell what you think it sells.  You might think it sells tea.  But what it actually purveys is an experience.  This is why the store is beautifully painted, and all the teas come in beautiful canisters, and when you read the descriptions of the sample teas available they sound like they’re a rare museum piece brought here by hand, from specially-trained Sherpas, from Mars.

It made me want to stand in the middle of the store and shout, “YOU’RE DRINKING LEAVES, PEOPLE!  LEAVES IN HOT WATER!”

Ah, but I cannot truly mock pretention, because there are things that mash my “Pretentious Douche” button hard.  Whenever I go to The Velvet Tango Room, home of exotic alcohol mixtures, I’m transformed into some snobby jerkhole who talks about top notes and his distaste for chartreuse… and I love it.  I love feeling like hundreds of people have slaved to bring me something rare and grand and noble that only We Fine Few can appreciate properly.  What I am imbibing – for a Pretentious Douche never “drinks” – is a heady blend of flavors and beauty that one must sit down to savor.  It makes me feel like a king of old, all for sixteen bucks a drink.

Done properly, I can cosplay Croesus on a George Bailey budget.

Clearly, given that Starbucks took something most of America used to view on the level of Twinkies and turned it into a four-buck-a-cup experience, one can take any drink and Experiencize it.  (One eagerly awaits the “Chill Assistance” store, wherein the various rare flavors of Kool-Aid are presented as magnificent subtleties for your tastebudding pleasure.)

The question is, is there anything we can’t Experiencize?  Is there anything humans do that we can’t apply the magic formula to?  The magic formula of:

  • Take an ordinary, everyday thing;
  • Create it from exotic, hard-to-find materials either shipped here from afar or grown locally and organically at great expense;
  • Have copywriters describe the ordinary, everyday thing in sweeping detail, so you’re forced to pay attention to every detail and start analyzing bits about this experience you never would have before;
  • Charge an assload for it, so it feels like this thing must be worth money now that you’ve paid ten bucks for it instead of fifty cents.

To verify this, I want to create a store called “Undercarriage,” a store devoted entirely to the sale of premium blends of toilet paper.  Oh, we all have our favorites already, don’t we?  Thick-ply vs thin-ply?  But what happens when you experience:

The French Curl: This rare moire watered silk blend was originally meant for Imperial usage only, famed by King Louis XIV as the only fabric smooth enough to satisfy his stylish brand of royalty.  An organza overlay gives this unparalleled cleansing material a hint of massaging purity as it excels at buffing away the clumpier waste materiel, and a hint of enfleuraged jasmine and sandalwood will leave you feeling like a monarch.  $20 per bundle, $7 for the pocketbook pack.

Think I’m kidding?  I’m pretty sure if I had the money to create a store where there were charts to find the perfect cleansing experience based on your diet, lots of references to ayurvedic medicine that mention speeding through such an essential element of life is why mankind is so stressed these days, saying that a stronger brand of cleansing material is needed to let you appreciate the sensuality of getting in touch with your body, and wham!  I’m an ass-millionaire.

You folks better hope I don’t become rich enough to start a store like this.  If I ever became rich, I’d make millions.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

theferrett: (Meazel)

So I was here earlier this week:

Who's gonna clean that?

I suspect what most people see is a large, pretty indoor space, or perhaps a marvel of architecture.

What I see is a maintenance nightmare.  Every time I look at something like this, I go, “Those fans up there! What happens when they break? Oh my God, these poor bastards could fall to their deaths. And who the hell puts lights up over here?  They burn out, some minimum-wage schmuck has to risk his damn life to change the bulb.  And who washes these windows?  What happens when one breaks?  That’s all pretty high up, you know.”

This happens with every lighted sign I see.  Gas Station sign?  I’m looking for the access ladder, picturing poor Chuck The New Guy schlepping a bag of fragile fluorescents up to the top of a cold, windy place, cursing the day he got this job.  He has a fear of heights like I do, I’m sure of it.  Has his insurance even kicked in yet?  Did anyone train him?

There’s Chuck, hanging by a thread, all so he can pay the insurance on his ’91 Escort.  He hates life.  Why didn’t they design this shit better?

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.


theferrett: (Default)

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