Tuesday, January 31, 2006

'And no, I still haven't
seen Brokeback Mountain'

The State of the Union speech had to be halted
when Vice President Dick Cheney
remembered he'd left his pacemaker back in the bunker.

Favorite quotes from President Bush's State of the Union speech:

  • "We're gonna have to face it, we're addicted to love. Er, foreign oil."
  • "Cars of the future will be powered by ethanol made from weed. Weeds! I meant to say weeds!"
  • "The state of our union is strong. I'd even go so far as to say it's wicked strong."
  • "We need to encourage children to take more math and science -- and not just gut courses, like that geology class I squeaked through at Yale."
  • "Hey, Sam! Like the robe! What say we get together after the speech and roll Ted Kennedy?"
  • "Anybody got some weed? Weeds! I meant to say weeds! Oh hell, just make it a bourbon."

They have news for us

Attention, funny writing type people. I recently got word from the fine, upstanding (i.e., charges have yet to be filed) folks at IGotNewsForYou.com that they want YOU! To do their job for them, apparently.

And their job is to write, funny, personalized satirical news stories tailored to individuals. For instance, in my case they might write, "Peter Chianca was seriously injured yesterday when his blog fell on top of him, trapping him for several hours before he was discovered by his golden retriever. Rumors that Chianca had been shaking the blog to get it to release a trapped bag of Doritos have yet to be confirmed by authorities." Etc.

They can't pay you, but here's what they can do: Absolutely nothing. But have pity on them and write something before they have to give up and go back to accounting.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

This week's column:
Not playing with a full décor

When it comes to home décor, I’m not quite sure how you’d describe my household, although if pressed I’d peg it at somewhere between Early Nickelodeon and Modern Golden Retriever. Not that having a hip, trendy home isn’t a priority for us -- it’s just tough to make that work when the central piece of furniture in your living area is a Fisher Price Sweet Magic Kitchen.

Then there are the dogs, the aforementioned golden retriever and a black Lab, who dictate that any home-decorating items that could be mistaken for chew toys (so all of them) must be placed above chest level. (Granted, this is not a new problem; rumor has it that Ming was constantly having his vases gnawed into paste by the Shih-Tzus.) The dogs, of course, tend to become part of the décor themselves for hours at a time, to the point where my kids have been known to have picnics on them.

I bring this all up because I recently received an e-mail from someplace called "Environmental Graphics" about "What’s hot in home décor for 2006." I don’t usually read e-mails like that, but I couldn’t help but take notice this time when I saw that in 2006, "orange will literally be on fire." I’m thinking that has to affect your insurance rates.

For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

We hear his cell mate has already started referring to him as 'fat, naked guy'

Amazingly, "Survivor" Richard Hatch was convicted today, somehow failing to pull off his deviously clever scheme of winning a million dollars in front of everybody in the entire world and then not paying taxes on it. What did he think the IRS was watching? UPN?

Anyway, in case you haven't seen it, here's the transcript of the prosecutor's closing argument:

"I plead with the jury tonight, to think a little bit about the island that we have been on. This island is pretty much full of only two things: snakes and rats. And in the end of Mother Nature, we have Richard the Snake, who knowingly went after prey; and Kelly, who turned into the Rat, that ran around like the rats do on this island, trying to run from the snake. And I feel we owe it to the island's spirit that we have learned, have come to know, to let it be in the end the way Mother Nature intended it to be: for the Snake to eat the Rat."

Oh wait, that's what Sue said on "Survivor." Well, I guess we can only hope that Kelly goes to jail next.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Somewhere, Michigan
J. Frog is drunk and surly

Suggested slogans for the CW, the network that will take the place of UPN and the WB:
  • "Don't worry, the layoffs will include the people who came up with The Mullets!"
  • "Enough with the letters, we're still not bringing back Star Trek: Enterprise!"
  • "Where WWF Smackdown meets the Gilmore Girls ... And we don't mean figuratively!"
  • "Watch on Day 1 when we burn all the 'Britney & Kevin: Chaotic' tapes!"
  • "Now with twice as many people not watching!"

Sunday, January 22, 2006

This week's column:
'Sorry, but my dad ate my homework'

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I was helping my first-grade daughter with her homework recently and was surprised to actually find myself, well, stumped. Not that I didn’t know that was going to happen -- I just didn’t think it would happen so soon. I thought I could make it at least until she needed help identifying frog organs or finding Jakarta.

Granted, she was doing math, which is not my strongest subject -- I recall somewhere between trigonometry and calculus someone brought up imaginary numbers, and I basically gave up. Luckily I’ve never encountered an imaginary number in real life, unless you count my salary. But my wife and I have high hopes that our children will be more math-savvy, in order that they may never have to offer to analyze Proust for food.

And I’m happy to report that my daughter had no trouble with the problem that stumped me, which involved the difference between faces and flat surfaces on three-dimensional shapes. I figure she’s learning this because it’s on the MCAS test somewhere, unlike the things we learned in first grade, like how to make Christmas tree ornaments out of plastic bread-bag closers.

For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.

Friday, January 20, 2006

A sentiment immediately echoed by Julia
Roberts' children, Godzilla and Megalon

At last, a cause I can get behind! I'm talking of course about the efforts of Peaches Honeyblossom Michelle Charlotte Angel Vanessa Geldof, daughter of Sir Bob Geldof, who is speaking out against celebrities giving their children ridiculous names. (Although frankly Peaches doesn't have a heck of a lot to complain about, given that nowhere in that list is Superman's Kryptonian birth name. I'm just saying.)

Geldof (the one named after fruit) says that "my weird name has haunted me all my life," a fate sure to befall the likes of Tallulah Belle Moore Willis, Apple Paltrow Martin and Sage Moonblood Stallone as well. Not to mention the Holmes-Cruise baby, whose name they're rumored to have narrowed down to "Top Gun" and "L. Ron Hubbard."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Spock ... the ... pain! The ...
unbelievable ... pain!

I can’t believe I missed out on buying William Shatner’s kidney stone! Blast you, Goldenpalace.com! Blast your deep pockets and your unexplainable fixation on the bizarre and outlandish!

In fact, we can only assume that the Goldenpalace.com strange purchases department is plotting as we speak to pounce on the following objects the minute they go on sale to the general public:

  • Leonard Nimoy’s appendix (estimated cost: $20,000)
  • James Doohan’s adenoids ($17,500)
  • The guy who played Q’s liposuction fat ($8,000)
  • Ricardo Montalban’s fingernails ($9,500)
  • Jonathan Frakes’ right kidney ($7,250)
  • Something that fell out of one of the Tribbles ($27,000)
  • Wil Wheaton, in his entirety ($12.50)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Although for some reason,
Bob Iger isn't returning his calls

It was bound to happen sooner or later: Michael Jackson is job hunting. I know, because he sent this blog his resume:
Somewhere in Bahrain
Objective: To obtain a position that would utilize my many skills, including building fake theme parks, walking backwards while making it look like I'm walking forward, and dangling babies from balconies.

Experience: Released 17 No. 1 pop singles; was named "King of Pop" by myself; creeped out world with freaky public marriage with Elvis' daughter; developed several long, meaningful, non-physical (although they may or may not have involved liquor and porno magazines) relationships with young boys; beat the rap.

References: Ahmed Abu Bakr Janahi, "theme park developer" (not a terrorist); Thomas Mesereau, attorney; Bubbles; Johnnie Cochran (deceased).

Limitations: Please, no work that would put undue strain on my "nose."

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Heh heh ... He said 'united front'

Strippers are usually considered self-centered types, maybe because it's hard to think of many causes that seem to really rally them as a group -- you know, things like the need for environmentally friendly nipple tassels or warmer poles, that kind of thing.

That's why it's so heart-warming to see them come out showing a united front in their battle against New Jersey's pending smoking ban. About 700 of them turned out to protest last week, saying things like, "If they take smoking away, I am not going to be able to support my two kids." And as any parent can attest, that's a tough conversation to have with your children -- the one about how Mom can't make enough money dancing naked since they won't allow the men to smoke anymore, I mean.

Meanwhile, it might be time for us, as a society, to ask, why would men need to smoke in strip clubs in the first place? Just viewing all the undulating bosoms isn't enough? There is such a thing as being greedy.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

This week's column:
Come and meet those semi-famous feet

OK, I'll admit it: While the rest of you were watching PBS documentaries about Galileo last summer, I was watching "Dancing with the Stars." And by "the rest of you" I of course mean, nobody.

Because judging from the ratings, everyone with a television was watching "Dancing," in which celebrities -- the current definition of which seems to be, "slightly more famous than the chairman of your Board of Selectmen" -- are paired with professional ballroom dancers and put in front of a camera, where they perform brain surgery.

Just kidding! No network would really do that -- there's very little chance of someone's top accidentally falling off during brain surgery. No, actually they dance. They do this to varying degrees of success, ranging from passable to what Michael Flatley might look like if he died and was reincarnated as a living-dead zombie.

For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Please, somebody make sure
he takes a limo to all of them

Ten shows at Madison Square Garden?? Who knew we missed Billy Joel that much? By "we" I mean the people who remember the last time he released a new album, a number that I presumed was dwindling every day, like World War II veterans.

I guess it may not neccessarily be hip, but apparently there are a lot more people out there than you'd think who spent hours upon hours in their dorm rooms memorizing every lyric to "We Didn't Start the Fire."

Um ... Not me. Other people.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Unfortunately, the Holmes-Cruise
baby will have been whisked away to
the top of Scientology Mountain by then

A hearty congratulations to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who confirmed today that they're expecting a creepy, duplicitious, giant-lipped baby. If they hurry they can still reserve a spot in toddler therapy with the Spears-Federbaby and Kal-El Cage.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

To ease you into it, the Web site
has an unintelligible foreign accent

I just found out that you can now place orders at Pizza Hut through the Internet. I have mixed emotions about this. Yes, you can see little pictures of all the items before you order, which is very helpful for people who have never seen a pizza. But isn’t part of the fun of carry-out running the phone-order gauntlet? It usually goes something like this:

Customer: I’d like one large pepperoni pizza.
Helpful fast-food employee: That’s one cinnamon sticks?
Customer: No, one large PEPPERONI PIZZA.
Employee: Is that a More4ALL™ Pizza, a Pan Pizza, a Hand-Tossed Style Pizza, a Thin 'N Crispy®, a Stuffed Crust Pizza, a 4forALL® Pizza or The Full House XL Pizza™?
Customer: Um … Just a plain pizza.
Employee: Please hold.

On the other hand, it’s one step closer to being able to live in an airtight coccoon with wires coming out of our heads, so that’s always good.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Intergalactic defense attorneys have
come out wholly in favor of the idea

Just when things were looking particularly bleak for the space program, good news: They're considering allowing alcohol on the International Space Station. And you know what that means: much better parties! ("Dude! Watch me float upside down again!")

Apparently Russian authorities think allowing cosmonauts to drink would "restore their strength," much in the same way vodka helps Russians get through those long, Siberian winters. All they'll need is some friendly sheep and felt boots and they'll really feel right at home.

Unfortunately, the buzzkills at NASA are still advocating for a "total ban" of alcohol in space, probably out of some uptight notion that the astronauts will get drunk and drive into a comet. Hopefuly they can reach a compromise -- maybe they could at least allow those blue drinks that Whoopi Goldberg used to serve on "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Warning: This blog has sharp edges

A shout-out to our friends at the Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch, who recently announced the winner of their Wacky Warning Label Contest: a warning not to use a 1,000-degree heat gun as a hair dryer. As funny as that might be.

A good winner, but what about these popular favorites?
  • Stapler: "Not to be used to hold down cowlicks."
  • Car: "Do not drive while blindfolded or unconscious."
  • Mr. Potato Head: "Not for consumption; will melt if baked, fried or julliened."
  • Nuclear waste: "Consumption by spiders, ants and/or alligators may lead to grotesque, monstrous mutations."
  • Lion: "Teeth are sharp; do not stick your head in mouth."
  • .50-caliber assault rifle: "Warning: May vaporize deer and/or hunting companions."
  • Presidential candidate: "May raise taxes; elect at your own risk."
  • "The View": "May cause extreme nausea."
  • Vending machine: "Do not pull over on top of yourself, you &%$#! idiot."

This week's column:
You could have predicted this

As regular readers of this column know, this is the time of year when I like to look back on my predictions from 12 months ago to see whether my keen journalistic insight served me well in prognosticating the major events for the coming year, or if they worked out pretty much like everything else in my life.

So let's see what I had to say about 2005:

"It will be another quiet year for natural disasters, and what minor incidents do occur will be handled expertly by the dedicated professionals at FEMA."

In retrospect, this may have been wishful thinking.

"The bigger the better -- low gas prices will spur the development of an SUV roughly the size of an armored troop carrier."

I may have been wrong about the gas prices, but I think the SUV cut me off on Route 128 yesterday.

"A funny little animal will become the movie star icon of the year with the unexpected success of the documentary, "March of the Ferrets."

Of course it would turn out to be penguins ... They've always had better PR. And they have that whole not-looking-like-rats thing going for them.

For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

In the Mix for 2006

Need your annual fix of what’s hot and what’s not in society, culture, fashion and life in general? Never fear, "What’s In/What’s Out" is back to provide you with more cocktail party fodder than you’ll know what to do with. And by the way, cocktail parties are in.

Life in the USA
It took a while, but being politically correct is out! We’re all turning back into Archie Bunkers; if you’re out of practice you may want to review the 1978 edition of the tasteless epithets handbook. Meanwhile, the remaining politically correct people are barricading themselves in Harvard Square, like the survivors in "Dawn of the Dead."

For the rest of this year's "What's In/What's Out," click here.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

This week's column:
Some handy tips on what was tops

It's that time of year again, when major media outlets release their annual lists of "top stories." This offers them the chance to put the important news events of the year into proper context, and to reiterate all the times the president screwed up.

But how often do these reports ignore the stories that really say something about the way we live? In other words, the stories that I wanted to write humor columns about, but found I only had two paragraphs' worth of jokes. With that in mind, here are the At Large top five news stories of 2005:

5.) Chinese man pulls car with ears while standing on eggs. That's the type of headline you don't see nearly often enough in the biased liberal media. But if he were standing on the Koran, well, you can bet it would have made all the papers.

For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.