This Week in Internet Advice: Don’t Eat Food and You’ll Get a Job

“This Week in Internet Advice” is a response to the overwhelming number of arbitrary advice columns on the Internet. The Internet has long been the place that we go to with our questions and as a result, over the past few years the Internet has responded by giving us unsolicited advice that we didn’t realize we needed. In this feature, the author picks one of these articles and points out the unintentional humor it provides. 

Guys, we’re back. I know, it’s been awhile since the last edition of “This Week in Internet Advice.” It’s not that the Internet took a break from giving us advice, I just took a break from making fun of that advice. 

Luckily, Huffington Post published an article that tells us that we should probably skip meals before a job interview and go into the ordeal hungry. Apparently a study was done at Dartmouth and Cornell that states that people who are hungry have a greater sense of entitlement and think they deserve more and, therefore, that entitlement will translate into your interviewer hiring you. 

I’d like to suggest that they are overstating the “entitlement” hunger causes us. Perhaps most humans feel entitled to keep living and because they require food to do so, they feel entitled to that food. But who am I to argue with the science of job interviews?

Here is the quote provided by Emily Zitek, who was one of the conductors of the study:

“If being hungry is a good way for someone to be entitled, as the surveys showed, they can maybe skip lunch or skip breakfast or something.”

I’m pretty old fashion, but I don’t like the last two words of my research studies to be “or something.” That’s one step up from, “or whatever, I dunno.” We can “maybe skip breakfast or lunch or something?” Thanks. Way to be confident in your findings.

Another really great part of this article was this picture it provided: 

job interview

The caption reads, “Perhaps this guys wolfed down a big meal before his interview.”

Uhh, yeah, perhaps. It actually seems like the interviewer is about to say “Are you ok? You look famished. Do you need some food? We can reschedule if you’re feeling lightheaded.” It doesn’t look like he just wolfed down a big meal, it looks like he’s about to pass out from hunger.

The researchers conducted two studies. In the first, they stopped college kids on campus and asked them on a 1 to 7 scale if they agreed with the statements, “I honestly feel more deserving than others” or “Things should go my way.” Then they asked them to rank their hunger on a 1 to 7 scale. Apparently hunger coincided with feeling deserving.

Here’s my problem: college students walking around campus have to give sporadicly different responses to “things should go my way.” I was in college not that long ago. You might have caught me on my way to a class that starts in 15 minutes on a day when I’m caught up with my studies, had plans to play basketball with some friends later and am feeling confient about my future. OR you might have caught me on my way to a class that started 15 minutes ago, wearing the same beer-stained clothes as the night before with a brutal headache and a fear that an unknown assignment was due today. I would likely have a drastically different opinion on what I feel I “deserve” on each day regardless of if I did or didn’t skip eating the disgusting microwavable lunch that my roommate happened to buy that week. 

The second experiment is much more ridiculous. They surveyed students who liked pizza while a pizza cooked nearby with a strong aroma. They also did the experiment without the aroma. Apparently, hungry students refused to answer the extra questions in the survey, which means they felt more entitled, which somehow means they would do well in an interview. 

Here’s that logic one more time: 1.) Hungry student refuses to finish survey. 2.) Refusal shows sense of entitlement. 3.) Sense of entitlement means that hungry student would nail an interview. 

I’m not quite sure how 1.) leads to 3.). 

It sort of seems like that study just proved that hungry people don’t like to keep doing things that are preventing them from eating. So wouldn’t a hungry person just want to rush through the interview?

I’ve also been conducting a similar study for just about my entire life and my results have proven that hungry people are cranky, irritable and absolutely miserable to be around. So if you want to get a job at the leasing office of a mid-level apartment complex then go ahead and skip lunch. You’ll fit right in. 

Jonny Auping

 

The Existential Question of the Everything Bagel

I always thought it was an arrogant name choice. 

The “Everything” bagel. 

Was the inventor prone to exaggeration? Or was he or she just lazy? Maybe it was supposed to literally imply that it had a vast amount of ingredients or maybe it was just a play on the colloquialism, “this is everything,” you know, like “money is everything” or family is everything.” 

I took to the interwebs to find out. I found this informative article in the Washington Post about the origins of the Everything Bagel. Two separate men claim to have invented the bagel. One claims, “There is no doubt I invented the Everything Bagel.” The other says, ” No, I definitely invented the everything bagel. There’s no doubt. It’s undeniable truth. It’s one of those things that’s 100% true, 50% of the time.”

I’m not sure what that last quote means, but unfortunately for both these men, when two people argue over credit for something I tend to believe neither of them. 

No, the Everything Bagel is beyond anything either of these two men could comprehend. It’s everything. 

It likely has existed in this world longer than we humans. Perhaps not fully formed, but all of its ingredients. Sesame, garlic, caraway, salt, and poppy are not just things. They are everything. If they are everything, what does that make us? Nothing? Probably, yes. We are nothing. 

As I type this I am sitting in a Starbucks, taking a break from more important writing (or could it really be more important? I mean we’re talking about everything here) and I look around and see nothing masquerading as a busy everything. I see a woman who brought her In-N-Out burger and fries into the establishment to eat. I see an eight-year old consuming a drink that is approximately 71 percent whipped cream. I see a man conducting an interview for a job that is so exciting that it conducts its interviews at Starbucks. 

What are we really doing here? The answer’s somewhere in the bagel. It has to be. 

The next time you groan as you look down and notice poppy seeds and who knows what else on your lap after polishing off an Everything Bagel with cream cheese maybe you should show a little appreciation. Twenty minutes earlier you had nothing on your lap. Now you have everything. 

Sometimes I wonder if God really took seven days to put this beautiful world together. Why waste so much time? I’m not sure that He really did create light on day one. I think He created the Everything Bagel. Then He kicked back. There is a hole in it for reason. The light could shine through. 

Jonny Auping

Dawn of the Planet of the Anteaters

You may or may not have noticed that big action/adventure/disaster/suspense movies are not exactly original these days. We’ve got Godzilla, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Planet of the Apes, Transformers, a thousand different superhero movies and on and on. We’re also supposed to believe that Into the Storm isn’t the exact same thing as Twister. 

Are we really that void of creativity? Hollywood really can’t come up with something new that can entertain us in a cold theater for two hours? Luckily, I have come across what should clearly be the newest blockbuster movie. I was stumbling around on Yahoo’s front page when I saw the headline “Giant Anteater Kills Two.” Naturally, I clicked on the link, but I didn’t expect much, it’s a big, crazy world out there and every day people manage to die in some very odd, but ultimately unimpressive way. 

Boy, was I wrong. Apparently the anteater mauled the two people to death in Brazil, but it wasn’t the story that left me breathless. It was THIS PICTURE:

I’m assuming you’ve spent about three minutes trying to figure out what you are looking at.  How many animals is that? Well, technically it’s three animals. After reading the story and the description of the picture I was informed that it is a picture of the giant anteater with its two small baby anteaters riding on its back.

Oh, okay. That makes sense, except for, you know, ITS LEG IS A FUCKING PANDA HEAD!

Apparently that is a picture of an anteater walking forward and what “appears” to be a panda head is actually just its left leg. Yahoo makes no mention of the panda and will just have us believe it’s some sort of optical illusion. 

I’m not buying it. We have a genetically created, cross-species, super predator that is out there killing people. The two deaths were separate incidents meaning this thing has struck twice. Here’s the description of one incident:

“The anteater stood on its hind legs and grabbed the man with its forelimbs, causing deep puncture wounds in his thighs and upper arms. The hunter bled to death at the scene.”

It seems to leave out that one of those “forelimbs” is the head of a panda bear, which probably bit through him like a piece of bamboo. 

So authorities should probably figure out how to subdue this creature before there are any more victims. But that’s not my job, that’s the authorities job. My job is to pitch this to Hollywood so we can finally get a cool summer movie that doesn’t involve Mark Wahlberg pretending he cares about dinosaur robots fighting each other. 

Here we go…

So quick camera shot of beautiful Rio De Janeiro. Now keeping going past the beaches to a low-budget, but well-intentioned zoo where there is only so much space and certain animals are kept in the same environments together including, yep, you guessed it, anteaters and pandas. 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the American animal lover/panda specialist who warned the park that the two species shouldn’t be in the same proximity. He was worried about his favorite panda, Daisy. 

One day, Daisy and a giant anteater named Gregory both spot a bamboo stick, which just so happens to be covered in ants. They both want it and it turns into an epic battle. Apparently, when Brazil built the stadiums for the World Cup they had to relocate a bunch of toxic waste and they irresponsibly and inexplicably stored it at this particular zoo. Amidst the anteater/panda battle they knock over barrels of toxic waste which results in a large explosion. All animals are seemingly dead. BUT when the dust settles we see the anteater walking away with DAISY AS HIS FOOT. He escapes into the forrest/jungle.

Manny from Modern Family will play another zookeeper. He’ll be the comedic relief. There’s a strong chance he’ll die at some point in the film. 

As the anteater/panda continues to eat ants and bamboo it gets bigger and bigger and its two baby anteaters are also growing. Eventually it’s approximately the size of Godzilla. To a creature that big, humans begins to look like….ants. And skyscrapers look like bamboo sticks. 

Emma Watson will play the female American solider who is always underestimated by all the guys even though she’s the toughest solider in her squad. She is part of a plan that will destroy the creature. Eventually she crosses paths with JVG and he tells her “there’s got to be another way” and keeps saying “if I could just talk to Daisy,” which if you haven’t kept up is the left front leg of this giant anteater, which happens to be the head of a panda, which used to be JVG’s best friend. Watson is clearly falling for JVG. 

The final battle scene will be epic and some major city will basically be destroyed. 

If the studio demands that the animals can talk Jack Black can be on hold to voice as many animals as possible. 

Don Cheadle will play Watson’s ranking officer who knows she is the best solider out there, but “takes too many damn risks.”

Jeremy Piven will play the owner of the zoo who took too many shortcuts to cut costs and put everyone’s life in danger. 

———————————–

I think it’s fair to say I’ve laid out the groundwork for a Citizen Kane-esque film that will entertain the entire globe. It is now someone’s job to sign me up for Kickstarter. Someone else should put this pitch on KickStarter and hopefully we’ll have the money by September to get this thing rolling. 

-Jonny Auping

Uber Ambulances: Bleed Out in Luxury

uber

Over the past five years the tech company Uber has made huge splashes all over the country. The trendy app/website, which allows you to order a ride through a mobile app and track the car’s progress as it approaches,  has completely revolutionized the world of transportation and the company is now valued at over 18 billion dollars.

Their enormous success has not come without its share of opposition, however. Taxi and transportation commissions have strongly opposed Uber’s business tactics and accused them of operating as “unlicensed taxis.” Their shifting prices and fares are harder to regulate than most taxi cabs as Uber is its own separate business. There are still large cities around the country that have yet to allow Uber to operate legally within the city.

The people at Uber are clearly unafraid of opposition considering their newest venture is likely to upset people far beyond the Yellow Cab industry. This upcoming Fall, the company plans to launch Uber Ambulances, an efficient upscale medical service that will take you to the hospital through the Uber Ambulance app.

The process is simple. A customer suffers a serious injury and rather than calling 911 and waiting for an ambulance, which can be very expensive, they simply plug in their location to the Uber Ambulance. Within minutes they will receive a text telling them the name of their driver with a tracking device showing them how close the driver is to picking them up.

“It’s going to change the medical field forever,” claims company president John Uber. “When you get shot in the face do you really want to deal with a 911 operator? I mean who even talks on the phone anymore, anyway? Plus, paying for an ambulance is tricky, I think you have to use ObamaCare or something. With Uber Ambulances you can just pay upfront with your Uber account.”

So far test cases have shown mixed results.

Mike Leonard was hit by a bus and used Uber Ambulance to get to the hospital.

“I mean, I’m still alive, so I guess it worked. I typed in my location and my injury and within minutes it told me that ‘Phillip’ was on his way in a gray Range Rover. Then I got another text asking how bad I was bleeding and whether Phillip should put down sheets in his back seat to protect his leather seats. It also asked if I wanted to tag any friends in my ambulance experience. Most of my fingers were broken so I declined.”

Like the Uber taxi experience, one of the biggest factors that separates the Uber Ambulance is all the amenities that come with the ride. Creative leader John Goober elaborated on the experience.

“We can pretty much guarantee it will be more fun than any ambulance ride you’ve ever had. Each ambulance has a mini-fridge that carries Fiji water and Greek yogurt. While you wait for your ambulance’s arrival you can also create your own Spotify playlist to listen to on your way to the hospital. We’re even thinking about putting a First Aid kit under the driver’s seat with band-aids and stuff. Oh, and the Beats by Dre headphones! I almost forgot!”

No medical experience is required to be an Uber Ambulance driver, although most of the current drivers who are signed up failed out of nursing school at some point in their lives.

Uber plans to offer plenty of promotions to kick off the venture. If it’s your first broken bone using Uber Ambulance then you get $10 dollars credited to your account. If you refer a friend who needs to be taken to the ICU then your next ride will be free.

While the Uber Ambulances do not have the authority to turn on a siren and run red lights they do offer small talk from the driver about how long he has worked for Uber and what the gig is like.

At press time emergency room doctors were urging the public to not use Uber Ambulance and to instead rely on actual medical professionals.

-Jonny Auping

 

 

 

Oh the Places You’ll Go….With Groupon

 

junk mail

“Of Standard Mail, I’m just not a fan, 

I just don’t like all of the spam.

Call it junk mail or call them coupons, 

They are clunky and annoying, unlike Groupons.

Yesterday I bought their Daily Deal,

and today I used them for each and every meal.

I didn’t enjoy the chicken parm, 

but at 42% off, what’s the harm?

segway

“Oh the places you’ll go, 

Oh the places you’ll see,

If you never say no

To a Groupon spree.

You’ll get a Segway Tour

Of the Petting Zoo

Or spend a few bucks fewer

For some bowling shoes.

You don’t have a pet,

But you know someone who does,

So buy that Memory Foam Pet Bed,

Just because.

You’re really not sure if you can take off of work,

But there’s a Groupon Getaway for three nights in New York.

While you’re there, why not reserve an “archery outing,”

Or buy a half-off manicure so your girlfriend stops pouting. 

A giant trampoline or another water slide,

It’s all so cheap, how dare you imply,

That it’s excessive or unnecessary.

That’s simply a lie. 

Horseback riding through a haunted house,

Or what about pole dancing lessons just for your spouse. 

You already have two iPads,

Whats’s one more?

Better buy a 70% off case,

Just to be sure.

pet foam

My bank account’s low and just getting lower, 

But the Groupon offers are not coming slower, 

A couple offers a day,

For random stuff,

What can I say?

I can’t get enough.

groupon iphone

I know it’s just a silly discount

And for my debt, they might jail me, 

But if I delete my account,

Then who will e-mail me?”

Jonny Auping

 

 

 

A New Pet, A New Blessing

As the Matthews drove home from the animal shelter Patrick sat in the backseat with Nibbles, the newest addition to the family.

“How’s Nibbles enjoying the ride back there? The way he’s chewing on that toy it looks like you’re going to have a pretty good excuse for losing your homework, am I right?” 

“Mark, I don’t think you should encourage him to not do his homework. That’s not why we got the dog. We got it so that we could ward off the squirrels that keep pulling the carrots out of my vegetable garden and stealing them.”

“I know that, Carla. I was just making a joke so that Patrick would be more excited about the dog. We need him to help take care of it so I wanted him to be enthusiastic about having it.”

“Yeah, but I’m just saying, Mrs. Rogers said that Patrick is falling really behind in school and with his learning disorder and all, I just don’t think we should be letting the new dog eat his homework.”

“Jesus Christ, Carla, I don’t literally want the dog to eat Patrick’s homework. I understand that it will only be eating carrots.”

“No Mark! He is supposed to protect the carrots from the squirrels. If he eats the carrots himself that defeats the entire purpose of getting a dog.”

“That’s what I meant. Damnit! I was just getting all worked up and accidentally said that the dog would eat the carrots. I know he has to protect them. God forbid we lose another carrot. I make $300,000 a year. I think we’ll survive the winter if a couple carrots go missing!”

Carla repeatedly rolled the passenger side window down an inch and then rolled it back up while humming a quiet tune through her gritted teeth. Mark then smelled the air and looked back and said, “Smells like our new friend might be having some gas issues,” then let out a forced chuckle, but Patrick knew the smell actually came from Mark. He always farts when he gets worked up about Carla. 

“Looks like a storm in the distance,” Mark commented with an air of confidence after a few moments of silence.

“How would you even know?” Carla didn’t even face Mark as she asked the question. She just continued to stare out the window.

“I don’t know,” Mark seethed. “There are just a lot of clouds. Can you maybe not question everything I say?”

“Whatever. Let’s just get home.”

Patrick quietly laughed to himself and turned to Nibbles. 

“That’s just Mark and Carla. You’ll get used to them,” he said before pulling a carrot out of his pocket and feeding it to the dog.

They pulled into the driveway and Carla remarked that she needed to buy some more seeds for her vegetable garden.

Mark turned to face Patrick. 

“Hey, Pat, would you mind driving your sister to the store so she can get her seeds?”

“Yeah, no problem, dad. I’m just going to grab a beer and watch the game. I’ll take her at halftime.”

Jonny Auping

Adventures Babysitting

starkist

“Canned tuna can cause mercury poisoning. What kind of parents are these?”

You stare at the child you are babysitting and wonder how old one should be before they start eating tuna fish. You decide that babies are less likely to get mercury poisoning and, besides, once you acquire it for the first time you are immune for the rest of your life, so little Robert might as well be exposed to it now.

After scooping out all the tuna you throw the can on the ground because the golden retriever, Harold, enjoys playing with them. Unfortunately, the odor of the tuna leads to an unforeseen dilemma; it becomes nearly impossible to tell if Robert has filled out his diaper or the preexisting aroma of the Starkist has merely lingered in the air, searching for nostrils it can lay victim to. You wonder how this predicament is usually handled, but it dawns on you that the tuna was probably only for the adults and that this particular situation is very likely an anomaly in the Rhodes’ household. 

You take a few steps back and sit down in the rocking chair that the baby is clearly too small to take advantage of while you ponder the situation. Across the room, staring at you with the cold, dead eyes of an unfulfilled housewife whose DVR has been irrevocably tampered with, is a small stuffed bear wearing a round, brown hat and a shirt bearing (in more than one way) the words, “Only YOU can prevent forrest fires.” 

You become anxious at the notion that you are the only one able to prevent one of our world’s most dangerous natural disasters and wonder why such responsibility has been thrust upon you. You already have a lot on your plate.

Looking down at your wrist, you remind yourself that it is for times like these that you bought that yellow “Live Strong” bracelet. You relax your muscles and ash your cigarette on the edge of the arm rest.

“I thought they said they’d be home by 8:00…”

 

 

A Turtle or a Cactus?…One Man’s Epic, Painstaking Decision

 turtlecactus

They say the bottom of a Pringles can is often a very lonely place.

Well, at least Lenny said that, when he reached the bottom of the ranch-flavored can he had eaten for dinner. But the revelation was not shared with anyone else because Lenny was all by himself.

It was at that point that he decided he needed a companion. Someone he could share an intimate bond with, a partner in crime, if you will, but one that requires little to no responsibility or effort on his part.                                        

A girlfriend was ruled out for four major reasons: 

1.)  She would require a certain commitment of time.

2.)  She would require a certain commitment of money.

3.)  There would be a high possibility of conflicts or fights.

4.)  The last time he asked a girl out on a date she responded, “In your dreams.” He has since been having a fantasy relationship with her every night after he falls asleep. Starting anything new with someone during the daylight would feel like cheating. Apparently Tina can get pretty jealous.

A best friend was ruled out because Lenny already has a best friend: Barry. And Barry is the type of guy that always wears flip-flops and puts his feet up on your glove compartment every time that you drive him around. Having two Barry’s would be hell. 

A cat was ruled out because of insecurity issues. Cats are not only very judgmental, but they see everything. Lenny has a few skeletons in his closet. He once played Twister by himself and fell down after one spin. Even if the cat took that secret to its grave it would be one too many souls who knew about it as far as Lenny was concerned.

A dog was certainly tempting, but was ruled out for one specific and extremely unlikely scenario.

Dogs poop. They often have very little disregard for whose front yard they are pooping in. They’ll poop anywhere, including the front yard of the man that lives three houses down from Lenny and reminds him of Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird.

Lenny had read To Kill a Mockingbird and often cited it as proof that we should never judge each other by skin color or appearance. Even so, the neighbor that looked like Boo Radley still terrified Lenny. Radley killed a guy with his bare hands. He was not likely to respond well to dog poop. 

One shot of that pale face staring at him though the window while his golden retriever did that awkward about-to-poop squat would surely cause Lenny to drop the leash and take off in the other direction, likely running into the fire hydrant on Mr. Radley’s lawn and breaking his hip in the process. Then he would have to call Barry to take him to the hospital, which meant it would be his turn to drive next time they went out, which, of course, meant filthy flip-flop feet on his glove compartment. God, Barry’s the worst.

No, a dog would never work. 

This process of elimination went on for quite some time.

After much deliberation, Lenny narrowed the newest addition to his household down to the only two options that fit his strict criteria: a turtle or a cactus, two perfect representations of Lenny’s personality.

It would be a difficult decision with serious commitments attached. Some turtles are known to live up to 120 years and some cactus can thrive for over 200 years.

Understanding the gravity of the decision he was faced with, Lenny decided to make a pros and cons list.

First, the turtle:

Pros:

Turtles are independent creatures. They simply require basic essentials like food, water, and perhaps running it the occasional bath. The turtle would be able to roam around Lenny’s place at its own leisure. Maybe it would watch TV with Lenny in the living room from time to time. Or maybe you could find it in the bedroom gazing out the window like an old wise man contemplating the meaning of his turtle existence or calculating the best way to beat a rabbit in a race.

-A turtle can be accidently stepped on with little repercussions. If the turtle develops a father-like affection for Lenny (and it very likely will) then there’s a strong chance that it chooses to sleep at the foot of his bed every night, keeping a watchful eye for intruders.

That could serve for a few minor blunders. Let’s say Tina brings up the issue of moving in together. That could lead to a pretty nasty fight if he doesn’t handle it with the right amount of delicacy. When he wakes up and gets out of the bed to go to the bathroom after a traumatic fight with his old lady he’s not going to be thinking about turtles lying around. He could easily step on it. But of course, that’s what that handy shell is for. Lenny stubs his toe a little bit, the turtle shakes it off and they both laugh until they fall back to sleep.

If this were an un-caged gerbil that would be one thing. But a turtle? No blood, no squish, no drama. 

The addictive nature of watching a turtle eat a raspberry. Lenny had seen a video on the Internet of a very small turtle eating a raspberry. He couldn’t quite put his finger on why, but it was both mesmerizing and relaxing at the same time. The little guy was relentless and after about two minutes he had eaten the majority of the raspberry. Feeding his turtle a small fruit sounds like the perfect way for Lenny to unwind after a long day.

Attaching a small iPod speaker to the turtle’s shell would give it a practical purpose. As long as the right safety precautions are taken (light weight speakers that the turtle could support, tape attached only to shell, not skin, etc.) this is a terrific idea. He would be a hit at parties and events. There could be different playlists for different settings and the turtle could roam around the place bringing music to different rooms. Lenny could name him DJ Shellz. Whichever room DJ Shellz decides to set up shop, that’s exactly where the party’s at.

Inspirational messages on the turtle’s shell could provide for pick-me-ups throughout the week. Lenny loves inspiring quotes. They give us all a sense of perspective and help us think through our problems. If he could print out a new quote and tape a different one to the turtle shell every day then he could receive random reminders to keep his head up and fight through the day-to-day grind. Or better yet, he could print out seven at the start of every week and DJ Shellz could serve as something of a daily calendar with inspiring tidbits.

One moment he’s just a turtle, the next he’s Theodor Roosevelt telling Lenny that, “Courage is not having the strength to go on; it’s going on when you don’t have the strength.”

Disciplining a turtle is as easy as turning it upside down. Disciplining a dog can be difficult and usually makes the owner feel like a monster. Grabbing a dog by a collar or rolling up a newspaper is considered cruelty in some states. Trying to teach a cat a lesson? Good luck. Felines are vindictive creatures, discipline Whiskers and he will discipline you right back…when you least expect it.

But if Lenny’s pet turtle chews up one of his favorite t-shirts then the solution is simple. All he has to do is turn the little guy upside down. Capsized turtles are completely defenseless and void of the ability to move anywhere. Once upside down, DJ Shellz can be spun so that he is facing the shirt that he chewed up, as to make him acknowledge what he did wrong. Those hourglass sand timers that Lenny uses to know how long to brush his teeth can be implemented to know how long the punishment should last. Three minutes upside down should be plenty of time to teach a turtle a lesson.  

Cons:

-Where, when and how often do turtles go to the bathroom? Turtles may be independent creatures, but they also independently go to the bathroom. Do you know what turtle poop looks like? That’s a trick question. No one does. As far as Lenny can tell, turtles are secretive poopers. 

It would be one thing if his new pet were leaving random land mines everywhere with an untraceable pattern, but what if it managed to continue to keep its feces hidden a secret for months, even years? The uncertainty and anticipation of that first found turtle turd would leave Lenny in panicked anxiety. 

“Will the first one be sticky or dry?

”Are they all hidden in the same place? What happens when I find the mother load?”

-How many times can a turtle be stepped on before it becomes an issue? How strong are turtle shells? Lenny could assume that any turtle shell can manage to be stepped on once by an average sized person without any injury to the turtle inside. But what if he and Tina really do move in together? You can bet that Lenny will be happy to wake up to a reality where he can pee and leave the toilet seat up. In fact, he’ll probably high tail it to that bathroom with little regard for the turtle calmly sleeping below him.

Getting stepped on once is no big deal. But a nightly occurance? The vibrations alone would surely cause some sort of turtle trauma.

-Are raspberries good for turtles? Seeing a turtle eat a raspberry on the Internet is one thing, but Lenny doing it himself on a semi-daily basis is a whole different story. He’s not even sure whether or not raspberries could cause negative consequences to a turtle’s digestive system. He tried to look it up on the Internet, but this only lead to more videos of turtles eating raspberries, sending him down another two-hour rabbit hole. Besides, those videos only show the animal eating the fruit. They don’t show the after effects.

“For all I know, the turtles could have died just minutes later.”

And health is one factor, but addiction is whole other beast of its own. Addiction is a two way street. Sure, it might start with Lenny feeding DJ Shellz a single raspberry after work to let off a little steam, but next thing you know, he’s driving home every lunch break to witness a feeding of a small handful of raspberries. He usually makes it back to work late while the turtle slowly devours his prey. He gets fired from his job. He spends all day dangling raspberries in a state of depression, too preoccupied to shower, do laundry or exercise.  Eventually the turtle becomes too big for his shell and meets his fruitful demise. The blood is on Lenny’s hands, but of course, that’s not why they are red…

Perhaps even more daunting than the possibility of Lenny’s addiction is the potential of DJ Shellz becoming addicted. To Lenny it might start small, similar to a dog owner giving his pet a treat. But perhaps in time what started as a pleasant surprise to DJ Shellz becomes a craving. The little guy needs the sugar in his blood and he longs for the little hairy prickles on his tongue.

In time, his desire for raspberries overwhelms the bond he had previously developed with Lenny. He begins to understand that it was only when Lenny was in a bad mood that he would feed DJ Shellz the fruit, as a way to cheer himself up. So DJ Shellz decides to put him in a bad mood. After months of never causing the slightest harm to Lenny, he begins to bite at him. At first it’s a few snaps at his ankles, but it turns into strategic bites to the neck when Lenny falls asleep.

At this point, DJ Shellz has developed an insatiable hunger for raspberries that has made him rabid, often foaming at his tiny mouth. He starts eyeing every fruit in his sight. It started with raspberries, but within the year he is going after watermelons, sawing through them in a matter of minutes. He is uncontrollable and Lenny knows no other options than to feed the beast.

Until the fateful day that Lenny makes the mistake of falling asleep with a red beanie on his head. The entire neighborhood will tell their grandchildren about that day and the screams that still haunt them.

Utterly terrified over the extremely detailed and graphic hypothetical he had just laid out, Lenny decided to move on to the cactus:

Pros:

-Cacti are even more independent than turtles. You can trust a cactus. Leave a cactus home alone without a worry in the world. There will be no poop on the ground. There will be no torn up couches or pillows. There will be no concerns of solitude-based anxiety.

You will come back to a cactus as you left it.

If Lenny ever needed some serious alone time he could simply put his cactus somewhere out of sight for a few days while he works through his issues. Then when Lenny is ready to be a little more social he can just go get the cactus and they’ll have plenty of things to catch up about. 

Cacti are great listeners. This is well documented. They are completely selfless when it comes to conversations. They will always wait until you have vented about everything that’s on your mind before chiming in. And we all know that no one is ever done venting about all the things on their mind.

Sometimes Lenny just needs someone to talk to. He doesn’t want advice for his problems, he just wants someone to hear them and know what he’s going through. A cactus could take on that burden with ease.

Plus, when people see how stress-free Lenny is due to his cactus rap sessions, he could potentially rent him out to other people who might need a little Cacti Therapy Session of their own. He could even name him Professor Prickles to make it seem more legit.

“Relationship troubles? Work issues? Whatever it is, 8-10 minutes with Professor Prickles and you’ll be feeling like you got a whole load off your shoulders. Only $9.99 per session.” 

-Festive attire can give the cactus different personas. While there are all sorts of cacti out there, Lenny has one particular type of cactus in mind, the kind that you see portrayed in all the cartoons and movies. He would prefer it to be about human size, anywhere within either two feet shorter than him or two feet taller than him. Ideally it will have the traditional two arms, one at a right angle pointing upwards and the other at a right angle pointing downwards. 

There is one main reason for these specifics: so that he can dress it up in human clothing. Lenny’s always been the type of guy who rolls his eyes in contempt of people who dress up their dog or cat, but there’s something about dressing up a cactus that just seems right. The Norman Bates vibe that this might put out is totally lost on Lenny.

It’s not like he’ll be dressing it up like an old woman. He has much more exciting plans for Professor Prickles.

First there’s Western style, which is a no-brainer. A cowboy hat atop its rounded top will be accompanied by a bolo tie over a western style button-up shirt. Lenny might even throw a holster into the mix to hold two six-shooters.

A Rastafarian theme is certainly a possibility. All he would really need is one of those Rasta-style hats that come with the fake dreads hanging out the back. Maybe drape a Jamaican flag over the back of it. From there it’s smooth sailing, he can just play a little One Love, sit back, and pretend he knows someone who could sell him weed.

Speaking of laid back, Lenny has a bunch of old flannel shirts he never wears. Professor Prickles could go for a Colorado look by putting on an unbuttoned flannel shirt accompanied by a cool beanie. And in a matter of seconds, you could take off the beanie and tie the flannel shirt under the two cactus arms and just like that, you have the Seattle grunge look.

Military, hipster, emo, athlete…the possibilities are endless. 

-A cactus + a hammock = living the dream. Lenny’s had a hammock for over a year, but he rarely uses it. He always forgets about it or has better things to do indoors, in the cross eyes of a good air conditioning vent.

But something about hanging out on his hammock next to his cactus is strangely and awkwardly appealing to Lenny. Cacti enjoy the heat. In fact, they need a certain amount of it to survive. So if his cactus is out there soaking up the sun and loving it then why can’t Lenny? He could bring a jar of lemonade with him, perhaps a good book to read or a boom box to play some tunes.

Lenny on the hammock, his buddy Professor Prickles right there with him. Just a couple of dudes, shootin’ the breeze….

Cons:

-Cacti are sharp. Their sharp, prickly stems are pretty much the defining characteristic of the cactus.

There could be literally no touching of the cactus. Even a simple friendship pat on the back could result in serious bleeding. This could also put a wrench in the idea of dressing it in festive attire. If you think dressing up a squirming, biting, clawing cat or dog is difficult try putting a Hawaiian shirt on something literally covered in sharp stems. 

-Cacti rarely look like they do in cartoons.  It’s all well and good that Lenny wants to have a cactus that is roughly the same height as him, but it turns out that cacti come in all sorts of different sizes and 5’8 with two opposing right angle arms is not one of them. 

Usually they are much smaller than a person. Sometimes they are much, much taller. Some of them have four or five different arms, like circus freaks or something. And worst of all, hardly any of them are the perfect width to fit sunglasses on. When it comes down to it, Professor Prickles would just be a sharp bush placed next to a hammock. Literally no personality. 

Cacti are not sentient beings. One thing that Lenny had been trying not to admit when fantasizing about this cactus/human relationship is that, as a plant, a cactus has just about zero of the qualities that an animal has. 

It’s scientifically proven that Professor Prickles would not be able to hear, see, smell or even feel him. While dressing it up with clothes, sun-blocking eye wear and other accessories might make the cactus seem more like something Lenny could confide in, the reality is that it would be the same relationship that he could have with any of the trees in his backyard.

The Excruciating Decision…

Lenny spent days looking over his list of pros and cons. There were so few valid points and so many insane hypotheticals, all of which demanded serious thought and consideration. 

The turtle provided the greater sense of companionship, but the cactus provided the one-way relationship that was such a perfect fit for his personality.

He decided to take a walk and clear his head.

Lenny had all sorts of casual acquaintances in his life. Plus there was Barry. And even Tina after he fell asleep. But he rarely felt like he could be himself around them. 

Lenny didn’t care about much. He was a slow moving guy. He liked the sun. He never wanted to do any harm to anyone unless someone was causing harm to him. He was never concerned with leaving his mark on the world. He only wanted to keep surviving in it.

As he thought about his own characteristics, he realized something. He realized that these qualities were shared by two other species in this world: the cactus and the turtle.

They weren’t just potential companions, they were reminders that there’s nothing wrong with him for being who he is. And then as he turned the corner, walking back onto his own street, he made a decision. Perhaps for the first time in his life he would take a risk. He crumpled up the piece of paper that he had written his pros and cons on and threw it in the gutter.

“I’ll get them both!”

 

Eight Months Later…

Barry was turning onto Lenny’s street. They had plans to go grab some pizza and see a movie together.

“I don’t know why I’m driving,” Barry thought to himself. “I swear it’s Lenny’s turn to drive. He always makes such a fuss when I ask if he can drive.”

Barry walked up to the door and knocked. No answer. He knocked again and still no response. So he called Lenny’s phone and it went straight to voicemail.

The movie was going to start in 30 minutes and they still hadn’t eaten. Barry knew where the spare key was hidden and decided to let himself in.

He took a few steps into Lenny’s place before stopping in complete terror. For a few moments he was motionless. He tried to make sense of his surroundings, but it was all so confusing.

There was blood everywhere. Smeared on the walls. Sprayed across the floor. Dripping from the counters. Barry tried to catch his bearings, but an overwhelmingly sweet odor attacked his nostrils. There were torn apart watermelon shells canvasing the entire kitchen area.

In the middle of the room was Lenny, lying prone on the ground in what appeared to be a red Snuggie. But there was a small hole in the stomach area of the Snuggie. It looked like it had been chewed through. 

Lenny remained still, but something was moving. As Barry moved closer, he saw it. A bloated turtle was inside of the Snuggie, snapping away at Lenny’s midsection. Or at least where Lenny’s midsection was supposed to be. Blood covered nearly his entire torso. For some reason there was an iPod taped to the turtle’s shell and it was playing the ominous Doors’ song “The End.”

As Barry looked around he only became more confused. Watching over the horrific scene was a human sized cactus with sunglasses and a fake Afro on top of it. Next to the cactus was a jar that read “$10 per session.” It was filled to the brim with what appeared to be hundreds of dollars.

Just second after Barry noticed the jar, there seemed to be a slight movement from Lenny. Barry focused his attention and saw that Lenny had opened his eyes. Lenny let out a groan reinforcing the panic that Barry was already feeling.

“Are you alright, man? Do I need to call 911? What happened, dude? What’s going on?”

After a few seconds, Lenny was able to lift his head about an inch off the ground, exposing the left side of his face, which had been flat on the ground. There seemed to be traces of blood on his face as well. Lenny made eye contact with Barry.

He managed a brief smile before softly saying, “At least I took a risk, B, at least I took a risk.”

And with that his eyes shut and his head once again hit the floor while he lied there motionless. 

Barry couldn’t believe what had just happened. In fact, he couldn’t really comprehend what just happened. Unfortunately, he didn’t have much time to comprehend it. He had apparently let out a loud gasp after Lenny’s last spoken words. This gasp caught the attention of a certain ravenous turtle.

The turtle stopped what it was doing and headed towards Barry with a look of determination. Barry knew he had to get out of there or else face the same horrible fate as his best friend. But he couldn’t move. He was already in shock and now he was completely paralyzed with fear. His feet were stuck to the ground as the turtle inched closer. One could probably argue that Barry was being a little overdramatic considering it took the turtle nearly a full two minutes to walk the nine feet between it and Barry. 

Finally it reached Barry. And while it started to climb up his shoes all Barry could do was hope that he would see Lenny on the other side. Then the turtle closed his eyes and bit into Barry’s shin.

The feeling was hard to describe, different from what Barry expected. It wasn’t really pain. It was much more confusing than that. Actually, it kind of…felt like…yep…it tickled.

Barry looked down and realized that the turtle was trying to bite him, but it only tickled. He picked it up and examined it. The little guy didn’t even have teeth. He was just nibbling. He held his finger out and the turtle tried to nibble on the end of it as well. Barry couldn’t help but chuckle. He scratched under the turtle’s chin and its eyes closed and legs started to kick from enjoyment.

Confused, Barry set the turtle down and walked towards Lenny. He noticed that Lenny was still breathing. But how could he be with all the blood that he’s lost? Barry reluctantly examined the terrible wound in Lenny’s stomach. Upon closer look, the gash didn’t seem that bad. Actually, it looked like skin was never even broken, just a small nibble imprint above the belly button.

Where could all the blood have come from? He touched Lenny’s stomach and felt the blood. It felt strange, not nearly as thick as blood normally does. Not knowing what to do, he licked his finger in curiosity.

“Sweet?”

It definitely wasn’t blood. It almost tasted like….raspberry.

Another lick.

“This is definitely raspberry.”

Then he flicked Lenny a couple times in the face.

“Dude, quit messing around. What the hell are you doing?”

Lenny woke up. He appeared to be startled. He looked around for a minute trying to assess the situation.

“Oh hey man. Sorry, I was feeding DJ Shellz raspberries and I got a little carried away. For some reason I thought he would eat watermelons too, but he was having none of it. I couldn’t let all these watermelons and raspberries go to waste so I ate them all. I guess I just had a pretty serious sugar crash.”

While Trying to figure out why exactly he was a friend of this person, Barry helped Lenny up.

“Whatever man, the movie starts in like 15 minutes. We have to head over soon.”

Lenny looked at his watch and, surprised by how late it had gotten, grabbed his jacket and pulled a few ten-dollar bills out of the jar next to the cactus.

On his way out he noticed something. 

“Ohhh maaaan, DJ Shellz put a hole in my Snuggie! BAD TURTLE!!”

Then Lenny put the turtle upside down and he and Lenny went to go see a movie.

-Jonny Auping

 

Jeff Goldblum Talks About Vince Vaughn Like He’s Dead

jeff and vince

I’m a huge Jurassic Park fan. Naturally I’m very excited about the production of the fourth JP film that will star Chris Pratt, Judy Greer and Jake Johnson. But the only downside of the fourth film coming out is that it will push the most overlooked Jurassic Park film even deeper into irrelevance. 

The second film of the series, The Lost World is considered by most to be the worst of the franchise. I, however, have a soft spot for the 1997 film for a number of reasons: Ian Malcom, played by Jeff Goldblum (and my favorite character in the original), is the lead of the move, stealing a baby T-Rex is a significant plot point (pretty obvious what this would lead to), a giant T-Rex is brought back to San Diego and roams around the city, and perhaps the number one reason: Vince Vaughn plays a character named Nick Van Owen. 

I was recently snooping around YouTube and came across a number of tiny segments that were made in accordance with the release of a packaged Jurassic Park trilogy. One of the short segments was specifically about Vince Vaughn. The segment is narrated by Jeff Goldblum. After watching the video a couple times, I’ve come to the conclusion that Goldblum does not realize that Vaughn is alive and well. 

Imagine Goldblum following up his final words in the video with, “I’m really going to miss Vince.”

I’ve decided that I really want Jeff Goldblum to be interviewed after my death (in the event that I for some reason die before Jeff Goldblum).

I’ve also decided that I’m very angry at Jeff Goldblum for not showing us the dance that Vince Vaughn was talking about.

I also decided to halt my Jurassic Park Youtube research and begin some Jeff Goldblum Youtube research and I found a bunch of videos where Goldblum’s voice is slowed down and he appears drunk.

Like this one:

Or this one:

Now you’re on the Internet, now you’re emailing everybody in the world, you’re playing the greatest games.”

Or this slowed down scene from Jurassic Park:

Or this great Pay Pay commercial:

Anyway, the point is that Jeff Goldblum is a complete wildcard and I felt like watching Youtube videos more than I felt like writing today. Also, Vince Vaughn is still alive. 

-Jonny Auping

Vine Research and Development Meeting

vine

January 25th, 2011. Vine Headquarters.

Don: How about 15 seconds?

Ralph: No, that’s too long.

Calen: I don’t even think a dog can ride a skateboard that long.

Don: Well, how long do you think it should be?

Ralph: I think the maximum length for a video should be seven seconds. Remember, the video will just loop over and over again so it doesn’t really matter if it’s short.

Don: Seven seconds? That’s so short. People are going to want something more substantial than a few seconds.

Ralph: People don’t care about substance. Their attention spans are basically the same as a cat’s. Look at the stuff they read on the Internet. It’s all lists and short little articles. They want a whole bunch of variety, but they don’t need any particular thing that they’re looking at to have any actual content. That way they can just jump from pointless thing to pointless thing and kill 45 minutes without blinking an eye.

Don: I guess you’re right, but this doesn’t just require viewers. It requires creators. We need our consumers to create Vines so that we have something to be viewed.

Calen: The dog could be wearing sunglasses while he rides a skateboard. 

Ralph: Well, that’s why we need the videos to be seven seconds. They are the ones creating the Vines. Do you think these people can make a video longer than seven seconds? They max out their ability to be funny, cool or interesting way before they hit 10 seconds. They all want to feel like directors and filmmakers and actors, but they don’t have the talent to make something that lasts as long as it takes to microwave a slice of pizza.

Calen: The dog will have to be a bulldog. Obviously. 

Don: You’re right. They’ll be a phenomena. If we pull this off, people will spend more time trying to make a Vines than it would take them to read a book. 

Ralph: Oh, that would be great. Give us five years and we’ll wipe documentaries off the face of the Earth. We’ll do to video what Twitter did to the written word. I wonder what people will Vine about.

Don: Who cares? They could put horse masks on and record themselves dancing for all I care.

Calen: What if…and hear me out….the bulldog was wearing a Hawaiian shirt. hahaha. OMG. Now that’s something I could watch on loop.

Ralph: Look Calen, I gave you a job because you’re my cousin and your mom pretty much made me. You’ve always been a little slow and I was worried that you would be more of a babysitting job for me. To be honest, I was really close to firing you until you came up with this brilliant Vine idea. I want to thank you for actually contributing something to this company. But why do you keep talking about a bulldog?

Calen: I just wanted to see a bulldog riding a skateboard. If I could see it on loop a bunch of times it would cheer me up when I get sad. Plus, I could watch it on loop when you guys are talking about boring stuff like how to give people content that will make them smarter. That’s why I wanted you to invent the Vine thing, so I could see the bulldog.

Ralph: What?! You mean you weren’t actually trying to help the company with a new product? You just wanted to mindlessly stare at some pointless video because it hurts your head to think for two minutes? We’re screwed. We have to come up with a new project.

Don: It’s too late. We’ve already sunk so much money into this.

Calen: That song “Ridin’ Dirty” should be playing when the bulldog is riding the skateboard.

-Jonny Auping