Archive for April, 2011

How to spot a “Hipster”

Friday, April 29th, 2011

It was 2004 when you first saw one. You were walking down the street, on your way to your neighborhood Adult Video Store (yeah, you’re one of those VHS type pervs) when you were suddenly confronted with the strangest of sights: a thin 20-something wearing a fedora that he may have stolen from Sammy Davis Jr. “Wow,” you said to yourself, “I’ve only ever seen heavy-set Cubans, old guys at the dog track or jazz musicians wearing those in real life!”

But that wasn’t all.

He had Converse sneakers on that would have been better suited to a 12 year old skateboarder, skin-tight jeans*, green Ray Ban Wayfarer knock-offs that his Aunt probably bought in Daytona Beach in 1987, and a plaid shirt that belied the fact that he’d never done a day of manual labor in his life.

Of course, today such a sight would be not in the least bit remarkable. Yes, these so-called “hipsters” are everywhere in 2011.

Here are the tell-tale signs that you’re probably in for a lecture about Global Warming or the best place to get Chai Tea:

Stupid Vintage Hat

Yeah, he stole it from his grandpa while the guy was in the hospital for bowl cancer. While the hat screams “assh*le” for any normal person, our hipster specimen here loves the Rat Pack association. He has “Frankie, Deano and Sammy” on vinyl – even though he was born too late to own a Walkman – and, yeah, he refers to them as “Frankie, Deano and Sammy.” Ballcaps are strictly forbidden according to the hipster fashion code – along with any sports interests beyond something obscure and stupid like cricket – though a few still rock the “ironical” John Deere or some other blue collar type trucker hat from back in the pre-hipster era when these were all the rage. “Johnny’s Lawncare! I find the concept of physical work so ironic, ‘lol’” Admittedly, while on his bicycle the hat is removed in favor of a unisex helmet.

Manicured Faux-Natural Facial Growth

“What am I, a yuppie conformist? Of course I didn’t shave this morning.” …But he did spend 17 minutes meticulously shaving the scruff off his neck. While many hipsters are unemployed and live off of UI or an indulgent relative, surprisingly some do have jobs. While at a “real” company, these are usually horse-sh*t jobs to do with social media where some guy in a suit figures that having some level of acumen at that New Age digital crap** goes hand-in-hand with not shaving. Of course, as a closeted narcissist whose thrown-together hipster look is actually a composition of deliberately selected items right down to the last thread, our specimen doesn’t really “not shave”…it’s part of the look. Wanna see real “not shaving” ? Check out a couple of the laid-off guys at your local bar around 11:30am on a Tuesday. That’s “not shaving.”

Super Thin Jeans

Way back yonder before the 1980′s everyone wore thin jeans. Since then, only homosexuals favor the constrictive cut. But not our pal. The thinner, the better. Perhaps a reaction to the gangster-baggy thing that persists among 13 year old kids, or maybe an affirmation of the style that prevailed in the 50′s…or 1850′s, hell; who knows? Wait…only homosexuals “use” to wear skinny jeans?…maybe….OK, I think we figured it out. “Cords” and other weird sh*t in super skinny size are also widely worn. Usually accessorized with some kind of beatnik belt made “organically” out of Peruvian coffee bean rinds or an extension cord or something. Never, under any circumstances, does a hipster wear shorts. It could be 120 degrees Fahrenheit out and he’d still be in his 28 waist x 30 length jeans. Cargo pants and creased slacks are also verboten. Slacks that come with a full suit are acceptable as long as it’s some sort of beige, vintage Salvation Army type suit of the kind Napoleon Dynamite would like.

Apple Product

John Q. Hipster can’t go anywhere without his iPod (..or iPhone or MacBook or iPad or some other Steve Jobs shiny-toy-for-morons) with which to listen to music by the Strokes, Metric or whatever other form of bisexual keening qualifies as “rock” these days. He uses the high-res camera on his iPhone to take pictures of things he finds “ironic” while on his day-to-day travels and immediately “tweet” them to his friends and post them to his Facebook page. You’d think from the sheer volume of hyper-leftist opinions this guy spouts that he’s read a ton of books, but he’s usually got his nose in this thing instead. He has literally every “app” except the Wall Street Journal one. If you’ve ever heard someone on the bus exclaim something like, “Oh, wow, my friend Josie’s pictures from Phuket!” do yourself a favor: don’t look up. It’s a hipster.

Local “Indie” Newspaper

International news courtesy Reuters and AP in mainstream publications? This does not interest the hipster. He needs a daily roundup of all the crappy bands playing in tiny, cramped venues around his city as well as a media voice (indeed, the paper is likely called “The Voice”) that regularly complains about how unfriendly his municipality is towards bicyclists. “When will people learn fossil fuels are a 20th century anachrononizm?…or something…” he’ll murmur to himself in a self-congratulatory manner. Usually in these rags people who express a desire for low-taxes are automatically labeled “neo-cons” and those who question the use of taxpayer money for an Inuit Pride Festival are automatically labeled “racists.” Our hipster friend eagerly tweets his concurrence with these sentiments, while sipping a latte on a Starbucks patio. While he doesn’t really identify with any oppressed group anywhere and leads a dumb, comfortable life, John Q. Hipster loves to appropriate a sense of solidarity with any that he can.

Lack of Student Debt

Most hipsters are actually the privileged offspring of the upper-middle class. A hipster lives in a world void of challenge, worry*** or deprivation. His professional parents paid for his undergrad in PolySci and his tremendously off-the-mark opinions are backed up by cobbled-together and misremembered facts and figures from a liberal arts education that largely consisted of sleeping-in and marijuana use. He expresses his opinions with all the usual force of the self-righteous, though he doesn’t really know who Charlemagne, Bismarck or Herbert Hoover was, or what “GDP” or “monetary policy” really means. He’ll properly end up in Law School once he’s towards 30, but first he plans to do Europe. And maybe Asia.

“Will my iPhone get service there? Maybe I should email Verizon…”

*sans “bulge”…I mean, this is a hipster we’re talking about here folks.

**though he rightly questions its bottom-line relevancy and was against the decision to create the Social Media Brand Associate position in the first place.

***beyond the rumored break-up of the band MGMT, we mean. (No, not “management.” You spell it out. God, get with it.)

Col. Gaddafi says his troops showing a lot of “hustle”

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Given the Libyan rebels‘ recent ultimatum that truce negotiations will only begin once Col. Gaddafi agrees to exile from what has been his personal playground-kingdom since 1969, the mustachioed kelpie continues to send his loyalist military forces against them, despite a storm of NATO air-to-ground missile fire. While a rabble compared to any Western army, his 40,000-odd men are still an effective force and they and their officers have largely remained loyal to their benefactor. Further, the Colonel – who alternately dresses like a gay Banana Republic general, a budget Tony Montana, or the Golden Child (inset) – has augmented them with some-say as many as 25,000 mercenaries from throughout Africa. Unable to break the stalemate and wrest territory back from these pro-democracy dissidents/moslem fanatics-in-waiting either in the west or across a large swath of Libya’s east – stalled as his men are by round-the-clock airstrikes – Gaddafi nonetheless retains control of the capital and several other large cities. Moreover, he has not neglected the perhaps influential factor of “motivation.”

“My boys are really showing a lot of hustle out there,” enthused Col. Gaddafi.

“A lot of heart and a lot of hustle,” continued the reptilian clothes whore, “It’s gonna take a lot of drive and a lot of teamwork to bring this one off. But if my boys have one thing, it’s drive and teamwork. And, of course, heart. …And hustle. Drive, teamwork, heart and hustle.”

The Colonel definitely better hope that the men loyal to his autocratic personality regime have all this and more, because while it is certainly an easy task to hit a 1987 Isuzu TF pickup full of deserters and students with the 73 mm 2A28 “Grom” low pressure smoothbore semi-automatic gun on your BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle, it is less so when a single Western plane costing more than 10x all of your army’s equipment put together is simultaneously trying to hit you with a Hellfire missile.

Confronted with the decimation of what was his already-initially-pitiful armor, artillery and air power by the NATO air forces overhead, Col. Gaddafi replied, “You’ve got to give 110% in situations like this. 110%. If you fight with hustle and you fight with heart, you’ll post a big ‘W.’”

The dapper Colonel repeated a similar message to his most recent recruits* on a parade ground in Tripoli – where our TTT Foreign Bureau Chief was present as a guest – in an effort to motivate the troops before they were to drive all of 23 minutes west to Az-Zāwiyah to resume fighting the rebels: “Men, you’re gonna have to give 110%” (At this point a NATO bomb exploded nearby) “…OK, maybe 120%. Between 110 and 120. Maybe 130. Between 110 and 130% but certainly no more than 130. In the upper banded region of 110 and 130%.”

Suddenly an interruption emanated from the crowd of sadistic murderers- a shout by a 17 year old Somalian in the front rank – a machete hanging on his hip, ammo belts crisscrossed over a purple tie-die psychedelic t-shirt and a tobacco/heroin/cocaine hand-roll cigarette protruding from his lips – who asked loudly, “Bwana; when we’z gwana paid geht deeze time?? Badda fass’ be’fah’sure, wacal…”

Replied the visionary military genius and perennial People Magazine** Best Dressed List Winner, “You just worry about giving between 110 and 130% and you’ll get paid soon enough.”

This ignited a storm of angry shouts, “Aabahaa was!” “Abahad wasse hooyadaa was!” “Hooyadaa siilkeed!” to which the ever quick-on-his-feet Colonel replied instantly, “Men! Those rebels aren’t alone! Their wives, mothers and sisters are with them! Punish them!! Dirka dirka Allah jihad!!!”

To this exhortation, what had a second earlier been the menacing howls of a pack of rabid dogs about to turn on its owner became a euphoric celebration. After a few moments of insane revelery and wasted ammunition, the motley crue of 500 killers swarmed out of the parade ground gates to resume battle once again.

Said the Colonel, turning to our correspondent, “You see? You can drop a bomb on a tank and you can drop a bomb on a jeep, but you can’t drop a bomb on hustle. Or heart. You can neither drop a bomb on hustle nor heart.”

“…and a little raping never hurt anybody,” he added with a coy froggy smile.

In related news, Col. Gaddafi reports that his “Great Society” initiative is still on hold.

*psychopathic African (i.e. non-Arab) mercenaries from Nigeria, Mali and Somalia, “being paid about $10,000 (USD) to join up and then I’ve heard they are being told that they will get $1,000 a day to fight.” (source). Another account: “…Chad is leading this group of foreign fighters including citizens from Niger, Mali, Zimbabwe and Liberia who are being paid between $US300 and $US2,000 a day.” (source)

**Libyan edition.

Best used car ad ever

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Who would have thought such wit could come out of Barrie*? Either way, this is flippin’ hilarious- and spares us trying to be funny today! Enjoy…

1998 Subaru Impreza Wagon For Sale

Woops- the ad is gone. I guess he actually managed to pawn this tampon-on-wheels off onto someone…

Did we copy-paste the hilarious hyperbolic-macho description the guy wrote about his car, to preserve our plagiarism given this no-link inevitability? No…no we didn’t. “Let’s do that later…” we’d said.

Apparently, we neglected to note that when “later” arrived, the ad would be gone. Ah, well. So..uh…it was a really lame 1998 Impreza Wagon with like 200 klix and only 134HP haha. Yet, the guy claimed it had been to hell-and-back and went into quite some detail about how you had to be a super-ninja-pirate badass to handle it (and fork over $2000, “Elle Oh Elle,” the thing was probably worth $400 tops.)

Anyway, we know what you’re thinking: “Eughh, pirate references? Ninjas? That sh*t’s all over the web and it’s NOT FUNNY. Sounds like a lame Maddox ripoff.” OK, granted, this is all true BUT this guy actually did it quite artfully and it was really funny.

Oh man, haha, just thinking about how funny it was haha. Oh well. Too bad you missed it.

*For our US friends; Barrie is to Toronto as Buffalo is to New York City

Products that don’t do anything and other MKT myths

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Dryer sheets. Or, in Kleenex fashion, simply “Bounce” sheets- after the very first product line in the category, devised by Procter & Gamble* in 1975. These are little, nice-smelling square sheets of wispy paper that you put in your dryer along with your wet clothes from out of the washing machine. Supposedly they offer myriad benefits: a nice scent is transferred to your clothes while they dry, um, they smell nice and make your clothes kinda, somewhat smell just as nice too, um….the smell thing? Did we mention that? Oh, they are also sometimes purported to hold magical “fabric softening” properties. So, yeah, a little piece of paper can make your polyester Target piece of crap t-shirt “softer” by swirling around with it for an hour at a really hot temperature and occasionally brushing up against it. P&G must guard the science behind this vundereffect like a hawk with an uzi!

Yes, everyone jams these little squares of crap into the dryer along with their wet clothes. But why? Does Tide smell that bad? I mean, your clothes just sat in a bucket of detergent-y soap-water and spun around for an hour. Do they need more “fresh scent” applied to them?? You already picked Tide in “fresh scent” for an extra dollar! And do you really think that it made your 100% cotton any softer? More cotton-ier!? NO! Check the thread count. There. You’re stuck with that level of “softness.”

Now, by this point, many of you probably stopped reading. “Wow, a rant about a peripheral laundry product. Ooooo, these guys aren’t scared of anybody!” But consider this: you get 80 dryer sheets in one box for about $6. ($4 for the no name® brand, but the logo on the box is so much duller….more on this theme later.) Now, how many loads do you do in a given lifetime?** Two a week (whites and coloreds…yes it’s a Jim Crow laundry universe, Maytag Luther King Jr.’s efforts aside) every week for your entire life?? So, um, hmm, grade-8 come-back-to-meh-nauw…2 x 4 weeks x 12 months x ..let’s say you start doing your own laundry at 18 and stop at 60 when you’re too senile and destroy your washing machine with a phased plasma rifle you illegally kept from the great Nancy Pelosi Replicant War of 2056 because you claim it called you a transvestite…so…x (60-18) is 40…minus 2… PLUS 2… 42…2 x 4 x 12 x 42 (GOwatchcalculaturrrrr, GO!)……4,032 loads of laundry! ….Surprisingly, that’s only 50 boxes in your lifetime of these 80 pack dryer sheets.

Now it’ll be more than $6 by the time T-1000 Pelosi’s go haywire and threaten civilization itself, but let’s just assume that adjusting for inflation at 4000 Remnibi, or jiǎo’s (角’s), it’ll still be the equivalent of today’s six bucks. SO, ahem…6 x 50…is….$300.

So you are projected to drop about $300 today’s money on these stupid things through your lifetime! Let’s not get into even less-funny math by seeing what all these little $6 outlays would have garnered you by the time you’d want to spend it on commemorative coins had they been invested at roughly 4% annual average return… (Answer: about $1000).

Few would sniff at $300 and even less at $1000 (granted, way out at age 60). Moreover, Bounce is just one in a long list of add-on products invented by companies to amp the “stagnant” revenue stream from a more practical, core product that actually serves a purpose.

TTT has already investigated the 100% halo effect of “high-octane” gasoline. But there are so many more just like this.

For instance, Jet Dry. “Your dishwasher was designed for it!” Supposedly, Jet Dry helps your normal dishwasher detergent get at leftover food, wine stains and even the dishwasher detergent residue itself that often remains on dishes and cups. Now, leaving aside the awesome CGI renderings of the inner workings of the rinse cycle as presented by Jet Dry’s advertisements; basically, your dishes were either splashed with sudsy water for an hour or so, or they weren’t.

Likewise, you either have gas in your car or you don’t. Annnnd, you either washed your clothes in a washing machine or you didn’t.

Even better is the spin marketers put on what are essentially commodities, i.e. basic inputs. Coal is coal*** and basically no one cares to try to invent “luxury” coal and charge 30% extra for this “kind” of “better” coal. But millions of idiots regularly pay extra for ~Starbucks~ brand Colombian coffee beans, eschewing the Publix**** or Loblaw’s***** brand Columbian coffee beans.

It’s either 100% beans from Columbia or it’s not. You just paid $3.50 extra for that weird green psychedelic logo. Yeah. Nothing more. Go back and use our terrible math to figure out what you’re actually wasting here, in a lifetime.

Same goes for orange juice. It’s either real Florida orange juice without anything added or it isn’t. Yup: an extra buck fiddy for that ~Tropicana~ logo.

Coal is coal, a coffee bean is a coffee bean, and an orange is an orange.

Of course, maybe some other idiot visiting your house will see your ~Starbucks~ coffee beans and your ~Tropicana~ orange juice in your kitchen, and your ~Bounce~ sheets in your laundry room, and think more of you. Congratulations. Re-gard from a re-tard.

Avoid looking directly into the iris of the pretty logos and save yourself $10,000 by the time you’re 60.

That’s alot of high-waisted (space) pants.

*simply “P&G” (pee’n’jee) to the Marketing folk.

**insert joke here.

***cue some Bill Nye the Assh*le Guy to chime in with, “Well, what about ‘lignite’ coal? Or ‘bituminous’ coal?” Just assume we meant the first one only. Lime…lig…ligament coal. Now, fack’off.

****for US readers.

*****for Canadian readers. US readers take note: you can’t get wine or beer in here. Yeah, the government sells it. Yes, only them. Yes, it’s wayyyy expensive. Yeah, just like Czarist Russia. We like to run a tight ship up here. Watch your step.

Robert De Niro abandons all pretense of being a serious actor

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

“It’s called Limitless, Mr. De Niro, and we think you’d be perfect in it!”

‘Yeah, am I the lead?’

“Actually, we were thinking of you for the villain.”

‘Who’s the lead?’

“We got Bradley Cooper!”

‘Who the hell is that?’

“He’s really hot right now!”

‘How much you gonna pay me?’

“$12 million, Mr. De Niro, plus 6 points of the net.”

‘How much you gonna pay Barry?’

“You mean ‘Bradley’?”

‘Sure. Him.’

“$4 million.”


“No, sir.”

‘OK- here’s what you’re gonna do. Take $3 million from Barry and give it to me. Make it 10 points on the gross, and we can talk.’

“Well, sir, Mr. Cooper’s contract is already signed.”

‘Who the hell is Mr. Cooper?’

“Barry, sir.”

‘Oh, well, listen: he still makes a million bucks. When I was his age I starred in Mean Streets and got paid in rolls of quarters. I paid my dues, and I want Barry’s salary.’

“OK. Let us get back to you.”

‘Good- one last thing…’

“Yes, Mr. De Niro?”

‘Do me a favor and don’t tell me the title of this dogsh*t film, don’t tell me who’s directing it, who wrote it, what it’s about. Nothing. Just fax me my pages. I don’t want to read any scenes I’m not in. Waste of my time. Don’t worry, I’ll figure out what’s going on.’

“Yes, sir.”

The Canadian Election, or “Free daycare versus Stealth jet fighters”

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

May 2nd, 2011. Who will run Canada?!?

On one side we have the incumbent Conservatives, on the other, the Liberals. “Hmmm…both those guys look equally lame…two lame, old white dudes.” OK, let’s boil your choice down to the issues: Here’s a picture of the proposed, super-duper expensive F-35 stealth fighter, 65 of which were supposed to be purchased for the Canadian Air Force (a). And here’s a picture of some four year olds watching Barney for free while their parents are at work (b).

Assuming that only one of these, (a) or (b), can be realized given tax revenue constraints,* which one is a cost that should reasonably be incurred by the state?

Did you answer (a)?

Congratulations! You are a pragmatist that thinks occasionally upgrading the military’s equipment is a noble initiative. You recognize that $250-odd million (CAD) has already gone into the project, that we worked on it along with our friends Australia and Britain and even Norway since the 1990′s, that $12 billion (CAD) in repair contracts become available to bidding upon by Canadian industry, that the other prototypes put forward as potential candidates didn’t and still don’t even approach this plane in sophistication and – most importantly – that our current CF-18s are quite old. You should probably vote Conservative this Spring (unless you take issue with Christian conservatism…i.e. those reactionary “traditional-values” folk that take issue with everything that runs against said values).

Did you answer (b)?

Oh, we’re sorry, you’re wrong, and very likely a p*ssy to boot. You should probably vote Liberal** this Spring (unless you take issue with borg-like, mindless tax-and-spend populism).

Let’s examine why you picked this most-unbelievably-LAME-and-WRONG-answer, shall we?

Option 1) The Classic Canadian Pacifist
Your view of the world is that people are fundamentally good, armies and guns and really-expensive-planes-with-guns-on-them are all “bad.” “Violence is intrinsically immoral,” you say. You believe that the need to ever project force (shudder) overseas either never arises, or simply should never be met. You prefer absolutely anything to do with the armed forces to have the tagline “peacekeeping” jammed in there. Kids, good. Guns, bad. This is an easy choice for you: Universal child-care. “Yes, because caring for children should obviously be universal in this country.”

Option 2) The “Un-Brainwashed” Counter-Culture Type
Jet, stealth….fighters?? “Leave that to those Americans with their ””>~Empire~<,''''" you spit, thereby making Canada into some kind of pacifist-monk type character: morally irreproachable and entirely ineffectual. You believe that most or all of the world’s developed nations are inherently evil “neo-colonialists,” that subsistence farming is the most noble human endeavor possible, ever, and – of course – that our culture here in North America is (uber-simply) one of “fear“*** You hate military stuff almost as much as you hate your father. No contest: you choose whatever free government handout program is on the table. “Yeah, the kid thing,” you say, “I guess that’s OK…”

Option 3) The End of History Argument
Perhaps you take the End of History approach: “The day of advanced countries fighting one another is over, so why do we need anything as sophisticated (and therefore as monstrously-expensive****) as these planes? A CF-18 can hit a Toyota pickup full of AK-toting as*holes as good as this new plane.” This, at least, is a decent argument that doesn’t necessarily betray a deeper animosity (smoldering or tepid as it may be) towards having-an-army-or-air-force-in-general as do options one and two. Our answers, in link form: these quiet buggers, and how ’bout these precocious sumbitches…remember these vodka-swilling bastards? Yeah, the earth is running out of fresh water and we share a border with them! ….OK, the prospect of an armed conflict with either of these countries – or a terrorist-seized (still-nuclear!) Pakistan or any other scenario – within the next decade is highly improbable; sure, this we admit, BUT, remember, back in the 1860s the guy who invented dynamite and the guy who invented the machine gun both thought that they’d ended warfare between developed nations with the level of killing-sophistication that they’d reached with their respective breakthroughs…

Option 4) I.. like… free STUFF, and I can not lie
“Whoa!” you say, “C’mon! I’m not a moron!! I read Reuters, not Chomsky. I’m aware that we need a military with modern equipment, and I get that these new planes are great and all, but, frankly, I prefer the thought of the financial easement that I would receive in the form of my two littlest ones receiving free daycare.” Maybe you go on to explain lucidly and convincingly, “They already begin public school around five, right? What’s a few years more? Child psychologists show that blah blah blah etc. etc.”

Well, we at TTT must admit: very interesting! Some good stuff has been voiced by option-four-guy here, some good stuff… May we just ask…(ahem)……”Where in the F*CK do you get off sticking all of us non-parents with the bill for making sure your stupid toddler doesn’t choke on his own boogers while you’re at work??? We all already help the little piece of sh*t get free pencils and textbooks and whatnot from junior kindergarten right up to college*****- so what? Now we’re all supposed to pay for little Timmy and Tammy to learn how to share at three years old?? Yeah, we’re real impressed the wife works. Very 90′s of you. …OK…seriously though, we do understand that to make rent in a big city often both parents do have to work full-time, but even with that being acknowledged: Can’t you stick the kiddies with Grandma? Or your sister?

There’s not one homemaker in the neighborhood that can watch her kids and yours??

You’ve never heard of “latch-key kids”???

If you answered (a) it’s very likely that you are also American, a place where “paying for your own sh*t” is just kind of a logical, going assumption in day-to-day society and a place where it is commonly acknowledged by most everyone that stealth fighter jets are just really, f*cking cool, while little-kids-playing-parachute-for-free is obviously less so.


(Look out for next week’s column on the remaining core issues in The Canadian Election, entitled “Prisons versus geezer-fare”…..readers will be shocked when TTT explains how “drug crimes” fundamentally do not exist and are therefore entirely and profoundly unjust while retaining its “ice-floe approach” regarding benefits for the elderly, and endorses neither option!)


*a necessary caveat for those NDP types that never took ECO101 or anyone else who says “I’d pick BOTH!”

**or, as a throw-away protest vote, one of the the other, fringe parties. “You’re aware that by fragmenting the Liberal block, this is just a vote for the Conservatives, right?”

***yes, EVEN the squirrel waterskiing.

****anywhere between $9 billion (Harper’s unlikely figure) and $30 billion (Ignatieff’s unlikely figure) CAD.

*****let’s not even get into the “university should be free” thing. HALF the cost of one’s undergraduate tuition is already subsidized in Canada. The remainder is either parental assistance, student jobs, student loans or scholarships. It isn’t some “human right” nor is it even “for everyone” practically-speaking, and we shouldn’t totally commie it up (thereby simultaneously dumbing it down) into “high school the sequel.”

Noah loses TV privileges

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

On the way to school yesterday morning Noah Kennel – son of Marge and and Andrew Kennel, age: 8 years old – lost his TV privileges.

Noah had been sitting in his usual seat, back and right, of the family’s 2004 Honda Odyssey (16 / 23 mpg) watching Finding Nemo as he usually was on the automobile’s fold-out, 7″ screen, when he was overcome by a sudden urge to violently strike his sister: Kylie Kennel – daughter of Marge and family friend Edgardo Salvey*, age: 6 years old.

Perhaps Noah’s anger stemmed from the fact that his mother had played Finding Nemo every day on the way to school for the past 9 months and, frankly, Noah couldn’t give a flying f*ck about that damn blue clownfish anymore. Or perhaps it was the fact that his mother cautioned him about something every two minutes on every single drive there:

“Noah, don’t eat that; put it back on the floor.”

“Noah, get your fingers out of your bum, sweetheart.”

“Noah, don’t drink your ear medicine, honey.”

If he wanted to eat a stale apple fritter that he’d spied poking out of a Dunkin Donuts bag that had become captured and partially mashed and grease-covered by the front passenger seat reclining motor, then he felt that this was his business and nobody else’s. Certainly the rest of the family had made it plain that they didn’t want it by repeatedly mashing it with their muddy shoes instead of rescuing it, as was the only logical response when someone spies a treat!

“Was he the only rational man, er, boy in the family!” he often cried out rhetorically to himself in inside his own pre-adolescent head.

Noah felt the same went for if he felt like scratching his own as*hole or, perhaps, just exploring around in there out of a sense of boredom or curiosity.

And – if after a tasty apple fritter with road salt garnish and a little anal probing to relieve stress and back-ache – Noah felt like polishing it all off with a hearty swig from his bottle of ear medicine, why, who was to say he shouldn’t! After-all, it was his ear medicine!

“Perhaps you paid for it but ownership is nine-tenths of the law, you ignorant homemaker” Noah would often say to his mother in his head.

“And, really, thanks to the fiscally misguided, anti-libertarian Scandinavian policies of President Obama the American taxpayer paid, moooom, not you. Not since 2008 moooom,” added Noah in his own head, pleased with this new piece of argumentative ammunition that would now be a permanent part of his usual mental manifesto about the ear medicine.

However, yesterday Noah’s frustrations boiled over and manifested themselves in an attack on an innocent neighbor.

Noah’s sister Kylie wasn’t bothering him. She was sitting happily next to him, taking in the very same film Noah was. Indeed, she was engrossed by Nemo’s plight and thus entirely unaware of her brother’s simmering fury. But the fact that Kylie wasn’t bothering Noah didn’t matter. In fact, it was the very placidity that she radiated which begged Noah to intervene. Her state of utter contentedness mocked Noah, and his prison of infinite irritation.

Unable to strike his mother, eat a fritter, play with his own bum or drink his ear medicine, Noah seized upon the only avenue of action left to him: make someone as unhappy as he felt. Yes, Kylie. His stupid, stupid-head sister, sitting there, all holier-than-thou-art.

Raze this tiny castle of calm. Trample her tender tranquility. Destroy the joy which so plainly enveloped her.

Aware as he was that this was perhaps an unethical course of action, a supernatural force – against which Noah had no power – compelled him to reach out nonetheless, and suddenly mash his palm into his sister’s face as hard as he could.

The shock and confusion written on his sister’s face as her small brain went from processing the narrative of Finding Nemo to this new sensory stimuli, quickly gave way to a look of pure panic and absolute fear as her small head was pinned by Noah’s comparatively “gigantic” palm against the adjacent minivan window. As Kylie began to cry out, there they were again: the eyes in that rectangular mirror.

“Noah, leave your sister alone! No Simpsons tonight, mister!”

“Oh; you win again, b*tch. But the war ain’t over…not by a long-shot.”


*Kylie’s dark hair and ever more obviously-Latina colorings would fail to raise eyebrows for years…until her ass began to fill out at 14.

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