Love ’em or hate ’em, McDonald’s is a fast food franchise that has warmed the hearts of many a child with the promises of shortbread cookies, a toy in every happy meal, and chronic constipation. From the inception of the Happy Meal in the late 1970’s McDonald’s has included a toy or other trinket in every single kid’s meal sold at their franchise. Beginning first as a series of various market tests the Happy Meal soon became a franchise staple and in present day still continues on as strong as ever. McDonald’s set the bar for kid’s meals at any franchise and now Burger King, Wendy’s, Jack In The Box, and everybody else has to keep up — and usually with shittier franchises too thanks to McDonald’s taking the obvious choices like Hot Wheels and Beanie Babies. Burger King generally ends up with whatever trash Viacom is hawking (Spongebob Squarepants) and Wendy’s… well, if “you know when it’s real” then you’ll also know when you get a crap toy in your kid’s meal. The only decent thing Wendy’s ever had was their set of Spyro the Dragon toys. And maybe that Six Flags Mr. Six figurine.
McDonald’s memorabilia is something that is insanely collectible and at one point in time was among the most valuable collections one could have. Of course with the economy in shambles one of the first markets to go is always the collector’s market so those Beanie Babies toys you had in the late nineties that were once worth $50 a piece are worth approximately $1 today. Still, back when “the gettin’ was good” there were entire publications devoted to collectors of McDonald’s toys and other odds and ends. The presumably husband-wife team of Terry and Joyce Losonsky (watch them email me once they see this and say “we’re brother and sister asshole!”) set out to create the definitive compendium of information on McDonaldLand memorabilia. The results of their labor and borderline hoarding disorder was a series of books and price guides for everything under the sun. Unfortunately the most recent incarnation of said book only covers toys from the 1970’s to 1995 so a lot of the “big” collections from McDonald’s history, namely the aforementioned Beanie Babies and of course the 101 Dalmatians collection of 101 different toys, are absent from the publication.
Despite the lack of definite humor content, however, I picked up a copy of their collector’s book dirt cheap since a price guide from 15 years ago is completely worthless and have set out to find as much stuff to make fun of as I possibly can. Thanks to all of the wonderfully organized and professional quality pictures in the book (that wasn’t a sarcastic joke, the book is laid out quite nicely) I was presented with more humor fodder than I knew what to do with. Surely there’s at least 4 or 5 articles worth of content here, but in the meantime here’s the five most “what the fuck” McDonald’s Happy Meal toys ever.
Improper printing/cutting aside, this “tickle feather” is quite possibly the most sexually inappropriate Happy Meal toy in existence. If the typeface didn’t give it away, the Tickle Feather is a byproduct of the 1970’s, a period of time when Ashton Kutcher was a television star. Seeing as how I wasn’t alive in the 1970’s I can’t vouch for statements like “it was a more innocent time where you could tickle someone with a foam feather and not be seen as a sexual deviant” so I will simply assume that in the late 70’s it was in fact appropriate to tickle people with a foam feather and that it was appropriate for children to receive such toys in a kid’s meal. In the early days of the Happy Meal the McDonald’s company was looking for inexpensive ways to produce “toys” to include in their kid’s meals. Since much of the Chinese mass-production technology we have today (read: sweatshop labor) didn’t exist in the 1970’s a lot of the company’s early toys were restricted to things like little rubber figurines and foam cut outs and against all better judgment I cannot come up with any plausible scenario where playing with a foam feather or a foam Grimace would be deemed “fun”.
I promise I’m not messing with you here and showing you a bunch of photographs out of an evidence book or a Spencer Gifts catalog, yes that is a 1.4 oz airplane-friendly box of Colgate toothpaste, and yes it was given away as a Happy Meal “toy”. The “M” logo on both the toothpaste and Tickle Feather is proof enough that I’m not lying to you. No toothbrush, just the toothpaste and that’s all; McDonald’s assumed their customers would provide their own tools to use this toy. Half the fun of being a kid and enjoying a Happy Meal is opening the toy first and playing with it (or meticulously breaking it) while you eat your burger and fries. You can’t play with toothpaste in any sense of the word unless you want to be kicked out of the restaurant for smearing it all over the table or backhanded by your father for putting it in his Big Mac when he wasn’t looking. Giving somebody toothpaste is one of many nonverbal cues that can be misinterpreted; when you give or offer someone a breathmint you’re essentially telling that person their breath smells like a garbage dump that someone burned leprosy victims in, likewise when you offer someone toothpaste you’re basically telling them they look British and that their smile won’t simply break a mirror, it will send it back in time.
Remember what I said about being a kid and having fun with your Happy Meal toy? These markers (actually, just marker singular) echo that sentiment. You cannot play with a marker, it’s not a toy. It’s a drawing utensil. The only thing you can do with a marker save for shoving it up your ass is draw a picture with it or if you had a bunch of them you could connect them end to end and make a sword that breaks the second you pick it up. You can kiss your dreams of ninjitsu goodbye, though, because this particular Happy Meal promotion only gave you one marker, that’s it. The picture shows three but that’s just an example of the various kinds that were offered (thin, orange and green apple). Now, I understand when the Happy Meal idea was just beginning to come into fruition that there was a scramble for affordable and frugal ways to include toys but what the fuck is this, seriously? One marker of a random color? The only thing this would use useful for is solving the 3-word word search puzzle on the side of the Happy Meal box and for drawing penises on the Ronald McDonald trayliner; and furthermore what if you were the unlucky sap that got stuck with a yellow marker? Good luck trying to do anything except highlight words and coloring on other people’s french fries.
Perhaps if these postcards weren’t offered several years after the Crayola markers your single marker would actually be useful but sadly these postcards were their own promotion and are equally as retarded and also bend the definition of “toy”. Those who ate at a McDonald’s more than once in the 1980’s and 1990’s will know that “McDonald Land” is made up of several little places, LetterLand being one of them (and for those of you who remember MC Kids on the NES, PuzzleLand). Apparently LetterLand is also where Mayor McCheese decided to establish the post office because these magical little papers came straight from the LetterLand post office and into your Happy Meal! Once you’ve spent the money to eat your kid’s meal you can then go ahead and buy a stamp to slap on this card because this is the only McDonald’s toy in the history of the company that required you to spend more money on it to get it to function correctly. What the hell is the point of giving someone postcards at a McDonald’s anyway? Are you going to send a postcard to your grandmother telling her how great your kid’s meal was? A stationary set isn’t a toy, it’s a stationery set, that’s why there’s already a word to describe it. Postcards are for people on vacation and people who want to abuse the “No Purchase Necessary” clause in every contest that has ever existed; kids — the target demographic of a Happy Meal — have about as much use for a set of postcards as they do for a single marker: none.
Finally! Here’s a toy, I think. I have no idea what this is except for the fact that the price guide calls it a “Mystical Scrambler” and offers no incentive as to what the hell it actually does. I presume it scrambles things, mystically too I might add, but just what? At first glance it looks like someone just ripped the buttons off of a VCR and called it a day but then I realized that the triangle and circle aren’t printed on the plastic, they’re holes cut into the pieces. Is it a set of funny binoculars? Is it a stupid magic trick akin to the “disappearing quarter” box that everyone gets bored of half way through the trick? The nondescript black box connected to the pieces makes no effort to clarify anything – do the pieces go in it? Do they sit on top of it? Do they spin? The more I look at this the more I want one because I have a distinct feeling if you used it in conjunction with a Ouija board that you’d not only be able to summon a spirit, but you’d be able to play Crossfire with them.
I’ve held jobs at several places, most of which were media-based (all of them, actually… a video game store, a cinema, and a Blockbuster Video). While I cannot effectively say that working in a corporate chain of media outlets is better than food service I can say that food service can’t possibly be much better, if any better at all. Corporate-owned chains are notoriously depressing places to work in the first place and Blockbuster Video is not an exception by any means, in fact it may actually be the centerpiece of awful jobs with depressing demands and expectations. After having done my time I ended up quitting because the constantly changing sales demands and lack of stability in the company was having an adverse effect on my actual well being so as per my doctor’s orders… I told Blockbuster where they could shove those excess copies of Twilight.
Having worked there, though, I have a unique insight to all of the company’s lies and stupid practices that they pass along to unknowing customers. Even if some customers are completely retarded there’s still no reason why they should be kept in the dark about such things as:
Remember all the hoopla about “NO MOAR LATE FEEZ” a few years back? Yeah, that was a whole load of crock and was actually a better operating model than what replaced it. Prior to the new system that was enacted a few years ago if you kept a movie out past its due date you were charged a nominal fee (less than $1) for each day you kept the movie out. People hate late fees either because they’re just too incompetent to see “DUE BY: TUESDAY 04/13” printed on their receipt and feel embarrassed about it or simply because through evolutionary changes in the human race the phrase “late fees” causes people to instinctively lose their shit over the stupidest things. What happens if you keep a movie out past its due date NOW?
They charge you the full price of the movie as if you had bought it new.
Yeah. You spend $5 renting that copy of Iron Man and if you keep it five days past its due date you’d be charged $20 directly to your credit card, if you were stupid enough to let them put it on file with their records in the first place. Once that charge goes to your credit card you have a whole problem to deal with because charges for late fees may actually have an adverse effect on your credit score. If you’re too lax with your Blockbuster rentals there’s a solid chance you may actually end up playing guitar in a seafood restaurant or buying shitty cars and getting 1980’s cell phones from Verizon. If you do the math on average late fees have gone from 25 cents a day to almost four fucking dollars. Legally they can do this to you so long as they don’t call it a “late fee” because that would be false advertising… but should you ever find yourself disputing a claim over it don’t refer to it as anything else other than “late fee”, because that’s exactly what it is only repackaged.
If you ever find yourself owing a Blockbuster Video store money for whatever reason (late fees, etc) you don’t have to pay them. At all. It is company policy that the “customer is always right” and with Blockbuster completely in the crapper financially they will do anything — anything — to keep customers happy. If you rented the maximum number of movies out at one time and kept them all for a month and accrued several hundred dollars in late fees they have to overturn this. Generally they will of course tell you that they cannot do it for whatever reason but if you make enough noise about it they will overturn it regardless of the amount.
They probably realize that nickel and diming the hell out of their customers at every possible point in the transaction is a counterproductive way to stay in business so if you are completely flustered over them charging you for late fees you can get out of it. You could make up whatever story you wanted to ranging from your idiot brother renting it without you knowing to being abducted by aliens and giving them Blockbuster’s only copy of Gigli so that they would let you go in return and the manager will have to pardon the fees, the manager/employee handbook guide says so.
Normally Blockbuster Video would have you believe that their store is absolutely crawling with security what with all of the tempting movies and games sitting out on the sales floor. As it turns out there are only two cameras in the entire store (that’s what the asterisk means): there is a camera pointing at the front door and a camera pointing at the registers to watch the employees. There is also a camera in the back/storage room but that isn’t accessible by customers so it’s not being counted. Blockbuster is more concerned with people taking petty cash from the registers than they are with thieves stealing actual merchandise; while the registers only have about $200 in them at any given time somebody exceptionally devious could cut open the entire Star Wars franchise and other films and make off with more in merchandise than the employees could ever pocket from the registers.
It also doesn’t help that in some stores they leave entire retail games out on the floor unsecured. No, I’m not making this up, Blockbuster is almost inviting people to come take whatever they want from the stores and never be seen doing it. Sure the employees might notice you slicing something open but even if they do see you every employee is instructed in their handbook to not pursue or even confront people they think are stealing and also not to notify the police about it because if the suspect has a knife or pulls out a gun Blockbuster would be liable for whoever gets shot and/or stabbed. They’d rather let people walk out with every copy of Land Before Time than they would in being aggressive to take care of their own asses.
You’re this far into this article and you still think that perhaps Blockbuster Video isn’t that bad. Well, okay; fine. Here’s another tidbit they feed you that is 100% untrue. “You need a credit card on file to rent from us,” a clerk might say. You can look this person in the eye and tell him “no” and he has no choice but to listen to you. The way the archaic computer system is set up allows for blank fields in the credit card information. The only time you actually need a credit card is to rent a video game because apparently losing $60 for every game is seen as “bad” by the corporate offices whereas losing $20 on copies of The Mummy III isn’t; but even then if you’re exceptionally crafty you can give them a Visa gift card with a penny on it and they won’t be any wiser.
If you want to get technical with the person behind the counter tell them to put “VG” as your credit card type and your customer profile will suddenly no longer demand plastic. “VG” is a two character abbreviation for “VideoGuard”, an old subscription you could purchase back in the days of VHS that would protect you from damaged tapes and thus keep you safe from having to pay for it with your credit card. VideoGuard is no longer sold/offered but the functionality is still there because the system is old as fuck so telling them to put it in the field will abstain you from surprise late fees and charges.
It’s also worth pointing out that even though you are given a grace period with late movies by giving Blockbuster Video your credit card information you are letting them put various holds for X amount of dollars on your account until said late movies are returned to the store. If you live paycheck-to-paycheck a hold of $20 on your account can be pretty crippling.
If you are tempted by the sodas, the popcorn, or the candy at the registers don’t buy it… and if you absolutely have to then check the expiration date. People generally aren’t interested in buying a Snickers bar for $2 at Blockbuster when they can stop at a Wal-Mart and get it for 50 cents and because of this the inventory of snacks at any given store is likely poorly circulated. The next time you’re at a Blockbuster Video check the soda cooler and see how many Diet Cokes are past their date and for the sake of hilarity don’t say anything and instead just keep an eye on it to see how long the staff neglects the food. The second it becomes so rancid that it evolves sentience is about the time they usually do something.
I can speak from my own experience that the staff doesn’t keep an eye on all of the snacks mostly because there’s too much of it to keep in mind. There were boxes of flavored popcorn that had expired in 2007 and were still out on the sales floor in 2009; I’m fairly certain Orville Redenbacher even had a new logo in that time. There were also bottles of Vitamin Water that were so old they had somehow started growing mold inside the bottle, the entire inside was coated with a thick black goop that looked like something straight out of The X-Files. Mercifully the worst offenders were sitting in the back room and were pulled for expiration long ago but nobody ever marked them defective to be credited back to the store.
In the past decade Blockbuster Video has tried a lot of different ploys to keep people in the store, most of which involved some annual or monthly fee and copious amounts of “coupons” to keep people’s attention. I can’t speak against all of them because some have some decent deals and specials, but I will advise that you familiarize yourself with the terms in more detail than just what the clerk tells you because he only wants you to buy it because if he doesn’t his job is on the line. He’d tell you that purchasing a Blockbuster Rewards subscription would get you laid every single day if it meant you’d buy one.
The problem with these frequency subscriptions is that they require you to spend a lot more money than they are worth to get any savings and I’ll use the formerly popular “Blockbuster Rewards” as my example. The deal was nice: rent any 5 movies and your 6th (least expensive) is free! You also got 1 free rental from the 99 cent section (when it existed) as well as “rent one get one” from the 99 cent section on certain days of the week. On the whole it’s not that bad of a deal for only $9.99 annually. The problem with the “rent 5 get your 6th free” thing is statistically nobody rents 5 movies in any given month. Renting a movie is, at best, a once a week kind of thing and generally people only rent 1 movie which adds up to 4 for each month… and your amount doesn’t carry over at the 1st of the next month. The system was devised in such a way to simply scam people from ten extra bucks at the register.
If you’re that much of a die-hard customer than it’s probably something for you but for the casual customer you’re going to be spending more money than you want to and you probably won’t reap the benefits from it at all.
When I worked at Blockbuster Video I hated my job. It was one of the most depressing things I can remember doing in my life. I was forced to dress up as a vampire on Twilight release day and wave around signs and other such nonsense outside in the South Texas sun without sunblock on. It’s a humiliating and depressing job and that opinion is something echoed in every single Blockbuster Video in the world. I’ve advised a lot of awful things against the clerks in the store which may be a bad thing because honestly they don’t deserve it. They’re rude to you largely because they just don’t want to be there and that goes for the managers too. The clerks are generally teens and young adults who just think “The Man” is keeping them down, but the managers are all people who quietly cry to themselves and wish they had stayed in school or done something better with their lives.
Yes it’s inconvenient that you were charged whatever fee because someone on staff messed up and didn’t check your movie in before putting it on the shelf, and yes they will take that fee off because they are the ones at fault. Yes they understand that you’re pissed off because they are sold out of whatever fantastical movie you wanted to see or that they don’t even carry whatever classic you wanted to rent but there’s nothing they can do about it. From an employee standpoint working for Blockbuster is like performing regular maintenance on a sinking battleship, it’s futile and they are aware of it, but it’s the best they can do for themselves right now. When corporate sends out their weekly bulletins about what deals they are supposed to offer generally within a couple of days these correspondences are redacted or replaced with something else; it is a job environment that promotes a feeling of insecurity and instability and to the average worker the thought of going to open the store in the morning only to see a “STORE CLOSED – BANKRUPTCY” sign on the doors with changed locks and people with a crane taking the light-up sign down is actually a very real possibility.
Blockbuster is going down and the company knows this. They have been futilely trying whatever zany idea they can think of to stay in business because in all honesty the “walk in movie rental store” business plan is dying and is getting its ass kicked BADLY by services like Netflix and Redbox offering a much more convenient method of renting and returning movies and at much more affordable prices. Blockbuster has been trying to respond with things like Blockbuster Online and every single frequent renter deal they can think of but all in all it’s not helping. They’ve tried going the Hollywood Video route and adopting the “used video game” business plan (GameRush) and making some stores into entertainment venues (Rock The Block) but it’s all fruitless and to no avail; Blockbuster is currently operating in the red with a debt of almost $300 million and is showing no signs of recovery. Searching the New York Stock Exchange for Blockbuster Incorporated (BBI) shows that the value of their stock is twenty-eight cents. That’s the price of a fucking gumball.
To a prospective investor for just under $1 million they could become the majority shareholder in the company assuming the stocks were all being offered by their holders. Compared to other companies that is pathetic and many investors and economists have written Blockbuster off as one of the companies that won’t be with us much longer. The insecurity felt by the common sales clerks is the same if not worse as the insecurity felt by the corporate employees of Blockbuster, many of whom built their way up long long ago when VHS rental was a mainstream and lucrative business, and for them in some cases they also have nowhere to go.
Working for Blockbuster is a horrid idea, and out of their own insanity shopping there has become a toilsome task as well. With the commitment potential of a Vegas marriage to their business plans Blockbuster is a company on rocky ground heading straight to that big stock exchange in the sky.
I read a lot of books on a lot of different subjects. If you asked me what my favorite kinds of books are,\ generally I’d tell you that I enjoy reading literature on reptilian biology, media criticism, and the occasional humor compilation. That’s what my bookshelves consist of: one for sarcastic quips on everything, one for critical (and sometimes satirical) analysis of media, and one for an assload of books on dinosaurs, dragons, reptiles, and anything else that would make you believe my nickname “Dracophile” was earned and not self-appointed. It goes without saying one of my favorite stores to shop at is Half Price Books, a chain of second-hand retail stores that sends out coupons every so often and whenever I get them my inner Jew comes out and I go out and buy a fifty pound stack of books that I won’t finish off until, well, the next time they send me coupons I guess. If all I ever buy are installments of Roger Ebert’s Your Movie Sucks Shit Through A Straw and crusty old copies of PlayDragon then nothing can really explain what the hell I was doing in the cat section where I inevitably found the subject of today’s article.
Maybe during my mindless meandering throughout the store I was subconsciously looking for a copy of I Can Has Cheezburger to use as emergency toilet paper but I cannot be certain. Regardless, my search landed me upon a copy of 128 Ways To Say “I Love You” To Your Cat, an advice book that’s about as retarded as it sounds. Every single page of this book is full of life ruining “advice” so mindlessly bizarre and insane that the only person capable of writing this is what you would literally define as “crazy cat lady” and to be honest that same archetype is the only demographic this book could possibly be marketed to. Well, crazy cat people and Internet humorists, I guess. This book does not contain 128 ways to show affection for your cat, it instead showcases 128 different ways for you to become even more socially retarded than you already are, irreparably damage relationships, or die alone and surrounded by fifty cats that will most likely try to eat your rotting carcass because, as you know, that’s what true love is (and every voraphile’s wet dream come true). Apparently the author has fooled one too many people with this advice because the copy I purchased was clearanced out at one dollar which means people were obviously getting tired of this furry fortune cookie; this book was written for me, I was meant to find it in that Half Price Books.
There are 128 pages of “advice” in this book, but for the purposes of convenience — and being able to invoke Fair Use by means of media criticism to avoid having my ass sued by a cat molester — here are a select few of Fancy Feast proportions. (Like with any graphic-intensive article you can click any image to enlarge it.)
In the preface of the book author Beth Pratt-Dewey details her first kitty encounter that turned her on to companions of the feline variety. Every bit of sexual innuendo in the previous sentence was entirely intentional. In her story she talks about how she met her first cat in a supermarket parking lot, let it ride in her car, and that it vomited in the car as well. Despite the fact that her backseat was now covered in bile and undigested Whiskas cat treats her instinct was not to throw the cat out of the window while going 70 MPH but to instead keep it because the cat’s antics were “cute”. Replace “cat” with “homeless man” in her story and read it again. I’m willing to bet if she gave a ride to a homeless hitchhiker and he threw up in her car she wouldn’t say “Awww how adorable I’m taking you home with me forever and ever and EVER!!” No, she would say “What the fuck? GROSS. Get out. GET OUT OF MY CAR!”
To compliment her newfound furry friend Beth decides that felines with weak stomachs are suitable sources for relationship advice and regardless of the nature of your significant other, be it a millionaire or international superstar, if your pathetic cat hisses at him you know he can’t possibly be good enough for you, right?
The advice on this page isn’t so much an “I Love You” because it’s more like “How to Not Be a Total Dick to Your Cat or Any Animal You May Own”. I’m not even highlighting this page for the advice printed on it anyway, I’m including it for the advice it infers in the picture. If you’ve ever even heard of optical illusions then you’ve most likely encountered the “pop cube” illusion, a wireframe cube figure with accompanying text that asks you if the cube is facing toward you or away from you; it’s a perspective and depth illusion just like the “do you see a vase or two kissing people” image. I invite you to take a second look at the 51st page of advice, then, and see if you notice anything that seems to flicker in and out of perspective like that. Give up? Our cat owner is either comfy and cozy under the covers of her bed or is sporting a huge (but strangely placed) erection… most likely because of Fluffy. See it now? Great! Now you can’t unsee it.
It’s not nice to kick your cat off of the bed, but if you find yourself feeling yiffy at three in the morning it’s okay to use Fluffy as an outlet for your lack of a sex life.
There are times when I realize that this book is clearly not meant to be taken completely seriously but when anecdotes like these are nestled in between small nuances like “don’t roll over in bed” and “only buy MeowMeow the best kitty litter” it blurs the reasoning behind everything, and besides, you know there are awful people out there who regretfully had kids and don’t take care of them because MeowMeow deserves only the best. This advice boils down to outright child abuse, favoring a pretentious animal that hates your guts over another being that has the capacity to demonstrate affection. Perhaps if I didn’t know of any cases off hand I wouldn’t be so inclined to include this page, seething with hatred over the matter. It’s an awful thing to imagine, but somewhere out there someone has a cat and a newborn child and only one of them gets showered with attention. I’ll let you figure out which is which.
Declawing cats is something that is largely debated among people who use their furry friends as crotch warmers and those who just couldn’t care any less. Personally? I can tolerate cats to an extent but they are by no means my favorite animal but even I consider declawing a pretty awful practice. If you aren’t familiar with what it actually entails in summary it’s a permanent solution to Patches ruining your furniture by having the final small bone of his toes cut off at the joint. To compare it to you, the reader, that’s like someone giving you a manicure by severing the end sections of your finger where your fingernails grow; yes it is painful, and yes having it done to your cat is so far from the opposite of saying “I LOVE YOU THIS MUCH” that in an Orwellian future such as the one where this book takes place it can only be summarized with “double plus ungood”. How can you make up for going all Jason Voorhees on your kitty’s paws? You can buy him fake nails.
Because that certainly makes everything okay. Dick.
I cannot speak fully on behalf of dating websites and dating services because as much as I should probably be using them I don’t so I don’t know if there’s a checkbox or a field for “Has a photo album of his/her cat and desperately wants to show it to you”. I may not be a relationship counselor but I do know that anybody who wanders around carrying a scrapbook of their cats is basically carrying around a 14″ x 14″ box of Boyfriend Repellent with a heaping helping of “holy shit that’s awkward and creepy” for good measure. By the time you spiral this far down into cat insanity you’ll likely be about 20 years past the “do-able” stage of your life anyways, your obsession with cats and wearing sweaters made of your pets’ fur having ensured you’ve lived a lonesome life, so in essence the lonely middle-aged individuals carrying these books around may as well be showing you a book of their biggest mistakes in life, all of which happen to be cat-related.
If you’re ever cornered by one of these individuals there is no escape. You will be converted into a makeshift life counselor and be forced into reading all 47 chapters of The Adventures of Sandy and Her Cat Muffins including its work-in-progress sequel How I Died Alone. By the time they’re done you will be the one needing counseling, so run. Run fast, very fast.
Assuming their disposition still lands them a mate (perhaps a misappropriation of the term “cougar” mislead someone) there’s always the chance that after years and years of thinking imitating a cat is “sexy” they may actually chase their significant other away; for the record, asking your lover to role play as either Simba or Nala is most commonly the straw that breaks the camel’s back in these relationships. With people so jaded into treating their cats like their own kids there’s a high probability they’ll end up filing custody suits over their recent divorcee demanding ownership of Froo Froo (and likely child support until the animal dies because they don’t live past 18). If only it were legal to marry your pets these people wouldn’t be holding up the courts with their petty arguments and suits; they would instead be holding up regular church services by having weddings constantly while forcing government officials to take time off of their busy schedules of taking bribes to consider if polygamy laws apply to pet marriages, and while the government is too busy attending to psycho pet owners’ demands for attention… 9/11 Part II happens.
Don’t look at me like I’m crazy. I saw it in a movie on Lifetime.
And finally, if all else fails and your lifestyle has led you down a depressing road in life where you’ve chased away your lovers, resorted to having sex with your cat, disowned your children, chopped your cat’s fingertips off, made a scrapbook out of your cat’s life, and finally divorced your husband because he thinks your cat obsession is scary you can always sit down and put together a list 127 of the biggest mistakes you’ve ever made and make #128 a killer hook meant to troll anybody looking to make fun of you and your book, you sneaky little cat fucker.
If you’re anything like me and someone tells you “hey there’s this new show coming to Discovery Channel that’s like BattleBots meets Twisted Metal” your response will either be “holy shit tell me more” or an uncomfortable erection (or both). A show of this caliber once existed… sort of… and it was called Weaponizers. Discovery Channel isn’t shy about the shows they produce because when they have an idea they will throw money at it until it rips apart at the seams even if it turns out to be total crap (see also: The Colony). Weaponizers was a show based around the idea that building gun-toting fighting machines is something that registers on the Scale of Badassery somewhere between “Dinosaurs With Jetpacks” and “Chuck Norris Jokes Circa 2001” and for all inclusive purposes, it does. If the reasoning behind the show sounds so awesome, then why am I bothering to write an article about it?
Because Weaponizers was a show that missed its mark so spectacularly its flaming descent from the heavens was a spectacle to behold by all.
For those who never got to experience the “joy” of Weaponizers here’s its colorful history. The show debuted on May 11th, 2009 to absolutely abysmal ratings, but prior to that regardless of what you were watching every commercial break for three months out had a plug for the vehicular combat extravaganza. Watching (Insert Sea Creature Here) Fishing: EXTREME? Cars with rocket launchers. Watching Jon & Kate: A Lesson In Contraceptives? Flaming pickup trucks with bulldozer scoops. Watching MythBusters? “From the producers of MythBusters comes Weaponizers.” The show was everywhere, and yes it was from the same producers of MythBusters so this has to be good right? MythBusters is legally obligated (by contract) to have no less than five catchphrases, two suggestive shots of Kari Byron, and eight explosions plus required instant replays per episode so boobies and Savage-isms aside Weaponizers looks to be a formidable and interesting contest. Too bad it was entirely staged, the execution of which was incredibly sloppy and poor.
The suspension of disbelief for something that’s most certainly too good to be true is a difficult thing to keep intact but you’d think with the zillions of dollars (approximated) at the disposal of Discovery Channel they could have done a better job.
In terms of failure the obvious choice would be to jump all over the stage pyrotechnics that took the place of actual bullets and explosives but before we jump into that I’d like to backpedal and discuss the cast of the show. Like any series based upon modifying cars for competition Weaponizers featured two teams of two builders, all of whom had some kind of “qualifications” to be on the show. The people building things on the show had a variety of credentials to their name including such vague accomplishments as “can build almost anything with wheels and drive it” and “has broken the land speed record”. Those are only two examples but honestly there’s issues with all of them, namely the land speed record one because it doesn’t specify the most important detail: “with what”? With the kind of oily gearheads they invited onto the show I can’t quite picture any of them sitting in an expensive rocket car that they cannot explain the physics of as it reaches Mach 1 in a desert lake bed so for all I know these jokers could have put on a pair of rollerskates and cruised down a particularly gnarly street, that’s a land speed record.
With the qualifications provided they may as well have listed “can make almost any kind of balloon animal out of any color balloon”, “once solved a Rubik’s cube using backwards video footage”, or even “has eaten at Wendy’s twice in one day”.
The most disappointing aspect of Weaponizers comes down to the very namesake of the show: the weapons. Rather than being comprised of gunpowder and sheer brute force the weapons attached to the cars operate approximately on equal parts smoke and mirrors. The producers made a huge deal about putting at least two machine guns on each car that can be used to open fire at whatever moves but for all of the hype not once in any of the three episodes of the show do you actually see the guns attached to the cars shoot. You hear them shoot by means of shitty stock sound effects but never once do you see any bullets, any spent casings, or any bullet holes. I’m not entirely sure how guns work in your fictional world but here in the third dimension when a fifty caliber bullet hits a rusty piece of metal roofing it leaves a fucking hole. Doom on the Super Nintendo can render bullet holes in walls but with the million-dollar budget of Weaponizers not one bullet hole is seen. Ever. A “spray of bullets” gets fired at specific targets in the battlefield and none of them, NONE OF THEM take any damage that isn’t triggered by a remote explosion that’s passed off as being set off by the teams’ magical weapons of sorcery.
So the bullets are 100% fake, that’s a huge let down yes, but there’s also an entire second set of weaponry that doesn’t consist of machine guns enchanted with a +5 Invisible Bullets perk. These weapons are all part of an arsenal custom-made by the teams and feature a number of fire-based, kinetic, and pneumatic devices. Ranging from an assortment of engine-powered spinning axes and saws to pneumatic harpoons and cleavers at the very least we can expect to see a snazzy jacked up demolition derby here, right?
Man, you are so fucking wrong.
If the fake guns were any hint, the actual physical weapons of the cars are equally as useless and fragile. Through creative use of camera angles a set of spinning axes and chains can look massive, an illusion which is further aided by showing footage of the Redneck Mobile 2000 tearing up small plywood (!!!) targets but when it’s fighting time only then do you see how much the weapon is dwarfed by its RV opponent (as well as after the weaponry breaks down after hitting a junk target). As a matter of fact all of the weapons are like that once some form of logic is applied to them. In one episode a team opts to have pneumatic harpoons that fire from the side of their van as a means to deal out some solid damage and when they are tested in the garage they look hellacious. Once they are thrown into “combat” though the pistons go flaccid and are never even used. To further my point the same team was also behind a pneumatic cleaver meant to swing out from the side of an ice cream truck and when it came time for the Carnage Round if the blade swung out any slower you could probably have luck making a playing card tower on it.
For weaponry that would make die hard Death Race 2000 fans cream their pants (sorry Jason Statham but your Death Race movie was pretty fucking awful) the phrase “its bark is worse than its bite” has never been more true.
Weaponizers was further crippled by shoddy editing that resulted in hilarious discontinuity in the episodes, especially the “battle” portions. In an effort to keep things action-packed at least in spirit the show utilizes lots and lots of jump cuts and alternate angles (going as far as to show three angles in five seconds in the chopping screenshot above) so viewers would be too distracted by the implied action to notice that whenever one car starts “shooting” the other one sits still either by virtue of “being stuck on debris” or just actually sitting there doing nothing. Blaming easy targets on debris is understandable but every time without fail once one car takes an imaginary ass beating of a lifetime it magically comes to life again and wouldn’t you know the other car stops moving so it can take its licks. I can only do so much by putting it into words because Lord only knows what you have a mental picture of right now so I’ve gone through the trouble of taking the “Carnage Round” from the premiere episode and, in stark violation of YouTube’s “DON’T UPLOAD THIS SHIT” rules, uploaded it onto YouTube.
At this point I’d like to remind you not only did this actually air on national television, it was also touted as “real vehicular combat”. Look at it. LOOK AT IT. I specifically chose this clip because I personally felt it epitomized just how motherfucking terrible the final product of this show was. To further drive my punchline I even created the Weaponizers Drinking Game. Take a shot of your favorite hard liquor every time you:
- See excessive computer animation used as filler.
- Hear dry commentary or panned out scripted dialogue from either team.
- See wide-angled shots to hide the lack of actual bullets firing.
- Hear bullets being fired while the camera is pointed elsewhere.
- See stage pyrotechnics passed off as “weaponry”.
- See a car “stalled” because it was “damaged”.
- See a weapon other than a gun not function properly.
- See the “Black Knight”. Actually, whenever it comes out onto the field just down the whole goddamn bottle. By this point it doesn’t even matter anymore.
I appreciate the effort that went into this show, I really do, but passing this off as real entertainment is just insulting. Scripted ballet between hulky men in tight underwear is one thing but doing it with entire vehicles is another thing far more precarious than ‘roid rage. What’s the problem in simply skipping all of the bullshit protect/destroy “objective” missions and letting people go hog wild with actual weaponry on a car? What, is Discovery Channel afraid of not having enough footage to fill a one hour timeslot? For fuck’s sake if you put real weapons on real cars and let them go at it you could fight for all fifteen seconds and people would be floored regardless. We don’t need to be spoon fed a bunch of bullshit passed off as being “real” only to see that the Black Knight is only a golf cart with a Batman cape and copious amounts of camera angles added for needless dramatic effect. Let it be an R/C demo derby and people will be happy.
In closing I’d like to mention doing research for this article wasn’t very easy because if you consult this list of every single program Discovery Channel has ever produced and/or aired you’ll notice that Weaponizers doesn’t even have its own page on Wikipedia but shows like Lobster Wars do. Not even Wikipedia gives a shit about Weaponizers and I’m speaking about a website with a community full of Asperger’s Syndrome folk who will meticulously detail every episode of even the absolute stupidest crap ever made. There’s not a single image macro available on the Internet that can encompass this amount of failure; when Wikipedia ceases to care about your television show it’s game over. Give up. Pull the plug.
Eagle-eyed, or rather eagle-eared (do eagle’s even hear well?), viewers who have seen Kevin Smith’s latest film CopOut may have heard a passing reference to “All your base”, a tired old Internet meme from the turn of the millennium that was spawned from the poorly translated Sega Megadrive game Zero Wing. If I have to sit here and explain something as ingrained as “All your base” then I really question your knowledge of the Internet and must ask if you’re truly a tech savvy 20-something or a middle aged soccer mom. If you’re the latter I have to ask a follow up question of “what the hell are you doing here” followed by “what the hell are you doing watching Kevin Smith movies”. I mentioned CopOut because it leads into my next observation about the kinds of people who watch Kevin Smith movies. There are two kinds of people who watch his movies and they are either culturally in-tuned young people who will understand the meta humor of his films or quasi-permadrunken “bro” figures who just want to laugh at dick jokes and make obscene gestures to each other.
These “chill out brah” hellspawn are the kind of people who think the Internet consists solely of five websites: Facebook, Break.com, the official UFC website, the Spike TV network website, and YouPorn. If you asked them what the Internet was they’d be the kind of people who responds “it’s like a bunch of wires and computers and cyberspace right” and be dead serious about it, completely oblivious to the “series of tubes” meme. To them the Internet is an outlet for posting pictures from last night’s frat party, looking at bikini models, watching compilations of nut shots, and reading the recap of last night’s homoerotic butt humping olympics. They have absolutely no clue that there is an entire Internet culture and thus are totally unaware of things like memes, how quickly they age, and the threshold of usage they have until they cease to be funny, witty, or culturally relevant. They are a prime example of people who will adopt a meme years (or in this case a decade after it is no longer funny) and treat it like it’s quality entertainment right up there with G4TV’s The International Sexy Ladies Show. After all, we are talking about people here who still watch reruns of MXC and think all of the ball jokes and womanizing humor is to television what The Godfather Part II is to film history.
Recently as I was enjoying lunch I encountered a couple of these incredibly common phenomena watching various techno remixes of “All your base” on YouTube like it was going out of style; though ironically “All your base” did go out of style. Nine years ago. I sat distant from them and simply observed their actions. They weren’t possibly watching these for nostalgic value, no, they were laughing it up at all of the “PWNED” images that blinked on the screen to the beat of the music. They had never seen this before. Ever. How can I deduce that CopOut was directly related to this nonsense? First I began by assessing their clothing; both of them wore pre-bent and pre-rugged hunting caps, both of them had Abercrombie-looking shirts on, and both of them were sporting jorts and flip flops. I shit you not, they were dressed identically. “I would say to them ‘you want ice cream cone’ both of them say yes.”
This is the bro-type “person”, the aforementioned kind who have no sense of intellect when it comes to most things that don’t involve surfing or UFC, clearly aren’t going to be able to tell a tired old Internet meme from a recent fad nor could they tell their ass from a hole in the ground. This leads me to believe that they belong to the second archetype of people who would enjoy Clerks not because the film is brilliant commentary on working class people stuck in a crossroads in their life but because Jay and Silent Bob start singing Jungle Love by Morris Day and the (Motherfucking) Times whenever they’re asked if they sell weed. Likewise these jerkoffs are in the movie theater seeing CopOut not to appreciate the nuances of humor that Kevin Smith laces his movie with but just to hear Tracy Morgan perform stereotypical black jokes and mannerisms. Thus, they picked up the “All your base” reference from the movie and went back to their Bud Light-soaked dormitory and Googled it.
[Editor’s Note: Apparently the movie in question where Morris Day is quoted is actually Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, not Clerks. You get the point I am trying to make though.]
Do you know what the first result for “All your base are belong to us” is on Google? Wikipedia; you know, the website these guys cite as sources in their research papers. Do you know what else shows up on the first page of results? That god awful Know Your Meme web series created by the Sony-owned subsidiary production company Rocketboom. After watching a few corporate sellouts blabber incessantly about memes they know nothing about the bros can browse Wikipedia and see what a bunch of completely mindless drones think about dead memes. The fact that “All your base” went out earlier this century is none of their concern, it’s new to them so they’re going to make your life a living hell by letting you know how current and funny they think this dusty old relic of the Internet is.
With that collective mentality (or lack thereof) I’m surprised they don’t just take it a step further and go to the epicenter of all Internet memes, the “Ate my balls” meme from the late nineties. Testicle-based humor seems like it would be the perfect mixture of kindergarten humor and thoughtlessness that bros would just gobble up gleefully and spam Facebook with. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a resurgence of “Ate my balls” while these jokers try to figure out “what the hell is a web ring brah”.
Internet memes are one of the fundamental bases of humor – catchphrases. There’s no doubt as to why phrases like “All your base are belong to us” or “Mr. T ate my balls” caught on, they were catchy. To many folks like myself who have become so jaded to Internet memes, especially old ones, hearing them brought up out of context by individuals who have absolutely no idea of the reasoning or history behind the joke gets annoying quite fast. It’s one thing to watch an “All your base” remix out of nostalgia but it’s another to be subjected to it because the people in your vicinity have only recently heard of it for the first time and likely assume this is the Internet’s “Next Big Thing”. Perhaps if the group of people discovering new memes weren’t already mind-obliteratingly shallow and socially retarded to begin with their virgin exploration of the Intertubes would be forgivable and cute, but no, when you’re surrounded by people like this all day as they skate to class and jam out to Sublime non-stop you tend to wish the worst for them.
Non-Internet savvy people are the reason why 2 Girls 1 Cup became a famous shock website. At the expense of sounding like a ninety-year-old back in my day a shock website was a still image that was blasted onto your screen and that was it. There was no reasoning behind it. If you were duped into seeing Goatse you were instantly greeted by hello.jpg whereas if you are tricked into 2 Girls 1 Cup you have to actually sit there and watch a video that you can turn away from at any time because unless you are completely mentally incompetent you know what’s about to happen. When someone puts a glass up to someone else’s ass if the first thing you think of isn’t “someone’s about to take a shit in that glass” then by all means you deserve to have your unsuspecting and shallow mind blasted straight out of the water by the Austin Powers steamroller of shock sites.
Let’s just hope they’re stupid enough to fall for Last Measure.
Valentine’s Day is that special day of the year where those of us who are lucky enough to have a significant other present him/her a declaration of our undying love by means of a $5 heart-shaped box of chocolates with disgusting toothpaste-flavored filling; and for those of us who are less fortunate… well, men have Fleshlights, women have anything phallic-shaped, and both have deep feelings of self loathing and an unabashed hatred for Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is one of the worst days of the year if not the shittiest day of the year if you’re a single somebody because no other day so forcefully reminds you of your worthless solitary existence like the unofficial Public Display of Affection Olympics. Regardless, all of us have something in common and that something is conversation hearts.
If disease-festering chocolate seems a little too tacky of a gift for Valentine’s Day there’s always the equally if not more inept choice of Necco Sweethearts, the popular chalk candy conversation hearts that have loving (and current) sentiments like “FAX ME” written on them. It’s worth noting that in the previous sentence either the word “chalk” or “candy” should have had quotation marks added for sarcasm but I’m just as confused as you are in determining whether or not we’re dealing with candy that has the consistency of chalk or chalk that can also be eaten without too many ill effects. Either way, Necco’s happy accident is a new form of matter.
Dating as far back as 500 B.C. Sweethearts came in six flavors: Mint, an unspecified yellow fruit, spearmint, Pepto Bismol, orange (the fruit), and purple (the color). Which ones constituted as actual candy is debatable but generally people ate the white and yellow hearts and used the others to draw dinosaurs on the sidewalk. Necco decided to change all of that this year though and completely overhauled their popular candy, dropping the white hearts for blue ones, changing all of the flavors around, and in an overly publicized non-newsworthy event added “TWEET ME” to their archaic vocabulary of love. The new 2010 flavors of Necco Sweethearts are so terrible that it’s impossible they were an accident because a screw up of this magnitude is something that requires focused effort.
Here’s six reasons why Necco ruined Valentines Day this year.
You’d think after Necco completely tarnished the color pink by making their rosy hearts taste like a concoction used to relieve diarrhea and nausea that a step in any direction would be an improvement. Believe it or not they managed to make a “strawberry” flavor that tastes less like strawberry and more like the Fruit Roll Up that your friends dared you to eat in 9th grade after it fell behind the microwave when you were in 4th grade. There’s not even a passing resemblance to the Valentine’s Day staple fruit, just a hint of stale cotton candy without the introspective contempt of having sat in a vomit-soaked Tilt-O-Whirl seat at a seedy traveling carnival. Chocolate-covered strawberries in the context of love are even more erotic than regular strawberries but don’t even think about trying to combine a strawberry 2010 Sweetheart with a chocolate one (sold separately). You will be sent back in time.
Prior to this “gritty reboot” of the Sweethearts candy the purple hearts never really had a flavor; they were just a really poor joke at the expense of soldiers injured in war and your grandfather secretly hated you for giving him all of the purple conversation hearts. Admittedly the flavor was probably supposed to be grape but the pre-2010 version of it was so confusing and bland that it’s rumored even Einstein himself wept quietly as the answer eluded him. Today’s answer to “grape” comes close to tasting like the purple vineyard fruit we all know and love, and by “comes close” I actually mean “it has a passing resemblance to raw celery soaked in sugar water and Grape Kool-Aid”. It’s gritty (in texture not theme) and it’s depressing but it merely manages to remove one unmentionable flavor and replace it with another.
Apple is a flavor that’s extremely hit or miss with sugary confectioneries. If you’re eating Skittles they hit the nail on the head, but if you’re purchasing store-brand apple soda you’ll find yourself second, third, and fourth guessing your purchase while simultaneously wishing you’d have added Pepto Bismol (or at least pink Sweethearts circa 2009) to your grocery list. Taking a fresh mint flavor and swapping it with green apple is like an Evil Kinevel leap across an alligator-filled lake of sensory experience. Necco’s green apple doesn’t quite make the jump and is instead thoroughly raped by alligators, emerging at the shore as a wash of unpalatable sweet reminiscent of the lollipops that banks gave to kids they really really hated. I’d also like to point out that this is likely the only time you’ll read a candy flavor analogy that utilizes Evil Kinevel, rapist alligators, and banks; that’s a special trifecta. Cherish it.
This one personally offends me, really, because the original yellow Sweethearts were my favorite ones. The original yellow flavor was just “fruit”; nothing more, nothing less. We were never told what kind of fruit it was, just to let our imaginations run wild and choose for us and I settled on Orgasmberry (it’s native to Japan). Replacing that with this foul and sour excuse for candy is a sin and a flavor this bad should be condemned to the rolls of Necco wafers, the ones with a color palette made of fail and a flavor selection that even people in the 1900’s probably thought was horrible. Sweethearts’ lemon has the flavor of a Lemonhead candy which isn’t bad, but considering these hearts fall apart and turn into chalk dust once they hit your tongue the candy becomes more of a biological weapon than an actual candy.
I feel bad for orange (the fruit) because whoever came across it literally could not have cared any less when he named the newly discovered fruit; either that or it was the result of a coin flip and luck just wasn’t in Citromaniatastical’s favor that day. Orange is the only flavor that made the migration to the new cast, kind of like Josh Server sticking around on All That in the 1990’s while the show was busy going to hell. Necco really could have left orange alone and done nothing with it but of course leaving well enough alone is never good enough these days, so now they’ve made it into a heart that has the same taste and consistency of a chewable vitamin C tablet minus the benefit of a healthy dose of vitamin C. It’s a candy for those of us who want to remember all the winters our mothers made us pop chewy orange pills like addicts because she believed that cold temperatures alone harbored the flu.
There is nothing to compare this flavor to because it’s taking the place of the white mint hearts so this daring new venture into the unknown is a complete mystery. The hearts I ate said “MY BOO” and “MARRY ME” but they may as well have just had a question mark stamped onto both of them (“UR EX” would have been appropriate too). I can’t quite follow the flavor of these new and unwelcome guest hearts but they taste oddly like kid’s toothpaste with the same lingering sour aftertaste of the citrus-flavored hearts. If you could stick a little sandwich flag in a flavor that epitomized despair and hate it would be this very concoction. All in all blue raspberry is a surprise ending more awkward and confusing than the end of The Sixth Sense and only cements the fact that one of the best seasonal candies in the United States just spiraled into a vortex of ChalkZone rule 34 and failed flavoring recipes pulled out of the dumpster of the Jones Soda Company.
Originally I bought a box of Twilight-themed Sweethearts to write about because I’ve had prior experience to the continued awfulness that is the miles-long skidmark Stephanie Meyer has made on the face of modern literature. I bought this bag of “classic” Sweethearts just because I traditionally do so every year but after having eaten a few of them I decided that making fun of glittery passion fruit-flavored conversation hearts with “DAZZLE” and “BITE ME” written on them suddenly wasn’t worth the trouble anymore. Even though only a third of the original Sweethearts were edible, those two flavors made up for the mish-mash of mistakes left in the bottom of the box after you shook the good ones out and ate them. 2010’s Sweethearts flavors have nothing to back them up except a bunch of Internet-age garbage stamped onto them; an unfortunate sign of the times.
Valentine’s Day is depressing enough when you spend it by yourself, because contrary to popular belief “Hey baby I write humor on the Internet” does not function as a pick-up line and the nickname Dracophile doesn’t help either. Sitting around with other doomed-to-be-eternally-single friends drinking Mountain Dew and eating sweet chalky nothings was at least a passable way for us all to drown our sorrows but now it’s just an image of us sitting around and drinking without the candy. Last time I checked that was something I called “every other weekend of the year”.
Fuck you, Necco.
WARNING: Images in this article HAVE been censored but the content may still be considered NSFW if you’re reading this in an open environment. You have been warned.
I’ve been on the Internet a long time. I remember back when every website displayed in Times New Roman and when GeoCities websites turned up in the first pages of Google searches. The Internet was a different place back then, full of buzzing modems and ugly typewriter-looking fonts (excluding the GeoCities-made fanpage staple Comic Sans). Previously disenfranchised people such as white supremacists were able to connect with each other and talk about hating black people, hating Jews, and doubly hating Jewish black people. Social groups that were otherwise unattached with one another were given a chance to reach out and band together and one of the very first groups to do so and gain momentum was the furry fandom.
Furries claim that their fandom has been around since the eighties and even have “experts” in the fandom that agree. If “Expert of the Furry Fandom” isn’t a self-appointed title I don’t know what is, but I will say that while the tiger chick from Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like The Wolf” music video was indeed hot I find it a far stretch to say that people are dressing up like Care Bears and having sex with each other because of it. That’s like saying Richard Nixon fucked up the economy of the United States by taking us off of the gold standard in the 1960’s. It certainly wasn’t a step in the right direction but Tricky Dick isn’t responsible for toppling the economy. Dubya, his cronies, and the combined efforts of their Visas and MasterCards are. Likewise, a European pop band isn’t responsible for the word “yiff”; a bunch of Aspergers with incredibly backwards and deviant sexual desires and access to an AOL free trial CD in the early nineties were.
I don’t hate furries, really. Dracophile is a friend of mine, and I suppose Payton is as well by proxy now that we write for the same site, and both of them are moderately sane and decent people if not a little eccentric at times. The only thing I have a problem with, honestly, is all of the people from the furry fandom who are so disconnected with the world and oblivious to how fucking retarded they are that they unknowingly put on a show for the masses as they haul their Baconator-loving masses around inside of an otter fursuit in the middle of an upscale hotel. For some furries their interests are mundane and they’re only in it to draw a few pictures and make some friends and I commend them for that, even if you have to stoop as low as to draw porn of Street Sharks at least you’re making an effort to make friends. Then there are those who live and breathe furrydom like an obsession and claim that their “fursona” is a representation of who they are on the inside (“halp imma aminal trapped in a hyooman bodyyy!!!”). This article is meant to take a look at the most popular fursonas in the fandom, what their subscribers think it means, and what it actually means.
As an added bonus (and just to further piss everybody off) I’m going to be including a ranking based on each particular network of furries’ chances of being animal-humping zoophiles. Each percentage has been carefully calculated using a top secret formula that involves a dart board, sticky notes, the soundtrack to Jerry Maguire, and a six-pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
Furthermore as a DOUBLE bonus you can click any of the censored images for their uncensored counterparts!
What furries think it means: Furries who choose a dog as their fursona like to believe they’re “man’s best friend” and can get along with anybody and make lots of friends. Similarly, because canines can be pack animals their desires to surround themselves with people shows through except instead of getting together to hunt deer or something they’re all just having big doggie orgies. Canine furries portray themselves as friendly and out of all of the groups displayed are one of the ones who role play in forum posts the most, this meaning all they do is derail a thread with a one sentence reply followed by *barks happily and humps your leg*.
What it actually means: You are a sex-depraved lunatic that will latch onto whatever pant leg is closest to you and hump the everliving daylights out of it.
Probability of being a zoophile: 85%
What furries think it means: Feline furries like to imagine themselves as either coy or intelligent and take the “role playing in the middle of a serious thread” idea even a step higher by either injecting a playful anecdote or a string of cute emoticons in all of their messages to ensure they come off as playful. Cats (the real animals) are assholes by nature so this personality trait usually matches up quite nicely with whomever declares it their own, just take GatorAIDS’ lead columnist Payton as an example. He trolls churches (even though Westboro Baptist isn’t a real church); case in point.
What it actually means: You subscribe to one the most tired memes on the Internet and you probably click banner ads for Smiley Central.
Probability of being a zoophile: 47%
What furries think it means: Horses are seen as very strong and elegant animals. By adopting this image as their avatar many equine furries believe that they can capture the elegance of a wild horse as their own. I’ve personally noticed many of the “older furs” (by “old” I mean 40’s and 50’s old) adopt the horse as their fursona not because of the elegance but because it’s a symbol of fertility. Yes, the horse and his massive set of genitalia is a representation of strong sexual urges and potency, something that these newfound Viagra addicts cling onto for dear sanity.
What it actually means: You are a size queen that enjoys large (preferrably horse-sized) cocks and treat Mr. Hands as a martyr.
Probably of being a zoophile: 100%
What furries think it means: “Rodent” is actually an expansive category of animals in the furry fandom covering rats, rabbits, and bats to name a few. For the most part these three animals are generally appealing to the crowd of people who subscribe to the punk or emo lifestyle and wear body jewelry like it’s going out of style (hint: it is). Rodent furs portray themselves as edgy and grungy, something that actual rats do quite nicely considering they lack bladder control and piss constantly and use turds as directional markers — I can see the resemblance.
What it actually means: You buy everything you wear and listen to at Hot Topic and think that the “nonconformist” lifestyle makes you a beautiful and unique flower. You couldn’t be more wrong.
Probability of being a zoophile: 11%
What furries think it means: “Don’t fuck with me” is a slogan that all literal reptiles have made their own by means of adopting razor-sharp teeth, potent venom, spiky skin, the ability to squeeze you to death, or a combination of all four. Reptiles honestly are killing machines and that ultra tough exterior appeals to reptile furries (which are actually called “scalies” as I have been informed by Dracophile) who want to portray themselves as being just as rugged. The majority of artwork that I’ve seen of reptile furs consist of characters in very Southern clothing (cowboy hats, etc). I’m not going to say it’s a regional thing but…
What it actually means: You are a lazy slacker that mimics reptiles to the point where you too sleep all day, however instead of sleeping to metabolize a meal you killed yourself you’re sleeping because you just finished off that bag of Funyuns in one sitting.
Probability of being a zoophile: 23%
What furries think it means: Remember the awesome dinosaurs from Jurassic Park? Remember how incomprehensibly badass every dinosaur movie in the history of time was (except Land of the Lost)? Thinking that dinosaurs are awesome is a prerequisite for being five years old but some people don’t outgrow it and take it to a higher level because while dinosaurs are completely and totally dead forever and ever the image they represent is what appeals to dino furs. In their mental equation being a Velociraptor translates to instant badaassery, and while I do see the logic in that I regretfully acknowledge that they failed to carry over the “you’re a furry” factor in the equation.
What it actually means: You’re a worthless “scene” kid who simply follows whatever fad is currently trendy. You probably also have a Twitter and have tweeted at least 4 times while reading this article.
Probability of being a zoophile: 0.1%
What furries think it means: What could possibly be more powerful than a dragon? Barring [insert god here] nothing, that’s right. Furries who portray themselves as a dragon sought out the epitome of strength and intelligence: the completely made-up and over-powered mythical dragon. By becoming a dragon one is untouchable and impervious to everything (except stairs) and that’s exactly what gets these folks off. Well, that and a heaping helping of vore fetishes.
What it actually means: You are scrawny and insecure about yourself so you picked the most powerful thing you could think of.
Probability of being a zoophile: 35%
What furries think it means: Foxes are a symbol of beauty and in some respects innocence as well as they are often either portrayed as a damsel in distress (see Star Fox Adventures) or a hero (see Star Fox 64); hell “foxy” is even a synonym for “attractive” or “sexy” — everybody wants to bone foxes. An Internet comedian before me once said that foxes are the gateway drug to the furry fandom and that “everybody starts out as one.” Whether your poison is Miles “Tails” Prower or Disney’s Robin Hood choosing a fox as your fursona is a symbol of being a neophyte, a placeholder avatar that you will replace in the future. For now you just want to get your yiffin’ on.
What it actually means: You are one of the most unoriginal people on the planet and probably have no idea what “furry” is or the Hell you have just walked into.
Probability of being a zoophile: Any of the previous categories.
[Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on RFSHQ.com on May 13th, 2007. It was re-written and posted to GatorAIDS in 2010, the article below is the GatorAIDS version.]
My job as a game columnist is to be able to play games, take screenshots or other footage of said games, and then blast the holy hell out of them. This is incredibly easy to do when it comes to using console emulators on a computer and the first time I was made aware of them in middle school started a fire that’ll likely burn the rest of my life. Emulation is a godsend for those of us who want to play classic video games but either A) cannot afford to spend $50 for The Legend of Zelda on eBay, B) don’t feel like blowing into a cartridge ten times, or C) both A and B except instead of Zelda the game is Action 52. My answer choice is C. There is a certain threshold however wherein at some point playing console games with a QWERTY keyboard becomes cumbersome and difficult and the Nintendo 64 marked this point by featuring a controller with an analog stick, a D-pad, a trigger, two shoulder buttons, and six face buttons all wrapped up in a design that required at least three hands to hold.
Certain retailers online have been offering USB interfaces for use with authentic console controllers for years but it was only at this particular time that I discovered I really needed one. After some shopping around that consisted of me looking for the absolute cheapest deal on eBay and nothing else I found an adapter that would suit my needs perfectly. For reasons unknown it is colloquially known as the “Boom Adapter” and features support for not only a Nintendo 64 controller but a PlayStation one as well, you know, for all of those times I say “you know what would make Super Mario 64 better? Some Spyro the Dragon.” I was floored because just prior to mashing the BUY IT NOW button I had downloaded an entire Blockbuster Video’s worth of games to play and I eagerly awaited my package; however when the actual box arrived I tore it open only to stare into a portable version of Hell itself. As I gazed into the abyss, this gazed back.
If the suffering of mankind could be summarized in just one picture (and with a smattering of broken English for good measure) this was it. What had I gotten myself into? What exactly is going on with this box? Furthermore why in the hell does this even include a floppy disk? Does anybody even use those anymore? Why all the colors? Why the Comic Sans MS font? Why? Why? WHY? “Highly compatibility”? “Extra stable”? The box provided more questions than answers so I did the only rational thing I could think of. I flipped it over and read the back.
In hindsight I don’t really know why I flipped the box over. I guess I was hoping the other side would say “haha just kidding” and would have instructions and details printed in perfect fucking English… but no, just the same wacky show except with even more graphics for added redundancy. (You mean that with this PSX+N64 converter I can actually use PSX and N64 controllers?!) It’s like the people (or person most likely) that put this together has no understanding of how either console works; I know of no Dance Dance Revolution pad that plugs into the Nintendo 64. Why bother explaining how you don’t need a power source for this device — why would you need one to begin with? It’s an over-glorified plug converter not a god damn multi-port hub. You just plug it in, that’s what “Plug & Play” actually means. There is no reason to complicate it and there is absolutely no way that I believed the phrase “Plug & Play” when I saw it.
Scanning the back of the box I finally find the system requirements and much to my dismay it appears I have the completely wrong operating system for this thing; I don’t have “Eindows 95”. Not all hope is lost, though, because for what I don’t have (Eindows) I make up for by having about forty-eight USB ports so the “any USB port” requirement is satisfied. If I can meet this adapter halfway perhaps it can compromise too and only let me use one of the two adapter ports (Nintendo 64 please).
Against my better judgment I opened the box and pulled out the translucent blue adapter and with it came a purple floppy disk; the kind you can buy in a 50-pack at Office Depot. The vendor I bought this from guaranteed this was indeed a “Plug & Play” device so I plugged my controller into the adapter and plugged the adapter into my computer and… wait for it… nothing happened. There’s a little diode and a switch on the side of the adapter so maybe it just wasn’t on the correct setting. I fooled with the switch and watched the little light go from red to green and back to red again as I turned it left to right. From what I collected green is “not working” mode and red is “not working even more than green” mode. I tried using another program to map the controller buttons to the keyboard but it was no use, the adapter lay silent and deaf much like the 14-year-old child laborer who probably assembled it.
Desperate for help I went to the last available place I could think of to fix my problem: the dreaded purple floppy disk of death. Knowing full well if the adapter didn’t work at all there was a solid chance that putting this disk into my computer may actually send it back in time. Contained on the diskette was a worthless configuration file made for Windows (Eindows) 98 and a readme file in Microsoft Word. I knew that opening the readme was a dumb idea but I did it anyway just for the hell of it if not for actual help by this point. Upon opening the file I was greeted with painfully generic instructions telling me that the adapter should have been recognized immediately along with some other equally worthless tips that include, and I quote:
“But we STRONGLY SUGGEST you to download the Microsoft DirectX 8.1 and install this Microsoft driver, it’s best solution for you! Your computer can automatic detect ALL the USB convertor / USB joypad / USB steering wheel ……etc!”
“If you have installed the OLD version DirectX before, you can use this DirectX Uninstall Software – ” DirectX Buster V2.1 Beta 4 ” to uninstall your old version DirectX then reinstall the newest version late.”
“When you have installed the DirectX 8.1 already but your SONY joypad is not working well, it’s your SONY joypad compatible cause, please replace another brand PS joypad to test it again.”
And finally at the very bottom of the document I find this:
“BUT for the N64 joypad, isn’t ALL joypad can working steady since the structure of N64 joypad is very complex, so we can’t 100% guarantee your N64 joypad can 100% work.”
Even they admit the Nintendo 64 controller is fucking insane and use it as the scapegoat for why their adapter is nothing more than a glorified drink coaster. Despite all of this they were nice enough to end this document quite ironically with something that should have been emblazoned on the front of the fucking box:
“You have to think over it before you decide to buy this device.”
Well gee, thanks a lot you assholes. Before you advise me to not buy your product I have to actually buy your product first. I could go on and on about how that kind of recursive loop could destroy the space/time continuum but instead I think I’ll just unplug this godforsaken “adapter” and fix a wobbly table with it. In the end I got shafted out of a total of $15 for a piece of crap that I didn’t want to pay a lot of money for. This fixed absolutely zero of my problems so I decided to pony up the money and spent $35 on an Adaptoid. It’s made in the USA and wouldn’t you know, the second I plugged it in my computer said “hey you’re doing something with a game controller aren’t you? Let me help you with that.” My computer is so friendly.
Fuck you, Boom Adapter.
Well, about a week ago I posted here in regards to this “hacking” that took place on Twitter supposedly carried out by the “iRANiAN.CYBER.ARMY”, a group I assume is comprised entirely of Iranian 11-year-olds who are unable to get their pilots licenses yet so rather than waste time playing with trash and AK-47’s they took the liberty of jazzing up Twitter late 90’s style.
I wanted to be all over this like some kind of a racist joke about rice or Ethiopians so I sent an email out to this “army” posing as a Norwegian news reporter. My email, as you can probably still see on the front page of GatorAIDS.com, was mostly a stab at them thinly veiled as an interview. Honestly in hind sight that was probably a stupid move and they might have bombed my house but then again these people were dumb enough to use Gmail and that’s unfortunately the nail in the casket here; I emailed them and the next day when I checked my inbox I had that ominous message from the MAILER DAEMON informing me that my message delivery was “permanently failed forever” or something equally as insulting and demeaning. Thanks Google, thanks for telling me that I EPIC PHAIL’D LOLZ on sending terrorists an email.
I’ve attempted to look into this “news” further since it happened so I’d have at least something of merit to say but honestly trying to search for anything just brings up an equal portion of idiot bloggers echoing the sentiment “OH NOEZ TEH TWITTAR WAS HAXORD ;______;” and politically-skewed news websites trying to groundlessly tie this into some kind of Anti-American attack ON AMERICAAAAAAATERRORISMMMBLARGH. After wading through all of this nonsense online I have come to this conclusion: Twitter fucking deserved it, and they deserve to have it happen again. Just look at how stupid the people who take it as SRS BIZNZ are acting about it. Seriously. Twitter barely passes as “social media”, it’s more like text message trash that you’d never want to read and had the pool of Tweets not been tainted by middle-schoolers talking about how they want to bang the cast of Avatar or whatever maybe Twitter would have sufficed as a kind of syndication if RSS hadn’t been developed some five fucking billion years ago.
Where’s the job application for that CYBER ARMY OF IRAN because I’d like to be in on their next op.
For those of you who don’t use Twitter or follow the news or even pay any attention to the Internet Twitter was hacked the other day (lol Faux Newz). Even more hilarious than the fact that someone was ballsy enough to try and hack such a worthless website is the fact that it was done by the iRANiAN.CYBER.ARMY (it helps to play a dramatic sting in your head when reading that). I totally didn’t embellish that name at all, that’s what these jokers seriously called themselves and rumor has it that they attacked Twitter as an anti-American effort online… while their provided contact information is a GMail address. I’m not sure if these people are just oblivious or completely retarded but GMail is something located in the United States, so nice job contradicting yourselves there guys, mad props to you. They must have called Google Tech Support and gotten an outsourced call and thought they were one of their own.
But while we’re on the subject of GMail I noticed that they did indeed provide a means to contact them, so under the guise of “Robert Maestro” I sent them the following email. I’ll let you know what their response is as soon as I get it assuming they don’t blow my house up first.
On behalf of a virtually unknown media outlet in Norway I would like to first commend you for the undertaking of disabling Twitter! I couldn’t help but notice that you left this email address as a means to contact you because you are Xxx-HaRdKoRe-1337-xxX hackers so please, I invite you to answer just a few questions for an assignment I have been given. Taking out a popular American service used only by 13 year olds to flirt with each other, soccer moms who want to inform the world of their latest bowel movement, and furries to promote their equally atrocious work is certainly one of the biggest accomplishments that will be seen in this passing decade! It will absolutely make the list of things in VH1’s sure-to-be-upcoming “I Love The 00’s”, just think how great it will be to hear Z-list American “celebrities” like Flava Flav and Bil Dwyer comment on YOUR work!
Firstly, I must ask you – why Twitter? Now, I am definitely not trying to assign inappropriate and racist labels, but the defacing of websites is normally called “cyber-terrorism” all over the world. Do you think that perhaps there are other, perhaps bigger, “priority targets” out there online? What about MySpace? That website is full of music that makes people commit hate crimes and also bisexual women of dubious origins named Tila Tequila who get bad reality TV shows, but mostly just the music and hate crimes part. Even Facebook, what with all of those “mature” college-aged students posting pictures of them at drunken frat parties or giving fellatio to a goat (at drunken frat parties)? Wikipedia would be great for some covert ops because they never have their things together so your attacks would be small and go unnoticed for months until you pull the big heist! I’d say that taking out Twitter in the wide spectrum of things is a rather moot accomplishment because it’s mostly text message vomit but I’d really love to hear the story behind it.
Secondly, I’m just going to have to come on out and ask this, what’s with the “HACKED BY” image you left on Twitter? I mean, I’ve been using the Internet for a very long time and the last time I saw an image like that was in the late nineties whenever some script kiddie hacked a Pokemon fansite that he didn’t like and wanted to get back at the webmaster for ripping him off in a card trading deal. I am not speaking from personal experience, I promise. But really, the black background and bright red text with random capitalizations? You’re Iran!! You couldn’t think of anything scarier or more ominous than that? If you’re going to take the Internet as SERIOUS business then it’s gonna take a lot more than a picture of a flag and some red letters in Birch STD to scare someone. Birch STD isn’t even a scary font, you gotta whip out the serious guns like Impact or Jokerman if you want to get a point across, because Impact says “hey you, you listen here mister”.
Finally, my last question, you’re a “cyber army”. Does this mean you’re an entity affilaited with the Iran government? If you are then why are you using an email address provided by GMail? Is there not an [email protected] address available? I mean, I know it must take some serious balls to say “hey Twitter take this” and completely deface the website and prevent people from knowing which celebrity Ashton Kutcher is taking pictures of with his Nikon camera but you gotta have that government email address as that final detail on your masterpiece to say “yeah we totally did this also Twitter sucks”.
Can’t wait to hear back for my story and thanks for your time!
– Robert Maestro
Senior Editor in Chief, Worldly News Weekly