Friday, June 26, 2009

Insti-Comics: The Death of Michael Jackson

"Insti-Comics" are those comics I occasionally draw really quickly, without thinking about it, about something happening in the news. They stink, which is why I don't do them very often. Case in point, this gem on the recent death of Michael Jackson:

You know how when someone tells you, "X died today," and it might be unexpected, so you react with something like, "But he seemed so healthy," or "I just saw him yesterday and he was behaving in a manner that was totally in keeping with his usual character," or whatever.

Well, I have to say that I was not terribly surprised that Michael Jackson died yesterday. He made some very entertaining music, but over the last few years he had morphed into a small, frail elderly woman, rarely venturing out in public without a cane and wrapped in swaddling bandages.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

RE: 8 Wedding Songs to Skip

If you must get married, why must you have a wedding? So that a bunch of people you don't like can get together and eat your food and leave you crummy gifts, and copulate in the coat closet?

So who the hell cares what song you play at the wedding? Well, some jerk at MSN, that's who. She wrote an article about 8 Wedding Songs to Skip. Among the insights:

3. "Stayin' Alive" — Bee Gees
Why to Skip It: There aren't too many people who know more than one line and one dance move to this song — leave "Stayin' Alive" to the Saturday Night Fever reruns.

4. "Every Breath You Take" — The Police
Why to Skip It: The Police are legendary, but the tune is a little high school dance-ish, and the line "Every move you make ... I'll be watching you" is a little stalker-ish.

If you must get married, and you must have a wedding, then pick whatever song you want. Who cares if some jerk from MSN doesn't think your song is "well known" enough, or it's "a little stalker-ish." Your wedding day is by definition already ruined. The song choice is the least of your problems.

That said, how about some choices for songs that people should use at their weddings?

Here are some of my choices:

"Let's Live Together" by Robbie Fulks.

This is a lovely paean to what used to be called "living in sin," i.e., shacking up without going to the trouble of making it legal, by a great "insurgent" country artist who deserves to have his songs played at more weddings. It's true he's got some more romantic songs, really, "Push Right Over" is probably more appropriate to a wedding, but this song has the great lines

Yeah, let's live together: these ain't the cave times
I'm not a hunter-gatherer, or a backwater Baptist
I want your lovin', I don't want babies
So let's live together, sweetheart.

that serve as a nice reminder of what you could have, if only you didn't walk down that aisle.

"Gaucho" by Steely Dan.

This is a sort of pre-emptive strike. The spouse will cheat anyway, so why not choose a song about infidelity? Moreover, why not choose a song with lyrics that are wildly open to interpretation? (I know, Steely Dan has a lot of songs about infidelity with lyrics open to interpretation, that's howcome I like them so much.)

Who is the gaucho amigo
Why is he standing
In your spangled leather poncho
And your elevator shoes
Bodacious cowboys
Such as your friend
Will never be welcome here
High in the Custerdome

"Doctor Wu" might be more "romantic," but imagine my surprise when I heard the whole family singing along (pass out a lyric sheet or something) and putting everything they've got into that "Hiiiighh in the Cuuuusterdooomme!" Best wedding ever.

"I'm Going Out With an 80 Year Old Millionaire" by Kirsty MacColl.

The lovely Kirsty MacColl wrote some painfully romantic songs like "Soho Square" that would probably be more "appropriate" for love in the early stages, before things have gotten far enough along to be ruined by marriage. But "I'm Going Out With an 80 Year Old Millionaire" gets to the heart of why most people engage the marriage contract: finance:

Reporters all ask me if I'd ever switch
But I'd never leave him 'cos he's far too rich
You might want to punch me but you won't dare
'Cos I'm going out with an 80 year old millionaire

80 year old millionaires in the family will get a kick out of this song, too.

"Me Myself I" by Joan Armatrading.

"Kissin' and a Huggin'," "Warm Love," "Heaven," "Love and Affection," "Cool Blue Stole My Heart," "A Woman in Love," on and on. Joan Armatrading has written so many beautiful songs that express the genuine and touching emotional connection that two people can share. However, as good as those songs are, none of them contain what is the greatest line ever written in any song, ever:

It's not that I love myself
I just don't want company

Perfect for the couple who knows that the secret to a long and successful relationship is staying the hell away from each other.

"Let it Blow" by Richard Thompson.

In less than five minutes, the great Richard Thompson covers a relationship from the meeting, to the wedding, to the disinterest, to the impotence, to the cheating, to the divorce, to the meeting the next bride. Imagine the new in-laws singing along with the following lines:

When the bride’s veil lifted, his mind soon drifted
At least that’s what happened before
As she lay on the sand, he said, isn’t it grand?
I bring all of my wives to this spot
Meanwhile his eye did stray to the ample bustier
Of a novelty dancer from Penge

The word "bustier" in a song automatically makes it great, and a must-play at your wedding. Why can't I say that? It's just as logical as that bone-head article at MSN.

"Stupid" by Jeff Porterfield.

This one's a bit "on the nose," because of the title (after all, getting married is stupid), but there's also a wonderful line about the manipulation of one person by another.

You call me up all out of breath
You need me now as more than a friend
I leap up and drop everything so you and I can meet
How bloody dumb and f*cking stupid can I be?

The kids especially are going to love to stomp their feet around the dance floor while this music is playing. You will too- listen and try to resist. You cannot.

Oh, wow I guess that article really irritated me, because I have spent entirely too much time on this blog entry. But if it's helped you, the reader, to get some great ideas for songs to play at your wedding, then I haven't really done my job, because you should not get married at all.

Leave the "Yellow Rose Boy" Alone!

When popular film actress Megan Fox was at the London premiere of the movie "Transformers 2: Revenge of the First Movie," an enterprising person somehow got past security and attempted to present her with a yellow rose.

For all we know, the rose was covered in sweet-smelling poison.

For all we know, the rose was covered in innocent romantic longing.

Either way, Ms. Fox swatted this person away as she brushed past with the security that should have tackled the kid before getting close enough to do any real damage.

The slight was captured by a camera in a photo that has "rocked" the "internet":

For whatever reason, the "Yellow Rose Boy" has gone into hiding. Except, Kodak is offering someone a $5,000 reward for information about his identity:

In an attempt to foster a new relationship with two amazing people, Kodak urges the "Rose Boy" to come forward and identify himself so that the company can help arrange a real rose exchange. To help accelerate his prompt identification, Kodak will offer $5,000 to the first person who can provide verifiable information that enables Kodak to make this connection happen. Kodak will also cover travel costs for the young man and his family to help allow destiny to take its course, and provide cameras for him to capture the moment.

(Italics added.)

Kodak isn't offering the $5K to the Yellow Rose Boy- they're offering it to anyone who rats him out. Hasn't this kid suffered enough? The picture's been all over the internet since this happened on June 16. Now this person has got to contend with acquaintances and family members (no doubt hard-hit by the recession) who might need a little extra scratch contacting Kodak and giving them the street address.

Leave the "Yellow Rose Boy" Alone!

And, for that matter, leave Megan Fox alone- she's got a bunch of comic book film adaptations to make.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sex Decoy: Love Stings: Not to be Too Hyperbolic, but This is the Most Disappointing Show of All Time

I've finally gotten around to watching the first few episodes of what I had hoped would be my favorite new television show, Fox Reality's "Sex Decoy: Love Stings." This show has two great titles, and two great premises- it's sort of a family business reality show mixed with "Cheaters," which is a show I admire very much.

Unfortunately, "Love Stings" stinks.

The show follows a woman called Sandra Hope, who runs a private investigation service called "Mate Check Private Investigations" in Arizona. They specialize in catching cheating husbands/boyfriends by setting up "stings," in which the men are tempted with the prospect of sex with an attractive woman.

The twist is that Sandra uses her own attractive daughters as the "bait."

Ms. Hope seems to have had some kind of premonition that her daughters would either be strippers or detectives (at least two of the three currently work as strippers), because each comes equipped with a name appropriate to either line: Kashmir, Jasmine, and Xanadu.

Then again, maybe those are aliases. If I were a star of this show, I'd probably call myself "Chase" or "Islander," or "Hunky."

The episodes begin with this completely untraditional family doing something banal, such as visiting the putt-putt course, making a cake in the kitchen, or just lounging by the pool, sunbathing. Then they'll get a call from a "client," and Ms. Hope takes the call right there, with cameras rolling.

They're all such bad actors that, somehow, it all feels so staged.

The clients are then met, and the women relay their concerns about their partners. One woman, whose boyfriend is an "artist," caught him grinding up against women in a nightclub- his excuse for this was that he was scouting new models to paint.

Not to be too glib, that is actually a really good excuse, since an artist should be intimately acquainted with his subjects. "You have to see with your hands," is my own artistic motto.

At this point Ms. Hope asks the client if she wants to set up a sting. Because that is the point of the show, the client always wants to set up a sting, so Ms. Hope follows that question by asking the client what type of woman would be most tempting to the man in question.

Touchingly, the answer to this question is often, "Someone who looks like me."

At this point I, as the viewer, should be fighting back tears.

Ms. Hope then has to decide which of her daughters to tart up and send in for the sting. However, if her loins for some reason were unable to produce a daughter with the right look, she will hire another woman. The women she hires- the freelancers- are invariably skilled at what they do, and should probably get their own shows.

The daughters, however, are still learning and aren't always as good at it. In one episode, the youngest, Xanadu, made such a fumbling attempt at seduction that I thought I was watching myself in a blond wig. And she was going after an MMA fighter/singer in a local rock band! Anyone with a pulse should be able to seduce a man like that (and by the way, are the "clients" actually paying for the services depicted on this show- if so, in this case, I would ask for a refund). In another, all Jasmine had to do was promise to let the man use the backdoor.

At this point, Ms. Hope's boyfriend/business partner, Tom goes somewhere they know the men will be. He sets up hidden cameras and they send in the women and wait for the men to behave like men.

This footage is shown to the clients, who are then asked if they want to continue on to the final sting. Since there's a half hour to fill each episode, you can bet they do. More cameras are set up, and the clients watch live in an RV (which somehow seems appropriate) while the man gets stung.

Generally, once the men start kissing the decoys, the women leave the RV for the confrontation. The men are incredulous at the presence of the girlfriend/fiancee and the cameras ("What the heck is this?"), then indignant ("So you paid people to go in our house and put up a camera in our place?" "I'll see you in a couple of days then, then you f*cking come back," "She didn't ask me if I had a fiancee, she asked me if I had a girlfriend").

At this point, the men either accept that they've been "stung," and are ready to move on ("The only problem with Tondra is she is one girl, and not 100 girls") or not ("I'm in a situation where I'm part guilty, but people are antagonizing the situation").

I suppose there is one lesson that can be gleaned from the show (other than "don't watch"): If you're not sexually compatible with someone, don't remain with him/her. In either the first or second episode, a woman whose live-in boyfriend is getting a little too close to her live-in sister has the following exchange with him, after he's been stung:

"I don't have anal sex. I'm not gonna sit up there and have anal sex with you."

"That's a problem that I been tryin' to--"

"Yeah, that's part of the problem, so go ahead and bounce... I'm not gonna have anal sex; it don't feel good to me."

For myself, I always make sure my romantic partners can handle my purple frot habit. It's just common sense. If one of you wants to do something the other doesn't, cheating will inevitably ensue. It might be an interest in certain sexual positions, and it might be an interest in having multiple partners.

So that's the lesson: don't watch.

Bonus: Here is a real Private Investigator's take on the show:

The content of the “Sex Decoy Love Stings reality show” is pure trailer trash with a badge, exaggerated situations, set up “stings” with so-called private investigators entrapping their clients boyfriends with the stripper daughters of the madam PI boss Sandra Hope, absolutely unbelievable.

Funny family portrait pic source.

Monday, June 22, 2009

EXCLUSIVE! Jon & Kate Plus 8 Announcement: Kate is NOT the Mother of Jon's 8 Children!

This is a shocker! Kate Gosselin is NOT the mother of Jon Gosselin's children! The stars of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" have been living a lie, but my sources tell me that Kate only recently became aware of the situation, and is devastated!

"It is devastating to me to learn that I am NOT the mother of these eight wonderful children," my source quotes Kate Gosselin as confiding.

Apparently, Kate learned that she was not the childrens' mother last summer, but has tried to stay with Jon for the sake of the children.

"It's a lie, and Kate is full of integrity. She could not continue living this way."

The news was especially devastating to Kate, who only recently learned all of the childrens' names.

This is a breaking story, check back here for updates.

Their happiness was a lie. The children are not Kate's. Jon gets everything.

Pic source.

Improving on classic Jimmy Olsen/Superman comics

I've been reading DC Showcase Presents: Superman Family Volume 1, a huge 550+ page book that reprints, in black and white, "classic" mid 1950s issues of "Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen." These 8 page stories, mostly written by Otto Binder, are classics of surrealism, at least as good as anything Arrabal or Lecomte put out. This was most likely an accident of necessity- comics in general were burdened with the intrusive "comics code," and at the time the character Superman could do basically anything, from super ventriloquism to "breaking the time barrier." So how do you challenge such a character? And, why does a being who's practically a god hang around with a twerp like the Daily Planet's cub reporter, helping him to stage a "Boy Olympics" (where he teaches some boys to ride a tandem bike), or compete in a marble championship (he teaches Jimmy to use marbles), or helping Jimmy diet so he can become a jockey (he creates a menu for Jimmy, and hangs around him to make sure he follows it)?

Those are some intense creative hurdles for any writer. But Otto Binder was up to the task. The stories presented in the book are sensationally strange, but at 8 pages, they do occasionally seem to run a bit long. For that reason, and in a twist worthy of one of Otto Binder's Jimmy Olsen stories, I started imagining the words "The End" appearing at the bottom of random panels, 3 or 4 pages into the stories.

The results only improved the stories, as suggested by the images I photoshopped below:

Bonus: Doesn't Cyrus Colby, sponsor and promoter of Target Brand Marbles look suspiciously like comedian and actor Norm MacDonald? If someone ever does a film adaptation of "The King of Marbles," from "Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen" issue no. 7, I hope he gets the part.

Norm MacDonald pic source.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jane Austen's "Daisy of Love" Chapter 8


The five remaining gentlemen assembled in the kitchen. There they stood, awaiting their beloved Daisy; and soon their waiting was rewarded by the sight of the object of their sweetest affections, descending the elegant marble staircase.

She and her manservant, Mr. Rachtman, stood before them. Daisy said, "The French have a saying- La nourriture est la vie. This is one of the many sayings by which I have guaged the course of my life."

The gentlemen nodded their agreement. It was indeed a worthy estimation shared by everyone of their station. That is why they employed their servants, and dined in the finest eating establishments. Because La nourriture est la vie.

"For that reason," Daisy persisted, "I am much enamored of the gentleman who is able to cook. I enjoy eating the fruits of my intended's labor, all the while maintaining my ladylike figure. Today, I shall observe your skills as chefs here in my kitchen, as you prepare for my dining amusement a five-course meal!"

The gentlemen glanced at one another, their minds racing. Cooking was one pursuit that none of them pursued. Sinister's previous attempts at cooking were of a dish he whimsically referred to as a "Trailer Park Pizza," which consisted of a slice of bread smothered in catsup, and then covered with a slice of cheese. This was then left in the sun until the cheese had melted.

For his part, Flex's last cooking experience had been to boil a packet of Asian soup.

This is the kind of food Daisy's suitors usually cook. The reason for this is that they are all young go-getters with little time for things like "cooking."

They also probably cook with a lot of this, too.

As if reading their troubled minds, Mr. Rachtman explained, "Because you are gentlemen and, therefore, likely unskilled in the culinary arts, our kitchen servants have been charged with providing assistance and guidance in your quest to impress the lady Daisy's palette."

At this point the gentlemen noted the presence of the four servants standing a few feet from them. Despite the drabness of their dark clothing, the gentlemen were surprised to note that the two women servants had appearances that were pleasing to their eyes, and might perhaps make excellent consolation prizes should their wooing of Daisy end in heartbreak.

No; the gentlemen were there to impress Daisy.

Flex was especially determined to impress her with his culinary skills, despite the fact that they were nonexistent. "I shall show her that I can cook," he thought to himself, "even though I cannot."

The gentlemen were given one and one half hours in which to cook their individual dishes in the proposed five-course dinner. Flex would be preparing Chicken Cordon Bleu, Dave a Red Velvet Cake, Sinister a lasagna, Chi Chi French Onion soup, and Big Rig a zucchini quiche.

"This shall be the best thing Daisy has ever had in her mouth," Big Rig thought, hopefully.

The menu was charmingly out of date, obviously, but this was part of Daisy's cunning. It would allow the gentlemen to display classic cooking skills, while not being too taxing for gentlemen used to being served, rather than serving.

"Why are you crying again?" Big Rig asked Chi Chi.

"I am not crying," Chi Chi replied. "I am merely slicing onions for soup." He wiped away another tear.

Big Rig laughed. "Your tears are of an emotional and sensible nature, having nothing to do with cooking!"

Flex was surprised to discover that he was becoming most aroused by the sensual nature of the endeavor. Hammering the chicken with a tenderizer brought to mind situations most romantic, and he could not help but see the face of his beloved in the meat.

Chi Chi, having recovered from his onion slicing, set the perfect table with black tablecloth, candles, champagne, and rose petals. Dave said, in a charmingly self-deprecating tone, "Who would have thought that a group of gentlemen such as ourselves in the kitchen could produce such a fine meal?"

The gentlemen eagerly took their places at the table, with Daisy and Mr. Rachtman joining them. The first dish to be served was Big Rig's quiche.

"What is quiche?" Daisy asked, playfully.

"Is it supposed to be runny?" Mr. Rachtman asked, with equal playfulness.

Upon hearing of the ingredients, Daisy gave several gasps of appreciation. "I don't know how you could have cooked such a complicated dish!" she exclaimed.

Then, upon tasting it, she exclaimed again. "This is good!"

Everyone at the table agreed.

The next course consisted of Chi Chi's French onion soup, which met with equal praise. Chi Chi felt his small body swell with pride. "Any time I can make Daisy happy is a good day for me," he thought, tenderly.

Sinister's lasagna was next. He'd gone to the trouble to place upon the dish a signature of sorts, topping it off with a noodles arranged in a motif of skull and crossbones.

"Yum!" Daisy said.

Flex served his Chicken Cordon Bleu.

"Is it supposed to be pink?" Daisy asked, again playfully. She was having a bit of fun pretending to be completely ignorant of the fine and delicious food with which she was being wooed.

"There's ham in it," Flex replied, with his typically wry tone.

"I am shocked," Daisy conceded. "As gentlemen, I am sure you all employ servants to do your cooking for you, and sot he skills you've displayed are quite impressive."

"Do not speak too hastily," Dave said, jokingly. "You have yet to taste the desert!" He retrieved the red velvet cake he'd made, and in doing so thought, "I know how Daisy loves her sweets, and 12 Pack is a sweet gentleman." Then, he hastily corrected his own misspeaking mind: "I mean, of course, that 'Dave' is a sweet gentleman."

"This cake is most delicious of all!" Daisy exclaimed.

"I can't believe how well you all did," Mr. Rachtman complained. "Unfortunately, there is little with which to find fault."

Daisy nodded her head gravely. "Therein lies the trouble," she said. "I fear it will be difficult to decide the winner of this challenge, and who shall join me on the most romantic date I have planned for tomorrow morning." She used a napkin to elegantly wipe away the remains of red velvet cake from her lips, and surveyed the final five gentlemen. Each of them had their own unique faults and strengths. Each of them was undoubtedly a gentleman. Each of them had performed today's task with admirable equanimity. Each of them was physically attractive.

Her reverie was interrupted by an idea that suddenly occurred to her, an idea which she now articulated to the assembled gentlemen: "I should like to hear each of you tell me, in your turn, which gentleman you believe to be the most compatible with me, and which you believe to be the least compatible with me." She hastened to add, "Of course, you cannot vote for yourself in either case."

The gentlemen's faces betrayed the mixed emotions this new task inspired. Flex believed the choice should have been easy; having tasted every dish, he knew his Chicken Cordon Bleu was the best. Dave felt merely uncomfortable. Why should they help Daisy to make her decision from amongst the five of them?

Daisy turned to Chi Chi. "Who do you think is the most compatible, and who the least?"

Chi Chi hesitated only a moment before stating, earnestly, "If it's not me you want, I believe Sinister would be your most compatible. He, too, follows a musical muse-"

Mr Rachtman interrupted him. "You always say Sinister," he pointed out. "No matter what the situation."

Indeed, Daisy could not help but find herself wondering, yet again, if Sinister and Chi Chi were there for each other, or for her.

Chi Chi said, "I truly feel that way."

"And who is least compatible with me?" Daisy continued.

Here, Chi Chi answered with less alacrity. "Although this person is one who has stated that he enjoys a duel- despite their being mostly out of vogue- and is willing to face prison time to fight anyone who besmirches his character, I would have to say that I believe Big Rig is least compatible with you." He quickly turned to Big Rig and said, "I mean no disrespect to you. I merely mean that you two come from completely different worlds; hers is a world of charm and elegance, and then, well, you come from your world..." he said, his voice trailing off.

"I won't duel with you now," Big Rig replied.

Daisy now turned her attention to Sinister. "The same question to you," she said, elegantly.

"First, I will start with the person I think is least compatible, which is Big Rig," Sinister said, flinching involuntarily.

Big Rig had made no movement, merely glared at him.

"As to who is most compatible," Sinister began, only to hear his own voice become arrested mid-sentence. He sat in the chair, agonizing over the decision. He racked his mind for any sign of a perceived spark between his good friend Chi Chi and Daisy; but, alas, he could remember none.

"Please answer the question," Mr. Rachtman said. "It is ungentlemanly to waste our time."

"Flex," Sinister said, finally. "I think Flex is your most compatible."

"Excuse me," Chi Chi said, fighting back tears for the second time that day. He rushed out of the dining area and into the bathroom, where he and his tears could be alone.

"If rushing out of the room in tears at the slightest provocation doesn't prove that Daisy and I are soulmates, then I don't know what will," he thought.

Sinister rushed to the bathroom door. "Are you alright in there, my friend?"

"I'm fine," Chi Chi said. "I merely have a slight case of diarrhea from your lasagna. Rest assured I'm suffering from nothing so unmanly as offence to the point of tears by your choosing Flex over me."

"Okay," Sinister said, reassured. "Just so you're okay."

At length, Chi Chi returned to the dinner table. He could hardly fault his gentleman friend for speaking his honest opinion. After all, each man wanted what was best for Daisy.

"Now that we're all back at the table," Daisy said, "Big Rig, I pose the question to you."

"I feel Flex is most compatible, and Chi Chi is least." He gestured in Chi Chi's direction, and all eyes at the table turned to see Chi Chi's downcast countenance staring morosely at the empty plate before him. "Emotional-wise, he cannot handle a woman like you," he said, with grammar made questionable by his fervent desire for Daisy.

"Dave?" Daisy asked.

"Wait," Mr. Rachtman interrupted. "Who is 'Dave'?"

Daisy gestured toward Dave. "The gentleman formerly known as '12 Pack,'" she clarified.

Mr. Rachtman stared at Dave, slack-jawed.

"Yeah," Dave said, proudly. "'12 Pack' is called 'Dave' now." He then turned his attention to the important question at hand. "I would say Chi Chi is least compatible, while Flex is most compatible. Though Flex is youthful, he is determined and gentlemanly."

"And Flex?" Daisy asked.

"I would say 12 Pack- I mean, Dave- is most compatible. He has a good job and a successful side career as a reality television contestant, and understands the vaguaries of fame. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Chi Chi, who is least compatible."

Daisy nodded her head, musing. "This has truly opened my eyes to some things that perhaps I was blind to before," she thought. "I have decided, that since you all seem to have come to some consensus about Flex being the most compatible, then he shall be taken on the special solo date I have planned for tomorrow. Then, later in the day, both Big Rig and Chi Chi shall accompany me for another, slightly less festive affair. There I shall decide for myself if you're correct that they are the least compatible with me."

The other men think Flex is most compatible with Daisy de la Hoya. This is an insult, and I wouldn't take it if I were him.

Their bodies and souls thus satiated, they retired to the garden for some good-natured revelry, where they put into practice another favorite famous French saying, Le revelry est la vie. Seated before the fire, Sinister and Daisy displayed their connection through song, joining in a moving duet, each singing,

My love is true,
My love for you,
Is deeper than,
The deepest tan,

Moving all nearly to tears, before Daisy rose from her spot on the rock wall and declared, "I should like to retire for the evening."

Sinister rose, put down his guitar, and embraced her tenderly. "I feel we have a wonderful connection," he stated. "Our shared musical endeavor just proved that."

"Indeed," she agreed. Then she asked Dave to accompany her to her room.

Sinister, feeling gloomy as his name implied, went to the bar to mix himself a drink. "How could she take Dave to her bedchamber, after the deep and true love song we sang together?" he asked the aether. Then, to Flex, he asked, "Where is the vodka?"

"12 Pack- I mean, Dave- took it to Daisy's bedchamber," Flex said, helpfully.

"How am I to make a Tom Collins without vodka?"

"A Tom Collins is made with gin, not vodka," Flex pointed out. "And there is plenty of gin behind the bar."

"I need vodka!" Sinister declared, leaving the bar and heading up to Daisy's bedchamber.

Daisy and Dave were sharing a quiet moment of contemplative conversation on important topics, in Daisy's bedchamber. Each told the other how much they enjoyed the others' company. Finally, Daisy retired briefly to the bathroom, at which point there was a knock heard at Daisy's door.

"Hook your boy up a little bit," Sinister said, in the parlance of the most modern but intoxicated gentleman.

"What?" Dave asked, slightly less of the times.

Sinister shook the tumbler in which he'd been mixing his vodka Tom Collins. "Hook your boy up a little bit," he said, by way of clarification.

"Oh, you want some vodka," Dave said, obligingly pouring from the bottle.

"That's enough," Daisy said, not wishing to see Sinister become any more intoxicated than he was.

"Have fun you two," Sinister said, ironically. "Have a good night." He then attempted to slam the door, but his fingers had trouble with the knob. Then with the door itself. Finally, he pulled the door until it was nearly completely closed, and gave a hard tug.

"I cannot believe his temper tantrum," Daisy said. "I do not have time for temper tantrums. I hate it when people have temper tantrums. When they just start to cry for no reason. When they are overcome by sensibility. That is a pet peeve of mine; being as I myself am immune from such frivolity."

12 Pack/Dave is a veteran of two other VH1 reality shows, and as such, he was uniquely suited to keep a straight face while Daisy launched into her hypocritical rant against "tempter tantrums."

"I don't understand why he had to do that to you," Dave said.

Daisy's thoughts became deep and confused, and she gave voice to them now. "It's just so hard for me. Every time I turn around, someone is leaving the estate, or lying about being in a committed relationship, or challenging someone to a duel. Am I not amazing enough for you gentlemen?"

Dave touched her arm tenderly. "If you ever need to talk," he said, reassuringly, "let me be that person."

Downstairs, at the bar, Sinister had mixed his Tom Collins, and was appalled by the taste. "I should have used gin," he sang, as he drummed against the bar. The raucous sounds made their way up to Daisy's bedchamber where Dave and Daisy were interrupted in the middle of a touching conversation.

"We should return downstairs," Daisy said. "If we're to know no peace until we do."

"Everywhere you are, there I find peace," Dave said, deliberately.

Everyone had returned to the garden, to find warmth and comfort by the fire. Sinister, however, seemed immune to the restorative power promised by the fire's heat, as he wore upon his face an expression as gloomy as the dark sky that hovered above them.

Big Rig told him, "The only reason you're insecure is because you are physically unattractive and you lack charm."

Sinister was unmoved by Big Rig's attempts to provide him reassurance.

"I thought everyone was going to bed," Daisy said, as she and Dave rejoined the others.

Now Sinister's head rose. "It hurts me to see you physically attracted to Dave," he said. "What am I supposed to think when, after sharing with you a duet of sweet, enticing music, you choose to take Dave to your bedchamber, there to fulfill the promise laid out by the music!"

"What am I supposed to think?" Daisy exclaimed. "This is a difficult situation for me. I have been wooed by music before, don't forget, and my heart broken as a result! I do not know who is being earnest with me, who will stay or leave- my mind is plagued with turmoil! There is only one of me, and I am doing the best I can."

With this profound declaration, Daisy turned away from the gentlemen and took her leave for the night.

Sinister sat and watched her leave, fighting back tears. He had been unaware of just how profound an impact his actions were having upon the psyche of the woman he loved. Watching her disappear behind the bushes, he now fully understood, and was filled with melancholy regret. Just as he'd given chase to his friend Chi Chi earlier in the night, so to did he now give chase to his beloved Daisy.

Upon catching her, he declared, "Please accept my humblest, deepest apologies for sending you into further turmoil."

"I am overwhelmed," she said, earnestly.

"We had a lovely night, and I ruined it with my sensibility."

She nodded. "I shall see you on the morrow," she said, again taking her leave.

Sinister was in a mood of such overwhelming pain that not even the Daisy head pillows with which he slept were able to bolster his mood. "I hope I have not given my beloved proper cause to have me removed from the estate," he thought, for most of the day.

Daisy and Flex shared a date beside the pool. Their instructor was dressed in a loincloth and laurel, a comical set of wings, and nothing else. He held in his hand a quiver of arrows, and a bow. "My name is Cupid!" the man declared. "And I am here to instruct you on the shooting of the bow and arrow!"

"Are you really Cupid?" Daisy asked, wide-eyed.

He winked at them, and smiled, revealing a row of crooked teeth. Daisy laughed when she saw them, for she knew that gods had only the most perfect teeth- this "Cupid" was merely their instructor in disguise.

After their instruction, Flex and Daisy shot the arrows at a target on the far side of the pool. For each arrow shot, Daisy bestowed upon her beloved Flex a tender kiss. So carried away were the two, that they forgot their instructor, and, after so being ignored, he disappeared, perhaps flying away with the wings on his back.

At lunch, Flex decided to be less humorous and charming, and more sentimental. In this way, he hoped to show Daisy his true personality.

"Were you surprised the others chose you as my most compatible match?" Daisy asked.

"No," Flex replied, honestly. "The only strike against me is my youth. But this, of course, is no strike at all."

Daisy nodded in agreement. "What kind of person are you looking for?"

"You," he replied. "Everything you do entices me. Such as coming into my bathroom. So very charming!"

Daisy thought, "Could this be the man of my dreams?"

They shared tender kisses for the remainder of the lunch.

After their date, Daisy returned to her bedchamber, where she was accosted by a troubled Sinister.

"I am here for you," he explained, "and not my friend Chi Chi. He is a gentleman and a dear friend, but I hope you send him away from the estate."

Daisy was taken aback by Sinister's candor.

"He is my friend and he will understand. He wants the same thing I do. My feelings for you are strong."

"I have been waiting to hear one of you say that very thing to me," Daisy replied. They shared a tender kiss.

Daisy has been worried that Sinister and Chi Chi were not there for her, but for each other. But this is ridiculous...

...How could they NOT be there for her?

Daisy took Big Rig and Chi Chi to a public house, where both men were eager to prove to their beloved that they were the gentleman for her. Daisy was filled with uncertainty, and her mood was reflected in her face, which had lost some of the luster the men had so often commented upon.

"Chi Chi," she said, addressing Chi Chi, "I worry that you do not do enough to demonstrate for me your true feelings."

Chi Chi shrugged.

"Are you not jealous of the other gentlemen?"

"Why should I care if other men flirt with you, or purchase for you intoxicants? That is good for your self-esteem, and it saves me money."

Big Rig grumbled his disagreement.

"Well, as much a gentleman as you are, you are still given over to occasional bouts of violence," Chi Chi said, again involuntarily flinching.

"I am not violent," Big Rig said. "The proof of that can be found in the fact that you are still upright, and I am not challenging you to a duel right now."

Daisy said, "I grew up in a household of turmoil, so I need to be sure that any gentleman to whom I pledge my heart can control himself."

"I can control myself to a real extent," Big Rig said.

Chi Chi said, "I want you to be happy," with such earnestness that Daisy could almost feel her heart breaking.

Her mind was still vexed even upon her return to the estate, where she consulted with her advisor and manservant Mr. Rachtman.

"The first thing to consider," he began, "is, are you falling in love with Big Rig, as he is obviously falling for you?"

Daisy nodded gravely. "That is a most interesting query. For now, let us table it, and turn our attention to Sinister and Chi Chi, for they are much on my mind. I think Chi Chi believes Sinister is more compatible with me than he is himself."

Mr. Rachtman nodded.

"I believe the two of them should not remain in the estate together."

"I agree," Mr. Rachtman said. "Tonight is the night to separate them."

Having come to this agreement, Mr. Rachtman took his leave of Daisy, so that she could prepare herself for the elimination ceremony.

And so it was with some shock that Mr. Rachtman later observed Daisy sending Big Rig home. "I wish I was falling in love with you," she said, earnestly. "But, alas, I am not."

Big Rig, with tears coming out of his head, left the estate in as gentlemanly a manner as possible. On this night, he regretted two things: The first was that he had ever joked about Chi Chi crying. The second was that he had not challenged any of the other gentlemen to a duel when he'd had the chance.

But, alas, there are no "do overs" in "Daisy of Love."

Flex pic source.
Ramen pic source.
Sinister and Chi Chi pic source.
Daisy crying pic source.
Jack pic source.
12 Pack I Love Money pic source.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Why Do I Still Have a Friendster Account?

I got a friendster account many years ago, when friendster was all the rage (back before Seth joked about it on "The O.C.") Remember that show? Yeah, that was a long time ago. Then, of course, friendster flamed out rather spectacularly and sadly (the story really is kind of sad).

I don't even think about my account anymore, and most of my friends have left the site (I'm down to two now), so why do I keep it?

I think it's a self-esteem issue. See, I get a lot of messages from beautiful women, like this one:

and this one:

It's true, the messages from these beautiful women are always the same, and not even a full sentence:

how are you

Is this a question? There's no question mark. There's no period. It's merely a statement. "how are you" Inscrutable, and lovely. A simple reaching out from multiple beautiful women, to me, a surly jerk. It's touching when you think about it, and it's nice to know there are beautiful women out there who don't even know me, yet are interested in my emotional and physical well-being.

And then there's the guy who commented that I was sex:

You are sex.

The man who made the comment, "shan," is someone I've never met before in my life, yet somehow he's perfectly captured my being.

I am sex!

Which is why I still haven't deleted my friendster account.

Friday, June 19, 2009

EXCLUSIVE! Top Spider-Man 4 Villain Possibilities

The New York Post has an article up about Spider-Man 4, which should be releasing at some point after it's finished, which should be within the next two or three years or so. Although there's no confirmation yet on which "villain(s)" Spider-Man might be facing, I have it on good authority that producers are considering the following:

Sub Prime: This terrifying villain lends money to Peter Parker's poor Aunt May. When she can't pay back her loan, he swoops in. Note: This one is causing friction between the producers and the studio, who want to include Sub Prime's evil partner, Bailout, in the story. Producers think two villains is too much.

Centrifuge: He is the duly-elected leader of a Middle Eastern country, trying to get access to nuclear weapons. During an experiment, he's exposed to radiation, and gains the power to weaponize.

Obesity Epidemic: During the Nathan's hot dog eating contest, he accidentally ingests a vat of nuclear waste, and gains the power to eat anything at all. Of course he goes after Mary Jane Watson.

The Rotten Tomatobots: These nasty commenters come out in force whenever their favorite movies receive negative reviews on the Rotten Tomatoes website. When one of them mistakes Peter Parker for Armond White, Spider-Man might never recover.

RIAA Raider: Download anything, and he'll know, attacking with crippling lawsuits. He's doubly powerful because he has the government helping him out (just like Sub Prime, see above). NOTE: Concept art very preliminary.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

RE: Hillary Clinton Cancels Appearance with Angelina Jolie

Apparently, Hillary Clinton felt she had better things to do than meet with Angelina Jolie today:

"On the way to the White House late this afternoon, Secretary Clinton fell and suffered a right elbow fracture," her chief of staff Cheryl Mills said in a statement overnight. "She was treated at The George Washington University Hospital before heading home."

That's it? An elbow fracture? An "elbow fracture" kept you from meeting with the most powerful celebrity in the world?

By the way- I don't want to start any rumors, but just why was "secretary Clinton" falling, anyway? Was she intoxicated at the time?

Somebody needs to tell this "secretary" that you don't miss a meeting with Angelina Jolie, unless you are dead.

What is happening to this country?

Yeah, uh, sorry, I can't meet with you because I fractured my elbow.

Pic source.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Polishing My Snark: Some Recent Protests/Riots of Distinction

This is my second attempt at Polishing My Snark. My previous attempt met with limited success, and I'm hoping this one will be slightly better. In this article, I've moved away from the world of Fine Art and plunged headlong into the tumultuous world of protests and riots. Wish me luck.

Over the last few days, people all over the world have made known their feelings on important subjects by gathering together to protest and/or riot. Below are images from a few of these gatherings:

(1) The riot in downtown Los Angeles, to celebrate the all-important victory by the Los Angeles Lakers in the big National Basketball Association championship series.

Eyewitness reports said that the police officers at the scene were being belted with rocks and bottles. There are also reports of fans starting fires, although it isn’t clear at this stage whether those fires included buildings or vehicles. One unconfirmed report says that at least one police vehicle has been set on fire.

Snark Remark: Let's just hope someone from Los Angeles doesn't win something that actually matters, like a chess tournament.

(2) The protest outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City, to call for the firing of David Letterman over his tasteless joke about the daughter(s) of a political figure named Sarah Palin.

The demonstration came hours after Palin accepted Letterman's Monday night apology for what he described as "a bad joke ... a joke that was beyond flawed."

Snark Remark: Palin must be suffering from the "being-the-butt-of-a-late-night-host-joke" equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome. Good thing these protesters are looking out for her.

(3) Also in New York, a group of citizens gathered to protest the killing of geese near airports, to prevent them flying into airplanes and causing crashes.

The authorities announced the plan to kill the geese on Thursday, in response to the bird strike that resulted in the nearly disastrous ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in January. The first 100 geese were killed on Monday.

The protesters asserted that the geese culling was both inhumane and ineffective.

Snark Remark: If the geese were caught, and used to make delicious foie gras, would the protesters feel better?

(4) In Iran, citizens are protesting a recent presidential election that many think was fixed.

Some videos showed people being beaten by riot police, and other clips claimed to document the wreckage left behind after a military raid on a dorm at the University of Tehran.

There were several videos purportedly showing a protestor shot dead during massive street protests in Tehran on Monday.

Snark Remark: These people in Iran need some perspective. Don't they have some late night television hosts, geese culling, and professional sports team victories to riot about?

Analysis: I think it's safe to say I haven't quite got the hang of this "snark" thing, and I need to do some more polishing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"30 Pills and Counting": My New Reality Show Idea

There's Jon & Kate Plus 8, 18 Kids and Counting, Raising Sextuplets, and, soon, possibly, a show about Nadya Suleman, the "Octomom." That's a lot of shows about "multiples," and I've grown a bit tired of them. I have an idea for a new reality show.

It's kind of "outside-the-box," so bear with me.

The show is about a married, or unmarried and committed couple who have no children whatsoever. They practice birth control. They have no desire to have children at this time. It would be called "The Birth Controllers," or "30 Pills and Counting," or "Jon & Kate Plus Condoms," or something like that. I'm open to almost any title.

The show would follow this perfectly happy and childless couple as they go about their daily lives, without children. It could show them going out to dinner, or to a club, or sitting at home in peace and quiet and being so blissfully happy that their home isn't plagued by hordes of messy, smelly, defecating and crying children, complaining that they're not getting enough water.

My reality show would not have any scenes such as this one, in which "Kate" of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" refuses to give water to her thirsty daughter.

They could sit on couches and interview, perhaps saying things like, "We went to the movies tonight, and it was great because we could see whatever movie we wanted."

And, "We didn't have to go to the 'Children's Museum,' or 'Tumblebugs,' because we don't have kids. We went to the bar and got a little bit drunk, then we took a cab home and had sex. We practiced birth control, of course."

The introduction could show clips of them running along the beach, the woman free of stretch marks, the man without a paunch and with a full head of hair; or dancing together at a club; or jumping out of airplanes; all the while they would say, in voice over, "We're proving that two people can remain together even without having to deal with multiple children."

"It may not be your idea of a happy life, but trust us, we are really, really happy."

They would hold hands and stare lovingly into one anothers' eyes, completely free of passive aggression and resentment.

The "multiple" shows have made a concerted effort to glamorize procreation. It's time someone put together a show that displayed the flip side, and glamorized birth control.

My show would be "the anti Jon & Kate," or "Jon & Kate Busters." It would be awesome.

Nothing Says "Happy Father's Day" Like "Nekromantik"

I was searching for Eddi Reader mp3 downloads at (she had a new collection released a couple of months ago), and I accidentally spelled her name "Eddi Reeder," and I for some reason got this result:

Naturally, I was intrigued. I don't think I'd ever heard of "Nekromantik 2," so I wanted to see what the original film, "Nekromantik," was all about. Here's what came up when I did the amazon search:

I realize that "Nekromantik" probably isn't part of the "Father's Day Sale," and that the notice probably pops up every time you search for a dvd, but that still struck me as pretty funny. I want to meet the guy who's looking up "Nekromantik" on amazon, sees that Father's Day Sale notice, and says, "Oh yeah that's right- I need to get something for dad!"

Actually, scratch that, I probably don't want to meet that guy.

By the way, here's a little from the wikipedia entry on "Nekromantik." It looks like as charming a film about necrophilia as has ever been created, at least by a German:

He then returns to work and discovers his new obsession; a whole rotting corpse. It is discovered in a pond and during the removal process Rob absconds with it. He excitedly returns home to Betty like a husband returning with a romantic gift for his awaiting wife.

That's the least distasteful part of the synopsis, which is kind of hilarious I guess, in a "just-how-disgusting-can-we-make-this" kind of way, but somehow I don't think I'm missing anything by not watching it, despite the fact that "some believe that it is meant as a rather serious social commentary the denaturalization and dehumanization of contemporary society as a whole. [sic]"

But I wonder if my dad might like it?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Best Food Erotica Commercial of the Month?

Lines to listen for:

"Not doing that again. That burned."

"We both enjoyed that."

"Put it in me, Scott."

"Say it sexy."

Quizno's is to be commended for coming up with this fantastic, weirdly erotic "Toasty Torpedo" commercial, even if they have watered it down for earlier television timeslots.

Don't forget that Quizno's is the sandwich chain that employed the Sponge Monkeys a couple of years back:

If you're looking to spend $4 on meat, Quizno's deserves your business for this, and should be encouraged.

Charm School 3 Episode 6: Finding the Right Person to Expel

The new episode of "Charm School" started with two prologues, one distasteful, the other oddly inspiring, in a VH1 reality show kind of way.

First the distasteful: KO tearfully tells Baybaybay that she is manic and implies that she was at some point in the past sexually assaulted. Baybaybay attempts to cheer her up by telling her that she's strong and she can pick herself up, etc. Later, Baybaybay interviews that, "She'll never evolve if she keeps pitying herself."

The initial distaste is directed at the producers of the show, who appear to be exploiting KO's tragic story. Last week, during the "girls'" session with The Fear Liberator, both Risky and Bubbles either admitted outright or implied that they'd suffered sexual assault. Baybaybay told everyone that she had a stalker, and carried a gun. If VH1 wants to do a show examining just what makes their reality competition show contestants the way they are, another reality competition show is not the way to do it. There might be a decent "Frontline" episode in it, but "Charm School with Ricki Lake"? Distasteful.

Later, however, it becomes clear- in a murky sort of way- that this opening is distasteful for another reason. But for now we're left to wonder just how low the producers will sink.

Now, the oddly inspiring: Marcia, having vowed not to drink during the remainder of her stay in Charm School, is up early for a jog around the house where they're staying.

As any viewer of these shows knows, this set-up means that one of the women above will be going home at the elimination ceremony.

This episode's commandment is "Thou Shalt Pull it Together." As Ricki puts it: "In order for these girls to be successful on accomplishing their goals, they're going to have to develop a plan on where they want to be." That is exactly what she said- I'm still trying to figure out if it's grammatically correct, but I suppose it's not important. The sentiment behind it is solid.

But, of course, they have to do something to bitch it up. The way Ricki etc decide to help these "girls" develop a plan on where they want to be" is to subject them to a "Life Coach" called "Mark Edgar Stevens". That is how they spell his name, but it might be "Mark Edgar Stephens," since that's how he spells it on his website. Can VH1 not even get the name of their expert right? He's a credible expert because he's written a book called "Who Are You Choosing to Be," and has appeared on "Oprah" and HGTV. We're not told which HGTV show he's been on- maybe he helped coach someone's garden to grow.

What a warm and approachable life coach! So unintimidating with his jeans, and his casually unbuttoned shirt! And such a charming smile. He must have the answers for the "girls" of Charm School.

He tells them: "What I'm going to help you to do today is to step more fully into the possibility of who you can be in your personal life, in your professional life, in your romantic life, and you don't decide that some day in the future; you decide that right now."

I would beware of taking advice from anyone who speaks in run-on sentences. It means he cannot form a concise thought- and if he can't even plan his sentences properly, why are you taking advice from him on planning your life?

He tells the students he's created a map, and he then displays to them a LIST. This is what he shows them: on a chalkboard he's created the following:

What is Possible?
1. Big Picture
2. Driving Force
3. First Step

This is a LIST, as I've already stated. It is not a map. Moreover, it is totally meaningless. "Big Picture," he explains, is "where you're going." "Driving Force" means "things that make you do what you want to do." "First Step" is "how you get there."

Bret Michaels couldn't get through to Brittanya; Life Coach certainly can't, either.

Brittanya doesn't get it. The reason she doesn't get it is because there is nothing to get. There is nothing to this, it's just some jackass spouting platitudes. But this man's been on "HGTV" and "Oprah," so he must be "deep."

As if to clarify, he asks her "Who is the most important person in your life?"

"My son, obviously," Brittanya answers.

"What does your son feel when he sees you at your best?"

"Really happy."

"So what you want is that you're always showing up at your absolute best. Do you get it?"

Brittanya seems not to get it, which is to be expected because there is absolutely nothing to get. "Try to do your best." That's it. Class dismissed. Get away from this jackass and his empty platitudes.

Finally, Brittanya, who still seems not to get it, says, "Okay, I kinda get it," in that way you say "I kinda get it" when you don't mean it, you just want to move on.

This guy is like Brad Goodman, the self-help guru from "The Simpsons," who said, "There's no trick to it. It's just a simple trick."

When the Charm School producers went looking for a life coach, they were disappointed that Brad Goodman was unavailable.

Ashley's "Big Picture" is becoming a nurse. Her "Driving Force" is her son. "First Step" is going back to school. She cares about her son, and she wants to help people. I have already pointed this out, but here it is again: Stripping fulfills both those requirements, by earning money for her son, and helping people relieve stress and feel happy. She can always wear a nurse's uniform to the club, if she wants to feel better about it.

Life Coach takes one look at Marcia and calls her up to stand beside him. Maybe he's not stupid, after all. No- scratch that- he gets stupid again. Why does Marcia get emotional when she talks about her father's abuse of her mother? Because she feels strongly about it. And is that "passion" enough for her to change her life? Absolutely.

Well, there you go. It's just that easy. Get someone to admit to something painful, that causes them to tear up when they talk about it. Point out that they're tearful. Claim victory.

KO wants to create a charity for foster kids. No one believes it because she's smiling when she talks about it. She explains that when she gets nervous and really opens up to people, she smiles and laughs.

She was not smiling and laughing in the first prologue. But that was an extreme circumstance. Are the producers manipulating us?

Bubbles says she wants to finish school so she can become a social behavioral psychologist, or maybe a teacher. Or do cartoon voices. Or motivate her brother to go back to school. And, she wants to save money for an apartment.

As Ashley interviews: "I think Bubbles is an idiot, I always have thought that, and I just feel bad for her." The fact that she feels bad for her is a positive sign of Ashley's development.

Risky says that her mere presence at Charm School shows that she's trying to open up and not hold so much back, which is her main failing. She's learned something from her run-in with The Fear Liberator last week.

Baybaybay wants to act and sing. She's being honest, which means she might not need Charm School after all. To prove she can sing, she belts out a few bars of the public domain hit "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

Or, if the whole "acting and singing" thing doesn't work out, maybe she can become a "life coach." After all, it's how their own Mark Edgar Stephens got his start, as we learn by checking out the "bio" on his website:

As a child, I dreamed of performing. I wanted to make people laugh and feel good. As an adult, this passion has become my profession. So, I choose to see life from as many perspectives as possible. For many years, I worked all over the world as an actor and singer. From New York City to Los Angeles, from Broadway Tours to International Tours, I was blessed to experience the diversity of multiculturalism on our planet.

They take a bus through downtown LA, and end up at Wilson Family Childcare. The stupid bulls hit they were fed by Life Coach is supposed to empower them to build a playground for the kids to play on.

There they meet Lizette Wilson, who started this daycare center thirteen years ago in an apartment. They grew out of the apartment, needed a backyard, but had no money for equipment once they got that backyard.

Note to the producers: LIZETTE WILSON'S STORY IS INSPIRING. She is a woman who has actually ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING worthwhile, that helps both HERSELF AND OTHERS. Dump the bulls hit Life Coaches and Fear Liberators and start having people like Lizette come in and talk to the students about their concrete achievements and how they reached them.

I couldn't find any pictures of Lizette Wilson or her day care facility online, so here's a cool picture of the sun.

Anyone can call himself a "Life Coach." He doesn't have to accomplish anything. In fact, if he's so great, then why is he a "Life Coach?" Why isn't he actually doing something?

Anyway, Ricki makes Bubbles and Marcia the team captains, and Bubbles chooses KO and Baybaybay as her team. Marcia is stuck with Risky, Brittanya, and Ashley. The women then spend about an hour figuring out how to put on their tool belts. Apparently, they've learned nothing from Life Coach- they should have used their "map:"

What is Possible?
1. Big Picture - putting on toolbelt
2. Driving Force - hands that put on the toolbelt
3. First Step - putting toolbelt around waist and buckling toolbelt

They had the "tools" the entire time- they just didn't use them.

The "girls" work into the night, but neither team is able to complete the playsets (they don't even get past "Big Picture"), so everyone's up for expulsion. That is as it should be on every episode.

However, and this is important, this is how the show works. The rule is, when a team wins a challenge, the members of that team get immunity. If there's no winner, then no one gets immunity. Everyone is up for expulsion. The students get to decide, by their vote, which three students will be eligible for expulsion. Everyone has agreed to these rules. The deans, the students, the viewers, everyone.

Sticking to the rules you've agreed to at the beginning is charming.

That is important.

That night, Ricki invites the students to dinner, where Ricki asks Marcia why she's so quiet. Again, Marcia mentions that it's difficult to watch others drink, when her own pledge not to drink is still so new. Charmingly, no one else offers to not drink, in a show of solidarity with Marcia in this difficult time.

I think Ricki would have liked that.

Ricki says she will answer any question any of them want to ask- no topic is off limits. Well, Baybaybay says she's thinking about having kids, and she wants to know what childbirth is like.

This is convenient, because of course Ricki just so happens to have produced and starred in a documentary about childbirth.

Ricki Lake made a documentary about herself giving birth. It might be available on dvd, but I'm not sure because, before she had a chance to mention it, the conversation was hijacked by KO.

Baybaybay continues by saying that she's had dreams in which she's died in labor, and it worries her. Ricki is about to mention her documentary on childbirth, when KO hijacks the conversation.

Her own mother, she says, died in labor.

Has anything that's not absolutely horrible ever happened to KO?

Ricki has to stop everything and get to the bottom of this, and KO is the center of the table's conversation. She explains that the mean old bureaucrats from social services never told her the exact circumstances of what killed her mother. She just doesn't know what her mother's condition was. She goes on to talk about how that has affected her life.

Of course it would affect anyone. It would affect anyone profoundly. No one at the table disputes that.

Nonetheless, there is some eye rolling at the table, mostly from Ashley and Marcia, who are resentful of the fact that KO is monopolizing their Ricki Time.

Once again we're left to wonder, are Ashley and Marcia really that bad? Or are the producers manipulating us? Or is it both?

Ricki then goes around the table and asks everyone who they think should win, other than themselves.

Risky picks KO
Baybaybay picks KO
Marcia picks Bubbles
Brittanya picks Ashley
Ashley picks Brittanya
KO picks Risky
Bubbles either isn't asked, or had no opinion. The producers don't bother to show us her response. But then, based on her answer to the Life Coach's stupid question, she might have picked everyone.

Ricki is so proud of them and how they treat each other. She's like a proud mother of multiples, like that awful Kate Gosselin, who I've just heard is going to be the host of the next season of "Charm School."

The women then start drinking and laughing with each other. There's some good-natured ribbing of Marcia, who sits stoic on the couch, watching the others, her mouth watering. KO decides it would be quite comical to offer the (possibly) alcoholic woman a drink, so tries to give her vodka and cranberry juice.

If it had been tequila, Marcia's resistance might have wavered. As it is, she leaves the room.

Back in the bedroom KO, who is really drunk, starts complaining of chest pains, and starts wheezing. She tells the other women that she has a "bad heart" and/or an "enlarged heart" (Risky says this later, but I don't think we see KO say this), and that the condition is what killed her mother. This is of course a direct contradiction of what she told Ricki at the table- the mean social services bureaucrats wouldn't tell her what killed her mother- only that she died while in childbirth.

KO is wheezing and clutching at her chest. We're left to wonder, Don't the VH1 reality shows give their contestants physicals before the shows start? Would they let someone with a heart condition appear on a highly stressful show such as "Charm School," or, for that matter, any VH1 reality show?

Could the producers be that crass?

Bubbles isn't buying it. Bubbles! She interviews that KO craves attention, and the only way she's gotten it has been when people have felt sorry for her. An insight worthy of Ashley, but formed much more delicately.

Is KO just looking for attention? Of course she is- that's a stupid question. The better question is, "Has she been honest about all the troubles she's claimed to go through?"

The next morning, KO is still having chest pains, and decides to see a doctor. The other "girls," now free of her influence, begin to express their doubts about her. Ashley believes KO's only problem is that she wears a ponytail and basketball shorts every day. This from the woman who wore pink uggs to Ricki's Very Special I'm Not a Racist Intervention Episode.

Risky didn't learn any of KO's tragic history on their previous reality show, "Real Chance of Love."

Ashley thinks KO sounds suspiciously rehearsed.

Marcia is angry that KO offered her alcohol.

Baybaybay thinks KO needs psychological help. She goes to Ricki and expresses her doubts about KO, but adds something about being willing to give up her spot, if Ricki thinks there's nothing more Baybaybay can learn.

Ricki then tells Baybaybay that she's "articulate," and her best student.

I think it's just possible that Ricki is coming out of this show looking the worst. Condescending, inconsistent, inarticulate, capricious, gullible. If I could remember anything about her talk show, I'm sure I could tell you she hasn't changed at all.

And she is certainly not charming. "Articulate"? Really, Ricki?

In detention, Marcia, Ashley, Brittanya, Baybaybay, and Risky all vote for KO. She is floored- just last night everyone seemed to be pulling for her and now, even Baybaybay has turned on her.

Bubbles votes for Risky, because she doesn't think there's any chance Risky will be sent home, and apparently is no longer worried about making Risky angry, which in a way I guess proves her point. KO votes for Marcia, because Marcia is (possibly) alcoholic, and she thinks it would be funny to vote for her.

KO, really? You voted for the woman you jokingly offered alcohol to?

At the expulsion, Ricki asks KO how she's doing, after her doctor's visit. KO says, "I'm fine. I just have a cardiac block." This she says with a blase, carefree lilt to her voice. Then again, she might just be "nervous;" she did say she smiles inappropriately when she's nervous during the Life Coach session.

Ricki says that doesn't sound fine, and KO chuckles and says, "I'm fine."

Marcia mentions that KO offered her alcohol, and Ricki hangs her head. Why would she do such a thing? Well, that's just how she jokes around, she explains. It's funny to offer someone who is (possibly) alcoholic a drink.

How can you not see the humor in that?

Ricki says that these aren't the three she'd have chosen, leaving her with a difficult decision. The decision is so difficult, in fact, that she does not want to make it. She doesn't have "clarity," she says, and "can't in good conscience" get rid of any of them.

She cowardly and venally asks Baybaybay if she would give up her spot, so that all three of these women- KO, Marcia, and Risky- could stay.

Ricki just could not think of a reason to send any of those women home. So she turns to the woman she described as "articulate," and called her best student, and said, "Eff you, Baybaybay. Will you show just how 'charming' you are by sacrificing your chance at $100K so that KO, Marcia, and Risky can stay?"

Baybaybay agrees to this injustice. Apparently, Charm School is turning Baybaybay into a simpering little doormat- it's making her into Bubbles for crying out loud.

Baybaybay gives up her pin. Then, as she's leaving, KO suddenly displays that she has a conscience, and offers her pin to Baybaybay. She's going to pull herself out of Charm School.

Possibly. The episode is "To be continued."

Does this look like a quitter to you? All it took was a few weeks with Ricki Lake in "Charm School," and that's exactly what she's become.

At this point, the woman who needs to be expelled is Ricki Lake. She is the one who's not learning anything. She is the one who cannot make a decision. She is the one who cannot play by the rules of the television show. The students should rebel, a la Taps, because Ricki Lake is actually damaging them. Even in the context of a VH1 reality show, Ricki Lake has completely bitched things up.

Life Coach pic source.
Ricki Lake birth pic source.
Sun pic source.
KO pic source.
Brad Goodman pic source.
Baybaybay pic source.
Brittanya and Bret pic source.