Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Gojira Diary

Dear Diary.

That's how this is supposed to start, right?  My parents got me this thing to hold my thoughts now that I'm out of high school and moving to Japan. (Japan!  SO excited!)  They also got me a phone.  Something went wrong with my Instagram filters, though.  Every picture comes out in black and white.

Selfie time!
Pardon the goofy look on my face.
Dear Diary.

First day in Japan.  Man, everything her is tiny.  I can barely fit into my room with the door closed.

So tiny!
Had to get out and ground myself.  Decided to hit the mall.  Everything's expensive, but YOLO, amirite?

Tried some noodles for lunch.  They said it was Ramen, but I ate a ton of that in college and this was completely different.

Thicker than I'm used to.
Went to a spa.  The guy said the hot bath would help me lose weight.  What do you think?



Dear Diary.

Made a new friend!  His name is Angiurus.  Hope I spelled that right.  He's also new in Japan.  Thought we'd hang a bit.
Hangin with my new bud.
Dear Diary.

Had a fight with Angi-whatever his name was.  He decided he "needed some space."  Like we're dating or something.  Do I give off a gay vibe or something?

Got a new job working at an ice rink.  The Japanese skate!  Go figure.  Crap job, but at least I don't have to wear a uniform.

Wage slave.
Dear Diary.

Spoke to my parents.  They were worried about me.  I've been pretty morose on Skype.  No friends.  Crap job.  They said they'd pay for me to see a therapist.

I picked someone out of the phone book. (remember phone books?)  Doctor Ghidorah.  Told him how much Japan sucked.  How sad I was.

I don't like the looks he gives me.
He said it was probably culture shock.  I should take time to get adjusted.  Seems like good advice.

Dear Diary.

OMGOMGOMG!  I met a girl!  A HOT girl!  She was walking down the street and I was walking down the street and she looked at me and I looked at her and like.

CLICK.  We just happened.  Spent the whole day talking.

We have a lot in common.  She's from Infant Island.  So we're both new to Japan.

Did I mention she's a model.  A model!  Here's some of her runway work.
10 out of 10 on the hottie scale.
Her name is Mothra.  No last name.  Like Madonna.  Or Moby.

I sent this selfie to all my friends from high school.
Snuggles!
Eat that Miss "I'm going to college so I don't want to be tied down" Rodan.

Dear Diary.

Shit.

Thought things were going well with Mothra, but...

Okay, I fucked it up.  She invites me over to her place and just springs it on me.  She's got these two little girls.
They don't look anything like her, either.
Who springs that shit on a guy!?

Anyway, I lost it.  Right in front of her kids.  We had a fight.  She dumped me.

Dear Diary.

Saw Dr. Ghidorah again.  Told him about Mothra.  He says "What part of  'take your time to get adjusted' didn't you understand?"

Dear Diary.

Met a guy named Kong. He was like "Nice to meet you.  How are you?"  And I went all verbal diarrhea over Mothra.  And he was all "Bros before ho's, amirite?"  And I laughed.  First time I laughed in a week.
Bros before ho's!
He's got this weird robot in his apartment.  Looks just like him.  I asked him what it was for and he just winked.
Ew.
Dear Diary.

Ran into Mothra.  I apologized.  She started crying.  We made up.

Okay, we're dating again.  It's hard to accept the kids thing, but DAMN she's hot, amirite?!
Finally got the color filter working on Instagram.
Dear Diary.

Mothra insisted on changing my "look."  Cut my hair.  Made me buy new clothes.  How do I look?
I look like an asshole.  I look like a bag of assholes.
Kinda embarrassed to go out during the day.

Dear Diary.

Mothra dumped me again.  For good.  Said we weren't "sexually compatible."  Guess she saw the robot.
Can't believe Kong got me to buy that stupid thing.
Dear Diary.

I just couldn't handle another day of working on ice, worrying if I'm going to run into Mothra again, trying to make the rent.  I moved back to San Francisco.
Me on the Golden Gate Bridge!  Do I look fat?
It's expensive, but I'm sharing it with two roommates.
I think they're a little... Gay.
Here's to starting over!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Kids Are Back in School To Do List


Things I can do now my kids aren't around all day

Eat in a restaurant
Eat sitting down at a table
Eat with utensils

Read a book that isn't about Ash Ketchum
Watch a show that isn't Pokemon: Indigo League
Play a game that isn't Pokemon Go

See friends
See movies
See friends' movies

Clean
See the carpets again
Exercise
See my feet again
Shave
See my face again
Bathe
See my wife again

Nap in the afternoon
Nap in the morning
Nap in the middle of the night

See the doctor about those voices that tell me to drink cleaning fluid
See the pharmacist about the pills that make the voices stop talking
See tomorrow

Listen to the radio
Choose the channel on the radio
Dare to turn the radio on


Unclench

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ebenezer Macintosh

Today, I'd like to talk about the  Revolutionary War hero Ebenezer Macintosh.  We all know about his activity in anti-British mobs in the 1760s, his controversial appointments as town sealer-of-leather, and his later decline into poverty as he...

Wait, you don't know who Ebenezer Macintosh was?

Neither do I.  Well, I should say "Neither did I."

Let me take you back to the late 80s.  New York Seltzer and Max Headroom were still around.  The Reagan Era was fading into the First Bush Era (or, as we called it, the "Oh my God, I can't believe there's going to be four more years of this" era.)  Member's Only jackets were still almost cool.

I went to Beloit College and, needing to fulfill a history requirement, I took Early American History.  I mostly remember the teacher.  She was proudly and vocally Native American.
She had a poster like this on her wall.
She also had a weird idea on how to give out assignments.  On one biography assignment, she gave us a list of important Revolutionary War figures to write about.  Each student had to pick a different one.  I was nervous about the assignment as I hadn't heard of half of them.  I called my parents.

My parents: Why don't you ask her for a specific one before class?
Me: That wouldn't be fair.

The day came and she read off the names.  We raised our hands if we wanted to write about them, and she picked who got whom.

I raised my hand for Thomas Paine and Samuel Adams.  They went to other students.  Daniel Webster and Pocahontas went to students who raised their hands faster.  Dorothea Dix and Paul Revere also went to others.

I panicked.  I scanned the list of names, but they were assigned before I could remember who they were.  Finally, I raised my hand and just held it up.  I got Ebenezer Macintosh.

I approached my teacher after class.

Me: Who the fuck is Ebenezer Macintosh?
Professor: I don't know.  Why didn't you ask for a specific figure before class?

But I had an ace in the hole: my father, who taught Early American literature.  I called and asked for his help.

Me: What can you tell me about Ebenezer Macintosh?
Father:  Who?

I hit the library.  That was how you did research back in the 80s.  You went to the card catalog and scanned every single book you could find. I spent weeks searching both the Beloit library and the giant one at the University of Illinois.

I found the following information:

  • He was a cobbler.
  • He organized riots.
  • He put a boot in his window as a sign it was time to riot.
Some day, when you're bored, try writing a five-page biography with just those three facts.

I explained the problem to my teacher.  She sympathized, told me she'd remove the name from next year's list, and promised she'd be lenient when grading.

I got a D.

Yesterday, I thought back on my Macintosh Experience (now a software package available from the Apple Store).  On a whim, I did a web search on Ebenezer Macintosh.
Yeah, I use Bing.  Bite me.
Elapsed time: five seconds.  Note how many results.
Oy.
Twelve thousand.  Twelve thousand. Twelve thousand.

Nope, doesn't matter what the font is.  I still want to find my old teacher and kick her in the shins.

And no, those aren't twelve thousand (Twelve thousand? Nope, still in a kicking mood.) results of "He was a cobbler."  There's an extensive Wikipedia page.
"Well, he was a cobbler who organized riots..."
Even the slideshows had more information than every library in the midwest in the 80s. 
"He put a shoe in the window."

"He always complained that they 'Ne'er had enough window boots.'"
I found a reference to his career as a "sealer of leather" that wasn't explained.  It took me an additional twenty seconds to find out what that meant.

This came from my second search.  The first search yielded a list of epoxies.
That additional search in the 80s would have taken me several hours.

When I've been a teacher, I told my students to avoid Wikipedia.  I told them to use the library as much as possible and to get information from books and journals.
 
Yeah, fuck that shit.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Most Awesome Way to Commit Suicide

I understand that while suicide is funny to a lot of people (a heck of a lot of people) it isn't funny to everyone. If this post is going to upset you, feel free to skip this blog post.

No, no.  It's okay.  Go ahead.  You can come back next week.  I'll be talking about puppies and rainbows and things that make me cry at movies.

So, let's say you're going to kill yourself.  I don't know what your motivation is, but (in order to maintain the humorous tone of my blog) let's assume you're killing yourself because you're just too awesome.

Almost happened to me, once.
Selfie.
How do you kill yourself a way that befits your awesomeness in life?  How do you make a mark on the world with your death that's equivalent to the mark you made in life?

Other than the obvious.
I've puzzled over this ever since I was an impetuous youth in a suicide-metal band.

Suicide Metal is like Death Metal with creepier groupies.
At first, I thought the best way to go is to stand on top of a pile of gunpowder-filled barrels and light them.  But there's many logistical problems, the least of which is the visit you'll get from Homeland Security when they realize you're amassing 1000 Metric Tonnes of black powder.

The most of which is that the character Longinus does it in the 90s TV series Roar.
Then I hit upon the idea of freaking out the coroner.  Now, before you get upset at me, keep in mind the following facts about coroners:

  • They need excitement.
    "Hey, Fred.  What'cha doing today?"
    "I dunno.  Maybe sit around and stare at the freezers full of dead guys."
  • They deserve being humiliated.
    "Hey, Fred.  What'cha doing today?"
    "Thought I'd tattoo I'm a loser on this guy's face.  Freak the family out during the funeral."
  • They need to be kept occupied.
    "Hey, Fred.  What'cha doing today?"
    "I've got nothing to do butd rain the blood of seven corpses to perform Satanic rituals."

How do you freak them out?  Easy. Stack so many methods of suicide together they'll never figure out what did you in.  I spent a few minutes reading the available research on suicide and came up with a method.  You'll need:

  • A gun
    With at least one bullet
  • Rope
    A long one, tied into a noose
  • A dose of extremely strong drugs
    Ten times as much as you can safely take
  • A can of gas
    Or kerosene
  • A train schedule

Then:

  • Find a bridge over train tracks and get there half an hour before the train comes.
  • Tie the rope to the bridge and put the other end around your neck.
  • Take the drugs (enough in advance you'll feel yourself blacking out as the train arrives).
  • Pour the gas over yourself.
  • Put the gun in your mouth.
  • Jump.
  • Shoot yourself on the way down.
If you planned it right, the gunshot will ignite the gas.  You should be shot, hung, poisoned, immolated, and crushed by the train all at the same time.  If you did it right, every newspaper on earth will cover your death instead of the five mass shootings that happened that day.  If you did it right, you'll keep the coroners busy for years.

Okay, next week we'll focus on puppies, rainbows, and what makes me cry at movies.

Oh, wait, I already did that.  Back to the offensive humor, then.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Comedy Lessons: Sketches


This week's lesson on comedy (hopefully helping to grow my meager toolbox* of humor tools) is about writing sketch comedy.  I'm a few chapters into Jenny Roche's Comedy Writing, and I've become disillusioned.  There isn't much on how to be funny.  I'm sure there are many people out there who would benefit on lessons on how to sell your comedy, write in the correct format, and so on.  It's just that my problem is I'm not funny, and I need to be funny.

Oh well.  I'll keep trying.  At some point, I will look down at one of the eggs I've laid and see a great chicken of comedy hatch forth.

So, let's get going.

Exercise 1: Study a radio sketch show and a television sketch show.
Me as a 2 year old: Do I have to?
Jenny Roche: You love humor.
Me: I want to finish my novel!
Her: Honey, you've been writing your novel for literally twenty years!
Me: But it's almost finished!
Her: No it isn't!
Me: It's almost almost finished!
Her: No.
Me: Okay, it's almost almost almost finished.
Her: Close enough.  How about you think about sketch shows you watched in the past?  Can you think of any?
Me: Monty Python.  Saturday Night Live.
Her: What about for radio?
Me: Rush Limbaugh.
Her: No.
Me: The Bob and Ray Show?
Her: Close enough.  There isn't much funny on the radio anymore.  Just Michael Krasny.  There's podcasts....
Me: Ugh.

Exercise 2: Come up with premises for five radio sketches podcasts.
Feh.

Who has time to listen to podcasts?

Exercise 3: Come up with premises for five four television sketches.
Made Fresh
A man and a woman meet at a bar.  He introduces himself as "Fresh."  He's upset because he's just been laid off from his cushy job as a chef.  He explains he works for a large food service corporation just sitting on the floor where the food is made.  He legally changed his name to "Fresh Ingredients" so they could claim their food was "Made with Fresh Ingredients."  They fired him because they hired a guy named "Fresh Daily."

First World Nooooo Theater
People from the audience recount their (minor) annoyances from their lives.  Some examples:
  • Getting a parking ticket because the meter was broken.
  • Waiting in line for food and having it run out just as they got to the front.
  • Not being able to go to a movie because the babysitter doesn't show up.
At the end of each piece, a clip from a movie is played where a character screams "Noooooo!"

Stephen King for Kids
Note: Of course this requires Mr. King's participation.  Can be switched with any other horror author or an actor pretending to be creepy and reading made up stories.

Stephen King reads a truncated version of his stories to a group of small children.  When the kids start to freak out, a more cheerful author or character jumps in and changes the story.  Some examples:

  •  The Shining: In the end, the Torrance family throws a big party for the ghosts who go away happily ("Until next year!").
  • Christine: The car has bad brakes and repeatedly crashes before it can hurt anyone.
  • Carrie: After the bad kids dump cherry Kool-Aid on her head at the prom, she uses her powers to spank them.
The author grows increasingly agitated until he storms out in disgust.  The kids reveal themselves to be monsters in disguise and attack the cheerful guy.

Modern Twilight Zone
Stories with terrifying, twist endings that are immediately undone by modern technology.
  • Teens are chased by a monster until they call 911 on their cell phones.
  • A couple lost on an endless, mystical highway, turn on the GPS and find their way back.
  • A man visited by horrifying visions takes antipsychotic medication and they go away.

Aaaaaaand I'm going back to my novel.




*Meager Toolbox was my nickname in high school.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Stupid Interview Questions


When you go into an interview, you expect stupid questions:

  • Are you willing to work long hours?
  • Are you okay with getting feedback?
  • Do you steal office supplies?
  • Why are you threatening me with a letter opener?
  • How much do I have to pay you to let me go?
And on and on.

Of all my interviews, however, there were two that stood out from the rest.  Here they are (with my responses):

Q: If you were a breakfast cereal, what kind would you be and why?

A:  Lucky Charms.  Because there's good stuff (the marshmallows) and bad stuff (the cereal).  If you pour milk in, the good stuff floats to the top.

Note: I hadn't had much exposure to breakfast cereals until college and was unprepared for the sudden availability: Fruit Loops, Cap'n Crunch, Lucky Charms, Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs.  They were all lined up in little machines that dispensed them with a few turns of a knob.  For the first six weeks of my freshman year, I constantly trembled from the sugar rush.

I was rather impressed by how quickly and confidently I came out with this one.  The interviewer even said it was the most creative answer they'd ever had.

Didn't hire me.

Q: If you were a fruit, what kind would you be and why?

A: A pomegranate.  Because they're smooth and perfect on the outside but inside they're complicated and difficult to break apart.

Note: I stumbled over this one.  I said pomegranate immediately, but couldn't get my thoughts together enough to explain why.  It came out eventually, but not with the quick confidence of my earlier answer.  Still, it was a great answer.

Didn't hire me either.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Vote Your Conscience



I've come down with a sore throat and nothing seems funny.  I hate to call in a guest writer, but I'd hate to miss a week, more.  So, let me introduce Wink De Bivouac.  For those of you new readers (Hi Mom!), Wink used to do the occasional column for me.  He was so popular, I asked him to do more columns, but he turned me down, saying he'd already accepted a missionary position in Iowa.

Well, he's back!  Take it over Wink.  Find something funny to say.

Thanks Matthew.  Sorry about the cold.  As they say in Des Moines: Hope the squinteys don't give you a snuggy!

Ever since I came back from the wilderness, I've been having trouble adjusting to the outside world.  I'd forgotten all those amenities the primitive natives don't have access to in Iowa.  It was like remembering a language you hadn't spoken in years.  Every day was a new challenge.  How do I cook food in a microwave?  What is toilet paper for?  Do we really need to wear clothes?

Sometimes I think life was better in Iowa.  Everything is so simple.

Out here, the world is getting worse every day.

Islamic terrorists are growing bolder.  Cops are more vulnerable.  People are spending more time looking down into their phones for Pokemon than are looking down into their Bibles for saints.  (By the way, you can catch a Saint Genesius near any improv stage.)

There is one great, shining hope on the horizon, though.  You probably already guessed what it is: the election.  Things could have gone much worse.  We finally have a clear choice: a strong moral candidate and the spawn of Satan.

Let me lay out the (obvious) differences:
  • One candidate has dubious monetary donations and shady foreign endorsements, and another has a long history of honest success.
  • One has no experience and the other has tons.
  • One candidate has a depraved marriage and the other is in a firm, committed relationship with an intelligent, wonderful spouse.
  • One candidate has been unfairly maligned for past misdeeds, the other fairly maligned for past misdeeds.
  • One is going to terrify our enemies, embolden our allies, and bring about peace and cooperation.  The other is going to.  You know.  The opposite.

I think the choice is clear.  Vote your conscience in November.  For the majority of Americans, that means not voting.

By the way, someone is going to have to show me how voting booths work.  In Iowa they pick candidates by throwing their feces at them.


Thanks Wink!  We should do this again every never or so.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Browser Tab Humor

When you write a humor blog, you get a lot of ideas you never use, but you keep around in case you run out of things to say.  I accumulate ideas by searching on the internet, so I keep them in browser tabs.

You leave the tabs open for months, even years, never using them.  Every now and then you think "I should restart my computer.  Oh, no, wait.  There's that one tab with that one idea for a joke.  Maybe I'll install those updates later. (Suck it Windows 10!)"

If you have enough joke tabs open, it's easier to hide tabs with images of Kate Hudson sunbathing from your wife.

The tab I've had open the longest is a cool vehicle from The Empire Strikes Back called an AT-AT.
"Hey, let's build an impenetrable tank on flimsy legs!"

I've also had a tab for a primitive tool that lets you throw a spear farther and straighter called an at-latl.
Pronounced "Atl atl finatl whatadle? Oh, never mind."

And the joke I've been waiting to tell for over a year?
*DRUM ROLL*
The AT-AT-LATL.
If you look really closely at the one in the back, you can see it's also got an atlatl. Honest.

I wonder what Kate Hudson is up to today...

Saturday, July 9, 2016

My Greatest Humiliation

Everyone remembers their greatest humiliation.  Asking someone out in public and being loudly rejected.  Constantly getting picked last at gym class.  Freezing during a public performance.  Having an attractive doctor perform an invasive exam.

I've had all those, but this is the worst:
Harmless looking, innit?

It's called a "stability ball."

A few years ago, I hurt my back.  I didn't hurt it like "Ow a cramp." or "I'll go lie on the floor for a bit."  I hurt my back like "I'm going to walk with a funny bend in my spine for a few days because that's the least painful position."

I didn't hurt myself from lifting something heavy or being in an accident.  I hurt myself by working in the game industry.  Game companies traditionally work you to death.  They're in a state of constant crunch, trying to pump something out before a ludicrously short deadline.

Twelve hours a day, six days a week, you sit at your desk, staring at a screen.  It's bad for your health.  It's bad for your back.

I've always had back problems.  Even as a kid I had back pain.  The doctor taught me some stretches, but they didn't help.  As I got older, it got worse.  I tried walking at lunch.  I tried a variety of ergonomic chairs..  I even wore a truss when it got bad.  That was humiliating.

Not as humiliating as the ball.

After I hurt my back the third time, my wife insisted I go to a personal trainer on the weekend (Hi Daniel!).  It worked.  The pain receded.

I came to the uncomfortable realization that my back pain came from being sedentary.  I never exercised.  All I did my whole life was sit.  In front of a computer.  In front of a book.  In front of a teacher.  In front of a television.  It was a humiliating epiphany.

Not as humiliating as the ball.

Daniel brought it out the first day I met him at the gym.  He found an empty corner in the weight room and explained how it worked.  You sit on it.  That's it.  As you work to keep your balance, you get a core workout.
Looks easy, dunnit?

"Core" is trainer slang for stomach muscles.  "Core workout" is slang for "You're so weak you can't exercise for real yet."

The stability ball has other uses.  You can sit on it when you're in labor.  You can play catch with it.  You can scare cats who claw the furniture.

And there's the other exercises.

Daniel told me to hold the ball out at arm's length.  Then he told me to twist from side to side.  Hold it to my right.  Then center.  Then left.  Repeat.

Imagine me, surrounded by weightlifters, working out with a big balloon.
Looks easy, donnit?
Now imagine I'm shaking and sweating after three minutes.

Now imagine my triceps seizing up in painful cramps, and Daniel making me lie on the ground so he can stretch out the pain.

Now imagine the looks from the other people in the weight room.  Thick-armed men shaking their heads.  Toned women smiling condescending encouragement.

And that's my greatest humiliation.


Forgetting your lines in the school play doesn't seem so bad, does it?

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Comedy Lessons: One Liners

I hate one-liners.  Hate them.  Can't figure out why they're funny.

Actually, wait, I can't figure out why anything is funny. Hence this blog.

Exercise 1: Rewrite one liners.
I found a website with one liners.  Let's see what I can do with them (mine are in bold).

  1. One morning I shot an elephant in my pants.  How he got in my pants, I'll never know.
    I'd love to get into her pants.  Just not while she's in them.
  2. Ninety-nine percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
    I don't hate all your friends, just the ones I've met.
  3. Take my advice.  I'm not using it.
    I'd be glad to hear your thoughts, as soon as you start thinking.
  4. I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.
    I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I just had to sell it to pay the rent.
  5. Treat every day as if it will be your last.  One day, you'll be right.
    I'm not morbid. I'm finality-inclined.
Exercise 2: Write one liners about things you know about.
  1. You know what I liked best about my career as a technical writer?  No, seriously, does anyone know?  I have no idea.
  2. Making a video game is like baking a cake (if you got in the oven with it).
  3. Silicon Valley has some of the best parents in the country.  We hire them to care for our children.
  4. Writing isn't hard. Putting your computer back together after you threw it against the wall is hard.
  5. I'm not avoiding you. I just happen to be boarding up my doors and windows on the days you drop by.
Exercise 3: Write one liners about things you know nothing about.


  1. Astronauts are just like normal people, if normal people could keep from screaming whenever they're shot into space.
  2. It's not hard being a woman.  You just have to meet the expectations of every man on Earth.
  3. Just got my contract with Pandora! I only have to pay them ten cents when they play my songs.
  4. Only the bravest charge into battle. Everyone else makes it back alive.
  5. The crystal ball sees success in your future.  Did I say success?  Wrong word.  Failure. I meant to say crushing failure.

That wasn't too hard.  I think I'm used to short humor, as I post it on my twitter feed (@makagle).

This may be the most useful lesson so far.  I created this blog to come up with ways of adding humor to my writing.  Maybe I should just throw in one liners here and there.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Photo Dump

There comes a time in every young man's life when he looks at the vastness of the universe, the multitudes of experiences open to him, and realizes it's been seven days since his last blog post.

Then a young man's fancy turns to cheap, quick blog entries based on all the random weird stuff he took pictures of.

16-16-16 isn't a date, buddy.  There's no way I'm buying your horseshit if you're going to lie about the freshness date.

I don't know what kind of motorcycle this is.  I just know it's a Decepticon.

I call this work of art The Death of Swag.

I was tossing all these out.  I spent hours going from booth to booth, looking for the best giveaways.  In the end, nobody wanted them.  Next year, I may skip the whole swag hunt.

My son was very proud of how long it took for him to chain her up so perfectly.  Should I be disturbed?

Glass Rimmer was my nickname in high school.

Oh, no, wait.  It wasn't.

Didn't get a good picture of this one, but it's of the Avenger known as Hawkeye and his friend, who obviously had a terrible accident.

"Hey, we need something more for our toy line."
"What about giving Hawkeye a friend with a peanut for a head?"
"Done that."
"What about a Spider Man car?"
"Done that.  Plus, a superhero who swings on webs using a special car isn't dumb enough."
"What do we have for his villains?"

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Adolescent Abnormal Shinobi Amphibians


So, last night I took my kids to see the second Ninja Turtles movie.  If you, for a moment, set aside the fact that the film is terrible, you can enjoy it a lot.

Had the same experience with this film.
However, I was disappointed with the humor.  There were moments when several, obvious jokes were calling out to be made, and the screenwriters let them pass by.

For example, Vernon Fenwick (the character played by Will Arnett) is given a key to the city for taking credit for the turtles' accomplishments.
I couldn't find a picture of him with the key around his neck, so I got this one of him being a douche.
When the turtles run into him, they (lamely) ridicule him, but never had the following exchange:
Donatello: So, does it do anything?
 Raphael: Yeah, does it let you open all the doors in New York, or something? 
Vernon: It's just decorative. 
Michelangelo: Maybe it lets you start the city and drive it away.
Then there's the scene where April O'Neil changes from being dressed like this

To this


All while walking through a crowded area without stopping. It's a cute scene (and far be it from me to complain about Megan Fox dressing sexily), but not once did anyone ask her
How did you take your pants off without anybody noticing?
Not once did we get the following exchange:
April: I'm twenty-nine.  And I owned you as a six year old.  So, you all have to be in your early twenties. You can drink and smoke and vote. Stop calling yourselves teenagers. 
Splinter: Young Adult Mutant Ninja Turtles doesn't sound as good.
Oh well.

By the way, thank you for creating a new female action hero.  There are so few.  Wonder Woman barely got any screen time.  Elektra is in a show too violent for young girls to watch.  And Black Widow had that whole controversy about her being on the Avengers poster in a "butt shot."

I mean, at least have Tony Stark in that pose, too.  On second thought, scratch that.
Kudos to Ms. Fox for giving girls a role model who isn't just there to show off her a-

Oh. Never mind.
As the end titles roll, they play the song from the old cartoon.  Which is fun, but why not give a shout out to the original comic books and older movies?  Why not make a joke about the best Ninja Turtles parody ever: The Immature Radioactive Samurai Slugs?

Picasso! Warhol! Rockwell! Grandma Moses!
 Oh well.  At least there are plenty of burp and fart jokes.  Way to go Dave Green!