Browsing the archives for the Humor category.


Also, The Pony Will Need Three References

Fun, Humor

Hi Ken,

I’m Rebecca Gray from Backgroundchecks.org. I love writing guest posts for blogs that interest me. It's a great way to expand one's portfolio, network with other bloggers, and learn new things.

That being said, I was wondering if I could write a guest post for you. The article will be unique and specifically tailored as per the theme of your blog. I’ll just include a reference to my site in the author byline at the end of the article.

Please let me know if you are interested.

Thanks,
Rebecca

Dear Rebecca,

Happy New Year! I'm pleased that we can provide an opportunity to expand someone's portfolio.

We're excited to hear that you can offer specifically tailored guest posts per the theme of our blog. Most people don't get the theme of our blog quite frankly.

So: I see you are from Backgroundchecks.org. Can you provide a specifically tailored guest post about background checks? If so I have a few specifications and questions for such a post.

Ken
www.popehat.com

Hi Ken,

Thanks for the response. Well, I would love to write an article related to background checks. Please let me know if you have any specific topic in mind.

Best,
Rebecca

Rebecca:

Well, here's the thing. Most available articles about background checks involve people.

Now I grant you that in many ways this is sensible. Man, we are told, is the most dangerous game. Also not an island, and the bastard, and to the extent he is good, hard to find. Man is also a battlefield, if I recall correctly.

But what about other threats?

Is it possible to run a background check on a pony?

Now, wait. I recognize you will see this as immediately preposterous. "What kind of idiot has to run a background check on a pony," you might be thinking. "A pony is overtly hazardous, a patent threat by definition. You might as well run a background check on a puddle of acid or a board with a rusty nail or R. Kelly."

But there are gradations of risk, Rebecca. We deal with them every day. Do I speed up to make that yellow light, or slow down? Do I try skydiving, or not? Do I eat another Double-Double animal style from In-N-Out Burger even though my entire abdomen is so taut and bloated that my vision is blurred and I can feel my pulse in my scrotum?

All ponies are wicked and hazardous, but surely some ponies are more deadly than others. For instance, though all ponies would bite our precious children given a suitable opportunity, some have actually done so and developed a taste for man-flesh that torments their dreams and makes them shudder when darling little hands run over their manes. Any pony MIGHT kill a man, but some ponies HAVE killed a man, and have begun to develop . . . . skills. It's like the difference between a job applicant who has a proven record of being repeatedly fired for incompetence, and one who merely has visible barbed wire or tribal tattoos.

So: I guess what I'm looking for is an article on the extent to which modern technology and investigative methods has made it practicable to run background checks on ponies before one retains their services for one purpose or another.

Also: our readers have grown extremely wary to the point of unmedicated phobia about ponies. So the article should be ABOUT ponies but under no circumstances should the article SAY "pony" or directly mention anything clearly pony-related like "hoof" or "snort" or "rend." Kindly employ a euphemism instead, viz. "In this article I will discuss whether it is possible to run a background check on William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States of America, in order to protect your children."

Trusting that these terms will be agreeable, I remain very sincerely yours,

Ken
www.popehat.com

80 Comments

An Ode from Ur-Dad

Humor, Poetry, Science

While off to meander
The vale of Neander
I once took a gander at some lovely gal.

She was low in the hip
And smart as a whip,
But that brow ridge! It made me her pal.

I said, "Though I'm cro-magnon,
I'll be yer companion,
If you'll join me now down in the valley."

With a come-hither look,
My comparatively frail hand she took,
And we down toward the river did sally.

With no hint of neurosis,
We danced the meiosis,
And maybe a tango or two.

And that's why knuckle-dragger
Snips, like a stone dagger
Enhancing your swagger,
Now make you a bragger
'bout the chromosomes that she left to you.

Neanderthal

17 Comments

Journal of the Great Shutdown, Day Eight

Effluvia, Humor, Politics & Current Events

My credit card was declined when I tried to buy ammunition this morning. At first I thought the financial system had finally crashed, but my bank told me that the actual problem was the six pallets of Vienna Sausages I special ordered at Costco.

The first rule of post apocalypse club is to adapt, and I've adapted. I've emptied out Mrs. Clark's IRA – it's not like any of us is going to retire anyway.

I invited the Craigslist blacksmith over (his hourly rate is high, but it's surprisingly affordable when you realize that dollars are going to be worthless by this time next week). Turns out he's pretty handy at welding and is teaching me to "stick weld". The family minivan should be supercharged and up-armored by the time dinner (spam, tang, and matzo) is on the table. That project means that I have little time for further blogging, but in the mean time Nick Gillespie & Meredith Bragg have stepped up to fill the void.

If you haven't already stocked up on food, it's probably too late…but I suspect that the animal shelters still have cats.

For now.

You know what to do.

28 Comments

A Hot Tip on Cue from the Swabbie Hobby Lobby

Effluvia, Geekery, Humor

An update about the True Authorship of the Pirate Resignation Letter– now with 100% more Angus scrotum:

Back in April, in the comment thread of a post about our recondite plans for global dominion, a Popehat visitor using the nick "Will Nobilis" seemed to claim authorship of the well-known Pirate Resignation Letter. In one comment, Will Nobilis wrote,

"…a random web search led me to find out Ken and Patrick (and someone named Mike) wrote about my pirate resignation letter…."

This claim surprised me, so I poked around for other posts by Will Nobilis, and, behold!, appended to Ken's variant of "The Nymph's Reply" there was the following humblebrag from 2011:

"I am glad to see it has made it to a site I frequently enjoy reading and I hope it brought you as much amusement as it did for me to write it and send it to my bosses back then."

In Will's claim I detected a whiff of Alvarez. So I asked him to clarify. I haven't bothered to grep the logs for a visit from him to that page since then, but we haven't noticed his nick or IP since. Whatevs….

This little episode is what prompted my recent post on The Origin of the Pirate Resignation Letter. A few years ago, by the usual means, I had traced the PRL back as far as the early aughties–specifically, to the third of May 18082001–and had come up with a tentative attribution: "As far as I've been able to tell through clever googling in my favorite search engine, the renowned and much beloved Pirate Resignation Letter was written by Chris Castle…." This Castle chap had posted in a forum, now defunct, under the nick "The Bartender" and had stated that

"In the interest of disclosure I should note …[that t]he entirety of the letter was not drafted by solely myself[.] I prefer to think of myself as the 'Producer' of the document".

As if summoned by low-tier conjuration, a Popehat commenter named "The Bartender" bearing email and IP affinity to Castle turned up to comment on the thread (without disclaiming credit): "Thank you for finding this!…" In neither case did the drinkslinger cited a source.

Anyhow, I don't mean to get exercised, but the pilates thickens: there's new evidence that may set the record straight. For comes now a future reader of Popehat, the humble, scoundrel-hatin' Rob G——-, who intimates that all the preceding claimants, real or imagined, are right bastards, and who adduces credible evidence to support his own authorship. He confirms that he was not posting as "Will Nobilis" and that he ain't "The Bartender". By email, RG explains:

A friend of mine sent me a link to a recent post you guys made about the supposed "original" author of the pirate resignation letter.  (To wit: http://www.popehat.com/2013/04/24/origin-of-the-pirate-resignation-letter/)  She suggested I send you a note and square the issue – because I indeed wrote the pirate resignation letter in the winter of 2000.

I've been gratified for over a decade that it's been re-posted and reused more than a few times, but I don't believe I've ever before seen someone attempt to claim authorship, until now.  As such, I direct your attention to the following link on the Internet Wayback Machine:

As a bit of background, I was a miserable IT guy at Merrill Lynch back in the 1990's, and during the waning moments of my career I took to writing resignation letters as a bit of a hobby.  Two of the ones I wrote I later forwarded on to i-resign.com, and the pirate letter was the one I actually did use as my resignation letter from Merrill in December of 2000.  The "Chris" mentioned in the letter was my boss at the time, a guy named Chris O——-, and the word "porcine" was actually "bovine" in the original letter.  (When you work for a company with a large, scrotum-displaying bull as its logo, it's obvious to see the reasons for my use of the term.)  The eventual recipient of my actual resignation letter was a gentleman named John F——-, who had, at time of receipt, long been convinced of my eccentric incompatibility with Merrill.

Someone sent me a link years ago to a reply I suppose you guys did – it was droll and appreciated.  I don't really want any notoriety or "credit," but I wanted to set the record straight – I don't like liars.

Best,

Rob G——-
(I have truncated names to protect the privateeracy of the parties embroiled.)
Thanks to Mr. G——- for providing this info and a link to what seems to be the earliest extant occurrence of the PRL. If anyone can show just cause why this resignation letter and this author cannot lawfully be joined together, let him parley now or forever walk the plank.
18 Comments

This Is The Most Wonderful Legal Threat EVER

Humor, Law

Various journalists are claiming they have seen a video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack.

This led to the most darling legal threat ever from a lawyer named Dennis Morris — who has represented Ford for some time — to Gawker:

Update: We've received an email from Dennis Morris, a gentleman with a hotmail.com email address purporting to be Ford's attorney. Here is the message. We haven't corrected its formatting.

Greetings;I am a lawyer,and have been contacted by Mayor Ford's office in reference to your indicating you will post a photo of Mayor Ford smoking crack cocaine. Mayor Ford denies such took place,and if such posting occurs,it is false and defamatory,and you will be held legally accountable.In reference to the photo,you wish to publish, Mayor Ford has his photo taken daily,sometimes with others.

If the person you mention is now deceased,it is sad,regardless of his alleged background.

Please govern yourself accordingly.

Dennis Morris.

This is delightful, like that video of the kitten freaking out when it sees a lizard.

First, nobody ever governed themselves accordingly based on a threat from a hotmail account. Second, are you using some sort of comma-based operating system? Third, what the fuck are you talking about?

This sets a high bar.

129 Comments

Origin of the Pirate Resignation Letter

Effluvia, Geekery, Humor

As far as I've been able to tell through clever googling in my favorite search engine, the renowned and much beloved Pirate Resignation Letter was written by Chris Castle and delivered to James Bear (deceased), former managing partner of Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear, LLP.

After using the letter, Castle shared it with his friend, user "Otter Von Pop" of the (now defunct) BirdSunEye.com forum, and that user posted it on 17 October 2003 both as a forum post and as a Word doc attachment.

Later that morning, Chris Castle, posting as "The Bartender" confirmed the story and reported on the (first ever!) recipient's humorless (or brilliantly funny!) reply.

Harvested from the past and hosted right here on Popehat is that original forum thread:

Original Pirate Resignation Letter Thread

Enjoy this bit of net.history! And if you have anything to add about the people or circumstances, please share what you know in the comments.

UPDATE: There's a new pretender to the helm!

23 Comments

No Elaborate Scam. Sorry.

Fun, Humor

I'm not participating in any elaborate April Fool's joke this year. But if you are in the mood, have a flashback instead.

There's the greatest prosecutorial practical joke ever.

There's the time Patrick had to shut down his satirical North Korean Twitter account because a newspaper took it seriously.

There was the April Fools joke about Senator Lieberman.

There was the meta-joke about jokes by Patrick.

And there was the Turkewitz joke, which displays Patrick's talent for staying in character.

16 Comments

Pressing On With "On Press, Inc."

Humor, Law

Yesterday I discussed the strange case of "On Press, Inc.", a name used to make feckless and frequently incoherent threats against people who quoted "poet" "Shaun Shane."

Investigation results to date suggest that the "On Press, Inc." staffed by illiterates and making stupid threats is not — repeat not — the California corporation of that name. Moreover, though evidence suggests that the people using that name are in Texas, there is no record of such a corporation in Texas. Doing business under a false representation of corporate status is illegal in almost every jurisdiction.

On Twitter, I have repeatedly asked the threat accounts of "On Press, Inc." to identify the state in which they are incorporated, or identify the attorney representing them. I've received only misspelled abuse in response.

Yesterday I wrote an email address an apparent representative of "On Press, Inc." had used to leave a comment elsewhere. I've received no response. Here's the email:

Dear "On Press, Inc.":

I am a former federal prosecutor, a member of the First Amendment Lawyers Association, and a blogger at www.Popehat.com on issues including free speech, bogus legal threats, and online fraud.

I have been following your legal threats and insults regarding poems by "Shaun Shane." I have written about your threats already, and will be writing more. I have some questions.

1. Is "On Press, Inc." actually a corporation? If so in what state is it incorporated?

2. Is "On Press, Inc." represented by an attorney in connection with your threats, or in connection with your claims to the copyright in the work of "Shaun Shane"? If so, who is that lawyer?

3. Will you share any documentation showing that "On Press, Inc." is the holder of the "Shaun Shane" copyright?

4. Who — that is, what human being — is operating the various "On Press, Inc." twitter accounts and making these threats?

5. Did "On Press, Inc." leave the comments by "Tammy" and "Michael Bradshaw" described in this post? http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130217/18381022008/attribution-troll-press-inc-now-50-less-troll-like-also-not-yelling-people-sells-more-books.shtml

6. Did anyone from "On Press, Inc." call TechDirt pretending to be an attorney?

7. [Question redacted for strategic reasons]

8. Are you willing to discuss these issues?

Thanks,

Ken White
www.popehat.com

Meanwhile, unless trolls are impersonating them, "On Press, Inc." continues to use Twitter to threaten and insult. It appears that someone at "On Press, Inc." is attempting — to the best of their just precious ability — to make it appear they have a robust team conversing amongst themselves. Tim Cushing has collected some of the tweets illuminating the bizarre result.

Meanwhile, check out the #ShaunShane hashtag to observe attempts to write non-copyright-violating poetry.

Edited to add: in the comments, Corporal Lint finds a way to make Shaun Shane's poetry more palatable:

Translated by computer into Italian, then into French, then back into English, then into Urdu, then back into English, then into Azerbaijani, and then back to English again, it becomes evocative almost haunting:

We are
more careful
when it comes
to our language
if it can
be made ​​with glass,
we know that

30 Comments

Jack Stuef Picks A Fight With Someone His Own Size.

Fun, Humor, Irksome

We don't like Jack Stuef.

Jack Stuef is a low level troll, a self-styled comic and self-styled journalist who was forced out of WONKETTE (think about that) for poor taste. Specifically, his taste in subjects for comedic journalism, such as handicapped children. Now Jack Stuef writes for Buzzfeed, which is sort of like Reddit without a downvote button.

So when Jack Stuef applied his talents, formerly devoted to mocking the disabled, to a hit-piece on Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal, we thought Inman would shrug it off. Inman, after all, is the internet equivalent of a former samurai turned buddhist monk, living on a mountaintop, a samurai who has abandoned the sword for a life of contemplation of the idea of a sword, who can now kill with a stick, or a blade of grass, or the Shao Lin Buddha Finger. Such a man does not lower himself to street brawls with thugs like Jack Stuef.

Still, even a master swordsman must defend himself from time to time: This is the result.

You're welcome.

96 Comments

The Road To Popehat: Popehat Branding Edition

Humor

It's time for the Road to Popehat, the feature in which we check out the traffic logs, look at the searches that brought you here, and . . . you know what? At this point I'd normally say something snide like "wonder if Thorazine is covered under Obamacare" or "watch the Walking Dead for ideas on barricading structures to defendant against mindless zombies," but I've realized that I'm doing this all wrong. Thanks to repeated exposure to marketeers, I now realize that every search that brings someone to Popehat is a branding opportunity — a chance to alter our product to satisfy what the customers want. These people shouldn't be mocked. These people are giving us invaluable market data.

OK. Let's give this a try.

argumentative essay about some believe anti-islam film should to be free speech and others believe has to be censored: Yes! Here at Popehat, we will write your high school civics essays for you.

what family in the u.s.owns a well-known chain of discounts stores and is one of the richest families in the wirld: Sure, if you need help watching Jeopardy, we're here for you. That's the Popehat promise!

legal implecation effecting on wimpy: Yeah, okay. If you're at Yale Law and you need help, we'll see what we can do.

read gawker sites without going to them: Yes! We at Popehat are at the forefront of helping Redditors adjust to people on the internet criticizing them.

how to get rid of fucktards on facebook: Absolutely! At Popehat, we can help you find safe and legal methods, such as unfriending and closing the browser window and thus-and-such.

silenced pistol hunting: Yeah, okay, we're still going to have to recommend the unfriending instead, but we hear you and we at Popehat are all about respecting your strong feelings.

kenneth nice yelling: That you! We at Popehat are all about cultivating feedback and responding to it.

ai shit on the law of pope: I'm sorry if Popehat's legal suggestions have left you unsatisfied. We're committed to making you a satisfied customer.

choking on grapes statistics: Well, we're just shooting from the hip here, but we at Popehat think that maybe you shouldn't try to eat the grape statistics in the first place.

wat r da benefits of oatmeals: Yes! Popehat has a remedial language program. Thank you for asking.

popehat for pets: Oh . . . oh my God. This is the best branding idea ever. This is genius market segmentation. David, Grandy, I want "Popehat for Pets" live by next Monday. The pony stuff alone will be HUGE traffic. And "snort my taint" — it's absolute fucking synchronicity.

how to handle rude and unmanner behavior of mother in law: We at Popehat all have perfectly wonderful mothers-in-law and find your question inconceivable. However, I'm going to put you on our chat line with the Facebook guy above.

defamation for calling someone a dick: Yes! We at Popehat are . . . uh . . . okay. The customer is always right. But it's possible that the sorts of services we provide aren't ideally suited to you. Our core product is really aimed more at the free-speech-advocate. Can I offer you something in a "speech is not tyranny" post?

how to get a court order to take down a defamatory blog: Screw this. You losers are on your own.

17 Comments

Ponies 101: Introduction To Ponies

Fun, Humor

Hi Ken,

I am a contributing writer to a website dedicated to authoritative discussion on education. I recently came across your blog post http://www.popehat.com/2011/12/01/confining-american-education-a-stem-cell/ and it got me thinking about the state of educational policy today, specifically in the United States — I would love to submit an article to your blog. As I'm sure you know, tuition costs continue to rise, yet few policymakers have done anything to actually assess whether or not this ascension corresponds to a similar rise of educational quality.

Today many students are graduating with advanced degrees and are taking on jobs that don't require such a level education, if only because the job market is stagnant. I would love to expound upon this idea and examine whether or not there needs to be policy changes that help the students who go to college and — eventually — who will shape the future of the nation.

Several universities, among them the University of Wyoming, have referenced our Internet resource as a learning portal for students. Please let me know if you'd be interested in an article, it would be great to hear from you!

Best,
Valerie Harris

Hi Ken,

I wanted to follow up with you and make sure you had received my email I sent a little bit ago regarding my blog post idea.

Let me know your thoughts, I would love to work with you. Do not hesitate to get back to me with any questions!

Best regards,
Valerie Harris

Dear Ms. Harris,

I had missed your email before; thank you for reminding me about it. I take it from a little Google research that you are affiliated with http://www.mastersdegreeonline.org/, a site devoted not only to rigorously substantive discussion of complex educational topics, but also to fearless explorations of the possibilities of nonstandard sentence structure.

At Popehat, our approach to guests posts is a work in progress. We require recompense for publishing guest posts. However, we have been forced to abandon our pony-based pricing system as a result of both practical and philosophical concerns. We are, however, still committed to a barter approach, especially as the campaign season draws to a climax and Patrick's views regarding the global financial system grow increasingly unconventional. We would propose to barter our respective goods with you: we provide a platform, and you provide education. Specifically:

1. In exchange for allowing you one full guest-post, we will require a half-day seminar regarding the mitigation of pony-related physical and psychological injuries, with an emphasis on pony-driven psychosis (or "ponychosis," as we have begun to call it after the recent regrettable mall food court incident involving Clark). Also hoofings.

2. If there are any misspellings or grammatical errors in the guest post, we will require liquidated damages in the form of suitable refreshments at the seminar. You may think, Ms. Harris, that it will be amusing to provide novelty pony-shaped cookies, but let me assure you very sincerely that it will not be.

3. For every additional guest post you wish to submit, we will require you to provide David with an opportunity to make an art-history-related presentation of not less than three hundred thousand (300,000) words.

4. We'll need honorary degrees of some kind. Surprise us.

Trusting that these terms will be acceptable, I remain very truly yours,

Ken
www.popehat.com

49 Comments

Irkuilibrium

Humor, Politics & Current Events

"The past several weeks have made one thing crystal-clear: our country faces unmitigated disaster if the other side wins."

H. L. Mencken knew the score: "Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule—and both commonly succeed, and are right."

38 Comments

Taylor Ferrara

Effluvia, Humor, Music, Politics & Current Events

 

(Context is, of course, l'affaire Akin.)

15 Comments

Three Rings for the Republican Kings under the Missouri Sky

Humor, Politics & Current Events

 

"Sing to me, David, of clown shoes and a man…." OK. If you insist….

 

The elephant nominates a clown
To foil the opposition and to win,
To try to shut that whole thing down!

And that's the part that makes me frown.
I ponder it with great chagrin:
The elephant nominates a clown?

An eleventh hour swap would win renown.
Akin's kisser clamors with foot within
To try to shut that whole thing down!

Heavy hangs the head that wears the crown…
But heavier plod the huge shoe and its twin!
The elephant nominates a clown.

Sucking Charybdis spins; who swims may drown.
He ought to wring his towel and throw it in,
To try to shut that whole thing down.

But there's no hope of change in Barnum town.
Though donkeys bray or take it on the chin,
The elephant nominates a clown
To try to shut that whole thing down.

276 Comments

My Skype Call With Patrick

Humor

Last week, Skype announced that it would begin running advertisements during Skype calls:

"While on a 1:1 audio call, users will see content that could spark additional topics of conversation that are relevant to Skype users and highlight unique and local brand experiences," Skype's Sandhya Venkatachalam wrote on the company blog. "So, you should think of Conversation Ads as a way for Skype to generate fun interactivity between your circle of friends and family and the brands you care about. Ultimately, we believe this will help make Skype a more engaging and useful place to have your conversations each and every day."

At press time, it was not clear whether one Skype caller would see the advertisements the other caller is seeing. Nor was it clear whether Skype will resort to more intrusive methods to serve ads, such as examination of social media activity or analysis of callers' voices and appearances.

THE SCENE: TWO OFFICES, FROM WHICH TWO BLOGGERS TALK ON SKYPE.

Patrick: Hey.

Ken: Hey.

Continue Reading »

15 Comments
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