Tagged: Humor

Aptonymy

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From my good friend Scott Ratner:

"What do you expect when the very name of the store is Target?  It's like buying food items at a store called Ralphs."

Extended! (Final performances this Sunday!)

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Kill A Better Mousetrap, a one-act play recently featured at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, has been extended as part of the "Best of Fringe"!

Additional performances will occur on Sunday, 28 July, at 1pm and again at 5:30pm.

Miles Edward Merbinau has somehow inherited the film rights to the world’s longest running play, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. Unfortunately, due to a legal technicality, he can’t do anything with them until the original London production of the play (now in its 60th year!) closes… which hardly seems imminent. Several “peaceable” efforts to shut down The Mousetrap having backfired on him, Merbinau is now determined to borrow a leaf from Dame Agatha’s own works… murder!

The people have raved, of course, but the author and lead actor, Scott Ratner, felt that some celebrity endorsements would also be fitting. Having failed to secure them, he had to roll his own:

Tickets here

(Edit: bumped for great justice!)

A Hot Tip on Cue from the Swabbie Hobby Lobby

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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.

Origin of the Pirate Resignation Letter

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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!

I don't know if it's right, but I know that I like it

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The exceptional Language Log — which Patrick, not unreasonably, likes to call the best blog ever — has a post chock-full of both thought and humor about whether it's nice for native English speakers to make fun of hilarious mistranslations into English, and why such mistakes happen even in formal contexts, when some sort of proofreading might reasonably be expected. In case you're a shallow fellow like me and don't care, it also has a selection of the best of such mistranslations. Knock yourself out.

Circuit City Flighty, Sensitive, Apt To Fly Into Rages And Gales of Tears

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At least that's what I'm guessing based on how they're flipping out at being the subject of mediocre satire in Mad Magazine.

Congrats to Elizabeth Barron and Circuit City for hitting upon the one thing that would lead to more than twelve people reading the shitty parody. I particularly like the directive to destroy the magazines and throw them away, which conjures images of Circuit City drones jumping up and down on a stack of magazines before shoveling them off of the loading dock.

I Feel Immune!

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I always assumed this was an urban legend, but Snopes assures me that it is not: James Brown's wife Adrienne Brown, through her attorney Allen W. Johnson, attempted to raise a defense of diplomatic immunity to a DUI charge on the grounds that her husband's nickname "the Ambassador of Soul" had been referenced, and thus accepted, by a member of Congress.

Dawn of Politics- vol I

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Politics are like real-time strategy games. They involve a careful gathering of resources and split-second decisions of their use. Ideally, the combination of tactical strategy and a more urgent pace than turn based would produce a typical match like speed chess; exhibiting fast pace, intense thinking, and tactical strategy. In reality though, the games comprise of memorized build orders and a game pace so fast nearly all strategy is thrown out the window. The only people who triumph are those losers who play for hours and hours on end; memorizing hotkeys while their vocabulary atrophies into Three Letter Acronyms. Does that sound familiar?

We've just had a historic primary season, or so I'm told. And you, dear reader, are probably sitting there in front of your computer, empty beer bottles strewn about, thinking, 'Now what the hell just happened? And where are my pants?'

Well hang on, I'm about to explain it to you, using the hyper-violent RTS Dawn of War, by Relic entertainment. By the way, your pants are behind the toilet. Go put them on before reading this; no one should have to see that shit.

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Step Three Has Been Discovered

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Ken Layne, one of the early big political bloggers, now writes mainly for Wonkette. But he has a pretty sweet side gig.

1. Get a writing space at a website known for its vast population of idiots, pervs, goons, morphodites, and slackjawed yokels. Say … Democratic Underground, or Free Republic, or Something Awful, or best of all, America Online.

2. Go out of one's way to insult said idiots, pervs, goons, morphodites, and slackjawed yokels, by telling them, truthfully, exactly what one thinks of them, and why each and every one of them deserves to be called an idiot, perv, goon, morphodite, or slackjawed yokel.

3. Turn on comments from the readers.

4. Profit!

I'd do it for free, but I wouldn't do it as well.

[Rerun] Non-Gamers Just Don't Get Gamers

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This one, written in 2004, was lost with a prior iteration of Popehat; I was inspired to dig it up from another site when I noticed someone following a now-dead link from Kotaku to find it. It concerns "Saga of Ryzom," a MMORPG (that is, for non-gamers, a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing game, like World of Warcraft) that went off-line for good early this year. Here it is, after the jump:

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