U.S. versus T.H.E.M. (or The Danger of Acronyms)

The following is a transcript from a recent summit held at a conference centre in Toronto to discuss America and Canada’s response to rising global terrorism.  

Canadian Reporter: Mr. Prime Minster. What would you say is the greatest single threat to democracy our country faces right now?

Justin Trudeau: Oh without a doubt it’s THEM.

Reporter: Who is ‘them’?

Trudeau: They are *points to screen with Terrorists Helping Evil Mobilize (aka THEM) under skull and crossbones*

Reporter: They are THEM?

Trudeau: Exactly.

Reporter: Who is planning to stop THEM?

Trudeau: US.

Reporter: We are?

Trudeau: No, them. *waves to U.S. Secretary of State*

Reporter: US is THEM?!

Secretary of State: No, we’re just US. They are THEM.

Reporter: Then who is going to neutralize THEM? Us?

Trudeau: No, they are! *rolls eyes and gestures to Secretary of State*

Reporter: Got it. So it’s US versus THEM but what are we doing?

Trudeau: We are going to help them however we can. *nods at Secretary of State*

Secretary of State: You’re going to help THEM?! I thought you were on our side.

Trudeau: We are helping you against THEM. Our whole focus is on supporting US.

Reporter: How do you expect to defeat THEM if you are concentrating on us and not them? It’s not all about us you know.

Secretary of State: What’s that supposed to mean? US has always been there for you.

Reporter: Sorry, Mr. Secretary. I meant them. *looks at Trudeau*

Secretary of State: Wait….you are THEM? Trudeau? More like FALSEreau amirite.

Trudeau: Who came up with this acronym?

Assistant to Trudeau: Us.

Trudeau: I knew it was them!

Reporter: Who is THEM again?

Assistant: No, not US sir. We did it.

Trudeau: You’re fired. Why don’t you go work for them? *points to Secretary of State*

Assistant: *doesn’t see Trudeau pointing* You want me to help THEM? No wonder you’re losing this war.

Secretary of State: Why are you picking on US again?!

*Trudeau aims nuclear missiles leftover from Cold War at conference centre*

Trudeau: Tell my family I love them.

Reporter: I thought you wanted to stop THEM?

*Trudeau pushes red button*

End of transcript

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Billy Joel Really Did the Start Fire According to NYPD Report

tumblr_n1emtqoh5R1tooympo1_500Despite repeated protests that it had always been burning since the world was turning, musician Billy Joel was arrested on Monday night by state troopers for his part in an upscale Brooklyn house fire that left four people with life-threatening injuries and the building in ruins.

“At this point Billy Joel is the primary suspect of our investigation,” said deputy police chief Joe Menkoff. “He gave a lengthy, rhyming list of people/things/ideas that he accused of committing the crime but the majority have ironclad alibis. I’ve been on the force for 32 years and I’ve never heard of an entire country or a long-deceased baseball player being charged with arson or attempted murder, but this is New York, so stranger things have happened.”

Mr. Joel’s roll call of alleged arsonists included among others Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray, South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio, Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television, North Korea, South Korea and Marilyn Monroe. He went on to name Rosenbergs, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom, Brando, The King & I, and The Catcher In The Rye as persons of interest.

“These wild accusations are completely baseless and insulting to the legacy of one of America’s greatest authors,” said Peter Fineberg, who represents the estate of J.D. Salinger. “Mr. Joel may think he’s a big shot but he will held accountable for his libel and criminal actions.”

Joel, who claimed to be having dinner with an uptown girl at a nearby Italian restaurant when the fire started, will be represented by Clarence Darrow III. Darrow released a statement which said that, “Mr. Joel is an innocent man who didn’t light it and was simply caught trying to fight it. You may be right that Piano Man is one of the most overplayed songs in history, but his greatest crime is writing A Matter of Trust – not starting a deadly fire.”

Tom Booth, the lead prosecutor for the case, seems intent on pursuing the death penalty for Joel. “Only the good die young, but that doesn’t mean we won’t try to fry his wrinkly old ass. If they don’t have the courage to flip the switch, we’ll seek to have him put away for the longest time,” said Booth. “No one, not even the man who dated Elle McPherson and married Christie Brinkley, is above the law.”

The trial is set to begin early 2017 in Miami.

Dino DNA: How John Hammond’s Jurassic Dream Lives on in Major League Baseball Pitcher Craig Breslow.

“It’s in your blood!”

They should all be destroyed.”

Unfortunately for the members of InGen (and their shareholders), that guy who got eaten in the bathroom (ed. note: Martin Gennaro) and batters everywhere, those cautionary words of big game hunter Robert Muldoon were never heeded, and John Hammond’s dinosaurs were left free to roam on the islands of Costa Rica…and in Major League Baseball.

One of those creations who is tearing through his sport like a pack of raptors tears apart a dilophosaurus–a hybrid of man and dinosaur–is Boston Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow. At first glance everything about Breslow seems in order; he doesn’t have a tail or scales and he’s never tried to eat Sam Neill, but there is something distinctively Tyrannosaurus-esque (Tyrannosaurusian?) about him.

Take another look at the picture of Breslow and you’ll notice his arms are short…very short. A graduate of Yale who majored in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, Breslow (who is often referred to as the smartest player in baseball) realized in college that a little “dino DNA” could go a long way towards helping him achieve his dream of becoming a MLB player.

Why didn't we listen?!

Why didn’t we listen?!

While studying his mechanics on film, Breslow realized that a shorter arm and slightly modified delivery would allow him to be equally effective against left and right-handed hitters; something that would have been impossible for him with fully “human” arms. As luck would have it, Yale was home to one of the largest collections of fossilized amber in the world–just what Breslow needed to gain a leg (err, arm) up on his competition. A little gene-splicing was small potatoes for a man of his intelligence and resources, and the results speak for themselves.

Breslow has carved out a successful eight year career in baseball as a lefty out of the bullpen, posting a 2.82 ERA over 402 innings including a 1.81 mark in 2013. Unlike many left-handed relievers who struggle against right-handed batters, Breslow’s unusual release point and genetically-modified dinosaur arm have proven potent against all big league hitters (righties own a career .222 batting average against him while lefties check in at .230). This unique ability to cut down hitters from both sides of the plate has allowed Breslow to amass nearly $7 million dollars in career earnings, something that might not have been possible without the help of a long extinct creature and a little insect trapped in sap.

As Dr. Ian Black reiterated to anyone and everyone throughout his visit to Isla Nubar: “life finds a way”.

Now life just needs to find a way to work itself out of a bases loaded jam…

Great Moments in GIF History: “Jumping the Shark”

I considering make a post with multiple GIF’s, but seeing 10 different scenes play out at the same time led to vomiting, diarrhea, and erectile dysfunction in a test audience, so that idea was scrapped.

Unfortunately for the producers of Happy Days, the scene above was never run by a test audience, and the result is a timeless piece of pop culture history.

Writer 1: Fonzi is always cool, right?

Writer 2: Of course.

Writer 1: So, the Fonz would be cool doing just about anything?

Writer 2: I guess so.

Writer 1: Like jumping over a shark on waterskis?

Writer 2: Say what now?

Writer 1: Great! I knew you’d love it!

Writer 2: F***

Writer 1 would go on to create other cinematic treasures like Don’t Mess with Zohan, White Chicks, and The Great Gatsby in Space. Writer 2 continues to plot his revenge. It’s likely to involve osteoporosis…or the West Nile virus…or both.

This preposterous scene from Happy Days would spawn the phrase “Jumping the Shark”, which refers to the moment when a show reaches the point of no return, and relies on gimmicks and outlandish plot twists to keep audiences tuning in. Though Happy Days would stay on air for another five years, it was never the same after the Fonzi’s leap of faith.

Realizing that the phrase was losing its cultural relevance, George Lucas showed a new generation how to destroy a respected franchise in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, creating today’s “Jumping the Shark” in the form of “Nuking the Fridge”.

Thank you Mr. Lucas and Mr. Winkler. You gave us the words to say what we always knew.

Stay tuned for more great moments in GIF history!

The Quizzical Case of Ed Porray: Cruise Ship Baby or Baseball’s First Merman?

On the surface, there appears to be nothing particularly noteworthy about Ed Porray. The 5’11”, 170 lbs. right-hander appeared in three games for the Buffalo Buffeds in 1914, posting a 4.35 ERA in three starts while allowing 18 hits in just 10.1 innings. Scores of players named Ed compiled mediocre stats in brief stints in Major League Baseball, so why does Porray continue to puzzle baseball historians and cryptozoologists more than 90 years after his final game?

It was a simpler time in Ed’s playing days, when the Ottoman Empire was still the talk of the town, Pancho Villa was known as a revolutionary and not a compliment to guacamole, and Americans were named after their home state or distinguishing physical feature. On a team populated by the likes of Chubby Snyder, Biff Schlitzer, Baldy Louden and Tex McDonald, the name “Ed Porray” stood out like a sore thumb.

But Big Ed’s name wasn’t the only thing that set him apart from the rest of the Buffeds. You see, while Porray’s teammates hailed from places like Farmersville, TX and Pittsburgh, PA, our enigmatic leading man’s place of birth was…the Atlantic Ocean?

Porray’s birth certificate, a document which has come under greater scrutiny than the Dead Sea Scrolls and Book of Mormon, lists that he was born “On a ship, on the Atlantic Ocean” or “At sea, on the Atlantic Ocean” depending upon source and translation. Though the differences in language are subtle, the ramifications of each statement are anything but.

If you subscribe to the second school of thought, that Porray was simply born on a boat in the Atlantic Ocean, then this is the end of our story. While Porray being born at sea makes him an interesting novelty, and a fun piece of baseball trivia, the pitcher and his career 2.419 WHIP need not take up any more of your brain’s valuable space.

But what if there were more to the story? What if Ed Porray wasn’t born on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean, but rather in the Atlantic Ocean? Is it possible that Porray was a citizen of the famed lost city of Atlantis or a wayward merman looking for a new life on land? Let’s examine the evidence:

  • The only substantiated photo of Porray shows the pitcher wearing a collared shirt. Did Porray wear the shirt because it was the acceptable form of male fashion in 1914, or would it be more reasonable to assume he was trying to hide his gills?
  • Though clearly the victim of a small sample size, Porray was an unequivocally bad player. His 4.35 ERA appears respectable at first blush, but Porray failed to strikeout a single batter in three starts while walking seven and allowing 18 hits. Porray’s FIP of 6.98, during a season in which the average Federal League team averaged 4.11 runs per game, is more indicative of his true talent or lack thereof. Porray’s struggles didn’t end on the mound though, as he went 0-4 in four plate appearances and managed to commit two errors in just nine chances for a fielding percentage of .778. Could anyone born on land possibly perform this poorly or was Ed simply struggling to adjust to the physics of playing baseball out of the water?
  • According to one source, Ed Porray the baseball player is the same Edmund J. Porray who co-wrote the song “Everybody Shimmies Now“. The song, which became a hit in 1918 when it was covered my Mae West, reveals a cryptic message when played backwards which includes a latitude and longitude of a hidden city in the middle of, you guessed it, the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The Greek philosopher Plato referenced Atlantis in his classic work, Timaeus, stating, “It is related in our records how once upon a time your State stayed the course of a mighty host… from a distant point in the Atlantic Ocean. Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvelous power, which held sway over all the island, and will one day seek to control the game of stick and ball.” Is the game of stick and ball Plato was referring to an ancient predecessor of baseball? Could Plato have known of Porray’s existence millennia before his birth?

Porray disappeared from the sport of baseball and newspaper headlines as quickly as he had entered them. Cryptozoologists and those familiar with Atlantian law believe that Ed was banned from returning to Atlantis after his failed conquest of baseball, and was exiled to a life above the surface in a world that had no place for him. Porray died a tourtured soul at age 65, alone and penniless in Lackawaxen, PA, a town whose named translates to “swift waters”. Coincidence?

A mountain of questions, a pittance of answers.

Ed Porray. Ship baby? Merman? Resident of Atlantis?

The truth is out there.

Outrageous, Egregious, Preposterous: Citing Lack of Run Support, Felix Hernandez Hires Jackie Chiles, Sues Seattle Mariners.

After the latest in a string of painful defeats in which his teammates failed in every imaginable way to support yet another fine pitching effort, Felix Hernandez finally decided that he couldn’t stay quiet any longer, and got on the phone with his lawyer Jackie Chiles.

Losing is one thing, but the way Felix Hernandez has accumulated his 10 losses this season is something else altogether. In those 10 soul-crushing defeats, Hernandez’s teammates have managed to push across a measly seven runs with the King on the hill,  leading to the second worst run support in the league behind only Dallas Braden (but nobody likes him, so he doesn’t count). Does Felix have every right to be furious with his teammates? You’re damn right he does, and bringing aboard a winner like Jackie Chiles is the only chance Hernandez has to receive the credit, and cash, that he deserves.

Although best known for his work on Kramer v. Marlboro and The People v. Seinfeld, Chiles is an accomplished sports attorney and agent who has represented the likes of Keith Hernandez and Bernie Williams. Chiles called Hernandez’s suit an open and shut case, telling reporters at his office that:

Despite a sterling 2.62 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 172 strikeouts, my client only has eight wins to his name, in large part due to poor decisions from the Seattle front office and poor performance from nearly every offensive player on the team. When Felix signed a long-term contract to stay with the Mariners he was under the impression that the organization was building a team that would compete for a World Series, not the worst record in baseball. With certain escalator clauses in his contract that are triggered by All-Star appearances, Cy Young awards and trips to the playoffs, it has become obvious that the Mariners organization is trying to avoid paying my client these bonuses by putting an inferior product on the field behind him (.236 team batting average). Felix leads the league in quality starts and he has eight wins to show for it. Outrageous! Egregious! Preposterous!”

The Mariners front office refused to comment on the lawsuit, but several unnamed players agreed that, yeah, Felix was going to get paid. One player even went as far as to say that he would be willing to give up part of his wholly undeserved salary (cough Chone Figgins cough) in order to keep Hernandez happy and the case out of court.

Judging from Chiles track record though, Hernandez isn’t likely to settle with the M’s, and who can blame him?

He’s finally got a chance at a win…

Tom Emanski Admits Back-to-Back-to-Back AAU National Champs Fueled by Steroids and HGH, Not Fundamentals.

Steroids are not Fred McGriff approved.

In a scandal that would make even Mark McGwire blush, former A.A.U. baseball coach and the godfather of fundamentals Tom Emanski revealed in a recent interview with Larry King that he administered steroids and human growth hormone to his teenage players in order to gain a competitive advantage.

Emanski gained worldwide fame for his baseball fundamental videos (often referred to as the nine commandments) that stressed a “building block” approach to the sport. Apparently, those building blocks involved bathroom stall injections, steroid cycles and masking agents, not hitting the cut-off man and proper base running.

The cult hero (his commercials have aired over 100,000 times) agreed to an interview with King after a former player threatened to blackmail him, and with Emanski’s net worth rumored to eclipse $70 million dollars, the coach decided it was time to come clean rather than give up his lavish lifestyle. While Emanski didn’t get into specifics about what drugs he administered to players, he did open up about the reasoning behind his decision:

If I wanted a team full of David Ecksteins I would have just taught the kids fundamentals, but hell, who wants to watch that little gnat play baseball? I juiced the kids up because it’s what the fans wanted–frozen ropes, tape measure home runs and pre-pubescent boys hitting 90 miles-an-hour on the radar gun–now that’s entertainment.”

When asked if he regretted negatively influencing the young boys’ lives, 90% of which are now dead or incarcerated, Emanski showed little remorse:

“Would I do it all over again? You bet your rotten old ass I would Larry. These kids came to play for me because they wanted to win, and the best way to do that was with [performance enhancing drugs] not fundamentals. It’s not like I was the only coach encouraging steroid use–just look at Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre. To make it in baseball today you’ve got to be willing to make sacrifices…the kids and their parents knew exactly what they were getting into.”

No former players (including an unnamed MLB star) were willing to speak to any media outlets about Emanski’s revelation, but one parent spoke on the condition of anonymity to Larry LaRue of the Tacoma News Tribune:

“We knew there was something funny about Coach Emanski, but we couldn’t quite put our finger on it. The soft toss, the exaggerated throwing motion, the kids throwing balls from the outfield into garbage cans at homeplate–let’s just say I was baffled. There aren’t even garbage cans on the field during a game! None of us had any idea that steroids were being used, but maybe the fact that my 13-year-old son was bench pressing 250 lbs. should have been a red flag; I just figured he had good genes. You can believe we [the parents] are going to take this to court and make Emanski pay through the nose.”

Fred McGriff, who endorsed the videos as a young slugger for the San Diego Padres, teared up and shook his head slowly from side to side when approached at a restaurant about the story by a reporter. He didn’t comment any further, but on his way out, McGriff was seen throwing the distinctive blue “Baseball World” hat into an overflowing trash can, symbolically stating that once and for all, Tom Emanski’s videos were no longer “Fred McGriff approved“.

He won’t be the only one shaking his head tonight…Tom Emanski failed baseball and forever tarnished America’s youth.

Is nothing in this world holy anymore?