🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Swine Inflation 🐖
Swamp Thing 🎥
Phone Calls 📱
Life was different when I went to college in Iowa after growing up in suburban New York City. This isn’t to suggest I was a city kid. I wasn’t. The city was a place we went to a few times a year, and where I lived was most definitely not what you picture when you think of the Big Apple. But it also was very much not Iowa.
I loved Iowa. I loved the simplicity of it, the slower pace, the friendlier people, the fact that it was so flat in most sections and so devoid of stuff you could turn in a circle and see the horizon during your entire revolution.
If you want a good taste of what Iowa is like, go to the Iowa State Fair, a place that, thanks to Iowa’s ridiculously influential place in presidential elections, all those wanting to ascend to the most powerful position in the world need to visit at least once to show their salt-of-the-earthiness. To know that every recent president — the person with access to the nuclear codes that could blow the tits off the world — has gazed upon the latest version of the same full-sized cow sculpted from butter that I have is a great equalizer for me.
It’s patently stupid that Iowa has such an important role in our nation’s politics. It’s not the most representative state in the nation, to say the least. Yet leave it to Iowa to give us a great representation of something we all are feeling this year.
The Big Boar Contest at the Iowa State Fair (Faaaar) had only two entries this year, Pee-Wee and Purdy Boy. Typically, there are anywhere from five to 10 entrants. But this year, those attempting to cram as much poundage onto a pig were hampered by inflation.
Pee-Wee was aided by a sweet tooth, which meant his owner could each day offer up 36 days-old cream-filled long johns to assist in his weight-gaining efforts. Purdy Boy had no such sweet tooth, and his owners spent $6,000 — double the norm — stuffing him with pig feed (duh) to pack on the pounds.
Said Ernie Barnes, whose job it is to oversee the fairgrounds’ Swine Barn and who emcees the contest: “So, if a boar is eating that much feed and a guy is doing it as a hobby or as a fun deal, do you really want to feed a boar for a year with high-priced feed?”
The answer is no… no you don’t.
The Big Boar Contest is hardly the only thing affected. Prices for corn and soybeans, two ingredients in pig feed, hit nine-year highs over the past six months because of skyrocketing fertilizer prices. Ingredients in the fertilizer are sourced in areas affected by that little Ukraine spat we’ve mostly forgotten about because Kardashians or something. Costlier fertilizer equals costlier pig feed equals costlier bacon, and that, my friends, is simply not acceptable.
Get on that, Biden.
Oh. You didn’t think I’d leave this story without telling you which pig won the contest, did you? Pee-Wee, tipping the scales at 1,300 pounds, crushed Purdy Boy, who weighed in at “only” 1,156 pounds.
Long live the long john.
I picked up Boy The Younger from cross country practice yesterday evening, and we went to a local movie theater to see a special event … RiffTrax live. Back in the day, a Minnesota public television station aired a campy, amateurish show called Mystery Science Theater 3000. The premise was simple: Humans have produced some really awful movies over the course of time, and it’s fun to make fun of them. So three dudes (actually, on screen, it was one dude and two robots) watch films with titles like “Manos: The Hands of Fate,” “The Crawling Eye” and “Radar Men from the Moon” and crack jokes about them.
It developed a cult following that it retains to this day.
From that, Rifftrax was born. Rifftrax has some of MST3K’s OG’s, without their robot-puppet fronts. They tackle both horrible B movies and popular mainstream flicks like “Lord of the Rings.” And every once in a while, they riff live in front of an audience and then broadcast the stream in movie theaters.
Last night was a live event from Nashville, Tenn., and featured “The Return of Swamp Thing,” which was about as awful as you might think. The plot, such as it was, involved a mad scientist trying to find the key to eternal life and who, in the process, accidentally made all sorts of hideous beast. Plot twist! Swamp Thing is actually the hero in the story.
It’s fun hanging out with BTY. He’s weird like I am and appreciates off-beat humor.
If you stop and think about it, the telephone is really weird. We just accept the fact that we can push some numbers on a thing and then hear the in-real-time voice of someone near or far without really realizing how crazy that is.
I mean, think about it: The vibrations generated by your vocal cords can be translated into electronic signals and travel over wires or through the freaking air and then converted back into your exact voice for someone in Namibia or Newark … instantaneously. That’s some wizard shit right there.
That said, at some point along the way, I grew to hate talking on the phone. I’m not really sure why. More on that in a moment.
So when Bossman said it would be a good idea to call all the account managers whom I represent as Marketing Guy to check in and get to know them better, I wanted to barf. That would be something like fifteen phone conversations. I haven’t had 15 actual phone conversations in the past year, and he wanted me to do this in the next week.
But Bossman is Bossman, so I set up my phone calls for today and Monday and then proceeded to dread the coming of these days.
Friday morning dawned, and I realized something: I was being stupid. There’s nothing to dread about making phone calls to guys I really do need to get to know better and who I really do want to help. I’ve allowed myself, in general, to just accept certain things about me that aren’t really me. Not the me I am now, anyway.
So I made my phone calls today. Joyfully. And I had some great conversations with guys from California, Texas, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Louisiana, among other places. Those calls helped shape what I’ll need to do to be good at my job. It’s a good thing, these phone calls, so maybe that device isn’t so bad.
Top 5 Things You Will Learn If You Read This Whole Thing You can’t “Hippy” the desire to conquer land out of boys. Sometimes leadership is thrust upon us. Bob is an idiot. There’s a game played by a bunch of violent, drunk Englishmen that even Nazi bombs couldn’t stop. Even the most violent feuds…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- IndyCar race with Boy The Elder tomorrow!
- Fall weather can’t be too far away, right?
- Lots of concerts coming up in the next 30 days!
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Welcome to Issue No. 7 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. No. 5: I reached out to a friend I have not been shy about sharing that I’ve…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩More Stupid Human Stuff 📱KC Trip ⚾Miserable Missourah 😠 Quick: Take a look around you. If you’re in a room with five other people, one of them thinks you’re financially struggling if you don’t have the latest iPhone. That’s according to a new survey following the release of the iPhone 14.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Loser Species 👶Email Win 📧Dad Pride 👨👦👦 I’m pretty sure I’m not normal. Normal people respond to that statement with, “Oh, John, nobody’s normal,” which is just a sign for us non-normies that the person we’re talking to is normal. Yesterday, I was waiting for Wifey Poo to pick me up…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Concert Thoughts 🧠Marriage 💍Drunk Idiots 🧉 There’s this scene in the 2004 movie Garden State in which Sam (Natalie Portman) looks at Andrew (Zach Braff) and notices … … And yeah, that resonated with me then and resonates with me now. Ever since then, being “in it” has become a thing…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Beautiful Skies ⛅Two Terms For 2022 ✌️ Back in our early days at Pound Ridge Elementary School, Sarah was the fastest girl runner in the class, which bought her some serious playground cred. There were only a few of us boys who could hang with Sarah in the 50-meter dash…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Ear Flushing👂Grunge God🎶Tech Guy📺 If you have to have a doctor tell you a body part or yours is small, I suppose one of the least offensive would be the ear canal. That’s what a doctor told me this morning, after I finally broke down and actually went to said doctor’s…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Toys in the Hall🪅Idiot Governors🗳️Flopping FedEx✈️ Last night in my hotel in Springfield, Missourah, I set out a glass of milk and a plate of cookies before going to bed. It’s not that I don’t know how to read a calendar or have any particular belief in a fat man in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Which One?🗺️Leave Introverts Alone🤫Oxford Commas🤪 I’m on the road for work this week, in Springfield. Ahhh, but Springfield what? There currently are 35 populated places in the United States named Springfield, spread out over 25 states, including five in Wisconsin. In addition, there are 35 Springfield Townships, and Ohio owns 11…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Surrounded 😷Wood Splitter 🌲Morons 🤪 I’ve had COVID. Twice. The first time fucked up my life for a year. I’m still not back to the me I was before it came into my home, and I’m pretty sure that now, nearly two years later, that’s not going to change. The second…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sunday audible🤒Fantasy Failure 🏈Anal Chess♟️ Sunday was supposed to be a romantic day spent in a canoe with Wifey Poo, the two of us paddling leisurely down the Meramec River. Mother Nature was not in the mood to play wingman and decided to pick the one day in the midst of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Finish Line Scene 🏃♂️Baseball’s Better ⚾M-I-Z! Z-O-UC-H! 🏈 I have never understood the modern-day purpose of running for the sake of running. Sure, I understand it’s a great form of cardiovascular exercise and it’s a convenient way to get from Point A to Point B, yet the desire to strap on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Book Guy 📚Queen Stuff 👑Bernard Shaw 📺 I’ve decided I want to own a copy of every Stephen King book ever written. That’s about 75 books at the moment. I have a built-in bookcase in my mancave/home office. I don’t think it would hold all 75 in hardcover, but perhaps it…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Beginnings 📚School Start 🚌Real Baseball ⚾ I was thinking this morning on my drive to work how we rarely know when the significant times in our lives begin. So frequently, the most important things that happen to us start with nothing noteworthy. Of course, there are exceptions, the “love-at-first-sight” moments or…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Fallin’ Thoughts 🤕Shinedown 🎸Sleepy 😴 The brain can be surprisingly efficient when the meatsack it’s attached to is in the middle of falling off a ladder while holding a revved-up chainsaw. This, I learned yesterday morning while attempting to saw a limb off a tree that was getting way too close…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Overview📅Fantasy Football🏈Elite Bonding🤼♂️ Days that start with chainsaws and lighter fluid and end with four hours of really good professional wrestling are bound to be added to the “good” column for review when the scales are weighed at the end of a life. Yesterday was such a day for me. In…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Funeral 😢Glimmers ☁️Meat 🥩 If you’re lucky, you’ve had a second mother. Whether your first mother was or is an amazing person who nurtured you and raised you among calm consistency or if she was lacking in certain maternal fundamentals, having a second mother is a blessing. Today, we were there…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩We’re Dumber 👎OnlyFans Thrives 🍑Shinedown 🎵 Official statistics put the COVID death toll in the United States at 1.04 million, with another 713 deaths yesterday. More than 4,000 people are in the ICU right now suffering from what the former Moron-in-Chief called that one person coming from China and a situation…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dethroned Queen 👑Gravy Wrestling 🤼♂️Dog Talk 🐕 Don’t fuck with the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival board. That’s a message Abigail Brocwell is learning the hard way. Brocwell was expected to be inaugurated as the queen of the festival in the northern Ohio town earlier this month, but she was stripped of the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩3, Unassisted ⚾A Sad Day 📅Tracking Your Vagina 🌸 The last time Boy The Younger was on a baseball field, the “coach” of his team removed him from a game in the middle of an inning because I had privately messaged him to not attempt to steal home with my kid…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hydrogen Issue 🚀Karting 🏎️Lake Life 😌 I was all excited to watch the launch of the moon-bound Artemis 1 rocket this morning, only to see the clock stopped at T-minus 40 minutes because of a “hydrogen issue.” Don’t know about you, but I’m thinking having an issue with hydrogen is a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Karen in Control ⌚Karting 🏎️What podcast? 🎧 In the winter of 1993, I went to a comedy club with a friend and, in the spur of the moment, decided to be one of those who came forward to join the fun and be hypnotized. This was decidedly out of character for…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Little League Flap ⚾Grandpa Joe 🤦Psychedelics 🍄 Boys are interesting creatures who aren’t easily understood. One of the many, many weird things boys do is mercilessly make fun of their best friends. My closest friends in middle school and early in high school were affectionately nicknamed Goon, Tree Frog, Butt and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩 Death Cometh Sooner 💀Twitter Security 🔓Game Over 🌑 Average life expectancy in the United States dropped in 2020 by almost two years in 2020, the biggest decline since World War II. Every state and the District of Columbia saw a drop. Guess it was a little bit more than that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Worm brain 🧠Chicken Big Mac 🐔Eye Twitch 👁️ Caenorhabditis elegans is probably too elegant of a name for something that is really just a disgusting little worm about a millimeter long and most easily found in rotting fruit. It is more commonly known as a lab roundworm and was the first…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩The Agliata Homeschool Academy 🚌Hypnosis 😳Sunburn 🌞🔥 When you tell people you homeschool your children, you typically receive one of three responses: An enthusiastic: “Oh, that’s so cool!”An I’d-rather-be-dipped-in-acid: “Oh wow! I could never do that!” A you’re-one-of-those-weirdos: “Oh… really… homeschooling, huh?” The percentage for each has changed in the wake…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Indycar 🏎️Best Friends 😎Baseball Irony ⚾ There are certain people who look at car racing as an endless series of left turns. These people are idiots on whom nuance is lost. Boy The Elder and I crossed the border yesterday late-morning to head just past the fine city of East St.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Triple-Threat 🖥️🖥️🖥️Tasmanian Tiger 🐅Video Work 📹 Humans were not meant to stare at laptop screens. At least, humans of a certain age were not meant to stare at laptop screens. I say this after successfully lobbying for a second monitor at work, which effectively turned my laptop screen into a third…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Look Before Brewing ☕Hoop Construction 🏀Nuclear War ☢️ If you’d like an indication of how much of a Monday yesterday was for me, know that I ended up with an orange in my coffee. Well, to be fair, it wasn’t a full-blown orange. It was something called a Cutie, which is…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Weird Date 🪦Nature Walk🌳Bulldog Bath 🐶 If you have a date walking around a cemetery, you’re either weird or goth, and neither Wifey Poo nor I were wearing black today, which I guess tells you all you need to know about us. Old cemeteries are something of a fascination for us,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩So Long, Kid 👨👦Steak Celebration🥩Chip & Joanna 🪚 Regular readers of my drivel know that I’m kind of an emotional guy, which is like saying that Jack kind of could have fit on the spacious floating door with Rose in Titanic. So it should come as no surprise when I say…Keep reading