Category Archives: Humor Columns

Here’s Where “The Hamilton Polka” Fits Into Weird Al’s Rich Polka Catalogue (The Loop/Golf Digest)

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The Loop / Golf Digest — Rejoice, my friends, for though the world is dark and increasing Russian today there is cause for UNABASHED GLEE, because not only has “Weird Al” Yankovic released a new single BUT it’s also a polka medley AND the polka medley is all songs from “Hamilton,” and YES the ricochet-bang sound effect is used right when it should be in “My Shot” and then it’s used LIKE 20 MORE TIMES. God, it’s like my brain had forgotten which synapses turned on the joy. 

Fans of “Weird Al” know, of course, that the polka medley is generally one of the three high points of every album, although arguably it might be fourth on Dare to be Stupid, owing entirely to “I Want a New Duck.” (Only two albums lack them: his debut and “Even Worse,” which has “Stuck in a Closet With Vanna White” so it’s OK.) He also occasionally produces political ones. If you dig “The Hamilton Polka,” you might be wise to check out his other polka offerings, which can be found on his accordion-shaped box set Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of “Weird Al” Yankovic.

ALL OF THE POLKAS.

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The Best and Mostly Worst Nintendo Golf Games for the NES (via The Loop / Golf Digest)

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The Loop / Golf Digest — The classic Nintendo Entertainment System was great for games in which overdramatic and cliched Italians hurled turtle shells around subterranean drainpipes, but real bad for golf. Between the years of 1984 and 1992, the original NES spawned a handful of golf-oriented video games, all of which attempted to capture the majesty of the sport and none of which, to our memory, came within a country mile of Ninja Gaiden or Metroid or even Golgo 13, and yeah, I see you out there, my Golgo 13 people.

But was that memory false? Did the games hold up better than we remembered, in our decades-old Super Tecmo Bowl-themed fog? This week we set forth to find out, using a Raspberry Pi, a customizable and probably legal device on which you can basically play every video game released between 1860 and 1993. (Indeed, the entire vast breadth of your video-game childhood now fits on an SD card the approximate size of a Wheat Thin, although of course they taste entirely different.)

With that in mind, a revisiting of Nintendo’s Finest and Only Occasionally Racially Insensitive Golf Moments.

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The Slovak Olympic Bandwagon is Now Boarding (via The Loop / Golf Digest)

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The Loop / Golf Digest — I am flush with homeland pride because last night, or possibly tomorrow morning, I don’t really understand time zones, the Slovak Olympic hockey team upended the much-favored squad from the proud nation of Olympic Athletes of Russia, which has many citizens, four million conservative Twitter bots and is known to be pretty good at hockey. This is a very big win, akin to … OK well no other major Olympic Russian-related hockey upsets come to mind, but it’s a big deal. (As it happens, the non-NHL U.S. team lost to Slovenia, so basically Olympic hockey just got its bracket busted, or, as we say in Slovakia, bjysykd.)

The bandwagon is boarding, choo choo. 

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Snow Days are the Awful Worst and I Hate Them a Lot (via On Parenting at the Washington Post)

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On Parenting at the Washington Post — Not to sound like one of those tiresome “everything was better about X when I was a kid” people, but when I was a kid, everything was better about snow days. The phrase itself was a code word for hours of maniacal fun, for compulsory playtime, for a vacation day illogically deposited midweek, for a meteorologically blessed block of time in which you were compelled to do nothing at all because even if you had a destination, you probably couldn’t drive to it. One 5:45 a.m. ring of the phone meant the day had exploded into a rainbow of possibility. By startling contrast, when my children’s school last week buzzed my phone four times — twice to report an initial two-hour delay and twice to report “Never mind, it’s gross outside and we’re bailing” — my response was more like this: OhfortheloveofPete.

The full story at On Parenting at the Washington Post.

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A Dad’s Guide to the Indianapolis Concert Season (via Indianapolis Monthly)

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Indianapolis Monthly — Last week saw the beginning of the annual rush of Indianapolis summer concert announcements, a sprawling and diverse roster that veers all the way from bands you liked in the ’70s to bands you liked in the ’90s. Happily for music fans, it’s a long list! Unhappily for music fans, if you are of a certain age (pronounced “mine”), concerts remain ever-increasingly expensive, especially when you factor in babysitting, parking fees, Reputation tote bags, and the number of $12 Coors Lights you’ll half-drunkenly purchase from the lawn vendor at the Ruoff Home Mortgage Guaranteed Rate Bail Bonds Stereo Vacuum Bitcoin Company Music Center and Pawn Shop. To that end, if you are Of That Certain Age Of Which I Am, here’s a thoughtfully curated list of pros and cons for the summer concert season, which will be updated as shows are added (there’s still plenty of space for Buffett and Chesney).

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How to Eat Tide Pods, and Other Appealing Forms of Laundry Detergent (The Loop / Golf Digest)

Listen to Gronk. Not about anything else, ever. Just this.

 

The Loop / Golf Digest — What in the actual hell?

Yeah, we know. Look, we all accept that each new generation of teenagers invents new and inventive ways to be stupid for attention, and that we’ve given them unfettered access to a global Attention Device and told them their self-worth hinges on Likes from equally dunderheaded peers. But even with all that said, this Tide Pods thing takes the taco: Teens are filming themselves biting into and/or fully consuming the small packets of laundry detergent, which is a poor idea for the following reasons:

  1. It’s a laundry detergent

  2. You’re only supposed to ingest laundry detergent if you’re a washing machine

  3. Teens are not washing machines

  4. Although that would make my home life much more convenient

  5. Tide Pods are way too salty

 

More critical safety tips, and 250% more Gronk, here.

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38 Years Later, We Revisit ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ and Yeah Never Mind It’s Still Garbage (The Loop / Golf Digest)

What font is this even

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The Loop / Golf Digest — “Wonderful Christmastime” is the worst of Christmas songs, but it makes up for it by also being the worst of all songs, the worst song ever written by a human, Beatle or otherwise, the worst melody, the worst synthesizer, the worst production, the worst Wings song, the worst pronunciation of the word “here,” the worst lyrics, the worst scent. I have never seen the cover of the 45, but I bet it f**ing sucks. “Wonderful Christmastime” is the most terrible song ever written by anyone, or anything, ever, including robots and gorillas and Puff Daddy and Courtney Love. No one likes “Wonderful Christmastime.” No one. Paul McCartney hates it. All of Paul McCartney’s wives hate it. Santa thinks it’s a joke. God is like, ” I did not bestow upon you the Breath of Life to dishonor me with this unMely dreck,” and I imagine He’s not real happy about “Ebony and Ivory” either.

This goes on for like 900 more words, sorry.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson Graciously Answers Questions From My Children (Indianapolis Monthly)

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Indianapolis Monthly — For a nearly infinite number of reasons, I am profoundly under-equipped to interview astrophysicists like Neil deGrasse Tyson. I do not know the age of the sun, I have zero ideas about how to deflect murderous asteroids rocketing at us from deep space, and I know precisely two facts about Saturn, which are the same two you do. (It has rings and would float in an enormous bathtub.)

For this reason, and to preview Tyson’s December 5 appearance at Old National Centre, I have outsourced the following interview to two much more knowledgeable associates: my 13-year-old and 6-year-old, who joined me in listening to Tyson’s endlessly enjoyable StarTalk podcast on the drive home from Thanksgiving and have, as such, come to regard Tyson as Earth’s Smartest Person. Tyson, quite graciously, is happy to go along with this. “All you need is curiosity, and kids have it in abundance,” he says. “A professional scientist is simply a kid who never grew up.” (My 6-year-old, on the morning drive to kindergarten, asked me, “Is this the day you talk to that guy who’s the biggest expert on everything?”)

Indeed, as a best-selling author, podcast host, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, owner of a Twitter account with 10 million followers, host of the revival of the Cosmos television program, and teacher of unceasing charm and enthusiasm, Tyson has achieved the superstar status afforded to scientists like Carl Sagan, the MythBusters and, y’know, Einstein. He’ll bring all that expertise to town in a one-man show titled An Astrophysicist Reads the Newspaper, all about the current scientific climate, as well as asteroid collisions, cosmic travel, dark matter, and purely theoretical objects known as “newspapers.” (The show’s about two and a half hours and for all ages, though some language may be PG-13, because when discussing your potential extermination by enormous flying mountains from space, it’s appropriate to curse a little.)

So now, if you’ll permit, my sons throw a few questions to the biggest expert on everything.

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Why I Am Happily Plunging My Family Into Poverty Because of Honeycrisp Apples (Fatherly)

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Fatherly – I don’t have a large house, a Trunk Club membership, or student loans, but my children only eat Honeycrisp apples so it’s all sort of a wash.

Honeycrisp apples are the fresh, plump varietal in the produce section under the sign labeled “Prohibitively Expensive Versions of Normal Food.” They are large. They are delicious. Unlike stupid dumb loser apples, which break as though you’re cutting into oatmeal, Honeycrisps, true to their name, crack in a crisp example of Nature’s Majestic Symmetry, like the crystals of a geode, their little droplets of juice-spray playing delightfully in the air.

If I sound prejudiced against other apples, it’s because I hate them.

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Thanksgiving Was Immeasurably Improved By ‘Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’ (via The Loop / Golf Digest)

Tooooooooooot

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The Loop / Golf Digest — If over the Thanksgiving holiday you noticed friends and family members avoiding the table’s undying debates about Colin Kaepernick by staring at their laps, there’s a decent chance they were doing more than praying for the sweet release of death: They were probably playing “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp!” The long-awaited smartphone version of Nintendo’s classic sandbox game, “Pocket Camp” arrived on Nintendo’s GameCube in 1697, arrived on pocket phone machines last week, perfectly timed to offer players a fresh reason to ignore the genealogically connected monsters with whom they were required to interact.

If you’re familiar with “Animal Crossing,” my username is Sparrow and FRIEND ME, I need more people with whom to trade olive flounder. If you’re not familiar with “Animal Crossing,” and spent the holiday “playing golf” or “watching Michigan lose” or some nonsense, please read on, and then FRIEND ME, I need more people with whom to trade fruit beetles.

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