the last word (tm)
18/No. 1 - 451st issue - February 19, 2009
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YAHOO! WE'RE OFF YAHOO!
For the first time since 1999, The Last Word is without its precious Yahoo! e-mail list. Waaaah.
When I tried sending out our previous ish, Yahoo! blocked it from appearing. I tried sending it multiple times - to no avail. This blockage was clearly content-based - for my subsequent notice that I was shutting down the e-mail list got through.
What good is having an e-mail list when the items you send out don't even get through?
Accordingly, I opted to close the e-mail list.
This episode cemented Yahoo!'s reputation for hostility to the free flow of ideas - which was already heightened by Yahoo!'s mid-decade campaign of ratting out journalists to the Chinese government (which netted the reporters ruinous prison sentences). That scandal resulted in me demanding Yahoo! yank my account - but Yahoo! didn't want to make a martyr out of me, I guess.
I've now learned that by late last year, Yahoo! had several CEO's following Terry Semel - the man who approved Yahoo's conspiracy with Chinese government officials. Clearly though it has a ways to go. As far as I was concerned, the only way Yahoo! could even come close to righting this wrong is if it could successfully bring about freedom for the imprisoned journalists - and compensate them many times over!
The omnipotent, omniscient, omnivorous Wikipedia says that the wife of a Chinese dissident who was imprisoned after Yahoo! tattled on him has sued Yahoo! in an American court under a longstanding U.S. human rights law. Naturally, the Bush regime opposed this suit.
More details about The Last Word's battle with Yahoo! can be found at:
LAUNDROMAT PICKETED OVER TOILET PAPER
After this article, I promise that The Last Word will never again print the word toilet.
I like toilet paper. It's mellow stuff.
Last month, folks in Streator, Illinois, learned just how much a local laundromat likes its toilet paper too. That's when the owner of the laundromat accused a 16-year-old boy of urinating all over a roll of bathroom tissue in the restroom there.
So protective of its toilet paper is the laundromat that the business posted 4 photos of the youth taken with a surveillance camera - accompanied with insulting remarks.
This resulted in the boy's mother picketing the laundromat and urging people to boycott it. She picketed it every day for an hour in freezing cold weather.
The laundromat's owner has posted over 100 surveillance photos at the laundries he owns of customers committing various acts of mayhem. But the picketer said, "I ask you, what is worse? A kid tinkling on toilet paper? Or exploiting a minor?"
(Story here: http://mywebtimes.com/archives/ottawa/display.php?id=373449)
WHEN THE STONES CONQUERED A HOLIDAY INN
The Rolling Stones' 1983 single "Undercover Of The Night" hit the lower reaches of the top 10 on Billboard's Hot 100 - but the song had a video that truly hit #1 in people pleasin'.
Ever since I was a lad, one of my favorite role-playing games has been Holiday Inn conquering. Back in my day, I found a directory of all the Holiday Inn locations worldwide and pretended I visited each one (in the order in which they were listed), laid waste to the entire hotel, dumped poison in the swimming pool, and barbecued the innkeeper. It was a great way to pass the many rainy days locally.
I recommend this pastime to you and your family. It'll help your children learn all the states, cities, and countries.
Hotel conquering was so legendary that briefly in the mid-'90s The Last Word even ran its own hotel conquering game. I can't remember whether it involved Motel 6 or Super 8, but it was all fantasy, of course.
With the dawn of YouTube, I've been able to see music videos I haven't seen since the early days of MTV. I was always quite fond of the Stones' exciting "Undercover" clip, and I remembered it featuring assorted mayhem in a hotel, plus a shootout in a church. (Even the opening of the song sounded like gunfire.)
The video starts out with a nighttime view of Holiday Inn's gaudy green sign that once graced this hotel chain.
When I found this on YouPube recently, it finally dawned on me: THE WORLD'S GREATEST ROCK 'N' ROLL BAND CONQUERED A HOLIDAY INN!!! (And a church.)
Holiday Inn's oddly-shaped green signs with the yellow border were erected from the hotel chain's founding in 1952 until 1982. The sign was retired because it was becoming too expensive to maintain (especially when the sign kept having to be replaced because of all the conquerings). Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson was infuriated when the chain retired his sign. Supposedly, however, people still occasionally find lonely fragments of the old signs in isolated lots.
The only thing funnier than the Rolling Stones conquering a Holiday Inn would be Foghat conquering a Big Boy.
NORTH CAROLINAING IS NORTH CAROLINABELIEVING
Legendarily, I went on another fact-finding mission from December 28 to 30 - this time in North Carolina and Virginia.
We went down through eastern Kentucky. Near Pikeville, a car pulled out in front of us from a side road and nearly decimated us. Near Stuart, Virginia, we witnessed a pickup driving on the wrong side of the road. I also noticed someone had peed all over the bathroom floor at a Citgo station in Martinsville, Virginia.
We took surface streets through Raleigh, but it was night, it was raining, and the road was poopy and all. We ate supper at a Mediterranean restaurant, and the eatery's valuable fork broke.
At our hotel in Greenville, North Carolina, I noticed someone had burned a hole in the bed spread. Also, the soda machine ate my nickel, such a scam it is. The channel list for TV in the room looked like it had been dunked in the toilet, and in the morning, the room key became lost.
After we got going again, we ate lunch at the overpriced Dirty Dick's tourist trap in Kill Devil Hills. We'd already ordered beverages, when we were informed that the restaurant was out of half the items on the menu. To test my patience further, my Coke tasted of a giant postage stamp, and the food we did get was barely edible or worse.
Wright Brothers National Memorial was a highlight of this trip. Hilariously, the walkway there was coated with countless piles of animal feces. Even more uproariously, some youngster who was about 7 years old peed all over a sign along the walkway.
When we ate din-din at a restaurant in Colonial Heights, Virginia, we saw a Todd Palin look-alike.
The mischief highlight of this road trip happened at our motel near Lynchburg, Virginia. The phone book in the hotel room was graced (to use the term loosely) by an ad for a right-wing talk radio station that featured photos of Dr. Laura and Bill O'Reilly. I promptly grabbed my pen and drew mustaches and beards on both O'Reilly and Laura:
The following day, we were driving on mountainous US 501 near Buena Vista, Virginia, and noticed that some guy parked along the roadway was masturbating. Yep, he was bastin'!
Also, when we ate lunch at the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Covington, Virginia, the restroom was the most humorously untidy we saw on the whole trip: There was a loogie on top of the urinal, a paper clip in the urinal bowl, and a big ol' booger wiped on the mirror.
All in all, our 55th overnight road trip was one of the all-time greatest! Here's some photos and videos from this mind-numbing event:
DICK LUGAR LIKES PIE (a poopyism)
Pies getting smashed in the faces of politicians (or anyone else) isn't necessarily news - unless there's some bizarre circumstances involved.
Such circumstances may make it news, but that doesn't necessarily make it a poopyism - unless the episode is largely forgotten by the media, or not covered at all.
Meet Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Indiana). Dick Lugar, a staunch conservative, ran for President in the 1996 Republican primary. By then, however, the GOP was such a laughingstock that he's probably lucky he lost.
The Loogster also nearly destroyed my mom's brand-new TV set once during that era: When Lugar's face appeared on the screen, I threw a dog bone at the television and almost hit it.
Well, a particular employee of an Indiana diner had much better aim. One day, Lugar was driving across the Hoosier State when he stopped at this restaurant. As the senator was reading the daily blab and sipping a steaming cup of coffee, a waitress recognized him.
The server was none too pleased at Republican policies. Few people were. Remember, this was in the days when John Kasich uselessly bopped around with his goofy pair of scissors and when Fob James did extended impressions of animals. (I bet this is dredging up memories of the Chicago font.) So when the waitress saw the Loogster, she grabbed a pecan pie.
The server sauntered towards the senator, dessert in hand. When Lugar least expected it, the waitress splattered the pie squarely into his face.
The public pieing of Dick Lugar might have gone completely unnoticed, except media cameras happened to be on hand. A pie-coated senator was photographed, and the picture ran in newspapers all over this fine land.
Needless to say, it was pretty damn funny. Right, Loogie?
ONE RESTROOM CLOSED, OTHER VANDALIZED
Recently, police launched a full-on investigation into restroom vandalism at a high school in Oregon.
A boys' lavatory was closed because of crude, threatening graffiti. The superintendent said that it was "serious stuff and we're going to put an end to it." The principal said, "I'm tired of having to send a janitor in every day to check the walls."
When this restroom was closed, however, students weren't about to take being forced to wet their pants in stride. So they protested by breaking off a chunk from a urinal in another boys' loo - which cops also investigated.
Gasp! Breaking a toilet! What is this world coming to?! Gee, nobody ever did anything like that in my day. Except of course at Brossart. And maybe St. Joe's. And perhaps Cline too. And maybe NKU as well. And probably quite a few other schools.
BOULDERS BUST BRITISH BATHROOM
Trashing toilets is an international sport!
Folks in one British town got a taste of this pastime last year, when the community's public restrooms were plagued by constant mischief - all of the hilarious sort, of course. It's automatically hilarious because it has to do with toilets, you see. Toilets are curious devices.
Over a 3-month time frame, a particular set of lavatories was targeted 5 times. Thus, it was able to be open to the public only one day in 3 months.
Gangs of youths apparently snuck into the restrooms and smashed the toilets with boulders. Unfortunately, they also turned on all the faucets, wasting much valuable wawa.
This resulted in town council members installing a bar across the top of the gate to the restrooms to restrict access. One councilman complained, "Whenever the council repairs it, the next day these people go in and smash it up again."
In a bow to the Far Right, the town also trimmed bushes so a surveillance camera could spy on whoever uses the facilities.
(Story here: http://www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/news/Action-to-curb-toilet-vandalism.4286067.jp)
I just thought of something really, really, really funny that I had forgotten about since about 1980!
In grade school, my school was run by an elderly nun whose current whereabouts are unknown. Each Friday, there was a field trip - but only for kids who were on their best behavior. Sometimes we didn't know whether our conduct that week was up to standard until it was time to leave. Every Friday morn, the aging nun would go through a list of the students and lecture them about whether they'd get to go. If a pupil appeared to be almost out of luck, she'd point at their name at the chalkboard, shake her head, and say something like, "I don't know about this guy."
When it came time to leave, and one of the teachers who stayed behind handed you the latest Weekly Reader, you knew you'd be staying behind as well.
Welp, that happened to me once. Actually, more than once.
One Friday, when the aforementioned nun was the lucky teacher who stayed behind at the school, I decided to put on a little show.
Mind you, I was one of the very youngest students who stayed behind. I was maybe 7, and a lot of the kids I had to impress were 11 or 12.
But my brand of comedy was a smash hit!
Instead of quietly reading and doing busy work like I was supposed to, I made goofy noises. Recalling all the vowels, I kept yelling out, "A-E-I-O-U-baseball!" (I wasn't concerned about "sometimes" Y.)
This saying was spoken rapidly and in a funny voice, with the second syllable of "baseball" elongated.
Never mind that this didn't make a bit of sense, for baseball had nothing to do with the vowels of the English language. But the old nun pitched an absolute, complete, utter shitfit!!!
It gets funnier.
When we were all ordered to get books of the shelf and read them, I again entertained the class. After I was supposed to have gotten a book, I sat at my desk, holding my thumb and index finger up to my eye, as if I was examining a microscopic object.
"What are you doing, young man?!" the nun angrily asked.
"I'm reading the world's smallest book. It's called The Frog That Chewed Bubble Gum," I replied.
The whole classroom full of students just pealed with laughter! You know why? Because it was funny. That's why. I was the life of the school!
I probably got paddled for this, but damn, my behavior that day was uproarious!
Even if someone who was as old as that nun put on such a comedy routine right now, I'd think it was funny.
It's amazing that I said all those things back in grade school. And look at me now!
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