the smell of hospitals in winter

My boss gave me a $30 Best Buy gift card for Christmas and now I don't know what to do. Do I get him a gift a return? How does reciprocity work in this case? If he was my co-worker, I'd get him a gift, but he's my boss! Bosses aren't supposed to give you Christmas gifts! A bonus, maybe. But 30 dollars for barely two months of part-time lackey work? Jesus ranch… Maybe I should use his gift card to get him a gift. Yeah, I'll recycle gifts! But I don't know what he likes. He likes…um…coming in to work early…and……shit. I can't get that at Best Buy! The fuck do I do? Ahhhhhh!

I'd like to meet the man who made the first ruler, and trust me, ladies, it was a man. How did he do it? To make a perfectly straight edge, you need a perfectly straight line, and perfectly straight things don't occur in nature. String? A taut piece of string isn't necessarily perfectly straight. How did he do it?

I received an e-mail entitled "Its okay not to be an engineer":

You're right, a woman definatley would not have figured out how to make a striaght line. But back in the bad old days, vertical lines were made with plumbs. Ancient egyptians had the merkhet. Basically, tie a rock to a string, hang from a wall. It helps if the sting is tied about the axis of the center of motion of the rock.


Well, thank you, John. I guess it's okay not to be good at spelling as long as you know how cavemen made straight lines. I kid. I kid. I should ask pressing questions more often and wait for people to e-mail me the answers.

I think people who use earpiece cell phones are an affront to people like me who legitimately talk to themselves.

I caught De Niro on Saturday Night Live and his eyes were proof that one of the biggest problems with SNL today is the almost total reliance on cue cards. Have you ever had a teacher who reads his or her lectures? Not very captivating, is it? The original "Not Ready For Prime Time Players" refused to use cue cards. Watch an episode of SNL from 1975 on E! and then watch a recent episode on Comedy Central and you can see the difference in sketch quality. Cue cards are supposed to give cues, not serve as teleprompters. While I understand that sketches are often being rewritten right up to show time, I find it hard to believe that the cast can't learn at least the gist of their lines in one week. Letterman does it every weeknight without stumbling. When I did speech and debate in high school, I was able to memorize a 10-minute sketch in a couple hours. I don't see why someone like Tracy Morgan can't commit to memory the three lines he has on every show.

I saw some guys with their sweatpants sagged. Look, if your pants are slightly large, fine. But when there's a FUCKING band of elastic around the waist, you have no excuse!

The latest issue of Mad features a parody of The Onion. Is this ironic?

What happened to Mad? It used to be so good.

I flipped through a copy of the latest issue. Glossy paper. Color. Ads. A WWE merchandise catalog insert. A three-page spread shilling Magic: The Gathering. I felt like I was reading Cosmo for teenage boys. I counted 18 pages of ads in all — one-third of the issue — including the inside cover and the back cover, which, if you remember, used to have content on it.

Duck Edwing once drew alliterative-titled Don-Martin-esque anecdotal comic strips for Mad. He now contributes a series of strips on deleted scenes from popular movies. The latest issue features a "deleted scene" from Spider-Man EMBEDDED in the middle of a two-page ad for the Fellowship of the Ring special edition DVD box set.

While the magazine does have a storied history of goofing on pop culture, I think nowadays, it depends too much on doing so for content. Does anyone actually think Betting Odds of Death or 50 Stupidest Things of the Year are worth printing as running features? The best aspects of Mad (Spy Vs. Spy, John Caldwell, The Lighter Side Of, Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions, Mad Fold-In) don't or didn't necessarily need to reference current events and trends in order to be amusing. Moreover, I can watch late night television or browse the internet for funny photoshopped images of stuff in the news. The new generation of Mad staffers seems to have forgotten that Mad's claim to fame is its comic book sensibility. The big draw is the Luddite art.


Contemporary Mad is no better than Cracked — sans the talent of John Severin.

Seriously, I can't believe it takes three people to produce this Monroe shit.

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