Electric Underpants

The Clearing House for My Brain Stuff…

Vintage Shocker

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I’m a huge Beatles fan, so the other night I decided to watch the movie “Help!” which I hadn’t seen in maybe 20 years. It’s not great, but it has its moments. Not far into the film, there’s a scene in which the cult members led by Leo McKern’s Clang attempt to cut off Ringo’s hand while the Beatles dine in an Indian restaurant (they need the big red ring that’s stuck on his finger for their human sacrifice ceremony.) After failing in the attempt, Clang pulls his minion Bhuta aside and, as the characters face the camera, makes a hand gesture. Twenty years ago, I thought nothing of it. But now that gesture has a new and mildly obscene meaning. In the interest of recognizing classic moments like these from the history of cinema, I present this graphic…

There are certain anatomical impossibilities that likely explain the look on Bhuta's face.

There are certain anatomical impossibilities that likely explain the look on Bhuta’s face.

Written by sfcox

September 23, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Posted in Graphics

The Dog Messiah

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The dogs keep following me around the house like I'm their Messiah. Well, here's my first commandment: Thou shalt not ram thy nose into the Messiah's crotch when he's on his way to the kitchen. Amen.

The dogs keep following me around the house like I’m their Messiah. Well, here’s my first commandment: Thou shalt not ram thy nose into the Messiah’s crotch when he’s on his way to the kitchen. Amen.

Written by sfcox

September 16, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Posted in Graphics

Pugs and Crime Scene Investigators…

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I own a pug. His name is Lewis and he’s reasonably agreeable little guy. He loves everybody unless they happen to be walking/biking/skateboarding/driving past then house – then they get barked at. If one of these people happens to come inside, though, they are most welcome and Lewis will run up, introduce himself, and beg for attention.

This is the face that's going to get me sent up the river...

This is the face that’s going to get me sent up the river…

So, generally, he’s a good dog. But thanks to centuries of inbreeding, pugs have a host of medical problems. Besides the bug

eyes, bad hips, wonky legs, and the tendency for parts of his nose to fall off in chunks, Lewis occasionally gets bladder stones. This has led to several expensive vet bills for me, and a medicinal diet for him. He is only allowed to eat his prescription dog food and nothing else.

This creates problems because dogs love treats, and Lewis is no exception. Before his bladder problems started, I would keep some dog treats around the house for him. At first I used them as rewards for training purposes, but if you’ve ever had a pug, you know that training them is a pointless and unrewarding endeavor, so eventually I just gave him the treats if he made it through the day without pooping on the carpet.

But once he started the medicinal diet, I couldn’t give him treats and I felt bad about it. At our normal treat time, he would look at me, breathe loudly (as they do), with one eye looking into my eyes and the other pointed over my right shoulder, appearing to wonder why I was holding back on the treats. EventualIy, I asked the vet there were any treats he could have, and she recommended carrots or celery.

That sounded pretty unlikely but I tried it anyway. I got a nice baby carrot, cleaned it off and set it down in front of him. He sniffed it a bit and then turned around and  waddled away. Frankly, I was a surprised. Lewis isn’t known for his discerning palate. I’ve seen him lick up puddles of brown water from an overflowing toilet. I’ve seen him eat another dog’s poop. I’ve seen him drag a used maxi-pad out of the bathroom trash container and chew on it.

Yet somehow carrots are beneath his contempt?

As for that maxi-pad – my girlfriend at the time (now my wife) came over one night and left one in the bathroom trash (which is way better than flushing them, so I was grateful for that). I walked in sometime later and found Lewis sitting in the middle of the bathroom floor contentedly chomping on the pad, blood everywhere.

So, I cleaned it up and eventually got the kind of bathroom garbage can that Lewis couldn’t get into. But I can’t help being afraid that one day, for some reason, I’m going to be falsely accused of murder. And the CSI’s will be in my bathroom, looking for evidence, spraying it down with Luminol, then checking it out with their special black light:

Ruggedly handsome CSI with a vaguely British Accent: Chief! Come check this out!

Former 80’s movie actor who still retains some of his good looks and whose age gives him a paternal bearing: Whaddaya got?

CSI: Blood everywhere. And look over here. It looks like somebody licked it up!

Chief: Sick bastard. He’s going away for a long time.

Written by sfcox

September 6, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Posted in Chatter

From the Mind of a 20-Year-Old

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I Found this old piece of paper in a box of old college mementos at my mother’s house. These scribbles were almost certainly made in Western Civilization class at Lower Columbia College around 1987. My friend Bart and I are the authors of this particular archeological find, which offers a window into the minds of bored 20-year-olds. We were in our second and last year at the community college and were anticipating transferring to four-year schools in the Fall. It may not make much sense as it is, so here are some annotations:
1. That was my plan for paying for my first year at Whitworth College. I didn’t have a plan for paying for the second year. Seems like a bargain now. I can’t remember the last time I had that much money in the bank.
2. We were trying to come up with names for the baby that some friends were about to have. “Pidge”, “Incontinentia” and “Guillotine” were apparently the best we could come up with. There’s a very clear Monty Python influence here.
3. We really hated people who asked a lot of pointless questions in class.
4. We lived in Longview, Washington which was small, boring mill-town about an hour away from the exciting metropolis of Portland. Everything seemed better there, including the weather.
5. See #3. I remember this one. She was a middle-aged know-it-all and was always trying to brown-nose the instructor. I don’t think he liked her either.
6. Another great name for the baby.
7. Hello ladies! Yes, we were horny young guys. Bart was a handsome guy and he at least had an outside chance with the girls around campus. I was several years away from developing enough personality to distract from the fact that I was weird looking.
8. “Wicked butts.” Yep. I was a real wordsmith…

Written by sfcox

August 26, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Posted in Chatter

The Apollo 11 Plaque

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I’ve been reading the excellent book Rocket Men about the Apollo 11 moon mission specifically and NASA in general. I’ve been a fan of space exploration and particularly the moon-race since I was a kid, but there was some material in the book that I was unfamiliar with. One anecdote that surprised me concerned the plaque that was attached to the leg of the Lunar Module’s descent stage.

The plaque is attached to one of the legs, and of course it is still there because the descent stage was left behind when the ascent stage took off to rejoin the Lunar Orbiter and began the journey back to Earth. It says:

The plaque left behind by the Apollo 11 astronauts.

The plaque left behind by the Apollo 11 astronauts.

“Here men front he planet Earth first set foot upon the moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.” Apparently, Richard Nixon, who was the President at the time, and whose signature is on the plaque, insisted that the last line must be changed to “We came in peace, under God, for all mankind.”

Nixon was adamant that the change be made, but NASA employees were not so sure, with one noting that “all Mankind” involves a lot of different gods, and occasionally no god at all. The change was not made, and with all of the hoopla surrounding the mission, Nixon’s directive was forgotten about.

Nixon may not have known that his order wasn’t followed and potentially went to his grave thinking he had done a great service for the Christian religion. If Nixon was right and the Christian God exists, I expect their first conversation after Nixon’s death in 1994 would have been noteworthy:

God: Welcome, Richard. Please have a seat.

Nixon: Thank you, Lord.

God: First off, I would like to thank you for your many years of service. And especially for attempting to get my name placed on that Moon plaque.

Nixon: You’re welcome, Lord. I’m sorry that didn’t work out.

God: Oh, that’s quite alright. You made the effort, and that’s what counts.

Nixon: Lousy NASA hippies. I always tried to be a Godly man.

God: Yes. Well. Here’s the thing – you did some Godly things. But what about all that other stuff that wasn’t quite so “righteous.”

Nixon: What do you mean?

God: Well, there’s your enemies list, the bombing of Laos, authorizing the surveillance of political opponents, authorizing the break-in at the Wat…

< Eighteen minutes of the recording inadvertently erased.>

God: …lake of fire. So, anyway, we’ll just forget about those incidents for now. Please enjoy your stay in Heaven. But you will not be allowed to have recording equipment, and you, Haldeman and Ehrlichman are to stay away from each other. Understood?

Nixon: Yes, Lord. What about Colson?

God: He’s not here.

Nixon: Oh.

Written by sfcox

August 13, 2014 at 11:55 am

Posted in Chatter

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On a return trip to Eureka, California recently, I was surprised to see that Honest Engine was still operating under its racially insensitive name 18 years after I moved away. Honest Engine is an auto repair shop that by most accounts does good work, but how do they defend the name?!?

An argument along the lines of “it’s a coincidence – we’re honest and we work on engines” might work if it wasn’t for the GIGANTIC FUCKING INDIAN-HEAD NICKEL sign on their building. That sign removes all plausible deniability. Folks, just because you made a pun doesn’t mean that it’s funny. Or that should name your business after it.

At least the sign has improved a little bit. If I recall correctly, it used to depict a white settler strangling a Native American with a timing belt.

Written by sfcox

August 4, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

“This pain scale goes to 11”

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I recently took my wife to the hospital because she was having some pretty severe abdominal pain. It turned out to be a wonky gallbladder and she ultimately had it taken out. On our first visit to the hospital I noticed the pain scale sign hanging on the door. Mainly directed at children, it is designed to give kids a visual representation of their pain along with a numerical scale that runs from 1 (meaning no pain) to 10 (meaning the worst pain you can imagine.) Still, 10 didn’t seem to be enough to really reflect the misery that my wife was experiencing, and it brought me back to a classic movie, which is one of the best comedies of all time. So, I snapped a pic of the poster and upgraded it accordingly…


Written by sfcox

August 3, 2014 at 12:01 am

Posted in Graphics

My Recipe for Puréed Carrots

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1. Wash up some baby carrots for lunch.
2. Place carrots in computer bag and take to work.
3. Go out to lunch that day and forget about said carrots.
4. Discover carrots six weeks later when cleaning out computer bag.
5. Serve and enjoy.

Written by sfcox

July 29, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Some New Graphics

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I’ve been practicing my Photoshop skills lately, doing some graphics work for the news satire site glossynews.com. Here are a few of the latest:

This one was created for an article about the fictional takeover of the United States by the NRA:










Apparently Alec Baldwin has been having some trouble with the law lately.










Clay Aiken won a Democratic primary for Congress in North Carolina in May. It could be the beginning of a promising political career. This graphic imagines a future President Aiken introducing his new cabinet.









Written by sfcox

June 17, 2014 at 10:02 pm

Posted in Graphics

Films That Almost Got Made That Time Forgot: The Lobster Boy

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The Poster for The Elephant Man.

The Poster for “The Elephant Man.” (1980)

When comedian Mel Brooks decided he wanted to take a break from comedy and produce a serious film, he settled on the story of Joseph Merrick, the famed “Elephant Man” of the Victorian England sideshow circuit. When it came to choosing a director, he looked for a candidate who could bring a strong artistic vision to the project. He found what he was looking for in David Lynch. Lynch’s first feature-length film Eraserhead had been a surprise success. Although the film wasn’t a box office hit, it was respected as a surrealist masterpiece featuring lush black and white photography and an intricate sound design. Brooks had liked Eraserhead and hired Lynch to direct The Elephant Man and co-write the screenplay.

Abandoning the surreal elements that populated Eraserhead, and would also turn up again in future projects like Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet, Lynch crafted a sensitive and moving portrayal of Merrick, a young Englishman who demanded to be treated with dignity in spite of his catastrophic physical deformities. The film was a huge success, garnering eight Oscar nominations and winning BAFTA Awards for Best Film, Best Actor and Best Production Design.

When it became clear that the film was a hit, Brooks approached Lynch

The proposed poster for "The Lobster Boy."

The proposed poster for “The Lobster Boy.”

and informed him that The Elephant Man was always intended to be the first of a trilogy of films about people who had been marginalized due to their deformities. Brooks offered Lynch the

chance to direct the sequel to The Elephant Man tentatively titled The Lobster Boy. It was to be the story of Grady Stiles, a circus performer who suffered from ectrodactyly, a deformity in his hands and feet that caused them to take on the appearance of lobster claws. At the time, Stiles was at the height of his fame as a circus performer, and was quite successful in spite of his disability.

"The Lobster Boy" was to be Matt Damon's first fillm.

“The Lobster Boy” was to be Matt Damon’s first film.

Lynch appreciated the offer, but was already deep in preproduction for his next film – the epic Sci-Fi Fantasy Dune. Brooks was disappointed and spent the next ten years searching for a director willing to take on the project, but met with no success. Things took a turn for the worse when, on November 29, 1992, Stiles was shot to death. The gunman had been hired by Stiles’ wife and son. During the subsequent trial, unflattering details of Stiles life emerged, including the fact that he was a violent alcoholic who terrorized his family.

Brooks decided that making a movie about an abusive, drunken Grady Stiles would be a poor fit thematically with the story of the sensitive, harmless Joseph Merrick. Brooks subsequently dropped plans for the Lobster Boy movie as well as for the planned third film in the trilogy, The Baboon Lady.

Written by sfcox

May 17, 2014 at 10:50 pm

Posted in Fiction