25 Ways to Spend a Snow Day

14 Nov

It’s a snow day here in town, so a good time to resurrect this post.

Maximum Know-How

Are your children home unexpectedly due to overwhelming snowfall, sheets of freezing rain, or a school district paranoid that some parent will sue them for $40 million dollars if their kid suffers “emotional distress” during a snowball fight on the way to school? Maximum Know-How has you covered.

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Here’s how to spend a snow day:

  1. Build a snow fort.
  2. Make snow angels.
  3. Create an army of deranged mutant killer monster snow goons.
  4. Achieve peace in the Middle East.
  5. Make a list of your 25 favorite songs.
  6. Walk to the local drug store and get a flu shot.
  7. Do a deep clean of all the bathrooms in your house.
  8. Anguish over the fact that you personally can’t stop global warming.
  9. Shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk and driveway.
  10. Make a list of your 25 favorite movies.
  11. Savor the multicultural joy of R.E.M.’s “Shiny Happy People” music video. Gotta love Kate.

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Movie Synopses We’re Tired of Seeing

5 Mar

Now playing: At $15 per ticket!

Has your enthusiasm for movies been steadily drained during the last several years by the constant stream of lifeless, depressing films? Adult dramas revel in their own degeneracy and even children’s films are cynical and sexualized. Over and over you find yourself asking, “who would want to watch that for two hours?” Yet they just keep on coming, trying to outdo each other in stupidity or tastelessness or grim depravity.

With entertainment, of course, there are kettles for every fish; but the Maximum Know-How team thinks we as a society could use a little more life-affirmation. So here’s our list of typical film synopses (those fact-filled summaries in movie trailers and DVD cases to entice your attention) and our improved alternatives.

Typical: When an innocent child is kidnapped and brutally murdered…
Instead, how about: When an innocent child concocts a brilliant way to create a faster-than-light-speed pan-dimensional space craft …

Not a romp: Two brothers, one a man-child, the other a divorced sex offender, decide to kill every single…
Maybe a romp: Two brothers, one a blue-collar sports fan, the other a successful but bored defense attorney, decide to build a rocket in their backyard…

Old: A trio of slutty housewives, who live double lives as prostitutes…
Fresh: A trio of intelligent, capable housewives, who live double lives as superhero crime-fighters…

Ho-hum: In the shadowy underworld of sleek, teen, vampire assassins…
Uh, sure. We’ll try it: In the shadowy pre-dawn world of sleek, teen, long-distance runners in training… (okay, maybe not, but we need something new here)

Role models for our children?: In this gross-out teen raunch-fest, we watch a group of boring, brainless morons fail over and over to have a sexual experience…
Do they make these anymore?: In this funny teen comedy about rising above the exaggerated trials of modern adolescence…

😦 Two cops, one a schizophrenic gun-nut, the other a suicidal misanthrope…
🙂 Two cops, one a jazz pianist, the other a father of eight…

I don’t get it. Maybe that means it’s deep: This symbolic adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey follows a brawny, bearded white man as he sails around the world chopping up people, set to the music of modern dubstep artists…
Why read the book?: This refreshing adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey follows an aging substitute teacher as she navigates the absurdities of a modern high school, set to the music of artists from the 70s TV show Midnight Special

Wow, if this is your entertainment, then what…?: Watch as a sadistic serial killer leaves a trail of grotesque clues carved into his victims’ bodies as he travels the country hunting homeless people…
But are there explosions?: Watch as a jolly, compulsive do-gooder leaves a trail of service and kindness as he travels the country doing entertaining activities with interesting people…

Par: Two inner-city high school dropouts, one a drug dealer, the other a rapper and pimp, fight “the man”…
Has this ever been made?: Two inner-city high school seniors, one a fast-food employee working toward college, the other a youth-club volunteer, fight the social pressure…

Never had children: In this animated “family film” punctuated with disdainful sarcasm, unrelenting violence, and poop jokes…
Knows their children: In this well-scripted, sharply animated adventure with interesting, relatable characters you enjoy spending time with…

Wait, this is fiction?: Two congressmen, one a heroin-addicted womanizer, the other a hitman for the mob, struggle to keep their secrets hidden…
Definitely fiction: Two congresswomen from different sides of the aisle struggle to battle mindless party politicking and corrupt special-interest lobbyists to actually get something done…

Science? You mean, like, flashing lights and buttons?: In this sci-fi adventure, rugged astronauts have sex during an alien attack…
Whoa, actual science?!: In this sci-fi adventure, astronauts maintain an uneasy alliance with an alien race as they work together to achieve a stunning breakthrough in faster-than-light-speed pan-dimensional travel …

20 Things You Hate to Hear Your Spouse Say When They First Enter the Room

26 Feb

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Marriage can be a wonderful thing, but the casual familiarity born of years of togetherness can sometimes create moments of alarm. Especially when they come suddenly, without warning, and you’re not prepared, sayings like these can ruin your day:

  1. Do we know any good divorce attorneys?
  2. Why are you still here? Was it canceled?
  3. I decided today just to talk to a realtor.
  4. Apparently you didn’t remember!
  5. If you’re in here, then where’s the car?
  6. Okay, now, hear me out before you say anything.
  7. Remember that person I was dating when I first met you?
  8. If anyone calls from work or from the police, I’m not here.
  9. What was that for?!
  10. Well, I’ve come to a decision.
  11. Who’s that in the downstairs bathroom?
  12. Humph. Figures.
  13. Well? Don’t you have anything to say?
  14. Just to warn you, but this may be the worst night of our lives.
  15. I saw you today, but decided not to say “hi.”
  16. Why are you making credit card purchases in Latvia?
  17. So, your boss called me today while you were at work.
  18. Quick question: How’s our current religious “status” working out for you?
  19. You could have said something to your spouse, you know!
  20. I was walking past the dog pound today, and suddenly decided, “why not?”

Bad Valentine’s Day Gifts

10 Feb

Valentine’s Day is coming up, so I thought I’d repost this informative guide to getting safely through the week.

Maximum Know-How

23 items you should definitely NOT give your significant other

Bad Valentine's Day Gifts

Valentine’s Day is only a week away, so it’s time to start thinking of the perfect offering to hand your loved one next Thursday. For those people who tend toward last-minute panic buying—for example, those who race to the local drug store at 11:30 the night before trying to remember their companion’s favorite type of candy bar—Maximum Know-How has your back. We understand that panicked procrastinators often practice poor decision-making in the heat of the moment, thinking that a really bad gift idea will be just the thing to show their love and devotion. To help protect these vulnerable shoppers from (usually well-deserved) post–Valentine’s Day wrath, we offer this list of what not to give on Valentine’s Day—even if it’s on sale and you can find it fast.

  1. Coupon for a free consultation at the weight-loss center
  2. Vacation tour…

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10 Reasons Dennis Rodman Visits North Korea

15 Jan

North Korea is having a tough 2014. Not only do they have Frontline on their case, but they’ve been reduced to using a basketball celebrity as a PR tool—again. The Maximum Know-How team is convinced that there’s more to these odd visits than just money changing hands, so we’ve devised some possible explanations for Rodman’s visits to the secret state.

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  1. Rodman is going through the interview process to replace uncle Jang Song Thaek, the recently executed second-in-command.
  2. The visits are actually a U.S. State Department conspiracy to trick Kim Jong Un into promoting Rodman as a role model for North Korean youth, thereby destroying the nation’s hope for a future.
  3. It’s all a North Korean ploy to scare its youth into rapt obedience to the regime: “THIS is what you’ll look and act like unless Kim Jong Un protects you!”
  4. Rodman is acting as an emissary for NBA commissioner David Stern, who is on the lookout for a host-city franchise expansion opportunity.
  5. Someone in Rodman’s camp keeps confusing “North Korea” with “North Carolina” when booking travel arrangements.
  6. Rodman is auditioning to become a UN Goodwill Ambassador in the hope of meeting fellow-ambassador Angelina Jolie.
  7. Rodman is actually a talent scout for the next K-Pop superstar.
  8. The fees paid to Rodman and his fellow b-ballers actually come from South Korea, because promoting these ridiculous visits is the only way Seoul can get the American public, press, and politicians to pay attention to this international threat.
  9. Kim Jong Un has always been a great fan of Rodman’s boa collection.
  10. Rodman never has to worry about his “friend for life” calling him “the worm.”

Secret Details of the Iranian Nuclear Treaty

26 Nov

What the Mullahs and the P5+1 don’t want you to know.

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After decades of deadlock and distrust, the country of Iran has signed an international agreement to limit its nuclear program in exchange for lightened economic sanctions. Fearing it’s just a sinister plot by hardline Islamists to drive up the price of oil, the Maximum Know-How team dug into the shocking political trade-offs hidden in the fine print.

Twelve Surprising Requirements of the Iranian Treaty

  1. Iran will finally get its own version of American Idol.
  2. It turns out that several popular revolutionary slogans and terms like “The Great Satan” are registered trademarks of the U.S. State Department, and Iran must henceforth pay licensing fees for their use in government-approved propaganda, religious tracts, candidate marketing, t-shirts, etc.
  3. For the next 10 years, the global press has to blame someone besides Iran for political instability in the Middle East. Someone like… Belgium.
  4. Hezbollah may continue representing itself as a social services charity, but must clearly indicate—on packaging, collateral, advertising, televised messages, press releases, websites, office premises, funeral placards, etc.—a sort of “Surgeon General’s Warning” along the lines of “Hezbollah seeks the obliteration of Israel, the destruction of the United States, and the spiteful murder of anyone who disagrees with us.”
  5. The Korean cultural attaché must guarantee free Iranian access to the latest releases by PSY, Girls’ Generation, and other global K-Pop acts.
  6. Iranian leaders don’t have to touch female foreign diplomats during state visits.
  7. The Iranian president is still allowed to use the future perfect verb tense when referring to Israel (“When the hated Zionists will have succumbed to us in World Cup qualifying…”).
  8. Iranian political leaders must pass an accredited Religious Tolerance 101 class and all other world leaders must pass a history class about the Western Crusades into the Middle East. Just so everyone has some perspective.
  9. The Iranian government must subsidize its own domestic women’s organizations, such as the Society of Women Against Twerking (SWAT), Excitable Revelers for the Ayatollah (ERA), and the Ladies’ Extremely Trustworthy Middle Eastern Division of Religious Independence and Vehicular Equality (LETMEDRIVE).
  10. International trade regulations must be modified to help Iranian manufacturers enter the global market (for program specifics, contact the Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology or the Persian Camel-Hair Carpet Weavers Local 409).
  11. President Rouhani must ask permission prior to nuking neighboring countries (yeah, you know who we’re talking about). Plus, Iraq and Afghanistan are totally off limits until world opinion no longer holds America responsible for what happens there.
  12. The most impoverished class of citizens in Tehran must register with the healthcare exchange before March 31, 2014, or face severe fines.

Appalling Theme Park Ideas

12 Nov

Books that should NOT be turned into family fun parks.

Welcome to Where's Waldo World! Toddlers this way...

When I learned about the potential of a Hunger Games theme park (“Bring your whole family to a magical place where you can slaughter children for entertainment!”), my mind naturally jumped to other tasteless literary theme park adaptations the world should definitely avoid.

Heart of Darkness Jungle Trek: Survive tropical diseases, deadly animals, killer natives, and mad cohorts long enough to capture or kill a power-drunk megalomaniac before he dismembers your family and sells your bones as branded tchotchkes at the gift shop.

Fahrenheit 451 Farms: Enjoy some book-burning good times with literary bonfires, random deadly attacks by robot dogs, and speedy overdose resuscitation. You can’t leave the venue until you memorize a novel of your choosing.

Where’s Waldo World: Separated families must locate all their members from among thousands of similarly dressed strangers. (Note: This park is not unlike Disneyland.)

Holyland: A Bible Adventure: Survive a fiery furnace, sell your sibling to nomads, build a raft in the wave pool before the cataclysmic flood is released (every 30 minutes), and demonstrate your bravery and stone-slinging skills against a giant homicidal sociopath in heavy armor.

Arrow to the Sun Adventure Park: Learn about the rich culture of the ancient Pueblo Indians, get shot into the sky on the Arrow Ride, then battle lions, snakes, bees, and electrocution on an artificial sun.

Dune Safari: Go on an exciting spice hunt while under a heavy Harkonnen laser barrage, wear stillsuits during 120-degree desert jogs as you flee giant attacking Worms with razor-sharp teeth, and invite the entire family to try the “humanity test” with a genuine replica black box and gom jabbar.

Tom Clancy Land: Celebrate the magic of the Cold War and America’s military-industrial complex by experiencing a nuclear reactor accident during an undersea submarine battle, enduring the Ebola adventure, and taking a ride in the Rapid Decompression chamber. And don’t forget to suit up for a raid against paramilitary narcotics traffickers in a Colombian jungle!

And of course, there’s always Maze Runner World, but that practically goes without saying. What are some other truly awful ideas?

The Truth Behind the Shutdown

16 Oct

The REAL reasons why the government is shut down.

StudioC

 

So you think our government shutdown is merely an ideological standoff between power-hungry politicians dressing up their own shameless self-promotion as public service? Preposterous. While it’s clear that our elected leaders are stalling, it’s time we moved beyond simple-minded insults to realize the truth behind the drama in Washington.

What’s REALLY Behind the Government Shutdown

  1. They’re holed up in senate conference rooms watching Studio C sketches, and just can’t pull themselves away.
  2. Because they were so caught up in figuring out the budget, hunting season crept up on them and they were too busy to buy their licenses or tags. The shutdown puts the game wardens nicely out of the picture, at least until our congressional leaders can poach enough elk for the winter.
  3. Both sides of the aisle are racing to falsify an evidence trail that clearly demonstrates that the other side is planning a terrorist attack on American soil to justify their policies. They had a hard time finishing when they only had nights and weekends to work on it.
  4. By keeping federal employees out of their offices, they are holding back the dam on an alien body-snatcher invasion long enough to upload a virus to the mother ship’s mainframe computer.
  5. They’re putting the final touches on a complex international relations deal that will resolve the Syrian civil war, ease Iranian nuclear ambitions, reduce Egyptian street anger, stop polar glacial melt, restore Tim Tebow to greatness, eradicate Chinese smog, reestablish European financial stability, and salvage Miley Cyrus’s career—and no doubt net each member of congress a Nobel Prize for either peace, science, or economics.
  6. They’re testing the emotional stamina of the electorate to see how long the government can be closed before citizens do something besides complain. Once the riots start, expect to see a speedy resolution. Then, following an in-depth consultation with their masters in Beijing and completion of a predetermined waiting period, expect another shutdown during the end of December. With everyone focused on the holiday season, the takeover will be quick and seamless.
  7. James Bond movie marathon during office hours. Be patient: they’re almost done.
  8. In an effort to squash discussions of concussion damage in the NFL, a special legislative committee is hashing out whether to change the Washington Redskins’ name to something more politically appropriate, like the Washington Gender Neutrals.
  9. To improve their social awareness, they’re all taking this opportunity to change religions and trade racial identities.
  10. They’re hammering out a last-minute investment deal that promises to balance the budget in fewer than three years and actually produce a budget surplus by 2020. In fact, insiders suggest that the negotiations with federal investment consultant Bernie Madoff are “escalating.”
  11. Members of the congressional appropriations committee wanted to minimize the crowds during their preplanned fact-finding mission to Yellowstone National Park. Plus, they get a cut of the fines collected from people who want a quick look at all the beautiful places that belong to all of us as a nation—or so we thought.
  12. A well-armed Republican delegation is blocking the doors until the Democrats are willing to a) read aloud the entire text of the Health Care Reform Act and then b) explain what it says.

Back-to-School Special: Leveraging Widespread Destruction

30 Aug

Finding benefit from the wildfires out west.

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So, yesterday I tried to solve the problem of wildfires in the western U.S. by suggesting that the Pentagon spend their time attacking fires instead of Syria. But since that’s apparently a no-go option with the military brass, we here at Maximum Know-How have some ways to use the blazes for our collective advantage.

Top eight uses for wildfires:

  1. Export the flaming forests to the south pole to warm up the researchers, and so we can kick-start this global-warming phenomenon instead of spending years listening to a long, drawn-out political debates about whether it’s real or not.  
  2. Lease the more hellish environments to self-awareness gurus who charge clients piles of money for the chance to experience horrific physical ordeals in the name of achieving a spiritual rejuvenation.
  3. Since we’ve got a fire anyway, let’s divert the country’s junk mail into it.
  4. Blow all that smoke over to Damascus so the al-Assad government and the rebels can’t find and kill each other. (Bonus: Maybe that’ll make Syria too hard for the Pentagon to find and invade.)
  5. Sell tickets to disaster tourists.
  6. Grind up all the charred wood and sell it as an aphrodisiac in China.
  7. Start a line of mail-order designer camping clothing that arrives at your house already smelling like campfire smoke!
  8. Contact Peter Jackson to fly up and get some images of “The Desolation of Smaug” just in time to help market the upcoming release, coming to a theater near you.

Back-to-School Special: Operation “Do Something Else”

29 Aug

Ten ways to distract the Pentagon from Syria.

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Good heavens, the Pentagon is preparing to invade yet another Middle Eastern country already besieged by corruption, violence, religious conflict, and terrorism. Can’t they think of anything better to do with our military forces? No? Well, I can.

 Ten things the Pentagon can do instead of invading Syria:

  1. Take another crack at Afghanistan to see if the country improves with yet another invasion by a world power. Eighteenth time’s the charm, right?
  2. Ship the troops to the Mountain West states to help put out the 30-odd wildfires raging there.
  3. Send a crack squad of “negotiators” to Arab League headquarters to convince them to deal with their own member states and not to blame the U.S. for whatever does or does not happen there.
  4. Guard our nation’s elementary schools (against, for example, One Direction merchandise).
  5. Focus on decreasing its budget from “colossal” to merely “gigantic.”
  6. Practice some special ops maneuvers on crack houses—they can start on the one down the street from me.
  7. Conduct a surprise invasion of a politically stable ally, just for fun.
  8. Rescue those people still stranded in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.
  9. Consult congress before starting another war—even if they insist on labeling it as merely an “operation,” “maneuver,” or “intervention.”
  10. Play a few rounds of RISK or Axis & Allies to satiate their hunger for conquest.