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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.
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20 Random Things to Have an Opinion About

12 Mar

20 questions, volume 1

Are you a conversational pushover? Do loud, obnoxious people give you grief about not being able to hold your own in a serious discussion? Are you looking for obscure issues to have concrete opinions about, so you can trick people into thinking you have intellectual depth?

Maximum Know-How is here for you, with this premier edition of 20 issues—some of them even currently relevant—that you can think about now so that you’re ready with a snappy observation should the topic ever arise in a social setting.

  1. Most dangerous: Iran or- North Korea?
  2. Least trustworthy: China –or- Russia?
  3. Lance Armstrong: Devious jerk –or- moral leper?
  4. Whose Line is back: Are you “ecstatic” –or- “euphoric”?
  5. Pepper Pots –or- Natasha Romanoff?
  6. Obamacare: President’s sincere attempt to improve our healthcare system –or- pushing wholesale socialism with his eyes wide shut?
  7. Bee Gees –or- Beach Boys?
  8. Rotten Tomatoes –or- IMDB?
  9. Loss of Olympic wrestling: IOC corruption –or- cultural shift?
  10. Doctor Whoor- Downton Abbey?
  11. Joe Flacco’s $120.6 million contract: Totally worth it –or- Totally ludicrous?
  12. Sequester: Typical political grandstanding –or- Brilliant, under-the-counter way for both sides to cut the budget drastically while getting to blame the other party?
  13. A-Rod’s fading career: End of an era –or- It’s about time?
  14. Adele’s “Skyfall” wins Oscar: Best Bond tune ever –or- Academy’s 50th b-day gift to the franchise?
  15. Arnold Schwarzenegger: Hang ‘em up –or- keep on shooting?
  16. Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster: A bold statement for civil rights –or- “I thought his name was Ron Paul”?
  17. Pixar: Death throes –or- just in a rut?
  18. More Bourne –or- more Mission: Impossible?
  19. New pope: Heavenly selection –or- political appointment?
  20. Daily Show’s Stewart going on hiatus: The man needs a vacation from fake news –or- What do you mean it’s not real?

New Olympic Sports for 2020

5 Mar

Suggested events to replace wrestling in the Olympics

New branding for 2020 Olympic games

Now that we’ve solved the healthcare crisis, let’s return to a pressing topic from a couple of weeks ago, namely the removal of wrestling from the Olympics. Although the Maximum Know-How team presented five other sports more worthy of the ax, apparently none of the 20 people who read that post were high-up enough in the IOC to influence a reversal of the decision.

So that leaves us short one sport for the 2020 Olympic games—with only seven years to go! Luckily, we’ve put  our  minds to it and come up with seven great sporting alternates to fill the gap.

Chariot Racing: The most obvious choice is replace an original, ancient Greece–era event like wrestling with another ancient event. To make it more appealing to the modern masses, take it a few steps beyond realistic reenactment and incorporate some Hollywood-esque elements, such as jumps, figure eights, flaming hoops, and Tusken Raiders firing on contestants from the rock formations bordering the near edge of the great Dune Sea.

Arena Combat: Now, clearly something like the Hunger Games would be brutal, heartless, discriminatory, and sickening, but that’s exactly why millions of people would tune in. Who wouldn’t want to watch an event that combines Survivor with American Gladiator with crazy Japanese game shows. It wouldn’t be to the death, of course (that would likely result in widespread war across the planet), but there would be individual and team victors, like in gymnastics. The arenas would feature multiple terrains, including rocky cliffs, shallow lagoons, quicksand traps, jungles infested with skin-burrowing insects, etc. After the games, arenas could be leased out for paintball tournaments or children’s birthday parties.

Quidditch: Not by 2020, maybe, but eventually.

Mash-Up Events: Combine two vaguely similar sports—such as soccer (i.e., fútbol) and lacrosse—and have them compete against each other on the same field. For example, the Brazilian soccer team tries to score soccer goals while keeping the opposing Canadian lacrosse team from scoring lacrosse goals, and vice versa. Every Olympics we could swap out the two sports for exciting new pairings, such as speed skating versus hockey, or pole vault versus javelin, or indoor oval cycling versus badminton. I’d totally watch that.

Non-Equine Equestrian Events: Riding horses is kind of old hat, so why not pick more difficult animals? Like ostrich racing or long-distance dolphin diving. That would also help sell more seats because folks like PETA would be out in force to protest.

Video Gaming: This is an appalling, but probably inevitable, option.

Thumb Wrestling: The way for traditional wrestling to weasel its way back into favor is through alternative “demonstration sports” like this. Or it can take the X-Games route with sponsor-friendly spectacles like high-altitude female mud wrestling on a half-pipe. Regardless of its return path, I expect the sport will need to make concessions to help boost its marketing appeal, such as requiring contestants to wear those crazy Mexican luchador masks.

Wrestling Leaves the Rings

14 Feb

Five Olympic sports we should lose instead of wrestling

The secret revealed

Can you believe it?! The International Olympic Committee has axed wrestling from the games starting in 2020. This is shocking because I thought wrestling was one of the five original Olympic sports from ancient Greece, along with javelin, archery, philosophy, and thinking up new deities (such as Cleotius, god of heating vents and polyester fabric).

According to ESPN, the sport was rejected because of low TV numbers (23 million viewers on average) and having sold only 97% of its seating during the London games. But that seating percentage is better than two-thirds of NBA teams, and the viewership numbers are more than seven times the NHL’s Stanley Cup average viewership. The only other argument the IOC can have is that the sport isn’t popular enough—but I know a lot more ex-wrestlers than I do platform divers and speed walkers. In fact, I’ve never even met a speed walker.

So in the name of futile, after-the-fact protest, here are five sports the IOC could have dropped instead of wrestling:

Synchronized swimming

Now, I know that this is a hugely difficult event, and physically demanding beyond my understanding—but so is fleeing a pack of wild dogs across snowy Russian tundra. I don’t think difficulty alone should be a qualification; we should also consider marketability and sponsorship opportunities. Half the time we can’t even see synchronized swimmers (except for their feet), so the audience doesn’t know which sporting celebrity’s branded nose-plugs to buy.

Equestrian

I suppose this event is a devolution (or, as some would have it, “refinement”) of traditional Greek chariot racing. But I bet those ancient horsemen would be stunned at how tame and dapper it has become (“where are the flaming hoops?”). On a side note, “equestrian” is a great word if you’re playing hangman.

Fencing

There is no question that sword fighting should be a popular spectator sport. If not a full-tilt, Aragorn-level battle then at least something off of Wii Resort. But I like my sporting events to last longer than 3 seconds.

Modern pentathlon

You might not even know what this is, and that alone should put it on the endangered list. It’s a combo event that features five challenges: fencing, equestrian, full-contact origami, fleeing a pack of wild dogs across a snowy tundra, and golf. The pentathlon almost got the boot already, but it turns out they have a massively influential team of lobbyists funded by an anonymous Asian paper empire and Tiger Woods. Who knew?

Judo and Taekwondo

They don’t need to eliminate these, just combine them. Call it, I dunno, “mixed martial arts” or something. Oh, wait….

Subliminal Super Bowl Advertising

4 Feb

An investigative glance at what Madison Avenue is really telling us.

Whew! That was a BIG game! Those Ravens! Those Niners! Okay, I didn’t watch it, but I’m sure it was just as momentous as every previous mega-hyped sporting event was purported to be. What really interests me—and most other people—are the commercials that cost up to $4 million for 30 seconds of air time. Those must be absolutely transcendent in order to merit such a payout. But what sort of subliminal messaging is Madison Avenue filling our minds with? What are these colossally expensive commercials really telling us?

True Messages of Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials:

Cars

  • Audi: “Prom”—Driving an Audi promotes reckless behavior, invites violence.
  • Volkswagen: “Get in. Be Happy.”—As with certain other illicit activities, even brief exposure to a Volkswagen affects your mood and leads to impaired speech.
  • Toyota: “Wish Granted”—Men have no imagination, and women don’t listen to them anyway.
  • Mercedes Benz: “Soul”—Though he remains a master of short-sighted seduction, even the devil is feeling the influences of a down economy.
  • Kia: “Space Babies”—Parents will go to great lengths, and car companies will spend exorbitant amounts on non-car-related CGI, to avoid talking about the core issue.

Technology

  • BlackBerry: “What It Can’t Do”—The new BlackBerry Z10 is so far behind its production schedule that the company doesn’t know its actual features yet.
  • Samsung: “The Next Big Thing”—Well-funded ad executives can control anyone.
  • Best Buy: “Asking Amy”—Women may give salespeople lots of grief, but they’ll still buy too much stuff.
  • GoDaddy.com: “Perfect Match”—An allegory of Internet porn, which, judging by the look on Danica’s face, GoDaddy recognizes has degraded our standards of good taste and morality, but… whatever. How much do I get paid for this?
  • E-Trade: “Save Money”—No, really, we insist: Day-trading on the Internet will make you rich from all the money you don’t spend on fees. It’s a “spend more, save more” kind of logic. Get it? C’mon, even the baby gets it.

Movies/TV

  • Paramount: “Star Trek Into Darkness”—The horn section from Inception found another gig.
  • CBS: “Practice”—David Letterman can be funny without even trying.
  • Marvel: “Iron Man 3”—Iron Man learned how to be awesome by playing Wii Resort.
  • Universal: “Fast and Furious 6”—Forget Seal Team Six. What this nation needs is a team of ex-con highly coordinated drivers to save the world. Plus lots of women in bikinis.
  • Paramount: “World War Z”—No, America isn’t tired of zombies yet. But now we have to use top talent to keep them relevant.

Food and Drinks

  • Coke: “Security Camera”—Drink manufacturers are watching you.
  • American Dairy Farmers: “More Milk”—Spoil your kids with whatever they want, and the world will go to pot.
  • Taco Bell: “Viva Young”—Mexican-themed fast food is like heroin to old people whose diet restrictions prevent them from having it.
  • Pistachios: “Gangnam Style”—Suggestive sexual undertones of Psy’s K-Pop megahit apply even to tree nuts. Nasty.
  • Budweiser: “Brotherhood”—Yes, even some of the greatest songs of the 20th century are up for sale—and you can’t do anything about it! Ha ha! (Here, have a drink to make the pain go away.)

Other

  • Calvin Klein: “Concept”—Attention all you men lounging around on the couch for hours eating fried, fatty food. You, too, can look like this if you wear the right brand of underwear.
  • Skechers: “Man vs. Cheetah”—Your clothing not only makes you look different, it vastly improves your physical abilities. (See Calvin Klein ad above.)
  • Tide: “Miracle Stain”—Perhaps the devil should switch from Mercedes Benz drivers to sports devotees, who are easier prey for cheap miracles.
  • Speed Stick: “Laundry”—Beautiful women in tank tops hang out at the Laundromat. But that doesn’t make them easy.
  • Century 21: “Wedding”—Let’s distract you from the fact that the housing market is still in the toilet with this lesson: If you spend as much money on your wedding as they did here, you’ll be living with your mother-in-law. Ha ha, just kidding. There’s actually a foreclosure right down the block that’s perfect for you.

What are some others that I missed?

Super Bowl Food Guide

1 Feb

Super Bowl roast

Let’s not mince words: American football is a brutal, heartless, violent sport played by large, angry men with a warrior’s mindset. In order to fully appreciate the spectacle, to really feel the raw, untamed manliness, the viewing audience must immerse themselves in the mindset of the players. And nowhere is this more necessary than when choosing what food to eat while watching the big game.  For you posers out there hoping to convince your friends that you’re gridiron-savvy, or for family members of “true fans” trying to decide what goes on the table, Maximum Know-How provides the following complimentary guide to creating the perfect Super Bowl menu.

VIRGIN BEVERAGES

Wrong: Fruit juice, Perrier, store-brand soda

Right: High-calorie, high-chemical, highly-addictive “drinks” that come with an EPA warning on the label

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

Wrong: Wine, cocktails with umbrellas, anything served in small glasses

Right: Beer in a bucket (bonus points if the brewer is sponsoring the game)

HORS D’OUEVRES

Wrong: Cheese and crackers, canned soup, wonton

Right: Tiny, greasy, meatless chicken bones roasted in a spicy red sauce; antacid tablets

SIDE DISHES

Wrong: Vegetables, fruit, foie gras with truffles

Right: Homemade fries fried in lard; fried sausage balls stewed in ketchup and brown sugar

MAIN COURSE

Wrong: Chicken McNuggets; artisan “pizza” topped with things like artichoke hearts, freshly shredded spinach, crumbly goat cheese, etc.

Right: Deep-fried calzone, eight-meat Italian sandwich with dipping sauce, large wild animal roasting on spit over open fire

DESSERT

Wrong: Cookies, cheesecake, sorbet

Right: Deep-fried Twinkie sundae, heavy on the chocolate-caramel sauce; Pepto-Bismol

BONUS END-OF-GAME ADVICE

If your team wins: A huge cooler of iced Gatorade to dump on your unsuspecting spouse and/or neighbor.

If your team loses: Face mask, baseball bat, water bottle to wash the tear gas out of your eyes, and cell phone to take pictures of yourself rioting downtown to prove to friends and family that you were there when it all went down.

Lance Armstrong’s Ride to Repentance

22 Jan

Lance Armstrong's career options

Artificial cycling phenom Lance Armstrong has created for himself an unenviable public relations disaster. After decades of publicly and insistently lying about his use of PEDs, after decades of screaming “witch hunt!” at the sport’s governing bodies—taunting them for their long-running failure to nail him—and after decades of sincere deceit to fans around the world (no doubt jeering at them as he rolled in their money and admiration), he’s suddenly assuming the “contrition pose” and seeking easy forgiveness.

But we’re not talking about some impromptu misstatement or temporary career diversion. We’re talking seven consecutive wins of the world’s premier cycling event. He didn’t cheat just to get an edge in a tight race, or make a bad decision in a moment of great pressure. This was premeditated, coordinated, devoted dishonesty over several years so he could dominate over and over and over.

Understandably, even a mea culpa chat with Oprah did him little good.

So where does he go from here? Here’s some sincere advice from Maximum Know-How.

Five tactics that will NOT improve Lance Armstrong’s public image.

  1. Hook up with Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds to open a Wall Street investment firm dealing in subprime mortgages and debt-related derivatives.
  2. Travel the country speaking to school children about how cheating and lying isn’t worth it because it will only bring you decades of fame, wealth, and popularity. And if you get caught you still get to be on television regularly with famous people, and then travel the country without ever getting a real job. Also, charging the children for autographs.
  3. Run for public office on a law-and-order ticket, including a pre-campaign stint as a conservative talk-show host.
  4. End his retirement from cycling (again) and participate in amateur events on what he calls the “Tour de Redemption.”
  5. Sue USADA for discrimination against immoral people. Sue the International Cycling Union and United States Postal Service for aiding and abetting a felony. Sue Jan Ullrich for emotional distress caused by his unfair athletic excellence (or for having a competitively efficient doping program, whichever).

Five ways Lance Armstrong can improve his public image.

  1. Disappear from public life. Work the graveyard shift at Kmart stocking shelves, cleaning floors, and polishing the blue light. During smoke breaks he could entertain coworkers Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis by singing Sheryl Crow songs.
  2. Devote lancearmstrong.com to telling the story of a genuine American cycling legend, Greg Lemond, including the spectacular 1989 tour win.
  3. Join ABC Sports as a color commentator for unrelated athletic events, like Olympic diving. Or curling. This would involve a toupe.
  4. Change his name to Donald Rumsfeld and move to Iraq.
  5. Get a job plugging embarrassing personal products on late-night television. “I’m not a champion cyclist, but I used to play one on TV. Let’s talk about diarrhea control….”