What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Life Tip #26

If you aren't a police officer, don't dress up like a police officer.

If you do impersonate a police officer, don't wear a badge that identifies you as a "Federal Fugitive Enforcement Officer."

If you do impersonate a police officer while claiming to be a "Federal Fugitive Enforcement Officer," don't carry a toy gun and collapsible baton.

If you do impersonate a police officer while claiming to be a "Federal Fugitive Enforcement Officer" with a toy gun and matching baton, don't shoplift.

Dems Debate; Few Notice

WASHINGTON DC (FCN) – In a move that failed to garner the notoriety of any respected news organization, several candidates for the Democratic Presidential Nomination squared off in an issues debate held three-quarters of a year before the first voting begins in the Iowa Caucuses. At least eight candidates (eye witness accounts varied as to the exact number of speakers) conducted an amicable debate about such momentous issues as the war, health care and guns.

Despite the gravity of the topics, the biggest news coming from DC Thursday seems to be that few cared or even paid attention to the debate.

“I was actually pretty well blind-sided by the whole thing,” said Democrat National Committee Chair Howard Dean after the debate. “The candidates normally consult the political nucleus before debating and the interactions are generally carefully choreographed; we don't like surprises. To see these guys go off half cocked without much direction was disappointing, to say the least.”

Some six hundred reporters were credentialed to cover the event, but only a handful showed up; and those that did have wide variance in their accounts.

“The Obama [D-IL] guy says Obama won; the Clinton [D-NY] guy says Clinton won. About the only person who everyone can agree actually lost is MSNBC, the network that aired the debate.” explained media analyst Jakob Tecknorati in an online interview. “The fact of the matter is nobody knows who the heck won or lost anything because nobody watched.”

One fact that we can be fairly sure about the debate is that President Bush was bashed by all.

“It was more like Conan O’Brien than a Presidential debate; every other line was derogatory,” said former Chief of Staff Andrew Card who saw cell phone clips of the debate on YouTube and spoke publicly about his disgust with Tim Russert on Meet the Press. “If I wanted ‘Bush Bashing,’ I’d have gone to college.”

Republican strategists say they aren’t surprised by the debate’s lackluster following. Some point to apathy in the electorate while others say the Democrats didn’t bring enough big ticket names.

“If you’re not from Alaska and you’re not a nerd, you’ve never heard of Mike Gravel [D- AL] . Who wants to watch a guy named after a collection of small stones speak?” Asked Presidential advisor Karl Rove in a post-debate conference call. “Other ‘big names’ included Dennis Kucinich [D-OH], a first degree loon, and Chris Dodd [D-CT], the guy who ‘runs on hope.’ Please.”

The presence of Nancy Pelosi was postulated but never confirmed.

MSNBC, which lost four million dollars airing the program, remains optimistic about future debates. “When we get closer to the caucuses and a couple of gnarly scandals break, I guarantee folks will be eating our programming up like nothing else,” predicted Dan Abrams, chief legal correspondent for MSNBC. “Just wait, it’s a sleeper now, but it’ll be big soon.”

Democrats can only hope Abrams is right. If the debate viewership is reflective of a poor national following, the future looks grim for the Donkey Party.

Howard Dean sees no reason for fear: “If someone just tells me before they do these things and we get the organized right, everything will be fine. Gracious!”

Friday, April 27, 2007

Todd’s Problem

Todd gets up this morning, as he does every morning to the sound of his Quartz alarm ringing on his Stanley dresser. He showers under a direct stream from his Price Pfister nozzle and enjoys the clean feeling of the Suave Essentials in his hair. He soaps with Dove, scrubs with Avon and conditions with more Suave Essentials.

On exiting the shower, Todd enjoys the soft feeling of the Strawbridge’s blue cotton chenille bath rug beneath his toes. He dries himself with Martha Stewart Everyday Living linen.

Feeling clean all over, Todd applies Tag (chest), Old Spice (armpits) and Nivea (under the eyes). He Colgates his teeth with a Gum brush and rinses with Listerine. Satisfied with the general cleanliness of his oral depression, Todd swabs his face with Brut cream and begins shaving with his Gillette Fusion. Todd never understood why a product made exclusively for men would have an “-ette” suffix, but he prefers his current tool to his old Braun Activator. When all the cream has been wiped away, Todd dabs on the Afta and uses a special anti-bacterial wipe from Equate.

Todd opens his RepleniSH contact lens container and removes a FreshLook lens. He squirts a quick stream of Opti-Free solution on the lens and sanitates with a quick movement of his fingers. With a deft and practiced motion, Todd inserts the contact lens into his eye and blinks thrice to clear some irritation. Not satisfied with the mechanical solution, Todd looks upward and drips three droplets of Visine into his eye. The irritation clears. He repeats the same process - minus the Visine - with his opposite eye.

Smelling like the latest issue of Vogue, Todd steps through his Panorama walkway and into his bedroom where he applies 273 Indigo, his favorite scent. There, sitting on his Simmons mattress across from his full length Eagan mirror, Todd pulls off his Plow and Hearth Woodland pajamas and slides into his Bresciani dress socks. He dons Fruit of the Loom boxers and matching undershirt, then pulls on a pair of Hanes dress socks before entering his spacious John Louis walk-in closet to select a shirt.

Shirt and tie selection is always painful for Todd because as many options as he has, only one ever seems to be viable. Todd likes his burgundy Hilfiger but it seems a little too flashy for a Monday. He selects a Hawes and Curtis with French Cuffs and a Ludlow tie. He completes his dressing with a Giorgio Cerruti pinstripe suit, a Fossil belt and a pair of Oxford Wingtips.

Todd accessorizes with a Luminox analog and a Borsalino fedora.

Fully dressed and ready for work, Todd walks past a Lay-Z chair, a Pottery Barn coffee table, and a Manchester couch and into his kitchenette. He puts a couple scoops of Folgers into his Krups coffee machine and flips the on switch. Todd feels hungry this morning, so he fries three Sunnyside Farms eggs in a Dupont Teflon pan. He puts a handful of Hillshire Farms ‘Lil Smokies into his Sharp microwave and plops two pieces of Bohemian Hearth into a Sunbeam toaster.

Todd removes Tobasco and Smart Balance Light from his Frigidaire refrigerator and sets the table with Cutco silverware and a Corelle plate. He eats quietly, listening to the New York Philharmonic play on his Bose speaker system.

Fueled and ready to meet the day, Todd puts his used dishware into his Triton dishwasher, inserts a cube of dissolvable Cascade detergent and pushes the start button. Todd sets his Bay Alarm system and locks the door. He hops into his Honda and pulls out of his suburban driveway.

On his way to work, Todd turns on the radio to listen to the news. Before he learns anything, however, he listens to six advertisements; four national and two local. The national advertisements are for Proctor and Gamble, Nissan, Kraft and Safeway; the local ads are for Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Cheeser’s Pizza. Todd passes eight billboards on his way to work; Motel 6, Chevron, Shell, McDonald’s, H&R Block, 300, Windows Vista and John Deer are all promoted on roadside signs.

Todd stops his CR-V in a designated spot in the Washington Mutual (affectionately nicknamed WaMu) parking lot. His work is mundane but it puts Healthy Choice on the table, so he doesn’t mind it so much.

At lunch Todd eats a Jiffy and Smucker’s sandwich on more Bohemian Hearth whole grain. He follows the PPJ with a Dole banana and a glass of Lucerne 1%.

Todd is happy that he only has to work a half day and reapplies Indigo 273 in preparation for a date he has set in the late afternoon. He and his friend meet at the Stadium 12 Cinemas to watch the new Will Ferrell movie, Blades of Glory. But Todd’s mind isn’t on the movie, or its excessive product placement; rather he is thinking about his financial situation.

Todd makes less money than 60% of WaMu’s employees; he lives in a house that could have used a remodeling four years ago and his “wish list” is longer than his “have list.” Todd struggles with feelings of wealth inferiority and seems to just barely scrape by every month. By the time the names finish scrolling across the movie screen, Todd still hasn’t resolved his state of mind. He exits the theater with a somber expression and drives his date home with sparse conversation.

Todd slides quietly between his Westpoint Stevens sheets and lays his head on the matching pillowcase. He leans into his Cequal Bedlounge and sets his Quartz. He turns his head and falls asleep. Another day.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Announcing the Official FCN Mom

We're told there's something inspiring about three lonesome, misdirected students stumbling blindly through the universe bumping their shins on things. We're also told there's something equally inspiring about having their every poorly planned misdeed shamelessly recorded for six people to read. The thing is, we at FCN can't figure out what's so inspiring about it. We find it rather demoralizing, actually. We try so hard to succeed. Perhaps what we need is a little more parental guidance.

We all have mothers of some kind or another. For some of us, our biological mother fills the maternal role (and does so quite nicely, may we add without sounding like we want more dinner tonight). For others, a caring female figure who grants motherly advice when it’s needed steps up to fill the role. Regardless, the mother is the cornerstone of a family and very important to the development of the individual.

We don’t mean to sound like Freud; we do mean to say that mothers have been prominent figures in our own lives and that we regret that FCN doesn’t have the "maternal advantage."

FCN is yet a wee weblog and is still in its developing state. With only a few faithful readers to boast of and tons of awesome content yet to be imagined, we are in dire need of a good mother to keep us on the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, FCN lacks a biological mom – the online condition of a blog renders physical parents an impossibility – and we must therefore seek out an unfortunate soul to substitute for our non-existent natural parent.

As you, the faithful FCN few, well know, the writing team here is a bunch of derelicts who defy correction and are, to wit, ungovernable. The task of mothering us is a difficult one (not unlike running an orphanage – "Oliver Twist," not "Annie") and we understand the trepidation that accompanies any attempt. We need a mom who can offer us her cyber-shoulder when our love lives go off the deep end. We need a mom who will understand when we wash down large quantities of taquitos with liquid myocardial infarction. We need a mom who can take a joke and give one at the same time.

And we've found one.

By a vote of 3-0, the FCN team has agreed to adopt Mrs G as the Official FCN Mom (she gave us permission after we promised to floss). "Mommy G" will serve as a supporting member of the FCN team, only the second person to gain this distinction since Uncle Wally started handling our technology. She will provide guidance, instruction, support, and brownies to the hard-working team in exchange for an occasional thank you and the satisfaction of a job well done.

Welcome to the team, Mommy G. We look forward to many happy years together (and when we say many, we really do mean many).

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Blogger's Choice Awards

The online world is again reacting to the vapid content on Al Gore's internet and is trying to clear the air a tad so readers like the Faithful FCN Few can find good reading material for long nights and stressful days. Through some quirk of cyber-nature, FCN has been nominated in the Best Humor Blog category in the Blogger's Choice Awards and, through an even stranger quirk of nature, we are asking for your vote in the contest.

I know, it's not like us derelicts to get out of the couch (much less the bed) for anything and it is inconsistent of us to ask you to assert yourselves in so aggressive a fashion. But we bear the hypocrite title proudly and with only a little shame.

Here, again, is our request: If you can find it in your collective hearts to visit this webpage and give FCN a friendly vote, we'd be forever grateful.

If you can't (find it in your heart, that is), that's fine too. In fact, Vegas has odds against all three of the FCN authors voting, but you never know; Vegas also thought Apollo Creed would beat Rocky in three rounds.

Maybe we should start a new "I Didn't Vote and I Don't Care" club. Or maybe you should just vote. Please?

UPDATE: For those of you who don't click on things, the link to vote for FCN is here: http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/10524

FCN says: Don't Do Drugs

It's been brought to our attention by someone who actually knows about proper behavior that FCN's recent spat of drug-related content is inappropriate, to say it mildly. Desperate Student has been peddling c0c@!n3 on the street corners, an unnamed writer has been snarfing p3y0t3 down like breath mints or ibuprofen, and the blog has, in general, approached a very serious issue with a sort of gung-ho cavalier attitude that is thoroughly unbecoming. Or, it might be said, becomming of Mick Jagger but not a respectable member of society. 

We at FCN can't undo what's been done, but we can work to make it better. And so, we vow that from this day on, we're going Cold Turkey. We're discontinuing all drug usage unless it is prescribed by a licensed professional. No more trafficking, no more snarfing. We're on the straight and narrow from here on out.

We would like to offer a sincere apology to anyone in the FCN community who was offended by our attitude and actions (which could theoretically have been all six of you). Our lack of discretion on this issue is as embarrassing as it is pathetic, which is probably how it made it onto FCN in the first place. And of course, we offer a special apology and thanks to our sixth reader, SB, who lovingly but very, very forcefully guided us in the right direction. We promise to take this lesson to heart.

The FCN team don't do drugs.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Life Tip #25

Don't shoplift.

If you must shoplift, don't shoplift razor blades.

If you shoplift razor blades, don't shoplift a hundred dollars worth of them.

If you must shoplift a hundred dollars worth or razor blades, don't resist arrest.

What Hurts a Nerd the Most

At the last debate tournament, the FCN gang rewrote the lyrics to What Hurts the Most with Courtney JOY! (a really good speech - and song - writer). Check them out...

I can take the rain on this empty brief case
That don't bother me I can take a few tears now and then and just let them out
I'm not afraid to cry every once in a while
Even though going on with it done still upsets me
There are days every now and again I pretend I'm ok
But that's not what gets me

What hurts the most
Was being so close
And having so much to say
And having to walk away
And never knowing
What could have been
And not seeing that debating you
Is what I was tryin' to do

It's hard to deal with the pain of losing rounds,
But I'm doin' It
It's hard to force that smile when I see our rivals that I've lost to
Still Harder
Getting up, getting dressed, livin' with this regret
But I know if I could do it over
I would trade give away all the words that I saved in my heart
That I left unspoken

What hurts the most
Is being so close
And having so much to say
And having to walk away
And never knowing
What could have been
And not seeing that debating you
Is what I was trying to do

Not seeing that debating you
That's what I was trying to do

Monday, April 23, 2007

Analysts: Harry Reid’s Reelection Bid is ‘Lost’

WASHINGTON DC (FCN) -- Though he has a four-to-one financing advantage on all likely opponents, has nation-wide name recognition and seems to be gaining political momentum, analysts at the International Research and Quandary Institute (IRAQI) agree that Harry Reid (D-NV) will not win his bid at reelection in 2010.

“It’s a long way off yet, but, using our advanced political calculations and public opinion rubrics, we can be absolutely certain of the outcome,” said chief IRAQI analyst Doug Wetstein. “He has all the advantages on paper and there isn’t even a viable challenger that has risen to oppose him, but, given the data in front of us, we can be absolutely certain of his defeat.”

The prediction comes on the tail of strong political news for the Majority Leader; his polling numbers are nearing an all time high, his bills are fairly flying through congress and his name is one of the first chosen by interns coming into DC.

Still, say expert analysts, Reid stands no chance.

“This election is lost and the surge [in campaign contributions] is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme contentiousness on the Hill yesterday,” intoned Peggy Sanderson, a campaign funding expert at IRAQI. “The Majority Leader should start considering other venues – economic, diplomatic and literary – to promote his ideas; he just doesn’t have a future in politics.”

Reid, meanwhile, had a jab of his own for those who predict his failure. “I can't begin to imagine how our operatives in the field, who are risking their reputations every day, are going to react when they get back to the office and hear that the premier political organization in the United States has declared the election is lost,” he said at a news conference Monday.

“We are going to win this thing clearly, cleanly and quickly,” he added to applause from the office interns.

Party leaders are considering cutting Reid’s political funding. Howard Dean, former Democratic Presidential candidate and current Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is communicating with his colleagues about removing Reid’s backing altogether.

“If he can’t win, why should we fund him?” asked Dean from his Vermont office. “At this point, the most viable option is to just remove him from office. Not cut and run, mind you, but retreat with dignity. The guy is great; he’s just a political liability right now.”

Reid is taking “prudent measures” to ensure he doesn’t become a Party sore spot, but even he seems to be giving up hope.

“It’s probably best if he just high-tailed it out of there,” said Wetstein.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Life Tip #24

Don’t smuggle ephedrine, an illicit product used to make amphetamines, into Australia.

If you do smuggle ephedrine into Australia, don’t do so by airplane.

If you do smuggle ephedrine by airplane, don’t strap packages of the stuff to your groin.

If you smuggle ephedrine strapped to your groin via airplane and get caught, don’t tell the officer that you are going to use the ephedrine to “cure a sick, rare albino buffalo calf” and that you “want to sell [it] to an Indonesian sultan.”

Red Bull Blast

Wow. I just had my first Red Bull in over 10 months. The last time I treated myself to the lightly carbonated deliciousness of the world’s best energy drink, I was speaking on the fifth of five consecutive days at the National Debate championships and was living off taurine, caffeine and adrenaline. Then, I didn’t just drink the stuff; I guzzled it as if it was going out of style. I averaged 3.25 cans a day (over the course of the tournament) as I slurped raw energy with raw abandon.

Last summer’s blast of Red Bull had given me some problems. It took a week before my hands stopped shaking and I had cardiac irregularities for a few months afterwards. My vision reacted strangely to light and I absolutely had to have some caffeine to wake up in the morning. I decided that, though tasty and metabolism strengthening, Red Bull was 8.3 fluid ounces of early death and I’d rather abstain. There is a reason, after all, that this beverage is banned in Denmark, Norway, France, Uruguay, France and Iceland and wouldn’t be sold to minors in Finland.

My resolve lasted until about an hour ago.

Earlier today, while eating lunch with Amanda and Tony, a couple of Red Bull sales people approached our table and, after discovering that Tony and I were athletes for the school, insisted we take a canister of their product as a sample. They practically forced me to succumb to their requests with such persuasive entreaties as:

“Red Bull is the most heterosexual drink ever produced in Austria.”

“This stuff is stronger than Peyote.”

“It’ll do wonders for your times.”

I packed my can away, knowing I had a mid-term in my night class that evening and did not want to risk any adverse side-effects that might impair my performance.

But something about the cold tin of an unopened Red Bull can was too enticing for even my academically focused psyche. After track practice, I opened up the can, enjoyed the oddly comforting depressurization noise, and took a large gulp of liquid myocardial infarction.

I smiled, exhaling slowly and feeling a quiet hum in the back of my head. The stuff was working. I could feel my heart rate increase and knew my blood pressure had to be in the danger zone. I had hypertension, but it was a good kind of hypertension. A dull throb pounded throughout my body and my hand started to shake.

I took a second gulp.

Memories of last summer washed over me. I paused to enjoy them; some memories are best remembered the way they were experienced.

Before I knew it, I had drained the entire can. I couldn’t remember the last time I drank any beverage that quickly, much less a highly mephitic blend of semi-toxic stimulants.

I drove home more alert than I’d been in years. I took a phone call from my brother and told him more in three minutes than I had in three weeks. I think he suspected something.  I wrote this post in record time and did so while editing a term paper and writing an email.

My mid-term felt good, but I ended up getting my worst grade yet this semester. That’ll be the one I drop.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I Smoked Some of Coach’s Peyote

My track coach is a first rate beast. To hear him tell it, he’s fought grisly bear’s with his bare hands, run just shy of the world record pace in the hardest sprint distances, killed with his bare hands, been on dates with the most beautiful women, built a four story building with his bare hands, coached the state’s best track stars, and killed some of the state's best track stars with his bare hands, just to name a few of his escapades.

"If you ain't first, you're last." - Coach

He’s done it all and he’s done it well. Success just isn’t interesting for him anymore because he’s experienced so much of it. Fast speeds to us collegiate runners are slower than his middle school times and he doesn’t see much reason to praise performances that are so far “below par.”

“If you can’t run the mile under four minutes, why do you run it at all?” - Coach

Our coach has the spirit of Vince Lombardi, the reputation of Chuck Norris, the endurance of John Rambo and the heart of Rocky Balboa. He’s got the dominance of the Sixties Celtics, the touch of Jordan and the legend of Tiger; he’s a one man Hall of Fame.

That’s why a lot of eyebrows were raised when we discovered a snuff box in coach’s glove compartment that read “Coach’s Peyote – Do Not Touch.”

In case you’ve never been on an Indian Reservation, peyote is a highly hallucinogenic compound derived from the juice of a cactus that is used in religious ceremonies by our indigenous brothers. According to ancient custom, the stuff is powdered and placed in a pipe to be consumed ritually. By ritually, I mean sitting in a cave for several days until even cactus juice seems attractive. It’s also supposed to be very noxious smelling and induce feelings of nausea in the user. We never knew coach was a Native American, but that really didn’t really matter; he had a hallucinogen!

What I did after the discovery was highly experimental and is not suggested for any of the faithful FCN few to attempt on their own. In fact, peyote is designated only for use in Indian religious ceremonies according to Title 42. So unless you want to got to jail and spend a lot of long years with people like me, don’t do what I am about to describe, ok kids?

We did a little research to find the right coagulants and mixed up a batch. One of my fellow track runners was an old hand at rolling a joint (a skill he never explained) and I was soon equipped with a lit peyote “stick” and a series of chanted instructions to “puff, puff, puff!”

Native American tradition says that when you inhale the peyote fumes, an image of your “spirit animal” will fill your senses. My first whiff filled my mind with the bulging image of my track coach, whistle, stopwatch and all. Then I felt it; inhuman strength began welling up in my arms and I felt a quiet power fill my chest and loins. I had the ability to predict any outcome, win any bet, swim any ocean, jump any canyon and smash any window. I could even climb every mountain, ford every stream, and follow every rainbow until I found my dream.

I didn’t know how, but inside I knew I had a great hand with the ladies, could race a 4x4 brilliantly and how to pinch the jugular with finger and thumb for a quick, quiet kill. I could feel thick hair bursting through the skin of my chest.

That’s when a coughing spell hit. As quickly as the images appeared, I was my old lonesome self once again. Gone were the supernatural abilities and astounding skill. My coach disappeared into a cloud of vapor and I immediately doubted whether or not I had even seen him in the first place.

It took over twelve hours before my system flushed all the peyote out and I relearned my lesson about consuming exotic unknown substances. But it was all worth it to see the hollowed shell of a man who met us in coach’s place at the next practice. Gone were his pompous posture, long-winded stories and excessive gloating. No longer were his criticisms so harsh and he even lost a little weight.

While we were stretching, Coach looked us over and asked with an accusatory note, “Has anyone been in my truck?”

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Reader Number Six

It's another huge milestone in the meteoric rise of FCN: we have just gained our sixth reader. Now we are truly on a roll. We are taking the blogosphere by storm, folks. Nothing can stand in our way. Through sheer force of will and desperation, we are overwhelming lesser blogs that are based on talent, humor, or class. Nothing can stand in our way now. Our progress may be slow by the standards of some, but it is also inexorable. According to Uncle Wally's homemade calculator, if our trend continues (which it will), then in just a little over 79,059,829 years, we'll have every internet user in America drooling over our content.

Our sixth reader is from Zimbabwe, or as they say in those parts: Mbuku gabeli click clack guber.

We realize that, by current longevity standards, it is highly unlikely that we will survive long enough to see FCN dominate the world. However, the FCN team is full of visionary thinkers. By a vote of 2 to 1, we agreed to freeze-dry Dan and stick him into cryogenic sleep, to be awakened when the current FCN team is done for. Dan will appoint a new FCN team from amongst the loyal ranks of the LLFCN, then tuck himself back into the freezer for a few more decades. This way, the FCN legacy will never die, unless of course there's a power outage at Dan's storage facility.

We've come to some other brilliant ideas, too. But it wouldn't be right to unveil them all at once. We ingenious derelicts have something truly spectacular planned to celebrate our sixth reader, and as soon as we get the details hammered out, we'll rush it out to you so you can blow out the candles.

Look out world. FCN is coming.

See you in 76 million years.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Don't Eat Plants!

Warning: The following post contains content that may not be appropriate for all ages. It deals with a subject that is disturbing, frightening and disgusting. It also contains images (click to enlarge) that are shocking and perturbing. We show them to you only to highlight the nature of our opponents. Parental guidance is strongly advised. Proceed at your own risk.

A terrible travesty of justice, an iniquity that pervades this great land from right to left coast, just came to FCN's attention. It’s something of grand magnitude, terrible significance and horrid shock value. No, I am not talking about my new plan to grow my toenails out, but it is something that hits us similarly close to the heart (the stomach, to be exact).

The depressing and, if you haven't read the appropriate literature, surprising fact is that the vast majority of American kitchens (restaurant and home) subsidize rampant cruelty. I know that's a lot of big words and the faithful FCN few who attend college are already reaching for their PDs (as pocket dictionaries are affectionately titled), but let me see if I can spell it out more plainly:

In the past half century, most U.S. vegetable production has moved away from small family farms to factory farms -- huge warehouses where plants are confined in raised beds or greenhouses or a hydroponics bucket. The competition to lower costs has led agri-business to treat vegetables as mere objects rather than as individuals who can suffer. Large farming operations, that focus more on the bottom line more than ethical plant treatment, are systematically destroying all respect for the members of Kingdom Vegetabilia and desensitizing us to the trauma in the process.

From the time a vegetable is first planted, cruelty is on the mind of the farmer. Seeds are spaced so closely together that overcrowding is rampant and many plants are unable to get enough light to survive. Smaller plants are yanked out by their roots and left to die of exposure. Paid agents of the farmer exercise the explicit mandates of their boss, often never thinking through the consequences of their actions.

As the plants grow, the farmer applies stressing chemicals that, while inducing greater crop yields, often stunt the plant’s long term growth and give it a bleak future. Sometimes these chemicals are tested in labs on live plants (think Josef Mengele but scarier) and chemical companies show little or no regard to the life they regularly destroy.

Devastating poisons are sprayed on helpless plants via crop duster.

When a plant finally produces some fruit, it is brutally and violently “picked” and sent to be processed at a far away facility. Most plants never see their offspring.

Many plants are euthanized soon after “harvest.”

At the processing facility, vegetables undergo even more trauma. A sharp knife peals away a vegetables skin and it is often wrapped in airtight plastic wrapping for many weeks before being released. Those that survive this brutality must submit to freezing, storage and other associated indignities before being allowed to breathe.

Terrified veggies wait helplessly in a supermarket.

Even after being rescued by a shopper like you and I, many vegetables are further brutalized. A recent survey found that most veggies used in everyday snacks and meals are diced, chopped, cut, ground or pureed beforehand.

A veggie burial ground.

Kids learn destructive eating patterns that they keep with them their whole lives.

A well-supplied cook takes great pride in his or her weapons.

Perhaps the most shocking fact of all is that these vegetables are still perceived as appetizing despite the nature of their abuse.

A chef boils veggies alive in cooking oil.

Hidden from public view, the cruelty that occurs on factory farms is easy to ignore. But more and more people are taking a look at how farmed vegetables are treated and deciding that it's too cruel to support.

Secret meeting of a sadist veggie-abusing cult.

What we choose to eat makes a powerful statement about our ethics and our view of the world – about our very humanity. By not buying legumes, fruit, and vegetable products, we withdraw our support from cruelty to plants, undertake an economic boycott of factory farms, and support the production of cruelty-free foods. From children and grandparents to celebrities and athletes, compassionate living is spreading – and easier than ever! Today, even small-town grocery stores can feature a variety of burgers, dogs, and deli slices, milks, and dairy desserts – a bounty unimaginable only a decade ago!

Even if you like vegetables (and who wouldn't mind giving up a few veggies?) you can help end this cruelty. If everyone just cut their veggie consumption in half, billions of vegetables would be spared from suffering every year.

When you first discover the reality of modern vegetable agriculture, avoiding all products from factory farms might seem too big a change. But don’t be overwhelmed – just take small steps. For example, you could eliminate veggies from certain meals or on certain days. As you get used to eating fewer vegetables and find alternatives you enjoy, it may become easier to eliminate vegetables altogether.

When you share your new discoveries and ideas, some people may not only show resistance, but might even react with mockery or anger. In order to prevent suffering, however, we must let the compassion we feel for vegetables shine through the pain and anger we feel about the atrocities of factory farming. Unless others can respect us—as opposed to finding us cold and judgmental— they will have little interest in taking steps to end cruelty to vegetables.

Instead of expecting others to change immediately, we need to be understanding, giving everyone time to consider the realities of factory farms at their own pace and within their unique situations. Burning bridges with anger only serves to create enemies and to feed the stereotype that carnivores are self-righteous.

Although it may be tempting to argue over related topics (such as what our prehistoric ancestors ate), the simplest statement can be the most powerful: “I know that I don’t want to suffer. Therefore, I don’t want to cause others to suffer.” As long as we remain respectful, our positive example and the information we provide will ultimately be the best voice for the vegetables.

Tell your friends: DON'T EAT PLANTS!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Life Tip #23

Don't bribe your kids to do what they should do anyway.

If you do bribe your kids to do what they should do anyway, a good toothbrushing is worth at least a buck.

Shaving cream? What's that?

As you, the FCN faithful, already know, my facial hair situation was, if not dire, certainly untenable. As a side note, the previous sentence has more commas than any I've written in a long time.

Last Tuesday, an FCN reader presented me with a nifty two-bladed razor with a gorgeous red bow. The razor was dark blue, for those of you who were wondering. Later that day, a highly abusive and manipulative female forced me against my will to promise to leave a mustache and silk patch intact. I tossed the razor onto my very cluttered counter and went about my daily college student life. The next day, I had nearly forgotten about the whole thing.

Folks at school started calling me Shaggy. I was okay with that. Then they started calling me Scruffles. I was not okay with that. By the end of the week, they were calling me Chuck Norris, and I decided something needed to be done. My solution was decidedly non-Norris-esque. I went to the bathroom and broke out the razor.

The bow was tied on really well. I nearly busted a fingernail trying to untie it. After fifteen minutes of frustration, I gave up on the bow and started shaving. My manliness was offended. All I could see in the mirror was a gigantic ball of red ribbon streaking across my face.

I had already started shaving the left half of the mustache when I remembered my commitment. Oops. I shaved the right side to make the thing symmetrical and left it at that. The result was vaguely reminiscent of a famous 20th century German leader, but I thought nothing of it.

As it turns out, it was very convenient that I didn't have to shave in various places around my mouth, because the embattled razor went dull on me after only seventy minutes of shaving. I caught myself scrubbing the blades back and forth across my face like a toothbrush. Everyone who has used a razor and never employed the toothbrush method has secretly wondered what it's like. Now you're going to find out. At first, there's no sensation. You rub the shaved section and notice that it is now incredibly smooth, as if it's been sanded down. Then, after five to ten seconds, a light burning sensation starts to set in. After thirty seconds, it feels as if the whole scrubbed section is a gigantic patch of densely spaced shaving cuts. The real pain comes when you apply the aftershave. People have different ways of reacting to this. Mine was to scramble, screaming, through the tiny window over the shower and into the dog kennel twenty feet below.
The window was closed. Stress on the was.

I now have a patch of razor burn on my left cheek about the size of a post-it note. But my facial hair is properly corrected, and I look and feel respectable. My commitments have been met.

Now if only my homies would quit calling me Richelieu.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Pop Quiz #1

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls please clear your desk of all notebooks, texts and digital assistants and prepare yourselves for an FCN Pop Quiz.

Below are five multiple choice questions. The questions are phrased as pictures and the answer choices test your ability to recognize the person in the photo. Begin when you are ready.

The person in the photo is...

A) Zsa Zsa Gabor
B) Diane Feinstein
C) Lindsay Lohan
D) Nancy Pelosi
E) None of the above

The person in the photo is...

A) Boutros Boutros-Ghali
B) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
C) Margaret Sanger
D) Nancy Pelosi
E) None of the above

The person in the photo is...

A) Howard Stern
B) Al Sharpton
C) Madeline Albright
D) Nancy Pelosi
E) None of the above

The person in the photo is...

A) Janet Reno
B) Donna Shalala
C) Sandy Berger
D) Nancy Pelosi
E) None of the above

The person in the photo is...

A) Barack Obama
B) George Clooney
C) Ted Kennedy
D) A really cool guy with long hair that kinda looks like Nancy Pelosi
E) None of the above

Ok, have you finished? No fair peeking at the answers unless your done...

If you answered "D" to all of the above questions, you aced the test. Go treat yourself to a Dove Bar.

If you answered something other than "D" to one question, you did OK. Keep reading FCN and you'll do better in the future.

If you answered something other than "D" to multiple questions, you are either a shotgun-toting hick, a Wal-Mart shopper, a person who cooks at a restaurant serving Freedom Fries, or both. Go take a French class.

If you didn't answer "D" to any questions, consider a career in politics.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Peacock Courtship

America’s dating scene needs a serious overhaul. Most of us have or know people who have experienced the rigors of the casual date. And even if we haven’t, we’ve seen enough Lindsay Lohan movies to know what a mess it is. It’s borderline disgusting; there’s the first awkward meeting, the first date, the second date and then the painful, emotionally scarring breakup.

There are, of course, variations on this theme – sometimes the relationship makes it to a third date and sometimes the breakup scars more than just the psyche – but most dating relationships follow this general trend.

Quite frankly, I am tired of it. If you’ve read the accounts of my terrible love life on these pages then you can understand my abject aversion to the status quo. I want better and, after deep reflection and 8.3 fluid ounces of sugar-free Red Bull, I think I know better.

As you undoubtedly know, the wild world of nature is full of object lessons that, if we pay attention and interpret correctly, can help us defeat life’s dragons. Maybe you’ve read the Character Sketches book (a gold-mine of meaningful analogies) or just took the time to ponder the orderliness of the beaver.

Whatever your experience with nature, you no doubt believe that many life lessons are true for all life forms.

Even if you don’t, keep reading, because here is my plan for pain-free courtship:

I am going to wait, not until I am ready to date or move a serious friendship toward something more serious, but wait until I am ready for marriage. It will take patience, but the Grisly Bear has to be patient through a long winter. If the Grisly can do it, I can do it.

Then, when I am physically, emotionally, financially and psychologically ready to go before the alter, I will strut around with large feathery peacock plumes (not unlike the aristocrats of Moliere), stretching them out as wide as possible and making high pitched throaty noises.

“Guffaaaaaaaw! Chuffaaaaaaaaw! Eeeeeee! Eeeeeee!”

I will move, thus encumbered and screeching, through town and in any public place where an eligible female might notice. Like the male peacock, I will not back down, even if another feathered male or a police officer makes a competitive gesture. If my first day of crooning doesn’t work, I will continue the mating ritual with more feathers and louder guffawing.

“Guffaaaaaaaaaaaw! Chuffaaaaaaaaaaaaw! Eeeeeeeeee! Eeeeeeeeee!”

Using only these mating cries, and the strong appearance of a feathered male body, I will attract a mate. When she comes, wearing feathers of her own to signify her attraction and acceptance of my offer, we will meet and screech together for a few minutes to ensure that we have really found “The One.”

Then we will run off together to go see a preacher.

The more I ponder this plan the more I am taken with its brilliance. How many women can say no to an eligible bachelor screeching in the middle of the square? I’d be the Knight in Shining Peacock Feathers, the Prince Peacock, the Perfect Peacock. Instinct and love would replace the professional dumping and emotionally scarring dating experience of today.

Laugh now my fellow men, but we’ll see who is clucking when I have a gorgeous young woman on my arm.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

FCN vs Daily Kos

We know you think we're just a small, homely blog somewhere on the corner of 5th and Obscurity in a tiny town at the edge of cyberspace. Well, we're not, and we have scientific evidence to prove it.

The Google Fight program is an extremely sophisticated program that harnesses the Google search engine to pit two entities together in a virtual fight. After the complex algorithm is completed, the program shows a readout indicating who won and by how much.

FCN decided to put this program to the test to get the nitty-gritty truth about how we're faring against our direct, high-profile competitors over at the Daily Kos (we'd give you a link, but yeah. Site traffic and all that). We were pleasantly suprised by the results.

Check it out for yourself.

Of course, with positive findings like that, we just had to keep going. We found encouraging news about our position in the universe, and then got down to what the three of us were really dying to know. The first fight showed positive results, but the final test appears totally inconclusive and we suspect there might have been an error in the fight methodology related to the interaction of letter order matrixes and common text strings on time gradients. And by we, I mean me.

A few other interesting fights:

Desperate Student vs His Employer

Nancy Pelosi vs America

Hillary vs Bill

Tom Cruise vs Katie Holmes


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Life Tip #22

Don't get drunk.

If you do get drunk, don't break into someone's house while inebriated.

If you do get drunk and break into someone's house while inebriated, don't steal a television.

If you do steal a television from someone's house while inebriated, don't go back later for the remote.

Attack of the Sheiks

I had a traumatizing experience the other day. I know we say that a lot here at FCN (and it's true that trauma is attracted to us), but this experience was find- a- beetle- in- your- sealed- water- bottle- type trauma. It was learn- your- Grandma- is- remarrying- your- Grandpa trauma. It was paint- your- toenails trauma. It was the kind of thing you don't forget until another traumatizing thing takes its place on the memory hot seat.

In case you haven't figured it out right now, the horrid thing that happened to me was that I filled my car's gas tank

The actual filling really wasn't that bad; modern pump technology makes the passage of gasoline fuel quite pain-free. What really got me was paying the clerk after the fact.

As background, I usually do the pumping while my father handles the paying. The system works out quite nicely; whenever we carpool into town or drive together recreationally, I'll glance discreetly at the gage and, if the dial is anywhere below half-way, comment on the low level and swing the car toward the nearest station. The system had, until last Saturday, worked out quite dandily and I had yet to pay for the miles I drove.

Maybe my dad figured out my strategy or maybe he wanted to teach me a lesson in economics or maybe he just forget to fill-up, but whatever the reason, when I got into the car early last Saturday to drive into town, the gas light was on and my car was in need of fuel.

Half of me (well, more than half, really) wanted to drive the car to town, return with a dangerously depleted automobile and hope that my father would accompany me on my next excursion. A small fraction of me spoke against such pragmatic vehicular abuse warning that I might run out of gas on the highway and that it really wasn't a very nice thing to do.

Nice. It's the four-letter word that drives more indignities than any other except “love.”

Since when was I a “nice” person?

It was the above question that landed me at the gas station, pump in hand, paying my dues to the Sand Sheiks of the Middle East.

I watched the digital readout carefully, knowing that as a poor college student, I really shouldn't be splurging on a full tank. The numbers went by very quickly. The tank was barely half full when I reached my limit. With a cry, I removed the nozzle from the guzzle and replaced it in the swizzle.

Then I went to see the clerk.

I payed my bill slowly, placing every precious dollar bill on the counter with calm that belied my raging heart. I was being mugged, robbed of scarce funds that should have purchased an entire tank – would have a few short years ago – but were now worth half their previous value. The price of a movie, gallon of milk and egg had changed little in that time, but gas was a different story.

I was in Europe being extorted by ridiculously high gas taxes. I was in Yosemite subsidizing the gift shop with inflated park prices. I was in Texas at the Last Chance Gas where they could charge you anything.

That's when I realized, I was being attacked. My car, my person, my pocketbook were all taken hostage by the Sheik. I had no power over the price but the price had power over me.

I shook off my trauma long enough to thank the clerk, whose name was Shirley, and return to my car. Inwardly I cursed it for not being a hybrid.

When all was said and done, when I'd wiped the last restrained tear from my cheek, I learned one thing through last Saturday's experience: The next time my tank gets low, I am going to carpool with my father.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I've been framed.

Recently, an FCN contributor announced to the world that he was not shaving until we went to war with Iran. In an unsatisfying end to this dramatic proclamation, he decided two days later that we were now at war with Iran and is now walking around smooth as a baby. Sometimes, people come up and try to gently break the news that, while our relations with this Middle Eastern country are tense, they have not alltogether collapsed. They have thus far been unsuccessful in conveying the point.

The day before this fellow FCN contributor made the fateful pledge, I lost my razor. Nothing political or gallant about that. I just couldn't find it. I dug through the filth around my bathroom and bed for two hours trying to find it. I got really upset. I questioned the ancestry of the razor. I questioned the ancestry of the filth. I questioned the ancestry of the fellow FCN contributor. It was to no avail. The razor was gone, and I'm not the gogetum type who just goes and buys something new when he just KNOWS he's got something adequate hiding under the rug somewhere. And this isn't just adequate. It's a Gillette Fusion (Mr Winther take note).

But a lost razor does no one any good. I have now grown a very noticeable patch of stubble which itches like an old cast. A popular conversation starter for folks speaking with me is: "So are you the one who isn't shaving until we go to war with Iran?" "No, I'm not. I just lost my razor. You want that babyface over there."

This gets old. It also gets embaressing. You can see the admiration fade from the eyes of the questioner like the attention span of the average senator.

I once vowed not to shave until I played Halo 2. This led to a Samson-esque episode involving a pink razor and certain female members of my then speech and debate club. A year and a half later, I played Halo 2. The point is, the situation gets pricklier and pricklier with every passing moment, literally and metaphorically. It's crucial that I set the record straight. No, I'm not growing it out. Yes, I know how bad it looks. Yes, I'm trying to scare little kids away. No, this is not a political statement. Yes, I stepped on a rake.

And if you must help my kicking and screaming self, please, please bring shaving cream. I'll be in the men's restroom scratching if you need me.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Pelosi's Apology

I don't know what dark hole you've been living in, but if you've missed the latest Nancy Pelosi news you need to get out and experience more of the life that is quickly passing you by. Here's a brief synopsis while your eyes adjust to the light:

Nancy decided that Syria, a rogue nation and state sponsor of terror, would make a nice Spring Break vacation spot. She heard the sands retain the heat well and planned a small excursion with some members of her congressional entourage. She threw in a visit with Syrian President Bashar Assad, which the tour guide said was a “charming man with a quaint mustache.”

After the meeting, which lasted three hours, Nancy emerged and, heavily guarded by her security troop, announced that, in her highly educated expert opinion, Syria is “ready to engage in negotiations for peace with Israel.” She then donned a bullet-proof flak jacket, hopped into her reinforced limousine and flew home on a military jet that made anti-SAM maneuvers until it reached Saudi airspace.

When she got back to DC, Nancy was not congratulated for her bravery (being the only woman without a headscarf in a Muslim country takes guts) nor was her impromptu diplomacy and eye opening admission from Assad heralded as a victory. Rather she was a villain; she was undermining America's efforts in the Middle East. She was a bad guy.

Though it pains us to say so, we here at FCN are forced to agree with the general assessment and are jumping on the "Nancy bad” bandwagon. We just think that as long as she had a private three hour interview with a known mass murderer and state sponsor of terrorism, she should have poisoned his drink or bugged his bedroom or something!

Although Nancy has yet to make any public expression of regret for not making her trip to Syria earlier more productive, FCN was able to discover that the esteemed Speaker will issue an apology in the near future. We were also able to procure, through somewhat devious and completely unethical means, an early draft of the apology. Apparently it is intended as a statement to be delivered before a joint session of Congress when the lawmakers come back to DC after Easter. We republish it here to kill the suspense:

Ladies and Gentlemen of this esteemed body,

I come before this body to personally express, again, my sincere regret about the encounter with General Assad of Syria. I appreciate my colleagues who are standing with me, who love this institution and who love this country. There should not have been any contact in this incident. I have always been against terrorism, and will be voting for H. Res. 756, a bill to prohibit unauthorized politicians from making diplomatic vacations, to express my disappointment and frustration with the ineffectiveness of this body at changing global attitudes. I only wanted to be a shining light of diplomacy in a world made dark by head scarves, but I failed even in that. I am sorry that this misunderstanding happened at all and I regret its escalation. And I apologize. And I'm sorry. And I won't do it again, even if 756 doesn't pass.

This will obviously be a heart-warming and attitude-changing apology. Having delivered it, we expect Nancy to return to our good graces.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Life Tip #21

Don't do drugs.

Don't sell drugs.

Don't grow drugs.

If you plan to do any of the above, don't put incriminating evidence of the above on your myspace.

Desperate Student, Episode 8: Civilian Target

Having just been recruited and transformed into a body double for the President of the United States of America, I was loaded into an inconspicuous commuter jet with my boss, Jake, and several other Secret Service creeps. I was given a laptop with the keyboard hammered in so I couldn't type anything. Naturally, I went to FCN to get caught up. I stopped short when I noted Hank the Janitor's helpful comment about my voice.

"Hey, Jake," I said over the quiet hum of the plane, "I don't sound anything like Bush."

"You will," Said Jake. "We will implant a device at the base of your throat that changes your voice to sound just like the President."

"What about the accent?"

Jake hefted a box that might be used to hold dentures. The letters "TEXAS TWANG" were sprawled across the top. "This is a wire structure which will be attached to your lower jaw, back teeth, and the roof of your mouth," He said. "It will force you to speak with a Texan accent."

"That's amazing," I said, temporarily too astounded by the technology to wonder what it would feel like in my mouth.

"Science marches on," Said Jake. "Of course, the technology isn't quite perfect, but it's come a long way since Harrison Ford's Russian accent in K-19: The Widowmaker."

We rode on in silence. A half-hour before landing, a creep came in and handed a stack of papers to Jake. Jake skimmed them, then handed them to me.

"What's this?" I asked.

"Your speech. Get familiar with it. When we land, we'll drill it into you."

I started reading. The speech was about a half-hour long, written in Karl Rove's sloping longhand. It spoke of the radical fringe Muslims that were giving the religion a bad name, of an immigration policy that makes American opportunity available for everyone, of cracking down on nuculer pulifration, and fixing the Social Security crisis. Nothing particularly new or interesting, but there were a few good lines. I started memorizing.

We landed at a small airport in the middle of a dense forest. I was escorted to a three-SUV motorcade (all black Escalades), and taken from there to a fortified compound with gun towers, barbed wire, and speed bumps. Jake took me to the main building and down a flight of stairs to a large cement basement, brilliantly lit with florescent lights. I noticed that everyone but me had credential cards around their neck and asked Jake about it.

"Don't be stupid," Jake said. "You're the President. Nobody's going to check your ID."

For the next three days, I lived and breathed George W Bush. I watched tapes, made speeches, even walked in a spandex suit with sensors that detected where my Texas Gait was going awry. The installation of the voice box and accent wires was extremely painful, but eventually the gag reflex wore off. Finally, the big night arrived. I was loaded into a very large motorcade (I couldn't see how big), and we drove for several hours. We stopped in a back lot at the Madison Square Garden Center.

Surrounded by security, I marched into a back room, where my makeup was put on. Then I was escorted behind a stage.

"This is it," Said Jake. "Do your thing, and I'll be right here when you're finished."

"Jake," I whispered, "I get stage fright."

"Your mike is on," Jake answered. Then the curtains parted and I saw a crowd of thousands of people clapping. Blindingly bright lights blasted into my face from above. I walked up to the podium in my Texas Gait, grinning and flashing thumbs ups. I looked up into the balcony at Laura Bush's body double and threw her a loving smile.

I took my place at the podium, adjusted the notes, and waited for the applause to die down. Then, as rehearsed in practice, I read from the teleprompter:

"Members of the Radical Muslim Fundamentalists who Hate America, it is my distinct pleasure to come and speak to you here today." I noticed that the audience consisted almost entirely of fat white guys with Dodgers baseball caps.

"Keep going," Said Jake from my ear piece.

"I speak to you tonight at a crucial moment in history. Every day, the corners of the world grow closer, and ..." I trailed off. There were thousands of people in the room watching me, and millions more watching from TV. I was about to deliver a completely bland speech to this audience - a speech full of things I didn't believe in. The advice of GotEvidence flashed through my mind.

"Don't stop!" Jake hissed from my ear.

"Fellow Americans," I said, "I came to you today with a speech that my good friend Karl wrote for me. But frankly, that speech doesn't say what needs saying. So I'm not going to say it."

"What are you doing!?" Jake cried.

I pressed on. "The fact is, America is in a major crisis. Both major parties are failing in their jobs miserably. The Democrat party has become the voice of radicalism, consumed by hatred for all who are not in lockstep with their insane, untenable, and demeaning ideology. We Republicans have become the voice of compromise. We can't bear criticism, and the idea of standing up for what we know is right makes us wet our diapers. The voice of conservatism has been lost from public debate. Instead of arguing against the redistribution of wealth, we seek to restructure Social Security. Instead of maintaining our national integrity, we try to blend every conceivable immigration position into a single disastrous soup. We hand out money to anyone who asks, seeking to be loved by all for our compassion, but only to be criticized for the monstrous deficit we're expanding.

"Someone once told a great story that I'm going to share with you tonight. A man and his son were traveling to a nearby town. The man mounted his donkey, while the son walked alongside. They passed a group of travelers, who clucked their tongues and said: 'Look, the man takes advantage of his son, forcing him to walk alongside.' The man, eager to please, dismounted and had the son ride. Soon, they passed another group of travelers, who clucked their tongues and said: 'Look, the son, who is full of youth and vigor, forces his aging father to walk.' Eager to please, the man mounted up behind his son. The people said: 'Look, those two fools will kill that donkey with their combined weight.' So the man and his son tied their donkey to a pole and carried it between them. But while passing over a bridge, they lost their grip, and the donkey fell into the river and drowned.

"My friends, we Americans are the doing the same thing. The greatest danger to our country is not terrorism or energy prices, it is compromise. It is a paralysis caused by fear. It is a gridlock caused by a vacuum of leadership. The statesmen of America have been consumed by petty squabbles, selfishness, and short-term thinking, while the nation that elected them slides deeper and deeper into chaos. No longer do we debate issues. Now, we broker power."

"Bring him down," Said Jake. "Now!"

"Copy," Said a strange voice. "Sierra One taking position."

I continued. "Disillusioned Americans look up at Washington and claim that modern politics is causing our problems. They are wrong. Politics is the problem."

I saw a flash of light from the corner balcony, and something cold and hard zipped between my ribs and out the other side. I gasped. My legs were kicked out from under me and I fell, sending Rove's script fluttering through the air like so many doves in flight.

I woke in a hospital bed. Jake was sitting next to me, reading Harry Potter and the Really Cool Magical Dude. My hips were bandaged and my right arm was in a sling.

"Hey," I said weakly. Jake nodded without looking up from his book. "Jake. Hello." He looked up, irritated, and tossed a newspaper onto my lap. Across the top, in huge print, ran the headline:


"What about my speech?" I asked, bewildered.

"The president was poisoned by the Radical Muslims," Jake said calmly. "The poison damaged his judgment - hence the loony speech - but did not kill him. Seeing this, they got a sniper to assassinate him. He is in bad shape, but he will survive. "

"What about me?"

Jake handed me a mirror. I looked, and felt a wave of relieved affection to see my own ugly mug smiling back. I had been fixed. My mouth and throat were empty.

"You'll be shipped back in a few days," Jake said. "You will tell everyone you stepped on a rake. You will never breathe a word about this, ever, to anyone."

"What about my girlfriend? Can't I tell her?"

"Well, okay. You can tell your girlfriend. But no one else, or we'll make the FDA test pesticides on your eyes.""

"What, are you going to tap my phone? Read my email?"

Jake smiled grimly. "We already do."

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Signs of Outward Success

We know that real beauty is found on the inside and that no matter how wealthy or outwardly successful someone is, they can be a scum sucking scumbag on the inside. Phrased differently, Shirley who works at the convenience store is shining brighter on the inside than Uncle Wally who drives caddy.

While we know this, it is still nice to look at signs of outward success. These are ways you can estimate the individual wealth of a person without conducting an invasive auditing of their tax records. A successful individual will have...

...Name on underwear.
...Google rating >100,000.
...Steak every evening.
...>2 civil cases pending constantly.
...At least one service sector employee (lawyer, mechanic, masseuse) in constant employment.
...Church or beverage named after you.
...Chain of domestic service command.
...>3 refrigerators.
...>4 fireplaces.
...>2 filled piercings, at least one of which must be occupied by a 4 carat diamond.
...No hotel pens in entire mansion.
...Personal bouncer.
...64 piece entertainment system with a 3-year Geek Squad warranty.
...4-lane freeway as a driveway.
...LeBron James as personal basketball trainer.
...24/7 security to guard against impatient heirs.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Shaving Strike

I am going on a shaving strike; I am not shaving until we go to war with Iran.

Wake Me Up When The Quarter Ends

In honor of Spring Break, a time off school that the FCN writers are enjoying by catching up on homework, I wrote the following lyrics that are intended to be set to the tune of Green Day's Wake Me Up When September Ends (Lyrics, mp3). Enjoy!

First half has come and passed
The freetime can never last
Wake me up when the quarter ends

My eyes are blank and glassed
Four long years don't go so fast
Wake me up when the quarter ends

Here comes class time again
When the weekend goes
Sitting in rows again
Writing funny notes

I badly need some rest
Never succeed on my tests
Wake me up when the quarter ends

First half has come and passed
The freetime can never last
Wake me up when the quarter ends

Dust off the books again
Pop a sleeping pill
Wake me up when the quarter ends

Here comes class time again
When the weekend goes
Sitting in rows again
Writing funny notes

I badly need some rest
Never succeed on my tests
Wake me up when the quarter ends

First half has come and passed
The freetime can never last
Wake me up when the quarter ends

My eyes are blank and glassed
Four long years don't go so fast
Wake me up when the quarter ends
Wake me up when the quarter ends
Wake me up when the quarter ends

Monday, April 02, 2007

Please check your calendars...

If you didn't fall for yesterday's post, please enjoy a hearty laugh and a pat on the back.

If you did fall for yesterday's post, you please endure a hearty laugh and a pat on the back.

Shutting down was our way of putting a goofy fish on your back. This post is our way of removing it.

Our practical joke, though entirely unoriginal and completely hokey, was inspired by a similar one conducted by Google. Some years ago, Google announced on April Fool's Day that it would offer over 2 Gigabytes of storage to users on its Gmail service. That's more storage than an Ipod Shuffle. The internet world was stunned. Offering that much room was an unprecedented act of web generosity. To think, no longer would spam deletion be necessary. No longer would the email entry page warn of impeding capacity issues. No longer would hard drives be necessary.

But then reality hit, it was April Fool's Day. No one could give that much space away free. Saddened but enlightened, Gmail users returned to business as usual without astronomical amounts of free storage space.

Yesterday, however, Google broke the trend of introducing false plans as a joke and actually brought out a real idea for users to evaluate. We here at FCN loved Google TiSP (BETA) so much that, beginning tomorrow, we are publishing our webpage exclusively with TiSP. Maybe it will work for your home as well?

Happy April fools!

P.S. We owe a big thanks to everyone who felt a tinge of sadness at the prospect of losing FCN. Your emotion, though entirely irrational and misdirected, did do a little to brighten our day. There was someone who was sorry to see us go, wasn't there?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The End of FCN

We are saddened to announce that, effective tomorrow, Funny Class Notes will be shutting down. Our site will be eliminated, torn from the internet, scrubbed from the web, kaput. There will be no more Funny Class Notes; the drab oblong diatribes of the DailyKos will be the only palatable humor in the blogosphere. That's right, we are going away.

If you've followed us as authors for any period of time, you will understand that we lead very busy lives and probably have a decent excuse for shutting down a humor blog, even if it has garnered a following of five readers. But we aren't quitting because we don't have time to write; we're quitting because we don't have anything to write. That's right, we are plum out of ideas. We're drier than Nancy Pelosi counting roll. We've reached the bottom of the barrel, the end of the road, the last lizard in the zoo. To top it off, Holly doesn't like us.

It's been a wonderful journey, through the social critiques, expert advice, sports reports, generalizations, lame jokes, life tips, episodes of the Desperate Student, and true stories. We've come a long way since we were founded back in 1821, including moving through 4 google pages accounts, the last of which had a reader. We will miss every unwritten word that calls to us during our classes, and every eloquent response that we never read. We will even miss the ineloquent and insulting comments, some of which were awesome in a piquesh sort of way.

That said, Daniel has one more thing he wants to write before we do shut it down and I'd hate to pull the rug out from under him and remove his audience. Check back in tomorrow for the final bow of FCN and our last ever post. 'Till then, so long, farewell and I bid you all adieu (which is French for "you have beautiful eyes").

It's been a great year, and we wish all five of you the very best.

We love you guys,

The FCN Team

PS. Don't forget to delete your bookmarks!