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

Monday, March 31, 2008


Give people a chance to speak their minds, give them a public forum and this sort of thing is bound to happen. A few weeks ago, FCN gave readers the opportunity to write their own posts on Wednesdays. We relinquished control over our very carefully policed post creation policy and let readers create their own content. We disregarded our own lengthy training and intense qualifications as bloggers and gave the faithful few the floor.

The result? Our own readers caught a slight discrepancy between fact and the reported reader statistic on our sidebar. The sidebar clearly says visitor #11 since 2006, a fact first noticed by Unique #11. Big Mo, Sarah and FCNisFake jumped on the bandwagon revealing what appears to be, at first rush of blood to the face, a bald-faced lie.

Let us start off by saying that we miswrote our stat counter script in December of 2006. We had heard reports of eleven readers but none came to visit during the "corkscrew-style" diagnostic test period which formed the template for future measurement. Now, it is possible in the most recent instance in which we discussed this that we misspoke with regard to, you know, the hit counter. The facts are clear from contemporaneous news accounts that we were entering a potentially dangerous situation, and we have written about this before, we have talked about this before and there you have it.

There were reports of visitors in the hills who never actually made it to the site. That is what we wrote on FCN, that is what we have said many, many times. And on this one occasion we misspoke, but it’s — the record is clear in terms what we have said before on this topic.

We had not slept for several hours straight, our schedules had been really hectic and our memory was clouded by the events in our lives. Our love lives were wrecks, we were sleep deprived and our memories were clouded. We regret having misrepresented the truth, but remain confident in the general facts.

A second analysis, this time looking more closely at the relevant data and ignoring information which would distract from the goal of an accurate count, reveals that the actual number of visitors to this site since December of 2006 is 12. Older evidence showing our unique reader count at eleven may have been fabricated - or even an outright lie - but other, unnamed evidence is incontrovertible. We promise. The total number of readers is 12. That you can take to the bank or stuff it in your mattress.

Or is it more like this:

Friday, March 28, 2008


Nobody could understand the gibberish Bill stuttered, stumbled and sputtered through as he began his presentation on Catholic influences in France. Bill held his handwritten notes close to his body, as if gathering warmth from between the sheets. His eyes glanced furtively around the room, willing approval from a student body that was more nervous than attentive. Those that were scheduled to follow Bill's group were not paying attention, those who had already delivered were thinking of more pleasant things, like root canals.

Several days' growth of peach fuzz glistened with nervous sweat but, other than an unsteady hand, tentative voice and visibly shaking knee, Bill exuded no signs of nervousness. He was as put together as you would expect a college freshman discussing an arcane subject in a foreign language to be.

Bill sported his thin body in a way that was far from cool. A Led Zeppelin shirt or tight jeans would at least have rendered his frailty an air of purpose. As it was, it looked as if he'd forgotten to eat breakfast for the last two years. Or maybe he was a crack fiend on slim fast, we'll never know for certain. Bill's delivery was as anemic as his appearance. Words were missing where they belonged and inserted where they made no sense. Bill distracted us from his incomprehensibility by shifting his weight back and forth, like a human pendulum counting down the seconds until he could sit down.

When Bill's portion of the presentation was complete and the last grains of sand filtered through the professor's mental hourglass, he moved his thin figure to the back of the room, folded his pencil arms across his chest and began swaying back and forth. I tried to determine what song was going through his mind to inspire such dour movement and hoped against hope that it wasn't anything on my playlist, when Annie (yes, that Annie) productively cleared her throat and began to speak.

Annie's contribution to the presentation was as intense as it was confusing. Her normally zoned out features acquired new life in front of the language class and she waived her arms about with the dexterity of a Jazzercise employee. Unlike Bill, Annie managed to not look nervous. She seemed oblivious to the subdued laughter shared by the derelicts in the back row and, from my point of view, managed to get through all five minutes of material without making eye contact with anyone.

I wish I could remember what aspect of French Catholicism Annie spoke about, but I confess that I was too busy writing the above paragraph to catch much.

Annie's gruesome exercise in presentation aerobics came to a welcome ending as she joined Bill in the back of the room, folded her arms and began swaying in tandem with her teammate. Bill leaned in to give Annie a thumbs up, but things got awkward when Dré, who was speaking next, tried to turn around to see what the audience was staring at. Bill made an attempt at explaining his encouragement in French, but couldn't remember the word for "thumb." Dré's puzzlement was intensified by Annie's attempt at assistance when she wrongly introduced the word for "big toe." Bill thought the students were laughing at him (and maybe they were), so he stopped swaying and his face turned crimson. I don't think Annie ever got the joke, because she stood stock still with a blank look on her face, pointing a limp finger at a vertical thumb.

Dré soldiered on, introducing a religious interpretation that I found as offensive as it was inaccurate. Sensing his error, Dré tried to dig his way out, but only deepened the rut. The result was a tragic retelling of French history that lost even the advanced students. The professor made a eye contact with me and smiled. I felt better.

When it was over, the students broke out into one of the most enthusiastic golf claps since Geoff Ogilvy halted Tiger Wood's win streak. We were genuinely happy for the presenters as they smiled grins of relief and retook their places as far away from the whiteboard as possible. The professor marched to the front of class, said something unnecessarily gracious about the drivel we had just endured and introduced the next presentation...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Heart of Gold

You've heard the phrase. When someone is "without malice" with a "loving and caring" nature, they are said to have a heart so pure, it is made of gold. The line is delivered regularly in conversation in a seemingly complimentary way, but is it really a positive statement?

The most common application for "heart of gold," or HOG, is after a critical or deriding remark. The speaker feels that her comments will be perceived as "too harsh" or unnecessarily cutting and amends them with the addendum that "oh, but he has a heart of gold." For example, "Todd is a real Jerk. He lies all the time, never looks me in the eye and always wears that ratty cap with the sweat stains. But he has a heart of gold."

Translation: The subject's faults are not his own, but environmentally induced. He comes off as much worse than he actually is because of exogenous factors that are beyond his control. My dislike for him has nothing to do with the "real" person, but instead targets the things that make him unbearable. If only his golden coronary muscle would shine through the fog of the world, he wouldn't be such a jerk. But he is a jerk. He is an idiotic, poorly raised, fatherless animal with zero class and less style. If his face reflected his attitude it would be covered in warts and he would scratch at the itch with a piece of clay like Job. He deserves to rot in the darkest corner of a third-world country and never eat chocolate. But he has a HOG, for what it's worth.

Psychologically, we don't want to push someone down too far or risk raising the defensive ire of our conversation mates, so we moderate the phrase with an insult so camouflaged it is often embraced as a compliment. We are reticent to pound our nemeses into the ground, so we coat the tip of our barb with glitter that we hope will be strong enough to veil our malevolence.

This post serves to remove the glitter and expose the barb for all it is.

I've presented this theory to a few friends and family members to mixed reviews. A number of respondents have raised plausibility issues with their own use and contested that "I really like xyz [who I said had a HOG]; your theory can't be true."

When HOG is used, the speaker is not necessarily cognizant of his or her feelings toward the subject. In fact, the speaker may insist that her feelings are warm and fuzzy toward the individual and that HOG has "different meanings for different people." Don't be fooled.

HOG can reflect both a deep seated and surface disregard for a person. The feelings of malice that accompany its deployment may be buried deeply and motivate the thoughts behind the words with a dull ache of past pain. Or they may be symptomatic of a passing anger, a transient feeling that passes as quickly as glassless glasses.

Further, HOG is sometimes used when the personal dislike is found only at a subconscious level, where it is too deep to recognize. The speaker may not even be aware of her feelings toward the HOG recipient, but the use of the phrase lets others know what she is feeling.

As we've discussed earlier this week, females tend to put a lot more care into the words they choose than their male counterparts. We guys pick words the same way we choose shirts in the morning: if it's clean we'll use it. Guys will use lines they hear environmentally without regard to the nuances of the phrase or any implied meanings. We don't care if you think you've been insulted as long as you still feed us.

Girls, on the other foot (because hands get so old), put an inordinate amount of thought into the words they choose. In fact, picking a word for a girl is also very similar to picking a shirt.

Ultimately, HOG is a negative remark thinly veiled as a compliment. Guys may use it inadvertently (just as they will insult their girlfriends without knowing or intending to), but the phrase's proper place in the dictionary of popular vernacular is under the "insults" tab.

The next time someone "compliments" you on your HOG, mentally add four words to their sentence: "You have a heart of gold. Cold, hard and yellow." That will give you a more accurate picture of their meaning.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

4th Do It Yourself Post

Men _______________ women, but women _______________.

Life Tip #62

If you do not know how to install a satellite TV system in your home, do not attempt to do so without assistance.

If you must attempt to install a satellite TV system in your home without assistance, don't use a handgun to punch a hole through your wall.

If you must attempt to install a satellite TV system in your home without assistance and use a handgun to punch a hole through your wall, make sure no one is on the other side of the wall.

If you must attempt to install a satellite TV system in your home without assistance and use a handgun to punch a hole through your wall without first checking for people on the other side of the wall, don't fire a second shot.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Commenting on the Commentators

As an avid sports fan, I get to know famous broadcasters almost as well as the personalities on the court, which is to say I develop a very strong superficial knowledge of their habits and behavior. No time is better for acquainting oneself to the idiosyncrasies of commentators than March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament when a new broadcaster greets the listening ear for just about every game. Legends like Jim Nantz and Billy Packer join characters like Dick Vitale to provide a stunning ensemble cast.

Unfortunately, sometimes these gentlemen can be difficult to understand. They use a vernacular native to jocks and junkies that is foreign to everyone else. They think, I am sure, that they are easy to understand, but to the untrained ear their gibberish is as comprehensible as the three year old graffiti beneath the Miller bridge. Here at FCN, we took out a pen and paper during the games and jotted down our favorite lines from the various presenters along with an explanation. Here they are, followed by a translation in parenthesis:

"Heeeee's got the triple!" (Three-point basket)
"Stops, pops; it's in." (Pull-up jump shot)
"Rejected!" (Blocked shot)
"Not this time!" (Blocked shot)
"Say goodbye and hello to the second row" (Emphatically blocked shot)
"Woah! That's the strongest weak side help I've seen today" (A Jim Nantz favorite)
"Gentle kiss and in." (Bank shot)
"Double smooch off the glass." (A Dick Vitale favorite, when the ball rolls on the rim and touches backboard before falling into the basket)
"Count it" (Scored shot)
"They've really been struggling from the charity stripe." (Team has a poor free throw percentage)
"Got the step..." (A player is beginning a drive to the basket)
"...found a lane..." (A player has found a lane to the basket)
"...he dishes it out..." (A player passes to another player)
"...he kicks it out..." (A player passes to another player after driving toward the basket)
"Rocks...pops." (Kobe Bryant - or similar ball hog - has the basketball)
"All the way to the hole." (A player completes a drive with close shot)
"What a moment!" (Jim Nantz is amazed by something on the court. This happens often.)
"Trifecta" (Three point basket)
"Super scintillating sensational!" (Dick Vitale is excited by something on the court)
"Slap a lapper." (Dick Vitale is excited by something on the court and wants to put his job at risk)
"Dipsy-doo dunkeroo slam-jam-bam, baby!" (Dick Vitale actually said that)
"...baby" (Dick Vitale is trying to be cute while using the same line he started using in 1979)
"Foam the runway, this guy is on fire!" (A player has been making a high percentage of his shots or otherwise been playing well recently)
"Freeze it." (Used during instant replay to draw audience's attention to a particular detail)
"Send it in to the big fella'" (A color commentator's instructions to consider a low post move)
"Rise and fire." (A jump shot. Use of this line got a commentator fired. Incomprehensible, I know)
"Turn out the lights." (One team has lost any chance of winning the game)
"The party is over." (One team has lost any chance of winning the game)
"Oh my." (A particularly eloquent play-by-play line)
"Boom." (A particularly eloquent play-by-play line often deployed after a dipsy-doo dunkeroo slam-jam-bam)
"'Nuff said." (A particularly eloquent play-by-play line)
"Yesssssssss." (Used late in a game after an important basket is scored)
"He puts the biscuit in the basket." (A player scores)
"Threeee-cola." (Three point basket)
"This freshman has ice in his blood." (The stress of the game is not registering in a young player's behavior)
"He's cooler than the other side of the pillow." (The stress of the game is not registering in a player's behavior)
"As good as it gets." (Jim Nantz after Florida won its first national championship)
"From downtown..." (Three point shot attempted)
"Bang!" (A player scores)
"Sweet sassy molassy." (Contrary to popular opinion, line is actually used in men's games to denote respect in a player's recent move)
"Oh, baby, what a play." (Sometimes used by broadcasters other than Dick Vitale)
"Tickie-Tack." (A player is called for an "unnecessary" or ill-advised foul)
"Right between the eyes." (A player scores)
"That's levitation." (An athletic shot block)

And that's just a sampling. To get the rest, you will have to watch the Sweet 16 round of March Madness this weekend.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Why do girls read humor blogs?

It's a phenomenon as antiquated as the medium it expresses itself upon and yet it remains as enigmatic as the retrograde motion of the stars. If Ptolemy, Shen Kuo and Hipparchus were alive today, it would no doubt stump them. If Hwang Woo-Suk were still a credible member of the scientific community, he would falsify data and claim to have busted the phenom. If Winona Rider saw the solution in a department store, she would shop lift it. But that isn't necessary, because we here at FCN put our best minds to work on breaking the code and discovering what it is, exactly, that makes humor blogs so popular among the female gender.

While we may have falsified some data, no cute dogs were killed in the process. Take that, Hwang!

In the interest of full disclosure (never a priority here at FCN, but still occasionally stimulating), the good people at Life From the Toaster first brought this quandary to our attention last week. If you want a free CD and are a guy (some people just aren't liberated, we know), visit his site and place a comment on his post. What CD, you ask? What are the chances of winning, you ask? We don't know; just go comment already!

Goodness, full disclosure can be really painful.

Uncle Wally put some work into the Malthusian science of Demographics. He installed a (chocolate chip) cookie on our blog that logs arcane information about visitors like screen resolution, web history and propensity to spend money online. By cross-referencing this information with a database of "technically" legally retrieved information purchased from a seedy Haitian-based web dealer, he discovered that the vast majority of FCN's readers are females. The results of his study, complete with mind numbingly complicated line charts will be published in the April First issue of the journal Science.

Now to that "Woo-suk" data we promised: FCN's readership clocks in at 11 unique visitors since December of 2006. We are proud of each and every one of these visitors who form the entirety of the FCN few and make up what we like to call "The FCN Dozen." In the spirit of the baker's dozen, we are one shy because we gave up early. But we still find a way to be proud of our accomplishments.

Gender ambiguities in Uncle Wally's data don't let us know for sure how many of our readers are female and absent an absolute guarantee from him, we are reticent to share his conclusions. We will, however, say that the majority is undeniable.

The limits of Uncle Wally's research were reached when we asked the basic question "why?" That's when we put FCN's best minds to work (sorry Wally) and came up with the following 5 reasons for feminine preference for humor blogs:

1) Spending Opportunities. FCN gives you, the faithful few, many opportunities to flex your expenditure muscles and invest in our gear. Actually, "invest" isn't the best word, since our products depreciate faster than that real estate you're holding a sub-prime mortgage on. But that difference does not matter to our female readers. No sireesir. The average woman spends 400 hours a year shopping or nine years over the course of her lifetime. Fully a quarter of that time is spent (note the pun?) on clothing and FCN is loaded with great clothing items.

2) Relationships. When the three of us got together a couple years ago to start writing humor, we didn't strategize ways to fit every sordid detail of our failed love lives onto this site. We simply resolved to tell mostly truthful stories about ourselves and, for some reason, messy relationships, failed dates and poor decisions with women dominated the content. Just about every major series on FCN and many of the minor ones involve a girl. And none of us has a serious girlfriend just yet, so more stories are inevitable.

3) Relationships, continued. If Days of Our Lives couldn't resolve its relationship problems in 43 years, we shouldn't be expected to do so in one paragraph. Guys that are interested in relationship issues are the exception and those are the guys reading FCN. Girls who are interested in relationship issues are the norm, hence the popularity of relationship humor among that demographic. Boy that sounds nerdy.

4) We are just unfathomably cute. Despite the fact that we have never uploaded an unaltered picture of ourselves and the faithful few who don't know us in person have no idea how handsome or ugly we may be, our daring good looks translate well through our writing and attract the opposite gender. C came up with that theory all by himself and he is really, really proud of it, so please don't knock it in the comment section. We haven't figured out why our unfathomably cute looks don't help us out in our real lives, but we maintain confidence in this theory nonetheless.

5) FCN offers a rare glimpse into the mind of a college male. Granted, that glimpse is also offered in most popular media, television, music and movies, but we like to consider FCN unique and valuable despite these ripoffs. Just as we watch chick flicks to understand women, you read FCN to get to know guys. Our unrestrained honesty is an education for female readers whose friends lack our unwaivering commitment to transparency and are unwilling to submit themselves to embarrassment and self depreciation.

If that doesn't make things crystal clear, I don't know what will. As always, ladies, we appreciate your readership, even if, like so many other things about you, we don't understand it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

FCN is looking to hire a web designer

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are getting ready to make like a Hollywood chauvinist and kick Uncle Wally to the curb. We are prepared to pull up our proverbial USB cables and LAN lines and settle in elsewhere. This is a major step for us laze prone derelicts, but one we have determined is necessary. Our style conscious moms, fed up at last with the site's drab formatting and unimaginative organization have pressed us to get the thing redesigned. And, like a pansy in a Taco Bell ad, we are ready to succumb to their remonstrations.

Uncle Wally did a great job and will continue to work for FCN to keep the comments running and the hit counter accurate, but we are looking for some improved HTML programming (see? Even FCN can use four-letter acronyms) . Uncle Wally was born before the internet age and his concept of design is as antiquated as the U of Michigan T-shirt he wears on the weekends. He is a great guy with an excellent personality, but something went wrong with his color pallet shortly after birth. Just between us, we don't think he was breastfed.

Here at FCN, we pride ourselves on being cheap. A trip to the movies on discount matinée often turns into a train of "also saws," until the midnight premier when the ticket checker goes on a bathroom break (hehe). We always get samples at Cold Stone before ordering the smallest size and we go to Costco hungry for a reason. Even on holiday, buying the clam chowder on Fisherman's Warf is a big waste of money when they give away so many tiny "tastes" of the stuff. I can't even remember the last time I laundered this pair of socks - or is that too much information?

I am getting the TMI signal from the booth. So I'll stop.

Anyway, FCN is ready to pay cold hard Federal Reserve Notes (or, as Ron Paul calls them, debt certificates) in exchange for assistance redesigning the page. How many luscious greenbacks and the amount of work required to earn them are all up for negotiation. Thus, we fade to the blue "infomercial end" screen and put up the relevant contact information:

Email us at FunnyClassNotes - at - gmail - dot - com and give us your pitch.

What sites have your designed? What kind of starvation wages are you willing to draw for your labor? How many cyber acronyms can you rattle off in a minute? Can you lock one contributor out while giving the password to the other two? Would you do so for a little extra cash? Do you know how to hack the Daily Kos? Who is hotter, Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" or Maureen O'Hara in "Frontier Gal?"

The answer to these questions, no matter how irrelevant they seem, will determine your compatibility with FCN.

As far as the changes we have in mind, they are largely up to the developer. Do you want to see zebra stripes on the main page or slap Nancy Pelosi's mug on the title bar? Be our guest. Do you want to make the comment hyperlink move away from the mouse when readers from certain IP addresses try to comment? Give it a shot. Do you want to make our color scheme pink and put Amy Winehouse music on in the background after the page loads? We will still pay you. As long as the changes look expensive and give FCN a veneer of quality, we will be happy.

What are you waiting for? Send us an email!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Prayer of Confession

Heads were bowed, eyes were closed and hands were folded as the pastor led his congregation in a Prayer of Confession and Declaration of Forgiveness. Everyone was still and silent and pastor’s soft words were heard plainly from the pulpit.

“We come to you Father mired in and cognizant of our transgressions...”
In the front row, between two fatigued parents, sat a young girl. She looked to be somewhere in years between five and seven, but was a tad stout and had the ornery air of a person who enjoys rebellion, which rendered an accurate age assessment impossible. To that point during the service she had made a number of mischievous dalliances toward inappropriate behavior, but she had never gone so far as to cause a disturbance. Only my eyes, peeled as they were to youthful societal infractions, picked up on her desire to sin.

With both parents distracted by the prayer, the young girl saw her opportunity. Posterity will never know exactly what she did that scratched her sin itch, but it must have been satisfying because it immediately drew a “SHHHH” from one of her parents.

Pastor continued his prayer:

”We acknowledge our shortcomings and humble ourselves in Your presence knowing that You and You alone...”
The girl in the front row succumbed again to temptation and this violation put her over the threshold. Mother grabbed daughter’s wrist and marched deliberately toward the back exit. Both women were wearing stylish sandals that made a distinctive flip-flop sound as they moved, such that even without lifting my head I could track their location.
“We disappoint You routinely – such shortcomings are in our nature – but You in Your benevolence see fit to correct us...”
The walls of the church building were thin and the sound of a sobbing girl was not restrained to the nursery room. Apparently her rebellious desire was extinguished quickly by a stern look from mom and in its place were shrieks of expectant agony. The girl knew she was going to get a spanking and everyone in the sanctuary knew it too.
“Save us heavenly Father from the punishment of eternal damnation and the flames of hell...”
The retort of a blunt impact reverberated around the room and was followed by a bellow of unrestrained agony punctuated at times by girly sobs. Another smack was recorded in the ledger or our ears and more screams reinforced pastor’s prayer.
”You know our hearts and minds, please see our penitence...”
“I’M SOO SORRY MAMA!” The temptation was firmly erased from the young girl’s mind and her only thoughts were for her own comfort. Although she was hidden from view, I am sure tears were streaming down her cheeks and that sitting down would be unpleasant for the next few minutes.

Another voice, much quieter than the young girl’s sobs and more feminine than the pastor’s prayer joined in saying “It’s OK, honey. Come on; all’s forgiven.”

“Thank you Father for sending Your son to give His sanctifying blood on our behalf...”
The flips-flops made their way back to the front of the sanctuary, accented by gentle sniffles from the young girl. Daughter looked embarrassed and mother appeared oblivious to the fact that the entire church had witnessed her meted punishment. Pastor made no comment, he only concluded his prayer:
”In Your blessed name we pray, Amen.”

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

3rd Do It Yourself Post

_______________ + _______________ = _______________.

Life Tip #61

Don't drink and drive.

If you must drink and drive, don't keep marijuana in your car.

If you must drink and drive with marijuana in your car, don't evade police.

If you must drink and drive with marijuana in your car while evading police, don't start the chase by handing authorities your valid driver's license.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


A couple of days ago, FCN received the following email which is reprinted below without any change to spelling or grammar:

Subject: hi

It is too difficult to say about myself in a few words!!! I am very cheerful girl, I am an optimist. I think that I am pretty. My friends say I am a good girl :):):) Also I would like to say that I am very serious and I don t like when people play games with the feelings of other people! I have a couple of best friends and I am here to find my special one. Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there...to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be...The successes and downfalls that you experience can create who you are, and the bad experiences can be learned. To meet friends is good but I have friends. Now I need my soulmate in my life. Unfortunately I couldn t find him in my city but the world is very very big!!! I can t stop hoping to find a good sincere and honest man! I woman and I am lacking the right man in my life, someone to hold on, someone to lean on, someone who could be there for me all the time, Someone to share fun with, bad times and good times, trial times, Celebration times, rainy and sunny times of life. I need an honest , trust worthy . I would like to meet a nice guy 30-45 years old, open-minded, kind and willing to have serious relationship. I want to note that he must have serious intentions and not only swap messages. Of course, he also would like to meet in person. Well, any other questions we can discuss on the phone or by mail, my adress ksendansen@gmail.com ! With the best
regards, Kseniya
My answer:
Re: hi

Oh, Kseniya! Where to begin? Let's start with that name. Is it pronounced "Sen-eeya" with a silent "K" or are there actually two hard consonant sounds right after one another at the start of your first name? That must be a great-aunt to spell out for people. If your name is Seneeya, let me be the umpteenth to say "what a pretty name" with a somewhat confused blank look on my face. How ethnic.

I googled your name just to check out your story, and found the following picture of Kseniya Zamyslova. If this is indeed you, I will renounce the rest of this post. If it isn't, and I have a sneaking suspicion that you and Zamyslova share nothing more than a first name, you deserve every word that follows.

Thank goodness that you did find a way to use "few words." To think what your pitch would have been like had you been verbose. I get all Dr. Wright just thinking about it.

Your comment that "you think you are pretty" would be much more encouraging if it didn't follow a declaration that "I am an optimist." You may be optimistically pretty (heck, Janet Reno is optimistically pretty) but realistically, shall we say, unwholesome.

My friends say I am a good boy

I didn't just drop into your life. I am not in your life. You are in my inbox. You are clogging up bandwidth on my computer. You are distracting me from writing FCN posts and eating, my two productive pastimes.

Please, if you are really interested in my attention, call my mother and tell her we're an item or issue a death threat. Either way I will fear for my life and be forced to address your demands.

C*** ******
In retrospect, I might have written something about my not being in the 30-45 age range or the probability of finding an honest man through random web searches, but I need to save some ammunition for the next girl.

If any of you, the faithful FCN few, are interested in sending
Kseniya a message and getting onto the warmer side of her good graces, be our guest. Her email is ksendansen - at - gmail - dot - com or, for all you web 'bots surfing the internet looking for random emails to spam, ksendansen@gmail.com. Maybe Kseniya can find a soul mate in a really intelligent computer or an equally intelligent FCN reader.

Best of luck!

Monday, March 17, 2008

How to Speak Teen

If there's one thing you won't get taking English 1A or reading Merriam-Webster's (two things we get enough of anyway), it's an academic and somewhat-thorough exploration of Teen, the 4th most popular language in the United States (after Spanish, Old School, and English). Communicating in 2008 America makes a working knowledge of Teen a necessity, so we present this glossary for your enlightenment.

All: (adj) (adv)

Indicates a state of being or that the following word/clause/idea will describe the subject. Can also be used to imply opening quotation marks.

He's all, I'm moving to Belize.
And she's all hopping up and down and all, that is so not cool.
And he's all, why are you all way upset.
And she's all, why are you gonna be all Belizian.

When used consecutively, the principles of exaggeration mathematics apply (See: Like).

Teen: He's all, he's all shot in a million places.
English: He was under the weather.

Convention dictates that this word usually refers to the past when applied to someone else, but to the present when applied to the speaker.

Cool: (n) (v) (adj) (adv) (prep)

All-purpose word used to communicate whatever the speaker is trying to say, as with the Italian "prego". Can be combined with any prefix or suffix for enhanced comprehension.

He's cool!
He's bringing the cooler!
He IS a cooler!

Can be used to indicate general positive qualities.

That car is cool!
My doctor is major coolness!
Nazis so un-cool!
It's a cool ride!
Ask a Ninja is cool!

Also to indicate calmness, especially in times of passion or stress.

Go cool off!
He's a cool cat!
Be cool!

Also as an acknowledgment.

"I finished grammar school!"

To draw attention to awkwardness.
"I have small pox." "... Coooool ..."

To communicate acceptability.

"Is 6 o'clock cool?"

"I ran over your flower bed."

"That's cool."

To communicate skill or wickedness (teen usage).

He's a cool driver!
He's cool at making medieval weapons!

To communicate kindness or niceness.

"You want the rest of my sandwich?"
"Thanks! You're really cool."

To communicate the resolution or prevention of relational tension.

"I'm sorry."
"It's cool."

"Are we cool?"

"Yeah, we're cool."

(Note that the 2nd line of this dialogue uses Cool to communicate acceptability, whereas the 4th line communicates forgiveness).

"What's up with you and Jack?"
"It's nothing. We're cool now."

To communicate popularity regardless of inherent worth.

I hate Britney Spear's new album. How'd it get to be so cool?
Bell bottoms aren't cool anymore.
All the cool kids eat at Rick's.

To communicate consent or agreement.

"I'll pay you two-fifty for it." "Cool."

To communicate a state of being without any unique immediate needs.

"Are you still sick?"
"No, I'm cool now."

"She dumped me this morning."
"Are you cool?"

"Yeah. I'm cool."

To communicate a state of total disrepair.

My jeans are cooler!

To communicate a declining of an offer because of a lack of interest and/or a state of contentment.

"I can help you get even."
"No, I'm cool."

To communicate or describe something brilliant and/or random.

"I've got a fever, and the only prescription for that fever is more cowbell!"

Used as a fall back word when all other responses fail.

"My room mate has a problem - thinks he's a refrigerator, sleeps with his mouth open - I can't turn the light off."

"I have established a connection with the spirit world through that lava lamp you threw away. Your great-granddad says hi."

Dude (n)

Informal: person.
"Who's that dude across the street?"
"Bob is a cool dude."

To show greater respect, the word Guy is preferable.

"That's the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He's a pretty important guy."

To show greater intimacy/friendship, the word Bro is preferable. Bro is best used possessively; as "my bro" and "your bro," indicating who the subject is close to.

"Is that your bro Kate who just walked into that building?"

Dude, Guy, and Bro are not gender-specific, but when referring to females, the sentence is sometimes restructured to omit the word.

"Bill is an awesome dude."
"Megan is awesome."

This practice is conventional but not gramatically necessary.

Hecka: (adj) (adv)

Substantial; significantly great, especially to indicate a quantity.

He drives hecka fast!
That's hecka ice cream in that float!
This song is hecka cool!
I hecka love this song!
I use the word "hecka" hecka lot!

Like: (adj) (adv)

Indicates that the word, clause, or idea immediately following is exaggerated.

Teen: "I'm, like, exhausted!"
English: "I'm tired!

Teen: "That's, like, so far away!"
English: "That's a moderate distance."

Can also indicate an action or state of being, especially in the past, especially involving communication. See: All.

Teen: "I'm, like, I hate you!"
English: "I told him I'd rather be alone."

Teen: "And he's, like, fine, I don't need you anyway; I'll just go back to living with my parents!"
English: "He quit on the spot."

Teen: "I'm all cheesed off and he's, like, dude, chill."
English: "He had to calm me down."

Like is used mathematically with exaggeration words like Hecka. Each Like negates the amplifying effect of a single exaggeration word translating into an English word like many or very.

Teen: The peanut butter was, like, way hecka old.
English: The peanut butter was very old.

Teen: My computer is, like, like, totally crashed.
English: My computer will be fine.

Own (v)

To dominate; be vastly superior to.

America totally owned Saddam Hussein.

Also used as a noun with the suffix -age.

My governor owns yours.

If the target of the owning is not specified this word implies a general state of superiority.

This soup owns.
Master Chief is total ownage.

In many circles, the word is modified with a P; it's is spelled Pwn and pronounced: pOn. This is often associated with nerds, gamers, and Wikipedia contributors.

Luigi pwns Mario.

Random (adj)

Unexpected; unrelated; selected because previous events have given no warning of it.

"I'm hungry for pork and cottage cheese."
"Your appetite is so random!"

"I was walking in to school today and some random guy came up and started talking to me."

"Flying rutabagas and purple cannonballs!"
"Uhhh ... random ..."

Way: (adj) (adv)
Very; extremely.

This band is way cool!
I'm way tired!

Not to be used to communicate a quantity as "hecka."

DON'T: That's way cars!
DO: That's hecka cars!

Also not to be confused with the English noun with same spelling and pronunciation.

Wicked: (adj)

Good; desirable; to be envied.

That car is wicked!

Combined with "sick" to emphasize a high level of skill or excellence.

Wicked sick!

Combined with any other adjective to emphasize an unattainable quality.

Wicked cool!
Wicked awesome!

Not to be used in a sentence with amplifying or diminishing words.

DON'T: "He's way wicked."
DO: "He's wicked sick."

DON'T: "Iowa is all wicked right now."
DO: "Actually let's face it. Iowa is just not that wicked."

So if you can randomly insert the above words in like, your daily language, you can wicked own all those dudes who think they're way cooler than you.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Spring Break

It's that time of year again. Students the country over are taking a week off of school to get into untold mischief and generally blow off enough steam to survive the second half of the semester. The smart kids lose a little of their shine and the party animals completely lose it. Teachers, parents and bartenders look the other way as thousands of students perform the timeless rituals associated with this charming break.

Whoever said idle hands are the devils workshop has obviously been to Cancun in mid-March.

As admitted derelicts, we refuse to be left out of the frivolity. And we need an excuse to take a week off. So for the next few days, we will be doing things that will eventually be published here for your titillation. Call it research. If we survive the ordeal, we will post again on Monday, March 17. Until then, don't tell our moms what we're up to.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Life Tip #60

Don't keep marijuana in your home.

If you must keep marijuana in your home, don't keep 6,700 pounds of it (estimated value $6 million).

If you must keep $6 million worth of marijuana in your home, don't keep any in your car.

If you must keep $6 million worth of marijuana in your home and a few pounds in your car, don't keep $100,000 in cash on hand.

If you must keep $6 million worth of marijuana in your home, a few pounds in your car and $100,000 in cash on hand, don't speed.

Elephant Bar Restaurant

My hometown - not the city where I receive my mail or my parents pay property tax, but the town where I attend college - used to boast a Lyon's Restaurant. I use the past tense because the decrepit building that housed the senior's diner beneath its 60s era architecture was given the demolition ball a few months ago. Before the destruction, the Lyon's building had a rusty [Ralph Nader] orange exterior that looked like it would be more at home on a shag carpet than on the outside of a dining establishment. Soon the citrus relic was replaced with wood frame that shouted "what will I be?" for several months.

My hometown has been inundated with a spate of new eateries of late as food businesses try to fatten the otherwise health conscious populous. Restaurants of all varieties have opened their automatic doors and extended the greasy hand of hospitality to diners, a gesture that reflected poorly on my town in Forbe's recent evaluation. Even restaurants that serve trans fat have started doing business which, in an odd sort of way, makes me happy.

The fate of the Lyon's lot was recently revealed as the new owners opened up for business. Decrepit Lyon's was replaced with Elephant Bar Restaurant - An Exceptional Dining AdventureTM. Exceptional is the keyword, as the greasy-spoon experience was also a dining adventure.

The restaurant serves American and Far Eastern food, where, surprisingly, the only elephants are in zoos.

While in theory there's no connection between the name Elephant Bar (An Exceptional Dining AdventureTM) its menu choices, one need not look farther than the portions to comprehend the descriptive nature of the title. The company's website even advertises "elephant sized eats"- a accurate description proven not only by the plate sizes, but by the many heavy customers. Only the dedicated are fed, as the restaurant does not take reservations (much like African watering holes) and the reward for waiting is a salad bar that encourages grazing.

When I entered EBR, I was greeted by a buffalo head, a lion and, of course, an elephant. I asked the waitress, a lady with a few faded 30 year-old tattoos, for a picture with the monkey. I was ignored (I hate it when characters block!) and promptly escorted to my seat where I was handed a large menu, filled with all sorts of scrumptious Asian and American delicacies. Being a true patriot and red-blooded American I ignored a delicious passing Chinese chicken salad and went for the Elephant Burger, a delicacy designed to serve up USA-sized myocardial infarction.

Fifteen minutes later the waitress returned with my drink order, and asked if I was ready to order my meal. Unfortunately, my sarcasm genes kicked in (my buck passing ability was also inherited, in case you were wondering) and I said no. Faster than I can laugh at my own joke, she was gone, and I was once again left alone with my menu.

10 minutes later when she returned, I simply answered, "Elephant Burger, medium-well, on white, no pickles or onions, and light on the fat, please."

30 minutes later when my burger arrived, I finally knew the reason I had chosen this establishment. It wasn't the creepy tattoo lady, or the menu, or the awesome monkey - it was for the "elephant." The elephant of aburger. I could do nothing to fight my heart's desire to eat it, to sink my off-white daggers into its tenderness and explore its juicy flavor. I didn't notice that they had added both onions and pickles or that they seemed to have given me some extra complimentary adipose. That didn't matter anymore; not when you've waited 45 minutes for your food.

I do vaguely remember that the burger was a little pinker than normal, a fact that manifested itself in flu like symptoms the next day. Bother.

All-in-all, I would give EBR a good review. Despite the fact that all the elephants were (big) belly-up to the bar instead of on the menu and my Sprite tasted more like Sierra Mist, I would definitely visit again.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Etymology of a post

Special thanks for the aged wisdom, useless flaunt and inane facts provided by Mr. L in preparing this post.

In typical FCN fashion, I will now presume to know how the faithful FCN think. There. I admitted it. You can now burn me in effigy and sacrifice me to the media gods for public ridicule. I submit freely and willingly to your abuse and reserve no right against slander with regard to my admission of presumption. Happy now? Then read the post.

It's very easy to visit a regularly updated humor blog like Funny Class Notes and assume the posts spontaneously generate themselves or that they come to be out of nothing. Some will even argue that our posts are in fact nothing, but that they are carefully packaged and positioned to look like something, but these people don't know the world of hurt they create with their cutting reviews.

Hang on a second while I collect myself.

I am here to dispel that presumed (by me for you) myth (the one about spontaneously generating posts; the question of whether or not FCN is "nothing" is still open, sniff) and give you an inside look into the etymology of FCN's content - or lack thereof.

Posts begin as little light bulbs that go off inside a contributor's head. This is the equivalent of the twinkle in your grandfather's eye idiom. The light bulb is completely unpredictable, although it usually goes off in times of complete and utter boredom like during class (as opposed to while lying in bed or in the shower). The average FCN contributor has a light bulb go off anywhere from seven to eight hundred times per day, but we are so lazy that we rarely write more than one post per day. All the other light bulbs dissolve in our heads, turn to gray mush and join the rest of the junk in our brains.

You are what you eat, my eight hundred dissolved light bulbs!

If the illuminated light bulb is strong enough to compel a post to be written, the writing invariably occurs clandestinely during class. Instead of texting our friends we write humor, but the result is the same. The scribbled note is usually nicely adorned with doodles that don't translate well to the blog format. We would scan more of our doodles for you to see, but, quite frankly, if you think we don't make good humorists, you should see our drawing.

In the case of F, who does not sit in class, he writes posts at work while his supervisor has his back turned.

When a paper version of a post has been prepared in huggermugger fashion, it still needs to be typed up. N once tried putting his note between the lid and the keyboard on his computer overnight in the hope that the CPU would incorporate the content by osmosis. Not only did it not work, the post actually broke his laptop!

Since N's experience, we have been typing up posts by hand, a practice that is as tedious as it sounds.

Once a post is typed, it needs to be scanned for the blog, an electronic process controlled entirely by Uncle Wally. History will never know what devious methods Wally uses to format posts for publication, but we are sure that if his deeds were public knowledge he would either be given the Noble Prize or incarcerated for insanity. We retain hope for the prize.

One thing we can tell you is that Uncle Wally has developed a Macro which searches the internet for a random photograph using search terms culled from the blog. The photo is automatically cropped and rehosted and is hidden from the FCN contributors until the time of publication. We therefore are unable to take responsibility for any offense taken at our graphics.

Sometimes Uncle Wally's methods cause digital disturbances in our posts. The problems can manifest themselves as anything from a spelling error to a major grammar faux pas. These "mistakes" were never present when the post was originally written by FCN, but are universally and without exception the fault of Uncle Wally.

The next step in the crawl toward publication is the mandatory censorship. Every line of every post is carefully weighed, debated and analyzed by the loving mothers of the FCN contributors and Mommy G. You can therefore blame them for anything that gets through the Mom filter.

What follows next is lovingly dubbed "fermentation" but, in other circumstances, is called bureaucratic delay. Like a starving actor waiting for his big break, posts need to sit in a hopper, patiently attending an opening in our busy posting schedule. When the time comes, the post zips out of the queue like a baby from the womb and nestles in among all the others.

FCN posts are, then, mechanized. We are a humor machine, not unlike Gene Gene. We approach comedy with the calculated air of Hal, except we are not as prone to practical jokes. You are reading a prefabricated product of the post-consumer society, a recycled and rehashed content that has more calories than nutrition. In the humor world, FCN is the freezer burn laden processed food.

But, unlike Harry Truman, the buck doesn't stop here; we always have someone to blame.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Life Tip #59

Read Funny Class Notes.

If you don't read Funny Class Notes, read Life Tip #14 (posted a year ago today).

If you don't read Funny Class Notes or Life Tip #14, don't be surprised when your children burn down your house.

2nd Do It Yourself Post

FCN is __________.

Life Tip #58

Don't tease crocodiles.

If you must tease crocodiles, don't do so while alone in a small boat.

If you must tease crocodiles while alone in a small boat, don't have someone else take a picture of your frivolity:

Monday, March 03, 2008

Tune Up (with Prelude!)

It's time for the next release for A Capella Due to Budget Cuts!

Music goes through a strange pipeline here at FCN. We won't go through all the details right now because you might be eating (in which case please wash your hands before touching the keyboard - come on people). But suffice it to say that something went wrong halfway through the songwriting process, and next thing you know, kachow! We've got a song that not only has no instruments, it doesn't even have words. We've barely gotten started and we're already spiraling downhill.

Oh well. On the plus side, we're releasing two tracks this time. So that's something. Here's the updated download list so you can keep your iPod on the cutting edge:


01 I Forgot

02 Tune Up (Prelude)
03 Tune Up

Todd's Economics

Todd is studying for a big examination in his tough economics course. He doesn't particularly enjoy studying, but he still finds his book or notes open in the oddest of places. This morning, he takes Gregory Mankew's Macroeconomics with him to the bathroom as he puts in his contact lenses. With one eye focused on the Cobb-Douglas Production Function, he places a thin film of soft plastic over the other. The process is painful, awkward, dangerous and inconvenient, but it is efficient and brings more utiles (units of utility) than waiting to read the book until the vision of both eyes is corrected.

Todd begins his day with a number of basic assumptions. His zero assumption is that everything will be recounted in the present tense. This assumption is self contradictory, but Todd doesn't let that minor difficulty discourage his believing. Todd sometimes wonders why this fundamental presupposition isn't given the number 1, but he doesn't let this undirected curiosity distract him from his list of assumptions.

Assumption one is that darkness follows periods of light. While this has been observed, it cannot be proven predictively. Therefore, Todd assumes it.

Todd's third assumption, and one that always makes his father laugh, is that people are rational. Todd doesn't understand why this assumption is so funny.

Assumption four is that all assumptions are exogenous, meaning they don't make any sense.

Assumption five is that more assumptions can be made at any time, with little or no warning and that these assumptions can augment or weaken preexisting assumptions. That is, no assumption goes assumed.

At breakfast, Todd pulls out his notes from a lecture about population. The lecture focused on an English demographer (someone who studies demons), but Todd forget the name and thumbs through his notebook to refresh his memory. With his free hand, Todd shovels cereal into his Malthus.

Todd groans at the pun and then checks his watch. Language class is in forty-five minutes and Todd debates the marginal advantage of attendance. Todd has already skipped class twice this semester, a behavior that puts him squarely in the "poor student" bracket. Todd takes out a piece of paper and quickly graphs a model of the Marginal Product of Attendance (MPA). Todd enters arbitrary values for each of his graph's four inputs and looks at the result with a frown. Todd erases his inputs and enters new arbitrary values. With a satisfied grin, Todd leans back and finishes his cereal.

Todd puts a third tick mark on the blackboard above his fridge.

Todd goes alone (Solow) to his computer to check his email. A classmate sends him a competitive study challenge. Apparently studying alone brings all the dangers of monopoly: High prices, less output and, worst of all, incessant loneliness. Todd objects that the addition of a second student would actually be an oligopoly since perfect competition requires a large number of students.

A third classmate joins the discussion and a triangle is formed. The Harberger Triangle.

Todd groans again and navigates to the online study notes. Demand for the site exceeds the supply of bandwidth and the page takes a while to load. Todd guesses that too many students are trying to access the page because of the demand created by the examination but considers other options. Perhaps the site is undergoing renovations and no longer has the supply to handle the same number of accessing students. Or, alternatively, the university has imposed a quota on simultaneous website to reward those who don't wait for the last minute to study and thus kept the market from clearing. Or...

The doorbell rings, waking Todd from his causation reverie. It's Janet. She wants to go to the library to work on the exam. Todd doesn't like the library. The busyness creates a confusion that reduces his overall study output and his tastes and preferences are better satisfied by a quiet room, alone with his Macintosh.

The mental mention of busyness draws Todd's mind to the professor's lecture on business cycles and Todd absently shuts the door without an explanation for Janet. Even though no words are exchanged, Janet understands that Todd is in the valley of his cycle and does not take offense. She also knows Todd can be a very nice person at his peak. After all, Janet is an economics major.

Todd is beginning to feel dismal. All economies will end up stagnant according to David Ricardo and it won't matter anyway because we will all be dead in five generations (prediction made circa 1798).

With a sigh, Todd puts aside his study materials and grabs his coat. Language class is in ten minutes and he doesn't want to be late.