Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Incredible Journey: Fantastic Adventures in the Irish Country, Part 1!

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By Dan Fitzpatrick

Many moons ago, my Irish forefathers set foot on American soil with nothing to their names except for a pocketful of dreams and a raging case of smallpox. Similarly, I landed in Ireland with nothing in my pockets except for a large wad of American dollars, utterly worthless in the Emerald Isle, and a lightly used iPhone 4, whose advanced electrical technology would only frighten the native savages and turn them against us. My wits were my only weapon in my quest to retake my ancestral homeland, or if necessary, flee the country within an inch (2.54 cm) of my life. Fortunately, I disguised myself as the combined form of Ireland’s most sacred figures–Bono and Sinead O’Connor–wearing sunglasses to charity events and ripping up countless photos of Pope John Paul II. I made friends everywhere I went. Then it started raining.

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This is how people shake hands in Ireland.

I hoped to find my lost family fortune in the cultural heart of Dublin, on the tour of the Guinness Factory. The brewery’s tour guide was an eccentric inventor similar to Willy Wonka, except that he often broke my piggy bank for beer money and beat me for no reason. It was basically a condensed version of my childhood (my sister was a drinker and a fiend). The management later asked us to leave after Joe and I stole the fizzy lifting drinks and stained the ceiling (with vomit and tears). Then it rained again.

If my dreams of conquest are to be realized, I must perfect my Irish mores and social skills. The most important thing I have learned on the subject is the national speech impediment, which leaves the islanders unable to maintain a consistent pitch in their speaking voices or pronounce multi-syllable words. Everyone here says the word “third” as “turd,” which would be hilarious if it was not already so very sad. This bleak reality demonstrates the Irish obsession of collecting and subsequently burning excrement, a compulsion that still lives on in members of my family today. Tragic. At least it’s not raining.

(Note: If you were to ask me about the second most important thing I have learned so far, it would be about the leprechaun vs midget dilemma: All leprechauns are midgets, but not all midgets are leprechauns. It’s like the square/rectangle thing. If I knew that before, then I would still have both pinky fingers. Those are some sharp little teeth, like a raccoon’s or something.)

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1000!

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     Just the other day, revolutionary blog YAYOS reached one thousand views. I cannot even begin to comprehend the massive number of readers that we have acquired, largely because I can never remember what comes after thirteen (fwelve, maybe?). Anyway, to commemorate this historic milestone, I have compiled some fun facts about the number 1000. 

1000 is:

  • The number of elephants used to transport the building materials for the Taj Mahal.
  • Represented in Roman Numerals by M, or alternatively DCCLLLLXXXXVVVVVVVVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII.
  • The year in which gunpowder was invented in China, an advanced country still unable to discover the fork.
  • The number of words equal to a single picture. All you have to do is submit your thousand-word essay to any museum, and you’re free to go in and take anything you want. Nobody will mind, those are just the rules.
  • The number of jelly beans in the jar at your dentist’s office. That iPod Nano is as good as yours.
  • The number of title canines in Disney’s upcoming Dalmatians sequel.
  • Not an odd number, but still feels a little weird sometimes, just like anybody else.
  • Written as 1×10^3 in scientific notation, if you’re into that kind of thing, baby.
  • The number of years in a millennium, a time measurement named after the popular Backstreet Boys album.
  • The total number of islands in an archipelago famous for its delicious salad dressing.
  • The price, in dollars, for one night of pleasure you’ll never regret. Just call 785-273-0325. (Please do!)
  • The cost of GOB Bluth’s suit, allegedly.
  • Not a bad price for a human kidney, and the best part is that they’re practically everywhere!
  • 1000 times more than anytime someone has ever said that they’re proud of me.

And there you have it, fwelve mind-stimulating facts honoring our first 1000 views, of which only 439 came from my father. Thank you all for your continued support.

Forever yours,

Dan Fitzpatrick

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Have some other interesting 1000 facts? Share them in the comments section!

(e.g. PJ Formica has been with over 1000 women. At once)

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Ringing Up the Top 6 Strange and Inappropriate Things Ever Said to a Cashier

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By Dan Fitzpatrick

My experiences as a grocery store cashier have been far from exciting. In each shift, I somehow cope with the lethal monotony of pure repetition and survive throngs of clueless customers. It ain’t easy. However, a few patrons occasionally shake up my mindless routine by sharing off-color comments or weird personal information with me. Unless your cashier is a family member, close friend, or licensed therapist (better ask to see his diploma), these are things you absolutely should never share. For better or worse, these complete strangers decided to remove their mental filters and confide in a minimum wage-earning teenager, and so I had no choice but to compile the best comments here for the world to learn from and enjoy.

DISCLAIMER: All of the following exchanges are 100% authentic. Some contain explicit language and subject matter.

#6 “Oh God, my arm! I told you not to make the bags heavy!”

  • This lady turned out to be surprisingly frail in her attempt to lift a plastic bag holding a single jar of tomato sauce. She didn’t take kindly to my response of “I can’t make the bag any lighter unless it’s empty or we scoop some sauce into another bag,” either. No biceps or sense of humor.

#5: “I’m lousy. None of you assholes give a fuck about a crippled old bastard like me! All you care about is making money, and you don’t care that your store is crap!”

  • Giving perhaps the most unexpected reply to “How are you?” in the history of mankind, this screaming old man effectively made me the scapegoat for every “problem” in the entire store. The main reasons behind his ire: the high shelf placement of canned tuna fish and the extreme weight of Ocean Spray cranberry juice bottles.

#4 “You know, I have a blind pet squirrel. He doesn’t have any eyes, just a black skin covering and long, black eyelashes coming out of the sockets.”

  • I sincerely hope that the quoted woman, who clearly suffered from some kind of disorder, embellished this nightmarish image. Then again, she was missing her two front teeth, and the squirrel was missing two eyeballs, so they probably just made a trade.

#3 “Sometimes you have to get out [of the house]. You can only sit around and watch so much porn.”

  • Appearances can be deceiving, or in this case, completely accurate. Don’t let his dirty beard, yellow teeth, beer belly, or rascal scooter mislead you; this gentleman is clearly enjoying his retirement.

#2 “I used to be really smart. I worked for the U.S. Defense Department with missiles and rockets. If they had errors in the code, you know, the numbers, they would bring it to me, and I would just look at it and find them.”

  • Another gem from the woman in #4, this snippet provides some valuable insight into her past. Once a genius government operative, she defected from the agency, which in turn captured her and scrambled her brains. She’s like a muumuu Jason Bourne.

#1 “I have to get used to doing the shopping now that I’m divorced. Women can rip your heart out. Do you know the three worst words a woman can say to you, Dan? ‘Is it in?’ Can you believe she said that?”

  • While friendly and personable, this man shattered the remaining innocence of a then-seventeen-year-old with an uncensored summary of his failed marriage and sexual history. Still, I hope he finds love someday and a reason to stay away from the store.

The register’s beeps

Never muffle the horrors.

Paper or plastic?

The views expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect those of my coworkers, employers, or company in any way.

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I Was Right: Final Thoughts on Wimbledon 2012

By Dan Fitzpatrick

In a world of cynics and skeptics, believers are few and far between. Even fewer believed that Roger Federer would lift the sacred Wimbledon trophy in 2012. Nevertheless, he defied the odds and the passage of time this fortnight to win a record-tying 7th title in a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 final win over a surging Andy Murray.

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As the most popular tennis player in the world, Roger had the support of millions of fans behind him, hoping for their idol to reestablish his grass court supremacy. The real question is, did Federer nation really make a difference in this tournament? The answer: no, only I did.

In his post match interview, Federer explained, “I think it was a time where I just had to believe that things were going to turn around for me.” This belief had not been around in full form over the past two years, but now it suddenly blossoms to championship status, at the same instant when I wrote a brilliant piece about Federer’s certain Wimbledon victory. This was no coincidence. Undoubtedly, Roger came across my previous post during some sleepless night and realized that he could, no, decided that he would, win.

In a way, this Wimbledon title is as much mine as it is Roger’s. I am the Watson to his Holmes, the best friend killed in an explosion to his Rudy Rudinger. Although singles tennis is an individual sport, this was truly a team effort. Thank you all for your support.

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“Thank you, Dan. We did it.”-Roger Federer

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Deadliest Warrior: Ringo Starr vs. Paul McCartney, Live in Concert

By Dan Fitzpatrick

By Jove, I’ve done it. In just under seven years, I made two arduous pilgrimages to see Ringo and Sir Paul play live, which ostensibly means that my Beatles super-fan crusade has ended. Unless you are a Pete Best loyalist or a Paul is Dead conspirator, I have come as close as humanly possible to seeing the Fab Four in concert. My life is complete; now it’s just a matter of settling my financial affairs and making an appointment with the Dr. Kevorkian memorial clinic (after all, happiness is a warm gun).

Fortunately for you all, I will devote my final moments to the only meaningful question left in my pitiful existence–which concert was superior? To settle this heated debate, I will borrow the format of the television show Deadliest Warrior, which uses an advanced computer program to simulate battle between two legendary warriors. Accordingly, I will break down the pros and cons of every factor in the respective concerts and then run the data through my high school graphing calculator to determine the winner. Let’s get started:

The Frontmen: Paul vs. Ringo

PAUL*

Vocals: Powerful and varied, covering loud rockers and mellow ballads; voice has not changed since the 60’s

Instruments: Masterfully plays the ukelele, two different pianos, and bass, acoustic, and electric guitars

Stage Presence: Gravitas of a serious artist combined with an entertainer’s flair; artfully replaces original lyrics with a plethora of “Woos” and “Yeah-yeahs”

Greatest Honor: Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997

*May actually be Billy Shears, a Canadian police officer secretly brought in to act as Paul’s double following his untimely death in a 1967 auto accident. The clues are all there, man.

RINGO

Vocals: Provides a little too much time to think about what you would do if he sang out of tune; voice has not changed since the 60’s

Instruments: Makes up for lack of time spent drumming with ample amount of cowbell; tambourine virtuoso

Stage Presence: Awkward dance moves (I thought drummers were supposed to have rhythm?); Wins crowd over with witty banter until his pills wear off, leaving him unable to mutter anything beyond “peace and love, peace, love, peace and love”

Greatest Honor: Starred as The Conductor on Thomas the Tank Engine from 1984-86.

The Edge: Paul McCartney. How could anyone ever compete with that?

2. The Venues: Wachovia Center vs. The State Theatre

WACHOVIA CENTER

Details: Located in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex; seats 19,500 people

My Seat: Off to far right of stage, and unfortunately behind two drunk middle-aged women who would not sit down and stop dancing–your gyrations during “Eleanor Rigby” seemed unnecessary, Ma’am

Strength: Possibly the best arena rock experience you could ask for

Drawback: The unanticipated, pants-soiling pyrotechnics during “Live and Let Die”

STATE THEATRE

Details: Located in Easton, PA; seats 1,500 people

My Seat: Front row, orchestra section

Strength: An all-around fun concert in an intimate setting

Drawback: Uncomfortable periods of eye contact with the band

The Edge: Ringo in the State Theatre. He didn’t ruin a perfectly good pair of pants there.

3. The Bands: Paul’s Backing Band vs. The All-Starr Band

PAUL’S BAND

Background: Relatively unknown, but great, session musicians

Personnel: Paul “Wix” Wickens (keyboard, accordion, bass), Brian Ray (bass, guitar), Rusty Anderson (guitar), Abe Laboriel, Jr. (drums)

Verdict: Maybe call it Paul’s inability to share the spotlight, but this handpicked group turns each show into a powerhouse performance

THE ALL-STARR BAND

Background: A rotating lineup of famous musicians who each play a few of their own hits

Personnel: Todd Rundgren (guitar, vocals, percussion), Steve Lukather of Toto (guitar, vocals), Gregg Rolie of Santana and Journey (keyboard, organ, vocals), Richard Page of Mr. Mister (bass, vocals), Mark Rivera (saxophone, keyboard, percussion, vocals), and Gregg Bissonette (drums)

Verdict: A far cry from the disorganization and cacophony typical of many supergroups, this band has a really tight sound and provides a welcome relief from some of Ringo’s less enjoyable numbers; he can certainly use a little help from his friends

The Edge: This one is a tie. Disregard any fear of this being a contest between the nobodies and the wash-ups, both bands rock the house.

4. The Setlists

PAUL

General Description: This Fabulous live catalogue covers Beatles’ staples spanning their entire career (everything from Can’t Buy Me Love to Get Back), Wings/solo hits (e.g. Band on the Run), and newer releases (Fine Line); a concert with absolutely no filler

Length: Well over 3 hours, more than making up for the 1/2 hour late start

Sing-Along Climax: “Na na na na na na na, na na na na, hey Jude!”

RINGO

General Description: As the Starr (!pun alert!) of the show, Ringo performs many of his old Beatles standards (With a Little Help from My Friends), respectable past solo releases (It Don’t Come Easy), and a few of his cringe-inducing new songwriting attempts (Anthem); the backing band’s songs are definitely the higher quality numbers (think of Black Magic Woman, Africa, and even Bang the Drum All Day)

“Ringo wrote a song? I’ll put it right here on the refrigerator, then we’ll get to see it everyday!”

Length: Just under 2 hours, a good length for a setlist that focuses more on fun than artistry

Sing-Along Climax: “We all live in a yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine”

The Edge: Paul. Ringo’s songs cannot match the consistent quality and depth of McCartney’s setlist.

The Final Verdict: 

Using the collected data and a top-secret combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division (turns out nobody can divide by zero), I have determined the winner. While both men are formidable figures, only one could walk away with the trophy and the title of America’s Next Top Model. And the victor is:

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Paul McCartney!

Although both concerts were great, Paul’s talent and pedigree set him a notch above Ringo. It was an unforgettable evening that surpassed all possible expectations. Few shows can match Paul’s, and I highly recommend catching a glimpse of this legend live while he still graces the Earth in good health.

Much like the glorious occasion in which I impersonated an esteemed family councillor, I have managed to resolve all existing disputes with a rare combination of pure science, pizzazz, and shadow puppetry. Paul wins the mantle of Best Live Living Beatle (or does he, Mr. Shears?); the matter is settled. Maybe I’m Amazed at the result in The End, but opposing sides should just Come Together and Let It Be. I Feel Fine about the conclusion of this contest, which was really just a Birthday gift From Me to You. Glass Onion.

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