Monthly Archives: August 2008

One small step towards energy independence, by Farley Katz.

Dear Uncle Ted,

What’s a safe, fun transportation alternative to my gas-guzzling SUV?

Getting Gas Over Gas, Olathe, KS

GGOG – when it came time for Uncle Ted to give his old Ford Pinto the raft-borne Viking funeral pyre she deserved, practicality and ease of maintenance were top-of-mind when finding her replacement.

The flying dolphin armed with a bowie knife and an AK-47 was an obvious choice.

This one runs on HERRING. Suck on THAT, BP Amaco.

This one runs on plutonium and HERRING. Suck on THAT, BP Amoco.

No trunk space, but the chicks dig it. You can’t roll with the ladies in a PRIUS, people.


Obama’s not out-fundraising McCain because of the INTERNET, buddy.

Dear Uncle Ted,

Is Jesus a Democrat or a Republican?

Mary Torkleson, Pittsburgh, PA

Mary – since Jesus’ last known address would place him in Jerusalem – and seeing as there’s a pretty significant amount of evidence that the man would, upon his return, head towards Israel, it would make His political inclinations and party affiliation as it relates to American politics somewhat beside the point.

It should be noted, however, that the Vatican is currently investigating a claim by state-side Catholics that every time Barack opens his bible, cashier’s checks made out to “Obama For America” fall out of it.


The Honorable Parkay McMonkeyballs.

Dear Uncle Ted,

What cool shit will be happening at the Democratic National Convention?

Grover Sandusky, Spokane, WA

Grover, my boy – glad you asked.

Day 1

Event Highlights:

  • Apple Pie Bake-Off
  • Livestock Exhibition and Chicken Judging (Luke Russert’s tribute to his dad, a black Australorp named Timothy, is favored for the blue ribbon and best of show)
  • Party business (DNC leadership has been feeling the pressure from the pro-“Step Up 2:The Streets” faction of the party. Will they adopt the controversial constitutional amendment banning marriage between rhythmically-challenged Americans as part of the Democratic platform? Or will the eugenecists get served? Watch tonight and find out.)

Speaker Highlights:

Former President Jimmy Carter finally reveals his deep, dark secret that he’s been keeping from his wife – AND HIS GIRLFRIEND. And Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper will finally reveal that his real name is Parkay McMonkeyballs.

Day 2

Event Highlights:

  • Swimsuit competition
  • NORML-sponsored pizza party and Tele-Tubbies marathon in their “Education” tent just outside the Pepsi Center

Speaker Highlights:

Hillary Rodham Clinton will attempt to unify the party with a speech that will touch on themes of unity, change and history, followed by the ritualistic eating of the still-beating hearts of several members of RNC leadership in order to gain their strength and knowledge. Some vitreous and entrails will be reserved to anoint the presumptive nominee at INVESCO Field later in the week.

Day 3

Event Highlights:

  • Roll Call. Senator Clinton is expected to be put up for nomination, as well as I.P. Freely, Oliver Clothesoff, and Jacques Strapp. Mike Rotch is expected to finish second, behind Senator Obama in the delegate count.

Speaker Highlights:

Senator Joe Biden and Former President Bill Clinton will sing a program of madrigals and English ballads, concluding with “Greensleeves.”

Day 4

Event Highlights:

In what is guaranteed to be the most dramatic moment of the convention, an ailing Ted Kennedy will pass the Orb of Delano, source of all mystical liberal power in the universe, to the nominee, Senator Barack Obama. A thousand golden warrior ninjas, protectors of the Orb, will descend on Mile High Stadium and swear their fealty to Obama, pledging their loyalty until the enemies of the Democratic party lie in pools of their own blood.

A reception will follow at the Hilton.


“How ’bout a nice greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray?”

Dear Uncle Ted,

I’m worried – if Texas Congressman Chet Edwards winds up as Obama’s VP choice, as many have speculated, do you think the American electorate will have a problem with a national ticket featuring two sets of weird names?

– Bluer than a Smurf

It’s a good question, my Smurfy friend, though American voters are not nearly as monolithic on this issue as you would think. Sure, there’s a bunch of bigots and knuckleheads willing to discount this possible Democratic ticket simply because one guy’s last name sounds like “Osama” and the other guy shares a name with Wyatt’s douchebag brother from Weird Science – but most of those people were never gonna vote for Barack, anyway. They would rather their daughters marry lesbian commie vampires than not vote for a Republican.

I wouldn’t get too concerned – the American people have a history of electing folks with some odd names.


Millard Fillmore – Whig party
Ulysses S. Grant – Republican
Calvin Coolidge – Republican
James A. Garfield – Lasagna-Eating-Cat Party

Vice Presidents

Elbridge Gerry
Hannibal Hamlin
Adlai E. Stevenson
Garret Hobart
Spiro Agnew*

Besides Chet, this year’s possible candidates include Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine (who sounds like he should be the bad guy’s henchman in a Stephen Segal movie) Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (third in line to the throne of Sebelius, ancient Martian Warrior queens) and Senator Evan Bayh, whose name looks like a calligraphy exercise, or what a Scrabble tile bag would Chuck Hagel after drinking too many Milwaukee’s Bests.

They’re all pretty sensible Veep choices, Smurfette. You shouldn’t worry – no, if the Democrats lose in November, it will not be because the candidates have goofy names.

It’ll be because one’s a black Muslim terrorist sympathizer and the other doesn’t mind the gays.


*Dick Cavett once figured out that if you rearrange the letters in Spiro Agnew’s name, you get “grow a penis.”


Dear Uncle Ted,

Who was the better Civil War general: Ulysses S. Grant or Robert E. Lee?

– Kilrain of the 20th Maine

This is the sort of question that doctoral theses are written about, Kilrain, and trying to give you a reasoned, well-supported answer would take too much time away from my afternoon bikram yoga session.

Let me say this: Grant was an intuitive battlefield manager, gutsy and an inspiration to his men. His decisive victory at Vicksburg along with his successful Union strategy demonstrated tenacity and boosted the morale of the country. Many have argued that but for his leadership, the war might have dragged on for many more years.

No one ever escaped capture by Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in a souped-up ’69 Dodge Charger named the General Grant, however.


Tiny, tiny bongs.

Dear Uncle Ted,

What’s an appropriate baby shower gift?

– Louisa Caliph, Cairo, IL

Louisa – Uncle Ted had to tackle this issue himself just the other day! My best buddy Frank from high school finally got married to a wonderful woman, and they’re expecting a bundle of joy in October.* They invited everyone they knew to their shower – it was quite a party!

Don’t stress about the shower gift. If the Mom-to-be doesn’t have a registry, Uncle Ted has some suggestions:

  • Disposable diapers (unused)
  • Bottles and pacifiers (unused)
  • Baby clothes (and I mean clothes made for babies, not just t-shirts you’ve outgrown)
  • Music or other recordings (material shown to promote brain development – like Mozart, or Puccini, or any of Alan Greenspan’s congressional testimony as Fed Chairman)
  • Baby toys (rattles, mobiles to hang above the crib, teething rings, small hookahs (it’s never too early to teach water pipe fundamentals), baggies filled with broken glass, infant-sized cat o’ nine tails, light beer)
  • Gift card from a local liquor store (for the parents, in case the baby won’t share his or her beer)
  • A Nanny or an Au Pair

Babies need a LOT of stuff. Anything else you can contribute, along with your love and support, will be greatly appreciated. Good luck!


*Hopefully, that kid doesn’t make the scene looking half-Korean. Uncle Ted might hafta get himself a second job and someplace to hide.

Nerd FAQ round-up.

Dear Uncle Ted,

Who’s the cooler time traveler: Marty McFly or Doctor Who?

– Bernoulli Finkelstein, Marietta, GA

Mmm. That’s an easy one, Bernie. Marty plays in a band, drives a DeLorean, skateboards and makes out with Elizabeth Shue. Doctor Who fights robots and occasionally travels with hot women, but rarely does anything more badass than pointing his sonic screwdriver at alien technology until it goes “bloop.” Yes, he’s a tweed-clad demigod and doesn’t need the help of a cloud-haired eccentric (having been one himself early on) but he’s never stepped in to take over lead guitar duties from Chuck Berry’s cousin. Game, Set, Match: McFly.

Dear Uncle Ted,

Who would win in a fight – Batman or Superman?

– Donald P. Engstrom, Foghat, Ontario

I would first refer you to the website “Superman would kick batmans ass. This is why. Everyone assumes this is going to be some type of ring match. Anyone with some sense of imagination would realize could come up with a hundred scenerios where superman wins. Here is one. Superman does go rogue. Flies to metropolis, hangs out far above the city and x-rays everything will eventually find batman. Then he just a) uses his eye beams and kills him from a great distance, b) drops a mountain on him, c) knocks a skyscraper over on him, d) thows any high velocity projectile weighing several tons at batman. In no way would batman ever even get close to me if I were Superman.”

I would then tell you to ask your Dad what kissing girls is like. Hopefully, a conversation should ensue that will guarantee that you waste less time on the Interwebs asking questions like this one.*

Dear Uncle Ted,

How can I get my boyfriend to stop playing so much World of Warcraft and pay more attention to me?

Neglected Night-Elf in Nebraska

I feel your pain, Neglected. Uncle Ted used to date a really nice librarian, until she got addicted to Nintendogs. Last I heard, she’d pawned her grandmother’s jewelry to buy batteries.

My advice to you? Start scheduling things for you to do with each other away from the computer. Hikes. Shopping expeditions. Baseball games. Nights out on the town. Remind him what he’s giving up the next time the guild calls him up for an all-night raid.

If that fails, though, you may wanna try this:

I have no idea what a woman this awesome is doing standing next to a dude in a Ghostbusters 2 costume. Worst. Sequel. Ever.

I have no idea what a woman this awesome is doing standing next to a dude in a Ghostbusters 2 costume. Worst. Sequel. Ever.

I’m not saying you have to get dressed up like a night elf. You shouldn’t have to. BUT IT CAN’T HURT.

And if that doesn’t work, you may have to come to grips with one of two realities:

1) There might be something fundamentally wrong with your relationship that can’t be solved with prosthetic, pointy, purple ears.

2) Your boyfriend is gay for Tauren Chieftains.

Good luck. Lemme know how that works out!


*P.S. I don’t know why the pro-Batman camp always assumes Superman is a big dumb jock, easily outwitted by Bruce Wayne. Lil’ baby Kal-El fell to Earth in a capsule stuffed with audiobooks written by the smartest guy on Krypton, encompassing the collective knowledge of the 26 known galaxies. Jor-El didn’t send his son across light-years of space with only an unabridged recording of Marley and Me to keep him company. I like Batman. But you people are idiots.

Mr. and Mrs. Liz Lemon.

Dear Uncle Ted,

Do you think I have any shot at getting together with 30 Rock writer and actress Tina Fey?

– Most of my male friends, various locations

Dudes. For the last time. She’s married. She’s got a kid. Her husband is a fricking MUSICIAN, for the love of Pete. She’s the hottest nerd on the planet. Do you really think, even if she was single, that she’d decide to hook up with any of your flabby asses? Please.

Besides. I get the feeling my thrice-daily deliveries of roses and tasteful nude self-portraits to her office are finally wearing her down.


Men’s Gymnastics.

Dear Uncle Ted,

I always thought that there were only 6 muscles in one’s arm and shoulder.  Apparently however, after watching that Chinese gymnast flip himself upside down onto the rings from a standstill, I’m wrong – there are 5 muscles, and the rest of the “athlete’s” body is made of some rare japanese titanium alloy, which I’m sure must be getting hacked in China R&D as we speak and will soon be available on the black market here in the US.

My question: Where can I get myself some of that semi-titanium ass?  Is there a local bar in Chicago where a nobody like me can get in touch with a half-human, half-alloy gravity defying genius?

Thanks again,
*Princess Me

It’s good to hear from you again, Princess! Though I’m pretty sure you’re mistaken about that Chinese gymnast’s body composition. Rare Japanese titanium alloy? Come, now. That’s silly. If the Japanese made anything that awesome, they’d’ve kept it for themselves (and done much better in these games, natch.) No no – I’m pretty sure the skill of the Chinese men’s gymnastic team is a result of hard work, dedication and determination – from the research arm of Cyberdyne Systems.

Yes, Princess – follow the Chinese gymnasts around long enough, and I’m sure you’d find hallmarks of classic T-1000 behavior, which includes the ability to morph into whatever object or individuals they come into physical contact with. I’m assuming the actual members of the men’s Chinese gymnastic team are dead – massacred with whatever knives or stabbing weapons these evil robots from the future transformed their limbs into – though what these graceful, single-minded death machines want with Olympic gold is unknown to us. Perhaps John Connor is a pommel horse enthusiast, in Beijing to root for his countrymen? Perhaps Skynet is trying to use Xu Huang’s parallel bars routine as a world-mesmerizing distraction from its takeover of American defense computers? It’s a mystery. A dangerous and deadly mystery. And I suspect we only have until the afternoon of August 19th – when the Men’s Horizontal Bar final is scheduled – to solve it.

As for finding yourself a lithe, fit and impossibly dexterous automaton – you should check out the population of your own neighborhood – Boys’ Town – specifically the clubs on North Halsted Street in Chicago – though I’m pretty sure most of those cyborgs are running on alternating, not direct current, if you catch my drift. Otherwise, I can send you a “Kyle Reese Is My Baby Daddy” t-shirt. Wear it as often as possible – you should be crawling with hot homicidal android booty in under a week.

Good luck!


Olympic Dreams.

Dear Uncle Ted,

Is there any way I can get to be as good an Olympic swimmer as Michael Phelps?

– Andrew Ridgeway, Boise, ID

Thanks for your question, Andrew! Mr. Phelps is pretty badass, no doubt, and an inspiration to millions. To achieve what he’s done, there are several paths to the medal podium available to you.

I’m hoping that you’re a youngster, Andrew – and tall and lanky, with freakishly long arms and legs. Because for option 1, you’ll need them, as well as a willingness to punish yourself and sacrifice just about everything else in your life – friends, family and fun – in thrice-daily practices, accompanied by rigorous out-of-the-water physical training, to pursue your dream. The kind of work ethic required to achieve an elite level of excellence in Olympic swimming is a relentless, unforgiving one – and even after years and years of training, all you may get for your effort is a mouthful of wake from some young upstart even more talented and driven than yourself, pushing past you in a fraction of a second towards a glory that might never be yours.

If that sounds discouraging – take heart. Option 2 – pursued by a small but growing minority of Olympic swimmers – is to undergo a series of bites from a group of radioactive dolphins, raised in water drained from the cooling towers at Chernobyl. A special “training” facility secreted away in a remote Latvian hillside is quickly becoming the destination of choice for competitors looking for that extra edge. After “treatment,” swimmers experience, on average, a 5-to-15-percent reduction in lap times, along with a predilection for baitfish. And except for the resulting herring smell and the inability to communicate except with clicks and squeaks, the procedure is undetectable by today’s anti-doping testing methods.

Option 3 – equipping your Speedo LZR Racer suit with a small outboard motor – is a risky strategy and might get you disqualified from any meets you might compete in. Hopefully, any officials watching will be too distracted by the swimmer in lane 3 spraying water out of his blowhole to notice.

Lemme know what you decide to do – and good luck!