Archive for April, 2009

Ahoy Matey!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 27, 2009 by rantbastard

The recent hijackings of cargo and cruise ships by Somali pirates has created fear by travelers and major headaches for countries trying to transport cargo. Many of these modern pirates have been paid sizeable ransom for ships and crew members kidnapped from their vessels.

The dramatic rescue of the Captain of the Maersk Alabama by snipers picking off three of four pirates momentarily quelled the fears of sailors and the cruise ship guests. However, days later, defiant pirates hijacked several other vessels. In addition, one of the crew members from the Alabama later filed a lawsuit alleging that Maersk ignored requests to improve safety measures for vessels.

Other confrontations have occurred such as the battle between pirates and Israeli security forces hired to protect an Italian cruise liner. While the Israeli’s successfully fended off the pirates on this particular occasion, it does not mean the same results will occur in the future. And considering the gravity of the situation, perhaps a new line of thinking should be considered. The following is a carefully laid out strategy that I’ve thought long and hard about to solve this growing International problem.

pirate-flag

I think the approach of running away and avoiding them is all wrong. What we should do is invite these “salty dogs” on board a special cruise ship designed just for the pirates. And then….THE FUN STARTS!

OPERATION POOPDECK – Part One: Deter & Dispatch

The first part of the strategy would be to deter the pirates from the commercial ships through “innovative” methods and in turn drive them to board our floating house of horrors (described in detail in a moment).

When pirates target any of the cruise or cargo ships, the first deterrent should be blasting some bad polka music out of several walls of strategically placed Plasma Arc speakers. The general premise would be to create excruciating auricular hell for the pirates by playing songs likeThe Too Fat Polkarecorded by The Gert Jonnys at earbone-shattering decibals.

gertjonnys1

The next deterrent would be to use something to throw on the pirates as they attempted to breach the ship. When pirates attempted to board the aforementioned Italian cruise ship, staff and guests threw deck chairs at the pirates. But people, deck chairs are expensive! Innovative thinking requires keeping pirate prevention solution costs to a minimum. Might we consider some “new age thinking” by recycling the “organic” contents found in the bottom of a dozen or so strategically placed porta-potties located on deck? The clueless sea rovers would be greeted with a good dousing of excrement similar to the treatment the throngs of peon scavengers got from the ruthless nobles when they charged the castle walls in medieval times!

hgrail

In the event that the pirates were able to breach the hull and gain access, all of the staff would retreat to a highly secured “panic room”. However, before they made their exit, they would lay out a marvelous buffet of tuna casseroles and hot soups for the hungry marauders. Unfortunately for the pirates, the hospitality would be short lived as they would quickly discover that mixed into their yummy gumbos would be a massive dose of Extra Strength Ex-Lax! Can you imagine the horrified looks on the gorged scallywags as minutes after they stuffed their faces  their bowels would be seconds away from exploding like a laxative time-bomb!

panic-button

This is where the porta-potties come into play again and bring new meaning to the terms poopdeck and Captain Crunch. As each frantic freebooter scrambled into the portable toilets, the staff would watch via online video and wirelessly lock the  porta-potty doors via remote control. Trapped like Brooklyn roaches, each occupant would be unceremoniously “deep sixed” into the ocean via a trap door just like some hapless stooge getting wacked by James Bond’s arch nemesis in the marvelous film Goldfinger.

When the pirates attacked a cargo freighter, we would initiate a a top secret hybrid tactic that would fuse paramilitary strategies from Blackwater Security forces and elements of the ridiculous schemes dreampt up by the Coyote from Road Runner. The basic concept would be to strategically time an anvil drop from a hovering helicopter directly on to the deck of the pirates speedboat in order to smash a large hole through the hull and send the screaming sea-dogs swimming for shore!

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Pounding the pirates

To throw a little good old American salt in the wound, we would outfit the anvil dropper guy in a coyote suit to send a strong message to the sinking marauders….although, I’m not really sure what that message would mean.

coyote-suit

OPERATION POOPDECK – Part Two: Spinning the Spiderweb

Again, these would be deterrents as the primary goal would be to drive the pirates to attempt to board our custom designed pirate slaughterhouse! The first thing we would need is a ship-shape crew. I believe the best folks for the job would be all of the lifers and maniacs in Colorado’s supermax ADX Prison. For the record, ADX’s population of inmates includes the most savage of hardcore criminals.  These guys would make the perfect hosts for our swashbuckler friends. Each member of the Aryan Brotherhood, Black Guerilla Family and the Mexican Mafia would be outfitted to look like cruise staff from the Love Boat. Nevermind the fact that they wouldn’t be as cordial as Gopher,  Captain Stubbing or Doc. By the time the Pirates had bumrushed aboard the vessel it would be too late for formalities!

loveboat

We would enroll our societally challenged staff by telling them that they are all getting a free cruise for a year. Then we cram them all into a customized cargo freighter equippedwith lots of homicidal goodies like wood chippers, chainsaws, machettes and Stanley Tool hammers. Determining who gets to be captain and who swabs the deck would be decided democratically by group vote…..or not. Okay, okay, it would be Escape From New York on a fucking floating dungeon!

pirate

Then we set sail and send the “Good Ship Lollipop” right into the heart of the danger zone! The ship would be painted bright colors for easy detection and adorned with the most expensive looking, ornate fixtures possible. The greedy scallywags would get an instant hard-on for the percieved easy pickins’ and our sea-going, spider web/deathtrap would be set.

As each ill-fated batch of pirates demanded access and came aboard, they would be overwhelmed by the hordes of psychos and crazies. Those that retaliated and were killed would be fed into the portable wood chipper (ala Fargo) and recycled into pirate soup for use as chum to attract big nasty sharks for “guest plank walking” activities later in the day.

walktheplank1

Those captured alive would be be given a Grand Tour of the ship starting with “The Spa”. But this would be like no ordinary cruise liner pampering, these swashbucklers would get THE FULL TREATMENT via the latest innovations in medievil torture devices like the guillotine,  the thumb screw, the Iron Maiden and of course, (everyone’s favorite) the Pear of Anguish!

A select few would later be brought back on deck for “Circus Day” where they would be ceremoniously loaded into a large canon and blasted back on to the mainland.

humancannonball

Travel Tips: Big Apple Binge

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 26, 2009 by rantbastard

Occasionally, I thought it would be nice to share some of my insights from traveling. I find it helpful learning about how to plan for a trip by others so this is a recap of a previous trip a buddy and I made to New York to visit a friend who lived in Manhattan. Hopefully you can glean some money saving tips or nuggets of information that may be helpful for planning one of your future vacations!


The luscious landscape of my dream begins to fade into the shrill ringing of a telephone. Where the fuck am I? The red digits of the alarm clock searing holes into my eyes tell me I made it home. I somehow locate the phone and gently rest it on my ear. “Get up you lush!” yells an angry voice. I’m bewildered and enraged. “It’s four in the morning dickhead!” I scream back at this prick. My best friend John snarls, “Our flight leaves in an hour!” “Get your shit together and be in front of your house in ten minutes!”


hangover

I massage my throbbing noggin and fade into the blurry memories of the night before. The euphoria before an extended getaway had lead to a pre-mature night of hardcore boozing. The vacation I had been looking forward to for months was finally in motion and all I wanted to do was slink back under the warm covers. Suddenly there was a pounding on the door. No way ten minutes have passed, I thought. But there was John, and boy was he pissed.


Here’s a tip. Always pack your bag the day before you leave, especially if you’re taking a morning flight. We’re not just talking about gathering garments and toiletries into a pile, but folding, organizing and completely zipping up and finishing. That way, when you’re suddenly jolted awake the next morning still half crocked, you just grab and go. Changing into and sleeping in the appropriate attire for the next day’s flight can also be of great benefit for the hangover challenged, if you can remember to do it the night before.


It is also a good idea to play it low key the night before you leave. Sure, you’re feeling ecstatic about the time off work, the drinking, the adventure of traveling, more drinking. The problem is that your elation will almost always lead to an expensive blowout before the getaway. Awaking to your pissed off travel buddy blaring his horn for you (and all your neighbors) to hear while you scramble to find clean undies and your missing cash card is easily avoidable. You may also find yourself lamenting over the huge dent in your vacation money that was frivolously squandered whooping it up at your favorite bar or strip club. It may also reduce careless last minute packing errors.


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I recall a rather uncomfortable situation catching a redeye to Vegas once after polishing off a bottle of Jaegermeister the night before. Having awoken with a raging hard on I unwittingly packed my favorite issue of Juggs Magazine in my carry on. I immediately forgot about it as I passed out on the cab ride to the airport. I didn’t think of it again until going through customs. My head suddenly began to tingle and I became nauseous. “Play it cool” I thought. Yet, for some odd reason when greeted with a simple “good morning” by the female customs agent, I blurted out “Nothing to see here!” Needless to say, she decided to inspect my bag and found my prized wacking material stuffed under my ancient Sony Walkman and a musty robe. Even more humiliating were the howls of the other customs agents when she jokingly tried to flip through the magazine but couldn’t because most of the pages were stuck together.


John and I were heading to New York City for the first leg of an east coast blitzkrieg. We were staying with my buddy Pete in his swank midtown flat. On tap were three days and nights of intoxicated debauchery in the Big Apple. Then it was off to South Street in Philly clogging our arteries with tasty cheese steaks and frothy ales. We’d finish it off with a week of heavy ogling on the Jersey shore and wind down with a little blackjack in Atlantic City. An unabashed romp of this magnitude called for a couple shots before we headed for the airport. It was early, yes. But we were on vacation.


Our flight was delayed by a nasty snowstorm so we instinctively bellied up to the airport bar. After chugging down a couple of tubs o’ beer each we both became comfortably numb. Our pointless spat was history and my body was showing signs of recovery, yet little did I know that later in the day my liver would take a beating of biblical proportions.


snow-storm


Our transfer was in Chicago and the storm was pounding the hell out of O’Hare. We arrived at our gate to find our connecting flight cancelled. I cursed Old Man Winter for dumping a massive blizzard at such an inopportune time. Nevertheless, we talked to the ticket woman hoping we could jump another flight. Things looked grim and we reluctantly got in line behind a hundred other losers trying to catch on with another carrier.


That’s when our luck changed. The ticket lady tapped me on the back and said, “Come with me right now!” We followed her to a different ticket counter where she quickly got us on board a direct flight. What a break, and to top it off we were in first class to boot!! We celebrated right after take off with a couple of stiff screwdrivers. The suits heading back to Wall Street were amused by our early start. “Fuck the peons in coach!” I bellowed. “We’re on vacation!”


If you run into bad weather traveling and your flight is delayed or cancelled, don’t become some hothead asshole. The people at the ticket counter are just going to treat you as they see you, like a total jerk. Instead, make friends. And most importantly, lie, lie your fucking ass off! Especially if the girl at the counter is hot! Lay it on thick. “My parents were in a horrible car wreck trying to rush my sick dog to the vet. Woe is me, if only I could say goodbye in person, yadda yadda”. Get creative, have fun. Let her know how the delay is killing you and the only way you can think of dulling the pain is by having a few bumps at the bar. That way she will know that not only are you in distress, but most importantly, that you know how to party!

The additional benefit (and it’s a beauty) is that this chick at the counter probably lives in the same city you’re stranded in. Chatting her up may not get you an immediate flight, but there’s that slim chance that she might feel sorry for you and invite you to flop on her couch for the night. Jackpot!


After a wild cab ride into Manhattan, we dropped our bags at the concierge desk in Pete’s condo and headed outside for a long walk on a gorgeous spring day. We picked up a couple of 40’s and walked Crooklyn’ style with our bottles tucked neatly away in brown paper bags. We soaked in the city sights and a few more 40’s as we ambled towards downtown.


nyc_downtown

Realizing we hadn’t eaten squat all day and that sustenance might be good for sponging up some of the liquor, we decided to kick off the vacation right with a nice dinner at a posh outdoor restaurant on one of the piers. We found a beautiful spot and watched the bigwigs helicopter out of the city for the weekend as we tipped a few more ale’s back.


We ordered dinner from some knucklehead who was obviously new on the job. He seemed overwhelmed by the weekend crowd and it took forever to get our chow. At least another hour passed after we had finished eating and we had already made several additional trips to the bar for cocktails. Our incompetent server was officially M.I.A. We discussed our options. Dine and Dash? John, a grizzled veteran in the food service business who normally tips comrades in the industry like a drunken king seemed reluctant. I on the other hand was masterminding the scheme. We boogied after five minutes and slipped past some bickering couple into their hailed cab. “Greenwich Village!” I blurted out as John and I cackled over the pathetic waiter who undoubtedly had been shit-canned on the spot a few hours earlier.


Concerning dining and dashing, it’s a cowardly act but a great way to stretch your travel dollar if you’re overindulging someplace where there’s no chance in hell you’d be back in your lifetime.


After pounding down a few more beers in the Village, we finally got hold of Pete. He had just gotten off work and was chomping at the bit to start partying. He told us he had just opened a new bottle of Patron and was stirring up some wicked margaritas. We hastily slammed our brews, jumped in another cab and jetted over. After some tasty libations we headed out to one of Pete’s favorite haunts, McSorley’s Irish Pub.


mcsorleys


Founded in 1858, McSorley’s is the oldest Bar in New York City. It’s difficult to get in on the weekdays and outright impossible on the weekends. Fortunately, Pete had been a patron for years and even though there was a line half way down the block, we only had to wait a few minutes camped discreetly under a tree near the door. Pete got his queue from Paul, a waiter buddy and we marched past the groaning rank and file inside to the bar.


New York nightlife is about knowing players with great connections, period. If you’re from out of town, don’t have a good contact or aren’t stacked like Pam Anderson, be prepared for long waits or else bring a fat knot of cash to bribe the thicknecks guarding every hotspot.


The walls of McSorley’s are covered with pictures and portraits of infamous New York juicheads of years gone by. It was a boozehounds mecca and I was thankful for the opportunity to pay homage. As I slurped in awe, Pete suddenly grabbed me and said,” Paul’s gonna get us a table in the back room!” I didn’t even know there was a back room and I lumbered behind Peter, Paul and John to find a whole other section with huge round wooden tables and the floor littered with sawdust and peanut shells. A shitty grin glowed from my face. Nirvana!


Paul had booted out an entire happy hour group and replaced them with us. For a chaser he brought in a gaggle of NYU coeds eager to escape the groping Neanderthals in the crowded main bar. We hit it off right away. Paul immediately returned with no less than sixteen beers wedged between his knobby fingers. I wondered why the glasses were a bit smaller than your average beer mug and I figured out why once the drinking games started.


drinking


Here’s another tip. When meeting friends who are putting you up for a weekend, give them a chance to catch up. Do not under any circumstances try and drink mano o mano with another motivated lush when you have a twelve-hour head start. It proves nothing besides the fact that you are a hopeless alkie and generally leads to disaster.


After blacking out during our sixth or seventh round, I came to in a trendy after-hours bar in Soho. I was in mid-sentence, screaming at some people about the unrecognized genius of the Gong Show. That’s when reality began to sink in. I had a one-way ticket to vomitville and the bile was rising. I got up and teetered sickeningly towards I don’t know where.


nuts

Must…..find….bathroom….NOW!

Imagine an overfilled water balloon that was suddenly squeezed. An explosion of puke shot out of my mouth and nose with such force that I actually tried to catch it in my hands, but sheer momentum flung the vile liquid back over my head, showering me and a bar full of trendy New Yorkers like a disgusting barf sprinkler system. Screaming drinkers scrambled to reach a safe distance from the thrashing human vomit fountain that was quickly putting the kibosh on their Friday night. I was a wretched, cursing, puke-spewing madman running willy-nilly for what I thought was the exit but turned out to be the center of the crowded dance floor.


vomit1


While my memory of the spectacle is hazy at best, I will always be eternally grateful to the quick thinking guy who kicked me in my ass and forced me into the men’s room. Upon entering, I slipped on someone else’s tossed cookies that had beaten me to the punch. There I was, face down in the horrific muck of a late night men’s bathroom floor. I slithered through the primordial slop to the lone, rank, overflowing toilet and gently laid my head on the dripping wet seat.


Dry heave.


For some odd reason, I started giggling about a picture I had seen in a sports magazine of Mike Tyson pummeling some stiff named Alfonso Ratliffe.

tyson_ear

This was when Mike was first coming up, a savage, bloodthirsty warrior, not the ear-munching nutjob he is today. In the picture, Tyson’s glove looked like it had sank almost a foot into Ratliffe’s gut. Poor Alfonso must have pissed blood out of his asshole for weeks. At least I’m not him, I thought.


If you’re absolutely certain you’ve overdone it and are about to spew in a crowded bar or nightclub, lean down and blow chunks under the table you’re sitting at. You could get lucky and your friends might just think you dropped your wallet or something. Former president, George Bush senior masterfully utilized this tactic when he came across some bad sushi at a diplomacy meeting in Tokyo. The White House probably has a seven-volume manual on methods of distraction, evacuation techniques and flat out barf denial strategies.


In the unlikely event that someone sees you or worse yet, steps foot in the slippery matter, simply excuse yourself. My guess is your companions will quickly follow you out of the establishment. Granted, it’s kind of a shitty deal for the next group of folks who pounce on your unattended table, but, fuck ‘em. They were just waiting for you to leave and are probably a bunch of Nazi assholes anyway.


I stripped down to my skivvies right there. I began rinsing my clothes in the sink like an Egyptian beggar bathing in the Nile. There’s still plenty of honies out there I thought. This is a big nightclub! I’ll just wash off the shirt and nobody will be the wiser! However, when I re-emerged from the restroom, the crowd parted for me like the Moses and the Red Sea. I staggered towards the front door, plucking John and Pete out of the crowd in an electric moment that was reminiscent of the finale of Apocalypse Now. They whisked me outside and we hailed our final cabride for the night.


taxi


The first cabbie got a whiff of me and said I couldn’t ride. The hypocrisy of it all I seethed. Anybody who’s ever ridden in a New York taxi knows that it’s a pretty serious insult for the driver to say you stink too bad to ride in their cab. Most of the fares I’ve taken, I’m leaning my head out the window half way down the first block because the driver either shit his pants, hasn’t bathed in a month or both.


The tip is, always carry a small vile of cologne in a big city. It may come in handy in a variety of ways. Primping yourself before entering the pub, discreetly splashing the back of a filthy cabby’s head, covering up the stank of an untimely shart (1/2 shit +1/2 fart = shart), consumption for minute portion of alcohol contained within, etc.


Out of some sick idea of retaliation, I leaned out and booted on the door of the next cab as we whisked through the carnage of a late Friday night. Pete was unnerved and asked John what had happened to me. John informed him that between us, we had knocked off well over a hundred dead soldiers that day.


When the cab finally stopped I stumbled out and lurched towards the curb. None of us could remember the celebrity whose limo I leaned on as I yakked on a pile of garbage, completely dousing a dead sewer rat. John carefully leaned me up against the glass window of a bagel shop and he and Pete went inside to eat. They chuckled as they watched the hobo’s and panhandlers bum me for change. They said it looked like a bunch of wino’s coming on to one of the extras from Dawn of the Dead. At that point, I was a pathetic droolbag that deserved everything I got. But what the heck, It was the first day of my vacation.

Bailout Brawl!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 24, 2009 by rantbastard

The Wall Street meltdown has been a swift and shocking reminder that America and the world are much more vulnerable to speculative mania and financial bubbles than anyone could have previously imagined. This year, the world economy is going to decline for the first time since World War II. The US Government bailout package stands at close to 800 billion dollars and very soon could eclipse one trillion. We all know who is going to be on the hook for this staggering number…..us, our kids and their kids and their kids, etc. It’s time to rethink this whole bailout strategy. It’s time to get creative with OUR financing. It’s time for…..a Bailout Brawl on Pay Per View!

boxing2

It’s all very simple. First we round up all the scumbag Gordon Gekko wannabe’s and their credit-default swapping minions from CitiBank, AIG, Lehman Brothers etc and bus them into a holding pen just outside of Madison Square Garden. Next, we send out complimentary ringside seats and group packages to disgruntled shareholders who were completely fleeced by the gross mismanagement of the failed companies. Free drinks are served to get ’em good and liquored up. We don’t just want a rowdy crowd. We want a fucking French Revolution mob screaming at the top of their lungs for the heads of the crooks who failed to perform their fiduciary duties!

riot-mob

Once the crooked cast of Wall Street characters was set, their opponent would be announced as none other than Ultimate Fighting Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar. Just before Brock is released into the ring we inject a quart of fine Irish whiskey and some Red Bull and show him the current value of his UFC 401K. Presto! We’ve got got our deranged, infuriatedmadman ready to beat some bailout ass!

The event would be broadcast as a pay per view event worldwide with selective discounts for economies experiencing the worst financial turmoil. The viewing numbers would skyrocket as bloodthirsty members of the unemployed masses tuned in for the beatdown party. One by one, each morally bankrupt shyster would be paraded past the hystrical mob of pissed off investors and led to the ring to square off with Brock. After a brief introduction, each fund manager would go toe to toe with the Champ. After the massacre, each fund managers bloody carcass would be shoveled into a portable dumpster and carted off to to some shithole alley in back. Those that still had a pulse would be flung over ringside to be horrifically dismembered by the mob like the unlucky grunts caught by the nasty bugs in Starship Troopers.

After the vicious maulings and mayhem of the Bailout Brawl were finished, children under seven would be required to leave the event. At that point, the bizarre proceedings would take a maniacal turn and move into the outrageous grande finale. The raucous crowd would be given a bonus treat where infamous Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff would be stripped naked by drunken circus clowns and then slathered with copious amounts of estrous juices extracted from a female Baboon in heat.

madoff

Just prior to being tossed into the cage, a vintage Magilla Gorilla Halloween mask would be stapled to Bernie’s head. Then, a dozen or so pent up, horny male baboons that had been exposed for hours to the lusty primate pheromones would be released into the cage for a “primal Ponzi pounding”!

baboon

Feel the love!

 

Testing, Testing

Posted in Uncategorized on April 24, 2009 by rantbastard

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