Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Archive for February 2014

Girlfriend Still Demanding Attention 2 Days After Valentine’s Day

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wiltedToledo, OH, February 16 – Local man Stewart Robbins is reporting that his girlfriend of eight months, Natalie Wilder, seems not to have noticed that February 14 has come and gone, meaning that she still expects romantic attention from him.

Robbins, 33, drove out to Denny’s for breakfast this morning and received a text message from Wilder asking where he was. The home appliances salesman replied that he was getting his regular Sunday morning pancake and sausage, which resulted in Wilder, 30, actually calling him on the phone to express her indignance that Robbins had not wished her a good morning despite the romantic weekend they were sharing.

Robbins promised to return as soon as possible, explaining that his car needed gas. After disconnecting, he expressed puzzlement at his lover’s assumptions. “Valentine’s Day was Friday, right?” he asked the waitress, who hesitated and eyed him before nodding. “So it’s not Valentine’s Day anymore. that’s what I thought,” he added, and proceeded to order breakfast. The waitress recorded the order and left for the kitchen a little more quickly than usual.

Relationship experts agree that Robbins can expect difficulty upon returning home. “It doesn’t bode well for him that he was unable to anticipate Ms. Wilder’s continued desire for closeness,” says Ruth Liss, a couples counselor. “It’s an understandable mistake, considering that the one day a year for expressing love was two days ago, but women’s sensibilities are not dependent on the solar calendar,” she observed.

Robbins is not the first to encounter the anomaly, according to Bay Area social historian Dina Ben-Hamor. “It’s rare in our society, but in many primitive cultures, men are expected to show affection to their romantic partners at least once a month,” she notes. “Even here, fancy restaurants handle a dinner clientele that once-a-year romance doesn’t account for,” a phenomenon that she concedes probably also stems partly from culinary considerations.

Widler was unavailable for comment, as she was inexplicably ignoring her Incoming Text Message alerts as she remade the bed, a development of which experts were unable to fathom either element.

Written by Thag

February 16, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Woman Uses iPhone To Take Picture Of Someone Other Than Self

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original selfieUrbana, IL, February 14 – In a daring violation of social convention, local woman Stephanie Brill used her smartphone to photograph someone else, a bold departure from behavioral norms.

The 19-year-old freshman at the University of Illinois had several friends pose facing her, at which point she stood several feet in front of them and snapped the picture. The friends remained in their pose for almost half a minute afterwards, expecting Brill to return to the group and extend her arm to photograph herself with them, as any normal person would do, but she stowed her iPhone in its case. “I took the picture,” she told them. “You can stop posing now.”

Confused, her friends challenged Brill, who produced the phone again and showed them the image already stored on it. This only served to puzzle the group further, who had understandably never encountered a photograph of humans that was not a selfie.

“She showed us this selfie, but it…is selfie even the right word? What do you call a selfie of other people?” wondered Briana Dowland, 20. “I’m not sure I’m comfortable with this.”

“I like it,” said Brittany Marcus, 19. “It’s edgy. People will look at it and be, like, ‘Was the phone floating in mid-air?’ It’s very Magritte-like.”

The group discussed the non-selfie with several acquaintances, who were divided on the propriety of such photography. “I think it’s a violation of protocol,” offered Derek Mills, 20. “People just don’t expect that, and while there’s nothing wrong with the image, it’s just impolite to deviate like that from what everyone expects.”

“So why should we blindly adhere to ‘what everyone expects’?” challenged Alex Giles. “Aren’t we here at college to explore new horizons and challenge ourselves and the world? I say more power to her.” He was hesitant to say whether he, personally, would participate in a non-selfie selfie.

“I wouldn’t even know where to stand in front of the bathroom mirror,” he said.

Written by Thag

February 14, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Blind Date Not Buying “40 Is The New 20” Argument

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40-20New York, February 12 – Gregg McIntyre, 40, of White Plains, has so far been unsuccessful in convincing his blind date, Kathy Chen, 21, that his biological age can be redefined based on cultural criteria.

Invoking the saying, “Forty is the new twenty,” McIntyre had hoped to overcome Ms. Chen’s opposition to the gap in their ages – and thus the presumed overlap in their cultural touchstones. Her reaction to seeing him in person has involved an escalating exchange of expectations, accusations, and defensive remarks, setting an awkward tone for the beginning of what both had hoped would be a pleasant, if not necessarily romantic, evening.

“I don’t get it,” wondered McIntyre. “People have been saying for years that age is just a number and that forty is the new twenty – so why Kathy won’t accept that and move on to the fun stuff is beyond me.” He suspects that her real objections, which she is too embarrassed to voice, involve his appearance or some other outward attribute. “She probably doesn’t want me to see her as shallow,” he reasons.

Ms. Chen disagrees. “When you fill out a form you give accurate information,” the cum laude Columbia graduate insisted, referring to the online personal details that led each of them to agree to see the other. “Go see whether the IRS agrees with such asinine math,” she retorted.

The first six minutes of the blind date have been otherwise tense and stilted, with each participant only barely willing to give the encounter more time. The initial two-minute exchange of accusations and guardedness gave way to a brief conversation about a place to get a drink, but both McIntyre and Chen admit they no longer see the potential they had anticipated only minutes before.

“At least I’m no longer nervous,” said McIntyre. “Last night I hardly slept forty winks.”

“Wait, what exactly do you mean?” asked Chen.

At press time, the two were fiercely arguing over what you see is what you get.

Written by Thag

February 12, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Report: Apparently, Shirley Temple Was Still Alive

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220px-Little_Princess_4Woodside, CA, February 11 – Shirley Temple Black, one of America’s most iconic film stars, was apparently still alive until yesterday, various news outlets are reporting.

Mrs. Black, it emerges, was 85 years old and still very much breathing and functioning until her passing by what her family called “natural causes.” Admirers and film aficionados were as saddened by her death as they were by the news that until that point she wasn’t dead yet.

“We though she’d gone a long time ago,” said veteran director Roman Polanski. “I mean, she was Reagan’s ambassador to Czechoslovakia, but then she kind of disappeared. We thought she’d quietly passed on sometime in the nineties, maybe.”

Even those who might be expected to know better were taken by surprise that the actress, who starred in 44 films in the 1930’s. “I, uh, I guess this is unfortunate,” said Elise Dorkin, President of the Shirley Temple Admirers Association. “But we had all assumed Shirley died some time in the last fifteen years.” She said she would take a poll of the organization’s membership to determine who, if anyone, was aware that Mrs. Black was still among the living until yesterday.

“You’d think it would be an easy thing to look up, considering the Wikipedia page was just updated a few hours ago,” said Liz Smith, who writes about celebrity gossip. “It probably never occurred to anyone to look at the stupid page,” she mused, noting that obviously at least one person outside Mrs Black’s family knew she was alive, at least when the Wikipedia entry was composed: “It didn’t include a death date when it was written, obviously.”

After becoming America’s sweetheart as a child in Depression-era movies, Shirley Temple more or less stepped away from Hollywood in 1940 and toward a life more involved in politics and diplomacy, a function of her husband’s ties to the Republican Party. While she occasionally starred in or produced film or television content, her life in front of the camera gradually faded, leaving legions of fans in the dark as to her continued existence.

Written by Thag

February 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Hipster Uses Phone For Making Actual Phone Calls

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HelveticaWilliamsburg, Brooklyn, February 10 – In what observers are calling an intentional use of irony, local man Trevor Dyckman used his iPhone 5 today to speak to someone else using a phone number.

The avant-garde behavior occurred as the bearded Dyckman sat on a bench opposite a Starbucks, commenting to an acquaintance on the lameness of those who emerged from the establishment. At about 11:40 this morning, the 26-year-old college dropout adjusted his black-rimmed glasses and proceeded to call up the “phone” app on his smartphone screen, selecting 11 digits in a particular sequence that made someone else’s device ring in a remote location.

The “dialing” of the number represents a radical departure from the standard mode of communication involving a mobile device, in which the voice is used only as a hands-free method of operating it. Dyckman expressed no surprise whatsoever that the person on the other end of “line” answered his call, and the two conversed for approximately four minutes before Dyckman disconnected the call and resumed mocking other white people.

Witnesses were unable to identify the person with whom Dyckman conducted the conversation, but those who saw the incident expressed distaste. “Hipsters,” muttered Darren Giles, 26, as he made sure his scarf was slightly crooked and his short-brimmed Fedora at a slant.

Alicia Martin, 25,  agreed. “He’s probably compensating for something,” she reasoned, absentmindedly skipping through indie tracks on her iPod. “If he were really confident in his style, he’d be eating something that indicates actual taste, such as this artisanal brie you can get at this wonderful hole-in-the-wall. It’s so authentic. You’ve probably never heard of it.”

“I bet he thinks in five years we’re all going to be communicating like that,” she said. “As if anybody even communicates with fellow humans like that anymore.”

“Well, other than baristas, I mean.”

Written by Thag

February 10, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Ignored On Blog, Man Bets On Being Ignored By Much Bigger Audience On New Site

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PoT AnalyticsTired of having his efforts to attract lucrative attention via a WordPress blog come to naught, Thag, the author of Mightier Than The Pen, has decided to move some of his niche material to a new site in hopes that a bigger, more passionate readership can ignore him there.

Over the last several years, Thag has devoted only a small amount of attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, though many of his acquaintances and family members harbor strong feelings about it. The material covering Israel or loosely Jewish themes amounted to perhaps 5% of his output, but tended to generate the posts with the most page views, the number of which would still be laughably short of the traffic necessary to make the blog a financial success.

Thag therefore decided to spin off the Israel content into a separate site, preoccupiedterritory.com, where he could find a new niche crowd of potential readers not to give him the time of day. PreOccupiedTerritory even has a WordPress theme that costs actual money, and technical flexibility and control not available on the free blogging platform. Thag hopes the investment will pay off in increased numbers of people across the world overlooking his material, numbers that will be reflected in a 1000% increase in the advertising revenue he currently enjoys.

“The cool part about that is I get to choose whatever percentage I want to for that figure,” says Thag, “and it will still be true.”

Though fully operational for less than a few weeks so far, the new site has already attracted an exciting new array, and higher class of, spam comment submissions. “I used to get the same solicitations for SEO stuff and sports jerseys,” Thag recalled. “But on PreOccupiedTerritory I now get random phrases from technical manuals and philosophical treatises, so I know I’m in better company with the new site.” He has yet to determine whether to aim even higher, where the spam bots might offer material on historical analysis or astrophysics.

In contrast to Mightier Than The Pen, PreOccupiedTerritory welcomes submissions from readers, both for article content and tag lines. That way, Thag’s nonexistent readers can engage more deeply in their nonexistent literary relationship with him, a prospect everyone might find rewarding if there were anything to feel rewarded about.

Written by Thag

February 9, 2014 at 4:36 pm

More Guy-Bashing. It Just Doesn’t Get Old.

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It’s been a while. Two years, nine months, and twenty-eight-days, to be exact.

Mightier Than The Pen

Stimulus

Good Response

Typical Guy Response

Ultra-Guy Response

“Does this dress make me look fat?”

Take her in your arms and kiss her passionately.

“No! Of course not!” (She knows you’re lying, you jerk.)

“The dress doesn’t make you look fat; all the flab on your body makes you look fat.”

Crying lover

Say nothing, but make sure she knows you’re with her. If she feels like saying anything, indicate only that you’re listening intently.

“Jesus. What the hell happened to you?”

“What’s this? Where the &@#$ is my dinner?”

Another driver cuts you off in traffic, in the presence of a woman

Shake your head at the stupidity of other people and move on.

Shout obscenities at the other driver.

Cut off the other driver repeatedly in retaliation, since failing to react thus can only mean you have a small penis.

Your child has a soiled diaper

Immediately change…

View original post 231 more words

Written by Thag

February 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm

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Tobacco Executives Perplexed That Drug Chain Won’t Sell Their Drug

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CVSWoonsocket, Rhode Island, February 6 – The heads of America’s largest tobacco companies are scratching their heads at a decision by CVS, the nation’s largest pharmacy chain, to stop selling cigarettes, wondering why the drug they sell is somehow different from all the others.

CVS announced yesterday that as of October 1 it would cease to stock cigarettes, which represent $1.5 billion annually in revenue. The company announced the move as part of a strategic shift toward a healthier image. Executives from RJ Reynolds, Altria, and British American Tobacco, three of the world’s largest cigarette sellers, professed confusion over the move, noting that the active ingredient in product they manufacture is nicotine, a bona fide drug.

“We are as yet unsure how to formally react,” said a Vice President at Altria who spoke on condition of anonymity. “I mean, tobacco is basically nicotine in smoking form, and nicotine is a drug. CVS is a drug store. They sell drugs. What am I missing here?”

CVS’s 7,600 retail outlets represent the US’s largest pharmacy network. Recent years have seen the chain offer an increasing variety of low-cost healthcare services, attracting consumers and insurance providers alike with costs noticeably lower than those at hospitals and health clinics. In keeping with its emerging image as health-oriented, CVS elected to forgo the tobacco revenue in favor of a more wellness-friendly image that it calculates will more than make up for the loss in sales. However, the pharmacies will still sell such dangerous items as razor blades and abuse-prone substances, which the tobacco executives see as puzzling.

“They sell cosmetics, some of which can be positively lethal if ingested, so clearly this isn’t a health-based decision,” said a British-American Tobacco VP. “And they traffic heavily in greasy, salty, fatty, and sugary snack foods, which means that any claim that the move is specifically motivated by long-term health concerns doesn’t seem to hold up,” he added.

“It might be some warped considerations of painting tobacco companies as peddlers of evil, but really, why would anybody think that?” wondered the executive.

Written by Thag

February 6, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Study Confirms Your Parents’ Divorce Was Your Fault

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divorceBerkeley, CA, February 5 – Investigators researching your family’s history have concluded that if not for your existence and behavior, your parents never would have divorced. The study’s outcome vindicates the sense of guilt that you have been carrying ever since their marriage began disintegrating four years ago.

A team of researchers looked at the events leading up to your parents’ estrangement, separation, and divorce, and found that none of the difficulties in the relationship existed in anything but potential until you arrived on the scene, several years into the marriage. Attending to your constant needs disrupted the intimacy that had existed between your parents until that point, and your evolving requirements for attention, affection, care, and support gradually sapped your parents’ relationship of the mutual attraction and supportiveness that had characterized it until then.

The conflict between your needs and the health of their marriage was accented by the initial infertility that marked your parents’ efforts to conceive you. Your mother’s reproductive system had very delicate calibration, and several times the fertilized egg was unable to implant. As a result, your mother felt a special sense of urgency in nurturing you, a sense that your father did not share as deeply because the problem did not lie with his physiology. He therefore viewed her attachment to you as a source of tension and jealousy despite his love for you, tension that confused him and further warped his experience of the marriage.

According to the study, as you grew you remained completely unaware of the havoc your neediness was wreaking on the marriage, to the point that, by the time you were a eight, you saw nothing wrong with refusing a babysitter so your parents could actually spend time alone, forcing them to spend all their together time in the context of household pressures and in the very location that was so fraught with complicated emotional associations.

Friends, therapists, and your parents themselves took great pains to reassure you that the disintegration of the marriage was not your fault, but you nonetheless developed searing guilt over the divorce. The new study conclusively demonstrates that your sense of shame and culpability are in fact perfectly justified.

Written by Thag

February 5, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Batteries For Sale (Batteries Not Included)

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Batteries Not Included - New Page

Written by Thag

February 4, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Moscow School Shooting Means US Overseas Influence Alive And Well

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They even use Fords!

They even use Fords!

Washington, DC, February 3 – American officials are expressing their gratification at a welcome sign of US influence abroad in the shooting deaths of a Moscow teacher and police officer by a student. The student also wounded a second policeman, giving American leaders an indication that the oft-cited retrenchment of US power overseas is not the foregone conclusion it has been made out to be.

Shootings of this type have been relatively rare in Russia, prompting Congressional leaders to reconsider their criticism of the Obama administration over a Presidential reluctance to engage heavily overseas. Both Democratic and Republican politicians now say that it may be possible for the US to retain its sway without a direct military presence, or the threat thereof, as long as the people of other nations are moved to emulate American mores, pursuits, and values such as the perpetration of gun violence against fellow citizens.

Officials had feared that as the US withdrew forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, it would face challenges in spreading American sensibilities across the globe. But the aftermath of the Iraq withdrawal and the leadup to disengagement from Afghanistan have seen the opposite trend in ascendance: the local population, sprinkled with some foreign activists, has established its own methods for engineering the random, violent deaths of others.

Whereas American military and diplomatic officials had expressed concern over Afghan and Iraqi capabilities once NATO’s advanced weaponry was out of the picture, in fact the locals showed remarkable resourcefulness in duplicating the alliance’s destructive power through cruder means. Moreover, while US military strikes focused only on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and occasionally Somalia, the impact of America’s culture of violence has reached beyond those countries to Syria, Egypt, and even Lebanon – and now Russia, as well, which most experts had assumed would lie well outside the sphere of American influence.

“I’m not surprised that this shooting occurred right after the Super Bowl,” said Theodore Kaczynski, who writes about politics and violence. “Football after all, combines the two most American of activities: violence and committee meetings. And we’ve just seen the year’s most heavily marketed episode of violence, broadcast across the globe.”

Written by Thag

February 3, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Feedback Is Just A Fancy Word For Vomit

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common senseDear Thag,

I just wanted to write to say how pleased I was with your customer service. Miggtha was an absolute delight; she explained in great, colorful detail what to expect and why you are so incompetent. I’ll be sure to recommend your site to all my friends who want to laugh at someone else’s expense.

Sincerely,
Dawn Adams
Racine, WI

****

Dear Thag,

What a breath of fresh air! I’ve gotten so used to businesses not caring about their customers, it was such a surprise and relief to be treated so well by your customer service team. They promised that if anything else went wrong, you would personally come to my house and clean my windows with your tongue. I’m so happy that old-fashioned customer relations is alive and well.

Sincerely,
Jake Doolum
Manhattan, MT

****

Dear Thag,

Thank you for taking the time to explain the ins and outs of your order process. I didn’t actually know that when I use my credit card online, there isn’t someone at the other end copying down the numbers. I had another question, though: how does the computer know that NJ means New Jersey, and my shipment won’t end up in some Austrian village with the same initials?

Yours truly,
Jim Beam
Arcola, IL

****

Dear Thag,

Who does your hair? On the phone, you sounded like you had a good coif. Is that something you spend a lot of time on, or give a lot of thought to? I give a lot of thought to my hair, which is why I wanted to order some hair care products from your site, only you don’t seem to stock what I was looking for. That’s OK; you sounded like you know your way around the shampoo and conditioner shelf, so I was hoping you could share some of your knowledge and experience with me as a person, not as the owner of an unrelated business. Do I need to use baking soda or something?

Respectfully yours,
Gerard Dupont
Olympia, WA

****

Dear Thag,

I am attorney for MRS. HUANGA DAMAKKA. She instructed me find a CUSTODIAN FOR SIX MILLION US DOLLARS that the government want to steal her. You can trust me; I am her lawyer for twelve year. Looking ahead to hearing from you.

Honorably you,
Bigga Goniff
Lagos, Nigeria

****

Dear Thag,

I meant it about the hair. You really do sound well coifed. Won’t you share some of your tips? The world awaits your expertise! I meant it!

Yours again,
Gerard Dupont
Olympia, WA

****

Dear Mr. Thag:

Our client, Mr. Gerard Dupont of Olympia, WA,  claims that you promised him some hair care tips and neglected to deliver on that promise. We hereby advise you that if you persist in delaying fulfillment of this obligation, we shall be forced to file a claim against you in Washington State.

Sincerely,
Nasty, Brutish and Short, Attorneys at Law
Olympia, WA

****

Dear Thag,

Fine. Be that way. You think you’re so superior, hogging all that valuable hair care information for yourself? Well, I got news for you, buster: I got me a stylist from the Ukraine, named Karina, and she can style the pants off you any day of the week! Forget the lawsuit – I’m better off this way! And she KNOWS baking soda is a crock! Shows how much YOU know!

Go to hell,
Gerard Dupont
Olympia, WA

****

Dear Thag,

We haven’t a clue about this Dupont guy, either. There’s nobody by that name in Olympia. He’s probably some dude yanking your chain; it’s not worth your time worrying about it. What ever happened with that Nigerian windfall, by the way? That looks like it’s worth the effort.

Gully Bill

Written by Thag

February 2, 2014 at 8:58 am