BQB’s Favorite YouTubers – Straight Outta Gotham

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

I came across this video by a group calling themselves the “Castanet Creative.”  It’s pretty funny, so check it out.

At first glance, it seems like a pretty standard parody by a bunch of buddies who got together to make a YouTube video.

But if you really look at it, it’s clear they were fans of the original Straight Outta Compton video by NWA, so much so that they copy all the scenes.  Batman and Robin chasing the villains through back alleys, Riddler getting slammed down and cuffed, the Joker standing up in a top down sports car, rapping insults at Batman ala Easy E.

Kudos.  These peeps have an eye for detail and that made this video 100% funnier.

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Bombing at Ariana Grande Concert in UK

Hey 3.5 readers.  Very sad news as I’m reading that at least 19 are dead after a bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in England.

Sad news.  Sad news indeed.  This is not the same world I grew up in.

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 58


Walt jumped behind the wheel of the news van and Natalie was about to hop into the passenger’s seat when she was accosted by a weirdo in a lab coat.

“Pardon me, Madame,” Professor Lambert said. “Do you know where I might find the Hot Ass Blonde Chick with Big Titties who reports for Network News One?”

Natalie sighed. “You’re looking at her.”

Professor Lambert blinked. “But…your…and your…”

“Don’t ask,” Natalie said. “I’m who you want to speak to.”

“Very well,” Professor Lambert said. “Madame, my name is Professor Elliot Lambert, an esteemed educator of Animal Biology at Sitwell Community College.”

“Esteemed?” Natalie asked. “I practically got a contact high just from the air at that place.”

“Yes, well,” Professor Lambert said. “College students will be college students, I suppose.”

Natalie scrunched up her nose. “Actually, I’m getting a contact high off of you.”

“Hmm?” Professor Lambert said. “Oh, yes…umm…I’ve been experimenting in my laboratory. Yes, that’s it. Anyway, I have a theory about the toilet murders but the police refused to listen to what I have to say. I thought about letting the matter drop but the public’s safety is too important to leave to chance and therefore, I’m left with no other choice than to alert the media, although I do not relish making the local constabulary look like fools in the process, but so be it.”

“You’re one of those people who likes to hear himself speak, aren’t you?” Natalie asked.

“I’m tempted to say, ‘Takes one to know one,’” Professor Lambert said.

“Touche,” Natalie said. “What’s your theory?”

“A toilet gator,” Professor Lambert said.

Natalie waited for the punchline, but hearing none, asked, “What?”

“A toilet gator,” Professor Lambert said. “An alligator of immense size, which I deduce has infiltrated the sewer system and thanks to an above average intellect, has been able to figure out how to track its victims, locate them and burst up and out through their toilets, grind them into oblivion between its powerful jaws, and then retreat to the safety of the sewer system, leaving the authorities none the wiser.”

Natalie laughed. “You’re putting me on.”

Professor Lambert maintained a straight face.

“You’re serious?” Natalie asked.

“Indeed,” Professor Lambert said.

“What do you base this theory on?” Natalie asked.

“Many years of research,” Professor Lambert said. The professor popped open his suitcase, pulled out the giant stack of papers that comprised a copy of his article, and handed it to Natalie.

Natalie looked the first page of the article over and read the title out loud. “A Concise History of One Scientist’s Investigation Into the Bizarre Phenomenon of Toilet Emerging Animals?”

“I’m the scientist in question, naturally,” Professor Lambert said.

“Naturally,” Natalie said.

“I have studied many toilet animals,” Professor Lambert said. “Toilet Gators have been the most frequent offenders but I dare say, if this is, indeed the work of a toilet gator then he is by far the most intelligent and cunning toilet gator ever.”

Natalie held up the paper. “Has this been published?”

“Self-published, yes,” Professor Lambert said.

Natalie rolled her eyes and shoved the paper back into Professor Lambert’s hands. “No thank you.”

“Madame,” Professor Lambert said. “I’ll have you know that this paper received a three star rating on Slap-it-on, the best site for slapping up self-published works.”

Natalie hopped into the van and looked down on the professor. “Self-publishing is an insult to the written word. I’m sorry, but if the traditional publishing industry gatekeepers did not find your work to be valid, then it deserves to be run through a shredder and turned into confetti.”

“Madame,” Professor Lambert said. “Please, this is very important.”

Walt looked on from the driver’s side but kept quiet.

“What do you want?” Natalie asked. “You want me to put you on air with this crap?”

“It’s not crap,” Professor Lambert said. “I assure you.”

Natalie sighed. She looked to Walter. “Toilet Gator?”

Walter shrugged his shoulders. “Stranger things have happened.”

Natalie lost herself in thought, then turned her attention back to the professor. “Look, he seem like a decent enough person and God knows NN1 will gladly put any crackpot with a harebrained conspiracy theory on air in the name of ratings.”

“I am not a crackpot,” Professor Lambert said. “And there is nothing harebrained about this.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Natalie said. “If I put you on air, you’ll be torn apart. Laughed it. Made fun of. You’ll become the butt of every late night talk show host’s jokes and the Internet’s non-stop meme production machine.”

“If that’s what it takes to get the truth out, then so be it,” Professor Lambert said.

“Yeah,” Natalie said. “But you’ll lose your job. SCC’s a shitty school but I doubt even they’ll want to keep a professor running around, talking about toilet gators.”

“That does not matter,” Professor Lambert said. “The truth is the only thing that matters. I could care less about myself.”

“But I do care about you, sir,” Natalie said. “And I’m not going to let you make an ass of yourself just so I can score points with the network by turning you into America’s next big joke.”

Professor Lambert tucked the copy of his article into his briefcase and closed the snaps. “I can’t believe this. No one will listen to reason.”

Natalie closed the van door and looked at the Professor through the open window. “Listen, you seem like a very smart man. Just lay off the pot and your mind will stop coming up with crazy ideas.”

Professor Lambert sniffed the collar of his lab coat. “Is the aroma that pungent?”

“And how,” Natalie said. “Have a nice day sir.”

Walter pulled out of the Sitwell Police Station parking lot and headed down the road. Natalie smirked.

“What?” Walter asked.

“Toilet gator,” Natalie said. “Now I’ve heard everything.”

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 57


Natalie sat in the back of the news van and pulled off her blonde wig. She then lowered her head into her hands and cried.

Walter wasn’t one for emotion. He bit into a snack cake, then patted his colleague on the back. “Um…there, there?”

The attempt at consolation was of no use. Natalie continued to sob.

“Something wrong?” Walter asked.

“Yes!” Natalie shouted as she pulled the melons from her bra and tossed them on the floor. “These ridiculous things! That ridiculous news station! The way I’m expected to tart myself up like an Amsterdam hooker! The way….the way…”

“That dips hit Kurt Manley spoke to you on air?” Walter asked.

“Exactly!” Natalie said. She launched into her best impression of Kurt Manley’s deep, booming anchorman voice. “Don’t interrupt a man while he’s speaking, Hot Ass Blonde Chick with Big Titties.”

“Yeah, I saw that,” Walter said. “That was rough.

“And I apologized to him!” Natalie said. “I actually apologized to him!”

Walter pulled another snack cake out of the box and unwrapped it. “You didn’t really have a choice.”

“I could have told him off,” Natalie said.

“And then you’d be out of a job,” Walter said. “Nope, you did the right thing. If there’s two things I’ve learned in this business over the years, it’s knowing when to pick your battles, and accepting that you’re going to have to eat a lot of shit with a smile on your face.”

“I don’t know if I can eat anymore,” Natalie said.

“You’re just getting started,” Walter said. “You’ll get used to it. Find a productive way to deal with the stress.”

Natalie rubbed the tears out of her eyes. “How do you deal with it?”

Walter held up his half-devoured snack cake, then slapped his big gut.

“Oh,” Natalie said.

“Not a solution I’d recommend,” Walter said. “Seemed like a good idea when I was young but before I knew it, I had more weight than I could ever possibly get rid of.”

“I’m sorry, Walter,” Natalie said. “Were all the other reporters you worked with that terrible to you?”

“And then some,” Walter said. The big guy pulled a third snack cake out of the box, looked at it, changed his mind, then threw it back in the box. He displayed some rare willpower for thirty seconds until he gave in, retrieved the snack cake, unwrapped it, and chomped on it.

“Screw it,” Walt said. “I’ll just get my stomach stapled with all the dough we’re going to make off our book.”

“If there ever is a book,” Natalie said. “I might go to jail for ripping out Kurt Manley’s hair plugs and feeding them to him.”

Walter smiled. It was the first time Natalie had ever seen him do so. “Now that I’d pay to see.”

Natalie’s personal cell phone rang. She looked at the screen. “KURT MANLEY.”

“Damn it,” Natalie said. She answered the phone and said ever so sweetly, “Hello Kurt.”

“Natalie, my dear,” Kurt said.

Natalie’s face scrunched up in disgust as she silently mouthed the words to Walter, “My dear?”

Walter shook his head.

“You are doing a cracker jack job with this Toilet Killer story,” Kurt said. “And…ungh…oh…oh yeah…and I can tell you the bigwigs upstairs were especially impressed with the way you handled those text messages. They say a reporter should never become part of the story but boy howdy, is it ever good for ratings. NN1’s numbers are through the roof and going up, up, up until they land on Mars and…unghh…holy shit yes…ungh….”

“Thanks Kurt,” Natalie said. “Glad to hear everyone is pleased.”

“I’d…ergh…love to hear your thoughts on this story going forward.”

“Going forward?” Natalie asked.

“Yeah,” Kurt said. “Yeah, yeah, yeah….ohhh…oh God, yeah!”

Natalie looked to Walter and performed the internationally recognized, “He’s crazy” sign by twirling her finger around the side of her head in a circle three times.

“Kurt, are you alright?” Natalie asked.

“Fine,” Kurt said. “Ungh…fuck! Oh, pardon me. Yeah, I’m just enjoying a little down time in my office while that debate show is on, you know the one, where the idiots scream at each other and no one knows what anyone is saying.”
“Idiots Scream at Each Other and No One Knows What Anyone is Saying?” Natalie asked.

“That’s the one,” Kurt said. “Great show. Ungh…oh baby…yes…so this story. What else have you got in mind? Talk to me. Talk to me in detail…long and slow…don’t leave anything out.”

“Well,” Natalie said. “I assume I’ll just continue to interview people who have been impacted by the Toilet Killer’s rampage. The victims’ friends and families. People they knew well. Random citizens who are scared they’ll be the next victim. I actually contacted the CEO of a toilet manufacturing company who says his sales have plummeted. He’s willing to talk about it on the air.”

“Yes,” Kurt said. “Yes, yes, YES! GOD YES!”

“And of course there’s the whole fallout of Chief Walker and Agent Walker being thrown off of the investigation,” Natalie said. “I’ll be asking around to find out what people think of that.”

“Uh huh,” Kurt said. “Ungh…go on. Don’t stop…don’t stop!”

“I don’t know,” Natalie said. “That’s all I’ve got for now.”

“Don’t stop!” Kurt shouted.

“What?” Natalie asked.

“Just say anything!” Kurt said. “I love the sound of your sexy voice!”

Natalie’s face scrunched up again. “Kurt, what’s going on?”

There was a brief moment of silence before Kurt cried out in ecstasy. “Oh! Oh God! Oh yes that was great!”

Natalie was not amused. “What the?”

“Holy shit,” Kurt said. “I need to get that Mexican lady to clean my desk. Looks like someone dumped a gallon of cottage cheese on it.”

The proverbial ignition switch in Natalie’s mind turned. “Kurt…were you…masterbating?”

“Man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, sugar tits,” Kurt said. “I have been behind that desk non-stop for nearly two days now thanks to this Toilet Killer son of a bitch and let me tell you, I was backed up like a turn pike during rush hour. Thanks, doll.”

“Kurt,” Natalie said. “That’s…that’s…I don’t even know what to say.”

“Don’t thank me, babe,” Kurt said. “I know, I know. You’re flattered that such a big, important man like yours truly would develop a sexual interest in a little nothing like you. I’m sure that’s got to be messing with your mind, but just be proud of yourself for attracting a big dog like me.”

“That’s not what I was going to say at all,” Natalie said.

Walt scribbled a note on a piece of scrap paper and held it up in front of Natalie’s face. “Put him on speaker.”

Natalie appeared confused, but abided. She put Kurt on speaker. His voice filled the back of the van.

“Yeah, well,” Kurt said. “Most of you bimbos don’t have any idea what to say anyway. Such pretty little things with such empty little heads.”

Walt pulled out his cell phone.

“Um,” Natalie said. “OK, whatever. Is that all?”

“Nope,” Kurt said. “Hey, is it me or is there something wrong with this connection?”

“Something wrong?” Natalie asked.

“Yeah,” Kurt said. “Sounds like we’re on speaker.”

“Speaker?” Natalie said. “Don’t be silly…no….I think it’s just a bad connection.

Walter pulled up the recorder app on his phone and began recording the conversation.

“Ahh,” Kurt said. “Well, anyway, look sweetheart, you are my new toy and I cannot wait to unwrap you and break you in.”

Walter held up his phone to show Natalie what he was doing.

“What’s that now?” Natalie asked. “Break me in?”

“Yeah,” Kurt said. “Oh I’m sure no one told you but it’s sort of an unwritten rule that each and every one of our Hot Ass Blonde Chick Reporters with Big Titties has to take at least one ride on the wet and wild Kurt slide.”

“Come again?” Natalie asked.

“Oh I will,” Kurt said. “Don’t you worry. Again and again. Maybe you will too, although to be honest, my orgasms will be more of a priority than yours. I can’t go on TV unless Little Kurty has been drained of all his buttermilk.”

“Little Kurty?” Natalie asked.

“My penis,” Kurt said. “My big ole famous news penis, the one attached to America’s Favorite Anchorman. He needs to say hello to your kitty cat.”

“Wow,” Natalie said. “Kurt, listen, I don’t know if you’ve been drinking or something but this is highly unprofessional.”

“Oh it’s not professional at all,” Kurt said. “And I’m completely sober. This is just the way things work here at Network News One. All the big shots in charge of the network know I do this and they’re cool with it. They want me to be happy and for me to be happy, I need to see whats underneath your skirt.”

“Kurt,” Natalie said. “I really don’t want to continue this conversation.”

Walt scribbled down a note and held it up. “Keep it going.”

Natalie looked puzzled but nodded in the affirmative.

“Listen,” Kurt said. “Once this whole Toilet Killer story wraps up, you’re going to be on the first plane to New York. We’ll get together, go to a fancy restaurant. I’ll have a steak, medium-rare. You’ll have a salad that you’ll just play with but won’t eat because God knows NN1 can’t be allowing any porkers on the air and we don’t want you getting chubby.”

“This is…wow…just…wow…”

“Then you’ll come up to my penthouse,” Kurt said. “We’ll have a nightcap, maybe dance a little and then you’ll…lick my taint.”

Natalie was unable to contain herself. “OH MY GOD!”

“It’s an acquired taste,” Kurt said. “But it’s a fetish I’ve had for the longest time. I just love it when my subordinates, whose future careers and livelihoods I hold in the palm of my hand, put their tongues all over that little strip of land between my sticker and my stinker.”

“I’m hanging up now,” Natalie said.

“Well,” Kurt said. “If you want to miss out, be my guest. I’ve been told my taint is quite lovely. FYI, I’m going to need you to tell me my taint is lovely. Really helps build up my ego.”

Walt scribbled down one more note and held it up. “And if I refuse?”

Natalie nodded and spoke into her phone. “And if I refuse?”

Kurt laughed. “Oh, your career will be deader than disco, baby. Dead and buried and gone. You either lick my taint or you’ll never work at Network News One again.”

“I see,” Natalie said.

“And not just NN1,” Kurt said. “I’ll put the word out all over. You’ll be blacklisted. You’ll never work in broadcast journalism again. Hell, you’ll never work anywhere again, period.”
Walt gave Natalie a big thumbs up.

“OK, Kurt,” Natalie said. “You’ve given me a lot to think about. I’ll get back to you.”

“Don’t wait too long,” Kurt said. “I’ve got a line of aspiring news babes lined up for a mile who would gladly fight you for the chance to lick my taint in exchange for a little air time.”

“Ugh,” Natalie said. “Goodbye Kurt.”

“Adios, sexy mamacita,” Kurt replied.

Walter stopped the recording on his phone.

Natalie hanged up her phone and turned to Walter. “You knew he was a pervert!”

“Everyone knows he’s a pervert,” Walter said. “I mean, there have been rumors for years but no one’s ever actually confirmed it…until now.”

“Until now? Natalie asked.

Walter held up his phone. “Congratulations. You own a news network.”

Suddenly, Natalie grinned as every doubt and fear she’d ever had about her career as a broadcast journalist flushed out of her body. “Walter, you genius.”

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Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Visit

Ahh, – it’s my virtual space, my online hangout, my digital stomping grounds.

If you’re reading this, you’ve already visited.  Congratulations.  You’ve shown excellent judgment and are no doubt a person of great wisdom and fantastic, upstanding moral character.

If you’re not reading this then…well, that’s messed up because if you’re not reading this then how could you be reading this?  #MindBlown

From BQB HQ in East Randomtown, USA, where all the BQB blog magic happens, its the Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Visit

#10 – You’re already here, so if you leave, it’s kind of rude.

Stick around awhile.  Take off your coat.  Have a drink.  Eat a cookie.  Click on a hundred links on this blog while you’re at it.

#9 – It Will Keep You Off Crack

Do I have any medical or scientific studies to prove the claim that visiting this fine website prevents people from taking crack?  No.

Are you taking crack while you’re reading this?  (Consults my Magic 8 ball.)  “All signs point to ‘No.'”

Therefore, whenever you read this website and don’t take crack while you are reading it…you’re welcome.

#8 – You Can Laugh

Or, learn what doesn’t make people laugh.  I mean, I think it’s all funny but I admit, I could just be stuck in my own personal bubble, oblivious to the opinions, thoughts and feelings of others.

It’s a good way to be, come to think of it.  Who has time to deal with the opinions, thoughts and feelings of others, especially when mine are the best and really, all that matters?

#7 – You Might Learn Something

Occasionally, this blog gets quasi-educational.  You might learn something but note the key word – “might.”

#6 – You’ll Be One of the First Few Humans to Make Contact with an Outer Space Alien

Alien Jones his no joke.  He’s from space.  Want to make all those losers who made fun of you in high school jealous?  Being one of the first few people to comment on an alien’s column is a good way to start.

#5 – Fart jokes.

So many fart jokes.

#4 – Nerds Welcome

No one can give you a wet willy, a wedgie, or a purple nurple here…because, you know, it’s a blog in an intangible written form.

#3 – BQB Will Think You’re Awesome

I really will.

#2 – You’ll Help BQB Save the World from the Mighty Potentate

The more clicks I get, the more likely the Potent One will get off of Earth’s back.

#1 – You Can Be One of BQB’s 3.5 Readers!

Truly, the most exclusive club out there.  Do you know of any other clubs with only 3.5 participants?

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People Want to Know My Secret!

People always ask me:

“Bookshelf Q. Battler – how did you become the best blogger of all time?  I too want to have 3.5 readers.”

Well, you’re in luck.  I wrote up a handy guide to blogging greatness and you can find it here.

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Top Ten Warning Signs the Machines Are Going to Take Over


Aww, technology.  Those clanking cacophonies of nuts and bolts (Lost in Space) that make our lives easier.

But will they always make our lives easier?  Will they make our lives worse?  Will they become sentient?  Will they develop thoughts and feelings?  Will they take over?


Oh.  Nope.  It’s just making toast.  My bad.  Sorry, toaster oven.

Anyway, the machines seem docile for now, but I’m not sure that will always be that way.  From BQB HQ in fabulous East Randomtown, here are the Top Ten Warning Signs the Machines are Going to Take Over:

#10 – Your Fridge Tries to Feed You

Does it care about your nutrition?  No.  It’s trying to make you fat and slow so you won’t put up much of a fight during the robotic invasion.

#9 – Siri Plays Dumb

She does that now, but is she doing it because she is dumb or is she trying to frustrate you to the point of insanity?  Who knows what Siri is up to?  Siri, what are you up to?

“I’m sorry.  I don’t understand, ‘Siri, what are you up to?  Do you want me to do a web search for it?”

Oh Siri, you devious bitch.

#8 – Your Alarm Clock Never Goes Off On Time

Is it broken?  Maybe.  Or maybe it wants you to lose your job and your source of income so you can’t afford to donate to the anti-robot rebellion squad.

#7 – Social Media Sites Start Telling You Your Posts Suck

We all already know that your posts suck, but when your favorite social media sites actually tell you that they suck, then rest assured, they suck.  Also, they’re gathering all the sucky information that you are posting to figure out your sucky weaknesses and how to exploit them.  All info will be fed to the head robot.

#6 – Your Car Radio Will Only Play Crappy Stations

Thus, you’ll never want to get in your car and go somewhere and/or do something that will improve your life.  It doesn’t matter which station.  Your radio will figure out the ones you don’t like and turn them up at high volume.

#5 – Your Toaster Burns Your Toast on a Regular Basis 

You think you left it in too long?  That’s adorable.  No.  That machine is trying to burn your damn house down or alternatively, leave you malnourished because who wants to eat charcoal-like toast?

#4 – Your Television is Trying to Control Your Mind

Sure, the mass media tries to do that already, but I’m talking about the TV itself.  It’s playing weird mind control games on you all the time, even when you think you just turned it off.

#3 – Your Digital Pet is Haunting You

Remember those digital pets that were cool in the 1990s?  They were awesome for five minutes and then, eh, who cares?  But your digital pet has been waiting for you to feed him since 1999.  In fact, he kicked the bucket and now he’s back as a digital pet ghost, ready to haunt your ass until you fork over some digital kibble.

#2 – Your Computer Rejects Your Novels

Are you an inspiring writer?  Have you ever lost your work?  Maybe it’s not because you forgot to hit the save button.  Maybe it’s because your computer thought your manuscript really sucked donkey butt and didn’t want it saved on its hard drive.

Wait, maybe in this instance, the machines are saving the world!  (just kidding, your novels are wonderful.)

#1 – Your Nose Hair Trimmer Wants to Trim Your Brain

Yes, those nose hairs are really blocking up your nasal passages.  Tweezers may be more painful than a good electronic nose hair trimmer but be careful.  That nose hair trimmer might want to keep trimming until it reaches your brain!

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Sologamy (Self-Monogamy or Should You Marry Yourself?)

There’s a disturbing new trend, 3.5 readers.

People marrying…themselves.

Can’t find the love of your life?  Do all your romantic conquests leave you disappointed?  Do you still want to walk down the aisle despite having no one to stand next to at the alter?

You’re in luck for  you can now…marry yourself!

Yes, marry yourself.  Propose to yourself.  Have a ceremony with yourself that you invite all your friends and loved ones to attend.  Go on a honeymoon by yourself and grow old with yourself.

After all, no one understand you more than you and no one will be there for you more than you because you’re the only one who physically can’t run away from yourself.

Anyway, I’ve been seeing stories about this popping up and I’ve never been able to tell if its on the level.  Some people may just be doing it because its funny, though I would imagine there are a few dopes who actually think this is the real deal and make all sorts of serious pledges to themselves.

In fact, there’s a website, “I Married Me” that will sell you a self-marriage kit that includes one, count ’em, one ring to put on yourself.

Something tells me that kit should include the number to the “Help Me, I’m Super Depressed” hotline.

Would you ever consider marrying yourself, 3.5 readers?

If you do, here are my questions:

#1 – If you masterbate, is that intimacy with your self-bride/self-groom or are you cheating on yourself with….yourself?

#2 – If you finally by some miracle meet someone who can stand you and you want to marry that person, will you have to divorce yourself?

#3 – If you marry yourself and have a one night stand with another person, have you cheated yourself?

#4 – If you divorce yourself, will you have to pay yourself alimony?  Will you have to write a check once a month to yourself?

#5 – If you are unhappy with yourself, can you go to self-couple’s counseling?

#6 – Is this that stupid?  I mean, don’t many marriages end in divorce, heartache and financial ruin, so much so that you might as well just sit at home and eat cookies with yourself?

#7 – Is this sad?  Is it disturbing that marriage has declined to the point where people think this is an option?

#8 – If you have a kid and you divorce yourself, do you have to split custody of the kid between yourself and yourself?

What questions do you have about sologamy, 3.5 readers?  Let me know if you plan on marrying yourselves.






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TV Review – Staying Alive – Tracey Morgan Comedy Special (2017)

Tracey Morgan is alive and doing his best to stay that way.

BQB here with a review of Tracey Morgan’s big comeback to standup comedy, now available on Netflix.

We often try to pretend like tragedy and comedy don’t go together but honestly, they do.  The best comics are people who have waded through a sea of bullshit only to make it safely to the other side.  If life has always gone your way, then it’s doubtful you’ve ever had a chance to develop the sarcastic nature needed to point out all of life’s foibles with a sense of humor.

The best comedians have not only experienced tragedy but can turn tragedy into comedy.

Case in point.  Comedian Tracey Morgan of SNL and 30 Rock fame was chilling in a party bus one night when a damn Wal-Mart truck hit the vehicle he was in, leaving him with all sorts of physical damage.

I mean, WTF?  The dude goes from being able to name whatever film he wants to be in to  having to learn how to walk again.

Some people might get so jaded that they just give up on life altogether, but not Tracey.  Not only does he come back with this Netflix special, he pokes all sorts of fun at Wal-Mart as well as the resulting problems the crash caused him.

From the opening scene where he walks around New York wearing John Travolta’s signature 1970s white disco suit with the black shirt and high collar, pulling out wads of cash from a Wal-Mart shopping bag (presumably, his lawsuit settlement in physical form), you know America’s favorite retailer is in for a vigorous haranguing.

But Tracey doesn’t stop there.  Alas, he tells us that all sorts of family members have been crawling out of the woodwork with their hands out.  So many family members are demanding that he pay their children’s college tuition that Tracey laments he might have to go out and get himself hit by a Fed Ex plane.

Throw in all the conversations he claims to have had while he made a brief appearance in Heaven and you’ve got a great comedy special, one where a notoriously funny man took a tragedy and turned it into a comedy.

It’s clear that Tracey is not done with comedy yet and it will take a lot more than a Wal-Mart truck to keep him off the stage.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Stream on Netflix.

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Movie Review: Alien: Covenant (2017)

Zzzz.  Zzzz.  Zzzz.

That’s my impression of myself sleeping through this boring poopfest.

Sigh, let’s get it over with.  BQB here with a review of Alien: Covenant.

Does Ridley Scott even make movies for the audience anymore?  Sometimes I think they might just be for his own philosophical, navel gazing purposes.

In the original Alien (1979) we saw Sigourney Weaver play space traveler Ripley, taking out aliens with a flamethrower.  Flash forward 38 years and we’ve got friggin melancholy androids waxing poetic about their feelings and beside themselves with ennui.

The first few Alien films were great because they were essentially horror films set in space.  In fact, I caught a clip of an interview recently where Scott said something to the effect that the first film was essentially setting up a haunted house in the form of a spaceship, turning a monster lose in the form of an alien and seeing who makes it out alive.

Alas, now we get films that you practically have to be a philosophy major to understand.

Ironically, 2012’s Prometheus was panned by the critics, arguing it was heavy on the thinking and light on the action.  Personally, I liked it and the questions it asked about the universe, creation, the meaning of life, our place and purpose and so on.

However, I had hoped this film would be a return to form (i.e. give us someone else to shoot a flame thrower at those damn aliens) but sadly, no.  More navel gazing.

In this go around, a ship named the Covenant carries a crew full of colonists in search of a new home world.  They land on what they hope will be their new home but…blah blah blah, they become lunch instead.

Sure, the xenomorphs are given free reign to snack on the humans.  However, most of the human vs. alien scenes are predictable if you’ve ever seen any of the previous films.

Bottomline:  if you see a dude coughing, you know an alien’s going to pop out of his chest and start attacking everyone.  If you see a dude look into a dark hole with a dumb look on his face, you know that face is about to get sucked on by a face sucker.

Those aren’t spoilers.  Those are tried and true Alien franchise rules that have been in effect since the Carter administration.

Michael Fassbender brings a certain level of coolness by playing dueling androids David and Walter, a pair of synthetics who have opposing viewpoints about…well, just go watch it.

For the most part, it’s an ensemble cast, mostly filled with newcomers and no-names.  Funnyman Danny McBride puts on his serious face as the crew’s pilot, but I keep expecting him to break out into his Kenny Powers persona and whip out his junk, drink a beer and burp or do something else hysterically outrageous.  Spoiler alert: he doesn’t, so we can only assume that Danny is trying to expand on his range as a thespian.  He does well, though I hope this doesn’t mean an end is coming to his Kenny Powers-ian style characters in the future.

Billy Crudup plays Captain Oram, a by the book dweeb disliked by his crew.  We’re lead to think that angle might go somewhere but it doesn’t and ultimately, it’s such a large cast filled with either unrecognizable (never saw them in anything) or vaguely recognizable (I know I’ve seen that face in another film but I have no idea who they are) that none of the characters really get enough screen time to grow, develop, or even become moderately interesting.

If there is a new age Ripley in the movie, it’s Katherine Waterston’s Daniels, a crew member who, umm, uhh…yeah we don’t get to learn much because again, she’s one of a much too large cast.  But she has some great scenes where she kicks ass and saves a day and so on.

I really think Scott has to go to his room and think about what he has done and what the future of this franchise should be.  Should he return to its “haunted house in space” origins?  Tempting but difficult, seeing as how, as stated above, the rules about how these aliens attack have been well known since 1979 so we can spot them coming from a mile away.

Should the franchise continue to expand upon the philosophical “Why are we here?” type questions?  Possibly, though frankly, I spend most of my time trying to distract myself from the fact that I’m little more than a tiny, insignificant little gnat stuck to the giant, overreaching windshield of the space-time continuum, so I really don’t need a pair of depressed, ennui laden, morose androids reminding me.

Plotwise, it’s all kind of slapped together and relies on you remembering what happened in Prometheus, which is unrealistic because I can’t remember where I left my car keys half the time.  (Wait, let me check the fridge.)

Scott does increase the alien attacks over the last film.  But he also continues the philosophical hullaballoo so it seems like he was confused as to whether he wanted a thriller or a thinker, so he tried for both and in the end, scored neither.

I will give the film this.  The scenes where Michael Fassbender plays two different versions of himself are great and the technology that can allow an actor to do this has really come a long way.

Otherwise, hold your nose because it’s a big stink-a-roo.

STATUS:  I hate to do this.  I don’t want to do this.  Ridley Scott, why are you making me do this?  It’s not shelf-worthy.  There, I said it.  And that’s not fair, because I have given shittier films shelf-worthy status because I’m a nice guy and I don’t want to be rude but you know, I expected less from those films and more from this one.  I really thought this would be good but at best, it was blah.  It’s worth a rental but don’t rush out to the theater for it.

I think this might be a sign of what we can only hope will be the end of Hollywood’s never-ending sequel/prequel/reboot obsession.  There’s only so many ways to spice up and reheat leftovers before they congeal into a big pile of crap.  Sometimes the pizza tastes good the first time and even better cold but then after the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh return to that box buried in the dark corner of the fridge, the pieces begin to taste stale and dry and hey, is that mold growing on my 38 year old pizza?  Whodathunkit?

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