Archive for August, 2006

green evilution?

In case you missed it, there’s a good deal of evil going on these days. About five years ago, evil accumulated enough mass and rotational velocity to have an axis. Since then, it’s spun farther out of control.

But just now, Wal-Mart—described by some as the most evil of them all—has thrown a curve. According to this (lite | heavy) article, Your Favorite Arkansas Retailer has decided to repent its sins and go green. Yesthat’sright: As you read this, Wal-Mart is becoming the world’s biggest vendor of compact fluorescent lightbulbs.

You ask: What’s a compact fluorescent lightbulb?

We reply: Come on, dummy! They’re those funny squiggly ones.

Actually, they’re those funny squiggly ones that produce heatless, flickerless, buzzless, high-quality light in exchange for only the tiniest sips of electricity, many years beyond the life of your ordinary, hot-to-the-touch incandescent.

CFLs save energy, and therefore greenhouse gases. Which means that those of us living within about a dozen feet of sea level will have THAT MUCH LONGER to enjoy the comfort of our own homes before global warming eats them and they float out to sea.

Wal-Mart is saving the world!

Maybe. However, while we have chosen to forgo the Green/green pun, we think Y.F.A.R. has more on its mind than saving our house. Despite assertions that “energy efficient bulbs are what America needs as it recovers from Katrina” and similar patriotic sentiments, Clandestine Panda Service analysts think it’s possible—just possible—that Wal-Mart may have a profit motive. Which brings us to the question this blog post has been posted to ask:

Does Wal-Mart deserve nice-points for this? If so, how many?

Answer below if you see fit, or don’t. Regardless, analysis of reconaissance imagery (obtained by Clandestine Panda Service specialists) suggests that all of this may soon be moot: Nuclear energy—peaceful, civilian nuclear energy only, mind you—may soon make energy-efficiency an obsession of the past—always at always-low prices.


40. Circumcision
32. Celebrity sex tape
22. List of sex positions
19. Pornography
18. List of gay porn stars
10. List of big-bust models and performers
2. JonBenet Ramsey

Wikipedia is perverse.

On a side note, so are the search terms people use to find this blog. Most recent: “vegetable penises.”

perpetual notion

The Clandestine Panda Service regrets the following transgression of its “No blog posts about random internet crap” rule, but it seems necessary to note that the Irish have done it again.

From the uni-diet that defied nutrition,

to the dance troupe that defied gravity,

to the liquid that defied just about everything,

to the author who titled his memoir with nothing more than a gutteral noise,

You’ve come to expect a lot from the Irish. Now—even now—another mighty tenet of western thought crumples before the genius of the emerald isle:

Say goodbye to the first law of thermodynamics.

You heard. According to this reputable leftist rag, this Irish tech firm has devised a way to create “free energy”—that is, energy without fuel, without decay, without inputs of any kind.


No doubt it should prove beneficial to the Irish space program, which, in case you didn’t know, will launch a mission next week to buy up newly-downgraded Pluto at a discount and simultaneously begin an ad campaign to interest the public in trans-neptunian real-estate.

MORAL: with a sexy website and a delightfully-batshit quotation from an indigenous playwright, there’s nothing you can’t scam. Cheers!


Dear future employer,

First off, thank you very much for offering to sell me a laptop.  The discount you offer is considerable, as is your generosity in offering it.  I already own a laptop, however.  It’s one of my best friends, and, in fact, is sitting on my lap as I write this.  

Consequently, I do not plan to avail myself of this particular perquisite.  However, there’s something I need to get off my chest.   I suspect that, if I did buy a computer from you, it would be a PC.  (I Don’t KNOW for a fact, OK, but I suspect it pretty hard.)  To put it politely, that twists my tits.  

I know, I KNOW that there are all sorts of arguments out there about why Macs are better than PCs, and plenty of piss-poor counter-arguments too, and I KNOW that you’re not in the mood for an angsty rehash of the party line.  But let’s just take a step back.  Let’s think broadly about all the things Macs do better.

1.  Macs do better graphics.  I’m not talking software.  Software’s all the same these days.  No, I mean Macs look better when represented graphically.  Imagine yourself in a photograph: 

—you, the Student, diligently clattering at your dorm-desk; 

—you, the Businessperson, multitasking in office-utopia; 

—you, the Fuckingobnoxious Coffeeshop Denizen, re-ordering your 75,000+ MP3 collection by song-duration while trying to suck latte through your cellphone; 

—you, the Romantic, cuddled with your lover as you watch a DVD of some British romantic comedy/wealthporn that takes place at Christmas.  

You expect me to believe that you’d prefer to be seen with a PC?  Do you really think that “Inspiron” describes that paper you’re writing?  No?  What about “Pavillion”?  (Or is that where you watch DVD’s?  Right.)  Do you even think “VAIO” is a real word?  Because I do: it’s the noise I make when I talk while brushing my teeth.  And don’t get me started on “ThinkPad.”  It sounds like the term for the single philosophy major’s apartment, which would be funny if “pad” weren’t so distant from the truth.  

No.  When it comes to appearances, you’d rather be seen with the sleek metallic flanks of a Macintosh warming the surface of your thighs.  If you appeared in the Viewbook, or the AFLAC commercial, or the Starbucks Propaganda Pamphlet, you’d like to do so with a computer that outwardly describes the sleek techno-coolness of your mind, not something that says “i like spreadsheets!” or “backpack me i’m bulky!”  You would, in short, rather be seen with a Mac.

2.  You can have sex with a Mac.  I don’t know this firsthand but I’ve heard rumors.  

3.  Macs don’t make those annoying Windows symphony-alert-noises.  You know the ones I mean.  That in itself seems reason enough to buy.

4.  There are more things.  But you’re so convinced you’ve stopped reading anyway.  

Suffice it to say, Macs are better, and I’m keeping mine.  Just thought I’d throw that out there.

the varnished truth

Woman:  “Are you…are you the artist?”  here we go again

Me:  “No.”

Woman: [quietly, pointing to my father at his desk]  “Is he the artist?”

Me:  “No.  No, we’re just dealers.”  

[FACT: all paintings hung on the walls have tags stating the artist’s name.  There are many artists.]

Woman:  “Oh.  Oh—well, do you know anything about paintings?”  no, I sell Volkswagens.  maybe try next door?

Me:  “Yes.  Sure.”

Woman:  “Oh great, well, I have—I just have a quick question…” [walks into back room]

Woman:  “I’m an artist and I—I was just wondering…what are all these wavy lines on the surface of the painting?”  wavy lines? 

[FACT: there are no wavy lines on the surface of the painting.]


[FACT: artists never buy anything.]


Me:  “I think that’s just…I think that’s the weave of the canvas.”

Woman:  “Really?”  

Me:  “Yeah, see, it’s—uh—painted really thin, right, and he’s varnished it heavily, so it doesn’t look thin and brushy but you can still see the texture.”

[FACT: there are no wavy lines.  This is bullshit.]

Woman:  “Oh, yeah—I guess.”

Woman:  “So—varnish—is that a common thing?”

[FACT: most oil paintings are varnished.]

Me:  “Yes.”

Woman:  “Do all artists do it?  I mean—is it just supposed to make the painting glossy or—”


Woman: “So, do they varnish watercolors too, or—”  dear woman you are stupid please get out of my store love—

Me:  “No.  No, watercolor paint soaks into the paper.  You have to keep them under glass.”

Woman:  “Right.  Yes, I know that.”  right.

Woman:  “Well, thank you.  It’s such an inspiration to come in here—it’s great to see what other artists blah blah blah blah blah blah [implication that other artists’ work inspires one’s own, which, by implication, is at least as good as, or better than, theirs.]”


[MORAL: Volkswagens might be simpler.]

works for me

“I’ll have half a number 4 with everything on it, and— an iced tea from the cooler.”

“Is that it?”

“Yep that’s it.”

“Seven seventy-six.” Heavens

“Here, I’ve got…” Oh sweet jesus give her some coins or she’ll give you half a ton of change “There.” [$20.01]

“And— twelve twenty-five.” Ha


“Wait— Did you want The Works on that?”

“Uh, yes—uh, yeah, all the, uh, everything.” Right

Crucial Plot Point Number One: I am ordering a sandwich.

Crucial Plot Point Number Two: The girl behind the counter hates men. I suspect this because she drives a V-8 Blazer with 36-inch tires and a bumper sticker that says “Bitch.” It almost scrapes the roof of the bank drive-thru, which I know because I once saw her drive it thru. Ironically, its height would force her to lean well out of the driver’s window to reach the deposit drawer, potentially (if she were wearing the shirt she wore to serve me) compromising her cleavage, which, if the drive-thru teller were male, might jeapordize the standoffish four-wheel-drive-bitch image her vehicle seeks to project.

Crucial Plot Point Number Three: Crucial Plot Point Number Two isn’t actually crucial. Also, the last sentence is speculative.

Crucial Plot Point Number Four: For some reason I don’t understand, when you order a sandwich at this place, you can order it with just the vegetables and condiments you want—e.g. lettuce, tomato, mayo, pepper—OR you can order it with “Everything.” “Everything,” however, does not mean vegetables AND condiments; it means only vegetables. If you want all the condiments—and there are too many and it’s too complicated and you’re in a hurry because there are thirtynine tourists with a trillion touristchildren standing behind you screaming and you just don’t want to think—you must also order your sandwich with “The Works.”

Crucial Plot Point Number Five: “Everything,” therefore, doesn’t really mean “everything.” It means “everything that is a sandwich vegetable,” or “everything you can put on a sandwich without shaking, grinding, dribbling, or squirting.” I think—I think—there are serious philosophical problems with this nomenclature. (Conversely, if you ordered a sandwich with “nothing” on it, you would still get the basic sandwich with meat and cheese, which, in fact, is “something”; in fact, I don’t think it’s POSSIBLE to have a sandwich with nothing on it because a sandwich has to sandwich something or else it isn’t really a sandwich is it? Right? You see the problem. Or perhaps that was a digression)


Crucial Plot Point Number Seven This makes me ANGRY. I do not know why. Once upon a time they just had “everything,” and then asked you if you wanted mayo mustard oil vinegar salt and pepper, but they just got lazy. That’s what it is: Lazy.

Crucial Plot Point Number Eight: They just don’t care. They should care. A sandwich shop is no place to fuck with metaphysics. People are hungry. People want sandwiches. They don’t want the philosophical underpinnings of their food-requesting language getting dildoed around by lazy people who’d rather take out the bank window than shed the knobs from their tires.

Crucial Plot Point Number Nine: I think this is the end of this post and there really isn’t any point to it other than to demonstrate an incongruity and sexually objectify a perfectly innocent woman and her wheels. Caveat essor.