Sunday, October 30, 2011

Terrible Halloween Costumes

(photo @ mooncostumes)

I am always amazed every Halloween at how absolutely terrible some of the costumes are. Not necessarily in craftsmanship, but in the idea and execution. Some things just should not be attempted as a costume.

But after a few soul crushing hours searching through various online retailers, I found plenty of examples of costumes that should never, ever exist...and are on sale now!  The names of the costumes have not been changed (except in a few cases for the sake of clarification) and the link below each picture will lead you to the costume's actual sale page...and down a path of madness and despair. Let's start slowly and work our way down the spiral, shall we?

First off, we'll begin with some costumes that are not really costumes at all:

Indiana Jones Deluxe Mutt Costume

This item was originally $49.99, but it has been marked down to $16.99. That's probably because it's just a cheaply made (fake) leather jacket. Oh, and that wimpy looking sword that the depressed looking photo model is wielding? It's sold separately.  

My Little Pony Adult Costume Kit

For only $24.99, you can own a My Little Pony t-shirt, a pair of fuzzy ears, and the knowledge that you have no creativity or imagination at all. By the way, if you want those rockin' pink shoes, they will cost you more than the shirt/ears combo.

Sexy Halloween Costume

Yep, that's it. It's just a blue jump suit with the word "Halloween" emblazoned across the left side. This one will be the first of many poorly executed "sexy" women's costumes that we will look at, but at least there's a theme with the others. The theme for this one just seems to be a severe lack of imagination and a depressing cry for help. You can "complete the look!" by paying separately for a fake knife and the wig seen in the photograph.

Moon Adult Costume

This little number originally retailed for $94.99, but it is now available at the "BLOWOUT" price of $64.99 along with all of your remaining dignity.

Sunny Clause

Going to a Halloween party as Santa Claus is weird enough. Going as Santa while dealing with a mid life crisis and/or going on vacation is even weirder and somewhat creepy. Speaking of creepy...

Flesh Skin Suit 

Yes, now you can live out the dream of Buffalo Bill from 'Silence of the Lambs' and have your own human skin suit. This costume is sure to give you easy access to any part of the room at your Halloween party; everyone will be avoiding you completely and attempting to not make eye contact.

Cry Baby Adult Costume

I'm not even sure where to begin with this one. For starters, it's just a dumb idea. I get people dressing up as a baby for Halloween, but the giant hoop and polyester body suit are a little off putting. I will, however, give this one credit for leaving something to the imagination, unlike our next examples:

Adult Baby Girl Costume

and of course....

Adult Baby (Boy) Costume

Yes, your untanned, pasty thighs will be center stage, accented by what looks like a diaper full of poop and a hilariously over sized safety pin. Staying with the couples theme...

Rubik's Cube

I (along with many other highly intelligent youths) figured out the secret to the Rubik's cube a long time ago; you just peel the stickers off from other sides and stick them in the right places. It's not that hard.

Unfortunately, deciphering the message/theme that this couple is going for is incredibly difficult. They are both wearing something around their waist that would encourage others grabbing and twisting near their crotches. This does not sound like a recipe for a pleasant evening...unless you're the dude wearing the flesh skin suit.

Peanuts Sally Adult Costume

HOLY CRAP that is terrifying. I'm going to guess that any girl that wears this costume takes off the head portion after sweating profusely and having holy water hurled at her by frightened party guests.

Dreidel Adult Costume

If you are Jewish and you wear this to a Halloween party, you might get away with it. Keep in mind that "getting away with it" means severe ridicule and social ostracising. Otherwise, you're just being really weird and bigoted.

Munchen Ramen Adult Costume

If you have the incredibly stupid notion to show up at a college Halloween party dressed like this, you may get boiled alive. You would deserve it, too.

Sponge Bob Squarepants with Drop Down Front Adult Costume

An adult dressing as Sponge Bob is bad enough. An adult dressing as Sponge Bob while exposing his underwear is grounds to keep you at least 100 yards away from any school building or playground. And while we're on the subject of Sponge Bob...

Sexy Sponge Bob Adult Costume

If you're going to embarrass yourself and go dressed as a children's television character, then at least actually dress AS THAT CHARACTER. If you go as a sexed up version of that character, all you're doing is attracting the attention of guys who wear flesh skin suits.

Unfortunately, this is not the only example of "sexy" children's characters that I found.

Elmo Adult Sassy Female Costume

Elmo? Really? Can it get any worse? I'm glad you asked...

Sesame Street Oscar Ladies Adult Costume

The only redeeming quality about this costume is that it looks like Oscar the Grouch is devouring the costume wearer's head, which would save us from anyone who wore this having offspring.

Sesame Street Cookie Monster Adult Women's Costume

Oh c'mon! Really? The overeating, insane, and most likely diabetic Cookie Monster has also been made into a "sexy" costume? How much more inappropriate can it get?

Sexy Pinocchio Adult Costume

I shouldn't have asked. While all Pinocchio ever wanted was to be a real boy, any girl that wears this clearly wants to ignore some serious daddy issues and get as much depraved attention as possible. You also gotta love how Jiminy Cricket is emblazoned on the skirt, encouraging you to "give a little whistle." While this request in the context of Pinocchio's story had the whistle be a call for friendship and to resist temptation, this outfit uses it to encourage crude cat calls.

Is there any subject/theme that Halloween costume shops won't try to turn into a "sexy" version for women?

Heinz Mustard Tank Dress Adult Costume

No. No there isn't. Let's move onto another subject before my entire childhood is ruined along with my appetite.

Big Foot Adult Costume

I don't get it; the costume is just a foot that's really big. What is so great about a big foot...oh, I see what they did there. Moving along...

Let's not forget the children. They too can be the victims of terrible costume choices.

Whac-a-Mole Child Costume

It's all fun and games until your child wears a costume that encourages all the other kids to beat the living crap out of him. Don't bother checking his candy for razor blades; just make sure the doctors check for internal bleeding.

Rovio Angry Birds King Pig Child Costume

Going with the same theme of encouraging others to physically abuse your child, having them dress up as the main target of the popular Angry Birds game is simply asking for them to receive a severe Halloween beat down.

#2 Pencil Child Costume

So on the night when your child gets to pretend that they are their favorite hero or mythical character, you dress them up as a pencil? You are a terrible parent.

Fallen Angel Pre-Teen Costume

Correction: Letting your child go out in this costume makes you a terrible parent. Even if this one wasn't blatantly named "Fallen Angel," you might as well personally invite all the girls at your daughter's school to hate her and and all the boys to co op their sex ed class with some on the job training.

By the way, there were plenty of other "sexy" teen and preteen costumes I could give as examples, but in addition to my complete loss of faith in humanity, I don't want my website ending up in searches that lead to Chris Hansen asking me to have a seat.

Kids Mac Daddy Pimp Costume

When you combine little children with prostitution, crime, and blatant/degrading misogyny, it's just adorable!

Kids Lightweight Cockroach Costume

Because fitting in and making friends is just a little too easy, you can dress up your child in a cheap looking version of the most domestically hated insect in existence. 

I do have to give this one points for accuracy, though; kids definitely carry a lot of diseases and run like crazy when you shine a light on them.

That's all that my soul can take for now; I need to go take a shower for about 4 hours and then quietly sob in a corner. If you liked this feature, let me know and I'll see what else I can dig up...within reason.

 "So why does your internet search history have
so many queries for children's Halloween costumes?"

Please feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am more personally, I can also be found on Twitter.  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Days Working at an Amusement Park: The Coworkers

(photo @ mcgruff-tid.com)

When I was in college, a group of my friends and I had begun working during the summers at a local amusement park known as American Adventures. Located off Highway 41 in Marietta, Georgia, American Adventures was the red headed step child of the Six Flags theme park family. It was the type of amusement park that you see in horror movies or in B rolls for work safety videos. American Adventures (or AA, as it was ironically called) wasn't terribly impressive, but it had enough going on that it couldn't be mistaken for a poorly constructed county fair.

The theme park itself stood in the shadow of one of Georgia's greatest landmark's, The Big Chicken, which was a KFC with a gigantic robotic chicken head stuck on top of it. If you needed to give directions somewhere in Marietta or had a hankering for some early onset diabetes, The Big Chicken would always be part of the conversation.

Hang a left at the bucket of gravy, then buy larger pants.

Maybe it was because American Adventures was close to this landmark and people ended up there by accident, but somehow our amusement park managed to pull in quite a few customers every summer. Very few of these patrons, however, ever seemed to fit the definition of being "amused." The employees were also not a group to be commiserated with; in fact, they were often just as difficult to deal with as the people that were paying to walk through the gate.

To say that I worked with an eclectic cast of characters was a bit of an understatement. I was fortunate to have my best friend, Joe, working with me for part of the time. Otherwise, it was like a cast of characters out of a poorly made independent film about angst driven young adults.

First there was my boss and long time friend, Jimmy. Now right there, when I combined the words "boss" and "friend", you should realize that we had a problem. It was very hard to take someone seriously that I had once pantsed in front a girl he was talking to and (after gaining access to his AOL Instant Messenger password) set his profile and away message to imply that he was a repressed child molester.

Jimmy didn't help matters by being absolutely terrible at his job. He showed up every day, but he rarely if ever worked at the go kart track where we were stationed. We could usually find him baling pine straw, picking up golf balls from the miniature golf course, or hiding in the laser tag area. He also took his frustrations out on us by giving anyone that recently ticked him off a really crappy schedule, particularly me.

However, I can't honestly say in good faith that this was completely Jimmy's fault. Here is an example of the rage cycle that would inevitably lead to one of our conflicts:

-A bunch of us would be at Jimmy's house in the evening.
-I would set Jimmy's clock 2 hours ahead, knowing that he had to open the next morning.
-Jimmy would show up to work before the cleaning crew got there.
-I now had to work closing shifts for the rest of the month.

At least Jimmy had his choice of parking spaces that morning.

Despite all of this, Jimmy was still a good person and a fun guy to be around after work hours. As far as the other employees, matters of character were a complete crap shoot.

One of the people I worked with was also named Joe, except that unlike my best friend, he had absolutely no people skills at all. Before the customers tore out onto the track at 10 mph, we were required to give a speech on safety procedures. This speech was pretty straight forward, but Joe had his own idea of what its proper delivery should be:

Actual Speech: Welcome to American Adventures! Please listen to the following instructions.

Actual Speech: The gas pedal is on your right, the break pedal is on your left.

Actual Speech: Please refrain from swerving or bumping into other drivers.

Despite Joe's rough exterior, we did discover that he had a soft side. On Father's Day, Joe informed us of his excitement about being taken out by his girlfriend and his son. This news was a little unsettling since Joe was only 17, but hey, kids, make mistakes, right?

"So Joe, how old is your son?" we asked.



I did the math on that one and was simultaneously repulsed and admittedly, a little impressed. When I was between the ages of 11-12, the most game that I had was getting through Mario Brothers without using the warp whistle.

Next we had Antwan. Antwan was actually a pretty cool guy. He was a dependable worker, a fun guy to hang out with, and he had a good sense of humor that helped pass the time when things were slow.

One day I tested this sense of humor beyond a line that should never have been crossed. I made a "your mom" joke directed towards him. Now when I make a "mom" joke towards anyone, it is always in the rhetorical sense; I don't actually mean for the joke to be directed at someone's actual mother. In this situation, I was completely unprepared for two things:

1.) In some parts of black culture, "your mom" jokes are never funny or acceptable.
2.) Antwan had an heretofore unforeseen anger management issue.

In case you haven't figure it out by the context of the story yet, Antwan was black and currently very upset with me. After multiple threats of physical violence and a recommendation by another coworker that I leave and let Antwan cool off, things were fine. With Antwan, things were simple: Don't make mom jokes.

This joke would have gotten me killed.

With Charlie, however, things were more complicated.

Charlie was a bit odd. I don't mean that in a "what a wacky sense of humor" type of way. I mean that in a "I thought Charlie was mentally challenged when I first met him" type of way. He actually turned out to be a pretty smart guy and often ended up being a better boss than Jimmy. Things at the track always ran smoothly when Charlie was there; it was his attempts at humor that could be a little off putting.

One day, Charlie decided to try and trick me into eating a laxative. This is a perfectly normal and awesome prank; get the person to eat it inside of an offered candy bar, crush it up into their water cup, etc. Charlie, however, went in a completely different direction with his attempted trickery.

"Hey Nick," he whispered to me.


"Take this. It'll get you messed up, man," he said as he attempted to press a strange looking pill into my hand.

"No thanks, I don't do that type of stuff."

"C'mon, it's only 50 milligrams," he said as I continued to shove the pill back towards him.

Yeah, 50 milligrams of explosive dumps

As I continued to refuse Charlie's faux drug pushing, he eventually relented and admitted that he simply wanted to make me poop a lot.

Finally, there was Michael. Michael was completely normal. We got along perfectly fine and he didn't have any weird quirks at all. That's why I was completely shocked one day when he ran me over with a go kart. Another time, he sprayed me with gasoline because he "thought it would be funny." Michael later admitted that a girl we worked with that he liked actually liked me, which had mildly ticked him off.

It was fortunate that we talked before Michael saw me in the parking lot

I told him that not only was I not interested in her, but that if he was willing to wait 3-4 weeks, she would have a crush on him, too. She'd had a crush on nearly every guy that worked there. One time Joe (the one who was my best friend and did not impregnate a girl as a preteen) gave her a ride to an employee after party. When he came over to pick her up, he walked into her house to discover that the girl's father wanted to talk to him about his "intentions" with his daughter. She had apparently told her dad that Joe was her boyfriend, which was a total surprise to him. I'm not sure if this advice comforted him or not, but he never ran me over with a go kart again, so there's that at least.

It was a painful, tiring, and sometimes dangerous job (particularly when we took off the speed governors and had demolition derbies around the race track after hours). We always came home smelling like the gasoline fumes which probably contributed to some of our odd behavior. This wasn't half as bad, however, as our customers. That will have to be a story told another day...

Hopefully I can remember the
stories after all those demolition derby crashes.

Please feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am more personally, I can also be found on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Abandoned at an Interstate Rest Area Bathroom

The story that I am about to tell you is absolutely true.  It involves extreme physical discomfort, terrible public embarrassment, and the realization just because someone is your parent, doesn't mean that they can't do something awful and devoid of human compassion to their child.

Thank the Lord this story is not about me.  This tale happened to a good friend of mine named Marie, who has allowed me the privilege of telling her story of betrayal and embarrassment.

This is a picture of Marie and her adorable baby, Elliott.  Along with her husband, James (who is also awesome), Marie is part of a happy, beautiful, and wonderful family.  Whenever she talks about little Elliott, her voice changes and her face lights up in a way only a proud and loving mother's could.  You can truly tell that she loves this child with all her heart...and that she would never do him what was done to her one day when she was on a family vacation.

When Marie was 11 years old, her family was traveling down the interstate when they decided to stop at a rest area.  This was not only for a quick stretching of the legs, but also because Marie and her mother desperately had to use the restroom.

Now for many of my male readers, there are two things that you need to be aware of about women's restrooms:

1.)  They are almost always way nicer than our restrooms.

 It's usually just because of the decorative plants, but still....

2.)  They are always crowded and the lines are incredibly long.

Marie and her mother got in line to wait for an open stall.  After a few minutes, 2 stalls conveniently became open that were right next to each other.   Marie and her mother both entered their stalls at the same time.  As Marie gingerly prepared to do her business, her mother wasted no time at all; after entering the stall, she promptly began to unleash the fury.

Now when I say that Marie's mother "unleashed the fury," it was described to me as sounding like this:

...only much louder and not at all funny.

Marie sat there in disbelief as her mom unabashedly brought forth Montezuma's Revenge upon her fellow rest area occupants.  Even most guys will admit to having a bit of shyness when it comes to dropping bombs in a public restroom.  This, however, was an adult woman bringing the heat in a crowded room full of strangers.

After Marie's mother had finished evacuating her bowels, there was a brief, awkward pause.  Then out of no where, Marie heard her mother lightly knocking on the wall between their stalls.

"Honey," she said, "are you alright in there?  It sounds like you have a stomach ache."


That's right.  Marie's mother totally passed the blame for her explosive diarrhea onto her 11 year old daughter.  Marie, who is normally very quick on the draw with comebacks for any situation, sat in stunned silence, unable to process how badly she had been betrayed by the very woman that had given birth to her.

"Ummm, yeah...I'm okay... " Marie tentatively answered.

"Well, it sounds like your stomach is really bothering you." her mother replied.  "You just stay in there as long as you need.  I'll be outside in the car."

And with that, Marie's mother left her daughter in a public bathroom stall to do the walk of shame for an epic dump that wasn't even her's.  

Marie waited for a while to let some of the audience that had heard/smelled her mom's crime against humanity cycle out of the restroom.  She then went back to the car, lost a little bit of faith in the universe, and her family vacation resumed as if nothing had happened.

To this day, Marie has yet to receive an apology.

Or a courtesy flush

Friday, October 21, 2011

Apocalypse Later: A look at Harold Camping (and a few others) that failed at predicting the end of the world, but keep on trying.

(photo @ the guardian)

Harold Camping

So in case you didn't know, October 21 was supposed to be the day the world ended, according to Harold Camping.  If you are reading this, then obviously, Mr. Camping was wrong...again. If you have kept up with the news in the last few months, you may know that this is now the fourth time that Harold Camping has confidently predicted the apocalypse.

The first two times were in 1994 and 1995. Camping had somehow been able to mathematically deduce the many dates, time, and interpretations of time in the Bible to come up with two predictions that he was "99.9% sure" would come true.

When they did not, Camping was greatly embarrassed and humbly vowed not to make these predictions again...of course I'm kidding. His response to getting the end of the world wrong twice was:

"I'm like the boy who cried wolf again and again and the wolf didn't come  This doesn't bother me in the slightest."

And the Lord said unto thee:
"Haters gonna hate."

Camping then claimed that judgement day would "absolutely" happen on May 21, 2011. He even had people from Family Radio, his radio broadcast church ministry, giving up their life savings to travel the country and promote the day of Jesus's return to earth.

Somehow, Camping must have missed Matthew 24:36 during all his Bible studies, which clearly states that no man can know when the rapture will occur.  Even if you don't believe in God, you have to question anyone who takes the main text of a religious faith that they swear by and thinks "I don't care what that part says, I got this!"

As you can clearly see, the rapture didn't happen on May 21. Well, actually, according to Camping, it did...it was simply an "invisible judgement day"; the really big one would occur on October 21.

       Sure would be nice if my bills could have invisible due dates.

These ridiculous predictions (and completely incorrect results) bring up a couple of questions:

1.) How could Harold Camping (and his followers) be so sure about the date of the rapture, but somehow rationalize their calculations as incorrect but still sound? My favorite Camping rationalization can probably answer that question.

In Camping's original prediction for May 21, a giant earthquake would be felt all over the world, causing mass destruction and death. When this didn't happen, Camping explained that the earthquakes were actually "man quakes"; these were the result of the fear felt by all the people he had completely freaked with his predictions.

Only singing about the wrong force of nature kept them from being prophets.

Anyone that rationalizes any argument with the phrase "man quakes" has clearly lost the use of their mental faculties. The second questions is:

2.) Are there other people crazy enough to do what Harold Camping does (and people that are crazy enough to follow them)? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

Pat Robertson

When he isn't calling for world leaders to be assassinated or pushing his line of diet shakes, Pat Robertson is a television evangelist and a frequent doomsday predictor. He first predicted that the world would end in 1982. He even promoted this on his widely followed show, the 700 Club, with a video of him in front of a giant globe making completely asinine statements.

When the world didn't end like he predicted, Robertson ran for president in 1988. One can only imagine what a great political platform someone would have that didn't even expect the world to exist during their candidacy. 

If God won't hurry up and destroy 
the world, then I'll just do it myself!

After losing his presidential bid, Robertson took a break from predicting the end of the world, but he came back with avengence from 2006-2008. He predicted that multiple disasters would befall the earth during this time, including nuclear war and giant tsunamis destroying the eastern coast of the United States.

God decided to make Robertson look like a total idiot by making sure that none of this happened.  Robertson, however, wasn't deterred. He is now saying that a giant meteor will strike the earth at some point in the near future.  We can completely trust this prediction because he claims to have "done the science on it."

He's also done the science on eating right without giving up the taste!

Alex Jones

Alex Jones is a popular conspiracy talk show host and film maker. His radio broadcasts, internet websites (prisonplanet.com and infowars.com), and his controversial "documentary films" like 2007's Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement have made him a messianic figure to many that believe that society is on the cusp of an imminent collapse...a collapse that he has been proclaiming could happen any day now since 1996.

Jones is normally smart enough not to assign a specific date to his predictions. He is also a master of back pedaling when he gets things wrong.  During the swine flu outbreak in 2009, Jones claimed that the government had created the swine flu and that it was killing off far more people than anyone realized.

Later, when swine flu turned out to not be the giant world ending epidemic that he had predicted, Jones claimed that it was simply a "beta test" for government population control...and an excuse to take our DNA.

If it helps us retrograde the swine flu into better 
tasting bacon, then take away my rights and sign me up.

The best prediction he ever made, however, was one that he did assign a date to: The dreaded Y2K Doomsday scenario. On the eve of the year 2000, Alex Jones did a special broadcast that included claims of missiles being launched at the United States by Russia, nuclear power plants failing all over the world, ATM machines not giving people money, short wave radios going down, and  that more military conflicts were happening right at that moment all over the world than had occurred in 50 years. Here are some of the highlights: 

During this time, Alex Jones apparently forgot that the internet existed and that someone would record what he was saying on the eve of the year 2000. When questioned about his claims in 2010, he claimed that he was just "joking around" and had simply been taken out of context.

If you listen to the first part, I think that even giving the most liberal benefit of the doubt to Alex Jones would still leave you with the conclusion that he was not joking.  Blatantly lying to garner ratings, maybe, but definitely not joking.

David Icke

David Icke is another conspiracy theorist who believes that our entire world is run by a global elite. What no one realizes (except for Icke and his devoted followers, of course) is that this group of "people" that control the world  are actually humanoid lizards.

This cabal of sinister reptilians is populated by many of our world leaders that are somehow able to disguise themselves to look human.

And of course, Peter Parker's former college
professor and nemesis, Curt Connors!

In addition to these cold blooded revelations, David Icke also likes to take a few cracks at predicting the end of the world once a in while. In 1991, Icke predicted that the world would end in 1997 with a rash of earthquakes and floods.  Despite the song 'Barbie Girl' becoming a world wide hit, the end of the world did not come to pass.

Icke later predicted that a magnetic shift in the earth during the year 2012 would completely change the earth as we know it. He was smart enough to remain coy about how devastating this completely change would be; he decided to hedge his bets early and is now predicting that this will happen in 2016.

Ronald Weinland

There really isn't too much to say here.  This poor guy has predicted the end of the world so many times that it's actually pretty sad. In 2008, he claimed that he would stop preaching if he was wrong again, but later decided that incorrectly predicting the end of all things was what he did best and continued.

When you're sitting in a leather chair and 
wearing a suit, anything you say sounds awesome.

For some reason, his church of international followers continues to believe his message and sends donations to help get the world out about the coming apocalypse...that keeps not happening.

While waiting for the end of the world, Weinland bides his time in a very nice home and does battle with the IRS...which really shouldn't be a concern if the world is going to end in May of 2012, which is his latest prediction for the end of days.

So why do these guys do it? Why do they keep predicting the end of the world? Even more puzzling is how they keep getting followers. What type of person follows someone that keeps swinging and missing on such a large scale guess?

Maybe the reason is that some people don't want to wake up and see tomorrow. Perhaps it's just a lot easier to think that the world will end and all your problems that you have right now don't matter.

When you get to that level of despair in your life, common sense and rational thought probably go straight out the window. Still, it's pretty disturbing that these sociopaths just keep revising their doomsday predictions and  accepting donations and followers. Just because people are gullible and/or desperate doesn't mean that they should be taken advantage of.

Now if you'll excuse me, since the world did not end tonight, I'm going to go read up on my college football team's upcoming game. The University of Kentucky athletics director has told us that our current football coach is doing a good job and that he has things on the right track...despite our current terrible season.  For some reason, I desperately want to believe him.

I'm not sure if the players, however, share this belief.

Please also feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am more personally, I can also be found on Twitter.