Twit and Twisdom of Twenty-Fourteen

Once again, it’s time to round up our 101 best Twitticisms for the past year!

1. I ekspecially want to ekscape with my expresso, ek cetera.

2. Maybe I am a bit narcissistic, said no narcissist ever.

3. IKEA: Where the chair you build is, eventually, the chair you break.

4. Overall, I enjoyed your haiku, though I did feel it dragged a bit by the end.

5. I don’t care too much for monkeys: monkeys can’t buy me love.

6. This bottle may be a fifth of vodka, but it’s got five fifths of a hangover.

7. A steady diet of cyanide, a commute through minefields, a gun to your head: that’s no way to live.

8. Seattle: like Portland, but with jobs.

9. Katie disliked dark-grape wines… She was a regular Zinfandel infidel.

10. FYI: The CB’s live Christmas show on the Moon has been CANCELLED because it turns out that was just a dream I had. NO REFUNDS.

11. 1984: No butter on bread, butter=fat and fat=bad! 2014: No bread under your butter, bread=carbs and carbs=bad! 2044: Don’t eat food, food=bad!

12. Trying to think of how to update Doesn’t know shit from Shinola for modern times and can only come up with: Doesn’t know a BM from a BMW

13. As a kid, I thought being a leader just meant telling people what to do. Now I know there’s more to it. Like, a private jet and a black Amex card.

14. A bullet train is only as fast as the train ahead of it.

15. Irrationality is why humans do the worst things they’re capable of. Unfortunately, it’s also why they do the best things they’re capable of.

16. Job posting for hair salon: Stylist needed. Must be willing to touch strangers’ heads all day, every day.

17. Maturity mostly consists of concealing how immature you really are.

18. From the Dept. of Automotive and Anatomical Studies: it is better to have an Audi than an outie.

19. It is essential that any new labor-saving technology be absolutely unusable by the previous generation.

20. Turns out our governor had something else in mind than we thought when he said he wanted to get money out of politics.

21. No one can take advantage of you without your permission… But they’re always free to lie to you.

22. MOVIE (n.): A TV show that has enough funding for only one episode.

23. I want to open an online-only retail store that sells only bricks and mortar….

24. I need someone who can love me for what I am: drunk.

25. Let’s always fall back, never spring forward. We’d get out of sync with the sun, but it’d correct in 24 years. Think of all the extra sleep!

26. All it takes is one bad book depository to give them all a lousy image.

27. In the advertising industry, the word “creative” refers to something that’s not.

28. Sam ordered nothing but ice cream at every meal. Eventually, all his teeth fell out. When you get just dessert, you get your just desserts.

29. Headline: 15 Reasons Why Numbered-List Articles Are a Waste of Time

30. Bob suffered from both St. Vitus’s Dance AND St. Elmo’s Fire: he uncontrollably breakdanced whenever a sailboat started glowing in a storm.

31. Does using windchimes make your song smooth jazz, or does playing smooth jazz make you use windchimes?

32. Cisco and Sysco should merge and form a company that serves network routers and switches, cafeteria-style.

33. Live your life so that you wouldn’t be bored by your obituary.

34. Q. What do you call a former men’s tennis champion who’s now Bolivia’s ambassador to the US? A. Arturo. He prefers that to Art or Artie.

35. There’s more than one way to skin a cat… and please, don’t ask me how I know this.

36. How is it we can put a man on the Moon, but we can’t build a working TIME MACHINE???

37. Sign at the Vatican’s gift shop: Shoplifters will be persecuted.

38. Everyone says Be yourself… But then they tell you you have to wear clothes.

39. In real life, David Lynch and David Byrne are the same person.

40. Acoustic piano + acoustic guitar = BFFs. Electric piano + electric guitar = passing acquaintances.

41. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth + beware of Greeks bearing gifts = go ahead and poke that Trojan horse in the mouth with a spear.

42. Warning: You break it, you bought it turns out NOT to mean there’s a way to take ownership of an item besides monetary exchange.

43. I can’t help it: the phrase Texas salad sounds to me like a euphemism for a severe beating, or a blocked septic tank.

44. Proof by convenience: It would be convenient if A were true. Therefore, A is true.

45. Ultimately, any choice is based on something arbitrary. That’s what makes it a choice in the first place.

46. Dear America: can I please pay 25% less for restaurant food in return for portions that are 25% smaller? This is win-win, trust me.

47. Boring yet useful superpower: every store you go to, the staff think you’re related to the owner.

48. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. People in stone houses, however, can throw all the glass they want.

49. My parents refuse to read my latest book, How My Mom and Dad Screwed Up My Life And Never Supported My Dreams. So typical of them.

50. I have one of those couches that can turn into a bed. It can only do it once, though.

51. Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this… but now, with Super-Saver Shipping, you can have it in 3 to 5 business days!

52. John’s brain is a time zone behind. He’ll understand anything you tell him, but only an hour later.

53. Travel books for dumb French people: Le Guide du Retard.

54. I’d like to buy the world a Coke. Unfortunately, they don’t make Cokes that big.

55. I got in a fight with a BuzzFeed editor the other day. I’m not proud of this, but… I kicked him right in the listicles.

56. This little piggy ate ROAST BEEF?? Clearly, there’s no solidarity among herbivores.

57. CONTRACTOR (n.): Someone who will return your phone call only if he’s signed a contract. And maybe not even then.

58. You may be the victim of software-counterfeiting, the Microsoft warning says. What they really mean is THEY may be the victim.

59. We gave each of our party guests a packet of masala powder, turmeric, and other spices. We were shamelessly currying their favors.

60. The Consensus Bureau: we make fan videos for our own songs.

61. Be yourself. Unless you’re a jerk, in which case, for God’s sake, be someone else.

62. I was deeply moved today by an essay I skimmed. If I’d read it in full, I might now be in a coma.

63. Tip for pundits #1: you’re allowed to use the phrase “bottom line” in your think-piece only once.

64. There are no rules in music. Unless you want to sound like someone else. Then the rule is: do what they did, but add your own twist to it.

65. The easy chair was severely damaged: its covering torn, its stuffing ripped out. It had been downholstered.

66. We at The Consensus Bureau are against all forms of representative democracy… AND WE VOTE.

67. The real difference between a human and a computer is that the human stresses out before taking the Turing test.

68. “Based on a true story” = Yup, the thing we based this on truly is a story!

69. Any good story, true or made up, has a certain amount of improbability to it… which is what makes it worth telling.

70. A: Can I get you anything while I’m at CVS? B: Yeah, how about fifteen years of my life back? A: I’ll check at Home Depot.

71. Fall foliage: Nature’s litter.

72. Worst tail job for a private eye: following an unfaithful garbage man on his Monday morning rounds.

73. You only live once… but the photos of your indiscretions live online forever.

74. America’s got talent! … But not dignity.

75. Remind me never to buy the leading brand. I don’t know who those guys are, but every commercial says how inferior their products are.

76. A message to all the people who don’t matter to me:

77. Note from 2014 to 1954: in the future we will send each other instantaneous messages. They will be brief, misspelled, and mostly about food.

78. When asked why he had a child, Mr. Smith replied: To carry on the family name.

79. Sadly, The Consensus Bureau’s Sustainability Initiative has run out of funding.

80. A defective car is a lemon. A defective citrus fruit is a grapefruit.

81. Large, bureaucratic corporation seeks to hire innovative people, frustrate them. Reply if interested.

82. We’re writing a 50-volume series called On the Nature of the Universe. We’re currently on Volume 7: Of Sheep.

83. Potential prog rock/jazz rock album title: “Music to Aggravate a Headache”

84. There’s a kernel of truth to what we’re saying… but take it with a grain of salt.

85. The phrase “petty jealousy” would seem to imply there are also noble jealousies. “That man’s humanitarian achievements should be MINE!”

86. When a midwife goes into labor herself, she is assisted by a quarterwife.

87.In our latest suspense novel, our hero seeks to unravel a conspiracy, but is caught up in forces the reader cannot comprehend…

88. Knowledge is definitely power. For instance, think how many BTUs you can produce by burning textbooks!

89. At The Consensus Bureau, we’re data-driven in everything we do. Except when we commute. Then we’re chauffeur-driven.

90. Remember, kids, “affect” is a verb, “effect” is a noun. So get out there and effect a convincing affect!

91. 95% of humanity: too nice to be a psychopath, not nice enough to be a saint. The real spectrum we’re all on…

92. You may hate the state of Maryland, you should at least Havre de Grace not to say so.

93. The proof is in the pudding, but the 80-proof is in the rum cake.

94. Plural, couscous; singular, couscou.

95. I’m glad all the designers are saying skeuomorphism is dead. Now we don’t ever have to learn what that stupid word meant, or how to say it.

96. We prefer opiate-based children’s games. #hashtag

97. Bad news: you have to pay the piper. Good news: he who pays the piper calls the tune! More bad news: you’ll then have to face the music.

98. Should auld acquaintance be forgot? Well, in the case of my first roommate: yes, absolutely.

99. “Remember, small is beautiful.” “That’s what she said.”

100. The enemy of your enemy is your friend, but the uncle of your uncle is not your aunt.

101. Everything was the same, until one day it was different. Excitement! Eventually, it went back to being the same, but better. #MoviePlot


102. They tell me that solipsism is a fallacy… But what would they know? They’re just figments of my imagination.

103. I’m still a long way from my goal of visiting all the countries of Central Asia, but you know what they say: one steppe at a time…

104. Parsippany is the name of a town in New Jersey, but I’ve always thought it sounds like the name of some herb. As in, “This tomato sauce doesn’t have enough parsippany.”


I dreamt I was doing stand-up comedy. “I’m going to do an Elvis impression for you,” I told the audience. I whirled around to face them, hunched over, one eye squinted, and began snarling and growling, and clawing at the air. The crowd sat there in stunned silence. “Did I say ‘Elvis’?” I asked them. “I meant ‘zombie Elvis’.”

Twitticisms of previous years:


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Twit and Twisdom of Twenty-Thirteen

Just as we did for 2012, we here present you with our 101 best twitticisms of 2013.

1. To live in the Village is to know that, at any time, not 500 feet from your doorstep, a man may be urinating against a car that isn’t his.

2. Remember when e-mail sig files were this groovy new form of self-expression? “‘Hackneyed quote’ — Famous guy I know nothing about”

3. A coworker of mine once said, “Wal-Mart is evil, until you need to buy a TV and fruit at the same time.”

4. Usually, the only reward for creating something is to know it exists: a good feeling, but the best reward is for others to know it exists.

5. I think I’ll have finally caught up with all the good music made in the Sixties when I’m in MY sixties.

6. Join us if you’re among the 90 million Americans with antichronia: the condition of having no time to do what you need (let alone want) to do.

7. 3D movies: at best, mildly impressive; at worst, bloody annoying.

8. It dawned on him that it had probably been decades since rubber duckies were actually made of rubber.

9. Today’s derivative twaddle beloved by the masses is tomorrow’s forgotten gem cherished by the intelligentsia.

10. Meant to ask if today’s forecast would be like yesterday’s. Instead I said, “Will today be like yesterday, or today?” #NotAMorningPerson

11. Remember when the phrase “information superhighway” existed? I find it hard to believe anyone ever said that aloud without feeling stupid.

12. For only $10,000 a month, you too can become a sustaining member of The Consensus Bureau. Call now!

13. Dear 1990’s: I’m sorry. I didn’t appreciate your music at the time. I agree now that it was awesome.

14. Pandora’s reason for playing me a certain song? It has “mild syncopation”. Sounds vaguely patronizing. Should I be into severe syncopation?

15. Your cheatin’ heart will tell on you. — However, by that point, you’ll be in the Caymans, and beyond the reach of extradition.

16. I strongly suspect that cool old people are cool people who grew old, rather than old people who became cool.

17. Someone should make a crowdfunding website to crowdfund all the new crowdfunding startups.

18. The fact that the name “Sean Bean” doesn’t rhyme, but “Sean John” does, just shows how screwed up English spelling is.

19. Benefit #8 to staying up later than I should: seeing the odd things my cat does at night, like chasing mouse-toys, or making scrimshaw.

20. It must suck to work for Foursquare — I’m sure those people always know where their employees are…

21. Since “LOL” has long been just shorthand for “I find this funny”, I hereby propose “LLOL” for when you’ve *literally* laughed out loud…

22. There should be a book called “From Barbarians to Bankers: The Story of the Lombards”. Guess which part the History Channel would focus on.

23. When you talk about something you love, whether it’s tennis or jazz or stamps, you’re really talking about yourself.

24. Sometimes, I feel as free as a bird. A large, flightless bird. Possibly a dodo.

25. My locksmith friend may not be the best amateur saxophonist, but he can always nail a key change.

26. Fax machine (n.): A device for emitting ear-piercing noises at people who have dialed the wrong number.

27. Music review of a disappointing synth band: “They weren’t exactly new wave, so much as… old ripple.”

28. IKEA: minimalist design at minimalist prices… with minimalist quality and minimalist customer service.

29. When Life gives you lemons… be grateful. I can’t remember the last time Life randomly gave me some free fruit.

30. It’s fashionable to hate hipsters; the first rule of being one is never to say you are one; ergo, they can’t defend themselves. #Checkmate

31. The ’80s were such a California decade. Ditto, the ’60s. The ’40s and ’70s were New York. The ’50s? Totally Iowa. And of course the ’90s were Seattle, one need hardly say.

32. He was not a man to lightly sell his soul; and, in any case, no one was buying.

33. “No standees”, the sign on the bus says. Seems to me it should say “No standers”; it’s the bus that would be a “standee”… #MyOwnStyleBook

34. For some reason, a part of my brain remains convinced that Linda Ronstadt and Liza Minnelli are the same person.

35. Just saw a James Patterson book called “Kill Me If You Can”. If only, James. If only.

36. As a child, I found my father to be cold and distant. But then, he *was* a researcher in Antarctica.

37. I heard it annoys San Franciscans if you call their city anything other than “SF”. FriscoFriscoFrisco. SanFranSanFranSanFran. Is it working?

38. Sign #11 that you may be too cynical: when someone tells you “I have good news!” your first response is “Good for who, exactly?”

39. Democracy is the notion that ordinary citizens can and will take an active interest in their… their, um… I’m bored. Let’s play Xbox.

40. Love this: instead of “Resident”, the junk mail says “To our friends at”. Friends don’t use (or even know) each other’s names, after all…

41. “In today’s stagnant economy, the question is no longer what worked last year, but what worked 500 years ago?” — Medieval business guru

42. ANY job can be outsourced to India: no one is safe. My cousin Ben in Akron, for instance, was a sitar-playing mahout. Never saw it coming.

43. As I stood in the park, a Buddhist monk walked between me and the Gypsy jazz buskers. — This 100% true statement brought to you by NYC.

44. maybe its just me but the way people dont put punctuation in their texts & chats makes their messages seem lifeless to me what do you think

45. Poor a posteriori. A priori gets all the attention.

46. Idea for the ultimate cat toy: edible robotic moths. Now, someone please tell me these already exist.

47. In absolute numbers, New York has more tattoos. But I’m pretty sure Portland has more *per capita*.

48. Seeing the Earth from the Moon must be like seeing Manhattan from Staten Island. You know what you’re seeing, but the POV makes it strange.

49. YouTube blocks me from watching random movies on my big TV because that’s a “mobile” device, while my small laptop is OK. Good one, lawyers.

50. Economist, n.: someone who studies money, instead of making it.

51. Ignorance is nine-tenths of the law.

52. “Of the six textual variants of Codex Philippicus, only one (Bod. B11) has the line, ‘The Lord is my homey; He has my back, yo.'” #IfOnly

A tip of the hat to Dan D., whose response to the above was, “Yet its provenance would seem to argue for its authenticity.”

53. The truth shall set you free. Or possibly just annoy you.

54. Forget avoiding lung cancer: I’m grateful I’m not a smoker just so I don’t have to give strangers free cigs whenever they ask for them…

55. Everyone wants to be part of something bigger than themselves… but not *too* much bigger.

56. In the future, strict religious conservatives will wear jeans and T-shirts. Everyone else will be clad in bodypaint and bionic implants.

57. Confirmed: there are parts of Brooklyn where not only *can* you have a car, you *need* a car.

58. Just bought a chocolate sundae, and a 29% stake in Exxon-Mobil. Because sometimes, you just have to treat yourself to a little something.

59. No matter how many times I see it in print, “Tofurky” still looks like an expletive to me.

60. I submit to you that knowing when to fold them is ONLY possible when you’ve counted before the dealing’s done. #BigData

61. It’s official: making references on T-shirts etc. to cassette tapes has gone from whimsical/clever/edgy to just plain cliched.

62. A similar thing from the ’90s: remember when every band ever had liner notes written in a crappy typewriter font?

63. Being prejudiced is when you stereotype other people. Being inauthentic is when you stereotype yourself.

64. If only, without my asking, someone would send me, free of charge, a guide to fall’s must-have looks, with 25% off all purchases. #OhWait

65. Until now, I’ve never been so aware of the ineffable qualities of the taste of milk. Probably because I was told it’d be beer.

66. I would like to disrupt the overuse of the buzzword “disrupt”.

67. In the future, we’ll be able to post our nightly dreams to Facebook. And some indiscreet people will forget to review them before posting.

68. We’re bringing sexy back! And we expect a full refund…

69. Smoke detector (n.): a device to warn you of the presence in your house of dead batteries. Loudly. At 4:30 AM.

70. I believe in scatological eschatology: the world is going to shit.

71. Well, I woke up one morning and my still was gone. #Blues-grass

72. A Netflick in one hand, dry cleaning in the other, and a blue mailbox in front of me. One of these days, I’m going to get it wrong.

73. There’s a special place in hell for people who wish there were special places in hell for other people.


75. We are living in an amazing time right now. There’s just something magic about 2:48 PM.

76. Hey — for every day the federal government is shut down, we get our federal income taxes prorated by a day, right?

77. I have a soupcon that soup’s on.

78. 1) New UX designer is hired. 2) Declares EVERYTHING in the UI must change. 3) Cockiness finally becomes unbearable, gets fired. 4) Repeat.

79. “Q. Where do you fall on the issues?

A. Flat on my face.”

80. “We have no biological children of our own. Instead, we decided to adopt…..robots.”

81. “The Sorrows of Young Werther’s Originals”: a young man runs out of caramels, with tragic results.

82. The Tea Party: trying to govern by default.

83. Led by his PI, the jealous Irishman burst in upon his wife and her lover, who said: “Stop trying to shame us with your shamus, Seamus.”

84. 1) Unlock phone to look up important thing. 2) Get distracted instead by Facebook. 3) Lock phone without looking up important thing. 4) Repeat.

85. From Cimarron / To Cinnaminson / There ain’t no synonym / For “cinnamon”, son.

86. Dance like no one’s looking; but post the photos as if everyone is.

87. Einstein Bros’ Theory of Relativity: as you approach the speed of light, your bagel expands infinitely, to where you just can’t finish it.

88. Eisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle: you can feel like eating lunch there, or you can see an open table there, but *never both at once*. #NYC

89. Every decade is equal parts awful and awesome.

90. You know, you can’t put a price on good music! … Especially not since file-sharing.

91. Everywhere I go, I’m a flash mob of one.

92. If you can’t be original in the art you create, at least be original in the art you steal.

93. Maybe it’s true that a watched pot never boils, but an unwatched file transfer never succeeds.

94. I swore I’d be on guard around our drummer, but once again I got caught by his snare.

95. Sure, I’m complacent. But sometimes I wonder: am I complacent *enough*?

96. Holy crap, is it December already? I forgot to grow a mustache and write a novel. Or possibly write a novel about a mustache, I’m not sure.

97. I’m not into fancy or gourmet chocolates — I just like plain vanilla chocolate.

98. He became less interested in the “critical path” when he discovered this did not, in fact, refer to trash-talking one’s colleagues.

99. You know nothing, John Snow. Except where all the cholera is coming from. #GameOfTuftes

100. If these walls could talk, but they were in a forest, would they make a sound?

101. Some of the best melodies of all time have already been written.


And for a bonus, this one was longer than 140 characters, and so had to be posted to our Facebook page:

ad hominem: when you attack your opponent’s personal traits and ignore the actual points they’re making.

ad Eminem: same as above, but applied to Marshall Mathers.

ad UNM: same as above, but applied to the Lobos.

ad homonym: when you get confused and attack the wrong thing because it has the same name.

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New Jersey Discovered

So, the big news around Consensus Bureau HQ this week is that we’ve now released the video for our song “New Jersey, New Jersey”. The song mentions a lot of different towns in New Jersey, and for the video we tried to hit a lot of them, plus some others that weren’t in the song.

Some of the locations were pretty crazy, even by Jersey standards. Here’s a half-dozen of the zaniest, in no particular order.

LucyTheElephant The shore town of Margate features the first, and presumably also the last, larger-than-life statue of an elephant with a hotel room inside it. Lots more information available on Lucy’s website. (That’s her name, by the way.)
AtTheSummitDiner The Summit Diner is a classic eatery in a town of the same name about thirty miles due west of Manhattan. Sadly, there’s no website giving its history, though Wikipedia claims it’s possible (but not likely) Hemingway based a story there.
MufflerMan Ah, the Muffler Man of Magnolia (formerly Clementon). He’s one of literally dozens of giant roadside statues in America who were supposed to be holding a car muffler in their outstretched hands, but which seem to have lost the item they were intended to shill. New Jersey alone has at least fifteen of these statues.
NitroGal Being a giant roadside hawker of automotive products is a profession not just limited to male statues, as Nitro Gal proudly attests in Hilltop, Gloucester Township.
PelagiusAndCow Indeed, even the so-called lower animals are well represented, as seen by this cow at the flea market known as Cowtown in Pilesgrove. The giant cowboy seen in the video is also at Cowtown, holding another invisible muffler.Note: the paint used on these statues is not of the best quality. Indeed, the white paint on Nitro Gal’s boots wore off onto my jeans, and the Cowtown cow’s red coat of paint wore off onto my arms. So, always be sure to wear inferior clothing before getting up close and personal with roadside statues.
StorybookLand Finally, there’s Storybook Land in Cardiff, founded in 1953 to be a kiddie park. Fortunately, The Consensus Bureau was in and out of there before any children had shown up, thereby sparing these younguns emotional trauma and thousands of dollars in psychiatry bills.
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Being a Pest about Budapest

300px-Bratislava_viewI have a one-a-day “Jeopardy!” calendar. Today’s question — I’m sorry, “answer” –is exactly the kind of thing I live for: something where you could conceivably give a different answer (sorry, “question”) and argue ad nauseam about why it’s right.

The category was “Geography ‘B'”. (HAHA GET IT) In other words, all the answers are going to start with the letter “B”.

So, here’s the question:

“This city that straddles the Danube was once called the ‘Queen of the Danube'”

Wanna think about it for a second? I’ll give you a moment …


OK, so, the answer they wanted was Budapest. (Sorry, “What is Budapest?”) But here’s the thing: Bratislava is
also a city whose name starts with “B” and occupies both banks of the Danube.

The question only imposes three criteria on the answer: 1) the city’s name must start with a “B”, 2) the city has to be on both banks of the Danube, and 3) someone has to have called the city “the Queen of the Danube”. Bratislava clearly satisfies the first two. So what about the third?

Now, you could argue that the fact that there is a hotel, and a river cruise ship, in Budapest, each of which is called “the Queen of the Danube” shows that Budapest simply has to be the one and only city that was ever called that. And the top ten hits on Google for the phrase bring up Budapest. An open and shut case, right?

Not so fast. First of all, a “poetic alias” like “the Paris of the East” has been used for every city from Beirut to Shanghai (and also Budapest). So clearly they get reused.

Secondly, the question doesn’t ask for the Danubian city that has been called “the Queen of the Danube” most often. It’s sufficient for it to have been called “the Queen of the Danube” just once. And hell, I’ll be happy to do the honors myself: Bratislava, truly, you are the Queen of the Danube.

Ah, but I hadn’t done that at the time the question was written, you say? Well, how do you know? Can you prove it? I’m sure I can conveniently find some scrap of yellowed paper to back up my claim…

But if that’s not enough, well this is where I’d bust out some 17th-century text in Slovakian praising Bratislava as the Queen of the Danube, and say, “But Alex, clearly the Slovakians felt very strongly that it was their metropolis that was the Queen of the Danube,” thereby sending Trebek and the off-screen panel of judges into feverish deliberations, replete with mutterings of “The sheer impudence –!!” and “He’s got us dead to rights, you know.”

Alas, I still need that text. So if you have one, please let me know, and I’ll go pick that fight pronto.

P.S. To say nothing of the argument that Budapest is two cities (or even three), not one!!!
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Summarizing the Unsummarizable

sassy baby bath toys

Mr. Ontology and I recently came across this tidbit of music press:

21-year-old pop singer-songwriter [so-and-so] finds inspiration from strong female vocalists, like Kelly Clarkson, Colbie Caillat, and Carrie Underwood. Her uplifting, empowering songs draw from her own life experiences, and the singer said she hopes to “make others feel good about themselves.”

We here at The Consensus Bureau identify strongly with this summary, and wish to offer our own version of the above:

The Consensus Bureau finds inspiration from strong non-anthropomorphic vocalists, like the dishwasher and police sirens. The CB’s odd, baffling songs draw from the band members’ own near-death experiences, and the band says it hopes to “make others feel awkward, guilty, and somewhat nervous.”

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Secondhand Scribbles

The weather in New York today was finally decent enough for going out for a walk over lunch. And once again, sidewalk booksellers beckoned, with many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore.

One book I picked up — “The London Venture”, a 1920 memoir by one Michael Arlen — looked both too poorly preserved, and too dull, to merit purchase. But in flipping through it at random, I was intrigued by the snappy rejoinders someone had penciled in on various pages. There was an intimacy to these remarks that made me wonder if it was just possible that the reader had personally known the author.

"And so say I"

“And so say I”


"And you'll probably end just like Phyllis"

“And you’ll probably end just like Phyllis”

For two dollars, these scribbles were simply too amusing not to take into captivity. And yes, this is a perfect example of what all the various op-ed columnists have been talking about in the last few years as they mourn the passing of the physical book. I’m not too heartbroken about losing out on such scribbles myself, though, since I tend to prefer my books in mint condition, a bad habit I got from my comic book collecting days…

I forebore from buying the specimens shown below, however. I found them a few feet apart, but on the same shelf-cart. They appeared to be related: the Aquarian Gospel is a relic of some kind of early 20th-century Christian cult, and the Esoteric pamphlet mentioned both the Aquarian Gospel and Madame Blavatsky on its first page.

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Here’s the first page of the pamphlet:

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See you at the next Hierarchical conclave!

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Blowing this whole cover-up wide open

Admit it: The Globe is just the only publication with the balls to say what everyone knew all along.



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For sale: sushi. Some restrictions apply.

Another post in the spirit of the Wisdom of the Fridge… If I could’ve taken these home to post on the band fridge, I would’ve.

As it was, these samples come from a laminated menu at a sushi restaurant PEZ and I went to earlier this week. Somehow, this menu had like a thousand pages, each formatted differently, even though they really only had the same twenty things that every sushi place does.

Anyway, not only was the menu confusing, it was also presumptuous. Check out the bit of micro-management in bolded red below:

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But I guess you have to expect things to be a little off-kilter at a place where not one but two of the menu pages have the title “ROLL ROLL ROLLS” across the top:


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Jazz for Other Moods and Activities

Some time ago, a series of jazz compilations came out. They were clearly aimed at women who wanted to relax. Their titles told the whole story:

“Jazz for a Rainy Afternoon”

“Jazz for a Lazy Day”

“Jazz for When You’re Alone”

“Jazz for Those Peaceful Moments”

“Jazz for The Quiet Times”

These titles always amused me, but it always seemed to me that they were limiting the range of situations in which jazz could be played. So, with all due respect, here are some other jazz compilations that are urgently needed:







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How does this make me comfortable, exactly?

In the style of the Wisdom of the Fridge (even though this sticker does not have a place on the honored refrigerator door of Dr. Subtrahend and Mr. Ontology):

This was a sticker I found on some pamphlet or safety card at my seat when I was recently on a transaltantic flight. I still haven’t figured out what it means.




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