Saturday, June 25, 2011

Twinkie the Kid Killed in Shootout

GUNPOINT, AZ: Twinkie the Kid—adventurer, Western icon, and longtime advertising pitchman beloved by millions—was gunned down at noon yesterday in what witnesses described as a proper Old West shootout. Twinkie’s unknown assailant, identifiable only by a red kerchief and black hat, fled the scene on horseback and is still at large.

Born in River Forest, Illinois, Twinkie the Kid was filled with the spirit of adventure shared by lesser-known Old West figures such as Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Woody Pride. This zest for life was fueled by his unconventional friendship with the disreputable Captain Cupcake, whose lavish lifestyle and wanderlust took the unlikely pair to all corners of the Earth.

The captain boasted often of having “a Suzy Q in every port,”
but for a time, he and the modest Twinkie were inseparable.
Twinkie’s reputation remained somehow unblemished by the poor taste and shady exploits of the dissolute Cupcake, who dragged the too-willing Twinkie into a notorious succession of scandalous escapades and dangerous adventures. None of these adventures were more famous than their ill-fated Nile River expedition of 1958, which ended abruptly when Twinkie, wandering intoxicated along the shores of the Nile alone after a forty-three-hour drinking contest with Cupcake and English actor Oliver Reed, was attacked and critically wounded by a vicious Chocodile.
His urge to see the world diminished by the slow, painful recovery form his gruesome injuries, Twinkie made his way to Hollywood, California, to try his hand at acting. His youthful good looks served him well in the movie business; while other actors aged and were put back on the shelf, Twinkie remained remarkably well-preserved even after several decades under the lights. 

Twinkie the Kid at age twenty-five (left), and again at seventy-eight (right).
Perhaps even more notable than his film career, however, was his long and tumultuous relationship with famed Canadian snack cake May West—a series of very public fights, affairs, accusations, and reconciliations that entranced the public and ended only with her tragic death from consumption. Ever the gentleman, Twinkie always refused to divulge private details of his turbulent life with the icy morsel, preferring to state only that their relationship was “wonderful and sweet, but terribly unhealthy.”

Above: a typically revealing racy photo of the provocative May West.
Already reeling from the loss of May, Twinkie spiraled into a deep depression after being indirectly blamed for the 1978 murders of George Moscone and Harvey Milk. Worried that the public thought he’d finally gone bad, the Kid isolated himself for years, and after a failed attempt to break back into film—he narrowly missed out on playing Gozer the Destructor in 1984’s Ghostbusters, which catapulted the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man to the A-list—Twinkie quit the movie business and ventured back out to the American West that had loomed so large in his childhood imagination.

In Arizona he made a living as a rancher, rustler, merchant, and occasional gunslinger, the desert air clearing his mind and the hard sun baking his spongy skin a healthy yellow. But even there, living his dreams and filled at last with serenity, Twinkie the Kid could perhaps see the seeds of his downfall.

“Folks would always ‘go heeled’ around the Kid, trying to stir up trouble,” says Twinkie’s longtime friend and ranch-hand, Fruit Pie the Magician. “I reckon you’re shocked to hear about gunfights in these parts, comin’ from where you do, it bein’ the Twenty-first Century and all.

“Well, the Twenty-first Century ain’t gotten here yet. This is Arizona.”

Fruit Pie blows his nose into a red-and-white handkerchief and pauses for a moment to collect himself. “I reckon I’ll take solace in the fact that Twinkie the Kid died the way he wanted: with his adorable little cartoon boots on.”

The coroner’s report reads that Twinkie the Kid expired on June 24, 2011, at 3:00 Arizona Standard Time, from multiple gunshot wounds. Not mentioned on the report is how Twinkie’s puzzling physiology itself may have hampered his treatment—or so believes Gunpoint General Hospital’s Chief Surgeon, speaking off the record and under a guarantee of strict anonymity from his office on the hospital’s twelfth floor, right between the water cooler and the pharmacy:

“There’s no doubt in my mind that Twinkie’s abnormal physiology contributed to his death,” says the anonymous Chief Surgeon, stroking his distinctive handlebar mustache and his memorable horn-rimmed glasses. “When we open up a trauma victim, we usually see what we expect—heart, lungs, kidneys, intestines. Once in a while we spot something a little unusual like an internal third nipple, or a six-chambered heart, or a splancreas—but that’s all just normal biology. This just wasn’t the case with Twinkie.”

Small shunks of viscous white goop still stick to the hair of his forearms, all the way up to his elbows. They smell fainly of dried sugar, and vanilla, and death. 

He gestures at them, tries a couple of times to brush them away, but they cling to him like guilt, sticky, implacable, and delicious. “This is what was inside Twinkie—and nothing else. We tried everything we could, but in the end, I don’t think there was anything we could have done. Frankly, there’s not a doctor alive who has any idea what this shit is.”

He stands up and gestures politely to the door. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m late for lunch. There’s free sponge cake today in the cafeteria.”


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Please Stop Stealing Our Fucking Signs

The tiny village of Fucking, Austria, first came to the attention of the English-speaking world when Salzburg-based Allied soldiers returned home with word of its existence after the end of the Second World War. So for nearly seventy years now, sporadic but gradually increasing numbers of intrepid American or British tourists with a few hours to spare and a taste for the risqué have drifted into Upper Austria to catch a glimpse of and, if lucky, snap a photograph of Fucking.1 

According to local legend,2 there was no Fucking in Austria until the sixth century A.D., when it was created by a Bavarian nobleman named Focko, who gives Fucking its name. It is rumored that Focko sired some seventeen children before he quit Fucking and returned to Bavaria, leaving his progeny behind. The majority of his offspring—most of them legitimate, but some of them almost certainly Fucking bastards—remained in town and raised their own Fucking children, and their descendents have led lives of mostly quiet anonymity.

Sadly, the advent of the Internet Age—and specifically its rapid dissemination of information—threatens to raise this inoffensive hamlet’s fame to never-before-imagined heights. It’s quite likely that someday soon, tourists from all corners of the world will be flocking to Austria to see Fucking, and Fucking itself will lose its few remaining shreds of privacy and normalcy.3
Did you know: Google can be used to find not just pictures of Fucking,
but also directions!

Despite the impending destruction of their quiet way of life—despite the looming threat of an invasion of hundreds of thousands of Americans obsessed with Fucking—these hardy villagers have a more immediate problem:

For decades now, inconsiderate Fucking tourists have been stealing Fucking street signs.

“Initially we assumed it was the work of a Fucking local,” explains Fucking Police Constable Fritz Polizist, “but it became clear that the culprits were outsiders after we finished interviewing every Fucking resident within the Fucking town limits.”

“Frankly,” continues Polizist, “there are a lot of angry Fucking citizens out here getting tired of replacing our Fucking signs every time some Fucking visitor wants to leave with some sort of Fucking souvenir.”4

The Fucking mayor, Udo Bürgermeister, claims that the little town can’t afford to keep replacing the signs indefinitely: “We don’t have all that much money in the Fucking budget, you know. We tried holding a Fucking fundraiser a few months ago, but it was a total disaster. Everybody around here claims to love Fucking, but they sure aren’t willing to pay for it.”

Fortunately, after waiting for ages for Fucking City Hall to come up with a solution, some ordinary Fucking citizens have decided to take action. 

The Fucking coat of arms.
“We decided that just sitting around Fucking all day wasn’t going to solve our problems,” says dedicated Fucking resident Johannes Einwohner.

“It’s obvious that better Fucking security is the answer, so we pooled together as much Fucking money as we could get and had closed-circuit TV cameras installed near all of our Fucking signs.”

In recent years, ever-more-brash visitors have moved beyond taking simple photographs with the signs—or, of course, taking the signs themselves—and have proven themselves willing to do all sorts of obscene things near, on, and even to these Fucking signs just for a good Fucking laugh. It’s unclear so far whether any of these Fucking vandals have been aware of the cameras.

“It gets pretty disgusting,” says Einwohner. “And you wouldn’t believe the group that signed up to monitor the cameras. I’ve never seen so many Fucking perverts.”

Mayor Bürgermeister has given up trying to explain his sleepy little town’s popularity with international vulgarians. “Foreigners just love Fucking, and honestly, we can’t see what all the fuss is about,” he says. “Hardly anybody in all of Austria has ever even heard of Fucking, much less seen it for themselves. You should see how confused they get when they just happen to see Fucking right here on the side of the road.”

Still, despite its budgetary problems and the looming threat of an unmanageable influx of snickering English-speakers with Fucking on the brain, the villagers wouldn’t even dream of giving up on Fucking: “I love everything about Fucking,” says Bürgermeister. “Fucking is f______ great.” 

No way in hell are we going to ruin the fun
by translating this one for you, but we’ll
provide you a link. Trust us, it’s worth it.

1. Occasionally, according to the London Daily Telegraph, an entire tour bus will make the trip, for those tourists who prefer to see Fucking in large groups.
2. Depending on context, the German phrase “local legend” can mean either “Wikipedia” or “stuff we mostly made up ourselves.”In this case, it’s both.
3. It’s true, you know—any fool with a mouse can find Fucking on the Internet.
4. Polizist, incidentally, cannot recall ever having heard of Dick Hertz from Fucking. So that’s one down.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Curious Case of Dick Hertz from Holden

In the few short days since the ill-fated column in which we thoughtlessly mentioned the urban-legendary “Dick Hertz from Holden” in passing, we have been bombarded by angry phone calls and e-mail messages1 from angry residents of Holden, Massachusetts, who complained that we’d done nothing but help perpetuate a ridiculous myth about their awful little town’s most famous non-resident.

In our defense, we made it quite clear in the footnotes to the aforementioned column that we did not believe there ever was a Dick Hertz from Holden, and even provided a link to a website to support that statement.2 Of course, we should have known better than to assume that the average reader would bother checking the footnotes.3 

In an attempt to put this myth to rest once and for all, the Bowling in the Dark Investigative Reporting Unit has spared no expense in uncovering details of the life of the mysterious and elusive Dick Hertz. Solid information was hard to come by; the often-hidden Dick Hertz has lived a life of secrecy, punctuated by broad travels and a multitude of jobs:

  • 1958: born Peter Hangsleaux, Loveladies, New Jersey.
  • 1958–1975: early childhood in nearby Buttzville.
  • 1976: frustrated with a childhood full snickering and snide penis jokes, has name legally changed to Peter Fitzgerald.
  • 1977: moves to Bumpass, Virginia, to work as a plumber’s apprentice. Employer documentation recovered by Bowling in the Dark investigators praises young Fitzgerald’s aptitude for laying pipe.
  • 1980: with penis-centric teasing having apparently returned to an unbearable level, changes name to Gerald Fitzwilliam.
  • 1982: flees to the United Kingdom in hopes of finding dignity among the more proper English. According to tax records, his places of residence include Hooker Road, Norwich; Backside Lane, Oxfordshire; Wham Bottom Lane, Lancashire; Spanker Lane, Derbyshire; Fanny Avenue, Derbyshire; and Scratchy Bottom, Dorset.
  • 1989: returns to United States as Dick Fitzwell.
  • 1996: first recorded appearance of the Dick Hertz. Residence: Stony Bottom, West Virginia.
  • 1999: moves to Ding Dong, Texas. Credit card receipts collected show an unhealthy appetite for meals from Arlington’s In-N-Out Burger.
  • 2002: Dick Hertz surfaces for a time at a Wahoo, Nebraska, construction company, having been hired to operate a pile driver.
It is after 2002 that the man last known as Dick Hertz from Wahoo vanishes without a trace. Claims that he has been spotted near Fuk Man Road, Hong Kong, appear to be unreliable, as are the reports that he returned to the United Kingdom and is living in Wetwang, North Humberside, or Dorking, Surrey. He appears to have cancelled his credit cards, given up on writing checks or establishing a permanent residence, and chosen a life of quiet solitude, like Greta Garbo except with a much shittier name. 

The Bowling in the Dark Investigative Reporting Unit has decided that to lengthen its search for the obviously tormented Dick Hertz would cause nothing but further discomfort, and to continue pounding on Dick Hertz, merely to supply comedic fodder for an extended dick joke, would be cruel and unethical. However, based on his widespread travels and extensive work experience, we strongly suspect that Dick Hertz now hangs his hat in one of the following three places:


Climax, Georgia. We were originally going make a joke about
“Dick Hertz from Macon Georgia” until this town presented itself.

Intercourse, Pennsylvania.

Fucking, Austria. If there is any one time to believe that we
absolutely are not making something up, let now be that time.

1. Of course we haven’t, we’re just making this up.
2. The website in question is called Legend Tripping. Despite its apparent belief in UFOs, magic, monsters, and the paranormal—subjects of its posts include but are not limited to the chupacabra, the “marsh people of Barnstable, Massacusetts,” and probably any other flavor of urban-legend bullshit that comes down the pike—it seems perfectly credible on this completely non-paranormal bit of simple investigation.
3. As any University of Colorado investigatory committee will tell you, hardly anybody pays attention to footnotes.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sorry, No Anthony Weiner Jokes Today

Anthony Weiner (D-NY).
Stop snickering.
On June 6, 2011, U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) admitted that the inappropriate photograph sent to a West Coast college student was indeed of his own crotch—which he’d previously denied, sort of—and that he, rather than a hacker, was responsible both for the photograph of his equipment and for sending it along.

Bowling in the Dark hereby declares that we plan to continue to go against the grain of childish media and blogosphere coverage by refusing to make cheap jokes capitalizing on the similarity between the Congressman’s name—Weiner—and the popular slang term for male genitalia.

That term, by the way, is “wiener.”

Wiener wiener wiener.

We refuse to describe Rep. Weiner’s situation as a pickle, or his foolish and self-defeating antics as “pulling a boner.” We will not discuss Weiner’s irritated reaction to the constant media scrutiny as “testy,” or point out or that if he hopes to be re-elected, he’s sure to encounter stiff competition. We resolutely refuse to turn this situation into an opportunity to observe how there’s now even more pork in Washington than before, or suggest that Representative Weiner needs to be more frank with his constituents.

In keeping with this small effort to return the internet to a state of dignity and decorum, we will also refrain from mentioning the following politicians if—or more likely when—they find themselves embroiled in humorous and embarrassing dick-based scandals:
  • Andrew Johnson
  • Lyndon Johnson
  • Richard M. Johnson
  • Spiro Agnew1
  • Dick Armey
  • Dick Cheney
  • Dick Lamm
  • Dick Posthumus
  • Dick Swett
  • Peter Murphy
  • John Boehner
  • Frank Schmuck
  • Ben Bushyhead
  • George Bush
  • George W. Bush
  • Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick
  • John Cox
  • Harry Baals

    And it should go without saying that we won’t ever stoop so low as to make a cheap joke out of mentioning such non-politicians as Wee Willie Keeler, Bobby Cox, Dick Trickle, Beaver Dick, Jerk Meat, or Dick Hertz from Holden.2

    We appreciate your understanding in this matter as we try to return class and good manners to the blogosphere. Our firm stance on wieners may be hard for you to take, but rest assured, putting our foot down on wieners hurts us far more than it hurts you.

    1. The name “Spiro Agnew” may not be funny in and of itself, but you can rearrange its letters to spell “grow a penis,” and that’s just great. Thanks, Dave Barry.
    2. An old roommate from the east coast once told us that he’d looked in a Holden, Massachusetts, phone book and found “Dick Hertz” in there, but we’re inclined to believe now that he was making it up. What kind of person makes things up? People like our old roommate, we guess. His name was Ollie Tabooger.