On the day in 1984 Def Leppard's drummer was involved in a traffic accident during which he lost or possibly just misplaced his arm. As the president of the Missing Limbs/Broken Dreams Foundation noted at the time, "This simply emphasizes the importance of holding your arm by the hand at all times."
2008: It was the best of years, it was the worst of years. Well actually just the second part. Lots of stuff happened. Some famous people died, some shit blew up, and people suddenly started using the word Blago. We assume it's an Atari product. Personally, we turned 50. For our birthday Mrs. UF got us an AARP membership and an aftershave called "Embalming Fluid." We had 19 near nervous breakdowns. We added "Become canary" to our bucket list. We did not bungee jump, skydive, take up yoga, run a marathon, change our name to DJ Rubix Cube, become a more-rounded human being, learn how to use a squeegee, incorporate The Secret into our life, climb a mountain, become a vegan, find Jesus, go to Paris, fly-fish, buy a neti pot, or heckle a panda. We were twice told to "stop talking dirty to our food." We failed to keep our previous New Year's resolution to develop a nervous tic. We kept our previous New Year's resolution to read a Dean Koontz book. We went to South Carolina, and were awed by how much it looked like North Carolina. We weaseled our way out of jury duty in accordance with Baudelaire's dictum that there's nothing more hideous than a useful man. We successfully added "arms akimbo" to our repertoire of standing positions. We did not fall into the trap of happiness. We remained alive. The Dean Koontz book sucked.
Was there a single straight male growing up in the early seventies who wasn't titillated by Humble Pie's 1974 LP Thunderbox? Yes, billions. But those of us who'd been initiated into the blooozy and derivative sound of "the Pie" were titillated indeed. Looking back, the attempted euphemism is pure Spinal Tap. Which is why we like it now even more than we did then. Steve Marriott and Company were lost in the vagina works, caught in the chinese finger trap of glorious teenage twat, and forever peeking through the keyhole at the sweet promise of pussy--just like us! To paraphrase Neil Young, they tried to be subtle but they could not. Still, they could have done much worse. They could have called the LP Hair Pie, and ruined the seventies for everyone.
Unremitting Failure's Hero of the Day is Denmark's Tycho Brahe, who is undeservedly remembered only for his boring contributions to astronomy. We, on the other hand, consider him a prime example of what can happen when you take a popular fad too far. To wit, during the Christmas season of 1566 an inebriated Tycho engaged in that popular Renaissance pasttime, swordfighting in the dark. (Over a disagreement about mathematics, yet!) This fight cost Brache the better part of his honker, forcing him to sport a fake nose for the remainder of his natural life. Scholars have dedicated much time to determining whether Tycho's prosthetic schnozz was made of gold, silver or copper. That's how you know the Dane was a nobleman. Most people had to make do with Silly Putty.
It is our heart's desire to fleeth the Rome of this, the New Roman Empire, in time to miss the festivities surrounding the inauguration of Barack Obama. Mrs. UF, however, wishes to remain in town for the "historic event." Yeah, and she didn't want to leave Pompeii either. Originally we wanted to split becaue there's nothing we hate more than a crowd. That was before we got wind of the sinisterly vague plans to establish a 2-mile "security zone" around the inauguration site--a zone that is almost certain to include UF headquarters. Something tells us this "cone of control" won't be manned by polite ushers in tuxes standing behind red velvet ropes. No, it'll be a free-fire zone bristling with riot cops, creepy feds, snipers, SWAT teams, low-flying helicopters, security checkpoints, heads popping out of manhole covers, surveillance cameras, and all the other comforts of home. No wonder it's recommended that attendees "Be prepared to wait in lines and remain calm." If you wish to both attend and survive the inauguration of the first black president of the United States, you definitely don't want to act excited. The motto of this event is, "If you want to keep your head, keep your head." Or better yet amscray, like ontopray. To quote Daniel DeFoe, "The best preparation for the plague is to run away from it."
Dear Baby Hitler: A guy etiquette question. You're in the bathroom at a row of urinal with a guy next to you. You fart. Should you say "I beg your pardon"? Poot, Sioux City
Dear Poot from Sioux City: For once an interesting question. In any other situation you would either say "I beg your pardon" or have the other fellow packed off to Dachau. Except of course if you're amongst friends, in which case you would blame it on Göring. But the urinal fart presents a special dilemma. You're there to perform a bodily function, but farting's the wrong one. If my ass cleared its throat in those circumstances I'd start whistling and walk out. But I'm the same guy whose farts were considered vengeance weapons. So follow your own conscience.
Dear Baby Hitler: I absolutely love Make Room for Daddy. Is that wrong? Ed, Connecticut
Dear Ed, Connecticut: Wow. Make Room for Daddy. What a great show. I especially like the 1960 episode called "The Singing Delinquent," where Bobby Rydell plays a young singer whose asocial tendencies are overcome by Danny Thomas' kindness and understanding. If my father--a bully who mocked my plans to go to art school--had been more like Danny Thomas I'd be in MoMA, not living in the crawl space beneath a Burger King in Muncie Indiana.
"Traitor! Someone take this teddy bear outside and shoot it immediately!"