August 27, 2013

Trivia Blog: A Twerk for the Worse

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...


A short play…

Robin Thicke sits in his doctor’s office, looking disheveled and very, very ill. His doctor enters.

Doctor: Hey there, Robin. Sorry to see you back here after just seeing you yesterday. How’re you feeling?

Thicke: Hey doc, not so hot, as it turns out. I feel really weak, and the nurse said I lost a lot of weight.

Doctor: Hmm, interesting. Here, follow my finger. (moves finger back and forth in front of Thicke’s face) Any trouble seeing this?

Thicke: Uh, no, I don’t think so.

Doctor: No? You don’t see any… blurred lines?

Thicke: (looks at the doctor with a face that’s heard that joke too many times) Proud of yourself for that one?

Doctor: Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Seriously, though, I wanted to go over your test results from yesterday, because we might have a cause for concern here. When would you say you first began feeling ill?

Thicke: Oh, I guess since Sunday night.

Doctor: After your performance at the VMAs?

Thicke: That’s right.

Doctor: (ominously) That’s what I was afraid of… (pulls out tongue depressor) Robin, would you mind putting your tongue out for me, please?

(Thicke lolls his tongue oddly far out towards the side of his face)

Doctor: No, just put your tongue out toward your chin, like a normal adult would.

(Thicke shrugs, his tongue still cocked to the side)

Doctor: That’s okay, son, you can put it back in. Robin, there’s no easy way to say this, but you may have contracted a very serious, very new disease. Some of my colleagues in the area have given it such names as “ChlamydiAIDS” or “Heparrhea,” but I’ve been calling it “MileyCyphilis.” Robin, I’m afraid that when Miley Cyrus “twerked” on you while you were performing together at the VMAs, she passed this disease on to you. She’s basically the monkey from Outbreak.

Thicke: (confused) What…? But I don’t understand… How could this actually happen?

Doctor: We’re not sure, exactly. But we’ve noticed that it’s been spreading rapidly over the last few months, and it reached epidemic levels on Sunday night. There have been… other victims.

(Doctor opens door to show a waiting room full of very sick-looking giant teddy bears, girls with oddly large asses, and Jimmy Fallon. He closes the door and turns back to Thicke.)

Thicke: This is crazy. What are the symptoms? What more’s going to happen to me?

Doctor: Well, we’re still researching, but so far a lot of our patients have exhibited uncontrollable crotch grabbing, the aforementioned desire to constantly stick their tongues out to the side for no reason whatsoever, an affinity for trendy club drugs, and a strong desire to lash out at their fathers in completely stupid ways. And then there’s this… (turns away from Thicke to point to a strange X-ray on the wall) If you’ll look at this X-ray we took of you yesterday, you’ll notice that your butt has morphed into something resembling a depressed chicken breast that’s been left out of the fridge for too long. Now… (turns back to see that Thicke has used medical scissors to mangle his head into a horrible hairdo) My god, man, what have you done?!

Thicke: (crying) I don’t know!! I don’t know why I did it!!

Doctor: Oh god, you look like a cancer-ridden poodle!!

Thicke: Oh my god, what’s wrong with me?!

Doctor: (hugs Thicke) There, there now… Shhh… It’ll be okay. We’re going to get you cleaned up and you’ll get through this. We’re going to get you back to dressing like a grown-up and respecting yourself in no time, you’ll see. Maybe this will all turn out to be okay. Maybe these are just… growing pains.

(Thicke stares angrily at doctor)

Doctor: You know, because your dad was on that show…? With Kirk Cameron…?

(Thicke continues to stare angrily)

Doctor: That’ll be $5,000.

The End

August 20, 2013

Trivia Blog: NSync-ing Ship

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

Still holding out hope for that 98 Degrees reunion…

So it’s being reported today that this weekend’s MTV Video Music Awards just might feature a very special reunion of everyone’s favorite boy band/launch vehicle for its one truly talented member: NSync. (Note: I know that the band name is actually *NSYNC, or something stupid like that, but I refuse to type that whole thing out throughout this whole email, so I’m going with NSync instead. Asterisks belong as footnotes, as one way to make up the letters of a censored swear word, or to indicate that Barry Bonds and A-Rod are cheating assholes; they don’t belong in band titles. No one would’ve taken The Beatles seriously if they’d been named *BEETLEZ.)

I have to admit, I never imagined that this would happen. I figured that Justin Timberlake takes time every single day to thank God or Allah or Carson Daly or whomever that he actually escaped the boy band sinkhole to become basically the biggest pop star on the planet, and has never had to appear on a TV show where the word “Celebrity” appears mockingly in the title. This is a guy who’s spending the summer touring stadiums with fucking JAY Z, for Christ’s sake. He’s gonna get back together with the backup crew to sing some of their old hits? Really? I guess it goes to show, when you get enough money love and respect for your friends, you’ll do just about anything.

What I wonder, though, is how the other four actually convinced him to do this. There had to be some sort of reverse-intervention pleading going on before this announcement. Here’s what I figure each of them had to say to convince Timberlake to agree to the reunion:

JC Chasez - It used to be JC and JT, man, remember?! I was a motherfuckin’ sex symbol! Me! Not you! You were just the one with the hair that looked like bleached ramen noodles! I was the one with the soulful eyes and the voice that melted all the ladies’ hearts! Now look at me. I tried to do the whole solo thing, too. Remember that? The song I did for that movie where Nick Cannon plays drums in college? I sucked! Now, I have to pay girls to follow me and scream my name on the street so I look important. The other day, one screwed up and kept yelling, “Hugo Chavez! Hugo Chavez!” Do you have any idea how much it blows being called the same name as an enemy of America? Who’s dead? You owe me this, dude. And “Take Back the Night” sucks!

Joey Fatone - Justin, you gotta help me. I might die if we don’t do a reunion. I keep. getting. fatter. My hair can only get so much taller to compensate, but the family curse is upon me, and it doth hold sway! Do you think it’s a coincidence that my last name is “Fat One”? Because it’s not! Being in the band and doing all those aerobically challenging dance routines was the only thing keeping me slim. And unless Dancing with the Stars becomes a year-round thing for me, I don’t think I have much hope. Come on, JT, my cholesterol’s through the roof!

Lance Bass - Look, man, I’ll be honest: I don’t really need this. I mean, I almost went to space. Remember, when I almost went to space? Have you almost been to space? Because I’ve almost been to space. I’m in what’s known as an elite circle of people. You terrestrials wouldn’t really get it. Plus, remember how big it was when I came out? I was on the cover of People magazine! I was a media sensation! Between that and the almost-space thing, I’m sure I’ve got a big payday coming. It’s only a matter of time before NASA starts talking about almost taking me on a mission to Mars. But, you know, these other guys could use another chance out there in the spotlight. Did I mention that I’ve almost been to space? Wait, where are you going…?


The Other One - Dude, I need this. Last week I sold the last of my hair dye to pay for meth. Please.

August 13, 2013

Trivia Blog: Breaking Badass

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

Let’s talk about Breaking Bad. NO SPOILERS, first off, for those of you who’ve never watched an episode or haven’t yet caught up past Sunday’s absofuckinglutely amazing kickoff of the final 8 episodes. But I’m amazed by this show. I started watching it from the get-go back in 2008, mainly because I was super pro-AMC after I’d already gotten hooked on Mad Men, and over the last 5 years I’ve watched as Breaking Bad became not just the best show on TV, but maybe the greatest show in the history of TV.

That’s blasphemy for someone who loved The Wire and The Simpsons and The West Wing as much as I did, but Breaking Bad has the chance to do something that neither of those shows were able to do: stick the landing. The Wire didn’t exactly fizzle out during its fifth and final season, but it definitely lost some of the hyper-focus and solid storytelling that made it so good in prior seasons (especially the fourth). The West Wing couldn’t really recover fully after Aaron Sorkin left after the fourth season, although it remains a masterpiece and the best source of liberal porn for people like me during the Bush years. And The Simpsons… well, someone should’ve taken that brilliant son of a bitch out back and shot it dead about 10 years ago to keep it from peeing on its own legacy.

But Breaking Bad can overtake all of them, for me at least, if these last seven episodes close out as amazeballingly great as Sunday’s episode did. And I have faith. Vince Gilligan is like a hillbilly reincarnation of Mark Twain, complete with equally stupid facial hair.
For those unfamiliar with Breaking Bad and the excitement it arouses in lovers like me, imagine if some of the following scenarios happened in shows you loved (spoilers ahead?):

  • When Rachel gets off the plane and comes back to Ross in the Friends finale, and she moves in for the long-awaited kiss with Ross, he instead silently snaps her neck and hides her body behind the couch. When Joey shows up out of nowhere, Ross stabs him in the eye with one of his pointy, gelled locks of hair and flees the scene. Fade to black. The End?
  • On the second-to-last episode of Lost, it’s revealed that the castaways on the island are actually just in Cuba. People still remain riveted for the last episode, for some reason.
  • Johnny Carson announces that sometime during his farewell season hosting The Tonight Show, he will, without warning, punch Ed McMahon in the balls. Ed becomes delirious with fear and is only able to find comfort in gambling and drinking as he awaits a shot that ultimately never comes.
  • Someone leaks to the press that not only will Wilson’s face be shown during Home Improvement‘s finale, but he and Al Borland will engage in a passionate love scene.
  • During the last season of The Sopranos, David Chase chooses to replace each main actor, one per episode, with Sesame Street characters. The decision is never explained or remarked upon by the other characters. Paulie Walnuts is now played by Elmo, Silvio is Snuffaluffagus, etc. Everyone changes, all except James Gandolfini. It all builds to a crazy sing-along in a diner, but is that a gun under Grover’s Member’s Only jacket? I think it migh–

August 6, 2013

Trivia Blog: Megalodon't

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

Come on, Discovery Channel…

Shark Week is a holy institution for me. Like so many others, some of my earliest memories are of sitting in front of our old boxy TV, bundled up in my Ninja Turtles blanket, mouth crusted over with cheese puff dust as I gaped at the shows put on by those early Shark Weeks. It was amazing. My favorite thing in the world, just like in my favorite movie Jaws, on TV, for a whole week. It must be how Chris Christie feels when he watches the Food Network. Had I been more adventurous, lived closer to the ocean, and wasn’t constantly sure that I’d be eaten the second I stepped foot in the water, I might’ve turned out to be one of those people who say that they went into shark studies or marine biology all thanks to that first exposure to Shark Week as a kid. It’s a perfect six days of entertainment, and it’s never failed me.

Until this year.

If you didn’t happen to watch any of it (lucky you) and haven’t yet read about the shark nerd-fueled backlash that rose up in its wake, this year’s Shark Week was kicked off by a show called Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives. What viewers were shown was what appeared to be a documentary wherein a marine biologist tries to track down a 30-plus-foot great white known locally as “Submarine,” a possible re-emergence of the ancient giant shark known as megalodon, that reportedly took down a fishing boat off the coast of South Africa, killing everyone aboard. There were eye-witness interviews of Submarine sightings, searches for the shark using something called “power chumming” (which, I think, is what Anthony Weiner was texting about), and all kinds of experts giving their knowledgable opinions to us, the trusting viewers.

The only problem? It was bull(shark)shit. All of it. The stories were fake, the scientists were actors, and the whole thing turned out to be Shark Week’s first foray into mockumentary-style filmmaking. They even followed it up with a Talking Dead-type after show where they talked to one of the “experts” and, for some reason, the guy who played Charlie on Lost. For shame, Shark Week. For shame…

Now, I wasn’t one of the people who watched the whole thing and then later found out it was fake and became enraged by it. We actually only watched about 10 minutes of it, because it became painfully clear after even that short amount of time that it was pure horseshit. What pissed me off about it all is that THERE IS NO REASON TO EVER SHOW ANYTHING FAKE ON SHARK WEEK. You could show six straight days of great whites jumping out of the water in slow-motion while Megadeth blares in the background and I’d be aroused happy. Sharks are real, awesome things that are actually out there biting the shit out of seals with the teeth and the jumping out of the water; you don’t need to go the Syfy route and show me fake ones. (Apologies to my buddy who works at Syfy.) Shark Week is supposed to entertain, yes, but within the realm of educating, first and foremost. Or, failing that, just showing clip after clip of sharks doing all kinds of ridiculously awesome stuff interspersed by awkward scientists trying to overcome their crippling social anxieties enough to talk to a camera.

Discovery Channel reps have come out in defense of the show after their Facebook page, Twitter feed, and (probably) homes were deluged by angry shark nerds like myself, releasing statements like, “It’s one of the most debated shark discussions of all time, can Megalodon exist today? It’s the Ultimate Shark Week fantasy. The stories have been out there for years and with 95% of the ocean unexplored, who really knows?” Bullshit. I really know. No one debates these things. That’s like saying, “Do dinosaurs exist today? It’s a hotly debated topic. As evidence, let me show you a clip from this documentary entitled Jurassic Park…”


But, despite it all, I know I’ll come back to Shark Week like an abused housewife in the first act of a Lifetime movie, because… well, fuck, it’s Shark Week. All I had to do is look at the upcoming shows and see something called “shark cam” and I was hooked. But know this, Shark Week: I’m not falling for that shit again. If I tune in next year and see that you’re airing Sharknado: Holy Crap, You Guys, It’s Real!, I’m out.