Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pasta: The Silliest Starch

My mind often wanders. More frequently than not, the paths and corridors it wanders down are the hidden, dusty, and overgrown passages overlooked by most, and, usually, deservedly so. Recently, I was considering the varieties of starches.

Think about all the different starches; You’ve got your bread; the staff of life, the humble rice, beer; the nectar of the gods, the noble potato, and Pasta.

It was Pasta that I got a bit hung up on.

Pasta is silly. Spaghetti, macaroni, ziti, shells. All those shapes. But in all sincerity, what the hell is the point of those shapes?

Spaghetti is too long! You need to break it to cook it, and cut it to eat it and you still end up with a marinara goatee! Macaroni. Elbows, that is. Why? Why make the things curly and hollow? It serves no function and it really must be an added step in the making stage that could be dropped! Ziti. Same thing. No point to the hollowness. It doesn’t improve the taste, doesn’t do diddley! And don’t get me started on those twisty, spiral doo-dads! Mama Mia! What a senseless display of forcing an identity. Form over function. Image eclipsing substance. So very Milli Vanilli.

The exception to this is Orzo! Orzo is a sensible pasta! Efficient, unassuming, rice-like in its simplicity. No flashy shapes saying, “Hey! Look at me! I must be tasty!” No twists, curves, squiggles, pockets, or flashing lights. Just functional; easy to cook, scoopably easy to handle, and easy to eat. 

Now, I know that those of the Italian persuasion out there who read this, (Ah, who am I kidding? Nobody reads this junk!) may get offended. There are even those who may claim that I am bad-mouthing an important cultural tradition and recognizable iconic symbol of their nationalism. Moreover, in this day and age, if I were someone of note or notoriety, (and again, if anyone ever read this crap,) anti-defamation groups might even insist on a public apology. This, however, they would not get until I got one for countless Prego shirt-stains, and chin-burns!

Orzo, and Orzo alone, deserves the right to sit among the great starches of the world. Bread, potatoes, rice, beer, and Orzo!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Great Beyond

Years ago, I decided to put the premise of my never-to-see-the-light-of-day comic strip, The Great Beyond to verse for its submission to the newspaper comic strip syndicates.

Sadly, (for me anyways,) the comic strip Syndicates, in their wisdom, decided against The Great Beyond as mass consumption accessible. They didn’t say anything like, “It’s too risqué!” or “People aren’t ready for such a concept,” or even “It sucks,” they just returned it, thanked me and said they would let me know. Filthy liars. (But I harbor no ill will against them, may they rot in Hell.)

In any case, waste not, want not. Here is that poetic injustice, the premise of The Great Beyond, in its either risqué, unready or sucky state. Whatever.


"Mr. Taylor, on his day of reckoning,

Saw a hooded figure beckoning,

To take him for his final evaluation.

An occasional liar, thief and cheater, 

He now stood before St. Peter

And hoped his good points were enough for his salvation.


Well, he had earned the right

To live within the Light

And dwell among the heavenly harp players,

But for his sins while alive

Be had to work nine-to-five, 

Washing dishes, in the kitchen, downstairs.


"Forty hours weekly in The Pit!"

He thought to himself, "Oh Darn!"

But still things could've been much worse.

Washing dishes isn't as bad

As some other jobs he'd had,

Before he got run over by that hearse."

I am still on the fence about publishing that strip here. Aside from the fact that it is from some 15 years ago, and some of the gags are a bit out of date, I don't know if anyone would really be interested. 

Here, though, is the cast of major characters from the second page of the book that I made and sent to the syndicates for their prompt dismissal...

P.S. A shout out to "!"  Did you guys catch that?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Technophobe's Illustrated #13

                                                                         5/23/2009, Christopher P. Toler

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hawaiian Euphemisms

I love Hawaii. Everyone is so laid back and mellow.

Sometimes, though, they are TOO laid back. There are things in life that just aren’t that great, and some things that are downright unpleasant. Yet Hawaii has some euphemisms that, well, distract a person from the items' true nature. 

And may Shakespeare’s “a rose by any other name,” be damned.

See what I mean:

Fireside poet, Mr. Longfellow, once said “Into each life a little rain must fall...” But ol’ Hank W. must never have made it out to the land of Aloha, because even though Hawaii’s island of Kauai boasts one of the rainiest spot on earth, they prefer to call it by a different name...

Yeah. Just a little “Liquid Sunshine.” 


I have heard them called Porta Potties, Outhouses, and Jiffy Johns, and once, a long time ago, I saw one referred to as an “Ecology Can,” but only in Hawaii have I heard the term, “Comfort Station.” Doesn’t that sound like a great place? A place you actually WANT to go to.

 No, not the blue, plastic, outdoor shitter, “The Comfort Station.”


On each visit to Hawaii, I have sought out and booked an air tour of the island, twice by helicopter, once by a small airplane. Each was equipped with the standard air sickness bags in the event of stomach content evacuation. Not an easy thing to put a positive spin on, eh?

Behold the “Aloha Bag.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Further self-indulgence of an overtired mind reflecting on existence...

and then abruptly dismissing its reflections,
(all in an easy-to-read clip-art format!)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Worst Job In The World

Recently, I was reading about a contest for “The Best Job In The World.” Apparently, the contest was for the position of a caretaker of tropical island off the coast of Australia. The winner, Ben Southall starts his six figure salaried position on July 1st. 

The rest of the story:

Okay, one really lucky bastard, yeah? And, of course, it got me to thinking. There are plenty of great jobs out there and a lot of not so good ones. And then there are the absolute shit jobs. But only on the absolute opposite end of the employment spectrum from Mr. Southall’s newly acquired position are the very worst jobs in the world. 

“What could these possibly be?” my mind raced in sadistic enjoyment at the thought of some sorry schmuck suffering through a daily grind beyond my understanding. (This video seemed relevant: )

My further dwelling on the topic compelled me to generate a list of some positions that would surely challenge whatever employment opportunities were considered to be the very worst of the worst. I realize that my list is subjective, and directly addresses personal dislikes, but that indulgence notwithstanding, here are the entries on my Top-Ten Worst Jobs I The World:

10. A ‘Show-Tunes Radio’ disc jockey

9. Whatever it is that these women are doing...

8. Telethon critic

7. Dreadlock de-tangler at a “cutless” new age hair stylist

6. Quality Control at The Glasgow Haggis Company

5. Judge at an “Alvin and the Chipmunks” tribute-band contest

4. Proof-reader at Mad Magazine

3. This guy...

2. Sound check technician at an open-mic poetry club

and, lastly,

1. Nail-boy at a hippie podiatry salon.


I am always open to the ideas of others, so if you think you can come up with worse, then please feel free to add any suggestions to my “worst job in the world” list in the comment section. 

Thanks, and remember to enjoy what you have, even if it is nothing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Technophobe's Illustrated #12

This one has personal meaning to me...

                                                                                  2009, Christopher P. Toler

Monday, May 11, 2009

Original Thought

Sometimes I think things that I think others might think are deep thoughts, then I think how useless such thoughts are to think about and I mock myself for even thinking them.

Then stuff like this comes out...

                                                  2009, Christopher P. Toler

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Leprechaun Day

S’funny how a positive learning experience can grow from an annoyance sometimes...

Lemme ‘splain.

As I had written in a previous posting, 

( only two brief months ago, mine is a family deeply entrenched in our Irish roots. My grandparents were off the boat and our ties back to Ireland are strong. From the point when each of the six of us, (my siblings and I,) could walk, we were taking Irish Step Dancing lessons. We competed in many the feis, (or dance competitions,) and Oireachtas, (or Irish festival with competitions in dance, music, etc.) and, through our agent, Jo Ahern, we were available for booking as The Toler Irish Step Dancers, guaranteed to add a touch of authenticity to your March 17th celebration. (I personally competed in a dance competition in Ireland back in 1974!) 

Our house was a stop-over point for our Irish relatives, of whom there appeared to be more than there were local ones! They could always find a bed, a meal, and a welcome stay whenever in the U.S.

So, as one may imagine, Saint Patrick’s Day was always big. The boiled dinner, the home-made Irish bread, and lots of song and dance. 

Last year, however, about late February/early March, I was in one of those party supply stores getting some things for my wife’s birthday, (March 26; What a good husband!) when I heard a child call to his mother; “Mom! Look! For Leprechaun’s Day!” I froze. I wanted to go, er, “educate” the child, (I wanted to educate the living daylights outta him, frankly.) I also really wanted to chastise his mother for perpetuating this bastardization of a cultural celebration. “Why so sensitive,” you ask? GLAD YOU ASK! Because I just knew, I was simply sure, that this kid went to a school where some student’s mother said, “What?!? Celebrating a SAINT’s day!?! In a public school!?! I think not!” and the knee-jerk reaction to placate some parent with a lawyer on speed-dial was change the name of the day! ‘We’ll let the kids wear green plastic derbies and shamrock pins. We can still celebrate the Irish, but we’ll call it “Leprechaun Day,” and no one will notice.’  

I just knew this is what happened. 

The above tirade was in the process of being written, (with far more explicit and bileful expletives,) for this recent St. Patrick’s Day’s posting, when I decided to first do some research, (I do enjoy research. Is that strange?)

So, I Googled “Leprechaun Day,” and I’ll be a monk’s uncle if there isn’t one! True, the majority of references were those of the culturally-challenged committing a great disservice to Ireland's patron saint by re-titling his feast day with this child-friendly, (yet religiously indistinct,) moniker, BUT a number of different sites acknowledge a difference between the two days and list May 13th, (which is this coming Wednesday, for those not near a calender,) as dedicated to Ireland’s wee folk. 

As there were no cited origins, and no ways of celebrating suggested, I am inclined to believe this is just a manufactured grade school holiday.  

BUT WHO CARES!!! A holiday is a holiday, right! So, to all of you looking for an excuse to “Irish up” your morning coffee, boil the color out of some dinner, and blast The Dropkick Murphys until you're shittin' green; here ya go! CHEERS! 

 And if anyone complains, tell them not to try to stifle your cultural heritage! Educate ‘em! It’s “Leprechaun Day,” fer Chrissake!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Technophobe's Illustrated #11

                                                                           5/6/2009, Christopher P. Toler

Monday, May 4, 2009

Small Talk

Okay, so I was bored and decided to play around with some clip-art, (no, I mean, REALLY, 
REALLY BORED!) I also had been awake for 2 days, (in an attempt to re-adjust my internal clock after traveling,) and when I am over-tired, I tend to get a little philosophical.

The following is the result.

                                                            2009, Christopher, P. Toler

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wedding Crashers

So not too long ago, I was invited to a wedding. There was the standard fare; Church service, nice reception, decent meal, DJ, big-honkin’-cake. Y’know, typical wedding stuff.  But it got me thinking to past weddings. The things I remember most vividly from the weddings that I attended, (as guest, participant, or gatecrasher,) have almost always been the things that went dramatically wrong. I think that a lot of folks do this, (and it doesn’t make us bad people!)

So, the notion crossed my mind that if that is what people remember, then to make a truly memorable wedding shouldn’t be too hard; just give the people what they want! Hence, the following...

My business proposal: 

Wedding Crashers. The ultimate in entertainment. 

This new business will provide the wedding planners with random, memorable  occurrences throughout either the ceremony or the reception. Occurrences would be enacted by professional “actors” in the roles of guests, attendees, staff, et cetera and is fully customizable to the level of shock value desired. Some examples of “services” offered:

_ Drunk guy gives an impromptu speech, 

Options:   -Correct or incorrect bride and groom names

         -Happy drunk, belligerent drunk, verbally abusive drunk

         -Finishes speech and steps down/escorted off/passes out.

_ Cat Fight! Two female party guests get into a brawl

Options: -Torn dresses

       -Adult language

       -Reconciliation or escorted out

_ Pastry Problems: A “Dummy” wedding cake ...

Options: -Someone falls into it.

       -Stripper pops out

       -Drunk guy cuts himself a big slice

       -Cat fight uses a fist full in the brawl

       -Waiter drops it onto another “guest”

_ Ex- makes an appearance!

Options: -His vs. hers, spouse/lover/same-sex companion

       -Illegitimate child issue

       -Breech-of-contract dispute

_ EMTs: Injury to a “guest”

Options: -Food poisoning

      -Clumsy waiter caused

_ Police involvement: Best Man/Maid of Honor arrested during reception

Options: The crime- Polygamy, embezzlement, etc.

      - Peaceful or resistant? Tasered?

_ And many other services could be included and realistic requests are always considered.

Of course, a wedding reception like this is not for everybody. That said, I and many people I know would have done something like this in a heartbeat! 

And people would be talking about it for years to come.

Friggin’ genius.

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