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Wickensworth

Every few years I select a box of Cookie Crisp from the grocery store, having dismissed my previous dissatisfactions with this cereal. If nothing else, I reason, I’ll be getting an entire box of snacking cookies. However, these irregular discs of dehydrated high-fructose corn syrup taste so abstract from the idea of a cookie that they make me miserable for the entire day. And by the way, General Mills should be relieved that their cereal tastes nothing like actual cookies, because the stupidest thing you could do to a real cookie is mash it up into a bowl and pour milk upon it. Why does everything need to be made out of cookies all of a sudden? Cookies are supposed to be a special treat.

It could be argued that many cereals snare you in with this sort of false association. Golden Grahams taste nothing like actual graham crackers; Cinnamon Toast Crunch nothing like actual toast; Cap’N Crunch nothing like actual Crunch berries. However Cookie Crisps are especially conniving because while they sort of resemble Famous Amos cookies, they have an unpleasant mealy taste and are abrasive to your palette. They should change the name to Dookie Crisp, because if you fed this cereal to the Cookie Monster he would literally get diarrhea.


Today’s producers of Top 40 music are making some promising advances in developing the worst music imaginable, but it seems unlikely they’ll ever write a song more stupid than 1958’s “Splish Splash,” by Bobby Darin. The music itself is an inoffensive 1950s rock & roll arrangement and nothing to be concerned about, but the lyrics are grotesque:

Splish splash, I was taking a bath
Long about a Saturday night
A rub dub, just relaxing in the tub
Thinking everything was alright

Right away we are assaulted with this vile image of Bobby Darin bathing in his tub; and not only bathing, but splashing about like a child. It’s as if somebody had stolen the music to a bubble bath commercial from the early ’90s and then went back in time in some bizarre plot to make Bobby Darin a commercial success. And why should this be successful? The 1950s were not so long ago, but I cannot understand a culture that would allow this to be an acceptable subject for a song. I find it easier to comprehend segregation, and I’m barely even a racist. We should have segregated this song into a garbage can.

Well, I stepped out the tub, put my feet on the floor
I wrapped the towel around me
And I opened the door, and then
Splish, splash! I jumped back in the bath
Well how was I to know there was a party going on?

“How was I to know there was a party going on?” I don’t know, Bobby, don’t you fucking live there? Now we have this monstrous notion of Bobby Darin wrapped in a towel and strolling into his living room, where he unexpectedly encounters some sort of party. Bobby’s mysterious reaction to this is: “Oh well, I guess it’s back in the old tub for me.” What is wrong with this guy? He should have yelled: “Hey, not to be a nuisance or anything, but would you people mind clearing the fuck out before I call the police?” Don’t just jump back into your lukewarm bathwater you lunatic!

To make a retarded story short, the rest of the lyrics describe Bobby’s return to the party. He “puts his dancing shoes on” and forgets “about the bath,” and then begins caterwauling on about a-splishing and a-splashing and a-rolling and a-strolling and a lot of that type of horseshit. There is no real conclusion to the song, and absolutely nothing in the way of an explanation. Maybe it’s best not to decipher 1958 pop songs, but I would nevertheless like to condemn this song on the grounds that it is idiotic and insufferable. It is easily one of my ten all-time least favorite songs about bathing.


People like to claim, “Whenever God closes a door, somewhere else he opens up a window.” What kind of a dick move is this? I’m a grown adult and am certainly not about to crawl through a window. Come on, man, just unlock the door. Why the fuck did you even invite me over?

Imagine you’ve got a friend coming to visit your house, and as he’s walking up the driveway you open the door to greet him. But then when he gets to the porch you suddenly slam the door in his face. Moments later you pop your head out an open second-story window and yell, “Well come on up, dipshit! Time to find a ladder, hahaha!”

I’m not saying there isn’t a time and place for such antics, but please be advised that you’re not teaching anybody a life lesson about overcoming adversity in this scenario—you’re temporarily inconveniencing them for a laugh. They may as well change the aphorism to, “Whenever you try to open the passenger door to God’s Subaru, he locks it right before you lift the handle and starts laughing. Then he pops the trunk and says, “Get in, you little bitch!” Yeah, God, real mature.


I’m very displeased when a Magic 8-Ball says “cannot predict now” or “ask again later” or some other similar horseshit. What could a plastic die floating in blue slime possibly be doing that it’s too busy to answer my question? Maybe these snide non-committal messages are meant to be some sort of a joke, but in practice the only logical response to them is to immediately just reshake the ball. Why are you wasting my time in this fashion? The equivalent to this would be if in every Tarot deck there was a card that said, “Sorry, we can’t really figure out your fortune this hand. Fuck you, reshuffle the deck.” Magic 8-Ball manufacturers should just create a fewer-sided fortune die and throw the neutral messages in the garbage, because that would really save me a lot of time late at night when I’m trying to determine whether a girl likes me. And there’s nothing “magical” about dicking people around.


I can tell backgammon is a classy game because it often comes in a little briefcase, which is more than I can say for games of chance like chess. Sometimes I imagine commuting to work carrying my backgammon briefcase—who’s going to stop me? I have important business to attend to. It’s called playing backgammon. Backgammon should come with those handcuffs you sometimes see douchebags at the airport attach to their briefcases. If somebody stole my backgammon briefcase, I have no idea how I’d ever recover that data.

If I ever needed to deliver a briefcase full of cash to somebody, you can probably guess which kind of case I’d secretly bring along. I’d slowly turn the briefcase toward the druglord or whomever, and his eyes would begin to light up in anticipation of the cash. Then I’d pop open the case, and boom—backgammon. I’d be lost in hysterics as they proceeded to shoot me in the face, but what the hell were they expecting? I don’t have that kind of cash. My laughter nerves would probably still be activated for two or three minutes after they shot me, like how mammals’ limbs sometimes twitch after death. I’d just be lying there dead, laughing my ass off.


There are a lot of useless keys on a standard PC keyboard, but only the insert key has the power to fuck with your work. I would rather the insert key be replaced with a button that gives you a mild electrical shock. Prior to pointing devices, the insert key might have had some utility, but now it’s just a trick button. What it does is it transforms your keyboard into a living nightmare in which everything you type replaces the text in front of it, as if all that other text in your document was just hanging around for decoration. The only scenario this would be useful is if you wanted to get rid of the proceeding text of your document, but only in a quantity of characters that was exactly equal to your newly-inserted text. What kind of asshole would make such an edit? “Man, I really need to delete the thirteen characters to the immediate right of my text cursor, and I also need to insert a word that’s exactly eleven characters long, leaving two extra characters for spaces. Time for my trusty insert key!” How about you insert a bullet into your head? Meanwhile, the insert key is located right next to backspace, which is for people who edit text in an educated fashion. So I’m constantly hitting the insert key on accident, and there’s no way to tell that you’ve toggled on overtype mode until you notice that your new text is eating the shit out of your old text. Maybe there’s a way to disable this—maybe there is. Maybe there’s also a way to pry the button off with a carving knife. But I would like to know if any sort of person needs their insert key, because perhaps I speak out of ignorance. Do coders use overtype mode? Has anybody in the last twenty years hit this key on purpose? Or should I organize a protest?


I don’t know why I never realized this as a child, but “Toys ‘R’ Us” is an absolute grammatical nightmare. In 7 short letters, they managed to violate nearly every rule of the English language. And just what are they trying to communicate in this street jive of theirs? “We Are Toys”? Go fuck yourself, Geoffrey, that doesn’t even make any sense. “Babies ‘R’ Us” works a little better, considering you could kind of imagine a baby constructing such a poorly-worded sentence, if babies somehow figured out how to talk. But are you really naming your store “We Are Babies”? Who says that? Guess what, I was kind of hoping there was an adult salesperson around who could sell me some fucking baby clothes. Or at the very least a baby salesperson who can speak without using illiterate gang jargon.


I must apologize for not updating in many days. The only excuse I can think of is that my laptop is a complete joke and never works properly. Here is a picture of my Acer on a typical day.

Ignoring the childish warning screen for a moment, take one look at that keyboard. In their lunacy, Acer decided to include two separate euro keys, one of which is somehow crammed into the 5 key. How the hell do you even access that? I tried every possible combination of alt/shift/Fn/ctrl keys, and then I tried slamming my fist onto the 5 key as hard as I could, but nothing happened. I now believe it’s not a “5/euro” key at all, but a “5 euro” key—useful for when you need to express that something costs 5 euros. That’s probably the average hourly wage of the morons working at Acer.

What’s interesting about the euro key over by the arrows is that it’s literally not mapped to anything, and neither is the nearby dollar key. Basically I have two euro keys and neither of them work. I guess I have to map them myself? I probably should have built the entire laptop myself.

The first thing that went was the Acer’s ability to sleep and hibernate. It has to be awake at all times or else it freezes, like some sort of reverse bear. You can close the lid without powering down, but it’s not a smart idea because you’ll just crash the system. My laptop was not designed for such taxing activities as closing the lid. These early warning signs began to occur prior to the warranty’s expiration, so I guess I could have shipped it off to Acer to be fixed. But I didn’t really want to be without my laptop for 2 months while they wiped out my hard drive, and furthermore I didn’t exactly trust the same geniuses who designed my laptop to fix it. Also, I naively assumed that some of my issues might have been software related.

After my warranty expired this past February, that was my laptop’s cue to really begin falling apart in earnest. Increasingly it stopped booting successfully. What it usually does after you power it on is it emits three piercing beeps and then you’re treated to the douche chill screen shown in the above photo. One of my favorite hobbies is to browse the internet for a solution to this problem, but the consensus seems to be that it’s due to a faulty mainboard. A good temporary solution I’ve found is that when the laptop starts beeping at me, I beat the shit out of it and try to restart. After much experience in hitting my laptop, experimentally varying the intensity and placement of my wallops, I’ve determined that if I apply steady pressure to the area just to the left of the touchpad, it will actually boot up with no problems. The only problem is that I usually have to continue to exert this pressure throughout my laptop use, or else the system will lock up or I’ll lose my wireless signal. Sometimes I actually have to operate my laptop with a dictionary balanced on the left side, which is not exactly the portable solution I envisioned when I purchased my laptop.

Of course, my Acer isn’t really a laptop anymore. The mere idea of placing this device on my lap is cause for laugher. I’m well aware that any subtle movement of my legs would create far too much commotion for my machine’s brittle constitution. In general, physically moving my laptop in any way once it has successfully powered on is asking for trouble. At best the wireless functionally will be disrupted, and you’ll have to manually reconnect to the network, but most often you’re just going to lock up the machine—and it serves you right for attempting to adjust the position of your laptop. Laptops were not designed to be carelessly placed on top of your lap.

I’ve opened my machine up numerous times to make sure everything was cleaned and properly in place, but to be honest I don’t know the purpose of most of that circuitry anymore than the retards over at Acer. Eventually I’m going to have to just replace the machine entirely—I haven’t even mentioned the inch-wide band of scrambled lines that occasionally appears on the rightmost side of my monitor. Needless to say, I would never again purchase a computer product made by Asser. They should switch to an industry in which the excel: making hilarious practical jokes.


This is a story about the moronic, arbitrary manner in which things become popular on the internet.

Commenter Ueli asked if an old pre-9/11 eKarjala entry about rock/paper/scissors was the “first instance of this quote that’s passed around so much.” The entry in question is an analysis of the old hand gesture game, written in the traditional style of “internet rant,” which is where you assume a tone of contrived rage as a means for creating jocularity. It’s as if you’re saying, “I would like to make some observations about a well-known topic. These observations make me angry! LOL!” You might recognize this tone from 90% of eKarjala.

(Continued)


Excavating a time capsule is the most satisfying activity conceivable. It’s so frustrating, though. Why aren’t I currently unearthing a time capsule? Why couldn’t people from exactly 50 years ago have spent a mere half-hour fixing me up a little care package? 1958’s junk would have been my absolute treasure. But people from the past were too selfish to think about me in this fashion.

There’s really no reason we shouldn’t be constantly unearthing time capsules, one after the other. Just imagine if people from 1908 had thought to bury time capsules for us on a daily basis—like every morning, just have all the townspeople throw some shit in a barrel. Such a simple daily chore, and yet how much would we have benefited? Everyday would have been like an old-timey Christmas. We’d be cracking each other up with their amusing everyday objects, twirling their parasols and pretending to enjoy their tedious marble games. And each day would be a complete surprise—we’d never know what hilarious antiquated relics would be awaiting us. By ignoring our appetite for time capsule, the past has deprived us of endless joy. That’s why I think we would be completely justified to start snooping around in their graves.