-Patron (rhymes with “matron”)
-Bailey’s Irish Stuff
-Dishonorably Discharged Civilian Morgan
-Johnnie Walker Beige
–I Can’t Believe It’s Not Crown Royal
Music! It’s that stuff that pours into your earholes from out of your
radio (hahaha, remember RADIOS) digital music computer doodad… that contraption you’ve got clipped to your fashionable, like, satchel thing… whatever… you know what I’m talking about. Or maybe all your music is in a cloud somewhere. Music chip implanted in your brain? I don’t understand how anything works.
Look, we’re going to talk about the music that I experienced in 2014. And we’ll be doing so via a bunch of mini-lists, because the thought of combining everything into a big Top 10 or Top 20 list makes me very, very tired. And I’m tired enough already, you guys. My iVinyl songtunes app won’t synch up with my sonic Bluetooth cochlear graft!!! I can’t even!!! That’s a thing kids say, right? RIGHT??? I’M GOING TO HASHTAG EVERYTHING JUST TO BE SURE.
To the lists…
5 Absolutely Perfect Pop Songs from 2014
“Team” by Lorde – This song is like getting drunk on a weird Thursday at 2am with a bunch of really cool people that you’ve only known for a couple of weeks, so they’re still exciting. “Team” manages to whip up almost a mystical feel, but super-modern; I imagine this is the kind of thing that Stevie Nix would turn out if she was currently 17 and into synthesizers.
“Pompeii” by Bastille – If I had to sum of this song in a single word, that word would be, “Triumphant.” Listening to “Pompeii” makes me want to triumph over something. I don’t know WHAT, specifically, I would like to triumph over, but still… this song makes me long for a non-specific triumph, where I’d thrust my clenched fists into the air right at the “but when you close your eeeyees” part. I feel like that would be really satisfying.
“All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor – If you could use a wizard’s spell to turn a wad of strawberry Hubba Bubba into a song, this is what you would get. Now, I will grant you that the marrying of a sort of old timey-ish voice with modern pop isn’t a new idea.. nor is this the best ever example of that trend (Amy Winehouse would be the queen of that particular retro castle). However, “All About That Bass” is fun as shit, so whatever. Plus, when you see the song title written out, it’s mildly entertaining to pretend she’s talking about her love for a certain kind of fish.
“Fancy” by Iggy Azalea & Charli XCX – There’s some kind of iffy racial stuff with this song… she’s essentially doing “black voice,” which is not cool… but, you know, the video was a whole, awesome Clueless homage. So… we’re going to say it’s okay to like this song…? Because it JAMS? Look, I’m not sure where I’m supposed to stand on Iggy Azalea, so I have to listen to my heart. My heart is telling me that this song makes my pants want to get up and dance. So there’s that.
“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift – When Taylor Swift is president in like 2045, we’ll look back at the release of “Shake It Off” as the moment when everyone in America suddenly realized… hey… Taylor Swift is actually pretty great. Those first stirrings of goodwill will snowball until, eventually, we the people decide that it would probably be in all of our best interests if she just ran everything for a while. I feel like her Vice President will be her cat.
3 Terrible Songs from 2014
“Fireball” by Pitbull – I do not get why Pitbull is popular. He looks like a Miami dad, and he exclusively puts out songs that sound like they were specifically designed to be shitty ringtones. And yet he’s super famous, and I work in a deli. The world, once again, fails to make sense. Anyway, I would rather be killed by an actual fireball, Backdraft-style, than ever hear this song again.
“Animals” by Maroon 5 – Everything about Adam Levine is gross… I imagine that he always smells like American Spirits, some kind of hair wax, and cheap lube… but this song, which is LITERALLY about hunting and killing women, is really just too much. Listening to “Animals” makes me want to apologize to everybody on behalf of my gender.
“Battleships” by Daughtry – The whole song is an extended, tortured metaphor about how a relationship is like two battleships fighting. That sounds stupid enough on its own, but then there’s the part in the song’s chorus when he goes “boom BOOM boom… boom BOOM boom.” HE’S BEING THE CANNONS ON THE BATTLESHIP. Sometimes, the onamonapias work in your favor, and sometimes they’re the hill upon which you die. Ugh, I can’t believe I phone-voted for you when you were on American Idol, Chris Daughtry. How the… not mighty, exactly… how the mediocre have fallen.
1 Song from 2014 That Sounds Like Time Travel
“Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars & Mark Ronson – You could tell me this was a track that was accidentally cut from Prince’s “Dirty Mind” album due to a grievous production error, and I’d totally believe it. By the way, I do an excellent car dance to this song that really impresses the other drivers and lets them know I’m a cool guy who is very hip to the popular musics of today. My car dance has shoulder wiggles AND head bobs. It’s pretty awesome. This song is more awesome, though.
2 Songs from 2014 That I Hated At First, Then Totally Loved
“The Man” by Aloe Blacc – I hated it because it was in every MLB promo for every baseball game that existed in 2014, and that kind of repetition is just brutal. But then baseball season ended, and I heard it context-free on the radio, and it made think… you know what… maybe this song is about how I’M the man, I’m the man, I’m the man. So I love it now. Because I’m THE MAN.
“Chandelier by Sia” – This is song is gorgeous and inspires within in me soaring emotions, and… for some reason, I hated it the first time I heard it. Some things are just too beautiful to be appreciated at first glance. Anyway, “Chandelier” makes me want to survive some kind of huge ordeal, then describe the experience via the medium of interpretive dance.
3 Artists/Bands That I Rediscovered in 2014
Carole King – That lady sure could beat the shit out of a piano. Listen to “Tapestry,” if you’re okay with taking the time to glue your heart back together afterwards.
Crooked Fingers -They’re kind of the postscript to the band Archers of Loaf, who weren’t even a really huge deal back when they had some hipster, record store cache. So this is the small band that came from a slightly larger small band. And man… they’re just weird and great and like the soundtrack to my life, if I were a little bit cooler. Listen to this song, then go listen to the entire album that it’s from.
Paul Simon – That I ever forgot about Paul Simon is shameful. Thankfully, the movie Obvious Child came along and reminded me of what a bad, Paul Simon-shunning person I had become. Mandatory Paul Simon listenings should be written into The Constitution. I’ll have to get a petition going that calls for said change; something that I can present to President Swift at a Town Hall meeting or some such.
16 Bands from 2014 That I Totally Made Up
The Beefpants Trio
El Boring Boringson & The Dulls
Virginia Hummelsmith & The Best Band That Could Be Assembled Via Craigslist
Goodbye Horses (a Q Lazzarus cover band)
Dads in Garages
The Dirtbag Dandies
Professor Emanuel’s Sweet & Sour Lemon Drops (sorry, that’s a brand of lozenge that I invented)
and, of course…
Ed Sheeren (but not the one you’re thinking of)
Holy shit, 2014 is almost over! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? It just started! It was literally January 1st, 2014, like twelve minutes ago. Calenders and clocks are liars, time is the enemy, and I am so scared of getting older that I refuse to look in the mirror anymore because the rapidly aging adult that I see in there makes my soul frown.
But we’re not here to talk about how I am terrified of death! NO! We are here to talk about lists. Specifically, lists of thing that I enjoyed in 2014. Because I have a website and I enjoy making lists! So… over the next few days, I’m going to do just that until I’m finished or get bored with the project. Hopefully it won’t be the latter!
PLEASE NOTE: Not everything in these lists will bear a release date of 2014! As much as I would LIKE to see every movie, and listen to every album, and watch every TV show immediately upon their release, and process them, and rank them accordingly… well, there just aren’t enough hours in the day for me to accomplish all of that. Plus there’s my real job, and also I have to carve out time to be a decent husband, a so-so friend, and a middling-to-lousy family member. I’m only one man! So these lists are going to consist of things that I enjoyed during the calender year of 2014, regardless of when they were actually released, produced, aired, etc. If it makes you feel better, you can think of it as a free-form art project that serves as a commentary on society’s need to rank and categorize everything.
Or just read the damn things and marvel at my excellent taste. Or horrible taste, if you disagree with me. It’s all good! At the end of the day, aren’t we all just looking to be loved and, to a slightly lesser degree, to be presented with a really nice sandwich?
To the first list!
Top Ten TV Things of 2014
Cutthroat Kitchen – It’s fun to watch sweaty, stressed people try to make ravioli with spatulas duct taped to their hands. The secret joy of this show is that its winners usually only have like $80 left after bidding on stupid things to fuck with their fellow contestants. “You won Cutthroat Kitchen; here’s a sack of nickels for your trouble… also, you came across as mean-spirited and desperate on national TV!!! GOOD LUCK SEEKING FUTURE EMPLOYMENT.”
New Girl – The ensemble cast on New Girl is as flawless an entity as you’re going to find on network TV. Collectively, they are a humming engine of jokes, laughs, and timing, all of it in service of actual characters instead of just character types. Particular props to Jake Johnson, who is a shambling slacker comedy ninja, and to Lamorne Morris, who has, over a couple of seasons, turned his character (Winston Bishop) into one of the strangest, sweetest comic creations of 2014.
Buying Alaska – I cannot get enough of this fucking show, mainly because it is like watching people trying to buy real estate on Mars. This show has taught me many things… how people who live in Alaska do NOT care about what they look like on TV, that there are electric toilets that burn up your poop for sanitary and gross reasons, and that Alaskans are INSANE… but mainly, it has reinforced in my mind the fact that I never, ever want to live in Alaska. I like everything not being awful way too much.
American Horror Story: Freak Show – The whole American Horror Story franchise is, by and large, kind of a mixed bag. There is some AMAZING stuff in there, like Kathy Bates’ Emmy-winning turn in AHS: Coven, the big twist about 2/3rds into AHS: Murder House, and the cathartic thrill of watching Adam Levine get murdered in AHS: Asylum. However, with the good, there’s also some massive whiffs… the last two or three episodes of AHS: Coven, where everything just fizzled out into nothingness, being the most notable example. This year’s installment, AHS: Freak Show, while not perfect, has mostly been American Horror Story at it’s best… legitimately scary, darkly funny, and unafraid to swing wildly for the fences (modern songs sung by characters in the 1950’s… WHY THE FUCK NOT). Plus, it features not one but TWO of the most frightening villains ever to grace the small screen; John Carroll Lynch’s psychotic yet misunderstood Twisty the Clown, and Finn Witrock’s just plain psychotic Dandy Mott.
Billy on the Street – Billy Eichner is my screaming, gay spirit animal. If you haven’t basted yourself in the glory of his Taylor Swift-inspired music video, “Glitter & Ribs,” do so now. You will come back forever changed.
Late Night with Seth Meyers – Jimmy Fallon is a little too enthusiastically giggly, Conan O’Brien has flashes of brilliance but always seems like he’s trying too hard, Letterman checked out years ago (though he will always be my One True Talk Show Host), and Kimmel is… you know… fine. Where it’s at for me, talk show-wise, is Seth Meyers and his comedy nerd heart. Now that the nerves have settled and he’s worked himself into a nice groove, Meyer’s show is my go-to spot for breezy interviews and funny bits.
Bob’s Burgers – There will never be another Simpsons, but… if you put a gun to my head and demand that I choose a show to be its successor… then it has to be Bob’s Burgers. There’s really no other choice. Warm, yet biting. Hysterical, but with an honest emotional core. It presents a broadly funny family who genuinely care about each other, and, more importantly, LIKE each other. It’s that pervasive, familial, “we’re all in this together” spirit that sets Bob’s Burgers apart from every other animated show on TV, including the current incarnation of the big daddy itself, the aforementioned Simpsons. Boasting a murderer’s row of voice talents… everyone from H. Jon Benjamin to Kristin Schall to Bill Hader to even Jon Freakin’ Hamm… doesn’t hurt things, either.
Broad City – The funniest show on TV. Hands down. In lieu of trying to explain to you why that is… because trying to explain why something is funny is pointless and painful for everyone involved… I present you with this clip that was recently released by Broad City for the Holidays and, indirectly, as a teaser for their new season. Either you’ll pick up what they’re putting down, or you won’t. (P.S. we saw Broad City live last month and it was better than anything has ever been ever… just FYI)
Fargo – I certainly didn’t see this one coming, and I don’t think anyone else did either. A “spiritual successor” to the Coen Brothers’ movie of the same name, but not related to the movie (at least not totally). And also it’s a mini-series. Featuring Billy Bob Thornton for some reason. There is no reason that this should have worked. And yet… here we are. Fargo was one of the best things on TV this year, precisely because, in the face of all logic, creator Noah Hawley found a way to make all of these disparate parts cohere into a showcase for his own crackerjack storytelling, but also for a whole slew of award-worthy performances. Thornton, newcomer Allison Tolman, and Martin Freeman (marvelously playing against type) are all just fucking fantastic. Plus, it’s violent as all hell, which is always fun.
Transparent – Transparent is a show that stars Jeffery Tambor as the patriarch of a dysfunctional family who, late in life, decides to come out as a transgender woman. Also, it’s only available to people with Amazon Prime, via their streaming service. Those two sentences are the sum total of the information that I had about Transparent before I started watching it. And, I should point out, I only started watching it because my wife wanted me to. I doubt I would have otherwise. What I discovered was, in a word, art. Transparent is a thing of true beauty… an intensely personal work that will feel somehow totally familiar to everyone, despite its highly specific narrative. Achieving that sort of universality in a freshman show is a feat in and of itself; doing so with seemingly little effort, and with a light touch and a wicked sense of humor, to boot, make Transparent an easy lay-up for the best thing I watched on TV in 2014.
BONUS LIST: Top Three TV Things of 2014 I Haven’t Watched
Game of Thrones – I have no plans to actually ever watch this… mostly because I tend to dislike anything that falls into the “wizards and shit” category of genre storytelling… but I gather that people are pretty enthusiastic about it. Good for them.
Orange is the New Black – My wife watched it, but I wasn’t involved. I just kind of can’t get myself to the point where I’m like, “Okay, let’s do this.” Which is no reflection on the show itself. It’s me, not you, OitNB.
True Detective – I’m going to watch True Detective, I swear! GET OFF MY ASS ABOUT IT, EVERYBODY!!!
Winter is just around the corner. Or, if you live in the North like some kind of sucker, then maybe it’s already here. For YOU. Not for me. I live at the edge of the great American Southwest, where winter is like, “whatever, I’ll put on a jacket for a week, NBD.” Hahaha… you fucking people with your snow and your regret! It’s wonderful here! IT’S WONDERFUL!!! [cut to: A month from now, when Texas is buried under a freak snowstorm that makes the end of The Day After Tomorrow look like the location scouting reel from Tremors]
The point is, with the arrival of the winter months, the nation’s movie theaters begin to make transitions of their own. Gone are the days of exciting blockbusters that people actually WANT to see. Now is the time for important movies… PRESTIGE movies… movies that grasp for Oscars like a child reaching for a favorite toy that you are holding high above its head because you are a terrible parent.
Here, now, a look at the upcoming slate of winter movies that you have no real interest in seeing, because life is hard enough already without spending two hours of it watching people be miserable, but you will watch anyway because if you don’t, you will feel like a racist:
The Remembering Time – Rated PG
Several elderly people in a nursing home think back on their lives, remembering stuff from when they were young, and full of life, and music didn’t have so many swears in it. Everything is shot in sepia tones, because that’s how the audience knows it takes place in the past. Black and white film might also get used; the filmmakers haven’t decided yet. Anyway, everyone gets really bummed out and then somebody’s nephew shows up to play the violin, which makes everything worse because they can tell that he really doesn’t want to be there. The movie ends when all the main characters die. It’s just awful .
Rose’s Antique Handbag – Rated R (for explicit historical fucking)
Rose (played by Kate Winslet, though the character is not THAT Rose), embarks on a sweeping journey across Europe, Africa, and, budget permitting, Asia, to reclaim her antique handbag that once belonged to her inspirational and also empowering grandmother, also named, confusingly, Rose. High drama ensues when Rose discovers that the antique handbag has fallen into the hands of the Nazis, which is strange, as the movie takes place in 1997. Score by Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer. Cinematography by Academy Award winner Janusz Kaminski. Nazi uniforms provided by that one closet at Warner Bros. Studios that’s full of Nazi uniforms.
It’s Horseshit That Gary Oldman Has Never Won An Oscar – Rated G(ary)
Gary Oldman, one of the finest actors of our generation, has NEVER won an Oscar. Isn’t that just totally horseshit??? What’s worse, he’s only been nominated for ONE GODDAMN MOVIE. That Tinker Tailor Solider Spy movie, which, okay, I’m sure it was FINE, but c’mon. Espionage in England or something? Whooooo caaaaaares??? But, of course, THAT’S the performance upon which the Academy finally decides to bestow their oh so fucking hallowed graces. Whatever. What fucking ever. Anyway, IHTGOHNWAO is just one 90 minute shot of Gary Oldman reading a menu from Applebee’s over and over in several different accents, and with varying degrees of intensity. It will break your fucking heart.
My Friend B.S. – Rated NC-17
One man’s crippling addiction to bath salts is explored via gritty, lo-fi film-making techniques, and also some unconventional casting choices. The main part of Terry… the man struggling with his crippling need for terrifying drugs… is played by John Cryer, in a role that will surprise you. The part of his girlfriend, Joanne… the woman who selflessly helps Terry work through his addiction and get into rehab… is played by Tabitha from Tabitha’s Salon Takeovers, in a role that will surprise you. The bath salts are voiced, dramatically, by repurposed dialogue from a DVD of Beetlejuice that was laying around the editing suite. It’s mostly Michael Keaton stuff, in a roll that will surprise you. And him, too, probably, as he was not paid for his unwitting participation.
Mars – Rated PG-13
This is a movie that takes the viewer to the planet Mars, and shows what it would actually be like to live there. The first half is kind of hypnotically dull, as the Mars pioneers go about doing, you know, regular pioneer shit but with spacesuits. But then the last half is horrifying because a bunch of Martians show up and start disemboweling everybody. Tastefully, of course. The disemboweling is mostly implied. Mostly. What’s important is that the filmmakers invented a new kind of camera for this movie and it makes everything look like it’s actually taking place in outer fucking space. Technical wizardry, bitches. Gravity can suck our 70mm IMAX 3D dongs.
The Cuteness – Rated A Heretofore Undiscovered Rating That is Milder Than G
Carefully composed scenes of brilliant, troubled people doing twee, fussy things are all strung together to the music of Juice Newton, who is an artist we haven’t heard from in a long time, but is being brought back by the filmmakers because it’s cool to do that sort of thing, as long as it’s clear they’re being ironic. Everything looks perfect, and you get that it’s supposed to be funny, but you’re really only laughing because everyone else is. That guy a few seats down is PARTICULARLY into it. He has a neatly trimmed beard and some sort of tweed jacket thing going on. He looks smart. Yeah… this movie is SO smart.
Moshe Blumenthal: A Holocaust Survivor’s Story – Unrated
You may think that it is, at best, crass to sensationalize a real-life victim of the Holocaust’s story for the purpose of winning essentially meaningless awards, but… clearly… you’re unfamiliar with how bitching an Oscar looks on a small shelf above one’s cigar humidor. Yep… things are going pretty well. Thinking about optioning the rights to Anne Frank’s diary and tweaking it into like a Bourne Identity thing where she’s secretly an assassin or something. Pretty sure it’ll be the big summer hit of 2016. Iggy Azalea would make a totally badass, sexy Anne Frank, right???
As of a few days ago, it is officially Fall!!! Fall is the best season, hands down… Summer is too sweaty, Winter is too cold and it also has Christmas, which, as an adult, is an endless bummer, and Spring… ugh… too much pressure to go do stuff outside. OOH, IT’S SO NICE OUT, LET’S GIVE A SHIT ABOUT TENNIS. We all know you’d be much happier sitting on the couch shoving fistfuls of dry Frosted Mini-Wheats in your mouth while watching your fourth consecutive episode of Chopped.
But none of that matters now, because it’s FALL! Ooooh yeah… getting crisp and cider-y up in this bitch! So, in the spirit of it being a kick-ass time of year, here’s a bunch of crap you can do to distract yourself from the fact that you will eventually die, as will all your loved ones, because life is just the worst. Enjoy!
10 Tips for Having The Best Fall Ever
-Look at all the pictures in your Facebook news feed of your friends posing with their kids in pumpkin patches. Think about how funny it would be to go pose in a pumpkin patch ironically. Realize that, actually, that would probably be more trouble than it’s worth. Go see if there are any Goldfish crackers left in that seemingly empty bag that’s balled up by the couch.
-Pull out all your sweaters that have been tucked away in your closet since March. Put on a fashion show for your cat. Yell at your cat when he is not appreciative of the dynamite way you rock that cable-knit. Apologize to the the cat for yelling at him, then cry on his belly until he scratches you. Then it’s back to the fashion show!
-Talk shit about Pumpkin Spice Lattes. People get SO MAD when they find out you don’t like them. People get INSULTED, like their grandmother is the one who first came up with idea of dumping nutmeg into some Folgers. Not caring about a thing that people care deeply about is so fucking satisfying, it probably gives you lung cancer.
-Ever been on a hay ride? No? Then go on a hay ride. If there are no hay rides in your area, fill up the back seat of your Ford Focus with loose hay, then pay an old man to drive you around while telling you stories about a haunted scarecrow. NOTE: As with most things in life, hay rides are exponentially more fun if you are gooned on cheap tequila.
-Rake up a big pile of fallen leaves. Jump in the leaves. God, that hurt your back. You are in the autumn of your life now. Pull the pile of leaves over you and drift off into a fitful slumber.
-Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so you should probably eat an entire turkey by yourself just to get warmed up. Cooking the turkey first would probably be the smart way to go, but follow your heart.
-Crochet a scarf. Or, if you don’t know how to do that, fashion a scarf out of tied-together old socks.
-Enjoy some postseason baseball until you start thinking about how the shortstop is 22 years old, and that when YOU were 22, your whole life basically consisted of taking rips off a dirty bong in an efficiency apartment while watching Jackie Chan movies. And this asshole… he’s 22 and playing PROFESSIONAL SPORTS? How dare he. Tweet racist things at him.
-Try to get into some of the new fall TV shows. Get bored. Think to yourself, “I could make better television than THIS.” Swear to yourself that you’re going to start a web series tomorrow morning. The iPhone is basically a high-quality HD video camera, so nothing’s stopping you! FUCK IT, let’s start RIGHT NOW! Wake up hungover with 47 videos on your phone of you singing Wilco songs into a ketchup bottle that you’re pretending is a microphone. Realize in horror that at least half of them have been uploaded to all your social media sites. Spend the remainder of the day sweatily explaining to your coworkers that your “cloud” got hacked by your identical twin, whom you’ve never mentioned before because you’re embarrassed of his alcoholism. Pat yourself on the back for coming up with such an airtight scenario. You’ve earned a Coke, buddy… full-sugar, no diet.
-Don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour for Daylight Savings Time. No joke here. You should just really remember to do that.
With the new NFL season only two weeks away, the creator of Zombie Fights Shark thought it would be fun to share with you some facts about every single team in the NFL. So… here they are. Also, by reading this sentence, you have agreed to not sue the creator of Zombie Fights Shark for libel, slander, or for stealing your car. <— LEGALLY BINDING, YO.
Minnesota Vikings – These guys uniforms are so purple, it’s like… WHO LET GRIMACE ON THE FIELD??? Haha, I’m kidding, Grimace isn’t real. He’s just a guy in a costume. That costume, however, is based on a real monster that lives in a forest in Germany and eats children.
St. Louis Rams – The entire offensive line of the St. Louis Rams is made up of guys who are really good friends, and even once took a spa weekend together. They have a code name for their group: The Offensive LineBROS.
New York Giants – Calling them “Giants” has a caused a lot of body image issues in the NY locker room. They’re a sad bunch… just sitting around eating lettuce, waiting for their SlimFast shakes to get properly mixed by a trainer.
Arizona Cardinals – The Arizona Cardinals spent the early part of the 2013 season playing baseball until it was brought to their attention that they are not the Arizona Diamondbacks OR the St. Louis Cardinals. A good laugh was had by all.
Tennessee Titans – Everyone in the Tennessee Titans organization has a tattoo of a Japanese character that means, “You are an official employee of the Tennessee Titans; security HAS to let you into the stadium.”
Oakland Raiders – [No official fact here; all ZFS Fact Finders were stabbed in the parking lot of O.co Stadium before anything noteworthy could be discovered]
Atlanta Falcons – Pranksters once swapped out the placard on head coach Mike Smith’s office door with one that read, “Head Couch Mike Smith.” People were trying to nap on him FOR DAYS. He figured it out eventually, though, and subsequently banned juice boxes from the locker room. Juice boxes just get the players too riled up.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not real pirates, though many of the players DO have peg legs.
Houston Texans – The Houston Texans aren’t playing this year until someone fesses up to stealing all the jockstraps from the locker room during training camp. A statement from the front office reads, “It’s not FUNNY anymore, okay? We really need those! We SWEAR we won’t tell, if you just RETURN THEM.” There is an accompanying photo of Houston Texan’s owner Bob McNair swearing on a stack of Bibles, but you can totally tell that he has his fingers crossed behind his back.
New England Patriots – All the players for the Patriots got her number, and want to know if you like apples.
Philadelphia Eagles – A fan of the Philadelphia Eagles once whipped a battery at a referee SO HARD, it punctured the metaphysical walls that separate the dimensions, allowing beings from other planes of existence to pour into our world. The other-worldly beings called said fan, “a dick.”
Cleavland Browns – The official chant that rings throughout FirstEnergy Stadium on game day is just the fans, in unison, apologizing.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Every single player on the Pittsburgh Steelers considers themselves to be superfans of the BBC series Call the Midwife. This is evident in their run game, which has been called “nurturing” by many.
Carolina Panthers – As part of a hazing ritual, the coaching staff once told QB Cam Newton that the entire field was made of lava. This explains why Newton is always standing on an ottoman or a bookshelf during offensive possessions.
Miami Dolphins – Concession stands at Sun Life Stadium DO NOT sell dolphin. They sell DolFeen… an FDA certified dolphin substitute that tastes like the real thing, with NONE of the guilt. Real dolphin IS served, however, in all Sun Life Stadium luxury suites.
Denver Broncos – Peyton Manning died two years ago in a mysterious helicopter crash. No one knows who that guy is taking snaps under center. Everyone is afraid to ask.
Seattle Seahawks – Having won the Super Bowl last year, all players and coaches are now entitled to an official NFL “Winners” coupon book filled with over $50 worth of discounts at local businesses and restaurants.
Green Bay Packers – Every autograph signed by a member of the Green Bay Packers reads, “To xxxx, Have A Great Summer!” You can tell they don’t really care if you have a great summer or not, though.
Dallas Cowboys – The Dallas Cowboys ceased playing professional football in the mid-90’s. The brand has been kept alive, however, as the Pro Shop was far too lucrative a venture to shut down.
Buffalo Bills – The Buffalo Bills are the only NFL team to have as many Super Bowl appearances as they do games called due to yeti attacks.
New Orleans Saints – As per New Orleans tradition, and in accordance with the city’s liquor laws, the Gatorade coolers at every Saints home game are filled with rum. This explains why Drew Brees is always so quick to flash his beautiful titties at the beads-throwing crowd.
Detroit Lions – The Detroit Lions proudly boast more members of the Clean Plate Club than any other franchise in the NFL.
Indianapolis Colts – During Colts in-game huddles, you can usually hear highly specific references to the novels of Mary Higgins Clark mixed in with the play calls and route assignments.
Cincinnati Bengals – QB Andy Dalton was once mistaken for a ventriloquist’s dummy, and spent several months on the road as part of an act entitled, “The Amazing Randy and his lil’ wooden pal, Pine Cone Pete.” After his rescue by team officials, his only statement regarding the matter was, and to this day, remains, “Amazing Randy sure did know his way around a peanut butter sandwich!”
Washington Redskins – Redskins owner Dan Snyder would like it to be known that he once totally heard a Native American guy use “the N-word.” So everybody needs to back off, because that guy was CLEARLY Chippewa or Cherokee or something.
New York Jets – The New York Jets have officially changed their nickname from “Gang Green” to “gangrene,” because most of the players currently have gangrene.
Kansas City Chiefs – All press materials for the Kansas City Chiefs contain the following paragraph: “We mean it like how you’d call a buddy ‘Chief,’ you know, like, ‘grab me a brewski, Chief!’ We’re totally chill like that. You know who IS racist, though… The Washington Redskins. Oh you know about that already? Yeah… those guys are so racist, am I right, Chief?”
Chicago Bears – Games played at Soldier Field are rarely televised, as even our most modern television cameras cannot pick up the action on the field through the haze of deep-dish pizza farts.
Baltimore Ravens – QB Joe Flacco thinks The Wire is overrated; is more of an NCIS: Los Angeles kind of guy.
Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jacksonville Jaguars are currently slowly fading out of every photo ever taken of them, much like Marty McFly’s family in Back to the Future.
San Diego Chargers – Team practice was suspended for three days during preseason so several members of the Chargers core starting roster could finish investigating The Mystery of the Haunted Lighthouse. Turns out it, it was just a pesky raccoon causing all that trouble!
San Francisco 49ers – The 49ers are so sure they’re going to win the Super Bowl this year, they can practically TASTE that coupon book. To quote Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh, “there’s one in there that’s good for a whole free sub at Subway! I’m gonna get a Spicy Italian, and no one can stop me! EXTRA PICKLES TOO!!!”
Girl Drink Drunk is a regular column that features your host, an adult male who prefers bourbon and beer, exploring the sugary, sweet world of “girly drinks” for your edification and entertainment. He promises not to barf on you. Enjoy.
Marketing to people in their early 20’s has got to be just the worst job. I mean… no, it’s not cleaning up a parking lot after a country music concert (SO MANY EXPLODED DIP CUPS) or working 50 hours a week in a telephone call center (you can only get hung up on so many times before all the rejection makes your soul implode like a decommissioned sports stadium), but still. Having to design advertisements that specifically attract men and women in their early 20’s is awful, because you’re trying to market to a group of people who don’t even know who the hell they ARE. Think back to your early 20’s… what kind of person were you? What were you into? What did you stand for and/or believe in?
If you were anything like me, the answers to those questions are, respectively, “an awful person,” “whatever, man,” and, “my right to party.” HOW DO YOU MARKET TO THAT??? Early 20’s men and women are emotionally malformed, half-humans who are still trying to figure out how you do adulthood. Everything is exciting! Everything is terrifying! Everything is the best it can possibly be, and the worst it has ever been, all at the same time. Trying to figure out what those people want, and how to make them buy it, is akin to killing the Rancor in Return of the Jedi; sure it CAN be done, but you basically have to be a Jedi to do it.
(For the non-nerds reading this, the above translates to: “Doing something impossible, but only because you’re a person who is literally magic”)
So when you market to people in their early 20’s, you basically have to take the scatter-shot approach. Spray the bullets in a wide enough pattern, and surely you’ll hit SOMETHING that draws blood. And so what you end up with is stuff like… say, an AXE body spray commercial that star an anthropomorphic armpit. Or endless ads that feature a DJ as a lazy shorthand for THIS IS WHAT’ COOL LOOKS LIKE. Or, if you’re Kinky Liqueur… the subject of today’s Girl Drink Drunk… you cram a whole bunch of Sex and the City-style sexual innuendo into a bazooka, then fire that fucker at a laptop fully loaded with Photoshop capabilities. What you get is this:
Flirty, lingerie lady with bottles of booze in her hair? SURE LET’S GO WITH THAT. This will make the young ladies want to drink our cartoon beverages, surely! This girl is what ALL girls aspire to be!!! Look at her! She’s having SO MUCH FUN!!! Just livin’ life, putting liquor bottles in her hair, for some reason. Probably SUPER FUN reasons! CAN I MIX YOU UP A KINKY-TINI???
Anyway, what Alcoholic Medusa up there is trying to sell you is this:
The Girl Drink(s)
Kinky Liqueur and Kinky Blue… booze that looks like liquified Snorks, shown here with a quarter for scale. I really don’t want anyone to think I actually bought whole bottles of this stuff. This is what they purport to be:
Kinky Liqueur (the pink one): It’s a little bit of vodka… distilled 5 times, the copy says, because THAT fucking matters after you dump an entire sand dune of sugar into it… as well as a lot of flavoring, dye, chips from a hunk of radioactive uranium, ground-up members of the Tinkerbell family, and, of course, pure, uncut, CLASSINESS. This one supposedly tastes like, again… deferring to the copy… “succulent mango” (as opposed to shitty mango), “blood orange liqueur,” and “passion fruit.”
Kinky Blue (the blue one): Same thing with the vodka… they are VERY proud of their distillation process, which is a bit rich, seeing as how their product tastes about as filtered and distilled as a piece of Laffy Taffy, but WHATEVER. This one is going for a “tropical and wild berry flavor,” because… I don’t know… that’s what blue flavored stuff tastes like now? Back in my day, blue meant razzberry (not raspberry; spelling is key) and that’s how we liked it!
Taste Test – Straight Up
It became pretty clear, after doing shots of Kinky Liqueur and Kinky Blue that I was really not supposed to do that. These are mixers… drinking these straight is like throwing your french fries in the trash and just squirting ketchup in your mouth. However, doing shots of Kinkys Liqueur and Blue DID give my tongue an up-close, TMI look at what, exactly, they taste like. Surprisingly, I only hated one of them! Kinky Liqueur (the pink one) is sweet… god, so sweet… a Capri-Sun times a million… and it packs a wallop of synthetic fruitiness that is unmatched by even the most engorged Gusher… but it kind of didn’t taste all that bad. Maybe it’s the subtle tartness from the blood orange liqueur that makes it a little more palatable… maybe it’s the fact that the predominant flavor is passion fruit, which I happen to tenderly love (TASTES LIKE HAWAII, BABY). Whatever the case, Kinky Liqueur wasn’t the worst.
Kinky blue, however, WAS the worst. They had a good thing going with the Kinky Liqueur, and they got greedy. “LET’S MAKE ANOTHER ONE! The kids like blue… I’ve seen ’em wearing jeans!!! OUR NEW PRODUCT IS KINKY BLUE!!! PASS ME THAT STILETTO FULL OF COCAINE.” Despite what the copy would have you believe, this junk tastes nothing like anything remotely tropical, or any sort of berry that grows in the wild. It tastes EXACTLY like grape Bubblelicious. To the point where I feel like there’s some kind of weird, corporate synergy going on here. Bubblelicious is the shadow hand behind Kinky Blue! YOU HAVE TO READ BETWEEN THE LINES, YOU SHEEP. YouTube conspiracy theory video forthcoming!
Oh, and acid reflux. Kinky Blue also has subtle notes of acid reflux on the back end. I get why they don’t mention that, though. The word “vurp” rarely appears in packaging copy.
Taste Test – Mixed
I also thought it would be fun (using the loosest, most free-form definition of the word) to try the two Kinkys mixed together, but otherwise straight-up. I was wrong, of course… as I always am about these kind of things… but learning from your mistakes is for DORKS.
First off, it came out the same color as the bruise you get after taking a softball to the thigh:
I’ve put a lot of unpleasant-looking liquids in my mouth (which probably explains why MY early-20’s remain kind of a messy swirl of colors and lights), but this has got to be a Top Ten finalist. Anyway, the Kinky Mix tasted like total sensory overload. Imagine watching a Japanese anime on Adderall that you washed down with a tumbler of 5hr Energy Shots. That’s as close as I can get to pinning down the flavor.
Mostly, it just tasted like bad choices.
Taste Test – W/ Soda Water
I was too strung-out on the Kinky Mix to remember that I was supposed to be photographing everything, so you’re just going to have to trust me on this one. Imagine slightly less pink and slightly less blue liquids in larger glasses with some ice. You’ve got the idea.
These were a little better. Not so much a head-on collision of flavor; more like minor fender-benders. The fizziness helped cut through the sugar, and the neutral mixer made them not taste like you’re drinking cotton candy barf. They did, however, taste pretty watered down (SHOCKING)… kind of like how Vitamin Water ALMOST tastes like something fruity, but not quite.
Pretty uninspiring, frankly.
Taste Test – W/ Clique Vodka
Clique Vodka is thing I bought for a future installment of Girl Drink Drunk, mainly because it looks like this:
I feel like if you replaced the word “vodka” with the word “eyeliner,” you could use the exact same packaging for make-up. Smaller bottle, of course. Anyway, I bought it because it looked SO CHICK-LIKE, but then I tried it and… well, it just tastes like vodka. Not very exciting.
However… seeing as how one of the (many) suggested uses for the Kinky brand is the aforementioned “Kinky-tini,” which is a word (?) that makes may teeth itch when I say it out loud… I figured we could just fold the Clique vodka into the mix here.
The Clique vodka… or ANY vodka, I’m sure… is the code-breaker. THIS is how the Kinky line of beverages is meant to be consumed. The vodka mellows out the harsh acidity of the Kinky beverages; it makes them smoother, and more drinkable. Despite looking like a set dresser’s idea of a “futuristic cocktail” from the kind of cheap-o, sci-fi schlock you used to see on USA’s Up All Night, the Kinky-tinis (ugh, I’m dizzy now) aren’t total garbage. The pink one, anyway. The blue one still tastes like grape Bubblelicious, but without that swallowing-lit-matches reflux taste. Honestly, the Blue Kinky-tini (ouch, my pancreas!) tastes like what a 10 year old would drink after a hard day of playing Freeze Tag and kicking ass on the monkey bars. The pink [brand name martini]… sorry, can’t say it again, I’m starting to go numb below the waist… with the inclusion of the vodka, just tastes kind of mildly fruity and, well, girly. A good starting point, adult beverage-wise, if that’s the kind of life you want to lead.
And if you DO want to lead that kind of life… that VERY SPECIFIC kind of mid-20’s lady life… I guess you could do a lot worse than the Kinky line of products. They’re better than, say, Smirnoff Ices, because at least they’ve got a little punch to them, and they’re not as of yet directly linked to the assorted frat parties and bro-downs that happen at that stage of the game. But… and this is just a little free advice, from someone who’s already walked down that weird, scary road… don’t let the branding of products define who you are. Don’t aspire to be a lady with liquor bottles in her hair, or an anthropomorphic armpit (or whatever those images represent in the real world). Your early-20’s are ridiculous enough on their own.
Girl Drink Drunk is a regular column that features your host, an adult male who prefers bourbon and beer, exploring the sugary, sweet world of “girly drinks” for your edification and entertainment. He promises not to barf on you. Enjoy.
Ladies and gentlemen, to start off this edition of Girl Drink Drunk, I have enlisted a couple of actors from the local repertory theater to put on a little playlet regarding the beverage we are spotlighting. Enjoy…
THE GIRL DRINK DRUNK PLAYERS PRESENT
Summer of Thirst
Bob: Greetings, Bill! Thanks for inviting me to this outdoor barbecue! My, what a glorious summer day!
Bill: Bob, you old rascal… welcome to my humble home. You’ll see that it is MUCH nicer than yours. You should feel bad about that. Hey can I get you something to drink?
Bob: Sure! Something that reflects the summer-y atmosphere would be a joy. I’m sure you have something high-class and fancy in YOUR refrigerator, seeing as how you’re my boss and I am basically the juice that collects at the bottom of a garbage can.
Bill: I don’t understand the reference. The help takes out the garbage at my house. I am sorry that you’re poor. Say, how about that beverage!
Bob: Thank you, sir, for thinking of my thirst on this hot day when I’m SURE your brain has millions of actually important things with which to concern itself. I am further humbled. I am nothing.
[BILL exits. BOB does some light pantomime, perhaps some juggling]
Bill: Here we are! A tasty beverage for this fine summer afternoon!!!
Bob: Sweet salvation! Surely you have brought me manna from Heaven; a libation unlike anything that have passed between these working-man’s lips! HOSANNA, HOSANNA!!!
Bill: It’s Coors Light with some fruit in it.
Bob: I’m… sorry…?
Bill: You know… Coors Light? The beer of choice for deadbeat dads and people who long ago lost their sense of taste to a war injury or what have you? It’s that, but there’s some chunks of fruit in it. Oranges, lemons, limes… it’s fine.
[BOB hesitantly takes a sip. His face becomes a mask of confusion and rage. BILL begins to flop-sweat profusely]
Bob: I’m sorry, I… must be going… you see… I thought you were a man of refinement and style. I guess I thought this because you are my boss. But now I see that you are just some dirtbag that owns a sawmill. Not even a GOOD sawmill. We have to cut logs with repurposed sporks. SPORKS. Sporks are plastic, you bastard!!! But I guess I should expect as much from someone who would serve Coors Light with fruit in it to his guests on a hot summer day! I’M THE SAWMILL BOSS NOW!!! I HAVE TAKEN THAT FROM YOU!!!
Bill: All is lost. I am now the one who is nothing. OH, THE TWISTS OF FATE!!! Coors Light with fruit in it… you have taken everything away from me. Curse you. I CURSE YOU!!!!
Wow. Well… that was… sort of on-topic. Also, not sure exactly what artistic purpose was served by performing the play nude. So much penis flailing…
The Girl Drink
Today, we’re looking at Coors Light with fruit in it, basically. Well, fruit juice. Sorry… “fruit juice.” I feel like the relationship between this beverage and actual fruit is, at best, a passing one. The fruit juices in Coors Light: Summer Brew are basically the taste equivalents of the fruit smells you find in scratch-n-sniff stickers. But that’s okay! We don’t NEED fresh-squeezed juices in our beers! Or, if we do, we can squeeze them ourselves and mix them into beers like the goddamned industrious Americans that we are. So… no fault to the Coors brand for wizard-ing up some chemical compounds that taste like citrus run-off. They’re just doing their job.
That job being, of course, to create something that is pleasant-tasting and summery enough to steal the casual drinker away from the booming craft beer business that is currently acting as a thorn in the side of BIG BREWERY. I mean… the Anheuser-Buschs of the world are making their money, don’t get me wrong. But they’re not making ALL the money, as a certain subset of the population has realized that beer can be amazing when it’s made with care and an eye towards quality (as opposed to quantity). This pisses off Big Brewery to no end. JUST DRINK YOUR CHEAP HOBO SPIT AND LIKE IT, CONSUMERS. But that mantra isn’t working quite so well any more. So they have to get creative. Not to put too punny a point on it, but, they have to get crafty.
And so we get stuff like Coors Light: Summer Brew. And you know what… it doesn’t suck. It’s not GREAT, mind you. It’s not going to replace your favorite summer ale from your most-beloved local brewery by a long shot. But it does, in fact, taste a whole lot better than it should. Breweries, it seems, have finally gotten a handle on the whole “putting citrus into beer” game. Gone are the days of Tequiza (which tasted like a book of matches splattered with lime jello) and Miller Chill (which tasted like a lime took on human form, got hammered, then pooped on your tongue). Coors Light: Summer Brew is a reflection of just how far the industry has come with regards to citrus beers. It kind of tastes like, well, cheap beer… no getting around that… that’s been fortified with a few spritzes from a box of Five Alive. Honestly, there are plenty worse things to shotgun on a hot day than Coors Light: Summer Brew.
So if you’re looking for something to drink on the beach, or to quaff with your wife in the backyard while the kids cannonball into the above-ground pool as Jackson Browne’s “Lawyers in Love” drifts in from the living room stereo system… GET SOMETHING FROM A LOCAL BREWERY, DAMMIT. That should be like “nip-slip on the red carpet” obvious. But if that’s somehow not an option, then… sure… why not.. get some Coors Light with fruit in it. It won’t change your life, but hey… not all plays make it to Broadway. If you know what I mean. I’m looking at YOU, cast of “Summer of Thirst.” Don’t quit your day jobs.
-Tender love scene between Bryan Cranston and Mothra
-Informative, though totally unnecessary, animated sequence detailing how a bill becomes a law.
-Big damn Godzilla panties.
-In an amusing cameo, Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt reprise their roles from Twister after Godzilla farts out an F5 tornado. “Here we go again,” they say, directly at the camera.
-Seven minute drum solo.
-Godzilla voiced by Penn Jillette
-Climactic battle is just old footage from a WWF “Hell in a Cell” match featuring Triple H and Cactus Jack.
-The final third of the movie is just people who were displaced by Godzilla’s rampages applying for housing with FEMA representatives.
-A title card in the credits that reads, “Godzilla will be back in Godzilla 2: Havana Nights.”
-A post-credits scene that appears to be hidden camera video of Guillermo del Toro angrily tearing up a Pacific Rim movie poster, then weeping while eating an entire rotisserie chicken.
NOTE: All kidding aside, the new Godzilla reboot is pretty outstanding and you should go see it. Spring for the 3D showing, too; it really jazzes up the spectacle.
3/3/3 is a new series on Zombie Fights Shark where we take a look at the top 3, bottom 3, and most overrated 3 entries in a given category. The categories will cover the entire spectrum of pop culture, plus food & beverages, and even simply life itself. Let’s have some highly subjective fun, shall we?
Top 3 Fast Food Chains
3) Chipotle – Every time I eat at Chipotle, I’m torn between wanting to eat my burrito, and wanting to tenderly hold it in a loving embrace all through the night while some smooth, 90’s R&B plays in the background. It’s real food! For the most part! More real than anything else on this list, that’s for goddamn sure. And it tastes like a party at a Mexican disco where your tongue is the light-up dance floor. Guacamole’s extra? I don’t care if it costs me a kidney and six teeth!!! SLATHER THAT BITCH WITH GUAC, MY FRIEND.
2) McDonalds – Yeah, yeah… they’re evil, and responsible for the fattening up of America, and Ronald McDonald is Satan in giant, red shoes. Whatever. McDonald’s french fries… when they’re fresh out of the fryer, and salted juuuust right… are to the fried potato arts what the Chrysler building is to architecture. Also, you can get a brimming sack of hot carbs for a fistful of loose change, so McDonald’s basically is a hungover drunkard’s Garden of Eden. If they’d let you sleep on the cool-to-the-touch plastic benches inside the restaurant, you nor I would ever leave.
1) Whataburger – I will admit a that there’s a little bit of Southern bias influencing this entry, but also, go to hell, I’m completely right. Whataburger is the fucking best. Their burgers are literally flawless, especially with jalapenos. Adding jalapenos to a Whataburger is like going back in time with a fistful of diamonds, then throwing those diamonds at your past-self right at the conclusion of the best sexual encounter you ever had. It’s EXACTLY the same thing. The hard work of inventing time travel will be soooo worth it just to prove you wrong.
3 Most Overrated Fast Food Chains
3) White Castle – The bump in notoriety that White Castle got from the Harold & Kumar movies was undoubtedly good for their business, but it also unfortunately elevated their fare to mythical status. These are burgers worthy of a movie-long quest, the movie stated. The movie was, as movies are wont to do, exaggerating. White Castle burgers are fine, for what they are: greasy shame-wads. The truth of the matter is that the eating-them part is fine. It’s the aftereffects of eating a large White Castle meal that was excised from the cinematic fantasy. You will be ASHAMED at what comes out of your body, several hours later. You will feel like a sinner. You might need to go live in the woods for a while, and really contemplate your own sense of self. Very unpleasant.
2) Chick-Fil-A – Yes, they have great chicken sandwiches. Yes, they’re run by evangelical Christians, who have an agenda slightly more progressive than the folks who organized the Salem witch trials. Mostly… after all the debate and news stories and think-pieces and protests… I just want them to go away. When I’m jamming cheap, convenience foods into my face, I don’t need to wash it down with a side of political outrage. I just want to line my body with protective layers of blubber, like an arctic seal, thanks. No need to get the Constitution involved.
1) In-N-Out Burger – This is a perfect example of how hype can kill a good thing. In-N-Out puts out a very good fast food burger, and its “secret menu” gimmick is clever and fun to navigate. But it isn’t THE BEST BURGER OF ALL TIME, OMG. It isn’t going to change your life, or anything at all, really. It’s just a very good burger, and people have diminished that by treating the chain like Kanye West treats his musical career. Shut up about In-N-Out for a little while, everybody! Let’s give it a rest, so we can go back to appreciating it again with reasonable expectations! I BLAME THE INTERNET FOR THIS!!
Bottom 3 Fast Food Chains
3) Subway – Subway is the kind of fast food chain where the food doesn’t even look good in the COMMERCIALS. If they can’t even glam that shit up for a national ad campaign, you know it’s going to look like 12 inches of hot, vegetable-heavy barf when you see it in person. Even their basic sandwiches are object lessons in failure. Watery, tasteless veggies… meats that have the slick, synthetic feel of a brand new mousepad… bread that is a good imitation of bread, but isn’t bread, exactly. Plus, much too much mayo, whether you want it or not.
2) Long John Silvers – I reject outright the idea that one can get a fish dinner in a fast food setting. That is not something that should exist, so in my mind, it DOESN’T. What am I even talking about right now? Nothing, I guess, because whatever it was is just a hallucination from a fever dream I once had while fighting off a bout of food poisoning that I got from Long John Silvers. Which really happened to me when I was a teenager, and I’ll never fucking forgive them for it, even though Long John Silvers doesn’t exist.
1) Burger King – I don’t care if you’re flame-grilling your burgers or not. When you’re using the meat from dead homeless people, it doesn’t matter HOW you cook it. Ok, fine… they’re ALLEGEDLY using dead homeless people meat in their burgers, whatever. All I’m saying is that I’ve never been panhandled for change outside of a Burger King, and their burgers are disgusting.