Or at least the same greeting that Richard Nixon gave Dick Cavett.
[New Orleans, Feb 5, 2013] Following a contentious Super Bowl pitting brothers John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens) and Jim Harbaugh (San Francisco 49ers) against one another, the two have decided to put their sibling rivalry behind them. During a post-game interview, John Harbaugh said the following of his little brother’s performance, “In the first half all I could think about was how easily I was creaming the little twerp, but then Jim really used that blackout to pump up his team and bring them to what was almost the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. Of course, in the end the better brother won. Still, you gotta admire the little guy.”
The two then met up after the Super Bowl after party at their own Harbaugh family after after party. John and Jim spent a full two hours complimenting one another. When their sister, Joani Harbaugh, told them to get a room, they did.
The next morning, John and Jim emerged with ruffled hair and held a press conference to announce that they would be working together during the next season.
“We’ve realized that as strong as we may coaching against one another, we could really blowout the place…” Jim Harbaugh announced. “If we worked together!” Declared John, finishing his brothers sentence.
However, the two do not intend to make headlines by coaching as brothers. “It would be a cheap gimmick” said Jim Harbaugh, speculating as to how the sports media tabloids would handle each and every game-equating every glance from brother to brother with childhood subtext. Following these predictions, John Harbaugh chuckled in a way he probably would have once he discovered Jim had gone to prom with his Eighth Grade crush.
The Harbaugh Brothers went on to make it clear that any sort of Coach/Assistant Coach set up would be detrimental to their work, placing one with a higher rank than the other. “There’s really only one way this could work…” John stood and led his brother off stage, only to reappear 6 feet taller, sporting a trench coat and a mustache.
“I, Jom Harbaugh, will assume coaching duties for the Baltimore Ravens, Champions of Super Bowl XLVII, following the tragic off-stage deaths of my brothers. I loved them dearly and they will be forever missed and cherished in the hearts of football fans everywhere.”
As of press time, neither Harbaugh brother could be reached for an individual comment. According to Jom Harbaugh, a Memorial Service will be held in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this Sunday at 3pm and all are welcome to attend.
There’s not much point in the editor-in-chief of a humor magazine tak- ing a diplomatic trip to Washington D.C. The Constitution already protects parody, and “The Aristocrats” is covered by the first amendment. We live in a country where humor goes relatively unregulated, where the greatest threat are those working standards and practices—something this humor maga- zine doesn’t have to worry about.
So why go to Washington, Mr. Cole? The obvious target would be a visit to the President an attempt to gain national recognition as a small business built by a conglomeration of people—The Annual would be nothing without its writers and those who helped to Kickstart us—but the election season has ended, mercifully, so that tired old rhetoric is nothing more than tired and old.
The target: former Saturday Night Live Head Writer Al Franken. The same man whom Lorne Michaels chose as the heir to SNL when he left, had NBC not stepped in and selected a different producer. Any comedy nerd with a keen eye has seen Franken on the floor of the Senate in the past few years. Why is Stuart Smalley hanging around the Senate? Because he works there
now.Months ago, when hoping to get in touch with Senator Franken to sched- ule lunch with the sole purpose of discussing comedy (y’know, give the man a break from politics) I discovered that every Wednesday, Franken and his staff host a breakfast for his constituents (and apparently anyone else who signs up). Knowing that I had 400 copies of The Annual lying around and an open invitation to breakfast, I filled out an online form and was on my way to some complimentary Mahnomin Porridge and Orange Juice.
Senator Franken’s office is on the third floor of the Hart building. Un- fortunately the Hart building is listed as “Staff only” from 8 to 10 a.m., and breakfast began at 8:30 a.m.. I went through the visitor entrance at Dirksen and told a security guard about the staff-only dilemma standing between me and some delicious porridge. I was then told that the signs didn’t matter, and I could walk right past them. Such rampant disregard for the rules at this Sen- ate! Those reading this would be best to keep such information under wraps, lest it fall into the wrong hands.
The Hart building is really quite incredible to walk through, visually. Imagine a seven-story mall comprised of only Sharper Image and Apple stores. Yeah it’s that nice, and carpeted, and clean.
I arrived at Senator Franken’s office around 8:25, sat down, and enjoyed some Mahnomin Porridge. Now, I had never had porridge before. To me, it was a fictional offshoot of oatmeal consumed by bears and blonde trespass- ers. Suddenly, I achieved total clarity—why would anyone steal porridge? Be- cause it is INCREDIBLE!
The room was filled with native Minnesotans, and myself, a Marylander. I entered the environment with the usual neurosis—would I be shunned as an outsider, met with scowls, called out as a man with little stake in Minnesota’s political field only to see a former-SNL-writer-turned-politician? It was a fear ever-present in the back of my mind, a senseless fear immediately put at ease by welcoming Minnesotan smiles.
The Minnesotans and I sat and ate our Porridge for ten minutes before the Senator entered the room.
This was an odd moment for me; I was near the start of the room which Al would circle. Senator Franken was serious; as a Senator this is expected, but from the point of view of a man who had watched “Stuart Saves His Fam- ily” the night before, it was a little jarring. “How are you? Are you enjoying your porridge? Where are you from?” Al asked as he made his way around the room. I said I was from Maryland. Al responded in a very low-key tone, “I’ve heard of that place,” and then continued to make his way around the room.
Of course he had heard of that place—this man can draw a perfect map of the states FROM MEMORY! But I digress.
In my over-analysis of the introductions this was the most proper way to go about it. Get a feel for the room; get a feel for the crowd. Every comedian does it, and I’m sure it’s infinitely more important in the role of a politician.
We soon learned that five of the constituents in the room were Minne- sotan orthodontists in town for some sort of orthodontry convention. Al re- flected on the “David Letterman gap” he had corrected and found a nice tran- sition into discussing his upcoming colonoscopy; did I mention how good the porridge was?
He joked about how good his first one was and how he was worried that this next one may conflict with his tickets to see Louis C.K. Being unsure of how much of an interest Franken still had in the comedy world, this was a huge relief (also a huge source of jealousy, because I would’ve loved tickets to that show).
He didn’t really discuss Minnesotan politics, which wasn’t so bad, though I was content to let his constituents do the talking. One thing was wonderful- ly clear: Franken is still funny. I remember Conan O’Brien noting that Franken has had to hold back since becoming a serious public figure. Frankly, Franken“holding back” as he joked about colonoscopies while eating breakfast in the Senate was downright hilarious.
After about 20 minutes we moved out into the hallway for photo ops. I presented Al with a copy of The Annual. He looked at and smiled. I don’t re- member much of his initial reaction; it was mostly me, fumbling for words to explain how I had started a humor magazine and thought he would enjoy it. He held the magazine at his side and we posed for a picture.
I thought that was the end, I hand him the magazine, we snap a picture and he would send me on my way, back to the foreign land of Maryland. But Franken brought his copy of The Annual back up and began to thumb through it. He asked where we were from, and I explained that we ran out of Fred- erick, but how spread out the writing staff was. He seemed sincerely inter- ested in it. There were others behind me waiting for their own photo ops so he couldn’t hold on to the magazine throughout those shots (I mean, he could’ve; the publicity wouldn’t have hurt) but he turned to an aide, handed her a copy, and, just quietly enough for me to hear, Senator and Former SNL writer Al Franken said “a sick child,” then turned back to me and laughed.
Despite the fact that I am 22, I graciously accepted the honor. After all, I picked a profession where I can remain a sick child for a long as I please.
If you’re somehow reading this, Mr. Franken, that means I’ve hand delivered another issue to your office and that we are surely best friends. See ya around the Capitol, pal!
“They are not torn down!” cried Scrooge, folding one of his bed-curtains in his arms, “they are not torn down, rings and all. They are here — I am here — the shadows of the things that would have been, may be dispelled. They will be! I know they will.”
“I don’t know what to do!” cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoon of himself with his stockings. “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man.”
He had frisked into the sitting-room, and was now standing there: perfectly winded and stark naked.
“There’s the saucepan that the gruel was in!” cried Scrooge, starting off again, and frisking round the fireplace. “There’s the door, by which the Ghost of Jacob Marley entered. There’s the window where I saw the wandering Spirits. It’s all right, it’s all true, it all happened. Ha ha ha!”
Really, for a man who had been out of practice for so many years, it was a splendid laugh, a most illustrious laugh. The father of a long, long line of brilliant laughs.
“I don’t know what day of the month it is,” said Scrooge. “I don’t know how long I’ve been among the Spirits. I don’t know anything. I’m quite a baby. Never mind. I don’t care. I’d rather be a baby. Hallo! Whoop! Hallo here!”
Running to the window, he opened it, and put out his head. No fog, no mist; clear, bright, jovial, stirring, cold; cold, piping for the blood to dance to; Golden sunlight; Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. Oh, glorious. Glorious!
“What’s to-day?” cried Scrooge, calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes, who perhaps had loitered in to look about him.
“Eh?” returned the boy, with all his might of wonder.
“What’s to-day, my fine fellow?” said Scrooge.
“To-day?” replied the boy. “Why, it’s Doomsday.”
“Doomsday!” said Scrooge to himself. “I haven’t missed it. The Spirits have done it all in one night. They can do anything they like. Of course they can. Of course they can. Hallo, my fine fellow!”
“Hallo!” returned the boy.
“Do you know the Butcher’s, in the next street but one, at the corner?” Scrooge inquired.
“I should hope I did,” replied the lad.
“An intelligent boy!” said Scrooge. “A remarkable boy! Do you know whether they’ve sold the prize Hamloaf that was hanging up there — Not the little prize Hamloaf: the big one?”
“What, the one as big as me?” returned the boy.
“What a delightful boy!” said Scrooge. “It’s a pleasure to talk to him. Yes, my buck.”
“It’s hanging there now,” replied the boy.
“Is it?” said Scrooge. “Go and buy it.”
“Piss off!” exclaimed the boy.
“No, no,” said Scrooge, “I am in earnest. Go and buy it, and tell them to bring it here, that I may give them the direction where to take it. Come back with the man, and I’ll give you a shilling. Come back with him in less than five minutes and I’ll give you half-a-crown.”
The boy was off like a shot. He must have had a steady hand at a trigger who could have got a shot off half so fast.
“I’ll send it to Bob Cratchit’s!” whispered Scrooge, rubbing his hands, and splitting with a laugh, by now the sinister, scheming tone in his voice was no more than habit. “He shan’t know who sends it. It’s twice the size of Tiny Tim.”
The hand in which he wrote the address was not a steady one, but write it he did, somehow, and went down-stairs to open the street door, ready for the coming of the butcher’s man. As he stood there, waiting his arrival, the knocker caught his eye.
“I shall love it, as long as I live!” cried Scrooge, patting it with his hand. “I scarcely ever looked at it before. What an honest expression it has in its face. It’s a wonderful knocker.”
In that moment Scrooge knew what it truly meant to be in love. He cozied up to the knocker, stroked it with one hand, all while whispering sweet nothings into the ear of the innocent, inanimate object. So caught up in his newfound love he failed to notice the butcher’s man approaching down the lane. “and then I’d like to rub my tongue all over your bolts and rust and —Here’s the Hamloaf. Hallo! Whoop! How are you?”
It was a Hamloaf! A hamloaf large enough to have come from a whole family of fattened pigs, all shoved into a meat grinder, still living. Together they would all squeal, but they would all squeal together, as a family.
“Why, it’s impossible to carry that to Camden Town,” said Scrooge. “You must have a cab.”
The chuckle with which he said this, and the chuckle with which he paid for the Turkey, and the chuckle with which he paid for the cab, and the chuckle with which he recompensed the boy, were only to be exceeded by the chuckle with which he sat down breathless in his chair again, and chuckled till he cried.
Scrooged cried in his chair. Scrooge cried on the floor. Scrooge even ventured to cry in the door. There he sat weeping for the mistakes he had made and for the mistakes he would be sure to make if he didn’t make the most of the day. The last day.
Scrooge popped a Xanax and like the Hamloaf Boy before him, was off like a shot! He dressed himself all in his best, and at last got out into the streets. The people were by this time pouring forth, as he had been shown by the spirit on the night of December Twentieth; and walking with his hands behind him, Scrooge regarded every one with a delighted smile. He looked so irresistibly pleasant, in a word, that three or four good-humoured fellows said, “Good morning, sir. You seem quite chipper considering the circumstances.” And Scrooge said often afterwards, that of all the blithe sounds he had ever heard, those were the blithest in his ears.
He had not gone far, when coming on towards him he beheld the portly gentleman, who had walked into his counting-house the day before, and said, “Scrooge and Marley’s, I believe.” It sent a pang across his heart to think how this old gentleman would look upon him when they met; but he knew what path lay straight before him, and he took it.
“My dear sir,” said Scrooge, quickening his pace, and taking the old gentleman by both his hands. “How do you do. I hope you succeeded yesterday. It was very kind of you.”
“Yes,” said Scrooge. “That is my name, and I fear it may not be pleasant to you. Allow me to ask your pardon. And will you have the goodness” — here Scrooge whispered in his ear.
“Lord bless me!” cried the gentleman, as if his breath were taken away. “My dear Mr Scrooge, are you serious?”
“If you please,” said Scrooge. “Not a farthing less. My entire fortune shall do me no good on this day or any other to come, as no more shall come! Now it is yours and your responsibility alone to ensure that some earthly good is done with it before we are turned to ash by the coming hellfire!”
Scrooge reached into his pockets and began to empty them of every farthing. Pelting the poor man with coins and tossing them into the air as if they had no true value on this plane of existence. He did not cease until the man was buried to his neck by every cent Scrooge had to his name. Scrooge enjoyed pelting the poor man with such nihilistic glee that those who witnessed the horrid event did nothing to stop him, a few bystanders even joined Scrooge.
Over in Camden Town, The Cratchit’s were huddled around their last meal, the Hamloaf.
“Now Bob, why would someone send us a Hamloaf to-night?” asked Mrs. Cratchit, taken back by this mysterious act of kindness. “I looked out the window just as you were boarding it up and saw the marauders and lunatics lurking on the horizon. Are we to act as if they won’t come bursting through the door at any moment, taking our dinner and children with them!?”
“My dear, it’s Doomsday. Let us forget the looters and enjoy each others company for the la—” Bob found himself interrupted by a loud banging at the door.
“Well that settles it! Children, hurry into the cellar, your father and I will join you shortly.”
Mrs. Cratchit quickly escorted her family towards the cellar door, but as she rushed Mrs. Cratchit forgot about Tiny Tim who was hobbling to the front door.
“What if they’re cold and hungry?” Tim asked allowed “Or perhaps they can’t walk! They could use my crutch, I certainly won’t need it when the Earth’s core splits in two!” Tim reached up opened the door allowing Ebenezer Scrooge to waltz right in.
“CRATCHIT!” cried Scrooge.
“Mr. Scrooge!?” an entire chorus of Cratchit’s exclaimed.
“Cratchit! What’s the meaning of allowing your son to open the door on a night like tonight. You of all people should know that a boy of his size and stature would fetch top dollar amongst survivors, even with his gimpy leg.”
“Yes sir. I’m well aware sir. It won’t happen again sir.” Bob Cratchit groveled, before his wife stuck up for him in a way he had silently fantasized about for the past seven years
“Mr. Scrooge! What is the meaning of this? You couldn’t just let the world end? You had to come into our home and harass our family one last time? Make sure The Cratchit’s leave this world low on income and self-esteem? Well, I won’t stand for it Mr. Scrooge—”
“Please, Mrs. Cratchit, call me Ebony.”
A stunned silence fell across the household.
“I know it must seem strange to you, but that is what I prefer you call me. It is lighter and more welcoming than ‘crusty old Mr. Scrooge.’ I am a new man, reborn by the visions of the end of the world to come.”
“Ebony, I don’t know what to say…” Bob Cratchit felt a warmth in his heart, a warmth that was there the whole story because that’s just the man Bob Cratchit was.
“Well Bob, you can start by calling me Mr. Scrooge, I am still your boss, at least for the next fifteen minutes and will be treated as such… that is to say the lovely, beautiful, stunning, vision of perfection that is your wife can’t call me Ebony. In fact she may call me anything she likes.” Ebony let out a wink. “You may all call me whatever you wish!” he exclaimed “With the exception of you Bob, no hard feelings?”
“None sir. Thank you sir!”
“Now, where’s that Hamloaf!?”
Searching the room, the Hamloaf was nowhere to be found. It was left on the table, last anyone had seen it. Perhaps a cheeky looter had snuck in behind Scrooge only to make his way out, one Hamloaf richer. This was Mrs. Cratchit’s belief who felt the looter may be in cahoots with Scrooge in an attempt to beat down their family to a pulp in the most metaphorical of senses.
“Here it is Ebony!” Tiny Tim hobbled into the room, having molded the Hamloaf into a new wheelchair, the first of it’s kind. Relieved to find it was not stolen, they all laughed.
“Come now Cratchits,” Ebony said with a smile “a feast is a feast, no matter what handi-capable accessory it may be shaped as. Lets gather round as one and enjoy our final moments together before the skies open and fire rains from on high. Before the seas start to boil, the earth starts to quake, and our toes secrete mysterious slime.”
The Cratchits, along with their newfound friend enjoyed their last meal. That night they would sleep peacefully as the world outside plunged into chaos. Camden Town was left a pile of ash, but every single Cratchit awoke the next morning, the sole survivors of the apocalypse. From that day forth they would rebuild society a friendlier and nicer place, where good was seen in all men regardless of their ability to walk. And so, as Tiny Tim observed:
“Quetzalcoatl bless us, everyone.”
Buddy Purucker designed these excellent posters! Spread them around as you please, share them with your creationist friends, they’ll love it!
- Graciously accept a glass of wine whenever your host (or hostess) offers one to somebody else.
- Don’t skimp on the Turkey, there’s a smorgasbord of side dishes that everyone’s clamoring for-but none with enough tryptophan to put you out before halftime.
- Try to picture your boring, naggy relatives in their underwear and watch them become your boring, sexy relatives.
- Start a controlled fire in your deep fryer and enjoy the chaos that ensues.
- Respect the post-thanksgiving feast nap, especially if the person taking the nap is your cousin who just got out of jail.
- Always keep your keys in your pocket, you’re going to need them for a fast get away and for security when your uncle has had seven bud lights.
- Beware of the over indulgent forks. You’ll know you have one when you feel full within five minutes of starting dinner.
- Dress up like a dead turkey and stuff yourself in the oven. As a joke.
- Don’t be afraid to let your rage fester, it’ll come in handy on Black Friday
- If any of the following topics come up during dinner, retreat to the kids table:
Who will carve the turkey, what gravy really looks like, who gets the last crescent roll, vegetarianism, veganism, abortion, The election, Israel, gay elmo, your grandmas toenail, tissue boxes, Lost, what was found in your baby cousins diaper, facebook pokes, “Kid’s don’t know the value of a dollar”, 4000 calorie dinner, running sports, jumping sports, fake sports, the favorite grandchild, “Justin Beiber is a lesbian”, “Lesbians aren’t real”, The lesbian your brother is dating, The color of grandpas booger which has just landed in the cranberry sauce, “How do I turn on my iPad?”, Steve Jobs ghost is possessing your aunts right pinky, When, where and how your mother lost her virginity, diabetes induced exercise, “Do you think Donald Trump’s pubes look like his hair?”
- Invest in a pair of thanksgiving pregnancy pants available anywhere baby clothes are sold or in your 16 year old sister’s closet.
- Remember that no one wants to know how the turkey carcas is perfect for your sculpture about meat eaters.
- Tie your pets together and hold your own parade.
- Burn the turkey; it will insure you don’t host thanksgiving next year.
- Do an Al Roker impression. It’s the only day such an impression is relevant.