Broken Picture Telephone

04.29.2009

I write down “Define Irony” on a post it and hand it to you. You draw a fire truck in flames. You hand your drawing to someone else who has no idea what I wrote, and they see and write down “School bus with a flame paint job”. They hand that description to the next person. This goes on between 11 and 45 times. When you get to the end, Donkey Kong is inexplicably throwing kittens at Mario. You can’t explain it, but seeing all the post-it notes in a row makes you chuckle uncontrollably.

You and a group of strangers just got together to play a game of Broken Picture Telephone. No prizes are awarded. Nobody wins or loses. It’s addictive as bacon-flavored cigarettes.

Based on a popular party game, this beautifully crafted site gives you a web version of “Picture Telephone” also known as -I’m not making this up- “Eat Poop You Cat.”  I have no idea who named it that. I can almost imagine how someone must’ve drawn someone giving ice cream to a cat, and the next description in line stuck since it was the funniest thing anyone had ever heard.

When it’s your turn to write, you are shown a picture, drawn by some anonymous fellow player. It might be a stipple-shaded masterpiece drawn meticulously on a stylus tablet, or it might be stick figures, blobs and scribbles drawn on a laptop pad. It might be simple,clear and obvious what the person drew (e.g. Batman punches Mario) or it might be up to your imagination as to what the hell is going on. “Well, that face seems to be in some sort of trash can… OH, it’s Oscar! He’s got a gun and he’s shooting at… is that a hang glider? What is that guy holding? Is it a key or a banana?” you decide “Oscar the Grouch shoots a hang glider holding a key.”

The best part is when you get to the end, and get to see your drawing or description in the context of a full game. You get to see exactly what that person before you was trying to draw, and it turns out that it was R2-D2 shooting Link from the Legend of Zelda. Oh well, you were right about the key and the gun at least.

Two caveats about this site:

First, sometimes the descriptions and pictures run past the realm of ribaldry into complete NSFW dirtiness. You can filter games so this doesn’t happen. This leads to my second warning. Sometimes people like to ruin every one else’s fun and draw a wiener without clicking the “mature” button. (What’s worse is that sometimes people draw a wiener when the description was about kittens.” Even when someone purposely ruins a game, all is not lost. You are surrounded by clever people who can turn a game around in no time by using the cleaner meaning of double-entendres or purposely misreading a certain word “Bert and Ernie are HUGGING each other in the CLASS”.

Whether you’re a great doodler or a hopeless stick-figure Picasso, I urge you to open an account on this site and start playing. I’ll see you there.

BrokenPictureTelephone.com

Your Car’s Factory Warranty Is About To Expire.

04.17.2009

I just figured you should know.

Press 1 for more information.

I think I get more calls from these people than I do all my other friends, family, job interviews, enemies, wrong numbers and telemarketers combined. They hang up on you if you ask them to remove you from their list. I once offered to give them my land line just so they’d stop calling my cell phone, and they hung up on me.

How this company stays in business is beyond me, they probably have one of those toronto commercial insurance if something goes wrong. It breaks laws and I can’t imagine anyone actually giving them money. I doubt these calls will stop soon.

The History Channel… It’s History

04.04.2009

The History Channel seems to have lost touch with what made it popular, but more importantly, it lost touch with what its name implies it is.

MTV is the most well-known and probably first example of this. MTV = MUSIC Television. They played music videos. Then they played shows about music, like news and gameshows and stuff. Beavis and Butthead even stuck to this theme, as they’d do short segments heckling music videos. Then came Daria and Celebrity Death Match, et al. Somehow this degraded into hours upon hours of Real World, Road Rules and Real World vs. Road Rules Challenge. The only music you can find on the station is on TRL, and that hardly counts because when the video plays, it’s interrupted by a screaming teeny-bopper crying “Oh my god, I love Papa Roach because Jacoby is so sexy!”

So MTV is something other than it was when it started. No big deal. You’re a business and you go where the money is. Oh well.

Then came MTV2. The network for people who missed the old MTV. Eventually, this station also deviated from a 24-hour music format, and became a dumping ground for shows not good enough for MTV. I watched a show about slang on MTV2 once. Timbaland kindly explained to me “Well, first we said “fo sho”, but then everybody started saying that, so then we said “fo shizzle”, but when people started saying that all the time we said “fo shiggity”. Now I like to say “fo shaginov”.” Well, the business model of video-video-video-commercials-video-video-video-commercials must’ve failed, because they really have became another MTV. MTV2… fo shaginov.

I just spent the day down for the count, sick on the couch. The History Channel was my drug of choice. I watched a show about pirate technology (historical), a show Caribbean pirates (also historical) then several hours of Mantracker, which I’ll admit is a great show, but not very historical. (And it’s annoying that the constants call the guy Mantracker. His name is Terry. Call him Terry. You don’t have to call the guy the name of the show. Les Stroud doesn’t call himself Survivorman.)

Then it hit me. The History Channel has turned into MTV. Sure, it has Modern Marvels which is generally historical, but often covers present-day things. It used to have Futureweapons, but that ended up on The Military Channel. Futureweapons? History Channel? Well, that’s not as bad as Life After Humans, another show about the future. That obnoxious Dr. Kaku is getting too much face time on the Discovery Networks, and I can’t escape him. I’ve hated him ever since What The Bleep Do We Know. Questionable stuff that is arguably history involves doomsday prophesies, mythological creatures and religious history, but the way those shows are put together, they put people who appreciate the cultural significance of the topic at hand next to people who actually believe the crap, as if their opinions are both equally valid. Then there’s the other stuff that is not history in any way, shape or form. UFOs, ghosts, cryptozoology.

What the hell happened here? I miss when it was the Hitler Channel just like Tony Soprano used to watch.