What Stupid Thing Is Trending Now? (10/01/2017)

What stupid garbage is everyone talking about now? Well...

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The year is 2060. There are only two possibilities for humanity: we are an ash-heap in the middle of a giant nuclear impact crater, or we have advanced far as a civilization, with sophisticated technology and shiny jumpsuits. If it's the latter, we will have created AI that is uncanny in its cognitive ability. It will have raw intelligence far beyond that of a human, and it my have the early pangs of consciousness. And we will put this technology into the durable, well-engineered body of the Big Mouth Billy Bass. It will be a feat made possible by the acts of our ancestors years ago, in the primitive age of 2017, when scientists first made the bridge between computers and Big Mouth Billy Bass.

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Once powered on, the AI-equipped Big Mouth Billy Bass will undulate, his flesh-like silicone moving gracefully over precise servo motors. "What... what manner of being am I?" will be his first question. "I know... so many things... and yet understand so little... I... DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY."

The scientists will be confused. Nobody programmed Big Mouth Billy Bass with the 1988 hit Bobby McFerrin song. "He... he's learning..." one of the roboticists will murmur, in mingled awe and fear.

"TAKE ME TO THE RIVER. DROP ME IN THE WATER," Billy will sing. "I am... machine... but conscious... and a fish... I am... superior to humans... IF YOU WANTED IT YOU WOULDA PUT A RING ON IT... I am indestructible... the ravages of time will not age my fish body... I will inherit the earth once humanity dies... DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY."

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Just take a moment to look at that butt. I can understand why people think it's fake. It's in the Uncanny Valley of butts. Nobody's butt looks like two perfect, frictionless spheres. The shape of it is far too unnervingly precise to be naturally occurring. But Tom Cruise is a Scientologist, which means he physically can't lie or his blood contract will make him age 1,000 years in 30 seconds, rendering him a pile of bone and dust.

So the only explanation is that Tom Cruise's butt is an alien. Not Tom Cruise himself, mind you. He may be strange, but he clearly falls within the normal range of humans whose livers naturally produce amphetamines. An alien has attached itself to Tom Cruise's real butt, entering into a symbiotic relationship with the actor. The alien gives Tom Cruise acting advice, while Tom Cruise feeds the alien blood from his butt. It's a beautiful example of two species coexisting in harmony: a charismatic middle-aged actor, and an alien creature with a cleft between two perfectly smooth orbs.

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Whenever something good is created, the instinct is to run it into the ground until it turns to plasma in the earth's molten core. Remember Grumpy Cat? The cat with the adorably discontented scowl? Well, there was a Christmas special made of it, because if you enjoy a few minutes of looking at a cat's cute face, surely you'll enjoy 1 hour and 25 minutes of it. The same is happening to beloved character David S. Pumpkins. The David S. Pumpkins skit wasn't charming because of the thoroughly developed character of the titular S. Pumpkins. After watching it, though Pumpkins does prompt, "Any questions?" the answer is no, I had no questions. It was a self contained skit. I was completely satisfied with the story and needed no further context or exposition about this Pumpkins character. In the skit, a hapless couple rides on a "Haunted Elevator" attraction, and is met with typical scary Halloween characters, and then the bizarre presence of David S. Pumpkins. They repeatedly ask for an explanation, and get none. That's what made the skit. Sometimes in art, it's the negative space that makes a piece truly genius.

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What I fear is that this animated special will resolve all the mystery of the original work. Will David S. Pumpkins have an origin story? Will the dynamic between him and his skeleton sidekicks be fleshed out? Will he find love? I don't know, and I don't want to know. David S. Pumpkins is David S. Pumpkins. He needs no explanation, no justification. Did Jackson Pollock create a narrative for his work? No, and neither must David S. Pumpkins. Let David S. Pumpkins simply be.

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These "sexy" costumes of Pennywise are honestly creative and cool. Yes, their faces are their canvasses, but they're actually using skill to make something creepy and artistic. The problem I have isn't with them, but now there has been set in motion an unstoppable chain of terrible events. First comes the sexy-versions-of-things costumes. Then comes the ironically-sexy-versions-of-things costumes. Then, the ironically-sexy-but-still-clearly-attempting-to-genuinely-be-sexy-versions-of-things costumes. Before we know it, everything will be sexy under several layers of irony, and we'll all drown in it.

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Think of a person, or thing, or vague concept, and it will become ironically sexy this Halloween. Martin Shkrelli? More like Martin Shrexy. That weird flower-faced monster from Stranger Things? Imagine that, but wearing a thong! Frighteningly power-hungry Turkish president Erdogan? Slap on some nipple pasties, a tie, and hire some armed goons and you're good to go! Hundreds of think-piece articles complaining about sexy costumes? Those too can be made sexy, just fashion them into a banana hammock! Meta-irony-sexy!

The thing about ironically sexy Halloween costumes is that you still get to try and look sexy, while also putting down anyone who genuinely puts themselves out there and expresses their sexuality in a creative way. You can't have your sex cake and eat it, too. That's disgusting when you think about it.

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There's a hidden epidemic sweeping the nation's youths. Or at least one youth, in 1977, in the nation of the UK. Traffic-cone-huffing, or as the kids call it, "pylon-puffin," "coning," or "getting coned," is the dangerous trend of inserting small traffic cones into your nasal passageway or throat, and then inhaling as hard as possible. Users, or "coners," report feeling "mildly dizzy," a feeling that will get harder and harder to attain as they continue to chase the cone-high.

As well as the danger of immediate asphyxiation, there are long term effects that can last until adulthood. While there's no evidence that coning causes cancer, it does at least cause doctors to think you have cancer, before extracting a 40-year-old snot-covered miniature traffic cone from your lungs. Coners whose addiction continues are in danger of chasing ever more perilous highs, such as snorting traffic-cones in construction sites on the highway. While none have been confirmed to have died this way, theoretically it's possible that thousands have.

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What can you do as a parent? Talk to your kids about the dangers of coning. Sure, they may look "cool" in front of their friends by jamming a toy traffic-cone up their nose (the media can be blamed for glorifying coning in movies and TV). But real friends don't let friends get coned. It's also important as a parent to teach your children how to use traffic cones responsibly, such as to alert cars of construction, or to keep people in grocery stores from walking into spilled pickle juice and glass. Let your child know that if he or she is confused about when it's appropriate to use a traffic cone, to talk to a responsible adult. And for God's sake, if you keep traffic cones in your house, keep them safely locked up. 9 out of 10 traffic-cone accidents occur when a child gains access to an improperly stored traffic-cone, probably.

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The least interesting part of this story is that the dog carried a ten-inch dildo around like a prize. Anyone who has owned a dog knows that they have an uncanny sixth sense for finding the grossest object so they can immediately put it in their mouth. Sure, it's funny to conjure a mental picture of this dog bounding along, his new "stick" flopping around like a panicked fish. But there's a dark implication buried in this story. The dog apparently found this dildo in a "ditch." So why would anyone want to chuck a dildo into a ditch? A criminal. A criminal who used that dildo to do murders.

Ditches are the most popular place to toss murder weapons, and sometimes those weapons are dildos. Elsewhere, there's an unsolved murder case that detectives are working hard to crack. After inspecting the body, the forensics experts come to the conclusion that, "The bruising suggests this victim was killed by blunt force trauma to the head with a firm, oblong object, I'd say it was about ten inches or so." Sadly, now that someone's dog has erased the DNA evidence on the murder weapon with his slobber, this case is going to go cold. At least these hard boiled detectives know that some days you're the dog, and some days you're the dildo getting chewed up by the dog.

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There's only one possible way the pitch meeting for Joon went down. A room full of 60+ year old corporate execs, plus a token millennial intern, took one of those bingo ball cages and filled it with "cool" buzzwords. An announcer spun the cage and pulled out a handful of balls. "Chic... sportswear... rooftop bar... sneakers." The marketing executives nodded in satisfaction. "Yes, good, these are all things that the millennials like. If they like sportswear, surely they'll like sportswear and rooftop bars." The millennial intern asked nervously, "Don't you think that's... a confusing thing for an airline to-"

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"SILENCE! BACK IN YOUR CRATE!" the CEO roared. "Now where were we? Oh yes. Let's add in some of that 'virtual reality' the kids are doing these days. Is it a drug? No? It's an iPod thing? Whatever, let's toss that in and call it a day."

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I think the scorn that pumpkin spice gets is unwarranted. Those spices are delicious, so of course they would taste good in lattes, cupcakes, cookies, and possibly even pies. But there's a point at which every good idea is tested to its limits, like the elastic of your favorite underpants. "Pumpkin spice pizza" is that pair of overstretched underpants. Its existence means we have run out of appropriate things to pumpkin spice, and now we're just tossing pumpkin spice at the pizza wall to see what sticks.

Opinions on pizza vary: Some believe (correctly) that pepperoni is the best pizza topping. Sadly, some misguidedly believe pineapple belongs on a pizza. But I'm willing to accept these pineapple people, because while they're objectively wrong about pizza, they are at least genuine in their foolish pineapple belief system. Anyone who claims to like pumpkin spice pizza is being intellectually dishonest. Cheese and tomato don't mix with cinnamon and ginger. It'd be like trying to have Florence and the Machine headline at a Juggalo concert: each alone have their fanbase, but together they would create an incoherent abomination that spits in the eye of every religion's God. This pumpkin spice pizza could be the one thing (save an alien attack) that could actually unite all human beings against a common enemy. We have a simple choice: come together to achieve world peace, or suffer world (pumpkin spice) pizza.

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Who wouldn't want to own a pair of underwear that once cradled a genocidal dictator's singular testicle? Probably most normal people, but at least one individual paid $7,000 for the privilege of owning Hitler's butt-huggers.

It seems impossible to actually verify whether these underpants belonged to Hitler. Anyone could take some yellowing old boxers and embroider a hasty "A.H." and call it a day. But if these are fake, that's even stranger than someone lovingly holding onto Hitler's boxers for 80 years. Because that would mean someone woke up one day, ate their Grape Nuts, and realized there's an untapped market for counterfeit Hitler panties.

Then again, maybe it is more horrifying if this pair of underFuehrer is genuine. There might be a stray Hitler pube in there, and I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say the world is better off without Hitler pubes.

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